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Citi Simplicity® Card review

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A credit card with one of the longest 0% intro APR periods on balance transfers for a stellar 21 months.

finder.com’s rating: 4.4 / 5.0

★★★★★

  • Get this card if you want a long intro APR period for purchases and balance transfers.
  • Pick something else if you want travel or cashback rewards.
  • Apply with a good to excellent credit score of 670 or higher.

$0

Annual fee

0%

Intro Purchase APR

for the first 12 months (then 16.74% to 26.74% variable)

0%

Intro Balance Transfer

for the first 21 months (then 16.74% to 26.74% variable)

16.74% to 26.74%

Balance Transfer APR (variable)

Details

Product NameCiti Simplicity® Card
Annual fee$0
Purchase APR0% intro for the first 12 months (then 16.74% to 26.74% variable)
Balance transfer APR0% intro for the first 21 months (then 16.74% to 26.74% variable)
Balance transfer fee$5 or 5% of the transaction, whichever is greater
Cash advance rate16.74% to 26.74% variable
Cash advance fee$10 or 5% of the cash advance amount, whichever is greater
Foreign transaction fee3% of the transaction value
Interest free periodUp to 23 days
Returned payment feeUp to $35
Additional cardholder fee$0

The basics

The Citi Simplicity® Card is, well, simple. It doesn’t have the bells and whistles of rewards cards. Rather, it offers a solid intro APR on purchases and balance transfers and no annual fee.

It could be the card for you if you’re looking to make purchases now and pay them off over a long time, or want to get rid of the debt you’ve accumulated on other credit cards. Another perk of the Citi Simplicity® Card is that you won’t be charged a fee or penalty APR if you pay late. It’s a decent perk if you miss payments occasionally.

The perks

  • Intro APR for purchases and balance transfers.

    Get an excellent 0% intro APR for the first 21 months after opening your account on balance transfers made within the first 4 months and a 0% intro APR on purchases for 12 months following your account opening. After the intro period passes, your rate reverts to an APR between 16.74% to 26.74% variable. The balance transfer could help you a lot if you’re struggling with a high interest rate on another card.

  • No penalty APR.

    With most other credit cards, paying late means you’ll pay a fee of up to $49, plus a penalty APR of up to 30% for 12 months or more. Not so with this card — all late fees are waived, and you won’t get hit with a penalty APR.

  • No annual fee.

    You won’t pay an annual fee to own this card.

Compare other balance transfer cards

Updated September 22nd, 2019
%
Name Product Amount saved Balance transfer APR Balance transfer fee Recommended minimum credit score Filter values
0% intro for the first 18 months (then 12.99% to 20.99% variable)
$10 or 4% of the transaction, whichever is greater
700
An 18 months 0% intro APR period on both purchases and balance transfers, plus zero foreign transaction fees, makes this is a strong well-rounded card. See Rates and Fees
0% intro for the first 15 months (then 16.24%, 22.24% or 26.24% variable)
3%
670
Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase, every day.
0% intro for the first 12 months (then 14.99% to 24.99% variable)
$10 or 4% of the transaction, whichever is greater
700
Earn 3% cash back on up to $10,000 in the first 12 months, then 1.5% on all purchases. See Rates and Fees.
0% intro for the first 12 billing cycles (then 15.74% to 25.24% variable)
$5 or 3% of the transaction, whichever is greater
670
When you spend $500 on your card within the first 90 days, you’ll receive a $150 cash back bonus. Rates & Fees
0% intro for the first 12 months (then 14.74% to 25.74% variable)
$5 or 3% of the transaction, whichever is greater
680
Earn $250 bonus cash back after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months. Rates & fees

Compare up to 4 providers

You’ll also like …

  • Choose your payment due date.

    Citi lets you choose your own due date — either the beginning, the middle or the end of the month.

  • Purchase protection.

    You aren’t liable for unauthorized charges made with your card. And Citi can assist you if you’re the victim of identity theft — even helping you narrow down compromised accounts and file police reports.

  • Use your card to set up Apple Pay.

    Pay with this app at more than 200,000 stores with your iPhone or iPad.

Compare balance transfer credit cards

Case study: Kyle’s experience

profile pic

Kyle Morgan
Producer

In my early 20s, I dug myself into a hole with a few thousand dollars worth of credit card debt that I was struggling to get out of. I didn’t know much about balance transfer credit cards until a friend told me they’d been in a similar situation. After doing some research, I saw that the Citi Simplicity® Card let me transfer a balance with a promotional balance transfer fee of 3% (it’s now 5%) and a 0% intro APR for 21 months.

I applied, got approved and didn’t swipe the card once. I planned a budget and used the card primarily as a tool to avoid being buried in additional interest. The Citi Simplicity® Card allowed me to pay off my credit card debt in full thanks to its extremely generous intro APR period.

Overall, this card might be best for anyone whose objective is getting out of credit card debt they can pay off in less than two years.

What to watch out for

  • Foreign transaction fees.

    The Citi Simplicity® Card comes with a 3% foreign transaction fee. This may not seem like much, but if you spend $5,000 annually abroad, you’ll pay $150 in fees.

  • Balance transfer limits.

    You can’t transfer a balance from another Citi account or an affiliate. Also, the size of your balance transfer and any related fees can’t exceed your credit limit.

Compare Citi credit cards with no annual fee

How does a balance transfer work with this card?

Once you receive your Citi Simplicity® Card, call the number on the back of your card to set up your balance transfers. Citi may give you the option to transfer your balance with your application. It takes 14 days after your account is open to process any balance transfer payments.

You can only transfer amounts that don’t exceed your credit limit. And you’ll have to pay either $5 or 5% of the transaction, whichever is greater, for every balance transfer you make.

Keep in mind, to get the 0% intro APR period, you must complete all of your balance transfers within 4 months after opening your account. After that, a variable APR of 16.74% to 26.74% will apply.

Citi won’t process balance transfers from other Citi accounts or accounts of their affiliates. If you’re not sure, call Citi to learn more.

What should I know before I apply?

To apply for the Citi Simplicity® Card, you must be at least 18 years old.

You’ll also need to provide information such as:

  • Full name and contact information.
  • Social Security number and date of birth.
  • Annual income and monthly mortgage or rent payment.

What credit score do I need?

You can apply with a credit score in the low 600s, but to get a higher credit line and lower APR once the intro period passes, apply with a good to excellent credit score of 670 or higher.

What do customers say about the Citi Simplicity® Card?

Most satisfied customers claim they received a high enough credit limit to transfer their balances. Those that aren’t happy with the card mainly complain about poor customer service. Some even say they didn’t receive their card or couldn’t activate it.

The Better Business Bureau rates Citi overall an F, and it’s yet to be accredited. As of this writing, 93 customers have left reviews on the BBB website, resulting in a composite score of 1.02 out of 5.

Why does Citi earn such a low BBB score — and what does it mean?

The Better Business Bureau rates banks and companies from 0 to 100 points. It then translates these points into lettered scores. The highest rating at BBB is an A+ with 97 to 100 points, and the lowest rating is F with 0 to 59.99 points.

BBB compares a business against its own internal criteria, adding or deducting points based such criteria as unanswered or unresolved complaints and the number of complaints it gets.

The letter grade represents the BBB’s opinion of how the business is likely to interact with its customers. It’s not a guarantee of a business’ reliability or performance. Instead, consider the BBB rating and the customer composite score in addition to other information about the business.

How to apply for the Citi Simplicity® Card

  1. Go to the Citi site.
  2. Find the Citi Simplicity® Card from the list of cards, then click Apply now.
  3. Complete the application form with your personal and financial information.
  4. Review your application and submit it.

How long will it take to get my Citi Simplicity® Card?

Approval time depends on your credit profile and history. Typically, you can expect approval to take up to 10 business days if more information is needed. Once approved, you’ll get your card by mail within 7 to 10 business days.

I got the card. Now what?

  • Download the Citi Mobile® app. You can activate your card through the app, set up automatic payments, view your FICO® score for free or find an ATM.
  • Set up alerts. Receive alerts on email or on your phone to find out your balance, when payments are due and more.
  • Avoid paying interest. Your due date is 23 days after the close of each billing cycle. Try to make your payments on time and in full to avoid a variable APR of 16.74% to 26.74%. For balance transfers, make sure you initiate them within 4 months of when you open your account to use the intro APR on balance transfers. Cash advances also have a variable APR of 16.74% to 26.74%.
  • Avoid paying fees. Balance transfers cost $5 or 5% of the transfer amount, whichever is greater. You’ll also pay a fee for cash advances of $10 or 5% of the transaction, whichever is greater. You may also want to avoid using this card when traveling abroad, otherwise, you’ll pay 3% of each transaction.
  • Customer support. For any questions you may have, call 866-422-0306 or 210-677-0065 if you’re outside of the US.

Bottom line

If you’re looking for long low intro APR periods for purchases and balance transfers, the Citi Simplicity® Card could be the right card for you. If you still aren’t positive, compare other balance transfer cards with long intro APRs to find the best fit for your needs. Or, if you’re looking for a card with more rewards or perks consider your credit card options before applying.

Compare Citibank® credit cards

Frequently asked questions

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Learn the details of our methodology and scoring.

Images: Citibank

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6 Comments

  1. Default Gravatar
    Marlene
    March 28, 2019

    I know this is being picky. but, I just applied for a card and was accepted. my concern was when I call the number and give my information and security code they want me to say yes I am who I am. I have been warned not to say yes on the phone to anyone. I want to verify that this number 888 201 4523 is really your company . that I am really speaking to you. I never ever had to do a phone verification for any other card I have gotten. thanks

    • AvatarStaff
      johnbasanes
      March 29, 2019

      Hi Marlene,

      Thank you for reaching out to Finder.

      Though we are not Citibank, checking on the phone number you provided leads me to the website of Citibank directly. It is specific to credit card applications. Hope this helps!

      Cheers,
      Reggie

  2. Default Gravatar
    Kara
    January 18, 2019

    Can I see how much I will get approved for before actually signing up for the credit card?

    • AvatarStaff
      Jeni
      January 18, 2019

      Hi Kara,

      Thank you for getting in touch with finder.

      Please note that credit limit is determined by the information you provide when you send your application. There is no definite way to determine what your credit limit might be, as card providers often follow their own unique policies when deciding your credit limit.

      I hope this helps.

      Thank you and have a wonderful day!

      Cheers,
      Jeni

  3. Default Gravatar
    Michael
    June 4, 2017

    If I open an account so I can trader balances for my wife who has high interest rates on her cards is that possible. I have a high credit score and she does not. We would like to reconcile all her cards on a new one with you company in my name (she can be a cardholder) but she doesn’t qualify on her own. I understand I would be presonally responsible for the full debt. But I just wanted to verify before applying.

    Cordially michael

    • AvatarStaff
      Anndy
      June 18, 2017

      Hi Michael,

      Thanks for your question.

      Unfortunately, Citi does not allow balance transfer between two people’s names. However, other credit card brands do. You may check your options on this page.

      Cheers,
      Anndy

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