If you’re looking for a balance transfer card, the Citi Simplicity Card and the Discover it Balance Transfer are both good options. Compare the two cards to determine which one is better for you.
With all of the benefits of credit card usage, it can be easy to let things like interest sneak up on you when paying your bill. If you’re struggling with high-interest debt, balance transfer cards are helpful when it comes to forming an attack plan. Two solid balance transfer card options are the Citi Simplicity® Card and the Discover it® Balance Transfer. Which one is better? It comes down to some key components. Let’s take a closer look:
Citi Simplicity vs. Discover it Balance Transfer
|0% intro APR balance transfer period||18 months (transfers must be completed in the first 4 months)|
|Balance transfer fee||$5 or 3% (whichever is higher)|
3% intro fee, then up to 5% (see terms)
|0% intro APR purchase period||18 months||6 months|
|Regular APR||14.74%-24.74% (variable)||11.99% to 22.99% (variable)|
|Who should get this card?|
Let’s compare the 3 most important features:
0% intro APR period
Advantage: Citi Simplicity Card
The Citi Simplicity and Discover it Balance Transfer are currently offering the same 18-month 0% intro APR on balance transfers, but the Discover it Balance Transfer falls short on its intro period for new purchases. While the Simplicity offers 18 months on both kinds of transactions, the Discover it Balance Transfer only offers six months with a 0% intro APR on new purchases. But it’s worth noting that the ongoing APR when that period ends is higher on the Citi Simplicity – 14.74% to 24.74% variable compared to 11.99% to 22.99% variable on the Discover it Balance Transfer.
Additionally, the Citi Simplicity requires that you transfer a balance within the first four months.
Balance transfer fee
Advantage: Citi Simplicity Card
The Discover it Balance Transfer card charges a low introductory balance transfer fee of just 3%, and up to 5% for future balance transfers (see terms). The average fee among similar cards is usually 4% to 5%. You could find balance transfer cards that don’t charge a transfer fee at all, but such cards don’t typically carry rewards like the Discover it Balance Transfer does.
Citi also charges a 3% balance transfer fee (or $5, whichever is higher). As we’ve mentioned, with either card, you’ll be better off completing a transfer as soon as you can because of Citi’s four-month requirement and higher balance transfer fees on the Discover it Balance Transfer after the 3% intro fee (up to 5% thereafter). Still, Citi wins this round as you won’t pay more than 3% (or $5) in balance transfer fees, when with Discover, you may potentially pay 5%.
It’s a draw
One big advantage that both of these cards share is that neither charges an annual fee. That helps you focus on knocking out your high-interest balance. But that’s not all. Each has its own list of benefits as well.
The Citi Simplicity card offers you some grace with late payments – meaning any number of missed payment deadlines won’t result in any penalty fees or a penalty APR. However, interest on late payments can get high, and you’ll see a ding on your credit report if a payment is made 30 days after it’s due.
The Discover it Balance Transfer card allows you to earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in purchases each quarter in rotating categories (then 1%; must enroll each quarter) and 1% cash back on all other purchases. On top of that, Discover promises to match the rewards you earn at the end of your first year with the account. Additional perks include a free FICO credit score, no penalty for first late payment (late payment fee up to $40 thereafter), instant account freeze and 100% U.S.-based service.
Choose Citi Simplicity if:
- You’re looking for a simple balance transfer card that doesn’t penalize you for missing a payment deadline.
- You want to finance a large purchase at 0% for 18 months with no annual fee and additional perks.
Choose Discover it Balance Transfer if:
- You want to transfer a balance while earning cash back for everyday spending.
- You want a balance transfer card with a lower ongoing APR.
If the intro period is a balance transfer card’s bread and butter, both the Citi Simplicity and the Discover it Balance Transfer are generous. The main differences will come when you start strategizing for the regular APR periods and transfer fees. If those aren’t big determining factors for you, decide which card’s benefits might tip the scale.