Review: Citi Simplicity Visa Card

This post comes from Logan Abbott, editor of the credit cards section of MyRatePlan.com. 

I hear it over and over again: People hate murky, hard to understand credit card terms and conditions. They complain, with good reason, that they’re often hit with fees and penalties they weren’t aware of when they signed up.

With the Citi Simplicity Visa Card, Citi aims to simplify all the terms and conditions into a few easily digestible bullet points so cardholders know exactly what they’re signing up for.

Advantages

  • Almost no fees. The Citi Simplicity Visa has no annual fee, no late fees, and no penalty interest rate.
  • Generous introductory period. Cardholders receive an introductory period of 0 percent interest on both purchases and balance transfers for 18 months. This is one of the longest 0 percent intro periods on the market.
  • 24/7 customer support. Simplicity cardholders get around-the-clock customer support.
  • Purchase protection. Citi offers price protection for up to 60 days with the Citi Price Rewind program. You should read the details here, but essentially the service analyzes eligible purchases made with the card and looks for lower prices on the same item. If it finds a difference of more than $25, you can submit your receipt by mail or fax and get a statement credit. Citi also extends the manufacturer’s warranty, as well as insures your purchases against accidental breakage for up to 90 days.

Disadvantages

  • Balance-transfer fee. While the Citi Simplicity Visa Card offers an 18-month intro period of 0 percent APR on balance transfers and purchases, transferring a balance will result in a fee of $5 or 3 percent of the balance, whichever is higher.
  • Cash advance and foreign transaction fees. Unfortunately, the card requires a cash-advance fee of 5 percent, and a 3 percent foreign transaction fee.
  • No rewards program. The Citi Simplicity Visa requires excellent credit, but doesn’t offer a rewards program. Other Citi cards such as the Citi Dividend Platinum Select Visa Card offer an effective cash-back rate of more than 1 percent.

Bottom line

Get it if: You have excellent credit, and want a long 0 percent intro period to pay down large expenses without incurring interest.

Forget it if: You don’t have any trouble paying your balance off in full every month, and you want a card with a solid rewards program.

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Note: While we attempt to be completely objective when reporting on credit cards, this site may be compensated by issuers when a reader applies for a credit card through the links within credit card stories or on our credit card search page. In addition, credit card terms, interest rates and conditions can change any time. While the information here was accurate when reported, before applying for a credit card, always read the current terms and conditions.

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