Ideally, we’d never carry a balance on our credit cards. The reality is, when you’re young, broke, and living paycheck-to-paycheck, sometimes you have little choice but to use credit cards as a stopgap. If that’s the case, pay attention to our Citi Simplicity credit card review.
I’m not advocating this, but there’s a difference between carefully using a credit card to finance a purchase or get out of a sticky financial spot and getting in over your head with debt.
By not acknowledging this reality, a lot of financial blogs do readers a disservice. We love our cash back credit cards that we pay off each month, avoiding finance charges and hoarding the rewards. The problem is, these cards are terrible for anybody who carries a balance – even occasionally. For one, rewards cards’ higher interest rates quickly erode the value of rewards you earn when you carry a balance.
If you do occasionally carry a credit card balance, there are better cards out there, with lower emphasis on rewards and more on lower fees and more flexible payment terms. With a regular APR of just 8 percent, the BarclayCard Ring credit card is one to consider. Another is the Citi Simplicity credit card (affiliate – see footnote).
About the Citi Simplicity credit card
Great For: Balance transfers and direct access to service representatives.
Credit Needed: Excellent
Average Approved Score: 701*
Lowest Approved Score: 652*
- 0% Intro APR on Balance Transfers and Purchases for 18 months. After that, the variable APR will be 12.99% - 21.99% based on your creditworthiness.
- There is a balance transfer fee of either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
- No late fees - EVER
- No penalty rate - EVER
- No annual fee - EVER
- Save time when you call with fast, personal help, 24 hours a day.
|Intro APRPurchases||Intro TermPurchases||Intro APRBalance Transfers||Intro TermBalance Transfers||Regular APR||Annual Fee|
|0%*||18 Months*||0%*||18 Months*||12.99% – 21.99%* Variable||$0*|
There are no rewards, but Citi Simplicity currently has a 0 percent APR on purchases and balance transfers for 18 months (there is a 3 percent balance transfer fee).
Simplicity’s regular APR is as low as 12.99 percent and goes up to 21.99 percent, depending on your creditworthiness. That’s a big range, so this card is best suited for borrowers with good credit who will qualify for the lowest rate. According to data collected by Money Under 30’s partner, Credit Karma, the average approved credit score for the Citi Simplicity credit card was 741 and the lowest score was 679. The translation is you’ll need excellent credit to get this card.
Simplicity’s biggest perk, is that there are no late fees or penalty APRs. So if you’ve ever been punished by fees and a 30 percent APR for a year because you made a payment just a day late, Simplicity’s features may offer peace of mind. Citi also touts direct access to service advisors, helpful if you have frequent questions about purchases or balance transfers.
It’s tempted to get blinded by credit card bonus offers and rewards, but important not to chase the wrong features on a financial product. If you need to float a new purchase or an existing balance for a year or more and like the peace of mind that comes from waived late fees, the Citi Simplicity credit card is a good pick.
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are my own. I may be compensated by credit card issuers for successful applications referred by this site. If you choose to support our free content in this way, thank you!
*Credit Karma users have received approvals with these TransUnion New Account credit scores. These approval metrics are only guidelines and approval is not guaranteed.