Citi Simplicity Card Offers 21 Months of 0% APR on Balance Transfers

October 28, 2018

By Sherry Keyles

The Citi Simplicity® Card recently extended the 0% Introductory APR on balance transfers to 21 months on balance transfers made in the first four months.

In addition to the new balance transfer offer, the card does not charge an annual fee, late or penalty rate. The card charges a transfer of 5% or $5 (whatever is greater) and also offers a 12-month 0% APR on purchases.

The Citi Simplicity Card offers the longest 0% APR promotional period currently on the market. While many cards have 0% introductory APR on balance transfers for 12, 15 or 18 months, offering 21 months of no interest on balance transfers is unusual.

The Citi Diamond Preferred® Card also had a 21-month balance transfer offer but stopped taking new applications the same day the Citi Simplicity Card changed its introductory offer.

Card Features

New Introductory Offer (Effective October 11, 2018)
  • 21- month 0% APR on balance transfers made within first four months
  • 0% APR on purchases for 12 months
  • Ongoing APR of 15.99% - 25.99% Variable APR (based on creditworthiness)
Card Benefits
In addition to the introductory offer, card benefits include:
  • No annual fee
  • No late fees
  • No penalty APR
  • Flexibility to set your preferred payment date
  • Free access to FICO® Score,
  • >$0 liability on unauthorized charges
  • Identity theft protection and
  • Fraud Early Warning
  • Fast, personal help, 24 hours a day
Additional Card Details
  • Foreign transaction fee - 3% of the U.S. dollar amount of each purchase.
  • Cash advance fee - either $10 or 5% of cash advance amount, whichever is greater.
The Citi Simplicity card offers benefits and drawbacks. Here are some things to consider before deciding to apply for the card.
  • No Spending-Based Rewards – This card does not offer any cash back or reward options.
  • Suggested Credit Score - The Citi Simplicity Card requires good to excellent credit (usually considered a credit score of 700 or higher) to qualify.. ..
  • Shorter 0% APR introductory period on purchases – The introductory period was reduced from 18 months to 12 months from previous offer. Other cards may offer the same period for both balance transfers and purchases.
  • 5% Balance Transfer Fee – The balance transfer fee of 5% or $5 (whichever is greater) is higher than the 3% fee charged by many other cards on the market. However, almost two years of no interest can help offset the higher fee.
  • Flexible Payment Due Date – Cardholders can set their own bill payment on any available due date throughout the month. Helps avoid overdraft payments.
  • Limited long-term value. Once the 0% intro 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.
  • No Late Fee or Penalty APR - Credit card late fees usually start at $25, and penalty APR can raise your interest rates as high as 29.99% so only one late payment can save significant money.
Other Cards to Consider
While the Citi Simplicity Card has the 21-month 0% APR offer, some cardholders may be interested in features the card doesn’t offer. While other cards on the market have lower introductory APR offers but have other benefits.

Longer 0% APR on Purchases

BankAmericard® credit card offers 18 months of 0% intro APR on balance transfers and purchases made in the first 60 days. This card only charges a balance transfer fee is only 3% of the transfer amount or $10, whichever is greater. The card does not charge an annual fee.

Offers Spending Rewards

Discover it®Cash Back card offers a 14-month 0% introductory APR on balance transfers and purchases (with a balance transfer fee of only 3%). In addition, the card offers 5% cash back on rotating categories each quarter you activate (up to a quarterly maximum, currently $1,500, then it’s 1% back) and 1% cash back on all other purchases.

Lower Transfer Fee and Long 0% Introductory Offer

The U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum Card charges a 3% fee for transfers, and it gives you an introductory APR of 0% on Purchases for 20 billing cycles and 0% on Balance Transfers for 20 months, and then the ongoing APR of 11.99% - 23.99% Variable APR. The annual fee is $0.

Bottom Line

The Citi Simplicity Card is ideal for cardholders with a balance on an existing card seeking to pay it down quicker and avoid interest. With the introductory APR offer, new cardholders can transfer their existing credit card balance and start making payments to reduce debt. With no annual fee, late fee or penalty rate, the Citi Simplicity card offers additional savings opportunities for cardholders who may occasionally miss or skip a payment

However, the card is not the best option for cardholders who consistently pay their balance every month.

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