Updated September 19, 2017
Citi Simplicity® Card is one card at the top of the pack for helping to cut debt. It nails a few things better than any of its competitors: The card offers the longest 0% intro APR window we know of outside of Citi®-branded credit cards, plus it doesn’t charge for late payments. These are a few reasons we think it’s one of both the best balance-transfer credit cards and the best credit cards of 2017. Read on to dive deeper and learn whether it’s a good fit for your needs.
- 0% intro APR
- $0 late-payment fees
- $0 annual fee
- Free FICO® Score
- No rewards
- Balance-transfer fee
Intro: 0%, 21 months
Reg: 15.24% - 25.24%, variable
|Balance Transfer APR||
Intro: 0%, 21 months for transfers made within four months
Reg: 15.24% - 25.24%, variable
- The ONLY card with No Late Fees, No Penalty Rate, and No Annual Fee… EVER.
- 0% introductory APR on Balance Transfers and Purchases for 21 months. After that, the variable APR will be 15.24% - 25.24% based on your creditworthiness.
- There is a balance transfer fee of either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
- The same great rate for all balances, after the introductory period.
- Save time when you call with fast, personal help, 24 hours a day – just say “representative”
- Enjoy the convenience of setting up your own bill payment schedule on any available due date throughout the month.
What we like about Citi Simplicity® Card
- 0% intro APR - The card includes a 0% intro APR for 21 billing cycles for purchases and balance transfers made within four months. We think the real value is in the balance transfer promo. We Fools always encourage smart use of debt, and transferring balances to a 0% intro APR card can help avoid costly interest charges. In fact, paying down a $5,000 balance over 21 months will cost a whopping $825 in interest charges at an 18% APR.
- $0 late fees – We applaud Citi’s wallet-friendly move to nix late payment fees and penalties since they can quickly pile up when missing a payment. Many credit card issuers charge upwards of $30 for a missed payment and bump up APRs to near 30%, which doesn't happen with this card! That doesn’t mean Citi Simplicity® Card cardholders can ignore monthly obligations, though. Card benefits can be pulled for delinquent payments. Furthermore, payment history makes up 35% of your FICO® Score, so paying late will result in a substantial hit to your score.
What could be improved about Citi Simplicity® Card
- Rewards – Citi Simplicity® Card does not offer any cash-back rewards or a sign-up bonus. While we’ve not uncovered a feature-packed credit card where each feature is best-in-class, we can hope that such a credit card utopia exists somewhere and some competing cards offer both rewards and a 0% intro APR (more on that below).
- Balance-transfer fee – Balance transfers incur a 3% fee. This is standard, but we’d prefer offering an introductory period during which balance-transfer fees are waived.
How to best use Citi Simplicity® Card
- Keep an eye on your calendar when transferring balances. Only balance transfers made within the first four months of account opening qualify for a 0% intro APR.
- Consider placing credit purchases on a different credit card if able to pay down balances in less than 21 billing cycles. There are many great cash-back credit cards that earn rewards on purchases and include 0% intro APR's ranging from 9 to 15 billing cycles.
- Leverage free access to your FICO® Score. Citi provides free access to your FICO® Score, and this perk is a huge value! In fact, myFICO charges upwards of $350 per year to receive, track, and monitor your comprehensive credit history.