With this year's tax-filing deadline creeping up on us, it's a great time to spotlight a card that can help you consolidate any debt you can't pay down with your IRS refund. Citi Simplicity® Visa® Card offers a zero-APR introductory offer on balance transfers for 18 months, with no annual fee and for each balance transfer just a 3 percent balance-transfer fee ($5 minimum). Once the intro period ends, the variable APR will be 12.99-21.99 percent, based on your creditworthiness.
The fine print offers a generous deadline for getting your balance transfer processed: four months from the date you opened your card. That gives you a larger-than-usual window to take advantage of the deal, especially if you're still waiting for a few final installments from holiday purchases to hit one of your existing credit cards.
Like many of its no-frills competitors, Citi Simplicity® Visa® Card showed up on the market right after 2009's Credit CARD Act changed many long-standing rules in the credit card industry. As legislators forced banks to tighten up their policies around late fees and penalty APRs, Citi Simplicity eliminated them altogether. A wave of television commercials and print ads announcing the new brand emphasized that if you're responsible enough to have earned a credit card in the first place, you shouldn't have to pay huge fines if you forget a bill or make a mistake.
Just because this card features no late fees and no penalty APR doesn't mean you can let your bill-paying routine fall apart. Like any credit card, you'll get your privileges revoked if you fail to make more than a few monthly minimum payments over the course of the year. However, if you're on a payroll cycle that doesn't always match your monthly due date, Citi's flexibility can keep you from racking up extra finance charges and service fees.
Therefore, if you're committed to knocking down your credit card balances over the course of the next 18 months, it's hard to find a better deal on the market right now. In fact, even after the introductory offer expires, this card features a relatively low variable interest rate for cardholders with excellent credit.