Citi Simplicity® Card Review [2024]: 21 Months of Interest-Free Glory

CREDIT CARDS - 0% APR CREDIT CARDS
If you carry high-interest debt and have good credit, the Citi Simplicity Card could be a smart solution. (Citi is a FinanceBuzz partner.)
Updated June 11, 2024
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I think of the Citi Simplicity® Card as one of the best balance transfer credit cards since it has a $0 annual fee and offers 0% intro APR on balance transfers for 21 months (then 19.24% - 29.99% (Variable)).

This makes it a great card if you want to save money on interest charges by transferring high-interest debt. I think many cardholders can also benefit from its 0% intro APR on purchases for 12 months (then 19.24% - 29.99% (Variable)).

However, what I don’t like about this card is that it has no rewards program and no welcome offer, which limits its usability beyond its intro APR offers.

In this Citi Simplicity review

Key takeaways

  • I recommend the Citi Simplicity® Card for people looking to lower interest charges they pay on existing debt. This card offers 0% intro APR on balance transfers for 21 months (then 19.24% - 29.99% (Variable)), providing ample time to pay down existing balances.
  • When I got this card, I took advantage of its 0% intro APR on purchases for 12 months to finance a new electric bike without worrying about interest. After the intro period, the ongoing APR is 19.24% - 29.99% (Variable).
  • I like that the Citi Simplicity® Card has a $0 annual fee, making it a cost-effective option for those looking to manage their debt without additional expenses.
  • One drawback of this card is that it has no rewards program. I like that it delivers on its primary purpose as an excellent tool to help you save on interest charges. But to earn rewards with a balance transfer card, I recommend the Citi Double Cash® Card.

Who should get the Citi Simplicity Card?

The Citi Simplicity, introduced in 2011, is primarily a balance transfer credit card. This is why I recommend it for someone who wants one of the longest intro APR periods on balance transfers available today.

Its lengthy intro APR period easily places it among the best balance transfer credit cards out there. But it also offers a lengthy intro APR period on purchases as well.

The Citi Simplicity can help you:

  • Save money on high-interest debt: Where this card really shines is its generous 0% introductory APR period for balance transfers for 21 months, then 19.24% - 29.99% (Variable). It’s one of the longest periods of interest-free payoff available.
  • 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 on interest. That’s because purchases are also 0% intro APR for 12 months, then 19.24% - 29.99% (Variable).

Say goodbye to late and annual fees
The Citi Simplicity doesn’t charge you late fees, and it has $0 annual fee.

Card basics

Card type Balance transfer
Credit card issuer Citi
Credit card network Mastercard
Annual fee $0
Recommended credit score Excellent, Good
Intro APR 0% intro APR on balance transfers for 21 months, then 19.24% - 29.99% (Variable)

0% intro APR on purchases for 12 months, then 19.24% - 29.99% (Variable)

Balance transfer fee 3% of each balance transfer ($5 minimum) within 4 months of account opening; then 5% of each transfer ($5 minimum) after the 4 month intro period ends
Foreign transaction fee 3%

Why I like the Citi Simplicity: benefits and perks

Long story short, I recommend the Citi Simplicity for anyone who wants to save money on interest. But there are even more reasons why Citi’s Simplicity card offers more value.

  • One of the best 0% intro APR offers on balance transfers: The Citi Simplicity comes 0% intro APR on balance transfers for 21 months, then 19.24% - 29.99% (Variable).

Consider the balance transfer
The Citi Simplicity has a fee of 3% of each balance transfer ($5 minimum) within 4 months of account opening; then 5% of each transfer ($5 minimum) after the 4 month intro period ends. Keep this fee in mind when calculating how much you may save on interest charges.

  • 0% intro APR offer on purchases: I used the Citi Simplicity’s 0% intro APR on purchases for 12 months to finance a new electric bike. This helped me pay for the bike over 12 months. Once the intro period ends, the regular APR rate of this card is 19.24% - 29.99% (Variable).
  • No late fees: Nothing chips away at the value of a no-interest offer more than costly late fees. That’s why I like that the Citi Simplicity doesn't charge late payment fees. It also has no penalty rates, which can help keep more cash in my pocket.
  • $0 annual fee: It’s easy to keep the Citi Simplicity in my wallet year after another since I don’t have to worry about an ongoing annual cost.
  • Flexible payment due date: The Citi Simplicity makes it simple to choose a payment due date. Using this card, I was able to opt for a due date at the beginning, middle, or end of the month. The Citi Simplicity can also send automatic account alerts to remind me when a payment is due.
  • Identity theft protection: As a cardholder, I have access to Citi's security solutions. If I fall victim to identity theft, Citi can help me resolve the issue.

What I don’t like about the Citi Simplicity: drawbacks

  • No rewards program: While I understand that the Citi Simplicity’s primary purpose is balance transfers, I don’t like that it has no rewards program. This means that the card doesn’t offer many benefits beyond its intro APR offers and perks related to maintaining a balance on the card. That’s why I recommend the Citi Double Cash® Card as an alternative with lengthy intro APR offers and a great rewards program.
  • No welcome offer: The Citi Simplicity has no sign-up bonus or welcome offer. One alternative I recommend, which is the Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card, comes with intro APR offers as well as welcome offers.

Other cards to consider

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

Citi Double Cash® Card

I recommend the Citi Double Cash® Card because it’s a $0-annual-fee card that offers intro APR on balance transfers and tops these benefits with a generous welcome offer and a great rewards program.

The Citi Double Cash offers 0% intro APR on balance transfers for 18 months (then 19.24% - 29.24% (Variable) APR).

Additionally, you can earn $200 in cash back after you spend $1,500 on purchases in the first 6 months of account opening. This bonus offer will be fulfilled as 20,000 ThankYou® points, which can be redeemed for $200 cash back.

You can also earn 2% on every purchase with unlimited 1% cash back when you buy, plus an additional 1% as you pay for those purchases; plus, for a limited time, earn 5% total cash back on hotel, car rentals and attractions booked on the Citi Travel℠ portal through 12/31/24.

Learn more in our Citi Double Cash review or our Citi Simplicity vs. Double Cash comparison.

Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card

A second alternative I recommend is the Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card. This is a great cash back credit card with $0 annual fee and these intro APR offers:

  • 0% intro APR for 15 months from account opening on qualifying balance transfers, then 20.24%, 25.24%, or 29.99% Variable APR
  • 0% intro APR on purchases for 15 months from account opening, then 20.24%, 25.24%, or 29.99% Variable APR

On top of that, you can earn a $200 cash rewards bonus after spending $500 in purchases in the first 3 months and earn unlimited 2% cash rewards on purchases.

Learn more in our Wells Fargo Active Cash review.

No annual fee & 0% Intro APR

4.5

Citi Simplicity® Card

Why We Like It

Long introductory APR period on balance transfers

See how these cards compare:

Citi Double Cash® Card
Citi Double Cash® Card
  • Simple flat-rate cash back on all your purchases
  • 0% intro APR on balance transfers for 18 months, then 19.24% - 29.24% (Variable) APR
  • No annual fee
  • Rates and fees
Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card
Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card
  • Low spend threshold for its welcome offer — $200 cash rewards bonus after spending $500 in purchases in the first 3 months
  • Cell phone protection benefit
  • Can redeem rewards at an ATM for literal cash
  • Rates and fees

Citi Simplicity Card FAQ

Is the Citi Simplicity a Visa or Mastercard?

The Citi Simplicity is a Mastercard.

What credit score do I need to get a Citi Simplicity Card?

You typically need a good or excellent credit score to qualify for the Citi Simplicity Card. That’s at least a 670 FICO score.

Keep in mind that Citibank and other lenders also consider other creditworthiness factors to determine your eligibility for their credit card offers. This could include your overall credit history, the types of credit you already have, and how many new cards you’ve opened recently.

For these reasons, it’s important to check over your credit reports from Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. You might discover errors with credit limits, credit inquiries, or debt reporting on recent billing cycles. 

Is it easy to get a Citi Simplicity Card?

Getting a Citi Simplicity Card depends on your creditworthiness. 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 credit score 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 a second Citi card eight days after applying for the first and two additional Citi cards after the first in 65 days.

If you’re hoping to get a second Citi Simplicity card to double-dip on the 0% intro 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. It also doesn't charge late fees or have penalty APRs.

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. 

Citi Simplicity review: bottom line

I like the Citi Simplicity® Card(Rates and fees) and recommend it to anyone who wants to pay down existing debt or finance a new large purchase. It has one of the longest intro APR offers on balance transfers, which gives you plenty of time to work on the balance you move to this card.

As a $0-annual-fee card that charges no late fees, the Citi Simplicity is a straightforward card that’s easy to keep in your pocket. However, it isn’t without a couple of drawbacks. I don’t like that it lacks a rewards program and a welcome offer, but I think that it delivers on its promise as a great balance transfer credit card.

Consider the Citi Double Cash® Card and Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card as two cards that earn rewards while also offering intro APR on balance transfers.

Author Details

Yahia Barakah, CEPF Yahia Barakah, CEPF, is a Senior Editor at FinanceBuzz and has created finance-focused content since 2011. As a Certified Educator of Personal Finance, he has a background in institutional investment and asset management, as well as a deep passion for financial literacy.