I have had my Citibank’s Citi PremierMiles credit card for approximately more than a decade now and I really love using it. I applied for my second Citibank credit card – Citi Simplicity, just recently and I got approved and I have also received the card already. I’m going to share with you what I think about Citi Simplicity.
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Why I Applied for a Second Citibank Credit Card
As I have mentioned earlier, I have a Citibank Citi PremierMiles and I’ve been using it for more than a decade now and it’s also what I consider as my main credit card. I also have a BPI Amore Visa Credit Card as my backup credit card.
However, due to the hefty annual fee of Citi PremierMiles, I am having second thoughts if I’m still going to keep it once it is due for renewal. I became more hesitant after getting the news that the ratio of the miles has been downgraded to 1.6 PremierMile = 1 mile (Effective December 20, 2020). It used to be 1:1.
Luckily, Citibank waived the recent annual fee for my Citi PremierMiles credit card. However, I’m not sure if it’s going to be waived again by the end of this year.
As of this time, I don’t know yet if I’m going to keep it or not but in the meantime, I applied for a second Citibank credit card just in case I decide to close my Citi PremierMiles credit card.
Reasons to Apply for a Citi Simplicity Credit Card
I wanted to have the Citi Prestige hahaha! However, I’m sure that I’d probably be declined for that and I’m not sure if I’m willing to pay for a much more expensive annual fee (P18,000 as of the time of. writing).
On a serious note, among the other existing Citibank credit cards, I’ve decided to go for Citi Simplicity Credit Card due to the following reasons:
No Annual Fees
This is my second credit card with no annual fee. The first one is BPI Amore Visa credit card which I got during their promotional period that’s why I don’t pay an annual fee for it.
If you’re just getting a backup credit card or if you’re getting your first-ever credit card, consider getting a credit card with no annual fee so you can save money while still enjoying the benefits of owning a credit card.
No Late Payment and Overlimit Fees
This is great to know. However, it’s still better to practice paying your credit cards in time to avoid paying for the interest charge. Bear in mind that even though Citibank does not charge late payment fees, they still charge interest on your unpaid credit card debt.
10% Interest Back
If you pay at least the minimum due on or before the due date, then you can get 10% back on the interest charge. Again, even with this feature, I still believe in paying credit card dues in full in and on time order to avoid paying for the interest charge.
Again, just to emphasize, the 10% rebate is on the interest charge and NOT on the full amount of your total credit card bill.
Advantages of Owning a Citi Simplicity Credit Card
If you have not had any Citibank credit card in the past, then you’re in for a treat. Citibank, in my personal experience (after being a Citibank credit card holder for more than a decade), is one of the best credit card companies in the country due to the following reasons.
In my decade-long experience using a Citibank credit card, I have observed how keen they are with continuous improvement. They invest a lot of resources in improving their technology and security and I never had an issue with them yet.
If you never had a Citibank credit card yet, then Citi Simplicity may be your best bet to have a Citibank credit card due to its entry-level requirements.
Even if Citi Simplicity is an entry-level credit card, you can still use Citi PayLite®.
Citi PayLite® is Citibank’s installment plan where you opt to pay for your purchases from 3, 6, 9, 12, 18, 24 to 36 monthly installments. This feature is open to all locally issued Citi® credit cards with good credit standing. There will be interest charges of course based on the current prevailing interest rate.
However, sometimes, there are promotions with partner establishments. Click here if you want to read the Terms and Conditions.
Citi Speed Cash
This is also one of the reasons why I’d like to keep at least one Citibank credit card in my wallet. This is basically like a loan that can be equivalent to your credit limit. The terms and interests vary of course.
I have already used this twice. The first one was when I made a loan for my condo downpayment, and the second one was when I made a loan and used that money as additional capital for my online selling business.
Since my loan amount was way lower than my credit limit, I wasn’t asked for any supporting documents I just made the application online using my Citibank account. It used to be Click for Cash and then Call for Cash and now it’s Citi Speed Cash. Please note that this is different from Credit Card Cash Advance which they also have.
In my experience, the interest that was offered to me back then was way lower than if I made a bank loan to other banks. This may be due to the length of time I’ve been with Citibank (as a credit card holder) which means I had an ample credit history with them.
Click here to read the Terms and Conditions for Citi Speed Cash.
Intuitive and Easy to Use Mobile App
I have other credit cards and I can say that as of the time of writing, Citibank’s mobile app is definitely one of the best. It’s very intuitive, fast, and very easy to use.
Responsive Customer Service
Seldom do I call Citibank. Most of my previous calls with their customer service team were about updates on my personal details. So far, I have never found myself waiting for a long time in the queue. The customer service staff that I’ve talked to were very professional and polite. Of course, like any other company, there might be an exception to this, but luckily, I have never encountered them yet.
Promos, Promos, and More Promos
Citibank used to be THE credit card that offered the most freebies and promos. They still have lots of promos though. But I’m noticing that BDO is slowly catching up with them when it comes to giving their credit cardholders access to a ton of promos.
I get my bills via email but it’s also accessible via the app. I get updates about their latest offerings and promos via text and email as well. Payment of my credit card bills can be done via various channels (I usually pay using online banking).
You can do some transactions such as the conversion of purchases to installments via the app.
Disadvantages of Owning a Citi Simplicity Credit Card
The disadvantage that I can see is something that I’m already expecting from a no-annual fee credit card – no rewards points. To be honest this is something that I’m not expecting from Citi Simplicity (or any other credit card with no annual fee) because, in the first place, they’re also not charging an annual fee.
Citi Simplicity Fees and Charges (As of January 2021)
|Annual Membership Fee||N/A|
|Retail Monthly Effective Interest Rate||2%|
|Citi Cash Advance Monthly Effective Interest Rate||2.04% inclusive of the Citi Cash Advance Service Charge|
|Citi Cash Advance Service Charge||Php 200 per Citi Cash Advance transaction.|
|Monthly Late Charge||N/A|
|Minimum Amount Due ||Your Minimum Amount Due is:
Your Total Amount Due if it is less than or equal to Php 500; or
The sum of the items below or Php 500, whichever is higher:
1. Any Past Due Amount;
2. Monthly Installments Due for the month;
3. Interest charge;
4. Late Charge; and
5. Total Amount Due less items 1 to 4, multiplied by the required payment percentage of 1%.
|Foreign Transaction Service Fee||Please be advised that all charges made in foreign currencies (whether online, overseas or local transactions) will be automatically converted to Philippine Peso on the posting dates at the prevailing exchange rate determined by Mastercard®/Visa.
Please note that for transactions in foreign currencies other than US Dollar, the amount will first be converted to US Dollar before being converted to its Philippine Peso equivalent.
A fee of up to 3.525% will be imposed on the converted amount which represents our service fee and assessment fees charged by Mastercard/Visa.
|Cancellation Processing Fee||Php 300 applicable to Citi PayLite, Citi PayLite after purchase, and Citi PayLite for bank transactions.
4% of unbilled portion of the Principal Amount, applicable to Citi FlexiBill, Citi Balance Transfer and Citi Speed Cash.
|Processing Fee||Php 900 for each approved Citi Balance Transfer transaction.
Php 900 for each approved Citi Speed Cash transaction.
Php 750 for each approved Citi FlexiBill transaction.
Php 250 for each approved Citi PayLite after the purchase transaction.
|Initial interest for Citi Balance Transfer, Citi FlexiBill, Citi PayLite after purchase, Citi PayLite for bank transactions, and Citi Speed Cash||(Approved Principal Amount x Monthly EIR x # of days from the approval date to the statement date) / 30 days|
|Citi PayAll Transaction Fee||Up to 3% of Citi PayAll’s Payment Amount which will be charged in addition to the payment amount.
|Card Replacement Fee||Php 400 for each lost or stolen Card.
|Returned Check Fee||Php 1,500 will be charged for every check that is returned or that bounces due to insufficiency of funds, uncollected deposits, stop payment order, closed account, alteration, erasure or deficiency, or for any other reason.
|Charge Slip Retrieval Fee||Php 250 for each charge slip retrieved upon your request, for whatever reason. The same amount will be charged to you for each charge slip retrieved by the Bank arising from an invalid dispute.
Please note that the fees and charges are subject to change. To ensure that you’re getting the most updated information, please check Citibank’s website.
How to Apply for a Citi Simplicity Credit Card
Personally, since I already have an existing Citi PremierMiles, the application is almost seamless as I just have to provide some basic information with no additional requirements.
If this is your first time applying for a Citibank credit card, here are some simple steps to follow in order to apply:
1. Check if you are eligible to apply.
- Are at least 21 years old
- Have a minimum income of:
- P180,000 per year if you have another credit card
- P250,000 per year if you have no credit card
- Have an active landline or mobile phone number
- Have a valid TIN, SSS, GSIS, or UMID number (Here’s a list of other acceptable IDs)
2. Log on to Citibank’s website
3. Choose the appropriate responses to their questions by ticking the boxes.
4. Fill in the necessary information asked on the online application form. Please ensure that all information that you will provide is accurate, make sure to double-check the spelling as well especially your name, contact information, and address.
5. Review the Terms and Conditions and tick on ‘I Agree’
6. If you’re qualified to proceed, upload your supporting documents.
That’s it. Wait for a few days for a Citibank representative to get in touch with you.
What to Do if Your Application is Declined
If it has been more than a week already and you have not received any response yet from Citibank, then I suggest that you give them a call to make a follow-up.
I had this experience with one of my credit cards (RCBC Bankard Visa Platinum Card), wherein I thought that I got denied, but it turned out that the processing was only delayed.
However, if it’s really declined, then ask them how soon you can apply again. There are various reasons why a credit card application gets denied although banks don’t usually give out this information.
One of the most common reasons could perhaps be an unsettled debt with other financial institutions. If you have any unsettled debts, I suggest that you pay them first before applying for any credit cards.
What to Do if Your Application is Approved
Once your application is approved and once you receive the physical card, you can activate it right away. I suggest that you also do the following:
1. Apply for a Citibank® Online Registration
2. Sign your credit card
3. Read the Terms and Conditions and be familiar with your Cut-off date and Due Date
4. Understand the fees table
5. Secure your credit card by setting up a pin/biometric lock on your Citibank Mobile App
If you have read all my posts about credit cards, you will notice a common theme and that is – credit cards are powerful financial tools. I have said this in most of my credit card blog posts because I really believe that if used wisely, strategically, and properly, a credit card can help you in a lot of ways.
However, if used mindlessly, you might end up in debt which will cause you a lot of worries and stress. If you think that you are not yet in control of your finances and you still have a lot of pending debts that are still waiting to be paid, then I suggest that you clear those first.
If you think that you are mature and disciplined enough to handle a credit card, then go ahead and apply and reap the benefits of owning a credit card.Citibank Philippines Citi Simplicity Credit Card Review Click To Tweet