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 a card that gives you more than 21 months to pay down debt at 0% APR.
Some balance transfer cards charge a lower balance transfer fee, or even no balance transfer fee at all. Those could be a better bet if you don’t need the long timeline the Citi Simplicity offers.
Generous 0% APR Offer
Long period for making promotional transfers
No Annual Fee
High Balance Transfer Fee
High Ongoing APR
- Generous 0% APR offer: 21 months is an exceptionally long balance transfer timeline for the industry. This card also comes with 12 months at 0% APR for new purchases, but make sure to pay them off within that timeline to avoid ballooning interest charges when the promotional period ends.
- 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.
- Balance transfer fee: The Citi Simplicity’s fee of 5% is higher than the 3% fee—or, occasionally, 0% fee—that many top balance transfer cards charge.
- High ongoing APR: You’ll pay an APR of 16.24% - 26.24% variable based on creditworthiness once your introductory offers end, which is 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.
But Citi Mobile, the bank’s mobile app, receives high rankings: 4.8 stars out of 5 on iTunes and 4.3 stars out of 5 on Google Play.
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 pay day or your other monthly bills.
Citi Simplicity’s security features are standard for the industry, including $0 liability for unauthorized charges and fraud monitoring. 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 and by placing a fraud alert on your TransUnion credit report, which will also be sent to the other two credit bureaus, and by 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.