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Citi offers consumers a range of credit card options to suit a variety of preferences and financial goals. And if you’re in the market for a new card—either from Citi or a balance transfer card, in general—it can be tricky to decide which one is right for your wallet.
We’re putting the spotlight on the Citi Simplicity® Card and taking a closer look at its perks and potential drawbacks. That way, you can confidently determine if this card is worth your time and attention.
What does the Citi Simplicity offer?
Quick card details
- Intro APR on purchases: 0 percent for purchases made within 12 months of account opening
- Intro APR on balance transfers: 0 percent for 21 months on transfers made within 4 months of account opening
- Regular APR: 16.99% to 26.99% variable
- Rewards: None
- Welcome bonus: None
- Annual fee: $0
- Other perks: No late fees or penalty APR for missed payments
When is the Citi Simplicity worth it?
Your main goal is paying off credit card debt
The Citi Simplicity will certainly be worth it if you have high-interest credit card debt that you want to pay off. When you take advantage of the 0 percent introductory APR on balance transfers, you’ll have nearly two years to get rid of that debt while saving a tidy sum in interest (followed by a variable APR between 16.99% to 26.99%). Note, you must transfer your balance within the first four months of owning the card or else you’ll lose access to this introductory zero-interest offer.
Let’s say that, as soon as you open your account, you transfer $5,000 from a card charging 24.99 percent interest to the Citi Simplicity. If you make 21 equal monthly payments of $238.10, you’ll pay off your balance before the introductory balance transfer APR expires.
In the process, you’ll save $531.49 in interest over what you would’ve paid with your original card. Keep in mind, though, you’ll pay a 5 percent balance transfer fee of $250. This means your total savings will be equal to $281.49.
Plus, you’ll get out of debt up to 14 months sooner. If you keep your original card, it’ll take you 35 months to pay off the balance (assuming you only make the minimum monthly payment of $153.08).
You need to pay off a large, upcoming purchase
The Citi Simplicity may also be worth it if you want to finance a big-ticket item and avoid paying interest. For example, let’s say you purchase $3,000 worth of kitchen appliances using your new Citi Simplicity Card. If you pay $250 a month for 12 months, you’ll get out of debt without paying a penny in interest.
Now, let’s pretend you made the same purchase using a different credit card charging 25 percent interest. If you make the same $250 monthly payment, it will take you 14 months to pay off the balance and cost you $488.14 in interest.
Note, though, if paying off a large purchase is your main goal, there are cards that offer long intro APR periods on new purchases. For example, the Bank of America® Unlimited Cash Rewards credit card offers a zero-interest period for 15 months, followed by a variable APR between 16.24% – 26.24%.
The information regarding the Bank of America® Unlimited Cash Rewards credit card was last updated on 8/1/2022
When is the Citi Simplicity not worth it?
Paying off debt isn’t on your radar
The Citi Simplicity Card isn’t worth owning if you don’t need a 0 percent intro APR. There’s no rewards program, so you won’t rack up points, cash back or miles when you use it for purchases, and there’s also no welcome bonus. And while the variable APR is lower than average (and you won’t be charged an annual fee or late fees), the card doesn’t boast too many other benefits. If you’re curious what the card does offer in terms of perks, though, you can read through our Citi Simplicity Card benefits guide.
You’re looking for long-term value
Though you’ll be hard-pressed to find a lengthier introductory offer than that offered by the Citi Simplicity, once you’ve paid off your debt or large purchase, the card doesn’t offer much value. There are plenty of other balance transfer cards that feature both zero-interest offers and ongoing rewards on your spending, so it’s worth taking a look at some of the best balance transfer credit cards on the market to determine if the Citi Simplicity is truly your best option.
The Citi® Double Cash Card, for example, offers effectively 2 percent cash back on all purchases (an unlimited 1 percent as you buy, plus another 1 percent when you pay for your purchases) and a 0 percent intro APR on balance transfers for 18 months (16.24% to 26.24% variable APR after). If you can bear to pay off your debt in 18 months rather than 21, this no-annual-fee Citi card is a solid option in terms of ongoing value.
Should you get the Citi Simplicity Card?
As noted above, you should really only consider getting the Citi Simplicity if you want to take advantage of the 0 percent introductory APR and do a balance transfer with Citi.
However, if you’re looking to earn rewards on your purchases, you should definitely explore other options. A variety of cards offer both ongoing rewards and intro APR periods, and there’s no sense sacrificing additional card benefits if you can swing paying off debt in a shorter period of time.
The bottom line
While we covered the most important points of whether the Citi Simplicity is worth it, check out our Citi Simplicity Card review for further information on rates, fees, comparable cards and more.
Note, you’ll need a good to excellent credit score (typically between 670 and 850) to qualify. Not sure where you stand? There are several ways to get preapproved for a Citi card.