Citi Simplicity® Card Review – No Late Fees or Penalty Rate Hikes

Would you like a credit card with no late fees, no annual fee, no penalty rates hikes, and more?

Take a look at the Citi Simplicity® Card!

In this review I’ll show you the basics of what this card is all about so you can see if it’s the right card for you.

Right off the bat you are getting a card with a very long 0% introductory and balance transfer APR rate (18 months).

If you have credit card debt on other cards, and the interest rate is weighing you down, transferring your debt to a card like this can really help you make a dent in your debt (assuming you will be paying off more than the minimum amount due, of course).

Transferring my debt to a 0% Intro APR card years ago helped me pay off my credit card debt faster.  You are able to make payments that go right to your principle rather than paying off your interest.  This lets you pay off more faster.

Be aware that balance transfers need to be made within four months of opening your card account in order to get the low rate and there is a 3% balance transfer fee, or $5, whichever is greater.

If you know you will have some purchases that you might need a little time to pay off then a long 0% introductory rate can help you avoid paying interest on your purchases.  Just make sure you watch the length of the introductory period because after 18 months you will be paying a variable APR of 12.99% – 21.99% on your balances (meaning the APR could change in general later on).

A very interesting aspect of this card is that there are no late fees or rate hikes if you miss a payment due date or go over your credit limit.

I’m going to repeat that – There are no late fees or rate hikes if you miss a payment due date or go over your limit!

I checked out the card disclosure page which has to show all of the fees and there is nothing about late payment fees or rate hikes.  Most other cards will charge you upwards of around $35 for a late payment and they have the right to raise your interest rate (costing you even more if you carry a balance).

There was a time when I used to just miss the due dates for some of my credit cards.

I was living paycheck-to-paycheck and sometimes I didn’t budget well to meet my due dates on time.  I would just miss due dates because I had to wait until I had enough money to cover my payment (I didn’t want to get hit with insufficient fund fees).  A card like this, with no late fees, could have saved me a nice sum of money.  Remember, your late fee will get added to your balance which will then cost you in interest charges if you don’t pay off your balance every month.  Late fees can get VERY expensive.  And don’t forget your APR could skyrocket as well with another card!

Not that I encourage anyone to pay their credit card bills late.  But you know what?  Things happen, and we sometimes struggle to make our payments no matter how well-intentioned we are.  Still, paying on time and in full is the best thing to do in my opinion.

The only real fee this card carries is a Returned Payment fee, which can be upwards of $35.  Most cards have this and it’s pretty standard. [There are also Cash Advance and Foreign Purchase Transaction fees.]

Oh, there’s also no annual fee on the Citi Simplicity Card.

When you call for any help with your card, you can expect live help with little wait.  After you verify your account number and say “representative” and you will be put in touch with a live person to help you.

Let’s see some other great benefits with the Citi Simplicity Card:

Managing your account

You can set up automatic alerts to remind you of things like your due date and when you are approaching your credit limit.  You can set up spending controls on your account based on the type of spending you make and have an alert sent to you when you approach one of your limits.  Even though there are no late payment fees, you may still find that your due date is inconvenient (and your intro rate does run out).  Give Citi a call and change your due date to one that better matches your cash flow.

Security and purchase protections

There is $0 liability for purchases made without your consent, either online or off.  Citi Identity Theft solutions can help you if you find yourself a victim of identity theft.  Citi will also help you with billing dispute resolution where if you can’t resolve a problem with a retailer, Citi can step in and help on your behalf (for purchases you made on the card).  IF you are shopping online and don’t want to give your actual credit card number, Citi can give you a virtual number that will be used for that one purchase to help keep your account safe.

Travel benefits

With Lost Luggage Coverage you can receive up to $3,000 in coverage for you and your dependents when you entire common carrier fee is charged to your card.  If, for some reason, you are unable to take or continue a trip, you are eligible for $1,500 in Trip Cancellation/Trip Interruption coverage.  You also get automatic travel accident insurance and you can decline a rental carrier’s collision loss/damage waiver insurance when you use your card.  Citi will also help you replace lost or stolen travel documents and emergency cash and can help refer you to doctors and lawyers worldwide.

In summary

The Citi Simplicity makes for a great balance transfer, low interest rate, low fee, and even a student credit card.  If you are looking to transfer a credit balance you are getting a nice long term.  If you find that you miss the occasional due date, this card doesn’t penalize you with fees (besides your interest).  In a time when many credit cards are adding on fees, the Citi Simplicity is making their fees pretty easy to deal with!

*Always make sure you understand the terms of a credit card before you sign up.  See the online credit card application for details about terms and conditions. Reasonable efforts are made to maintain accurate information. However all credit card information is presented without warranty. When you click on the “Apply Now” button, you can review the credit card terms and conditions on the issuer’s website. Citi is a paid advertiser of this site.

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Published or updated March 2, 2014.


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