Our experts answer readers’ credit card questions and write unbiased product reviews (here’s how we assess credit cards). In some cases, we receive a commission from our partners; however, our opinions are our own. Terms apply to offers listed on this page.
The information for the following product(s) has been collected independently by Business Insider: Citi Simplicity® Card, Citi® Double Cash Card, U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum Card. The details for these products have not been reviewed or provided by the issuer.
Citi Simplicity® Card
0% intro APR on balance transfers for 21 months (transfers must be completed within four months of account opening) and on purchases for 12 months
19.24% – 29.99% Variable
Good to Excellent
- Offers one of the longest intro APR periods for balance transfers (21 months)
- No late fees or penalty APR for late payments
- Higher balance transfer fee than some other cards
- Doesn’t offer rewards, so you may want to upgrade to another card once you’re done paying off your debt
The Citi Simplicity® Card can be helpful to those carrying big balances on high-interest credit cards. The card can give you a chance to get ahead of crippling monthly interest fees by giving you a long intro APR on balance transfers and purchases.
Citi Simplicity Review
The best credit cards available nowadays have never been more exciting. Banks continue to debut new, benefits-packed credit cards with large sign-up bonuses worth potentially thousands of dollars, and some existing rewards credit cards have added perks or improved their welcome offers.
But not all of us qualify for those cards for reasons like a low credit score or a significant amount of debt. In this case, the Citi Simplicity® Card
may be a great fit for your situation. It doesn’t charge late fees, a penalty rate, or an annual fee.
There are two scenarios in which you should open the Citi Simplicity® Card:
- You’re trying to get out of credit card debt
- You expect a large purchase that you can’t immediately pay off
If none of the above describes you, there are other more valuable credit cards that will serve you better. The Citi Simplicity® Card doesn’t come with many perks at all, and it offers zero rewards for spending. It doesn’t even come with a traditional welcome offer of bonus rewards.
However, the card can be helpful to those carrying big balances on high-interest credit cards. The Citi Simplicity can give you a chance to get ahead of crippling monthly interest fees by giving you a long 0% intro APR on balance transfers for 21 months (transfers must be completed within four months of account opening) and on purchases for 12 months (then a 19.24% – 29.99% Variable APR).
Citi Simplicity Card Rewards
The Citi Simplicity® Card doesn’t earn rewards. You will not earn points or cash back for spending on the card.
If you’re willing to trade a best-in-class intro APR offer for a return on spending, you’ve got other options. No-annual-fee cards like the Citi® Double Cash Card
come with slightly less generous 0% intro APR offers but also earn valuable rewards for your purchase. These cards will be much friendlier to your long-term credit card strategy, as their practicality doesn’t expire after the 0% intro APR offer ends.
Citi Simplicity Card Benefits
0% intro APR on new purchases and balance transfers
In lieu of a sign-up bonus, the Citi Simplicity® Card offers generous 0% introductory APR windows for both new purchases and balance transfers: 0% intro APR on balance transfers for 21 months (transfers must be completed within four months of account opening) and on purchases for 12 months (then a 19.24% – 29.99% Variable APR)
The ability to carry a balance for such a long period with zero interest puts the Citi Simplicity® Card at the top of the class in its category and on our list of best balance transfer cards. As long as you make at least the minimum payment each month, 100% of your money goes toward paying off your balance.
This is a powerful tool to reduce debt, as the average credit card interest rate is more than 20%. Anyone who finds themselves in a lot of debt with one of these cards may transfer some or all of their balance to the Citi Simplicity® Card to keep it from snowballing. We keep a list of the best 0% APR credit cards.
Helpful account management tools
There are a few minor benefits that come with the Citi Simplicity to help you effectively manage your card:
- Ability to change your payment due date
- Citi Identity Theft Solutions (helpful if you’re a victim of identity theft and do not have identity theft protection)
- Account alerts that keep you up to date on things like upcoming payments and when you exceed your credit limit
- 24-hour customer support
- Free FICO score
No annual fee, late fees, or penalty rates
This card charges an annual fee of $0, meaning you can keep it forever at no cost. No-annual-fee cards are important tools for improving your credit score, as they will increase the length of your average credit history.
Just make sure you swipe it every once in a while to avoid Citi proactively canceling your card due to inactivity. Using your card for a purchase every six months is a good rule of thumb.
With the Citi Simplicity® Card, you won’t pay a fee for late payments (there is a fee for returned payments, however), and there’s no penalty APR like most cards charge if you have a late or returned payment.
You are not liable for any unauthorized charges. Reach out to Citi as soon as you realize your card has been compromised. You’ll also receive Fraud Early Warning to help prevent such occurrences in the first place.
Citi Simplicity Fees
The Citi Simplicity® Card has no annual fee, late fees, or penalty rates. If you plan to take advantage of this card’s 0% APR intro offers, be sure you pay off your balance before the introductory period ends or you’ll immediately begin incurring interest fees of 19.24% – 29.99% Variable.
The card does charge fees in other instances. For example:
- Foreign transaction fee: 3% of each purchase transaction in US dollars (pack one of the best credit cards with no foreign transaction fees if you’re traveling abroad)
- Balance transfer fee: 3% intro fee for each transfer ($5 minimum) completed within four months of account opening, then 5% of each transfer ($5 minimum)
- Cash advance fee: Either $10 or 5% of the amount of each cash advance, whichever is greater
Compare the Citi Simplicity
Citi Simplicity Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
The Citi Simplicity® Card is worth it for folks looking to pay down debt from other credit cards, or for paying off larger purchases over multiple billing cycles. Plus, the card doesn’t charge late or penalty fees. However, the card doesn’t earn rewards or even offer a welcome bonus. So unless you need an extra long APR on balance transfers and purchases, you should consider a different rewards credit card.
On the downside, this card does not claim to be a premium credit card with top-notch travel benefits and lifestyle statement credits. Its ongoing perks are fair for its target demographic. However, the fact that it doesn’t offer any rewards for spending is its biggest weakness. Also, the 0% intro APR you’ll receive for new purchases is shorter than what’s offered by many other credit cards.
Most folks who get approved for the Citi Simplicity® Card have a good or excellent credit score (FICO score of at least 670).
The credit limit you receive when opening the Citi Simplicity® Card will depend on your creditworthiness. You can receive a credit line as low as $500 — and data points show that it’s possible to receive a credit line over $14,000.
Why You Should Trust Us: How We Reviewed the Citi Simplicity Card
We pitted the Citi Simplicity® Card against similar credit cards specializing in 0% intro APR offers. Primarily due to its lack of rewards and unmemorable 0% intro APR for new purchases, we’ve arrived at a rating of 2.75 stars out of 5 stars.
Here’s a detailed look at how we rate credit cards at Insider.