BankAmericard Credit Card vs. Citi Simplicity

The BankAmericard's $0 introductory balance fee makes it a strong contender. Citi Simplicity's long 0% APR period keeps it in the game.
Gregory Karp
By Gregory Karp 

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» This page is out of date

The terms on the BankAmericard® credit card and the Citi Simplicity® Card have changed since this article was published, and this page is out of date. See our details pages for the BankAmericard® credit card and Citi Simplicity® Card for the current offers.

The BankAmericard® credit card and the Citi Simplicity® Card can both work as get-out-of-debt tools. They can provide breathing room from crushing finance charges and offer relatively low ongoing interest rates after their promotional periods end. There are key differences between them, though, which makes each one better for a different type of user.

What's the same for both

Interest rate

  • BankAmericard® credit card: 0% Intro APR for 18 billing cycles for purchases, and for any balance transfers made in the first 60 days. After the Intro APR offer ends, a Variable APR that’s currently 16.24% - 26.24% will apply.

  • Citi Simplicity® Card: 0% Intro APR for 21 months on Balance Transfers and 12 months on Purchases, and then the ongoing APR of 19.24%-29.99% Variable APR.

Which is better?

The BankAmericard® credit card offers the prospect of a slightly lower ongoing interest rate for the those with the best credit. But answering this question requires asking another: Why do you want a 0% APR period — to finance a big purchase, or to pay down debt transferred from another card or account?

  • For purchases, it's a tie. Both cards offer similar 0% APR periods.

  • For transfers, the edge goes to the Citi Simplicity® Card for two reasons. First, you get a longer 0% period. Second, Citi gives you four months to transfer balances and still claim the 0% intro APR. With the BankAmericard® credit card, you have only 60 days.

Balance transfer fee

  • BankAmericard® credit card: 3% for 60 days from account opening, then 4% However, as of this writing, Bank of America® was offering a $0 introductory fee for balance transfers made in the first 60 days. That offer was available only on the bank's own website, not through any other source.

  • Citi Simplicity® Card: 3% of each transfer (minimum $5) completed within the first 4 months of account opening, then 5% of each balance transfer; $5 minimum.

Which is better?

If you can get a $0 transfer fee, hop on it. But even without such an offer, the BankAmericard® credit card will have a lower fee for any transfer amount over $200.

Late payment policies

  • BankAmericard® credit card: The issuer won't raise your interest rate if you pay late, which is especially important if you have a 0% intro APR in place. However, the card charges steep late fees.

  • Citi Simplicity® Card: As its promotional name makes clear, this card doesn’t charge late fees. It also doesn’t impose a penalty interest rate for paying late.


If you're the absent-minded type, the Citi Simplicity® Card can save you real money. Even so, paying late is a bad habit to develop, and it could hurt your credit scores if you're more than 30 days late.

Which should you get?

  • If you want a 0% intro period primarily for purchases: Either card can offer a decent amount of time to pay down purchases.

  • If you want to transfer a balance: You'll have to weigh the lower fee on the BankAmericard® credit card against the longer 0% intro period on the Citi Simplicity® Card. If you're confident you can pay off your transferred debt in less than 18 billing cycles, then the BankAmericard® credit card is the easy choice.

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