Citi Simplicity® Card review
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 one of the longest balance transfer intro APRs on the market.
- Pick something else if you want travel or cashback rewards.
- Apply with a good to excellent credit score of 670 or higher.
Intro Purchase APR
for the first 12 months (then 16.24% to 26.24% variable)
Intro Balance Transfer
for the first 21 months (then 16.24% to 26.24% variable)
16.24% to 26.24%
Balance Transfer APR (variable)
|Product Name||Citi Simplicity® Card|
|Purchase APR||0% intro for the first 12 months (then 16.24% to 26.24% variable)|
|Balance transfer APR||0% intro for the first 21 months (then 16.24% to 26.24% variable)|
|Balance transfer fee||$5 or 5% of the transaction, whichever is greater|
|Cash advance rate||26.74% variable|
|Cash advance fee||$10 or 5% of the cash advance amount, whichever is greater|
|Foreign transaction fee||3% of the transaction value|
|Interest free period||Up to 23 days|
|Returned payment fee||Up to $40|
|Additional cardholder fee||$0|
Kliment Dukovski is a credit cards writer. He's written over 600 articles to help readers find and compare the best credit cards. Kliment has also written on money transfers, home loans and more. Previously, he ghostwrote guides and articles on foreign exchange, stock market trading and cryptocurrencies.
The Citi Simplicity® Card is, well, simple. Issued by Citi, a finder.com advertising partner, it doesn’t have the bells and whistles of rewards cards. Rather, it offers one of the longest intro APR periods on balance transfers, a solid intro APR on purchases 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.
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 16.24% to 26.24% 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.
Choose your payment due date.
Citi lets you choose your own due date — either the beginning, the middle or the end of the month.
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 with digital wallets.
Use your phone to pay with your card in apps, online or in store at millions of locations.
Case study: Kyle’s experience
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.
How to apply for the Citi Simplicity® Card
- Click apply now.
- Complete the application form with your personal and financial information.
- 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.
Compare other balance transfer cards
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 16.24% to 26.24% 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.
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 16.24% to 26.24%. 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 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.
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.
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