Citi Simplicity Card Review – 0% Intro APR for 21 Months

The Citi Simplicity Card is a great card that has no late payment fees and includes a 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 21 months. Here’s what you need to know.

Citi Simplicity Card

Chris Muller's rating
9.5
Citi Simplicity Card
Intro APR 10.0
Fees 9.5
Customer Service 9.5
Interest Rates 9.0

Pros

  • Super Long 18 Month 0% APR
  • No Annual Fee
  • Low Ongoing Interest Rate
  • No Late Payment Fees

Cons

  • No Rewards Program
  • 5% Balance Transfer Fee

Table of Contents

Citibank is no stranger to launching quality credit cards with excellent introductory rates, and it would appear they’ve done it again. The Citi Simplicity® Card–No Late Fees Ever, which you may have seen advertised on television, is now offering consumers one of the longest 0 percent intro rate available today–21 months on both purchases and balance transfers. And even though this card doesn’t carry a rewards program, it has a few other cool benefits as well. We’ll also cover those in this Citi Simplicity review.

Although several changes have been made to the Citi Simplicity Card over the past few years, it still provides plenty of value through it’s extended interest-free period and special concession for late payments. Since this card still has one of the longest zero APR periods, it is one of the best choices for balance transfer cards. Cardholders who need to pay down their debt will benefit from zero late fees and no penalty APR.

However, it also has a balance transfer fee which is higher than average. This will reduce your savings on interest.

Features

The Citi Simplicity Card is a very prominent option since it is the only credit card which offers no annual fee, no penalty rate, and no late fees. Here are some of the best features of the card:

0 Percent APR on balance transfers for 21 months

This begins from the date when the first transfer was made. Every transfer should be complete within the initial 4 months. After this, a variable APR ranging from 16.24 percent to 26.24 percent will be applicable (please remain updated on the APR since it can be subjected to change). The level of the APR depends on your credit score. After the zero percent APR period expires, if you carry out a balance transfer, then unpaid purchase balances and new purchases will generate interest until you pay off all balances in full including the transferred balances. For each transfer, the higher of $5 or 5 percent will be charged a balance transfer fee. The same rate will apply to each balance after the expiry of the introductory period.

Citi Simplicity® Card–No Late Fees Ever Perks

Another area where the Citi Simplicity® Card–No Late Fees Ever outperforms the competition is with its perks. For example, most credit cards include a late fee of $35 or more or a fee for going over your credit limit. The card doesn’t charge such fees. This does not mean however, that you can make late payments every single time. Citi could close your account if you’re missing payments month after month after month. Also important to note is that anytime you need assistance, you can call Citi using the number on the back of your card, punch in your account number, and be connected to a live agent immediately. No wasting time with automation.

Citi Price Rewind

With this price protection benefit you can purchase a product without having to worry about getting the lowest price. If the price of an item is reduced within a specified timeframe from the date of purchase, then you can file a claim for the reduced price. Although some credit cards offer the price benefit feature, Citi makes the process far more convenient. It does this with helped by Price Rewind tracker which can automatically compare prices. Cardholders can also file their claims online. You can gain up to $200 on an item and up to $1,000 each year.

Theft and Damage Protection

If you have your Citi Simplicity Card to purchase an item and it gets damaged or stolen within 90 days of the purchase, you can be reimbursed up to $10,000 for each incident. You can be reimbursed for a maximum of $50,000 each year.

Warranty Extension

If an item you have purchased with the Citi Simplicity Card qualifies then you can increase the manufacturer’s warranty by an extra 24 months.

Other Features

  • Reliable and quick customer support is available at any time of the day.
  • You can enjoy convenience by making your own schedule for paying bills – you can pay during any of the due dates available during the month.

Pricing Details

No rewards program, no problem. The Citi Simplicity® Card–No Late Fees Ever offers some of the best pricing details in the industry. All new cardholders will receive a 0 percent intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 21 months. After that, the variable APR becomes 16.24 percent – 25.74 percent. The cash advance APR is the same variable 16.24 percent – 25.74 percent, and there is no penalty APR. Your account is either open in good standing or closed.

There is no annual fee to own this card. But there are a couple of fees associated if you take advantage of a cash advance or balance transfer.

  • Balance transfer fee is $5 or 5 percent (whichever is greater).
  • Cash advance fee is $10 or 5 percent (whichever is greater).
  • Foreign transaction fee is 3 percent.

That last one is a bit of a bummer–a lot of good credit cards have made the choice not to charge foreign transaction fees but the Citi Simplicity® Card–No Late Fees Ever isn’t quite there yet. When making purchases out of the country, look to pull a card without an exchange fee.

Sign Up Process

If you wish, you can apply for the card over the phone. You will need to dial 1-800-492-2127.

If you prefer to apply online, then you can sign up for the Citi Simplicity Card by first visiting this link.

You will notice an image of the credit card towards the right side of the page. Below that is a button labeled “Apply Now.”

You will then be taken to a page where you must provide personal information like your name, date of birth, social security number, address and contact information, and financial information.

According to a clause on this page, you must verify your identity by complying with the lender’s request for your driving license or any other identification document. This is under federal law which requires financial institutions to verify the identity of applicants to combat money laundering.

You will also be shown the full details of the terms. Read them thoroughly and understand everything.

You will then have to tick two checkboxes in which you acknowledge that you have read all the terms and that your computer and browser meet the requirements for 128-bit encryption.

You must then click on the blue ‘submit’ at the bottom of the page.

Security

The Citi Simplicity Card offers several comprehensive security features:

Identity Theft

Identity theft is a major concern, and it can happen to anyone. Therefore, robust security features must minimize risks.

With the Citi Identity Theft Solutions, you can quickly report instances of credit card fraud, point out unauthorized purchases and resolve the matter quickly.

The company will assist you in identifying accounts that have been compromised. It will also help you with filing police reports and taking the necessary measures to undo damage to your credit rating.

Travel Protection

The card utilizes EMV Chip technology to offer you the most cutting-edge security features. This technology reduces the possibility of counterfeit fraud.

Chip embedded cards are also known to provide improved fraud detection compared to traditional cards when utilized in chip-enabled terminals. The embedded microchip encrypts sensitive cardholder details into a unique code which makes it difficult to steal the data.

This chip technology also allows you to use your Citi Simplicity Card anywhere in the world.

Purchase Protection

Thanks to this essential security feature you will not have to pay anything for unauthorized transactions. This way you are protected against unauthorized use of your card. You will have zero liability for charges not authorized by you whether online or otherwise.

Mobile Support

Citi has an excellent app you can download to access your account, manage your bills, and complete transfers. You can also set up a number of alerts to stay on top of everything.

Customer Service/Support

You can enjoy quick and easy access to reliable customer support with the Citi Simplicity Card. You just need to look at the back of your credit card to find the customer support number.

After dialing the number, you just need to say “representative,” and you will then be connected to a professional and courteous customer support representative. The representative can help you with all aspects of your credit card and provide technical assistance. Customer support service is available 24 hours a day and 365 days a year.

Pros

Zero Annual Fees

The card comes with no annual fee, which is a blessing if you’re using it to pay down debts.

Zero Late Fees

If you find you are often late in making your payments, then you will benefit immensely from this card since it charges zero late payment fees. The Citi Simplicity card is one of the very few cards which imposes no late payment fees or penalty APR. It does not matter how often you are late with your payment. This is a significant advantage for those who must pay off their debts. But you must remember that there is still a penalty fee of $39 for returned payments.

Even though this card imposes no late payment fee or penalty APR, you must still be very careful about late payments. If your payments are over 30 days late, then this will appear on your credit report. Such late payments will, therefore, make it more difficult for you to qualify for balance transfers and new credit cards.

Although late payment is not a good habit, there are certain circumstances under which you may want to delay your payments. This can happen for instance, when you are short on cash and need some time to improve your situation. It is comforting to know that the Citi Simplicity Card will not penalize you for late payments while most cards are not so forgiving. But you must make sure that the payment delay is less than 30 days.

Extended Zero APR Period For Balance Transfers and Purchases

All new cardholders will receive a 0 percent intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 21 months. The introductory offer on balance transfers is one of the most attractive features of the Citi Simplicity Card. For the initial 21 months, cardholders can enjoy zero APR on their balance transfers. This is 6 months more than other leading balance transfer offers.

Therefore, you can benefit immensely from this card if you have to pay off a large balance since the extended 6-month interest-free period can cause significant savings.

Since interest rates can be high, it makes sense to take advantage of offers which can save interest on balance transfers.

However, the high balance transfer fee can offset a significant amount of your balance transfer savings. You will be charged the higher of $5 or 5 percent on your balance transfer. There is no balance transfer fee during the initial 60 days of opening your account.

This means you must pay $50 on every $1,000 you transfer. This is higher compared to other balance transfer cards which typically charge a transfer fee of 3 percent.

Besides the impressive introductory APR offer for balance transfers, the Citi Simplicity Card also offers a zero percent APR for new purchases during the initial 12 months. After that, it will charge a variable APR ranging from 16.24 to 26.24 percent which will depend on your credit score. If you want to finance a major purchase and require time for interest fee payments, then this can be a good option for you. You just need to take care not to charge a higher amount than what you can settle during the initial 12 months.

Cons

Offers no rewards

The Citi Simplicity Card offers no kind of rewards program. But this is due to the Citi Simplicity Card being meant for balance transfers and paying off your debt. This card is suitable for you if you have a large balance. If you are interested in an excellent rewards program, then you should look elsewhere.

You Need Excellent Credit

You have a strong chance of getting approved for the Citi Simplicity Card if your credit score ranges from good to excellent. Remember that approval for balance transfers may be granted separately from the account. This means that you can gain approval for the card, and still not have a credit limit high enough to transfer your full balance. This can happen if your credit rating is towards the lower end of the qualifying score range.

Before applying for the Citi Simplicity Card, you should, therefore, make sure that you have a clean record of making your payments on time. This will maximize your chances of obtaining a high credit limit. If you are granted a credit limit not high enough, you will then have to apply for multiple balance transfers. However, this can damage your credit rating.

Alternatives

There are also several balance transfer cards which can serve as good alternatives to the Citi Simplicity Card. Our favorites, and most comparable, are the Citi Double Cash Card, the Chase Slate Card, and the Discover it Balance Transfer Card.

Who is the Citi Simplicity Card For?

The Citi Simplicity Card is suitable for:

  • Cardholders interested in paying off a big balance rather than a lucrative rewards program
  • Cardholders who wish to take advantage of the longest period of zero APR transfers
  • Consumers who want to benefit from one of the best price protection offers – the Citi Price Rewind program makes the process much more convenient
  • Users who sometimes forget to make payments on time

Summary

Think of the savings a card like this can provide. Use the balance transfer for 21 months and bring in $5,000 of credit card debt elsewhere. After the $250 fee is added (5 percent), you have a year and a half to pay the balance down interest free. You also have the ability to spend with this card for the same 18-month interest-free time period. This is the perfect card to use for a necessary home repair, the purchase of a new kitchen appliance or to simply use as your everyday card for the first 21 months.

Sometimes a name says it all, and this card does exactly what you would expect. This card is perfect for responsible credit card users looking to make interest-free purchases (as well as take advantage of a balance transfer) for 21 months.

Topics: Credit Cards

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