[UPDATE: Some offers mentioned below have expired and/or are no longer available on our site. You can view the current offers from our partners in our credit card marketplace. DISCLOSURE: Cards from our partners are mentioned below.]
Some credit cards can be complex and confusing. But if you’re looking for something more basic in a credit card, some card issuers have begun offering simpler products. As the name suggests, Citi Simplicity is one of those cards.
Introduction to the Citi Simplicity Card
Citi Simplicity, from our partner Citi, is a basic card with low rates and fewer fees than most credit cards. It offers no late fees, no penalty interest rates and no annual fee. The standard interest rate is 15.74% – 25.74%* (Variable), depending on the cardholder’s creditworthiness at the time of application. Simplicity also includes several valuable benefits. Cardholders can use Citi’s Price Rewind feature to receive a refund on eligible purchases when a lower price is found within 60 days. Other perks include worldwide car rental insurance and extended warranty coverage. There is $0 annual fee for this card, but there is a 3% foreign transaction fee imposed on all transactions processed outside of the U.S.
Does It Have a Sign-Up Bonus?
There is no current sign-up bonus. However, new applicants receive 0%* for 18 months on purchases and balance transfers*, with a 5% or $5 balance transfer fee. This is a very competitive interest-free promotional financing term at publishing time.
Citi Simplicity’s Advantages
Simplicity removes two of the most bothersome credit card charges, the late fee and the penalty interest rate. These two penalties can be extremely costly to cardholders in debt who might occasionally make a late payment. The offer for 0%* for 18 months on purchases and balance transfers* financing is exceptional, because it allows cardholders nearly two years to pay off their balance transfers and purchases before incurring interest charges on their remaining balance. This card’s benefits are also above average, including Citi’s Price Rewind, extended warranty coverage and compatibility with the Apple Pay contactless payment system.
Citi Simplicity’s Disadvantages
This card does not offer any rewards, so those who pay off their statement balances in full and on-time every month will be missing out on potential rewards in the form of points, miles or cash back. Those who will be using this card to complete balance transfers should also be aware that it has a 5% balance transfer fee, which is customary for 0% APR offers. And although there are no late fees or annual fees for this card, the 5% foreign transaction fee makes it less than ideal for use outside of the U.S.
Finally, there is some concern that having no late fees might encourage cardholders to pay late, or even get in the habit of doing so. Late payments will still be more expensive as the cardholder will incur more interest charges on the higher balance than if they made timely payments. In addition, missing payments will result in damage to cardholder’s credit score, which can lead to higher interest rates for borrowing in the future.
Is This Card a Good Match for You?
Citi Simplicity can make sense for people who need the maximum length promotional financing offer available. These are cardholders who may have substantial debt that they are trying to pay off, and can save a lot of money in interest charges over the current offer . This is also an ideal card for novice credit card users who are unsure of their ability to make on-time payments. By forgoing late fees and penalty interest rates, cardholders can minimize their costs should they make an occasional mistake. In addition, this is a good card for existing Citi retail banking customers who want to have their credit card account at the same institution where they hold a checking or savings account. In this way, they will have only one login to remember, and can make simple bill payments from their bank account, rather than from a separate institution.
If you do transfer a balance to this card, consider creating a plan to pay off the debt within the interest-free period — this free calculator can help you determine a payoff plan.
The Citi Simplicity card is for consumers who have excellent credit. Before you apply for this credit card, you may want to check your credit scores to see where you stand – then be sure to check with the issuer to be sure you meet its credit guidelines. There are many ways to check your credit scores for free — one way to do that is through Credit.com, which offers you two of your scores for free and updates them monthly so you can track your progress and look for any big changes.
If you meet the issuer’s general credit requirements and fully understand the card’s terms, this card may be a good match for you. If your credit standing doesn’t yet meet the card issuer’s requirements, there are steps you can take to work on your credit so you can then apply once you’ve improved your credit standing.
Common Questions About Citi Simplicity
How does Price Rewind work?
Simplicity cardholders can go online to register their purchases, and they will automatically receive a refund when a covered item’s price drops within 60 days of purchase. Otherwise, cardholders can manually submit their own claims when they find a lower price. There is a limit of $300 per item and $1,200 per year.
What happens when the 18 months of promotional financing expires?
After the 0% APR promotional rate ends, cardholders will owe interest on any remaining balances. The standard interest rate of 15.74% – 25.74%* (Variable) will apply (depending on the cardholder’s creditworthiness at the time of application) going forward, and will not be imposed on the balance during the first 18 months after account opening.
What are the penalties for paying late?
With no late payment fee or penalty interest rate, it may seem like there is no drawback to paying late. Nevertheless, those who miss payments can incur additional interest charges and will be considered delinquent and can have their account suspended or closed. In addition, those who fail to make payments can see their credit standing suffer. For this reason, cardholders are encouraged to make at least the minimum payment before or on their payment due date.
Editorial Disclaimer: The editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuers.
At publishing time, the Citi Simplicity card is offered through Credit.com product pages, and Credit.com is compensated if our users apply for and ultimately sign up for any of these cards. However, this relationship does not result in any preferential editorial treatment.
Note: It’s important to remember that interest rates, fees and terms for credit cards, loans and other financial products frequently change. As a result, rates, fees and terms for credit cards, loans and other financial products cited in these articles may have changed since the date of publication. Please be sure to verify current rates, fees and terms with credit card issuers, banks or other financial institutions directly.
This article last updated on September 15th, 2017.