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- The Citi Simplicity Card is light on benefits, but it boasts one of the longest 0 percent intro APRs on balance transfers completed within your first four months, which can go a long way to helping you pay down high-interest debt.
- The card is also light on fees, with no annual fee, no late fees and no penalty APR after a late payment.
- To get the most out of your card, transfer as much of your debt as possible in the intro period to avoid paying interest for a whopping 21 months (after which you'll pay 19.24 percent to 29.99 percent variable APR on your remaining balance).
Citi is an advertising partner.
If you need to pay down high-interest debt, good news — the Citi Simplicity® Card* is a balance transfer card offering a long 0 percent intro APR offer for 21 months on balance transfers made within the first four months and a 0 percent intro APR on purchases within 12 months of account opening (19.24 percent to 29.99 percent variable APR thereafter for both). Although there aren’t any rewards or enhanced benefits to speak of, the card is light on fees — no annual fee, late fees or penalty rates.
We break down the key perks offered by Citi Simplicity so that you can see how well it might work for you.
Citi Simplicity Card benefits
The first thing you might notice is that the Citi Simplicity Card is relatively low on bells and whistles, but don’t let the lack of rewards and benefits deter you. Depending on how much debt you stand to pay off with this card, it could be worthwhile to hold.
0% intro APR offers
First and foremost, the Citi Simplicity offers an exceptionally long 0 percent intro APR on balance transfers completed within the first four months — you’ll get a full 21 months to pay off your debt, interest-free (followed by a variable APR of 19.24 percent to 29.99 percent). Compared to other balance transfer cards on the market, this is one of the longest 0 percent intro APR periods available — matched also by the no-annual-fee Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card*, which comes with a 0 percent intro APR on balance transfers for 21 months, followed by a variable APR of 18.24 percent to 28.99 percent.
The Citi Simplicity also offers a shorter 0 percent intro APR on purchases for 12 months from the date of account opening, followed by a 19.24 percent to 29.99 percent variable APR.
Like many credit cards, you’ll enjoy fraud protection, meaning you won’t be responsible for unauthorized charges made to your account. Since this benefit comes through the Mastercard network, you’re able to report unauthorized charges through the Mastercard app for a faster response.
Account activity alerts
With the Citi Simplicity Card, you receive automatic alerts for updates made to your account. You can set alerts for withdrawals, password changes, balance transfers and payments.
Identity theft protection
A few features can help protect both your Citi credit card account and your identity in general. Citi’s Fraud Early Warning feature informs you of any suspicious activity on your account and contacts you by text, email, phone or mail to confirm account activity or raise concerns with you. Another plus is that, if you’re a victim of identity theft, you’ll receive free support from Citi as a Citi cardholder — even if the fraud occurred on a product from another company.
Low on fees
Aside from the lengthy 0 percent intro APR offers, another main benefit of the Citi Simplicity is its lack of fees. There’s no annual fee and no late fees — and if you make a late payment, there’s no penalty APR.
The main thing to note is this card’s balance transfer fee. There is an introductory balance transfer fee of 3 percent of the amount of each transfer (minimum $5) for balance transfers completed within four months of account opening. After the first four months are up, the balance transfer fee increases to 5 percent (minimum $5).
Maximizing the Citi Simplicity’s benefits
The best way to fully maximize the Citi Simplicity Card is to transfer your balances as soon as possible. Balance transfers must be made within the first four months of holding the card in order to receive the 0 percent intro APR offer — otherwise, you’re stuck with the standard 19.24 percent to 29.99 percent variable APR.
Further, before applying, be sure that you’re OK with the long-term value the Citi Simplicity has to offer. If you can get away with an 18- or 15-month introductory term, there are plenty of other rewards cards out there with shorter introductory terms that might offer more value in the long run.
For example, the Citi® Double Cash Card* offers both rewards — 1 percent cash back as you buy and an additional 1 percent back as you pay for your purchase — and a 0 percent intro APR on balance transfers for 18 months (followed by a 19.24 percent to 29.24 percent variable APR).
The bottom line
The Citi Simplicity Card is extremely light on benefits and perks, but it could be worthwhile for someone who needs a longer period of time to pay down high-interest debt. All in all, be sure to review all the options available to you, including our list of the best balance transfer credit cards, before you apply.
*All information about the Citi Simplicity® Card, the Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card and the Citi® Double Cash Card has been collected independently by Bankrate and has not been reviewed or approved by the issuer.