Citi Simplicity® Card summary
- No annual fees
- 0% intro APR on balance transfers
- 24/7 fraud protection team
- Limited rewards programs
- No travel cards
No annual fee, has other fees
Eligibility (credit score)
Doesn't cover bad credit
FDIC insured, SSL/AES encryption and supports 2 factor and biometric authentication
24/7 service with multiple communication options
Excellent site and app with detailed FAQs, help center, and transparency of rates and features
Citi is a multinational bank founded in 1812 in New York. The company has issued more than 50 million credit cards, including a number of co-branded cards for airlines and businesses. Citi stands out for offering 24/7 customer support and fraud protection, as well as having a wide selection of credit cards with no annual fees.
Citi’s credit cards are suitable for anyone in search of a credit card with no annual fee. However, to get the right card for you, it’s important to understand what each of Citi’s cards offer.
The Citi Double Cash card offers 2% cashback on every purchase. There are no caps on how much you can earn and no categories to worry about. It’s a good option for people who spend across a lot of different categories or who have variable spending habits.
The Citi Custom Cash card is more suitable for individuals who consistently spend at least $500 per month in one specific category. That’s because this card will give you 5% cashback on up to $500 in purchases in your highest-spend category each month. You’ll also receive 1% cashback on all other purchases. You can qualify for the Custom Cash card with a 670 credit score, so it’s also good for individuals with fair rather than good credit.
The Diamond Preferred and Simplicity cards are very similar. Both offer no interest on new purchases for your first 12 months as a cardholder and no interest on balance transfers for your first 21 months. The Diamond Preferred is better if you want the lowest possible interest rate after this introductory offer. The Simplicity card is great if you’re worried about missing a payment since it comes with no late fees and no penalty interest.
Interest Rates and Fees
The Double Cash and Custom Cash cards come with interest of 14.74%-24.74% APR. The Diamond Preferred offers the lowest possible interest rates, at 13.74%-23.74% APR. The Simplicity card comes with interest of 14.74%-24.74% APR.
None of the Citi cards in our review charge annual fees. However, all cards come with a 3% foreign transaction fee and fees for balance transfers.
If you miss a payment, you’ll pay a late fee up to $40 with the Double Cash, Custom Cash, and Diamond Preferred cards. The Diamond Preferred card also charges penalty interest of 29.99%. The Simplicity card doesn’t have late fees or penalty interest.
|Annual Fee||APR||Balance Transfer Fee||Foreign Transaction Fee||Late Fee|
|Double Cash||None||13.99%-23.99%||3% (minimum $5 fee)||3%||$40|
|Custom Cash||None||13.99%-23.99%||3% (minimum $5 fee)||3%||$40|
|Diamond Preferred||None||13.74%-23.74%||5% (minimum $5 fee)||3%||$40|
|Simplicity||None||14.74%-24.74%||5% (minimum $5 fee)||3%||None|
Rewards & Cashback
The Double Cash and Custom Cash cards offer cashback reward programs. With the Double Cash card, you’ll earn 2% cashback on every purchase—1% when you make the purchase and another 1% when you pay off your statement balance. There’s no cap on how much cashback you can earn. As an introductory offer, you get no interest on balance transfers for your first 18 months as a cardholder.
The Custom Cash card offers 5% cashback on up to $500 in purchases in your highest-spend category each month. Categories include restaurants, gas, groceries, travel, transit, streaming, drugstores, home improvement, fitness, and live entertainment. You’ll also get 1% cashback on all other purchases, including all purchases beyond the $500 limit for your top category.
In addition, the Custom Cash card comes with 2 introductory offers. When you spend $750 within 3 months of opening an account, you’ll receive $250 in cashback. You’ll also pay no interest on purchases or balance transfers for 15 months.
The Diamond Preferred and Simplicity cards don’t offer rewards programs. However, both cards come with a 0% APR introductory offer. You’ll pay no interest on new purchases for 12 months and no interest on balance transfers for 21 months.
The Application Process
You can apply for a Citi credit card online, over the phone, or at any Citi bank branch. You must provide personal information, including your social security number, as well as information about your income. Citi will conduct a hard credit check, which may impact your credit score, even if you already have another Citi credit card. You’ll receive an application decision instantly.
Help & Support
Citi offers customer support by phone and live chat 24/7. You can also visit a Citi bank branch, of which there are more than 2,600 around the globe. The bank doesn’t have an online knowledgebase, so you’ll need to get in touch to troubleshoot issues with your card.
Online chat hours: 24/7
Phone call hours: 24/7
Citi offers a range of security features to protect your credit card account. First, all cards have an EMV chip for added security. Your online account is secured with 2-factor authentication and biometric authentication. It’s easy to set up security alerts to monitor all transactions made using your card and you can lock your card at any time using the Citi mobile app. Citi also offers free identity theft recovery, and you’re never liable for fraudulent transactions made using your card.
How do I redeem Citi Double Cash or Custom Cash rewards?
You can redeem cashback earned from the Citi Double Cash or Custom Cash cards as a statement credit or as a direct deposit to a Citi checking or savings account.
Is there a limit on how much cashback I can earn?
Citi doesn’t put any limits on the total amount of cashback you can earn with either the Double Cash or Custom Cash cards. For the Custom Cash card, only your first $500 in purchases in 1 category will earn cashback at a 5% rate.
Does Citi require a credit check when applying for a credit card?
Citi conducts a hard credit check on all new credit card applications, even if you already have another card or bank accounts with Citi.
What are the spending categories for the Citi Custom Cash credit card?
The spending categories for the Citi Custom Cash card include restaurants, gas stations, grocery stores, travel, transit, streaming services, drugstores, home improvement stores, fitness centers, and live entertainment.
Citi offers 4 credit cards with no annual fee: the Double Cash, Custom Cash, Diamond Preferred, and Simplicity cards. The Double Cash card earns 2% cashback on every purchase and doesn’t require you to worry about spending categories. The Custom Cash card earns 1% cashback on every purchase, plus 5% on your first $500 in your highest-spend category. The Diamond Preferred and Simplicity cards offer 0% introductory APR on new purchases for 12 months and on balance transfers for 21 months. The Diamond Preferred card has the lowest interest rates, while the Simplicity card has no late fees or penalty interest.
This review was compiled using information from Citi’s website and cardholder agreements.