About Citi Simplicity Card
As the only card with no late fees, no annual fee, no penalty rate, and a 0% APR for 21 months on purchases and balance transfers, Citi’s Simplicity Card really is, well… simple.
On top of these benefits, the Citi Simplicity card also comes with EMV chip technology, worldwide car rental insurance, travel and emergency assistance, along with a suite of Identity Theft Solutions. You’ll even be able to use your Simplicity Card with Apply Pay at over 200,00 stores!
There’s no doubt that these are some solid benefits. But does that mean the Citi Simplicity Card’s right for you? How does it stack up against the competition? Are there other cards that might better meet your needs? That’s exactly what we’re here to explore.
First, let’s take a look at Citi Simplicity Card’s key features.
What Does the Citi Simplicity Card Have To Offer?
Simplicity’s Security Features
Citi’s Identity Theft Solutions provides “enhanced security” when you use your card at chip-enabled terminals to process your payment.
Pro tip: These EMV cards store their information on chips instead of magnetic strips, which offers greater security. However, this isn’t Citi-exclusive technology. We’ll come back to this in a moment, so keep it in mind.
If your Simplicity card is somehow compromised, Citi won’t hold you responsible for any unauthorized charges, whether they occurred online or at a physical store.
Citi Simplicity’s Travel Benefits
Regardless of the country you’re traveling to, your Citi Simplicity Card can provide up to $50,000 of coverage against theft or damage (as long as you decline the rental company's collision loss/damage insurance).
In addition, you can count on Citi’s 24/7 Travel & Emergency Assistance to give you help wherever you are in the world.
Citi Simplicity Card’s Purchasing Benefits
The Citi Simplicity Card comes with a pretty neat feature called Price Rewind, which is a hands-off way of making sure you’re getting the best price. Here’s how the company describes it:
“Citi Price Rewind can help get you a lower price after you buy. Register an item you purchased with your card and we will track prices at hundreds of online merchants for 60 days from your purchase date. If we find a lower price you can request a refund of the price difference, up to $300 per item and up to $1,200 per calendar year.”
Do you typically buy extended warranties? If so, Citi Simplicity’s Extended Warranty feature will add up to a year on your warranty of five years or less, with coverage up to $10,000 per calendar year.
While these might be some great benefits, I’m guessing that perhaps the biggest thing that caught your eye was Citi Simplicity’s no late fees, no annual fee, no penalty rate, and a 0% APR. So, let’s take a look at that next.
The Nitty-Gritty Details About Citi Simplicity Card’s Pricing & Fees
Citi Simplicity’s 0% APR will last for a period of 21 months, after which the variable APR will be 13.99%-23.99%, depending on your creditworthiness. You can also get this same 0% APR on all balance transfers completed within four months of opening your account.
Pro tip: According to their cardholder agreement, in addition to your creditworthiness, your Simplicity’s APR can also change based on the prime rate. So, even if your credit score doesn’t change, if the prime rate goes up, so can your card’s APR.
However, just because balance transfers come with a 0% APR for four months, doesn’t mean you won’t pay. Why? Because each balance transfer is subject to a free of $5 or 3% of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Foreign purchase fees will also run you 3% of the U.S. dollar amount of each purchase, cash advance fees are either $10 or 5% of the amount of each cash advance, whichever is greater, and a returned payment will cost you up to $35.
From a payment perspective, Citi can send you automatic alerts regarding your Simplicity account, including reminders about your balance (and when you’ve exceeded your limit), as well as when payments are due. Speaking of which, Citi allows you to pay your Simplicity card on any “available due date” during the beginning, middle, or end of the month.
Need to speak with someone about your Citi Simplicity Card? 24/7 customer service can be reached at 800-347-4934.
Now that we’ve taken an in-depth look at Simplicity’s main features and fees, let’s see how it stacks up to the competition.
Citi Simplicity vs. Other Credit Cards
Citi Simplicity might be the only card that charges no late fees, no annual fee, no penalty rate, and a 0% APR in combination, but this doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s the best card for you. Let’s take a quick look at a couple examples:
Example #1: The Quicksilver from Capital One offers a 0% introductory APR and no annual fee like Simplicity, but also offers unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases, along with a $100 cash bonus for new cardholders. On top of this, it comes with a slightly lower APR—depending on what you qualify for based on your credit score.
Regardless of what your APR is, if you make a single late payment, it could skyrocket more than 10%. Given this, if you’re not prone to making late payments and tend to make a decent amount of credit card purchases every month, the 1.5% alone might offer greater benefit.
Example #2: The Citi Simplicity Card certainly offers some decent travel benefits, but if you’re all about getting out and about—and earning miles for your next vacation while you do—then a travel rewards card like the Capital One Venture Card might be right up your alley.
Sure, you’ll have to pay a $59 annual fee (which is waived the first year), you’ll have late fees, and your APR might jump drastically if you make a late payment. But again, if you’re not prone to making these types of mistakes, then the benefits might outweigh any potential drawbacks.
Where’s this leave you? Just like anything else in life, very rarely will you find a perfect credit card. However, by focusing on two or three must-haves (e.g. 0% APR, no late payment fees or penalties), you should be able to find one that meets the majority of your needs—whether it’s a travel card or something more like Citi Simplicity.
But this is just a quick comparison. What are Citi Simplicity’s cardholders saying?
Customer Feedback for the Citi Simplicity Card
Due to their low-to-no fee structure, Citi’s Simplicity Card seems like a fairly popular choice among consumers, as there was a ton of online feedback at the time of our research.
Whether we’re talking about NerdWallet, CardHub, or Get.com, Simplicity ranged anywhere between a 3.9 and 4.5-star rating. Common compliments referenced the low-to-no fees, 0% APR, and simple terms. On the other hand (outside of getting declined for an account), most customers seemed to complain about unhelpful customer service.
Continuing our theme from the previous section, what do these industry professionals recommend? According to a different NerdWallet blog post, Citi Simplicity might be best for “those who need a long time to pay off their initial purchases, and those who make late payments.” However, they noted you might want to look elsewhere if you’re primarily interested in rewards or balance transfers.
On the other hand, Get.com claims that the Citi Simplicity Card “is a good balance transfer card for those of you who would like to transfer your existing balances and stop paying any interest.” Even then, they recommended exploring other options like BankAmericard Cash Rewards and Chase Slate.
Is Citi Simplicity a Good Low APR Card?
First, remember that regardless of the type of card you’re looking at, your credit score is going to be a huge deciding factor for how much you’ll pay on your debt. If your score’s lacking, be sure to learn how to improve it so you’re not throwing money out the window each month.
From there, it’ll be helpful to write down your needs and rank them in their order of importance. Are you more interested in rewards or points, or low introductory APRs and fees?
Second, although Citi claims their Simplicity Card offers EMV chip technology, $0 liability on unauthorized charges, and some level of rental car coverage, these are fairly common (some might say universal) among credits cards. In other words, you might not want these benefits to impact your decision too much.
Ultimately, only you can decide if the Citi Simplicity Card deserves a spot in your wallet. But as the only card to cover a combination of no late fees, no annual fee, no penalty rate, and a 0% intro APR, it could be a strong contender if these things are important to you.