Citi Simplicity Card Offers 0% Interest, No Late Fees and No Penalty APR
As the reigning king of low-interest credit cards, the Citi Simplicity® Card boasts an industry-leading 0% introductory APR period, as well as no late fees or penalty APR if you miss a payment. Whether you’re looking to get rid of existing debt or make a big purchase that you can take your time paying off, this card is a solid option.
|At a glance|
|Introductory APR||0% on purchases and balance transfers for 21 months, and then the ongoing APR of 12.99% - 22.99% (Variable)|
|Balance transfer fee||3%|
|Verdict: If you need to make a large purchase and need some time to pay it off, this is a great card|
In this article:
Citi Simplicity® Card: The basics
The Citi Simplicity® Card lives up to its name with a simple value proposition: An extra long 0% introductory APR and no fee or rate penalties on late payments, ever. You’ll enjoy an APR of 0% on purchases and balance transfers for 21 months, and then the ongoing APR of 12.99% - 22.99% (Variable), giving you time to pay off existing debt or new purchases. And if you accidentally miss a payment (or three), you won’t be hit with a late payment fee or a penalty APR increase.
Nerd note: While Citi won’t penalize you for late payments with fees or rate hikes, you should always aim to make payments on time. First, it’s a good habit to have, especially because most of your other lenders and creditors probably aren’t so forgiving. Also, your late payment may eventually be reported to the credit bureaus if you fail to pay within about 30 days.
Where the Citi Simplicity® Card shines
The Citi Simplicity® Card is ideal for two groups of people: Those who need a long time to pay off their initial purchases, and those who make late payments.
For the first group, the card’s industry-leading introductory APR period is an average of six to nine months longer than most cards with 0% introductory APRs.
For the second group, if you happen to make a payment late, you won’t see an increase in APR or a late payment fee. Many cards waive your first late payment fee and then charge you around $35 for each late payment after that. So if you frequently forget to make payments, the Citi Simplicity® Card could potentially save you a lot of money.
While the Nerds encourage you to pay off your balance in full each month to avoid interest, for people who do carry balances, a penalty APR could cost them.
Where the Citi Simplicity® Card falls short
The Citi Simplicity® Card is not a perfect card for everyone. Rewards junkies and folks with credit card debt should look elsewhere.
Better for balance transfers: Chase Slate®
Nerd note: Let’s do the math on a debt of $5,000, assuming you make payments of $240 a month. With the Citi Simplicity® Card, you wouldn’t pay any interest, but you’d pay a transfer fee of $150. With the Chase Slate®, once the introductory rate expired, you’d accrue interest from $37.90 to $69.14, depending on APR. Even paying interest toward the end of a balance transfer is cheaper than the typical balance transfer fee.
Better for rewards: Citi®Double Cash Card
The Citi®Double Cash Card has an annual fee of $0 and an introductory APR of 0% on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months, and then the ongoing APR of 12.99% - 22.99% (Variable). So this amounts to a trade-off between the length of your introductory APR period and rewards.
Should I get the Citi Simplicity® Card?
If you’re planning to make a big purchase and need time to pay it off, the Citi Simplicity® Card is an excellent option. It’s also great if you think you might be late on a few payments. For affordable balance transfers or a rewards card, check out the alternative cards above.
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