Citi Simplicity® Card review

Citi Simplicity® Card review

Updated: May 13, 2024
Updated: May 13, 2024
Ratings Policy
Balance Transfer Rating:
4.3 rating
4.3 rating
4.3 / 5
Introductory Offer:4.0
Net Value:3.9
Issuer Customer Experience3.0

In a Nutshell:

The Citi Simplicity card offers a very long introductory period for balance transfers and carries minimal fees, making it a great option if you’re ready to put debt behind you once and for all.

See Rates and Fees

0% Introductory Period For Balance Transfers
21 months (transfers must be completed in first 4 months)


Transfer Fee
3% of each transfer (minimum $5) completed within the first 4 months of account opening; 5% balance transfer fee ($5 minimum) applies if completed after 4 months of account opening


Introductory Purchase APR
0% for 12 months


Regular APR
19.24% – 29.99% (Variable)


Annual Fee


Citi Customer Service Ratings

  • J. D. Power 2020 customer satisfaction rating: 801 (50% of issuers in this category ranked higher)
  • 24/7 customer service?: Yes
  • Online chat available?: Yes
  • Google Play Store mobile app rating: 4.7/5
  • Apple Store mobile app rating: 4.9/5

Other Notable Features: No late fees, no penalty fees, EMV chip

It may sound counter-intuitive, but if you’re struggling with credit card debt, a new credit card may be exactly what you need to get back on track. With a balance transfer card, you can get a 0% introductory APR offer on balance transfers for a year or more to help you chip away at your debt while avoiding interest, potentially fast-tracking your debt repayment efforts.

The Citi Simplicity® Card is one of the most popular balance transfer cards available today, largely thanks to the length of its introductory APR. The card boasts one of the longest intro APR offers on balance transfers on the market, as well as a reasonable low-end APR and limited fees, including no late fees, penalty APR or annual fee, making it a terrific option if debt repayment is your top priority.

But if you’re looking for a card that will earn its keep even after you’ve finished paying off debt, the Simplicity card is sure to disappoint. The card offers no rewards program, lacks noteworthy perks and its intro APR period on new purchases is relatively short compared to the offers you’ll find on competing low interest cards. If you don’t mind sacrificing a few months’ worth of intro APR, you can both tackle debt and enjoy better ongoing value with the right rewards card.

See related: Can you earn rewards with a balance transfer card?


  • The card does not have an annual fee
  • It has no penalty APR and no late fee for missed payments, so you don’t have to stress if you accidentally fall behind one month
  • It has a lengthy intro APR period on balance transfers, which makes it ideal for those who need time to pay off an existing balance


  • There are no rewards with this card, so if you want to pay off credit card debt using a card that gives cash back or points on new purchases, then the Citi Simplicity will disappoint.
  • It has no sign-up bonus, so if a balance transfer isn’t your sole focus and you’d prefer to earn additional rewards on top of what you’re already earning on purchases, you should look into alternative balance transfer cards
  • There are low approval odds for those with fair credit, so this limits the credit-building applicant pool significantly

Why you might want the Citi Simplicity Card

If you’re tired of paying high interest rates and are looking for some breathing room to help you consolidate and pay down debt faster, the Citi Simplicity Card is a good option thanks to its long intro APR period. The card’s few fees also make it a good fit if you’ve struggled with missing payment due dates.

See related: How do balance transfers work?

Impressive intro APR period on balance transfers

The Citi Simplicity Card offers a 0% intro APR on balance transfers for 21 months, followed by a variable APR of 19.24% to 29.99%. This means you can use the card to transfer and pay down existing debt at a 0% intro APR while avoiding interest.

The card’s current intro APR offer for balance transfers is one of the longest available. Indeed, among major card issuers, the Wells Fargo Reflect® Card and another Citi balance transfer card, the Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card are some of the only cards that carry intro APR offers that come close to the Simplicity card. The Wells Fargo Reflect Card offers a 0% intro APR for 21 months on qualifying balance transfers from account opening, after which a variable APR of 18.24%, 24.74%, or 29.99% applies and qualifying balance transfers must be made within 120 days of account opening to qualify for the intro rate. There is a balance transfer fee of 5% (min $5). Meanwhile, the Diamond Preferred matches the Simplicity card’s offer almost exactly, but features a slightly lower ongoing APR range of 18.24%-28.99% (variable). Since the typical balance transfer period offered by most issuers is 12 to 18 months, the Citi Simplicity Card earns big points.

Be sure to transfer your balance in a timely manner, however, as the Citi Simplicity card’s promotional rate only applies to balance transfers initiated within four months of account opening.

How much can you save if you take advantage of this Citi balance transfer offer? Let’s say you owe $7,500 on a credit card with an APR of 21% and you are currently paying $375 per month to try to get out of debt. At that rate, it would take 25 months to pay off your balance, and you’d fork over about $1,812 in interest payments over that time, according to the balance transfer calculator.

If you transferred your balance to the Citi Simplicity Card instead, you could be debt free in 21 months while making the same monthly payment. You’d pay a 3% balance transfer fee of $225, bringing your total balance to $7,725 (if the balance transfer is completed within the first four months of account opening; otherwise, a fee of 5% applies). Making the same $375 per month card payment, your balance would be paid off in full by the end of the card’s 21-month 0% intro APR period (19.24%-29.99% variable after). That’s a savings of 4 months and nearly $1,600.

If you’re curious about how much you could save with a balance transfer, check out our balance transfer calculator, which will not only show you your projected payoff time and total interest charges based on your monthly payment, balance and APR, but also suggest other card options that will help you pay off your balance sooner, at a lower cost.

Tip:  According to Citi, it can take up to 14 days to process the balance transfers you initiated in your application.

No annual fee, late fees or penalty APR

Though it’s not entirely fee-free, the Citi Simplicity Card carries a limited slate of fees, making it more forgiving than the typical credit card.

Like most balance transfer cards, the Citi Simplicity charges no annual fee, but it also charges no late fees (most cards charge a late fee if you miss a payment) and no penalty APR (many cards will hike your APR if you consistently miss payments). This makes the card a smart choice if you sometimes struggle to meet payment deadlines.

Why you might want a different card

Unfortunately, previous offerings of the Citi Simplicity Card gave new cardholders more time to pay off new purchases. And if traveling or earning rewards is important to you, the Citi Simplicity card’s limited benefits may fit your lifestyle. It’s worth looking into other options before deciding if the Citi Simplicity Card is the right fit for you.

Short intro APR purchase period

If you make a large purchase in your first few months as a Citi Simplicity cardholder, it is worth considering how much time you’ll need to pay it off. The offer from Citi gets you just 12 months of 0% intro APR on new purchases, with a variable 19.24% to 29.99% APR after that. This ranks on the lower end among intro APR offers on new purchases, which typically range from 12 to 18 months.

If you need more than a year to pay off your debt, opting for another card that has a longer intro APR offer on purchases could be the best choice. Both the U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum Card or the BankAmericard® credit card carry longer intro APR purchase periods that give you more breathing room to pay off your balance.

Limited card benefits

Like most dedicated balance transfer cards, the Citi Simplicity is light on perks. The card carries no rewards program and offers few noteworthy benefits. Some of the unimpressive benefits the card offers include:

  • Choose your payment due date: Citi lets you choose your payment due date to align with payday or the day you pay your bills each month.
  • Contactless payments: You can use your card for contactless payments where this option is available.

While saving on interest and chipping away at debt should be your main focus when you’re searching for a balance transfer card, this is still a disappointing list of perks. A number of no-annual-fee rewards cards offer intro APRs on balance transfers, new purchases or both as well as a chance to earn cash back, points or miles on some or all of your purchases.

If you think you can make do with a slightly shorter intro APR period, opting for a balance transfer card that offers rewards could give you more long-term value. However, you should always go with the card that gives you the best chance of saving money and paying off debt, even if that means sacrificing rewards.

Foreign transaction fee breaks low-fee trend

Unfortunately, the Citi Simplicity card comes with a foreign transaction fee of 3%. Though this is the standard foreign transaction fee you’ll find on many cards, it limits the card’s value for frequent travelers. If you often travel abroad, it’s worth searching for a card that carries no foreign transaction fee. Despite Discover’s limited acceptance in certain parts of the world, the Discover it® Cash Back may be one of your best options, since it not only carries no foreign transaction fee, but also offers an intro APR on both balance transfers and new purchases.

How does the Citi Simplicity compare to other balance transfer cards?

Plenty of credit cards come with 0% balance transfer offers, but the right card for you will depend largely on your goals. Here are a few of our favorite alternatives, which feature either a competitive intro APR period, lower average ongoing APR or more long-term value via rewards on everyday spending:

Citi Double Cash Card

Citi Double Cash® Card

U.S. Bank Visa Platinum

U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum Card

BankAmericard® credit card
Rewards rate

  • 1% cash back general purchases
  • 1% additional cash back as you pay for those purchases
Rewards rate


Rewards rate


Introductory period (balance transfers)

18 months

Introductory period (balance transfers)

18 billing cycles

Introductory period (balance transfers)

21 billing cycles on balance transfers made within the first 60 days

Introductory period (new purchases)


Introductory period (new purchases)

18 billing cycles

Introductory period (new purchases)

21 billing cycles

Regular APR

19.24% - 29.24% (Variable)

Regular APR

18.74%-29.74% (Variable)

Regular APR

16.24% - 26.24% Variable APR on purchases and balance transfers

Other things to know

  • Balance transfer fee of $5 or 3%, whichever is higher
  • Extended warranty
Other things to know

  • Balance transfer fee of $5 or 3% (whichever is higher)
  • Includes cell phone protection coverage, auto rental insurance
Other things to know

  • A 3% intro balance transfer fee applies for 60 days from account opening, then 4%
  • Can earn modest cash back via BankAmeriDeals card-linked offer program

Citi Double Cash Card

Not only is the Citi Double Cash one of the best flat-rate cash back cards on the market, but it also carries a terrific balance transfer offer. Along with the up to 2% cash back you can earn on all eligible purchases (1% when you buy, 1% when you pay off your purchase), you’ll get a 0% intro APR for 18 months on balance transfers (a 19.24% to 29.24% variable APR after that). While the card lacks an intro APR on new purchases, its high everyday cash back rate means it could offer better long-term value than the Citi Simplicity card.

U.S. Bank Visa Platinum Card

If your focus is getting as much time as possible to chip away at debt or finance new purchases while avoiding interest, the U.S. Bank Platinum Card should be at the top of your list. The card offers one of the longer intro APR periods available on the market today. You’ll get 18 billing cycles to pay down debt or stretch out payments on purchases while paying no interest, after which the card’s ongoing variable APR is 18.74% to 29.74%. Though it doesn’t offer much in the way of rewards or perks, it should give you plenty of time to make a dent in your debt or put it behind you entirely.

BankAmericard credit card

The BankAmericard also offers an impressively long intro APR period, as well as an attractive ongoing APR.  Bank of America also offers a number of top-tier cash back and travel rewards cards, which could give you some options should you decide to switch to a card with better long-term value once you’ve paid off your debt or larger purchases.

How to use the Citi Simplicity card:

  • Transfer your high-interest debts to the card within the first 4 months to be eligible for the intro APR for balance transfers.
  • Make a plan to pay off your balance in the first 21 months of card ownership to avoid hefty interest charges.
  • Make larger purchases on your Citi Simplicity card to take advantage of the intro APR period on purchases.
  • Calculate how much you’ll save on interest and compare it to the cost of the balance transfer fee to make sure transferring a balance is best for you.
  • Sign up for Citi Easy Deals to earn special discounts on certain purchases.
  • Don’t use your card for new purchases unless you’re sure you can also pay them off within 12 months.

Is the Citi Simplicity card right for you?

Despite having no rewards program, the Citi Simplicity card is still a great option for people who need time to pay off some debt. If you are carrying a large balance, you could be saving a significant amount of money on interest by taking advantage of an offer like this one.

Then again, there are some cards that give you a similar 0% intro APR period on balance transfers in addition to rewards or cardholder perks, so make sure to compare all the best credit cards on the market today before you decide.

Frequently Asked Questions

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