Citi Simplicity Card Review [2021]: 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 May 13, 2021 | 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

Annual Fee

$0

Benefits and Drawbacks

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
Card Details
  • Long 0% APR period on purchases and balance transfers
  • Intro purchase 0% offer: 0% for 12 months then 14.74% to 24.74% (variable)
  • Intro balance transfer 0% offer: 0% for 21 months then 14.74% to 24.74% (variable)

In this Citi Simplicity credit card review: 

Who should get the Citi Simplicity 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

Card type 0% APR
Credit card issuer Citi
Credit card network Mastercard
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%

Citi Simplicity Card benefits and perks

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 best intro balance transfer offers around. If you have high-interest debt and (at least) good credit, the Citi Simplicity's introductory offer could help. Transfer a balance within four months of account opening and you’ll get a 0% APR for 21 months from date of first transfer. However, you will be responsible for a balance transfer fee on any transferred balances: $5 or 5%, whichever is greater. After the introductory period, your rate will increase to the standard variable APR.
  • You’ll also love the 0% intro purchase APR. You can also save on interest charges for new purchases you make with this card. You’ll pay 0% interest on purchases for 12 months from the date of account opening. 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. Once the intro period ends, your rate will increase to the card's regular APR.
  • Citi Simplicity won’t nickel and dime you with fees. Nothing chips away at the value of a no-interest offer more than costly late fees and annual fees. Citi doesn’t charge Simplicity cardholders late payment fees, penalty rates, or annual fees, which can help you keep some cash in your pocket.
  • You can choose your payment due date. Nobody likes cash flow problems or making late payments. 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. You can also choose to receive automatic account alerts to remind you when a payment is due.
  • 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.
  • Identity theft protection: As a cardholder, you get access to Citi Identity Theft Solutions. If you fall victim to identity theft, Citi can help you resolve the issue.

Drawbacks to the Citi Simplicity Card

  • No rewards program: While the Citi Simplicity card does come with a generous intro APR offer, cardmembers won't earn rewards on their spending with this card. Some cards with intro APR offers do earn rewards, though the right card for you will depend on your needs and unique financial situation.
  • No welcome bonus: This credit does not offer a welcome bonus, so if that's important to you, another card will likely be a better fit. 

Citi Simplicity Card FAQs

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

Is the Citi Simplicity a Visa or Mastercard?

The Citi Simplicity is a Mastercard.

Is it easy to get a Citi Simplicity Card?

Applicants should typically have good credit before applying for the Citi Simplicity Card. If your FICO credit score isn’t at least 670, you can work to improve your creditworthiness 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 two 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 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.

Is the Citi Simplicity a good card?

The best credit card for you depends on your unique financial situation and goals. If you are interested in a card that offers a lengthy introductory APR offer on both balance transfers and new purchases, the Citi Simplicity may be a great option. While you won't earn rewards or a welcome bonus with this card, it may help you save money on costly interest charges as you pay down your credit card debt.

Is the Citi Simplicity Card accepted everywhere?

The Citi Simplicity Card is part of the Mastercard payment network, so it is accepted everywhere Mastercard is accepted. Currently, Mastercard is accepted in 210 countries worldwide. 

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 Citi Double Cash offer a 0% APR on balance transfers for 18 months, but you’ll also earn up to 2% cash back on all purchases: 1% as you buy and 1% as you pay. The Citi Simplicity is not a rewards credit card, so if cash back or other rewards are important to you, consider the Citi Double Cash card. You can compare the Citi Simplicity vs. Double Cash cards side-by-side to see which better fits your needs.

A second option is the Citi Diamond Preferred. Another Citi credit card, the Citi Diamond Preferred comes with a $0 annual fee. It also has a 0% APR that lasts for 21 months on balance transfers. This card has some unique benefits for those who are big fans of entertainment and frequently attend events. You can see how the Citi Simplicity vs. Citi Diamond Preferred cards compare and determine which is the better fit for you.

No annual fee & 0% Intro APR

Citi Simplicity Card

Citi Simplicity Card

Citi Simplicity Card

Special Offer

Long 0% APR period on purchases and balance transfers

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
Citi Diamond Preferred
Citi Diamond Preferred
  • 0% intro APR on balance transfers for 21 months
  • 0% intro APR on purchases for 12 months
  • No annual fee
  • Free access to your FICO® Score

Author Details

Lisa Bigelow Lisa Bigelow is an award-winning freelance content creator who helps people learn smarter credit, borrowing, saving and information security habits. In addition to FinanceBuzz, Lisa has contributed to Life and Money, MagnifyMoney, Well + Good, Smarter With Gartner, Popular Science and Cadre Insights. She lives with her family in Connecticut.