Ben Todd | Jun 2, 2017 | 1
Citi Simplicity Credit Card Review (Updated 2016)
The Citi Simplicity credit card is a balance transfer credit card offered by Citibank. A balance transfer credit card allows you to transfer a balance from a credit card with a high interest rate, to a credit card with a lower interest rate allowing you to saving on interest. The main attractive feature the Citi Simplicity card has to offer is the 0% introductory A.P.R. period on all balance transfers. This review will tell you everything you need to know about this credit card.
Our Favourite Things About The Citi Simplicity Card
- 0% introductory A.P.R. for the first 21 months on balance transfers: This card has one of the longest 0% offers on the market. Paying no interest on balance transfers for 21 months will give you lots of time to pay down your debt with no interest. Keep in mind that you can only transfer over the amount of your credit limit. So for example, if your credit limit is $5000, you can only transfer a maximum of $5000 to this card.
- 0% introductory A.P.R. on purchases: You will pay no interest on any purchases made with this card for the first 21 months. This will allow you to make big purchases and pay them off over time with no interest. After the 0% offer a variable A.P.R. ranging from 13% to 23% applies.
- No annual fee: There are no annual fees to have to worry about
- No late fees: If you do not make a payment by the due date, you will not be dinged with any sort of late fee. Many other cards will charge you anywhere from $25-$35 for making a late payment.
- No penalty fees: This card will not charge you a penalty interest rate if you go over your credit limit, or fail to make your minimum payment. Many other cards will charge 25% to 30% interest for missing your minimum payment, which can really cost you good money over time.
- Transfer any type of debt: One great feature that separates this card from others is you can transfer any sort of debt, including non credit card debt to this card. This makes the card a very versatile card as you can transfer any loan debt you might, have such as a vehicle loan on to this card. This allows you to take advantage of the long 0% A.P.R. period.
- Free FICO Score: This card provides you access to your FICO score which will be updated on a monthly basis. This will allow you to know how your payment schedule is effecting your credit score, which can help you know what to do to raise your score.
- 24/7 live support: Citi has terrific customer support assistant available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to answer any questions you might have.
Things We Didn’t Like About the Citi Simplicity Card
- Balance transfer fee: It is unfortunate that you are charged a balance transfer fee when you transfer a balance from another card to this card. You will be a fee of either 3% or $5, whichever is greater. The long 0% no interest offer sort of makes up for this fee, especially if you figure in how much you will be saving on interest over this period.
- Cash advance fee: This card charges a hefty cash advance fee of either $10 or 5%, whichever is greater, so you should avoid withdrawing cash from an A.T.M. with this card at all costs. This is primarily a balance transfer card so you should not be using this card to withdraw any cash anyway.
- Needs excellent credit: It can be tough to qualify for this card as you generally need to have excellent credit in order to qualify. This can make it tough for many people to qualify who are looking for a balance transfer card and have seen their score fall due to the high debt loads.
- Cannot transfer more then credit limit: One downside to this card is that there is a limit to the amount you transfer over to this card. You can only transfer the amount of your credit limit including the balance transfer fee of 3%. So if your limit is $5000, including the 3% fee you would be able to transfer $4850 when you figure in the 3%.
Who The Citi Simplicity Card Best Suits
- Those looking for a long 0% offer to pay down purchases and balance transfers.
- Those who are occasionally late of payments, as there is no late payment fee, and no late payment A.P.R.
How The Citi Simplicity Compares With Other Cards
Chase Slate Credit Card
This is another balance transfer credit card similar to the Citi Simplicity card. The biggest difference from the Chase Slate to the Citi Simplicity is, with the Slate card there is no balance transfer fee for the first 60 days. This can make a significant difference, especially if you will be transferring over a large amount, as it could potentially save you hundreds. The Chase Slate also has a 0% introductory offer on purchases and balance transfers for the first 15 months, compared to the 21 months you get with the Citi Simplicity card. Both cards have no annual fee and no penalty A.P.R. If you think you will be able to pay off your balance within the 15 months then you should choose the Chase Slate over the Citi Simplicity because of the no balance transfer fee you get with the Chase Slate. However, if you feel you will need longer then the 15 months then you wold be better off with the Citi Simplicity card.
Bank Americard Credit Card
The Bank Americard credit card is a balance transfer card that offers 0% intro A.P.R. for 18 billing cycles (18 months) on balance transfers made in the first 60 days of card opening. After the intro offer the A.P.R. is quite low, ranging from 11% to 21 %, compared to the 13% to 23% you pay on the Citi Simplicity card. The main differences between the two card is the balance transfer fee, which is either 3% of $10, whichever is greater compared to the Citi Simplicity transfer fee which is lower at 3% or $5. Another difference between the cards is you can qualify for the Bank Americard with a good credit rating, while with the Citi Simplicity card you generally need excellent credit to qualify. Overall the cards are very similar, however the Citi Simplicity card has the longer 0% intro period on balance transfers, making it a better choice over the Bank Americard credit card.
Discover IT Credit Card
The Discover IT credit card is mainly a cash back credit card that can also be used for balance transfers. You will pay 0% interest on all balance transfers for 8 months, then a variable A.P.R. ranging from 11% to 23% applies. This card also features a 0% A.P.R. on all purchases made in the first 6 months of card opening. Compared to the Citi card, this card has much shorter 0% intro offers. However this is also a cash back credit card that will award you with up to 5% cash back on revolving, quarterly categories, and 1% cash back on all other purchases. Both cards do not have an annual fee, however the Discover IT card does have a late payment fee. If you do not have a large balance you will be transferring over the the Discover IT card could be the better choice mainly because it also features cash back rewards that the Citi Simplicity card does not have.
Should You Or Shouldn’t You, Our Final Verdict
The Citi Simplicity card is a great balance transfer credit card because of the long 0% A.P.R. of 21 months. This is a incredibly long time to pay off your balances and debt. If you are someone who has a high balance that you will be transferring over, you should definitely get this credit card. You can afford to make smaller payments each month because of the long intro period, which makes this great for those who cannot afford to make large payments each month. In my opinion the long 0% intro period outweighs the balance transfer fee you have to pay. This is a simple credit card that is designed primarily to help people pay off their debt with the benefit of no interest to worry about. Furthermore, if you are planning on making a large purchase, then you should use the Citi Simplicity card, as you will have a long time to pay off the purchase with no interest.
On the other hand if you are someone who feels they can pay off their balance in a shorter amount of time, you might be better off with a card that does not have a balance transfer fee, such as the Chase Slate card, which still gives you 15 months to pay off your balances with no interest charged.