Is the Citi Simplicity Card right for you?| October 2018 | finder.com

Citi Simplicity® Card review – October 2018

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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

★★★★★

30-second take

  • 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 720 or higher.
Product NameCiti Simplicity® Card
Card TypeMastercard
Annual Fee$0
APR (Annual Percentage Rate) for Purchases15.99% to 25.99% variable
Introductory Purchase APR0% for the first 12 months (then 15.99% to 25.99% variable)
Introductory Balance Transfer APR 0% for the first 21 months (then 15.99% to 25.99% variable)
Balance Transfer Fee$5 or 5% of the transaction, whichever is greater
Cash Advance Rate15.99% to 25.99% variable
Foreign Transaction Fee3% of the transaction value
Cash Advance Fee$10 or 5% of the cash advance amount, whichever is greater
Interest Free PeriodUp to 23 days
Returned Payment Fee$35
Additional Cardholder Fee$0
Rates & FeesRates & Fees
Minimum Age18 years of age

The basics

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

This could be the card for you if you’re looking to make purchases now and pay them off over a long time, or if you want to get rid of the debt you’ve accumulated from other credit cards. Another perk of the Citi Simplicity® Card is you’ll never be charged a fee or a penalty APR if you pay late. People make mistakes, and this is a good deal 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 15.99% to 25.99% 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’ll never get hit with a penalty APR.

  • No annual fee.

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

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 won’t be held liable for any unauthorized charges made with your card. Also, Citi can assist you in case of identity theft — for example, they can find your compromised accounts and file police reports.

  • Apple pay®.

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

Compare balance transfer credit cards

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 make a balance transfer from another Citi account or from one of their affiliates. Also, the size of your balance transfer including the fees can’t exceed your credit limit.

Consider other cards if …

  • You want cash back.

    Consider the Chase Freedom Unlimited® credit card where you get to earn 1.5 cash back on all purchases. Or choose the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express from American Express if you spend up to $6,000 per year on groceries. Both cards offer an intro APR period on purchases and balance transfers.

  • You want a similar card but from another bank.

    BankAmericard® Credit Card by Bank of America offers 15 statement closing dates of 0% intro APR period following your account opening for purchases and balance transfers. After that, a variable APR of 14.99% to 24.99% applies. With this card, you also get an intro balance transfer fee of 0% for the first 15 statement closing dates of card membership — $10 or 3% of the transaction, whichever is greater, after that.

  • You want travel rewards.

    The no-annual-fee Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card lets you earn unlimited 1.5x points on all purchases. Redeem these points for a statement credit toward flights, hotels, vacation packages and more. In addition, you get a decent low intro APR period for purchases.

  • You want an airline card.

    If you often fly with Delta Air Lines, the Blue Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express could be a great choice. It lets you earn 2x miles at US restaurants and purchases made directly with Delta, and 1x points on all other purchases. You can also consider the Citi® / AAdvantage® Gold World Elite™ Mastercard® if you occasionally fly with American Airlines, or the United TravelBank Card if you prefer United Airlines.

Compare other balance transfer cards

Updated October 24th, 2018
Name Product Annual Fee Credit Score Min. Intro Balance Transfer APR Reward Value per Dollar Secured or Unsecured Introductory Balance Transfer APR APR (Annual Percentage Rate) for Purchases Annual Fee Minimum Credit Score
680
0%
1
Unsecured
0% for the first 15 months (then 14.99% to 25.99% variable)
14.99% to 25.99% variable
$0
Fair (660-699)
Earn a $150 bonus statement credit after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months. Rates & Fees
680
0%
1.5
Unsecured
0% for the first 15 months (then 14.99% to 25.99% variable)
14.99% to 25.99% variable
$0
Fair (660-699)
Earn up to $250 back. Earn $150 back after you spend $1,000 or more in purchases with your new Card within the first 3 months of Card Membership. Plus, earn an additional $100 back after you spend an additional $6,500 in purchases within your first 12 months. You will receive the cash back in the form of a statement credit. Rates & Fees
720
0%
Unsecured
0% for the first 15 months (then to variable)
13.99% variable
$0
Good (700-739)
A low, variable APR on purchases, balance transfers and cash advances.
95
680
0%
1
Unsecured
0% for the first 12 months (then 14.99% to 25.99% variable)
14.99% to 25.99% variable
$95
Fair (660-699)
Earn $200 bonus cash back after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months. Rates & Fees
680
0%
1.5
Unsecured
0% for the first 15 months (then 14.99%, 18.99% or 24.99% variable)
14.99%, 18.99% or 24.99% variable
$0
Fair (660-699)
Earn unlimited 1.5% cash rewards on purchases. See Rates and Fees.
680
0%
Unsecured
0% for the first 18 months (then 12.99%, 16.99% or 20.99% variable)
12.99%, 16.99% or 20.99% variable
$0
Fair (660-699)
An 18-month 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
195
0%
1
Unsecured
0% for the first 15 billing cycles (then to variable)
16.99% variable
$195
Enjoy unique excursions, privileged access to exclusive events and insider opportunities.
495
715
0%
1
Unsecured
0% for the first 15 billing cycles (then to variable)
16.99% variable
$495
Good (700-739)
Mastercard Black Card members receive an annual $100 air travel credit toward flight-related purchases including airline tickets, baggage fees, upgrades and more.
680
0%
1
Unsecured
0% for the first 15 months (then 14.99% to 25.99% variable)
14.99% to 25.99% variable
$0
Fair (660-699)
Earn 10,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you use your new Card to make $1,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.
680
0%
Unsecured
0% for the first 15 months (then 16.74% to 25.49% variable)
16.74% to 25.49% variable
$0
Fair (660-699)
Jumpstart your financial fitness! 60 day introductory balance transfer offer, save on interest, and get your free monthly credit score.
680
0%
Unsecured
0% for the first 15 statement closing dates (then 14.99% to 24.99% variable)
14.99% to 24.99% variable
$0
Fair (660-699)
Transfer high rate balances and save on interest with an Introductory $0 balance transfer fee for the first 60 days your account is open. After that, the fee for future balance transfers is 3% (min. $10).
690
0%
1.5
Unsecured
0% for the first 15 months (then 16.74% to 25.49% variable)
16.74% to 25.49% variable
$0
Fair (660-699)
Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase - it's automatic. No minimum to redeem for cash back.
720
0%
1
Unsecured
0% for the first 12 statement closing dates (then 15.24% to 25.24% variable)
15.24% to 25.24% variable
$0
Good (700-739)
Earn more cash back for the things you buy most.
NASA Federal Platinum Advantage Rewards Credit Card
NASA Federal Platinum Advantage Rewards Credit Card
680
17.99%
1
Unsecured
17.99% for the first 90 days (then 11.65% to 17.99% variable)
11.65% to 17.99% variable
$0
Fair (660-699)
Enjoy perks and save money while gaining points that never expire with every purchase.
620
Secured
13.5% variable
$0
Poor (Below 660)
A great way to establish or improve your credit history.
300
10.99%
1
Secured
10.99% for the first 6 months (then to variable)
24.99% variable
$0
Poor (Below 660)
2% Cashback at restaurants or gas stations on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter. Plus 1% cash back on all other credit card purchases.
24
580
Secured
25.74% variable
$24
Poor (Below 660)
Build, or rebuild, your credit with each purchase.
35
350
Secured
11.65% to 21.65% variable
$35
Poor (Below 660)
Get a card that can help you build credit. Determine your own credit limit. When you apply, you'll open a two-year certificate of deposit (CD) with $250 to $5,000. The balance of your CD is your credit limit.
35
350
Secured
11.65% to 21.65% variable
$35
Poor (Below 660)
You can get travel benefits (no foreign transaction fees), retail benefits and collision damage waiver coverage on your rental car.
650
Unsecured
26.99% variable
$0
Poor (Below 660)
Enjoy no annual fee, plus access to valuable benefits.

Compare up to 4 providers

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 make a balance transfer. Citi may also give you the option to transfer your balance with your application. It’ll take 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 four months after opening your account. After that, a variable APR of 15.99% to 25.99% will apply.

Balances from other Citi accounts or accounts of their affiliates won’t be processed.

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 720 or higher.

What do customers say about the Citi Simplicity® Card?

Most customers who are satisfied with the card, claim they received a high enough credit limit to make their balance transfers. Those that aren’t happy with the card mostly complain about poor customer service. Some even claimed that they didn’t receive their card or if they did receive it they couldn’t activate it.

The Better Business Bureau has rated Citi with 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 have a low BBB score and what does it mean?

The Better Business Bureau rating is a 0 to 100 point scale. Depending on several criteria, BBB adds or deducts points based on criteria like unanswered or unresolved complaints and how many complaints it gets. 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.

It’s important to note — the BBB letter grade represents their opinion of how the business is likely to interact with its customers. And the letter rating is 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 15.99% to 25.99%. For balance transfers, make sure you initiate them within four months of when you open your account to use the intro APR on balance transfers. Cash advances also have a variable APR of 15.99% to 25.99%.
  • Avoid paying fees. Balance transfers cost $5 or 5% of the 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 a long low intro APR period for purchases and balance transfers, the Citi Simplicity® Card could be the right card for you. 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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Megan Horner

As the assistant publisher of credit cards at finder.com, Megan is passionate about helping you compare and find the best credit cards for your situation, whether that is earning great rewards or improving your credit score. In her previous position, Megan worked as an assigning editor at Credit Karma, where she focused on editing and publishing educational articles on credit cards. Megan started her career as a writer at a comparison website, so she has a longstanding background in surfacing the best deals and helping people make decisions. In her spare time, Megan likes to hike, camp, surf, and read.

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2 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    MichaelJune 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

    • finder Customer Care
      AnndyJune 18, 2017Staff

      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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