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Compare Credit Cards: Chase Freedom vs. Citi Simplicity

Balance Transfer Credit Cards, Credit Cards
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Compare Credit Cards: Chase Freedom vs. Citi Simiplicity

If you’re looking for a 0% APR credit card offer, you’ve probably come across the Chase Freedom® and the Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever in your search. Since both cards provide a long interest-free period and an array of features, you might not be sure which is right for you. The Nerds are here to help. We’ve analyzed both cards and compared them. Check out the details to see which card you should apply for.

At a glance
Chase Freedom® Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever
Annual fees  $0  $0
Intro APR offer  0% on Purchases and Balance Transfers for 15 months, and then the ongoing APR of 15.49% - 24.24% Variable APR  0% on Purchases and Balance Transfers for 21 months, and then the ongoing APR of 14.24% - 24.24% Variable APR
Rewards program  Cash back  None
Signup bonus  Earn a $150 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening  None
Verdict: If you’re interested in rewards, the  Chase Freedom® is a better bet. For balance transfers, go with the Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever.
Good for:
  • Someone who needs a long 0% period to finance a large purchase
  • Someone who is interested in earning ongoing rewards on purchases
  • Someone who is interested in earning a signup bonus
  • Someone who needs a very long introductory APR offer for purchases or balance transfers
  • Someone who frequently forgets to make credit card payments on time
  • Someone who isn’t interested in chasing rewards or signup bonuses
Bad for:
  • Someone who needs to transfer a small balance
  • Someone who doesn’t like cards with rotating bonus categories
  • Someone who is interested in a card with a huge signup bonus
  • Someone who doesn’t need to do a balance transfer or finance a large purchase
  • Someone who wants to earn rewards on their spending
  • Someone who doesn’t typically pay their credit card bill late

Chase Freedom® vs. Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever: Rewards

When it comes to rewards, the Chase Freedom® really stands out – in fact, it’s one of the Nerds’ favorite rewards cards. With it, you’ll earn 5% cash back in rotating quarterly bonus categories, up to $1,500 spent per quarter. You’ll also earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases.

In past years, the Chase Freedom® has featured some high-value retailers as 5% bonus categories, including gas stations, grocery stores and Amazon.com. This makes it easy for most consumers to take advantage of the opportunity to earn extra cash back throughout the year.

On the other hand, the Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever doesn’t offer a conventional rewards program. There’s no opportunity to earn points, miles or cash back with this card.

Similarly, the Chase Freedom® provides a signup bonus: Earn a $150 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening. The Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever doesn’t offer any type of sign-on promotion.

Chase Freedom® vs. Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever: Fees

Comparing two cards based on their fees might seem a little dry, but it’s one of the most important things you can do to minimize costs. Understanding which fees the Chase Freedom® and the Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever carry and which ones each waives will be key to picking the one that suits your needs.

Let’s start with annual fees. On this metric, the two cards fall in line. The Chase Freedom® charges a yearly fee of $0 and the Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever charges a yearly fee of $0. Even Steven.

Similarly, both cards charge a foreign transaction fee of 3%. If you’re intending to travel overseas and use your credit card, neither the Chase Freedom® nor the Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever is a good choice.

However, when it comes to late fees, the Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever really shines. Unlike the Chase Freedom®, which charges a late fee of $15-$37, the Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever never charges a late fee. It also never charges a penalty APR. These features are truly unique, and make the Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever a great option for folks who struggle to pay on time.

The Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever also has a balance transfer fee of 3% or $5, whichever’s greater, while the  Chase Freedom® has a balance transfer fee of 5%, with a $5 minimum.

Chase Freedom® vs. Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever: APR promotions

Both the Chase Freedom® and the Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever offer APR promotions, so let’s take a close look at this special feature.

The  Chase Freedom® offers an attractive introductory interest rate: 0% on Purchases and Balance Transfers for 15 months, and then the ongoing APR of 15.49% - 24.24% Variable APR. Remember, this offer is good on purchases and balance transfers. Whether you’re trying to pay off high-interest debt or need to buy something big that you’ll pay off over time, this card’s introductory APR offer will have you covered.

The Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever also comes with a generous introductory APR offer: 0% on Purchases and Balance Transfers for 21 months, and then the ongoing APR of 14.24% - 24.24% Variable APR. This is much longer than the 0% period provided by the Chase Freedom® – in fact, it’s one of the longest interest-free offers on the market today. And, again, it’s good for purchases and balance transfers.

Nerd note: If you’re interested in a card with a long 0% APR period that also waives its balance transfer fee, be sure to take a look at the Chase Slate®. With it, you’ll get 0% on Purchases and Balance Transfers for 15 months, and then the ongoing APR of 15.49% - 24.24% Variable APR. And as long as you move your debt onto the card within 60 days of opening your account, you won’t pay the balance transfer fee. If reducing the cost of high-interest debt is the only reason you’re looking for a new credit card, this is one to consider.

The bottom line: Should I get the Chase Freedom® or the Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever?

If you’re looking for a card that provides a long 0% period and the ability to earn rewards on future spending, the Chase Freedom® is a better bet. But if you’re interested in a card that provides a super long 0% period for paying off a large purchase or balance transfer and minimizes worries about racking up late fees, the Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever is probably right for you.

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