The Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever (Review) is loved by people who hate interest, and often used to help pay off credit cards that have higher rates. There are no rewards and few fees. It’s meant to be as simple as possible, without many of the issues that sometime plague cardholders.
There are no actual rewards, like points or cash back, for using the Simplicity card. The real benefits come as you use this card over time, taking advantage of the promotions, the low interest rate, and the fees.
This card comes with quite a few benefits, designed to help out frequent shoppers. They’ll also give cardholders who like rewards some usable features to look forward to instead (although rewards cards typically have benefits like these too).
Maybe the most interesting benefit is Citi’s Price Rewind, a service that helps you save money. When you register a purchase with Price Rewind, it will search the Internet for 30 days, looking for the same product. If it finds another eligible offer for that product at a different price, you’ll be able to get the price difference back, up to $200 per item and up to $1,000 per year.
Citi Private Pass is another nice feature for cardholders. Private Pass gives exclusive access to sports events and clinics, dining, music, entertainment, and other fascinating experiences.
Mastercard provides some benefits that can help while traveling, in the form of auto rental insurance and travel/emergency assistance. This assistance includes translation help, as well as medical and legal referrals. The details of this assistance will vary depending on which payment processor you’re using.
Cardholders are also protected from identity theft, and are not held liable for fraudulent charges. The warranty on products you buy can be extended for up to 24 months for most purchases.
The Terms & Fees
|Intro Purchase APR||Purchase APR||Intro Balance Transfer APR||Balance Transfer APR||Cash Advance APR|
|0% for 12 months||16.99% - 26.99%* Variable||0% for 21 months||16.99% - 26.99%* Variable||16.99% - 26.99%* (Variable)|
|Annual Fee||Foreign Transaction Fee||Balance Transfer Fee||Cash Advance Fee|
|$0*||3%||5% of each balance transfer; $5 minimum.||5% of each cash advance; $10 minimum|
|Penalty APR||Late Fee||Returned Payment Fee|
|None||None||Up to $35|
The costs are where the Simplicity card really shines. You’ll find a number of features that, while common among credit cards, are rarely seen combined on a single card. There are very few fees, and the low interest offers an opportunity to pay off the balances on other accounts without paying extra.
These conditions create a very forgiving situation, where you can use the introductory interest rates to make any big purchases you’ve been planning or to help pay off other accounts. The scarcity of fees and penalty APR lets you buy with some security, knowing that your rate won’t suddenly spike if you stop paying attention to your bill, but take note that you could lose your intro rate if your account becomes delinquent.
The Bottom Line
This card is appreciated by many for a reason. It was designed to help you ease the burden from debt you’ve accrued, and is often used by people to pay off other high-interest credit cards.
If you’re sitting on a huge balance with a high interest rate, you can use the Simplicity card’s introductory 0% balance transfer APR to transfer the balance to your Simplicity card, and pay it off at a lower rate. When you combine this ability with the lack of a penalty APR and late fees, you’ll be able to pay off your bills in relative comfort.
Cardholders beware: this is a great card for dealing with debt, but it is almost too good. Don’t be lulled into thinking that it’s ok to carry a huge balance, because it can hurt your credit score and will still be gaining interest (unless you have a 0% rate).
If you want to use this card to help pay off high-interest debt it needs to mark the beginning of more fiscal responsibility, rather than be a tool to help you accrue even more headaches.
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