Citi Simplicity Review

Score the Longest Balance Transfer Offer Available

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The Citi Simplicity® credit card offers the most generous balance transfer offer on the market. While its balance transfer fee may be higher than you’ll find among other cards, additional perks like no late fee or penalty APR make it one of the best debt repayment tools available.

Citi Simplicity®

overall rating
3.2
Citi Simplicity®
Recommended Credit Score Our recommended ranges are based off of the FICO® Score 8 credit-scoring model. Credit score is one of the many factors lenders review in considering your application.
350 579
580 669
670 739
740 799
800 850
Good - Excellent
Regular APR (%) 16.24% - 26.24% variable
Annual Fee $0
Balance Transfer Fee Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
INTRO BALANCE TRANSFER APR 0% for 21 Months
Intro Balance Transfer Fee This card does not offer an introductory balance transfer fee.
Ratings Breakdown
for Interest
2.6
for Fees
4.3
for Rewards
3.3
for Credit
4.0

Who is This Credit Card Best For?

  • Avatar for Debt Warrior Persona
    Attacks existing balances while avoiding new debt
    Debt Warrior
  • Avatar for Credit Builder Persona
    Takes improving their finances seriously and wants recognition for using credit responsibly
    Credit Builder

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.

Pros

  • Generous 0% APR Offer

  • No Annual Fee

Cons

  • High Balance Transfer Fee

  • High Ongoing APR

Pros Explained

  • 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.
  • 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.

Cons Explained

  • 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. 

Customer Experience

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. 

Security Features

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.

For Citi Simplicity®
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CURRENT CARD
Citi Simplicity®
overall rating
3.2
Recommended Credit Score Our recommended ranges are based off of the FICO® Score 8 credit-scoring model. Credit score is one of the many factors lenders review in considering your application.
350 579
580 669
670 739
740 799
800 850
Good - Excellent
Regular APR (%) 16.24% - 26.24% variable
Annual Fee $0
Balance Transfer Fee Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.

Our Methodology

  • At The Balance, we are dedicated to giving you unbiased, comprehensive credit card reviews. To do this, we collect data on hundreds of cards and score more than 55 features that affect your finances.
  • Our Reviews Are Always Impartial: No one can influence which cards we review, the way we present them to you, or the ratings they receive. The scores and reviews come directly from the data we collect and our editorial expertise, and we focus on three areas:
  • How Much Does It Cost? With credit card debt at an all-time high, we believe you should know the cost of carrying a balance. Because of that, we give regular purchase APRs significant weight in overall scores, and cards receive low marks if they have an array of pricey fees.
  • What Are the Rewards Worth? Cards accumulate rewards in different currencies—points, miles, cash back—and their values vary widely. To simplify the problem, we built a system that fairly compares rewards and gives them a dollar value. We do this by looking at the ways you can earn and use rewards, which includes evaluating Americans’ typical spending habits and analyzing common travel patterns.
  • Does It Make Your Life Easier? Our scoring system favors cards that accept a wide range of credit profiles and offer simple solutions for things like checking your credit score or contacting customer service. Finally, we give preference to credit cards that have several tools for dealing with fraudulent charges.
  • For every review on The Balance, we hold the credit cards to these standards, and we set the bar high. While we recognize the appeal of splashy features like six-digit sign-up bonuses, our approach ensures that credit cards with the best combination of value, affordability, and accessibility receive the highest scores. See our full methodology for more details.