The Citi Simplicity is ideal for anyone who wants to consolidate credit card debt, especially a high amount that you need lots of time to pay off. You won’t find many cards that give you more than 18 months to pay down debt at 0% APR.
Some balance transfer cards don't charge balance transfer (this one does). Those could be a better bet if you don’t need the long timeline the Citi Simplicity offers.
Generous 0% APR offers
Long period for making promotional transfers
No annual fee
High ongoing APR
- Generous 0% APR offers: 18 months is a long time to pay off a balance transfer compared to competing card offers. This card also comes with a 0% APR for new purchases for 18 months, too, but make sure to pay off your purchases or transferred balances before the promotional periods end to avoid ballooning interest charges after that.
- Long period for making promotional transfers: Open this card and you’ll have four months to make balance transfers that qualify for the 0% APR offer. That’s a generous window compared to what comparable balance transfer cards are offering right now. Four months gives you time to make a debt repayment plan for your desired transfers.
- No annual fee: Most balance transfer cards come with no annual fee, so this isn’t a unique feature for the Citi Simplicity. But it’s still a win that a fee won’t cut into your interest savings.
- High ongoing APR: You’ll pay an APR of 14.74% - 24.74% variable based on creditworthiness once your introductory offers ends, which is a bit higher than the rate some competing balance transfer cards charge.
No Rewards, No Problem
The fact that the Citi Simplicity Card doesn’t have a rewards program is a pro, not a con. This card’s goal is to help you get out of debt interest-free. Your focus should be on paying off your balance—not adding to it to get rewards.
J.D. Power rated Citi sixth out of 11 credit card issuers in its 2019 U.S. Credit Card Satisfaction Study, based on responses from more than 28,000 credit card customers. Citi scored 799 out of a possible 1,000 points, behind the industry average of 806.
However, Citi does offer 24/7 customer service and a mobile app that provides free access to your FICO credit score.
Citi offers standard customer service features, but one noteworthy option is the ability to set your own payment date at any time of the month. This lets you plan your due date around payday or your other monthly bills.
Most of Citi Simplicity’s security features are standard for the industry. But one that stands out is access to Citi Identity Theft Solutions, which provides assistance in the event your identity has been compromised. Citi may help out with police reports; placing a fraud alert on your TransUnion credit report, which will also be sent to the other two credit bureaus; and identifying additional compromised accounts.
Citi Simplicity’s Fees
Citi Simplicity’s balance transfer fee is on the high side. It’s also not ideal for travel abroad, since you’ll pay a foreign transaction fee each time you use the card outside the U.S.
But unlike many other cards, this one doesn’t charge a fee for any late payments or a penalty APR if you fall behind. That’s a plus if you lose track of your due date one month, but your goal should be to pay on time without fail to protect your credit score.