Credit card interest is costly. But some cards are designed to help you save on interest with an introductory 0% interest rate — whether you need to pay down existing debt or you have a large purchase to make and want some flexibility with the payoff period.
Among these types of cards, Wells Fargo Reflect Card and the Citi Simplicity Card are two of the top options available today. Both have long intro periods for balance transfers and extend their introductory rates to new purchases as well.
The main differences between these two cards are the time periods you’ll get 0% APR for balance transfers and purchases, and the fees you’ll pay to consolidate debt. These may seem like small details, but they can make a big difference in your cost over time.
Here’s what you need to know to determine which of these 0% APR cards is right for you:
|Wells Fargo Reflect Card||Citi Simplicity Card|
|Intro APR for balance transfers||0% APR for 18 months, with the possibility for a three month extension when you make at least your minimum monthly payment on time during the introductory and extension periods (followed by a variable APR of 12.99% to 24.99%||0% APR for 21 months (followed by a variable APR of 14.74% to 24.74%)|
|Intro APR for purchases||0% APR for 18 months, with the possibility for three additional months when you make at least your minimum monthly payment on time during the introductory and extension periods (followed by a variable APR of 12.99% to 24.99%)||0% APR for 12 months (followed by a variable APR of 14.74% to 24.74%)|
|Balance transfer fee||3% balance transfer fee (minimum $5) on balances transferred in the first 120 days, then 5% (minimum $5)||5% balance transfer fee (minimum $5)|
*Balance transfers must be completed within four months of account opening
|Other Benefits||Cell phone protection|
|Citi Identity Theft Solutions|
0% Intro APR for Purchases
If you’re looking for a card to pay off new purchases over time, the Wells Fargo Reflect Card comes with a superior introductory offer. You can avoid interest on purchases for at least 18 months, then qualify for another 3 months interest-free as long as you make at least the minimum payment on your card during the introductory and extension periods.
This means you can receive 0% APR on new purchases for a full 21 months if you avoid late payments. Making payments on time and in full each month is a good habit to practice anyway, since it can help you maintain good credit and avoid added fees.
By contrast, the Citi Simplicity Card only offers 0% APR on purchases for 12 months. This is a decent intro period length, but if your main goal is paying down a new purchase over time, you’ll get much more flexibility with the Wells Fargo Reflect card.
Introductory Offers for Balance Transfers
These two cards are relatively equal in terms of their balance transfer offers — at least until you read the fine print.
The Wells Fargo Reflect Card gives cardholders 0% APR on balance transfers for 18 months with the chance for three additional months, if you make on-time monthly payments during both the intro and extension periods. The Citi Simplicity Card has a 0% APR on balance transfers for 21 months as its standard offer.
With that being said, the Wells Fargo Reflect Card charges a 3% balance transfer fee for balances transferred in the first 120 days, whereas the Citi Simplicity charges a 5% balance transfer fee. That’s a minor increase, but can add up quickly. If you were using either card to consolidate $10,000 in credit card debt, that’s a difference of $300 or $500 in balance transfer fees.
Rewards and Benefits Comparison
Neither one of these credit cards comes with rewards or many perks, but this is pretty common among balance transfer and 0% APR credit cards. Their biggest benefit is the opportunity to pay down balances over time interest-free.
However, the Wells Fargo Reflect Card does come out slightly ahead in this category, since it comes with roadside assistance and up to $600 in cell phone insurance, subject to a $25 deductible.
Fees and Costs
Neither of these cards charge an annual fee, and they have the same 3% foreign transaction fee and 5% (minimum $10) cash advance fee.
The Citi Simplicity Card does not charge any late fees, which is a minor benefit to consider, but there is a returned payment fee up to $40. The Wells Fargo Reflect Card charges up to $40 in fees for a late payment or returned payment (and you can forfeit the extension period on your 0% APR offer with a late payment).
Finally, both cards charge similar variable APRs after the intro period ends. You’ll pay a variable APR of 12.99% to 24.99% for any balances you carry on the Wells Fargo Reflect, whereas the Citi Simplicity charges 14.74% to 24.74%.
Wells Fargo Reflect℠ Card
Citi Simplicity® Card
- Intro bonus:N/A
- Annual fee:$0
- Regular APR:14.74% – 24.74% (Variable)
- Recommended credit:670-850 (Good to Excellent)
- Learn more At our partner’s secure site
Deciding Between Wells Fargo Reflect Card vs. Citi Simplicity Card
Whether you are considering these 0% APR credit cards for debt consolidation or for a large upcoming purchase, the Wells Fargo Reflect Card is the clear winner. You’ll get 0% APR on purchases for a significantly longer timeline of 18 months (with the option for a three-month extension) compared to the Citi Simplicity’s 12 month offer. Plus, the 3% balance transfer fee can help you reduce the costs of debt consolidation compared to Citi Simplicity’s 5% fee.
If you plan to consolidate debt with the Wells Fargo Reflect Card, do so within 120 days of account opening. This will help you secure a balance transfer fee of 3% (minimum $5) instead of 5%.
The Reflect card’s other benefits are minor, but its cell phone protection could also help you save money and stay covered in case of damage or theft.
If you’re looking to save money on interest with a 0% APR credit card, make sure you compare all the offers that may best fit your timeline and goals. Comparing different options can also help you see which cards you may be most likely to qualify for before you apply.
Most importantly, make sure you have a plan to pay down your balance in full (or as much as possible) before your intro period ends. Both of these cards — as well as other 0% APR cards — carry very high ongoing APRs that can quickly lead to high-interest debts.