Citibank have a new credit card in their stable, the Citi Simplicity MasterCard. The card does not offer any rewards but it has the advantage of offering a long 21 months zero percent APR on both balance transfers and purchases. When the introductory offer expires the same APR applies to purchases, balance transfers and cash advances, simplifying the usual three rates applied.
The Citi Simplicity MasterCard is only available to those with excellent credit, which in today’s market is likely to require a FICO score in the 750 range. Additionally Citibank take annual income and assets into consideration when determining eligibility. Credit limits begin at $500.
An appealing aspect of the card for anyone who has ever been stung by a late payment fee is the lack of penalty fees. Cardholders will not incur a fee for paying late or exceeding their credit limit, though a fee does apply if payments are returned. There is also no penalty rate to worry about if a payment is made late.
Following the introductory zero percent 21 month period, the standard variable APR is 16.99%. This rate also applies to cash advances. Balance transfers utilized at any time during the first four months after opening the account will attract the zero percent APR.
Standard fees on the card are 3% for foreign transactions; 3% or minimum $5 for balance transfers; and 5% or minimum $10 for cash advances. There is a 23 day grace period. Cardholders are also promised that live customer service help is available 24/7.
The Citi Simplicity card is ideal for anyone looking to pay down a balance over a long period, as the 21 months on offer is a generous one. Likewise anyone making a high ticket purchase and requiring a long interest free period can take advantage of the long term purchase offer.
The Citi Diamond Preferred card also shares some of the features of the Simplicity card. The same terms apply to the zero percent period on balance transfers and purchases, but the variable APR which kicks in after 21 months is tiered depending on credit. The APR range is 11.99%, 16.99% and 20.99%. The cash advance APR is higher at 25.24% and a penalty APR of 29.99% may be applied if payments or late or returned.
Fees on the Diamond Preferred card are the same as those on the Simplicity Card, but late payment fees are also applied, which could be the deciding factor between the two cards. Card applicants have little to choose between the two cards but the Simplicity card is more attractive to cardholders who routinely take cash advances or run the risk of paying late.