Citi Simplicity® Card Review: 0% Intro APR for 21 months on Balance Transfers, No Late Fees, No Penalty Rates

My Money Blog has partnered with CardRatings and Credit-Land for selected credit cards and may receive a commission. All opinions expressed are the author’s alone, and has not been provided nor approved by any of the companies mentioned.

Interest rates are rising, and that applies to credit cards as well. The Citi Simplicity® Card comes with an extended 0% intro period for balance transfers while also offering some “accident forgiveness insurance”. Do you have a balance that you are finally ready to pay off? The highlights:

  • No Late Fees, No Penalty Rate, and No Annual Fee… Ever
  • 0% Intro APR for 21 months on balance transfers from date of first transfer and 0% Intro APR for 12 months on purchases from date of account opening. After that the variable APR will be 18.49% – 29.24%, based on your creditworthiness. Balance transfers must be completed within 4 months of account opening. There is an introductory balance transfer fee of $5 or 3% of the amount of the transfer, whichever is greater for balances transfers completed within 4 months of account opening.
  • Stay protected with Citi® Quick Lock
  • Simplicity = No Late Fees, No Penalty Rate, and No Annual Fee.
  • Simplicity = When you want to speak to a human, just call and say “representative”

No late fees, no penalty rate details. On most other credit cards, if you make a late payment, you’ll first be charged a late payment fee of about $35. On top of that, your super-low interest rate disappears and instead gets jacked up to something called their “default rate” or “penalty rate”. This could be over 30% APR! This card adds a bit of flex in that they do not charge penalty rates or late fees.

Note that if you are 30 days late on this or any credit card, Citi will still report this activity to the credit bureaus. This card may be forgiving but you should still keep your credit score as high as possible.

The strongest part of this card is the long 21 month period, so you can spread out payments over 1.75 years and ideally pay it all off by the end. There is a 5% balance transfer fee ($5 min). 5% works out to under 4 months of interest at 18% APR. Transferring a balance to this card from a 18% APR card would be the equivalent of under 4 months interest at 18% APR and then having 17 months with 0% interest. Once the intro period on all 0% cards expire, the rates will go right back up. You’ll either need to pay it off or transfer your balance again if you need more time. With this card, you’ll have a full 21 months to spread your payments out.

Alternatively, if you are certain that you will pay it off within a shorter time period, look for a card with no balance transfer fee. Compare with other low fee 0% APR balance transfer offers.

This card does not earn any cash back, points, or airline miles. Many times, rewards cards are bad deals for those carrying balances. I’d open a separate card for rewards after your balances are paid off and you join the “Paid in full every month” club.

Bottom line. The Citi Simplicity® Card is best for folks that are serious about paying off their balances. You get a long 0% introductory period of 21 months on balance transfers along with consumer-friendly features that help ensure your low rates don’t get hiked with a single late payment. If you do the math and can make adequate payments to pay down your balance over a 21 month (1.75 years) span, this card may help get you debt-free with minimal gotchas. No annual fee.

My Money Blog has partnered with CardRatings and Credit-Land for selected credit cards, and may receive a commission from card issuers. All opinions expressed are the author’s alone, and has not been provided nor approved by any of the companies mentioned. MyMoneyBlog.com is also a member of the Amazon Associate Program, and if you click through to Amazon and make a purchase, I may earn a small commission. Thank you for your support.

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Comments

  1. Would this be a good card to use to pay my rent (~$2000/month) and keep that money in high interest savings instead? I also feel that this would be a tax benefit as this will allow me to offset some potentially deductable expenses to 2020, when I expect to have a higher income tax burden? Is this a Visa or MasterCard, I can only pay rent with a MasterCard.

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