The BankAmericard® credit card and the Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever 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
- Both cards have a $0 annual fee
- Neither card offers rewards or a sign-up bonus
- Both cards require good to excellent credit for approval (learn about the range of credit scores, or get your free credit score on NerdWallet)
- BankAmericard® credit card: 0% on Purchases and Balance Transfers for 18 billing cycles, and then the ongoing APR of 15.24% - 25.24% Variable APR.
- Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever: 0% on Purchases for 12 months and 0% on Balance Transfers for 21 months, and then the ongoing APR of 16.24% - 26.24% 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, the BankAmericard® credit card is the better choice, since you get six more months in your introductory no-interest period.
- For transfers, the edge goes to the Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever 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: Either $10 or 3% of the amount of each transaction, whichever is greater. 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 - No Late Fees Ever: 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 - No Late Fees Ever: 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.
WHICH IS BETTER?
If you’re the absent-minded type, the Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever 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: The BankAmericard® credit card gives you more time at the 0% introductory rate.
- 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 - No Late Fees Ever. 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.