Citi Simplicity® Card
On Citibank's Secure Website
Citi Simplicity® Card
On Citibank's Secure Website
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Citi Simplicity® Card Review: A Top 0% APR Credit Card

Citi Simplicity® Card Review: A Top 0% APR Credit Card

The Citi Simplicity® Card can be a great card for lowering your interest payments, but doesn't come with any rewards.

On Citibank's Secure Website

Editor's Rating

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Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. This site may be compensated through a credit card issuer partnership.

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Quick facts

More details

Rates & fees

  • Credit needed: 660 - 850
  • Annual fee: $0
  • Intro APR on balance transfers: 0% for 21 months on Balance Transfers, then 17.74% - 28.49% (Variable)
  • Intro APR on purchases: 0% for 12 months on Purchases, then 17.74% - 28.49% (Variable)
  • Other features: No late fees or penalty rates, free access to your FICO score, flexible payment dates

Quick facts

  • Credit needed: 660 - 850
  • Annual fee: $0
  • Intro APR on balance transfers: 0% for 21 months on Balance Transfers, then 17.74% - 28.49% (Variable)
  • Intro APR on purchases: 0% for 12 months on Purchases, then 17.74% - 28.49% (Variable)
  • Other features: No late fees or penalty rates, free access to your FICO score, flexible payment dates

More details

  • No Late Fees, No Penalty Rate, and No Annual Fee... Ever
  • 0% Intro APR for 21 months on balance transfers from date of first transfer and 0% Intro APR for 12 months on purchases from date of account opening. After that the variable APR will be 17.74% - 28.49%, based on your creditworthiness. Balance transfers must be completed within 4 months of account opening.
  • There is an introductory balance transfer fee of $5 or 3% of the amount of the transfer, whichever is greater for balances transfers completed within 4 months of account opening.
  • Stay protected with Citi® Quick Lock and $0 liability on unauthorized charges

Rates & fees

  • Intro Purchase APR: 0% for 12 months on Purchases
  • Regular Purchase APR: 17.74% - 28.49% (Variable)
  • Intro BT APR: 0% for 21 months on Balance Transfers
  • Regular BT APR: 17.74% - 28.49% (Variable)
  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Foreign Transaction Fee: 3% of each purchase transaction after its conversion into U.S. dollars
  • Balance Transfer Fee: There is an intro balance transfer fee of 3% of each transfer (minimum $5) completed within the first 4 months of account opening. Then a balance transfer fee applies with this offer 5% of each balance transfer; $5 minimum.

Pros

  • $0 annual fee
  • Excellent low APR offer on balance transfers and purchases
  • No late fees or penalty rates
  • Account protections
  • Free FICO score access
  • Ability to set flexible payment date

Cons

  • No rewards
  • No sign-up bonus
  • Few additional perks
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Is the Citi Simplicity® Card worth it?

The Citi Simplicity® Card is an excellent financing tool that can be well worth it for consumers looking to get their credit card debt under control. Cardholders can save hundreds, or even thousands of dollars in interest on a balance transfer or new purchase through the card's introductory offers.

This card comes with an exceptionally long 0% introductory period:

  • Intro APR 0% for 21 months on Balance Transfers. After that, the APR will be 17.74% - 28.49% (Variable).
  • Intro APR 0% for 12 months on Purchases. After that, the APR will be 17.74% - 28.49% (Variable).

This is one of the better low interest offers available, and even rivals the Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer, which offers an intro APR of 0% for 18 months on Balance Transfers (followed by a 17.74% - 27.74% (Variable) APR. While the Citi Simplicity® Card also offers a low APR period on purchases, the Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer offers rewards, which the Citi Simplicity® Card is lacking.

The bottom line is that the Citi Simplicity® Card is one of the better cards for paying down debt. If you diligently pay off your credit card debt in full every month, however, you may be better off choosing a rewards credit card instead.

Who is the Citi Simplicity® Card best for?

The Citi Simplicity® Card is best for consumers looking to pay down significant credit card debts and who would prefer to focus on debt repayment than on earning rewards. Those who aren't concerned with rewards and are in the market for a flexible payment credit card will love the Citi Simplicity® Card. However, if you're looking for the best of both worlds, a low intro APR offer and rewards, you might consider another 0% interest credit card instead.

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Annual fee

The Citi Simplicity® Card does not charge an annual fee, which is among its top benefits. Because this card is primarily geared towards those looking to pay down debts, not charging an annual fee is an essential way it continues to help consumers save money.

Intro APR period on balance transfers and purchases

The best feature of the Citi Simplicity® Card is that it offers an excellent low-interest intro period on both balance transfers and purchases:

  • Balance transfers: Intro APR of 0% for 21 months on Balance Transfers. After that, the variable APR will be 17.74% - 28.49% (Variable).
  • Purchases: Intro APR of 0% for 12 months on Purchases. After that, the variable APR will be 17.74% - 28.49% (Variable).

Note that a There is an intro balance transfer fee of 3% of each transfer (minimum $5) completed within the first 4 months of account opening. Then a balance transfer fee applies with this offer 5% of each balance transfer; $5 minimum. This is a standard rate, and is found on most credit cards of this type.

This low interest intro period can be a great tool to help you regain control over your financial situation. By taking advantage of the intro APR offer, new cardholders can transfer their existing credit card balance and begin using their payments to reduce their debt without worrying about paying interest.

How much can you save on a balance transfer?

If you transfer your debt from another card over to the Citi Simplicity® Card, it could result in a substantial amount of interest savings, even considering balance transfer fees. The following chart shows how much you'll pay in fees to transfer various amounts, as well as your potential interest savings.

Balance
Cost of balance transfer
How much you could save in interest ?
$1,000$30$169
$3,500$105$592
$5,000$150$845
$7,500$225$1,268
$10,000$300$1,690

Figures are determined by assuming equal payments over the card's introductory period to pay off the full balance, then comparing the amount of interest you would owe over that period making the same monthly payment on a card with an 18% APR.

What credit limit can you get with the Citi Simplicity® Card?

The credit limit you'll receive with the Citi Simplicity® Card depends on several factors:

  • Your annual salary and wages
  • Any additional annual income
  • A review of your debt and your credit report

You'll find out your credit limit upon receiving your credit card, but note that depending on the above factors, your starting credit limit could be as low as $500.

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No penalty rates or late fees

Marketed as "No late fees, no penalty rate and no annual fee ever", the Citi Simplicity® Card never charges any late fees or penalty APRs. Other cards can charge as much as $35 dollars for late payments and can raise your APR as high as 29.99%. However, keep in mind that other consequences for missing payments can still apply, such as damage to your credit score. We advise consumers to treat this benefit as a safety net, in case they ever happen to forget a bill.

Other benefits

A nice perk of the Citi Simplicity® Card is that it offers some valuable account protections. These include zero liability protection, identity theft protection, and early fraud warning. These features work to keep your account and identity safe, and ensure that if fraudulent payments are made on your card, you won't be responsible for paying them.

The Citi Simplicity® Card offers free access to your FICO score, along with information regarding the key factors that affect it and a graph of your personal history. This is a great tool that cardholders should take advantage of often to monitor and better understand your credit score.

The Citi Simplicity® Card allows cardholders to select their own payment date, whether that be at the beginning, middle or end of the month. This way, you have more control over your payments and can align your due date with your spending habits.

Drawbacks

  • No rewards — One significant drawback of this card is its lack of rewards. There are numerous other rewards and balance transfer credit cards that will earn you points, miles or cash back on your purchases and also include a low interest intro period.
  • No sign-up bonus — This is another major flaw of the Citi Simplicity® Card, as sign-up bonuses can provide huge incentives for consumers. The lack of a sign-up bonus or any rewards in general is one of the reasons you might consider a different low interest credit card.
  • Few additional perks — While new cardholders will be able to take advantage of the Citi Simplicity® Card's low intro APR offers, after the intro period, this card does not have much to offer. Other credit cards offer rewards and perks like hotel loyalty program status, airport lounge access, travel insurance and more.

What credit score is needed for the Citi Simplicity® Card?

The Citi Simplicity® Card requires a 660 - 850 credit score. You'll want to make sure your credit score is high enough to be approved before applying to improve your chances of acceptance. Note that any time you apply for a new line of credit, a hard pull is done on your credit score which temporarily lowers it. If you apply for a credit card and don't get approved, your credit score will be damaged without cause.

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Alternatives to the Citi Simplicity® Card

In order to help you determine whether the Citi Simplicity® Card is a good fit, we took a look at how it stacks up against some of its competitors.

Citi Simplicity® Card vs. Chase Slate Edge℠

On Chase's Secure Website

Verdict: Unique features that offer greater long-term value, including the possibility to lower your APR and get a higher credit limit

Ultimately, the Chase Slate Edge℠ has more long-term value potential than the Citi Simplicity® Card. The Chase Slate Edge℠ is similar to the Citi Simplicity® Card in that it also offers a long intro APR on purchases: 0% Intro APR on Purchases for 18 months. (then a 17.99% - 26.74% Variable APR applies). And, it offers the same long introductory period for balance transfers: 0% Intro APR on Balance Transfers for 18 months. (then a 17.99% - 26.74% Variable APR applies).

While the Chase Slate Edge℠ doesn't offer rewards, it does include some interesting features. For example, cardholders will automatically be considered for an APR reduction by 2% when you pay on time, and spend at least $1,000 on your card by your next account anniversary, until your APR reaches the prime rate plus 9.74%. This can be exceedingly lucrative long-term if you tend to carry a balance on your card. In place of a traditional welcome offer, the Chase Slate Edge℠ offers an automatic, one-time review for a higher credit limit when you pay on time, and spend $500 in your first six months. These features alone offer greater long-term value to consumers than the Citi Simplicity® Card.

Highlights:

  • Credit needed: 660 - 850
  • Annual fee: $0
  • Intro APR on balance transfers: 0% for 21 months on Balance Transfers
  • Intro APR on purchases: 0% for 12 months on Purchases
  • Regular APR: 17.74% - 28.49% (Variable)

Citi Simplicity® Card vs. Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card

On Citibank's Secure Website

Verdict: Another great card for balance transfers and new purchases with nearly identical features

If you're considering making a balance transfer, the Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card can be a great option. Nearly identical to the Citi Simplicity® Card, the Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card offers the same intro APR options: 0% for 21 months on Balance Transfers and 0% for 12 months on Purchases. After that the APR will be 16.74% - 27.49% (Variable).

Neither card offers ongoing rewards and their additional perks are very similar. However, the Citi Simplicity® Card does not charge late fees or penalty rates, which gives it a slight edge over the Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card.

Highlights:

  • Credit needed: 660 - 850
  • Annual fee: $0
  • Intro APR on balance transfers: 0% for 21 months on Balance Transfers
  • Intro APR on purchases: 0% for 12 months on Purchases
  • Regular APR: 16.74% - 27.49% (Variable)

Citi Simplicity® Card vs. Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer

On Citibank's Secure Website

Verdict: The better choice if you want a rewards program along with an introductory APR

The Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer is a great choice for consumers who want to earn rewards as well as a long intro APR offer on balance transfers: 0% for 18 months on Balance Transfers. After that, the APR will be 17.74% - 27.74% (Variable). You'll also Earn 2% on every purchase with unlimited 1% cash back when you buy, plus an additional 1% as you pay for those purchases.

The only thing the Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer is lacking is a low intro APR period on purchases, which the Citi Simplicity® Card does offer. To determine which card is better for you, you'll need to consider your personal financial goals and habits. However, for the average consumer looking to both earn rewards and reap the benefits of a low intro APR offer on balance transfers, the Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer will be the more lucrative option.

Highlights:

  • Credit needed: 660 - 850
  • Annual fee: $0
  • Intro APR on balance transfers: 0% for 18 months on Balance Transfers
  • Intro APR on purchases: N/A
  • Regular APR: 17.74% - 27.74% (Variable)

Should you get the Citi Simplicity® Card?

You should get the Citi Simplicity® Card if you're looking to pay down debt. The low intro APR offer on balance transfers and purchases is hard to beat, and you won't be required to pay late fees, penalty rates or an annual fee.

However, this card doesn't offer any rewards and has few additional benefits, so if you're looking for something with better long term benefits, you might consider a balance transfer credit card or another low-interest credit card instead.

Frequently Asked Questions

How hard is it to get a Citi Simplicity® Card?

In order to be approved for the Citi Simplicity® Card, you will need a 660 - 850 credit score. If your credit score isn't high enough, it will likely be hard to get the Citi Simplicity® Card.

What are the benefits of the Citi Simplicity® Card?

As mentioned in our Citi Simplicity® Card review, the primary benefits of this card are the low intro APR period on balance transfers and purchases, along with no late fees, penalty rates or annual fee. However, the Citi Simplicity® Card does not offer rewards.

What are the Citi Simplicity® Card rewards?

Unfortunately, the Citi Simplicity® Card does not offer any rewards. For a card that offers both rewards and a low intro APR offer on balance transfers, consider the Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer.

These responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from which ValuePenguin receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). ValuePenguin does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

How We Calculate Rewards: ValuePenguin calculates the value of rewards by estimating the dollar value of any points, miles or bonuses earned using the card less any associated annual fees. These estimates here are ValuePenguin's alone, not those of the card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer.

Example of how we calculate the rewards rates: When redeemed for travel through Ultimate Rewards, Chase Sapphire Preferred points are worth $0.0125 each. The card awards 2 points on travel and dining and 1 point on everything else. Therefore, we say the card has a 2.5% rewards rate on dining and travel (2 x $0.0125) and a 1.25% rewards rate on everything else (1 x $0.0125).

On Citibank's Secure Website

Editor's Rating

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