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The Citi Simplicity® Card really lives up to its name. This straight-shooting credit card has one of the longest introductory 0% APR balance transfer promotions in the business (after which the regular APR ranges between 16.99% and 26.99%). Plus, while it doesn’t have an unusually low APR once the introductory period ends, Citi Simplicity’s lack of penalty fees and interest charges is great for cardholders who occasionally slip up.
Citi Simplicity is comparable to other no-frills cards with favorable rates and terms, along with entry-level cash back credit cards with long intro APR deals. However, with no rewards program, it’s not appropriate for consumers seeking active returns on spending.
Citi Simplicity has a 21-month 0% APR promotion for balance transfers, beginning from the date of first transfer. Qualifying balance transfers must be made within 4 months of account opening.
Citi Simplicity also has a 12-month 0% APR promotion for purchases, beginning from your account opening date.
Following the end of the introductory promotional periods, the regular purchase and balance transfer APRs range between 16.99% and 26.99%, depending on your creditworthiness.
There is never an annual fee or late payment fee. The foreign transaction fee is a flat 3%. Balance transfers cost the greater of $5 or 5% of the transferred amount, while cash advances cost the greater of $10 or 5%. Returned payments cost up to $39.
This card requires good to excellent credit. If you have any notable dings on your credit record, you may not qualify.
- No Annual Fee. Citi Simplicity doesn’t have an annual fee, ensuring that cardholders attracted by this card’s super-long introductory promotion aren’t shortchanged by an ongoing assessment.
- Extremely Long 0% APR Introductory Promotion for Balance Transfers. Citi Simplicity has one of the longest 0% APR balance transfer promotions around. That makes it hard to beat for consumers who wish to transfer high-interest balances and pay down debt faster. Following the end of the introductory promotional period, the regular balance transfer APR ranges between 16.99% and 26.99%, depending on your creditworthiness.
- Solid 0% APR Introductory Promotion for Purchases. Citi Simplicity’s 0% APR purchase promotion lasts 12 months from your account opening date. That may be enough time to pay off large purchases in full – which you’ll want to do to avoid interest charges. Following the end of the introductory promotional period, the regular purchase APR ranges between 16.99% and 26.99%, depending on your creditworthiness.
- Low Balance Transfer Fee. This card’s balance transfer fee – the greater of $5 or 3% of the transferred amount – is lower than many competing cards, which may charge up to 5% of the transferred amount. On large transfers, that difference can add up to hundreds of dollars. This is another argument in favor of using Citi Simplicity to pay down high-interest credit card debt accumulated elsewhere.
- No Penalty APR or Late Fees. Citi Simplicity never charges late payment fees or penalty interest. This is a huge benefit for cardholders who occasionally miss payments. According to Citi, Simplicity is “the only card with no late fees, no penalty rate, and no annual fee – ever.”
- No Sign-up Bonus. This card doesn’t have a sign-up bonus – a significant drawback next to fellow cards with attractive intro APR promotions, such as Chase Freedom (15-month 0% APR and $150 sign-up bonus).
- No Rewards. Citi Simplicity doesn’t have a rewards program. If a great promotional APR deal is your primary motivator, that probably won’t be a deal-breaker. However, if you value both rewards and promotional rates, consider Chase Freedom or American Express Blue Cash Everyday instead.
- Has a Foreign Transaction Fee. This card’s 3% foreign transaction fee increases the cost of venturing out of the United States – a cost that can really add up if you travel often. Alternatives such as Capital One Quicksilver and Discover it lack foreign transaction fees.
- Fairly Strict Underwriting Requirements. Citi Simplicity requires good to excellent credit. If you’re carrying high-interest balances on an existing credit card account, it’s entirely possible that your credit won’t be good enough to qualify for Simplicity.
The Citi Simplicity® Card holds applicants to pretty high credit standards. But those fortunate enough to qualify for this card are handed a rare opportunity: the ability to transfer high-interest balances from other cards and pay no interest for 21 months. If you’ve taken the trouble to research and apply for Citi Simplicity, chances are good that you already know how you’re going to use it.