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The Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever once topped the list of cards used to pay down debt or finance more substantial purchases, but the market for balance transfer offers has become increasingly crowded—which is great news for consumers. In this post, we'll cover how the Citi Simplicity stacks up against the competition.
The Citi Simplicity still boasts the longest 0% intro APR for balance transfers at 21 months (then a variable APR of 16.74% - 26.74%*), it now sits middle of the pack for purchases with a 12 months 0% intro APR on purchases (then a variable APR of 16.74% - 26.74%*).
While the length of the intro APR period is an important factor, you should always include the balance-transfer fee in your calculation. With the Citi Simplicity, the balance-transfer fee is a fair bit higher than many of the cards on our list of the best 0% APR credit cards for balance transfers.
With that said, there are still a couple of reasons to consider the Citi Simplicity card:
- 0% Intro APR on purchases + Citi Price Rewind – While the card doesn’t provide traditional rewards, you can take advantage of the 12 months 0% intro APR on purchases to finance large items that may take a few months to pay off, and register the purchase with Citi Price Rewind. If the price goes down in the next 60 days, you can apply to Citi for a Price Rewind and request the difference in price as a statement credit or check. You can get back up to $200 per item, up to $1,000 per year.
- Late payment and high-interest relief – The Citi Simplicity is similar to the Get Out of Jail Free card you get from the Community Chest when playing Monopoly; it can get you out of trouble when you run into financial hurdles. If you find yourself struggling with high-interest-credit-card debt, or you have a change of circumstance that affects your ability to pay down your card in full, you can transfer the balance to the Citi Simplicity and have 21 months to pay the debt off before you are required to pay interest.
Citi Simplicity Highlights
This card is also among one of the most forgiving products on the market—with no late payment fees or penalty APR rate—if you miss a payment.
- No Late Fees
- No Penalty APR Rate
- No Annual Fee
- Access to your FICO® Score
The primary benefit on the Citi Simplicity is the intro 0% APR on balance transfers, but that’s also its Achilles heel. Why? Because the fee to transfer the balance into your account is much higher than the industry standard of 3%. Instead, you'll pay 5% of each balance transfer; $5 minimum.
When compared to the leading balance-transfer cards, many of which don’t charge any fee for transfers made soon after opening your account, 5% can really add up. For example, if you have the option to transfer a $5,000 balance to the Citi Simplicity with a 5% balance-transfer fee, or to the The Amex EveryDay® Credit Card from American Express which charges $0 in balance transfer fees on transfers made in the first 60 days, you would save $250 choosing the Amex card.
Alternatives to the Citi Simplicity
Looking for the best deal on balance transfers? Catch our detailed breakdown of the best 0% APR credit cards for balance transfers in 2019 and see where the Citi Simplicity fits into the equation.
Citi markets the lack of fees and penalty rates for late payments as the primary benefit of the Citi Simplicity. There is no annual fee, and you don’t get charged late payment fees, nor will you pay a penalty APR if you are late paying your account. The card is forgiving in this respect, but it can also help to cement poor fiscal habits that could negatively impact your credit score in the long run.
You should do everything in your power to pay the full balance on your credit cards each month to avoid paying interest on purchases. But, if money is tight and you need time to reset your finances, the Citi Simplicity can help play an active role in your economic recovery.
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