Citi Simplicity vs. Citi Double Cash

Citi Simplicity vs. Citi Double Cash

August 3, 2015         Written By Jason Steele

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There are two types of credit card users: those who sometimes incur interest charges and fees by carrying a balance or occasionally making a late payment; and those who avoid interest charges and fees by always paying their statement balance in full and on-time. In fact, the most recent surveys suggest that American credit card users are split roughly in half between these two groups.

Thankfully, the American credit card industry is intensely competitive, and is also split between these two types of cards. So most credit card issuers will offer products that meet the needs of both kinds of credit card users. Citi offers its Simplicity card for those who sometimes carry a balance, and might sometimes make a late payment, while it also features its Double Cash card for those who never pay interest and fees and want to earn rewards.

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Citi Simplicity

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Citi Simplicity is an ideal card for those who carry a balance on their credit cards, especially if they have been stung punitive rates and fees after making a late payment. This is one of the rare credit cards that doesn’t charge any late fees or impose a high penalty interest rate. In addition, Simplicity offers new applicants 12 months of interest-free financing on new purchases and 21 months on balance transfers. The balance transfer has to be made within the first four months of being a cardholder, and comes with a 5% balance transfer fee. After the promotional financing period ends, cardholders will only begin to incur interest charges on any remaining unpaid balance. Simplicity’s standard interest is 14.74% - 24.74% (Variable) depending on the creditworthiness of the cardholder at the time of application. Other benefits include automatic account alerts, your choice of payment due dates, and compatibility with Apple Pay. There is no annual fee for this card.

Citi Double Cash

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The Citi Double Cash card features one of the leading cash back rewards programs. Cardholders have the potential to earn 2% cash back on all purchases in the form of 1% at the time of the transaction, and another 1% at the time of payment. There are no limits to the cash back you can earn, and no bonus categories to worry about.

While the Double Cash card doesn’t offer the same interest-free financing terms as the Simplicity, it does feature 18 months of 0% APR on new purchases and balance transfers, with a balance transfer fee of 3%. After that, the standard interest rate will be 13.99% – 23.99% (Variable) depending on your creditworthiness when you applied. Like most reward credit cards, it does have a $35 late fee and a 29.99% penalty interest rate.

Choosing the Right Card for Your Needs

Citi Simplicity will be an easy choice for many applicants, as it offers the longest promotional financing period of any major credit card issuer. 21 months of interest free financing on balance transfers is a great deal for those who are struggling to pay off an existing debt, and the financing on new purchases can be very useful as well. These applicants will be especially comforted by the fact that they will never have to pay late fees or be hit with a penalty interest rate if they make a small mistake.

At the same time, those who always pay their balances in full and on-time will be overjoyed by the chance to earn 2% cash back on all of their purchases. They can do so with the Citi Double Cash card.

In an ideal world, we would always pay all of our credit card balances in full and on time, and use the Double Cash card. But since many of us do not live in that world, we are thankful to have the Citi Simplicity card as an excellent alternative.

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Top Features :All credit types welcome to apply!

The information contained within this article was accurate as of August 3, 2015. For up-to-date
information on any of the terms, cards or offers mentioned above, visit the issuer's website.


About Jason Steele

Jason Steele is a journalist that covers credit cards, travel and consumer credit. As one of the nation's leading experts in credit cards, Jason has contributed to dozens of travel and personal finance outlets including NerdWallet, Credit Karma and the Points Guy, where he serves as the Senior Points and Miles Contributor. Jason has also been widely quoted in mainstream media in outlets such as the Washington Post, the USA Today and Bloomberg Business Week. Jason is also the founder and producer of CardCon, which is the annual Conference for Credit and Credit Card Media.
View all posts by Jason Steele