Citi Simplicity Visa Review

By Megg Mueller

While many appreciate having a credit card with perks, others find the points, rewards and cash back that come with many cards to be more trouble than they're worth. For those folks, the Citi Simplicity Visa Card may be what they're looking for. This credit card emphasizes convenience and ease-of-use, instead of the bells and whistles that come with other cards.

What you'll get

For new card holders, you can get a 0 percent introductory rate on purchases and balance transfers for the first 18 months. You even get four months to complete the balance transfer, giving you plenty of time to clear your balance from a higher-interest card.

Online bill-pay services can make paying your credit card bill a breeze, and the Simplicity card offers that as well. Simply register a bank account and you're ready to start handling your bill online. Other card features for travel include - lost luggage coverage, auto rental insurance and travel and emergency assistance.

What you won't get

Don't worry -- most of these things you wouldn't want anyway. For instance, the Citi Simplicity Card comes with no annual fee. But even more enticing, there are no late fees associated with the card and no penalty rate for being late with your payment. Interest will still be charged on the balance you carry month-to-month, however, so paying on time is still the wisest option.

Again, you also won't get any of the rewards that come with other cards. But if you've read this far, it's likely you don't have an issue with that.

Rates and fees

When the 18 month introductory period is up, the standard variable APR for purchases and balance transfers will be 12.99 percent, 17.99 percent or 21.99 percent, depending on your credit score. The higher your score, the lower your interest rate is likely to be.

For balance transfers, the cost is either $5 or 3 percent of the amount of the transfer, whichever is greater. Cash advances will be charged either $10 or 5 percent of the amount of each cash advance, whichever is greater. Foreign transactions will cost 3 percent of the U.S. dollar amount.

And while you won't pay late fees on this card, be sure you haven't neglected your checking account when you pay your bill: If your payment is returned, a $35 fee awaits.

The Citi Simplicity Visa Card is ready to be used anywhere Visa is accepted, and it comes with the peace of mind and customer service all Citibank cards offer. What it doesn't have -- complicated rewards systems, cash back charts and a labyrinth of redemption offers -- can make this card even more attractive to some. It's called "Simplicity" for a reason, after all.

Megg Mueller is a journalist with almost two decades of experience. She has worked as a reporter and editor for the Reno Gazette-Journal and as an editor of health care and education manuals for Aspen Publishers, a subsidiary of Wolters Kluwer. She wrote a weekly column on the hotel industry during her tenure as assistant travel editor for USA TODAY.com. Mueller is the editor of a tourism-based website and also serves as a reporter for a weekly business newspaper.

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