I usually focus on rewards-earning credit cards, but I know many folks are still carrying some balances and thus more concerned about their whopping 15% interest rate rather than a relatively puny 2% back on purchases. The Citi Simplicity® Card is uniquely suited for those that want to transfer higher rate balances to a long 0% intro period while also offering some “accident forgiveness insurance”. The highlights:
- 0% Intro APR on balance transfers for 18 months. Balance transfers must be completed within 4 months of account opening. Balance transfer fee is 3% of balance transfer amount, $5 minimum. This is one of the longest offers out there for balance transfers.
- 0% Intro APR on purchases for 18 months. This means you can keep charging your new purchases on this card as well and also enjoy no interest for 18 months. Also one of the longest 0% offers available for purchases.
- No late fees. If you’re late on a payment, you won’t be dinged with a ~$40 late fee as with many other cards.
- No penalty APR. Even worse than a late fee, a missed payment can lead to a rate hike into a “penalty” APR rate as high as 25% or more.
- No annual fee.
- Direct to human help. If you call in and say “representative”, you’ll be transferred directly to a human, 24 hours a day.
The Citi Simplicity card does not earn any cash back, points, miles, or free toasters; I’d open a separate card for rewards. It does include additional purchase benefits such as Citi Price Protection (price drop protection on brick and mortar purchases) and free Extended Warranty (extends manufacturer’s warranty for up to 12 months).
Alternatively, the Chase Slate® Card offers 0% APR on balance transfers for 15 months with no balance transfer fee, but does not include some of the more consumer-friendly features of this card that ensure your low rates don’t get hiked.
To summarize, the Citi Simplicity® is a solid card for those in the midst of the debt payoff process looking to pay no interest for 18 months with minimal gotcha fees compared to the competition.