Citi Simplicity Card Review: 21 Months of Interest-Free Glory

If you carry high-interest debt and have good credit, the Citi Simplicity Card could be a smart solution.
Last updated Dec 23, 2019 | By Lisa Bigelow

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There’s nothing like the sight of an unexpectedly high credit card balance to strike fear in the heart of a borrower. With average credit card interest rates ranging from 15% to almost 17%, according to the Federal Reserve, paying off debt can take years, especially if you’re only making the minimum payments.

But if you have good credit, you may be able to save money on interest by transferring that big balance to another credit card with a lower rate.

The Citi Simplicity Card is one such option. This credit card offers new customers impressively long interest-free payoff terms and gives consumers several additional benefits that are unusual in the industry, including no late fees.

No annual fee & 0% Intro APR

Citi Simplicity Card

Citi Simplicity Card

Citi Simplicity Card

Benefits

  • 0% intro APR on balance transfers for 21 months
  • 0% intro APR on purchases for 12 months
  • FICO Credit Score monitoring
  • No late, penalty, or annual fees

Drawbacks

  • No signup bonus


Who should get this card?

Citi’s Simplicity credit card is likely best for consumers who:

  • Have at least good credit. Citi Simplicity applicants should typically have good to excellent credit for the best chance of approval. That translates to a FICO credit score of about 670 or higher.
  • Worry about fees. Another benefit that makes the Citi Simplicity card unique is that Citi won’t charge you late fees if you occasionally miss a payment deadline. The key here is “occasionally,” because if you have a habit of missing payment deadlines your credit score might not be good enough to get approved to begin with.
  • Want to save money on high-interest debt. Where this card really shines is its generous 0% APR period for balance transfers. It’s one of the longest periods of interest-free payoff available.
  • Need to pay off a large purchase over time. If you don’t have credit card debt but know you have a big upcoming expense, the Citi Simplicity card can help you save money. That’s because purchases are also interest-free — for a limited time, anyway.

Card Basics

Annual Fee $0
Recommended Credit Score Excellent, Good
Intro APR 0% APR for 12 months on new purchases

0% APR for 21 months on balance transfers

Foreign Transaction Fee 3%

Top Card Benefits

Long story short, Citi’s Simplicity card is a great option to consider if you want to save money on interest. But there are even more reasons why Citi’s Simplicity card offers consumers more value.

  • One of the longest no-interest balance transfer offers around. If you have high-interest debt and (at least) good credit, the Citi Simplicity could help. Transfer a balance within four months of opening a Simplicity card and you’ll get 21 months of interest-free payments. However, you will be responsible for a transfer fee of $5 or 5%, whichever is greater.
  • You’ll also love the 0% APR on purchases. You can also save on interest charges for new purchases you make with this card. You’ll pay 0% interest on purchases for the first 12 months you use this card. So not only will you save money by paying off high-interest debt, you’ll also save whatever you would have spent on interest for new purchases, too.
  • Citi Simplicity won’t nickel and dime you with fees. Nothing chips away at the value of a no-interest offer than costly late fees and annual fees. Citi doesn’t charge Simplicity cardholders either of these.
  • You can choose your payment due date. Nobody likes cash flow problems. If you want the flexibility to choose your payment due date, then the Citi Simplicity credit card is a great option. With Simplicity, you can opt for a due date in the beginning, middle or end of the month.
  • Purchase protection: This benefit isn’t unique to the Citi Simplicity, but you’ll appreciate the fact that you won’t be responsible for unauthorized charges made to your card. You’ll also get protection from identity theft and Citi will alert you if it suspects your card data has been stolen.

Common Questions

Here’s what else you should know about the Citi Simplicity credit card.

Is the Citi Simplicity a Visa or Mastercard?

Citi Simplicity is a Mastercard.

How hard is it to get a Citi Simplicity Card?

Applicants should typically have at least good credit before applying. If your FICO credit score isn’t at least 670, you can work to improve it by paying all your bills on time, reducing credit card balances as much as possible, and limiting the amount of new credit you apply for.

Can I have 2 Citi Simplicity Cards?

Though there are exceptions to every rule, it’s been reported that you can apply for one Citi card every eight days and two Citi cards every 65 days.

If you’re hoping to get a second Citi Simplicity card to get double-dip on the 0% APR offers, you may be disappointed. The introductory APRs are valid for new accounts only, and there’s likely a waiting period for you to be eligible to receive these special deals a second time.

If you’d like to add another person to your Citi Simplicity account, you can inquire about adding an authorized user to your account.

Other Cards to Consider

If the Citi Simplicity Card isn’t the right fit, there are other balance transfer credit cards you can consider.

First, there’s the Citi Double Cash credit card. Not only does Double Cash offer a 0% APR on balance transfers for 18 months — still generous when compared to the competition — you’ll also up to 2% cash back on all purchases: 1% as you buy and 1% as you pay. Citi Simplicity doesn’t offer rewards of any kind, so if cash back or other rewards are important to you, consider the Double Cash card.

A second option is the Chase Freedom Unlimited. Like Citi, the Chase Freedom Unlimited comes with a $0 annual fee and there’s no penalty APR if you pay your balance late. But the 0% APR only lasts for 15 months on balance transfers.

The Chase Freedom Unlimited also offers a sign-up bonus: You can earn a $150 cash back bonus after spending $500 in the first 3 months. Plus, you can get unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases.

No annual fee & 0% Intro APR

Citi Simplicity Card

Citi Simplicity Card

Citi Simplicity Card

Special Offer

Get 0% introductory APR on balance transfers for 21 months and purchases for 12 months

See how these cards compare:

Citi Double Cash Card
Citi Double Cash Card
  • 0% intro APR on balance transfers for 18 months
  • 2% cash back on all purchases - 1% when you buy and 1% when you pay
  • No annual fee
Chase Freedom Unlimited
Chase Freedom Unlimited
  • $150 sign-up bonus
  • No annual fee
  • 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers
  • 5% cash back on Lyft rides
  • 1.5% cash back on all other purchases