Do you need to make a large purchase, but are worried about being able to pay it off in a timely manner? Or are you already paying interest on credit card balances that you can’t pay off right away? Consider the Citi Simplicity card (a NextAdvisor advertiser). While there are many other cards with 0% intro APRs, Simplicity’s 21-month 0% intro APR is the longest of any card we’ve reviewed, and it offers a terrific no-fee policy to boot. Although we don’t recommend spending more than you can afford, Citi Simplicity can help with the purchases you need to make now but may not be able to pay for right away, allowing you to avoid any interest fees for 21 months. You can also transfer balances from other high interest rate cards onto Simplicity to eliminate interest you’re already paying for 21 months.
Below we take a closer look at Citi Simplicity to help you decide if it’s the right card for you. In short, this is a great 0% intro APR card that could save you some serious money in interest and fees as well as give you the time to pay down your purchases and balance transfers. Our full analysis is below.
Right out of the gate, Citi Simplicity‘s biggest attraction is its incredibly long 21-month 0% intro APR for both purchases and balances transfers. Twenty-one months is the longest 0% intro APR period we’ve seen on a major credit card. In fact, with Citi Simplicity you can literally pay no interest until 2018, which is pretty incredible. This is a great perk if you want to make any big or small purchases, as you’ll have until 2018 to pay them off without paying a dime in interest fees. It’s almost like a free (or 0%) loan on purchases you make now, as you won’t have to pay anything for 21 months and if you pay them down completely you won’t pay anything except the actual cost of the purchase.
More strong features include the no late fees and no penalty rates. That means if you happen to be late on a monthly payment or two Citi Simplicity won’t charge you a late fee, and they won’t penalize you with a higher interest rate (of course, you’ll be paying 0% interest for the first 21 months, but after that time period you won’t be penalized with an increased interest rate). Plus there is no annual fee to worry about. Both these perks together, along with the 21-month 0% APR make this a standout card.
Citi Simplicity also provides a 0% intro APR for 21 months on balance transfers. You can transfer you balance(s) from other high-interest credit cards and save a ton of money on interest fees as you won’t be paying any until 2018. And because the 0% intro APR is 21 months long, you’ll have a generous amount of time to gradually pay down your balance. Just make sure to transfer any balances to the card within 4 months of account opening in order to take advantage of the 21-month 0% APR, otherwise you’ll have to pay the standard APR on balance transfers.
As an added bonus, Citi Simplicity only requires good credit, which is generally considered to be a credit score above 670. So if have some dings in your credit history, you may still qualify for all the great 0% intro APR perks this card offers.
World travelers can relax, as Citi Simplicity’s chip-enabled card means it will be accepted outside the U.S. Embedded EMT technology is typically mandatory in international countries, and the fact that Citi Simplicity provides it means you can make purchases knowing your card will be accepted.
Things To Consider
If you think you will be carrying a balance significantly beyond the 21-month 0% intro APR period, you may want to look for a card with a lower ongoing APR. Another Citi card, Citi Diamond Preferred Card, is the only other card we review that matches Simplicity’s 21-month 0% intro APR, and it also has a slightly lower ongoing APR. The downside is it does not have Simplicity’s no late fee and no penalty APR policies, but if you are confident you’ll make all your payments on time, it is probably a better choice.
Although Citi Simplicity’s 21-month 0% intro APR is outstanding, if you are planning to transfer a balance from another card there is a 3% balance transfer fee to consider. This fee can add up, but for most people it’s worth it and they will still save money over the course of an interest-free 21 months (to see for sure check out our free Balance Transfer Calculator). If a balance transfer fee is a no-go for you, take a look at the Chase Slate card. Slate has a slightly shorter 15-month 0% intro APR on balance transfers and purchases, but makes up for it with absolutely no balance transfer fees (if you transfer your balances in the first 60 days) and no annual fee.
If you travel internationally, Citi Simplicity does feature EMT technology but you will be charged a 3% foreign transaction fee. If this is a deal-breaker, take a look at the Discover it – Balance Transfer Card. It doesn’t have any foreign transaction fees, offers an 18-month 0% intro APR on balance transfers, features cash back rewards and has no annual fee.
With all its great balance-transfer features, Citi Simplicity doesn’t offer rewards. If you really want a 0% intro APR card that does, we recommend Chase Freedom. With an $150 intro bonus, 5% cash back in rotating categories and 1% back on everything else, a 15-month 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers (with a 5% balance transfer fee), and no annual fee, this might be a better choice for you.
Should You Apply for Citi Simplicity?
Everything considered, Citi Simplicity is a terrific card to have in your wallet. This is particularly true if you are planning to make some large or small purchases and want the cushion of a 21-month 0% intro APR to help pay them off without paying any interest. It’s also a good choice if you’re carrying balances on high-interest credit cards and are looking for a solution to pay them down interest-free. Plus, Citi Simplicity is available to those with just good credit and has no annual fee, no late fees and no penalty rates. And Citi Simplicity’s chip-enabled card means you can use your card overseas. On the flip side, if you’re concerned about balance transfer fees, foreign transaction fees or earning rewards you might want to get one of the cards mentioned above. Overall, we highly recommend Citi Simplicity and think it’s a smart choice.
Disclaimer: This content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuer. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. This content was accurate at the time of this post, but card terms and conditions may change at any time. This site may be compensated through the credit card issuer Affiliate Program.