During your search for the most suitable low-interest credit cards, you surely must have come across the Capital One® Platinum Prestige Credit Card and Citi Simplicity. They are two of the popular credit cards that many people will consider when they want to cut down on the interest paid on their credit card balances.
But, which one is truly better for that specific goal? I’ve defined the deciding factors to help you pick the better card.
|APR||10.9%, 14.9% or 18.9%||12.99%, 17.99% or 21.99%|
|Intro Offer||0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers until November 2015||0% introductory APR on purchases and balance transfers for 18 months|
|Card benefits||No foreign transaction fees and free Credit Tracker tool||No late payment fees, no penalty rate and Citi Rewind price protection program|
|--||Learn more||Learn more|
Lets be honest here, you’re getting a low-interest credit card because you’re expecting to carry a balance and your goal is to minimize interest payments. So, it makes no sense for you to pile on an annual fee — in addition to monthly payments — that will slow down your debt reduction plan.
Fortunately, you won’t be dealing with annual fees on the Capital One® Platinum Prestige Credit Card nor the Citi Simplicity card.
You’re probably not too surprised though — most low-interest credit cards don’t have any annual fees. No annual fees on both cards means a tie for this category.
WINNER (Annual fee): Tied
Interest rates are what you really care most about in this comparison piece. And yes, you obviously want the lowest rate possible because I’m sure you understand that a minor difference in APRs can result in a major difference in total interest paid.
- Capital One® Platinum Prestige Credit Card: Variable APR of 10.9%, 14.9% or 18.9%
- Citi Simplicity: Variable APR of 12.99%, 17.99% or 21.99%
Here’s a quick example — using the lowest APRs on both cards — to show the potential impact of a slight APR discrepancy:
|Card||Capital One Platinum Prestige Credit Card||Citi Simplicity|
|Time until debt cleared||67 months||73 months|
|Total paid||$6,696 ($1,696 in interest)||$7,238 ($2,238 in interest)|
It doesn’t take much to realize that the Capital One® Platinum Prestige Credit Card offers the better deal. The difference in total interest paid would be even greater the longer that you take to pay off the balance (if you have a lower monthly payment or continue to accumulate a balance).
WINNER (Interest rates): Capital One® Platinum Prestige Credit Card
There’s no denying that you will look at introductory offers as part of your card-selection process. They’re tempting and, with the proper mentality, extremely beneficial when you use introductory offers to speed up your debt reduction plan.
- Capital One® Platinum Prestige Credit Card: 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers until November 2015
- Citi Simplicity: 0% introductory APR on purchases and balance transfers for 18 months
As of July 2014, the Capital One® Platinum Prestige Credit Card offers a 0% APR for 15 months while Citi Simplicity offer the same thing for 3 extra months.
Who knows? Maybe those 3 additional months are what you’ll need to climb out of debt. That’s why Citi Simplicity takes the prize for the better introductory offer.
WINNER (Introductory offers): Citi Simplicity
Clearly, a low-interest credit card isn’t nearly as exciting a rewards credit card. That’s why some low-interest cards issuers will “spice” things up to differentiate themselves from the crowd.
Some of these additional card benefits may come in handy, while you may never use some of them.
- Capital One® Platinum Prestige Credit Card: No foreign transaction fees and free Credit Tracker tool
- Citi Simplicity: No late payment fees, no penalty rate and Citi Rewind price protection program
Capital One’s benefits are useful for people who expect to use the card abroad and for people who want to build their credit. Meanwhile, Citi Simplicity caters to people who don’t want to get penalized when they forget to make payments (a very bad money habit to have!).
Given that the standout benefits of each card do not directly compete with each, it’s hard to pick out the card that offers the better set of benefits. Furthermore, both cards offer complimentary perks including extended warranties, travel accident insurance and auto rental insurance.
So, I’m going to say that they’re even.
WINNER (Card benefits): Tied
Verdict: Capital One® Platinum Prestige Credit Card
Although the Citi Simplicity card puts up a close fight with its unique perks, the Capital One® Platinum Prestige Credit Card emerges as the better option. After all, you are looking for a low-interest credit card.
The APRs on Citi Simplicity are “simply” too high. In fact, you can easily find a cash back or rewards credit card has the same APR range as Citi Simplicity.
The Capital One® Platinum Prestige Credit Card, on the other hand, displays extreme focus on a low interest rate, which is what you really want when your goal is to minimize interest payments.
Don’t carry a balance because you pay your card statement in full every month? Instead, we strongly recommend a cash back credit card. The APR won’t matter because you’re not going to rack up any interest charges!