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citi simplicity rewards
10 Jul 2018

The Pros and Cons of the Citi Simplicity Credit Card

Some people get credit cards for reward points, travel miles or cash back. But if you’re looking for a straightforward credit card with no bells and whistles, the Citi Simplicity Rewards Credit Card is a great choice.

A lot of people get frustrated when a surprise late fee shows up. When that happens a few times, the fees can really add up. Also, a yearly fee that isn’t in your budget, can put a dent in your spending the month that it shows up on your bill.

The Citi Simplicity Rewards card is the only credit card that has no late fees, no penalty rate increase, and no annual fee. That’s right, you can miss a payment. And not only is there no fee, but there’s no card penalty.

Does that sound too good to be true? Let’s take a look at the pros and cons and find out.

The Basics

O% Introductory APR–The Citi Simplicity Rewards Credit Card has an introductory APR of 0% for 18 months. That 0% APR extends to Balance Transfers too, for the same 18 month time period.

Low Variable Rate After–After that, the APR is 15.49% – 25.49% Variable APR.

18 Months No Interest–That means you have 18 months with no interest on purchases or balance transfers.

No Late Fee or Penalty Rate–There are no late fees or penalty rate increases if you don’t pay the minimum payment each month.

Most other credit cards charge fees of $35 or more every time you miss a monthly payment. These fees can really add up if you get out of the habit of paying each month, especially if you have more than one card.

In addition, some credit cards increase your rate if you miss payments.

The Citi Simplicity Reward Card is unique in this area. No other card offers the benefit of no late fee ever.

Monthy Payment Schedule–Also, you can still set up a monthly bill payment schedule that’s on a day that’s convenient for you.

The Pros

Pay off Debt–If you have accrued some debt and need time to pay it off, the Citi Simplicity card could be right for you. It’s also a good option if you need to make a large purchase and then pay it off over time.

Consolidate Cards--Also, if you have several credit cards and are finding it hard to keep track of payments, consolidating your cards onto one can make your life much simpler. This is especially true if you’ve accrued late fees on several cards.

Variable Income–If you have income that varies, the Citi Simplicity Rewards Card could be a good solution. If, for instance, you own a business with variable revenue, you do freelance work, or you’re in between jobs, there may be months when paying off credit card debt isn’t within your budget.

Skip a Payment–Having the option to skip a payment or two without a late fee can give you some breathing room and free up money for other important things.

Balance Transfer–The Citi Simplicity balance transfer fee is either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer. You pay the greater of the two. There is no limit to how much you can transfer.

18 months O%–As mentioned, there APR is 0% for 18 months. This gives you a year and a half to pay off debt without accruing interest. That can save you a ton of money. That is if you take advantage of this time period.

No Late Fee or Penalty Rate–After 18 months, the APR increases to a variable APR of 15.49% – 25.49%. However, just like with purchases, if you don’t pay off your balance transfer and you miss payments, there’s still no late fee or penalty rate.

The Cons

No Rewards or Miles–There are no rewards, points, airline miles or cash back options on purchases or transfers. If you’re looking for a credit card that offers any of these options, there are better choices.

Choose an Option–But if you’re looking for a credit card to transfer balances or has an extended 0% APR, then chances are these options aren’t a high priority. It’s basically one or the other. It’s hard to find a credit card that would offer both. And none other offers what the Citi Simplicity Card does.

Can Affect Credit–Also, even though there’s no late fee or penalty from Citi, that doesn’t mean there’s no detriment to you. Payments that are 30 or more days late will still be reported to credit bureaus. This can affect your credit score. Other creditors will see this when applying for loans or other cards.

Bad Habits May Form–Also, it’s a good idea to get in the habit of paying bills on time. Irregular payments could extend to other bills that do have late fees and penalties. It’s in your best interest to get in the habit of paying all your bills on time.

The Verdict

If you’re looking for a no-frills credit card that you can pay off responsibly, the Citi Simplicity Rewards card is the choice for you.

If you have debt on other cards that you want to transfer for an extended 0% APR, this card gives you 18 months to pay off that debt without accruing interest.

Finally, if you have income that varies and there are months when you need to skip a credit card payment, the Citi Simplicity Credit Card is the only credit card that won’t charge you a late fee or penalty rate.

For all these reasons, it’s a good option.

However, if your primary need for a credit card is for benefits like earned cash back on purchases or for travel, then you should probably look elsewhere. The Citi Simplicity Rewards Card is a solid option for the right person.

For other great articles about finance and credit card reviews, visit our blog.