Citi Simplicity Review: 21 Months of 0% to Whittle Down Debt

The card's defining features include a lengthy 0% intro APR period on balance transfers, plus a forgiving nature when it comes to late payments.
Melissa Lambarena
Erin El Issa
By Erin El Issa and  Melissa Lambarena 
Edited by Erin Hurd

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NerdWallet rating 
The bottom line:

While this card can save you money on interest and penalties, you can earn rewards with other cards having similar balance transfer terms.


  • No annual fee

  • Intro APR period


  • No rewards

  • No new cardholder bonus offer

  • Requires good/excellent credit

Jump to: Detailed review
Citibank Simplicity Credit Card
Citi Simplicity® Card
Annual fee
Regular APR
19.24%-29.99% Variable APR
Intro APR
0% Intro APR for 21 months on Balance Transfers and 12 months on Purchases
Rec. credit score
690-850 (Good - Excellent)
  • Annual fee


  • Rewards rate


  • Bonus offer


  • Intro APR

    0% Intro APR for 21 months on Balance Transfers and 12 months on Purchases

  • Ongoing APR

    APR: 19.24%-29.99% Variable APR

    Cash Advance APR: 29.99%, Variable

  • Balance transfer fee

    3% of each transfer (minimum $5) completed within the first 4 months of account opening, then 5% of each balance transfer; $5 minimum.

  • Foreign transaction fee


More details from Citibank
  • No Late Fees, No Penalty Rate, and No Annual Fee... Ever
  • 0% Intro APR for 21 months on balance transfers from date of first transfer and 0% Intro APR for 12 months on purchases from date of account opening. After that the variable APR will be 19.24% - 29.99%, based on your creditworthiness. Balance transfers must be completed within 4 months of account opening.
  • There is an introductory balance transfer fee of $5 or 3% of the amount of the transfer, whichever is greater for balance transfers completed within 4 months of account opening.
  • Stay protected with Citi® Quick Lock

Compare to Other Cards

NerdWallet rating 
NerdWallet rating 
Annual fee


Annual fee


Regular APR

17.24%-28.24% Variable APR

Regular APR

18.74%-29.74% Variable APR

Intro APR

0% intro APR on Purchases for 6 months and 0% intro APR on Balance Transfers for 18 months

Intro APR

0% intro APR for 18 billing cycles on purchases and balance transfers

Recommended Credit Score
Recommended Credit Score
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Detailed review: Citi Simplicity® Card

The Citi Simplicity® Card can help you pay down debt or finance a large purchase, although it may not the best option for either.

Its standout feature is a lengthy 0% intro APR period for balance transfers. That could make it a good choice for tackling existing debt, but this card earns no rewards. Plus, the fee you’ll pay to transfer a balance onto the card will eat into the money you’ll save on interest.

Still, the Citi Simplicity® Card may be a fit for the chronically forgetful. If you miss a payment, there is no late fee or penalty APR. (NerdWallet recommends always paying on time, however, as late payments can still affect your credit scores.)

Citi Simplicity® Card: Benefits

Card type: Balance transfer.

Annual fee: $0.

APR: 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.

Sign-up bonus: None.

Rewards: None.

Balance transfer fee: 3% of the amount of each transfer (minimum $5) for balance transfers completed within the first four months. After that it is 5% of the amount of each transfer (minimum $5).

Foreign transaction fee: 3% per transaction.

Other perks:

  • No late fees.

  • No penalty APR for late payments.

  • The option to choose your payment due date.

Benefits and perks

A long 0% intro APR period for balance transfers

The Citi Simplicity® Card offers a 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. You'd be hard-pressed to find a card with a longer 0% into period on balance transfers.

No penalties for late payments

With this card, you'll never be charged a late fee, and your interest won't go up because of late payments. Yes, you should always strive to pay your bills on time every month, and yes, paying late is a terrible habit: Most accounts aren't as forgiving as this card, and your credit scores can still suffer if you pay too late. But sometimes you may forget or get overwhelmed; if you do, this card can save your bacon.

You can choose your due date

If money is tight, being able to pick exactly when your payment is due can help you avoid overdrafts.

Drawbacks and considerations

No rewards or sign-up bonus

This card's value lies in its 0% introductory APR period and its forgiving nature. If you want rewards, look elsewhere.

Limited long-term value

Once the 0% intro APR period ends, there isn't much incentive to keep using this card. The ongoing APR range is about average and, again, the card offers no rewards.

Short 0% intro period on new purchases

Even though the Citi Simplicity® Card has a best-in-class 0% APR intro period on balance transfers, you'll only get a reprieve from interest on new purchases for a year. Other cards offer long 0% intro APR periods on both balance transfers and new purchases.

Citi Simplicity® Card: Alternatives

For rewards: Chase Freedom Flex℠

The Chase Freedom Flex℠ has a shorter intro APR on balance transfers: 0% intro APR on purchases and Balance Transfers for 15 months, and then the ongoing APR of 20.49%-29.24%, Variable APR. But in exchange, this card has a longer intro APR on new purchases, plus ongoing value long after the intro APR ends. You'll earn 5% cash back on rotating categories on up to $1,500 in purchases each quarter (requires activation), plus 3% back on dining and drugstore purchases and 5% back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. All other purchases earn 1% back.

For a lengthy 0% intro APR period on new purchases: Wells Fargo Reflect® Card

The Wells Fargo Reflect® Card charges a 5% fee for transfers (minimum $5). New cardholders get a lengthy introductory APR: 0% intro APR for 21 months from account opening on purchases and qualifying balance transfers, and then the ongoing APR of 18.24%, 24.74%, or 29.99% Variable APR And the annual fee is $0. It doesn't feature late-payment forgiveness, but if you're the type who always pays on time, you won't miss it. However, as with the Citi Simplicity® Card, you won't earn rewards.

Alternate Pick: 0% intro APR period, plus rewards
Citi® Double Cash Card
NerdWallet rating 
Citi Double Cash® Card

This card offers an intro 0% intro APR on Balance Transfers for 18 months, and then the ongoing APR of 19.24%-29.24% Variable APR. Plus, it also gives you 2% cash back on every purchase: 1% when you buy something and 1% when you pay it off. The annual fee is $0.

Read our review

How to decide if it's right for you

The Citi Simplicity® Card is palatable if you need a long time to pay off existing debt or if you sometimes struggle to remember your bill's due date. It can save you money on interest and penalties. But as with most balance transfer cards, you’ll have to weigh the true cost to you, including the balance transfer fee.

And if you're looking for a card to help you finance a large expense upfront, you have plenty of similar options, including some cards that also offer rewards — and occasionally even a sign-up bonus.

Looking for other options? NerdWallet can help you compare and determine the best credit card to get based on your needs.


NerdWallet reviews credit cards with an eye toward both the quantitative and qualitative features of a card. Quantitative features are those that boil down to dollars and cents, such as fees, interest rates, rewards (including earning rates and redemption values) and the cash value of benefits and perks. Qualitative factors are those that affect how easy or difficult it is for a typical cardholder to get good value from the card. They include such things as the ease of application, simplicity of the rewards structure, the likelihood of using certain features, and whether a card is well-suited to everyday use or is best reserved for specific purchases. Our star ratings serve as a general gauge of how each card compares with others in its class, but star ratings are intended to be just one consideration when a consumer is choosing a credit card. Learn how NerdWallet rates credit cards.
Frequently asked questions

The Citi Simplicity® Card doesn't have rewards. Its value lies mostly in its long 0% introductory APR period for purchases and balance transfers, which make the card a good option for paying down debt. Additionally, as the card's promotional name makes clear, it never charges fees or penalty APRs for late payments.

You’ll need good to excellent credit to qualify for the Citi Simplicity® Card. That's typically defined as a credit score of 690 or better. Issuers will also consider other factors, such as your income and debts, when evaluating your application.

The Citi Simplicity® Card is a good option for paying down debt without interest, but beyond the 0% introductory APR period, it may not provide much long-term value. After that period, you could explore switching your account to a different Citi card. Or you could look for a zero-percent card or balance transfer card that also offers rewards.

The Citi Simplicity® Card charges a balance transfer fee of $5 or 5% of the amount transferred, whichever is greater.

No. The annual fee is $0.

The Citi Simplicity® Card is a Mastercard.