Personal Credit Cards

Citi Double Cash Card vs Citi Simplicity – Which is better?

Are credit card rewards important to you or would you prefer a basic credit card? You’ll need to ask yourself this question as you’re scoping out your options.

Both the Citi Double Cash and Citi Simplicity are credit cards with no frills. But one offers a cash back rewards program while the other one doesn’t offer a rewards program at all. Let’s take a closer look at the pros and cons of each:

Citi Double Cash Card


  • Double cash-back rewards program
  • No caps or category restrictions
  • First late payment fee waived
  • Security, travel and purchase protections
  • Promotional APR on balance transfers


  • 3% foreign transaction fee
  • 5% balance transfer fee
  • Rewards can’t be redeemed for travel

Bottom Line: This card is best for individuals who are looking for a balance transfer card. It also offers a flexible rewards program that makes it easy earn cash back.

Citi Simplicity


  • Cardholders can set their own due date
  • No penalty APR
  • No late payment fees
  •  Purchase, security and travel protections


  • No rewards program
  • 3% foreign transaction fee
  • 3% balance transfer fee

Bottom Line: This card is best for individuals who aren’t interested in earning rewards, but want an extended promotional APR period to save interest on large purchases.

How the Citi Double Cash Card and Citi Simplicity are similar

Both cards boast no annual fee, along with purchase security and travel protections. If you travel abroad, you should also be mindful of the foreign transaction fee that comes with both cards. Cardholders also enjoy an extended grace period on balance transfers. But a balance transfer fee applies.

The Citi Double Cash Card advantage

1. Earn double cash back

Unlike the Citi Simplicity card, the Citi Double Cash offers double cash back. That means you’ll be 1% rewarded when you spend and 1% when you make payments.

2. Simple rewards structure

Regardless of your spending habits, you can can earn cash back because there are no category restrictions. Plus, your earning potential is unlimited because there is no rule on the maximum amount of cash back you can earn.

3. Great for balance transfers

You can enjoy an extended grace period of 18 months on balance transfers. However, a 5% balance transfer fee applies.

4. First late payment fee waived

Another major plus is the late payment forgiveness. Citi Double Cash waives the first late payment fee.

The Citi Simplicity advantage

1. Flexible due dates

If you want a straightforward card that allows you to set your own due date, the Citi Simplicity card is worth considering. Late payment fees on most credit cards are around $35, so this is a great perk for those who struggle to pay bills on-time.

2. More generous balance transfer offer

This card tacks on an additional three months than the Citi Double Cash Card to the balance transfer offer. That means you’ll have 21 months instead of 18 to take advantage of no APR on balance transfers.

3. Introductory APR

The interest-free period of 21 months also applies to purchases. This is ideal if you’re looking to make a large purchase in the near future and would rather not pay interest.

4. No penalty APR

This means the APR won’t shoot up to an exorbitant interest rate if life happens and you forget to make a payment by the scheduled due date.

5. Low purchase APR for borrowers with excellent credit

Once the promotional APR period is has ended, the standard APR applies. Fortunately, the Citi Simplicity card offers those with excellent credit an APR as low as 14.24%.

6. No late payment fee, ever

Citi Simplicity cardholders are never assessed a late payment fee. Word of caution: if the account reaches 30 days past due, it may be reported to the credit bureaus. And one late payment can tank your credit score.

Which card is the best option?

Beyond the flexible due date options and a promotional APR on balance transfers, the Citi Simplicity card doesn’t have a ton of perks to offer. However, flexible due dates may be appealing to individuals who often forget to pay bills on time.

But if you’re looking to earn cash back and don’t have a problem keeping up with due dates, the Citi Double Cash Card may be the better option. The cash-back rewards program is quite unique, and there are no caps on the amount that you can earn.