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Citi Simplicity Card Offers 0% Interest, No Late Fees and No Penalty APR

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Citi Simplicity Card Offers 0% Interest, No Late Fees and No Penalty APR

Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever Editor's Rating: 4.5 / 5

As the reigning king of low-interest credit cards, the Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever 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.

Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever

Apply Now on Citibank's secure website

Pros

  • No late fee
  • No annual fee
  • 0% if you qualify for 21 mos on transfers

Cons

  • No rewards

Bonus Offer

0% on purchases and balance transfers for 21 months

Annual Fee

$0*

Intro APR Promotions

0% on purchases and balance transfers for 21 months

APR

  • Min APR: 13.24%, Variable
  • Max APR: 23.24%, Variable

Card Details

  • The ONLY card with No Late Fees, No Penalty Rate, and No Annual Fee… EVER.
  • 0% Intro APR on Balance Transfers and Purchases for 21 months. After that, the variable APR will be 13.24% - 23.24% based on your creditworthiness.
  • There is a balance transfer fee of either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
  • The same great rate for all balances, after the introductory period.
  • Save time when you call with fast, personal help, 24 hours a day – just say “representative”
  • Enjoy the convenience of setting up your own bill payment schedule on any available due date throughout the month.

At a glance
Annual fees $0*
Introductory APR 0% for 21 months on purchases and balance transfers, and then the ongoing APR of 13.24% - 23.24% Variable
Balance transfer fee 3%
Rewards program None
Verdict: If you need to make a large purchase and need some time to pay it off, this is a great card
Good for:
  • Someone who wants a long APR on purchases or balance transfers
  • Someone who occasionally makes late payments
Bad for:
  • Someone who doesn’t want to pay a balance transfer fee
  • Someone who wants rewards

In this article:

Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever: The basics
Where the Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever shines
Where the Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever falls short
Should I get the Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever?

Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever: The basics

The Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever 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% for 21 months on purchases and balance transfers, and then the ongoing APR of 13.24% - 23.24% 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 the Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever 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 - No Late Fees Ever shines

The Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever 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 - No Late Fees Ever 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 - No Late Fees Ever falls short

The Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever is not a perfect card for everyone. Rewards junkies and folks with credit card debt should look elsewhere.

Better for balance transfers: Chase Slate®

Chase Slate®

Apply Now on Chase's secure website

Pros

  • No annual fee
  • $0 Intro on transfers made within 60 days of Account Opening
  • Long 0% Intro APR Period

Cons

  • No Rewards
  • Can't transfer debt from another Chase account

Bonus Offer

Save with a $0 introductory balance transfer fee, 0% introductory APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers, and $0 annual fee. Plus, receive your Monthly FICO® Score for free.

Annual Fee

$0

Intro APR Promotions

0% on Purchases and Balance Transfers for 15 months

APR

  • APR: 13.24% - 23.24% Variable APR
  • Cash Advance APR: 25.24%, Variable

Card Details

  • Chase Slate named "Best Credit Card for Balance Transfers" three years in a row by MONEY Magazine
  • $0 Introductory balance transfer fee for transfers made during the first 60 days of account opening
  • 0% Introductory APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers
  • Monthly FICO® Score and Credit Dashboard for free
  • No Penalty APR - Paying late won't raise your interest rate (APR). All other account pricing and terms apply
  • $0 Annual Fee

While the Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever does have a balance transfer option and a long 0% transfer APR, the Chase Slate® is a better card for this purpose. It charges no balance transfer fee during the first 60 days and has and an annual fee of $0, along with a long introductory APR: 0% on Purchases and Balance Transfers for 15 months, and then the ongoing APR of 13.24% - 23.24% Variable APR. Even if you keep your debt longer than the 15 months, you’ll likely come out on top with the Chase Slate®.

Nerd note: Say you’re going to transfer a debt of $5,000, and you plan to pay $240 a month, which will eliminate the debt within 21 months. With the Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever, 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 begin accruing interest — but the total amount of interest you’d pay over the remaining months would be considerably less than $150. 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 – 18 month BT offer

Citi®Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer

Apply Now on Citibank's secure website

Pros

  • High rewards rate
  • No annual fee
  • 0% if you qualify for 18 mos on transfers

Bonus Offer

Earn cash back twice on every purchase

Annual Fee

$0

Intro APR Promotions

0% balance transfers for 18 months*

APR

  • Min APR: 13.24%, Variable
  • Max APR: 23.24%, Variable
  • Penalty APR: Up to 29.99%, Variable
  • Cash Advance APR: 25.49%, Variable

Card Details

  • Earn cash back twice on every purchase with unlimited 1% cash back when you buy, plus an additional 1% as you pay for those purchases.
  • Balance Transfers do not earn cash back
  • 0% Intro APR on Balance Transfers for 18 months. After that, the variable APR will be 13.24% - 23.24% based on your creditworthiness
  • Click 'Apply Now' to see the applicable balance transfer fee and how making a balance transfer impacts interest on purchases.
  • No categories to track, no caps on cash back, no annual fee*

When you’re using a credit card for a balance transfer or a long 0% APR, rewards shouldn’t be your main focus. Still, if you’re looking for a card with a respectable introductory APR period and high rewards, the Citi®Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer is a great choice. It offers 1% cash back when you make purchases and another 1% back when you pay them off.

The Citi®Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer has an annual fee of $0 and an introductory APR of 0% for 18 months on balance transfers, and then the ongoing APR of 13.24% - 23.24% 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 - No Late Fees Ever?

If you’re planning to make a big purchase and need time to pay it off,  the Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever 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.

Erin El Issa is a staff writer covering personal finance for NerdWallet. Follow her on Twitter @Erin_Lindsay17 and on Google+.


Image via iStock.