Citi Simplicity Card Credit Card Review
January 6, 2020
Get rewarded with the Citi Simplicity Card
If you want some extra time to pay off your credit card balance without having to worry about accruing more interest, the Citi Simplicity Card gives you some major breathing room. The card offers a long 21 months of a 0% introductory APR rate for balance transfers that are completed within the first four months of having the card.
Cardholders also enjoy an introductory rate of 0% on purchases for 12 months after the account has been opened. This balance transfer card has no annual fee and can help cardholders pay down balances on a schedule that works for them.
What to expect from the Citi Simplicity Card
- APR: After the 12-month 0% APR rate introductory period for purchases and balance transfers, the variable APR rate is 16.24%-26.24% based on creditworthiness.
- Annual Fee: $0
- Reward Rates: None
- Intro Offer: Get an introductory APR rate of 0% of 12 months from the date of account opening on purchases and an introductory APR rate of 0% for 21 months from the date of first transfer for balance transfers. All transfers must be completed in the first four months.
- There are no late fees and no penalty rate on the card, which is great if you forget to make payment.
- The 24/7 customer service solution for the Citi Simplicity Card is innovative compared to some bank services. Cardholders simply call the number on the back of the card, say “Representative,” and they’re connected with a live customer service representative. If you’ve ever felt the pain of being on hold for 20 minutes or more to talk to a representative at another bank, this feature alone may make the card worth it.
- The Citi Simplicity Card features Citi Identity Theft Solutions, which offers protection for identity theft.
- Cardholders also get to enjoy purchase protection, including $0 liability on unauthorized charges.
- Automatic account alerts remind Citi Simplicity cardholders about balance levels, payments due or when you go over the credit limit. Alerts are sent directly on a mobile phone or by email.
- The Citi Simplicity Card features digital wallet integration to simplify your life.
- Cardholders can choose their payment due date, which helps you better manage your funds.
But keep your eyes open for pitfalls
Compared to other balance transfer credit cards, the Citi Simplicity Card is lacking in perks and rewards. Plus, there’s a 3% foreign transaction fee, which may not make this card a fit for international spenders.
If you’re looking for a balance transfer card with long 0% APR periods for balance transfers, you have other options. The Discover it® Cash Back credit card has a slightly shorter 0% APR on balance transfer period, at 18 months. But, cardholders get nice cash back rewards. With the Discover it® Balance Transfer credit card, you earn 5% cash back rewards in categories that rotate each quarter, plus 1% cash back on all other purchases. All cash back is matched at the end of the year. The 3% balance transfer fee is also lower than the Citi Simplicity Card’s balance transfer fee, which is $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Another solid balance transfer credit card option is the Chase Freedom credit card. You get a 0% intro APR rate for 15 months on balance transfers, with a 3% intro balance transfer fee. You can earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories every quarter, plus unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases, similar to the Discover it Balance Transfer credit card. This card comes with a bonus offer of $200 cash back after you spend $500 on the card within three months of the account opening.
How to maximize your Citi Simplicity Card rewards
As mentioned, there aren’t many extra rewards with the Citi Simplicity Card. But if you’re using it primarily for a balance transfer, you can maximize its use by paying off your balance in full within the 21-month 0% intro APR rate for balance transfers.
Try to use a different card for purchases that offers rewards in meaningful categories to you, like cash back or travel rewards. Focus on paying off your balance on the Citi Simplicity Card, so you don’t have to worry about extra interest.
If you don’t have a card with the purchase protection the Citi Simplicity Card offers, you could make bigger purchases with this card to get the purchase protection. Just make sure to pay off your purchase responsibly so you don’t fall into more debt.
Also, look into Citi Easy Deals, which are discounts on products offered to Citi cardholders. You could potentially save on everyday purchases here.
The Citi Simplicity Card lives up to its name: its payment and fee structure is simple and straightforward. If you want extra time to pay off your balance, the 21-month 0% intro APR is one of the longest among balance transfer credit cards.
However, you won’t earn any rewards on purchases, and there is no sign-up bonus. If you think you can pay off your balance in less time, you could transfer your balance for a lower fee and earn better rewards by using a different balance transfer credit card.
You should calculate your balance with the transfer rates to see if the difference you’ll be paying with the Citi Simplicity Card is worth it to you, considering the 21-month intro period. If it’s not, you do have other balance transfer credit card options available.