The Citi Simplicity serves one primary function - giving you access to a credit line with a long 0% intro APR period. For balance transfers new customers will enjoy a 21 month period of 0% APR, while purchases will be subject to a 0% APR for the first 12 months of account opening. At the end of the corresponding intro period, a variable APR of 16.24% - 26.24% will apply.
Simplicity touts that it is low on fees, but you'll need to watch out for the 5% fee for transferring a balance. It's one of the highest balance transfer fees on the market today. Think of this as a $50 fee for every $1,000 in balances you need to transfer.
The Citi Simplicity is best at saving you money if you already have existing debt on other credit cards that are charging a high interest rate. If you're able to move those balances to the Simplicity, you could find yourself saving hundreds of dollars a year. Unfortunately, Citi doesn't offer a method of prequalification that would allow you to see the credit line you're getting approved for before you apply. This information would be extremely helpful when figuring out whether or not to apply for a credit card for a balance transfer.
You can use this simple interest rate calculator to figure out how much you would save, but a person with $6,500 in existing debt paying the national average of 19.24% would be paying a bit over $1,000 in interest a year if they were making the minimum payment. If that sounds like you and you have excellent credit, then this could be a nice way to save some money on interest and pay down your debt a little faster. Pro-tip: use your monthly savings to pay down debt.
Aside from the 0% APR periods you'll also enjoy a card that is designed to be simple. Citi has eliminated late fees, penalty interest rates, and annual fees from this card. Surprisingly, it does charge a foreign transaction fee, and the aforementioned high balance transfer fee, so the Simplicity isn't always that simple as it turns out.
If you're someone that needs 21 months to pay down an existing debt and your credit score is hovering above a 720, you might be a good candidate for this card. If your credit score isn't strong enough because of the amount of debt you're carrying you may want to consider a personal loan with an interest rate lower than your existing credit cards. Most personal loans will prequalify you with a rate before you apply.
If you're looking for a card with an intro 0% APR on purchases, the Simplicity is not the right card for you. 12 months is good, but 15 months is the industry standard. You should also find a card that earns rewards on your purchases to maximize your return. The Freedom Unlimited would be a good card to check out if you're in the market for an intro rate on purchases.
The Simplicity isn't a flashy card, but if you're carrying a burdensome amount of debt it's a good choice. If you're looking for an intro rate on purchases or some serious reward earning potential keep on searching, friend.