When it comes to an introductory APR on transferred balances, the Citi Simplicity is hard to beat. However, there are more aspects to consider when you’re picking a balance transfer card.
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If you have a high amount of credit card debt you’re working hard to pay off, a card like the Citi Simplicity can be an incredibly useful tool. The longer the no-interest intro period is, the more time you have to get rid of your debt load without paying interest. When used right, such a strategy can help you save a significant sum.
At the same time, it’s not always only about the 0% APR offer. Every situation is unique, and there are other things that may be important to you in a balance transfer card, like additional benefits and ongoing value.
Read on to learn when the Citi Simplicity is worth it – and when you may be better off applying for a different card.
When is the Citi Simplicity Card worth it?
The Citi Simplicity is an excellent choice when you need as much time and flexibility to pay down your credit card debt as you can get.
The card offers a 0% intro APR for 21 months on balance transfers, then an ongoing variable APR of 16.99% to 26.99%. Note, balance transfers must be made within the first four months of owning the Citi Simplicity. While there are a couple of other credit cards on the market that can give you as much time, none of the top issuers are advertising a longer offer.
Additionally, Citi provides an option to choose your payment due date. When there’s not much room in your budget, this added flexibility can be valuable.
The issuer is also forgiving of late payments. You won’t pay late fees with the Citi Simplicity, and Citi won’t raise your interest rate if you miss your due date.
When is the Citi Simplicity Card not worth it?
While the Citi Simplicity is an excellent offer for debt consolidators, it’s not always the best option.
When you finish paying off your credit card debt, the card won’t have much left to offer. The ongoing APR is rather standard, benefits are few and there are no rewards to speak of.
The Citi Simplicity has an intro 0% APR offer on purchases as well, but its length is only 12 months (16.99% to 26.99% variable APR thereafter). You may not want to take advantage of it since it’s best to avoid adding to your credit card balances while you’re paying them off.
If you’d prefer a card that continues to provide value after the 0% APR offers end, look into the Discover it® Balance Transfer. The card charges no interest on balance transfers for 18 months (13.49% to 24.49% variable APR thereafter) and earns 5% cash back in rotating categories on up to $1,500 in purchases each quarter (after activation). All other purchases earn 1% back.
If an 18-month offer isn’t enough to get rid of your debt load, yet the prospect of rewards is appealing, don’t fret. Once you’re done eliminating your balance with the Citi Simplicity, you can request a product change and ask Citi if it can upgrade you to a rewards credit card.
Should you get the Citi Simplicity Card?
Before you apply for the Citi Simplicity, do the math. Take a look at your budget and see how much you can dedicate to debt repayment each month.
Be realistic and honest with yourself. Don’t underestimate your ability to battle your credit card balances, but don’t overstretch yourself either. You never know when you’ll have to spend extra in other categories of your budget while you pay down debt.
If you find that you can pay off the card in full sooner than 21 months, it may make sense for you to look into rewards cards with shorter balance transfer offers.
If not, the Citi Simplicity may be worth it for you. However, be sure to explore other balance transfer credit cards that allow cardholders 21 months of no interest on transferred balances.
For example, the Wells Fargo Reflect® Card also offers up to 21 months of 0% intro APR on qualifying balance transfers (15.24% to 27.24% variable APR thereafter) and has lower balance transfer fees: 3% intro fee (minimum $5), up to 5% fee after the first 120 days (minimum $5), compared to 5% (minimum $5) on the Citi Simplicity.
At the same time, the Wells Fargo Reflect provides no forgiveness for late payments in case you’re worried about meeting due dates. Moreover, getting 21 months of no interest on balance transfers is contingent on your responsible credit card usage. You only get 18 months off the bat and another three months if you make all your minimum payments on time each month during the intro and extension.
Once you’ve done the math and researched other card options, you can make an educated decision.
The Citi Simplicity Card may be worth it for you if you need as much time as you can get to pay down your credit card debt, and the card’s ongoing value isn’t a priority.
Before you decide to apply, make sure to compare your options. Check CardMatch to see card offers tailored to your credit profile – checking doesn’t impact your scores, and you’re likely to qualify for the offers you get. Consider the cards’ benefits, your budget and your repayment plan to make an informed choice.