The Citi Simplicity offers 21 months of 0% APR on balance transfers and 12 months on new purchases.Credit card debt can feel like an incredible burden, threatening your financial security and limiting your progress toward financial goals.
And with credit card interest rates that range between around 15% to 25%, you could end up paying hundreds or even thousands of dollars in interest before you eliminate your balances.
Enter the Citi Simplicity® Card, from our partner Citi, which allows you to pay off your credit card debt over 21 months with no interest whatsoever.
Here’s what you need to know about the card to find out whether it’s a good fit.
Why We Like It
Secure application on issuer’s website.
Annual Fee: $0
APR: Variable APR Between 17.74% – 28.49% After Intro 0% APR Period ⓘ
Rewards Rate: None
Terms and restrictions apply
- Balance Transfers
- Annual Fee
- Credit Score
Citi Simplicity Card Review
The Citi Simplicity Card is relatively straightforward in its offering, but don’t let that fool you — the value you could gain from getting it could be worth hundreds or even thousands of dollars.
Balance Transfer APR
The card’s primary feature is its introductory 0% APR offer, which goes for 21 months on balance transfers from the date of your first transfer (note, however, that all transfers must be completed within four months to qualify for the promotion).
In other words, you can use the Citi Simplicity to pay off some or all of a balance on another credit card, then pay it off interest-free. The only catch is that you’ll need to pay a balance transfer fee of either $5 or 3% of the transfer amount, whichever is greater.
The more debt you have and the higher your interest rate, the more potential you have to save.
New Purchase APR
The Citi Simplicity Card also offers new cardholders introductory 0% APR on new purchases made within the first 12 months of account opening.
One of the major downsides to the Citi Simplicity Card is that it doesn’t offer a rewards program — that means no sign-up bonus and no ongoing points, miles or cash back when you use the card to make purchases. The lack of a rewards program severely limits the card’s value once the balance transfer period ends, but it can also eliminate the appeal of using the card to add more debt while you’re working on paying it off.
That said, you will get an introductory 0% APR on new purchases for the first 12 months you have the account. So if you need to make a large purchase and pay it off over time while you focus on eliminating the balance transfer amount, you’ll get over a year of no interest to do it.
Just keep in mind that once that promotional period is over, you will be charged interest on new purchases immediately as long as you still have a remaining balance from your balance transfer. In contrast, you’d typically get a grace period after each month to pay off the previous statement’s balance before interest comes into play.
Although there aren’t many benefits that come along with the Citi Simplicity card, it does offer some extra perks that you may find useful, including:
- Citi® Identity Theft Solutions: If you are a victim of identity theft, a dedicated team of specialists at Citi will help you reclaim your identity as well as re-establish your credit.
- Automatic Account Alerts: When you set up alerts with Citi, they will notify you when you’ve gone over your credit limit and your payment due date is coming up and inform you about your balance levels via email or your mobile phone.
- $0 Liability on Unauthorized Charges: If there are any unauthorized charges on your account either online or offline, you will not be held liable for them.
No Annual Fee
In addition to one of the longest balance transfer promotions we could find, the card also has no annual fee and doesn’t charge a late fee if you miss a payment. That said, it’s crucial that you pay on time every month to avoid losing your 0% APR promotion. Also, after that promotional period is over, late payments will incur interest and can damage your credit if you’re late by 30 or more days.
Finally, you’ll have 24/7 access to the Citi Concierge, which can help you with travel, dining, shopping, entertainment and other everyday needs.
The only limitation Citi places on balance transfers is that the total amount of your balance transfers plus any associated fees must be lower than your credit limit. Unfortunately, you won’t know what your limit will be until you apply for and get approved for the card.
Citi has a minimum credit limit of $500 for the card but doesn’t disclose its maximum. Your limit will be determined by your:
- Annual salary and wages
- Other annual income
- Other debt listed on your credit report
Credit Score Requirement
The card doesn’t have a minimum credit score requirement. But in general, you have a better chance of getting approved if you have good or excellent credit — that means a FICO credit score of 670 or higher.
In addition to your credit score, Citi will also review your income situation, your other debts and your credit report to determine your creditworthiness and your interest rate after the introductory 0% APR period ends.
Because of its long promotional period, the Citi Simplicity Card is best for large balances. However, it has one of the highest balance transfer fees in the credit card industry. If you’re going to use it to pay down high-interest debt, create a plan to accomplish that goal before the promotional period ends.
Also, consider using the card only for its balance transfer promotion. Adding more debt in the form of new purchases can make you feel like you’re taking two steps forward and one step back. If you want to keep using a credit card after you’ve paid off your balance, consider getting one that offers rewards.
Finally, before you apply for the Citi Simplicity Card — or any credit card for that matter — make sure to shop around and compare it with other balance transfer credit cards to make sure you have the right fit for your needs.