Citi Simplicity® Card
Citi Simplicity® Card Review
By: Sr. Product Analyst
Last update: March 30, 2015
The Citi Simplicity is known for exactly that—simplicity. Thanks to its low introductory interest rates and special features, this card can be thought of as a great balance transfer card to help anyone working with a currently existing balance, or for someone who wants a gentle introduction into the world of credit. Here are the basics:
- 0% Intro purchase and balance transfer APR for 18 months
- 12.99% to 22.99% (variable) on purchase and balance transfer APR after intro phase
- 12.99% to 22.99% (variable) for cash advances
- $5 or 3% balance transfer fee, whichever is greater
- 3% foreign transaction fee
- $10 or 5% cash advance fee, whichever is greater
- Up to $35 for late or returned payments
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- All too often, bank cards will charge the maximum amount of $35 for even the slightest blunder. If not obvious in the above chart, the Citi Simplicity does not charge late fees for late payments, ever.
- You also don't have penalty APR on late payments and overlimit spending, ever. This is a very special benefit of this card in comparison with most other cards that charge penalty APRs of 29.99%. Of course it's still important to make your payments on time and in full, notwithstanding.
- An 18 month introductory period is extremely generous and in conjunction with no annual fees or penalty APRs, this card can provide a little breathing room to cardholders who have extensive balances on other cards with higher rates. This would also be a great card for someone who wants to make a large purchase and needs a little space while paying it off.
- Balance transfers will take at least 14 days to process. As a member you're free to modify or cancel during the interim.
- Unfortunately, if your outstanding balance exists on another Citi card, you'll want to keep shopping around, since balances cannot be transferred to the Simplicity from other Citi accounts.
- Citi allows you to choose the payment due date that works the best for you and your life. Simply call customer service and put in a request for an available due date with your customer service representative.
- The service agreement for Citi Simplicity is very straightforward and designed to leave little to no fine print. This is a card that's on your side and based in transparency.
- The card comes with EMV chip technology. This benefit will become even more meaningful by October 1, 2015 as part of a global initiative headed by Europay, MasterCard, and Visa (that's where the EMV comes from) to protect cardholders against identity theft by making chip technology more readily accessible at retailers across the US.
- , there are some other benefits of the Simplicity that go in hand when you're a Citi member, such as:
- Extended Warranty – get an extra year on warranties of 5 years or less
- $0 fraud liability – you won't be held responsible for charges you didn't make in case of identity theft
- Citi Price Rewind – if another seller has your item at a lesser cost, you'll automatically get reimbursed for the price difference for up to $300 per item
- Reimbursement for your Simplicity purchased, non-refundable trips
- You have the option of signing up for automatic account alerts that will let you know via text or email when you are about to go over limit, when your balance is due, or how you're doing on your balance.
- Citi Apple Pay allows you to use your Apple products for faster, more secure checkout
- 24/7 Customer service with live representatives
- Identity Theft Solutions – Citi will help you get back your credit, filing police reports, and seeing which of your accounts have been tampered with
- Travel & Emergency Assistance – with the Simplicity, you're able to receive medical and legal assistance available wherever you are, or someone to help with emergency travel issues
- Worldwide car rental insurance – you can be covered for $50,000 for any rental car in any country
Areas of Limitation:
For anyone looking for sign-up bonuses or wanting to earn rewards for their spending, this isn't the card for you. This is, however, with its great intro APR rates, a great card for those looking for a grace period while working on a high balance on another card or paying off a large purchase.
While lacking the bells and whistles of other cards, the Citi Simplicity excels in offering excellent basic benefits (low interest, no fees, etc), thus succeeding as both an introductory and a balance transfer card with distinguishing features. Anyone working through an outstanding balance or looking for a starter credit card will likely appreciate what this card has to offer.
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All reviews are prepared by CreditCards.com staff. Opinions expressed there in are solely those of the reviewer. The information, including card rates and fees, presented in the review is accurate as of the date of the review.