Citi Simplicity Card Review: Long Balance Transfer Period

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Good for avoiding fees Citi Simplicity® Card
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Citi Simplicity® Card
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Good for avoiding fees Citi Simplicity® Card
  • Introductory balance transfer rate:
    0% for 21 months on Balance Transfers
  • Annual fee:
    $0
  • Regular APR:
    18.24% – 28.99% (Variable)
  • Recommended credit score:
    670-850 (Good to Excellent)

NextAdvisor’s Take

Pros
  • 0% Intro APR for 21 months for balance transfers and 12 months for purchases (then a 18.24% - 28.99% (Variable) APR )
  • No annual fee
  • No late payment fees or penalty APR
Cons
  • No rewards
  • No welcome offer
  • Intro balance transfer fee of 3% of each transfer (minimum $5)
The Bottom Line
The Citi Simplicity Card has one of the longest 0% introductory periods available for balance transfers, at 21 months from the date of your first transfer. For purchases, cardholders can benefit from 12 months of 0% interest, making this a great card option for consolidating debt or financing planned major expenses (18.24% - 28.99% (Variable) APR thereafter).

Additional Card Details

  • Balance transfers must be completed within 4 months of account opening
  • Includes Citi Identity Theft Solutions protection
  • Choose your payment due date
  • Digital wallet compatible

Citi Simplicity Card Full Review

Card Type

The Citi Simplicity Card is a balance transfer credit card with one of the longest intro periods available today, at 21 months. It also has an intro APR period for new purchases, but for a shorter 12-month period, then the ongoing variable APR applies. 

Annual Fee

This card has no annual fee. 

Welcome Offer

There is no welcome offer for earning bonus rewards, points or miles. Instead, you can take advantage of the 0% interest introductory periods for balance transfers and new purchases.

Rewards

The Citi Simplicity Card is designed to help you pay off lingering credit card balances or finance a large purchase — and offers no ongoing rewards structure. For continued spending after the introductory period, you may want to think about a card that earns cash back or other rewards on your regular purchases.

Fees 

There’s no annual fee for this card, and the ongoing variable APR ranges between 18.24% – 28.99%, after the intro period, based on creditworthiness. If you use this card for its balance transfer offer, you’ll pay an introductory balance transfer fee of $5 or 3% of the amount of the transfer, whichever is greater for balances transfers completed within 4 months of account opening. 

This card is not a good choice for spending abroad, since there’s a 3% foreign transaction fee. But there’s no penalty APR or late payment fee if you pay late.

How to Use the Citi Simplicity Card

Whether you’re taking advantage of the Citi Simplicity Card for a balance transfer or financing a large purchase, make sure you have a plan in place to pay off the balance before the end of the introductory period. Otherwise your remaining balance will be subject to a variable APR of 18.24% – 28.99%, which is a higher APR range than some other similar cards. You’ll also be subject to a 5% or $5 balance transfer fee, whichever is greater — a pretty standard fee for balance transfer cards.

Citi Simplicity Card Balance Transfer

You’ll have 4 months from opening your account to make a balance transfer, but your 18-month no-interest countdown won’t start until the first one is posted to your account. Some cards’ 0% balance transfer periods start as soon as you open the card, so Citi Simplicity gives a bit more flexibility as to when you make your first balance transfer. 

If you have a credit card with a current balance of $5,700 earning 16% APR, here’s the difference in value of making minimum monthly payments on a current card (calculated at 3% of your total balance) versus transferring your balance to the Citi Simplicity Card and paying your balance in full each month.

Current card payoff (with monthly minimum amount)Citi Simplicity Card (paid in full within intro period)
Starting balance$5,700$5,700
Monthly payment$171 (adjusted as principal decreases)$279.57
Time to pay off189 months21 months 
Interest + fees$4,325.56$171
Amount paid in full$10,025.56$5,871

This card is great for balance transfers or financing large purchases, but not so much for everyday spending since there is no rewards structure. While it may give you a bit of leeway for late payments (there is no late payment fee or penalty APR), you’ll still be subject to a higher regular APR than what you could find with other cards. 

You can maximize the benefits of your Citi Simplicity Card by using it to pay off an existing balance, but use another rewards card for continued everyday spending. Just make sure you’re paying off that card’s balance as well since you only have 4 months from opening your Citi Simplicity Card to make balance transfers.

Citi Simplicity Card Compared to Other Cards

Our Choice
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Citi Simplicity® Card

Citi Simplicity® Card

  • Introductory balance transfer rate:
    0% for 21 months on Balance Transfers
  • Annual fee:
    $0
  • Regular APR:
    18.24% – 28.99% (Variable)
  • Recommended credit:
    670-850 (Good to Excellent)
  • Learn more externa link icon At our partner’s secure site
Learn More externa link icon
Citi® Double Cash Card

Citi® Double Cash Card

  • Introductory balance transfer rate:
    0% intro for 18 months on Balance Transfers
  • Annual fee:
    $0
  • Regular APR:
    18.24% – 28.24% (Variable)
  • Recommended credit:
    670-850 (Good to Excellent)
  • Learn more externa link icon At our partner’s secure site

Is the Citi Simplicity Card Right for You?

This card’s excellent 0% APR introductory period makes it a good option for people looking to consolidate debt or financing a large purchase.

If you have any larger-than-normal expenses coming up (think appliances, furniture, home improvement expenses), this card could be a good tool to finance those purchases and pay down over a longer period of time thanks to the intro 12-month 0% APR on purchases. However, there are other cards with longer 0% APR periods for purchases, including cards that also earn rewards on your spending.

For most people, this card works best as a debt consolidation tool, since the introductory no-interest period for balance transfers applies for 21-months. After the introductory period, the variable APR will be 18.24% – 28.99%.

Editorial Independence

As with all of our credit card reviews, our analysis is not influenced by any partnerships or advertising relationships.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does the Citi Simplicity Card have a foreign transaction fee?

Yes. You’ll be charged 3% of each purchase transaction after it’s converted to U.S. dollars.

Is the Citi Simplicity Card good for everyday purchases?

The Citi Simplicity Card doesn’t have any rewards for spending, so a cash back credit card is a better bet for everyday spending. It’s best for paying off an existing balance with a balance transfer or financing a one-time larger purchase.