Citibank is offering new checking account customers a bonus of either a 20,000 or 40,000 ThankYou points, worth $200 or $400 in gift cards. You must:
- Open a new Citibank checking account in the Citigold or Citibank Account Package by 10/31/2011.
- Enroll the new checking account in Citi ThankYou Rewards.
- Within 45 days after account opening, initiate one direct deposit AND complete one electronic bill payment for two consecutive months.
ThankYou Point Value Recap
There are a decent number of options for these poitns. 10,000 ThankYou points = $100 Wal-mart Gift card, which you can sell for a $95.55 Amazon.com gift certificate or $91 cash at PlasticJungle.com. Alternatively, can be worth $100 towards Expedia travel, a student loan, or paying down your mortgage. More details in the Citi $500 ThankYou card post.
Citibank Account: 20,000 ThankYou Point Bonus (Easier)
- $100 minimum opening deposit
- $6,000 minimum balance in linked accounts (checking, savings, personal, credit card balances) to avoid $20 monthly fee.
Citigold Account: 40,000 ThankYou Point Bonus (Harder)
- $500 minimum opening deposit
- There’s no monthly service fee for the first 2 statement cycles. After that, in order to waive the $30 monthly service fee you need the combined average balance of your eligible linked accounts to be:
- $50,000 or more for all linked deposit and retirement accounts OR
- $100,000 or more across all your eligible linked Citi accounts, excluding a first mortgage with Citibank OR
- $250,000 or more if your Citibank first mortgage is included in the total relationship.
For most people, I think the 20,000 ThankYou point offer will be the easier one to qualify for if you have $6,000 to move over there instead of an online savings account earning only 1% APY. $6,000 would only earn $60 over an entire year, at that rate. Even it takes 6 months to get your $200 bonus, that’s a 6.67% annualized return.
I thought that the Citigold might be doable since the monthly fees are waived for the first two months, but I saw in the fine print that the points might take another 90 days to post and your account must be open until then. This option would only work well if you have a mortgage with Citi.
The bonus ThankYou Points will be credited to your ThankYou Member Account within 90 days from the end of the statement period in which you satisfy all offer requirements. New checking account must be open and in good standing at the time the bonus ThankYou Points are posted to your ThankYou Member Account.
Afterwards, if you wish, you can downgrade to the Basic Account which offers a way to avoid monthly fees with no minimum balance, if you make 5 “qualified transaction” activities per month (direct deposits, debit card purchase, bill payment, ACH payments, checks paid, ATM withdrawals).
Update: Citibank has updated their checking account to have different restrictions starting with statements ending on 12/9/2011.