Citi cardWe'd love to tell you if you qualify for the no-fee, no-penalty Simplicity credit card that Citigroup (C) announced Monday to much hullabaloo -- but we can't. We would if we could, mind you. Citi just wouldn't cough up the info. Ah, sweet mystery.

What we do know is that Citi is targeting household heads who "manage finances responsibly, but ... may miss a payment due date because of ... multiple demands," Anthony Merola, the executive vice president of Citi Cards, told DailyFinance on Monday.

As for the credit rating you'll need, Merola deferred to the company's policy of not commenting on what determines creditworthiness. An Associated Press story, however, cited a CardHub.com page that lists the Simplicity's qualification level at 720 or higher. That's a pretty shiny credit score.

So what do you get for being a paragon of plastic-toting trustworthiness? The Citi Simplicity card charges no late fees, no penalty rate and has one single interest rate for purchases, balance transfers and cash advances. That eliminates the so-called "gotchas" that can inflate monthly statements.

What you don't get: Rewards or a break on the card's interest rate of 16.99%, which is nearly 2.6 points higher than the 14.40% card average. Merola said the higher percentage was a good price point for consumers who want peace of mind and no penalty worries. More than half of credit card holders have paid a bill late -- and the main cause was merely forgetting to submit the payment, according to a Citi release. Citi developed the card after a survey of customers put eliminating tardy charges at the top of their list. "It's just another example of Citi designing solutions to the simplify banking experience," Merola said to DailyFinance.

Sounds like an option for the fiscally prudent. But for those who frequently carry a hefty balance from one month into the next, the extra interest could complicate their Simplicity in a hurry.




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38 Comments

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mnullc

To frank and thomasa6, you never forget anything huh? Very interesting. Yeah I'm over 12. I make over $160,000 a year and my credit score is 830. I forgot my $20 payment to Citi. They've whacked $20,000 off my limit and my rate is now 29.9% Yeah citi sucks, but the worst part is the hypocrisy. "Peace of mind and no penalty worries"? just lies pure and simple. Yep they suck. Always use auto pay as a backup unless you're one of those guys who could never ever forget anything.

September 27 2011 at 1:05 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
steele8682

Does anyone find it strange, or at the very least a conflict of interest, that the National Foundation for Credit Counseling is funded mostly by fair share donations from sub-prime credit card companies?? These donations are tax deductible, and are based more on the amount of money the NFCC returns to these creditors through 501c3 non profits, like Money Management International, with debt consolidation programs, rather than financial literacy merit.

August 17 2011 at 10:33 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
alykatma

I am sure in the grey fine print, that it will say any blip on your credit report is grounds for upping your interest rate to 29.9%

August 02 2011 at 6:08 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
anfsuperman

Everyone here is failing to mention/notice the 21-month-no-interest introductory offer. If you have a great credit rating and know that you will be needing to carry a balance in the near future (for whatever life circumstances you may be currently facing), the new Citi Simplicity Card could be an excellent deal. Of course, once the offer ends, the 16.99% rate is less than desirable, but one can move on to new offers at that time. If you can pay off your balance during the 21-month introductory offer of this card, I think it's a great deal -- as Citi currently has the longest length 0% APR introductory rate of any company on the market. Something to consider.

July 31 2011 at 6:20 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
rubybaby

Believe it or not, Citibank used to be really great, about 30 years ago, and for a time after.We used to have everything with them, and loved our branch. They had great financial investment services, even for middle class blue collar people like my family. Then, they bailed on Western NY about 5 years ago. We lost our local branches and they moved us to M&T Banks if we didn't object.

This month, they refused us an additional credit card on our 30-yr old account because the payment was late by a few days past due. This is a card that is almost always paid off, but certainly with years of on-time payments. That was it.

I miss the days when it was a nice place to do business.

July 26 2011 at 11:53 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Frank

I'm not sure if you miss a payment or so your credit rating will be 720 or above. Also, I don't believe that 50% of credit card holders paid bills late because they "forgot", thats a croc.

July 26 2011 at 1:33 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
thomasva6

" i forgot " is used alot nowadays but unless you're under 12, " i forgot " just doesn't cut it.

July 26 2011 at 12:55 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
The D

Citi is the WORST card I've ever had and have the WORST customer service. Their interest rates are too high, and they screw over their best customers for no reason. I never made a late payment in over 10 years, always paid my balances off, yet they still closed the account on me - so much for needing an emergency line when you need it. NEVER get a Citi card if you can help it!!!!! They'll never get my money again!

July 26 2011 at 12:48 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Rodger

Citi recently changed their Shell Gas card to a whopping $500/month purchase requirement in order
to get any gas purchase rebates. I plan on cancelling my card as soon as they send me my rebate check
that I have already earned under the old plan.

July 26 2011 at 11:57 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
deering

17% interest rate!!!! You must be kidding Shitty bank

July 26 2011 at 10:01 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply