Citibank $200/$400/$700 Checking Account Bonus 2020

My Money Blog has partnered with CardRatings and Credit-Land for selected credit cards and may receive a commission. All opinions expressed are the author’s alone, and has not been provided nor approved by any of the companies mentioned.

Citibank has tiered $200, $400, and $700 bonus offers when you open a new eligible Citi checking account by 6/30/20 and deposit and maintain a certain balance for 60 to 150 days. There is also a $1,500 bonus if you have $200,000 to move over. This offer is restricted to those who have not had a Citibank checking account within the last 180 calendar days. Here are the highlights followed by a few tips on how to optimize the bonus.

$200 bonus details:

  • Open a new eligible checking account in the Basic Banking Package during the offer period 4/01/2020 to 6/30/2020.
  • Within 30 days of opening your account, deposit $5,000 in New-to-Citibank funds into the new checking account.
  • Maintain a minimum balance of $5,000 for 60 consecutive calendar days.
  • You will receive your cash bonus within 90 days after you complete the required activities.
  • For the Basic Banking Package, to waive the $12 monthly service fee, make one qualifying direct deposit per statement period and one qualifying bill payment per statement period, or maintain a $1,500 or more combined average monthly balance in eligible linked accounts.

$400 bonus details:

  • Open new eligible checking and savings accounts in the Citibank® Account Package during the offer period 4/01/2020 to 6/30/2020.
  • Within 30 days of opening your account, deposit $15,000 in New-to-Citibank funds between the new checking and savings accounts.
  • Maintain a minimum balance of $15,000 between the checking and savings accounts for 60 consecutive calendar days.
  • You will receive your cash bonus within 90 days after you complete the required activities.
  • A monthly service fee of $25 and a $2.50 non-Citibank ATM fee apply to the checking account in the Citibank Account Package if a combined average monthly balance of $10,000 or more is not maintained.

$700 bonus details:

  • Open new eligible checking and savings accounts in the Citi Priority Account Package during the offer period 4/01/2020 to 6/30/2020.
  • Within 30 days of opening your account, deposit $50,000 in New-to-Citibank funds between the new checking and savings accounts.
  • Maintain a minimum balance of $50,000 between the checking and savings accounts for 60 consecutive calendar days.
  • You will receive your cash bonus within 90 days after you complete the required activities.
  • A monthly service fee of $30 applies to the checking account in the Citi Priority Account Package if a combined average monthly balance of $50,000 or more is not maintained. There is no monthly service fee for a checking account in the Citigold Account Package.

$1,500 bonus details:

  • Open new eligible checking and savings accounts in the Citigold Account Package during the offer period 4/01/2020 to 6/30/2020.
  • Within 30 days of opening your account, deposit $200,000 in New-to-Citibank funds between the new checking and savings accounts.
  • Maintain a minimum balance of $200,000 between the checking and savings accounts for 60 consecutive calendar days.
  • You will receive your cash bonus within 90 days after you complete the required activities.
  • If you do not maintain a minimum combined average monthly balance of $200,000 in eligible linked deposit, retirement and investment accounts, your Citigold Account Package will be converted to the Citi Priority Account Package and your accounts will be subject to the terms and conditions then in effect for that package.

Fine print analysis and value calculations. A tricky part of this bonus is the following fine print:

At the time the Cash Bonus is paid, it will be credited to the new Eligible Checking Account. If the Eligible Checking Account is closed, then the Cash Bonus will be credited to the new Eligible Savings Account. Open accounts must be in good standing.

You explicitly cannot “downgrade” your account to one with lower monthly fees during the 60 day maintenance period, but this seems to also suggest that you need to maintain the package that you opened until the bonus arrives. (It’s not 100% clear, but that is the conservative interpretation.) That means that in order to avoid the possibly hefty monthly fees, you would have to leave a certain amount of money in the account not for 60 days, but up to 150 days until the bonus is deposited.

After the 60 day maintenance period, you would want to withdraw everything not need to avoid the monthly fees, as both the checking and savings account pay negligible interest. Here’s how that would work for each tier:

  • $200 bonus tier. Deposit and maintain $5,000 for 60 days, then lower to $1,500 for 90 days.
  • $400 bonus tier. Deposit and maintain $15,000 for 60 days, then lower to $10,000 for 90 days.
  • $700 bonus tier. Deposit and maintain $50,000 for 150 days.
  • $1,500 bonus tier. Deposit and maintain $200,000 for 150 days. (There may be some alternatives like moving over some investments to satisfy the Citigold requirements.)

Bonus will be reported on 1099-INT (as should be expected). Here is the rough equivalent annualized APY earned from each bonus if you followed the schedule above exactly, got the promised bonus at the 150 day mark, and then downgraded/closed/moved your money out:

  • $200 bonus works out to ~16.5% annualized interest.
  • $400 bonus works out to ~8.0% annualized interest.
  • $700 bonus works out to ~3.4% annualized interest.
  • $1,500 bonus works out to ~1.8% annualized interest.

I have done Citibank bonuses in the past and haven’t had any issues, although they did wait until the last possible moment to post the bonus. I did not experience a hard credit check upon opening. However, others have reported having to call them up and ask for the bonus, and some have reported that they were denied the bonus improperly. Their above-average complaints of unreliability is a big reason why I would not downgrade the accounts, in order to help maintain proper bonus tracking. For all bank bonuses, be sure to keep track of your promotion details and transaction dates in a Google Doc or other spreadsheet.

Bottom line. Citibank has a set of tiered bonuses for opening a new checking and savings accounts with them, which I have broken down how to optimize based on the fine print. If you were planning on opening an account anyway, this can be a good offer. Be sure you understand the terms and conditions first.

My Money Blog has partnered with CardRatings and Credit-Land for selected credit cards, and may receive a commission from card issuers. All opinions expressed are the author’s alone, and has not been provided nor approved by any of the companies mentioned. MyMoneyBlog.com is also a member of the Amazon Associate Program, and if you click through to Amazon and make a purchase, I may earn a small commission. Thank you for your support.



User Generated Content Disclosure: Comments and/or responses are not provided or commissioned by any advertiser. Comments and/or responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser. It is not any advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

Comments

  1. The depositaccounts.com site shows there is a high yield checking account paying 1.01% and an ACCELERATE HIGH-YIELD SAVINGS account paying 1.40% at Citi. You state “both the checking and savings account pay negligible interest” in the article. Does this mean that the 1.01% checking and 1.40% savings account are not eligible for the bonus?

    • Unfortunately the Accelerate savings does not count as part of any of the packages above and will not count towards satisfying this bonus.

    • You will need to maintain the minimum balance between the checking and savings accounts for 60 consecutive calendar days. After the 60 days, you can transfer the funds into the ACCELERATE HIGH-YIELD SAVINGS account paying 1.40%, until you receive the promised bonus at the 150 day mark.

      • My understanding is that the balance from the Accelerate will not satisfy the minimum requirements to avoid the package monthly fees mentioned above. You still need to keep open the “Eligible” accounts and thus pay the fees involved or keep the appropriate balance amount. You could transfer funds to Accelerate, but it would be the same as transferring to any other external savings account. The Accelerate is basically a separate online savings account that Citi created meant for geographic locations where Citi does not have a branch footprint.

  2. joshua Katt says

    Just be careful with Citibank’s national checking accounts. their promotions, fine print and hoops. A few years back, they promoted a checking account you could fund via a credit card in exchange for some substantial (AA?) miles. Miles never posted, it was impossible to resolve after 6 months of trying, I pulled my funds. Never got statements but I suspect they hit me with big fees then closed. I couldn’t open a (simple bank?) recent promo JP wrote about and I suspect I have a paychex ding I need to dispute. Its not like the local branch will help you. Just beware and be on top of it

  3. Michael Schneider says

    Hi Jonathan. Would you please explain the math behind your calculations to determine annualized interest rates of the bonus plans? Thanks.

    • I just used some algebra – what APY would you need to satisfy, for example: $5,000 for 60 days + $1,500 for 90 days and end up with $200 interest?

      $5,000 for 60 days at 16.5% APY = $138. $1,500 for 90 days at 16.5% APY = $62. Remove money to elsewhere after these 150 days. Total is $200, so it checks out.

      I used a 360 day year for simplicity, so 60/360 and 90/360.

  4. Jared L Ross says

    Should I select the regular checking or the interest checking? What is the catch on the interest checking? And how much is that interest?

  5. I’ve done this bonus every other year. In fact, bank bonuses are the backbone of my strategy to earn 8% to 12% return on my emergency fund.

    Wrote a post on how I do it and rotate money between different banks.

  6. Hi. Did anyone get a confirmation that you are enrolled in the offer? I clicked through the link, but other than the splash page, there is nothing in the application form that says you are enrolled. The greeting email doesn’t say anything about it either. I spoke with their online chat who went to look and then came back a few minutes later and just said if I went through the right link the offer should be activated. It’s a bit worrisome if the agent can’t tell in the system. If it’s a case of having to kick and scream to get the bonus later, I’ll probably not fund the account and just close it.

    Also, it didn’t give me the option to open a savings acct. The agent said the tech team is working on it and said I could open a savings acct separately and then call them to link the checking and savings. For such a large bank, I either caught them on a bad day or they don’t have their act together.

    Thanks!

    • Me too – I either caught them on a bad day or they don’t have their act together.

      There were a lot of bad reviews for Citibank on depositaccounts.com. But, I decided to open the Citi Elevate package anyway. I opened the Elevate package because it has a HIGH YIELD CHECKING account paying 1.01% and an ACCELERATE HIGH-YIELD SAVINGS account paying 1.40%. There is no bonus available for this package. The accounts are online only with statements and notices by electronic delivery only. The higher interest rates are not available to residents of all states.

      My experience was less than satisfactory in opening the package. I did not find the online application very friendly and it was longer than any I had previously completed for other financial institutions. I was able to open the two accounts, but there was a failure when I was attempting to fund the accounts and I did not get any online confirmation of my new account numbers. I did get emails confirming the accounts were open and giving me the last four digits for each account.

      I thought I would be able to register for online access and then fund the accounts. However, you need the whole account number to set up online access. I called and waited 25 minutes for a representative to take my call. That representative listened to me and said he had to transfer me to second representative. The second representative said within two days I would receive another encrypted email with the full account numbers, so I could then get account access. I asked how I would get access to this encrypted email and she said they would come via my regular email account. This made no sense to me, so I asked to speak with another representative. She said sure and transferred me to a line that rang several times and then a recording that said this line was not available to me and hung up. I then called back and spoke to a representative that said I would need to wait for a welcome package and a debit card that would be coming in the mail in the next 7 to 10 days. She then offered to transfer me to someone that could make the transfer into the new accounts for me. I elected to wait, because I did not want to move money when I don’t even know the account numbers and cannot get online to verify the receipt of funds.

      Now, I am waiting on snail mail so I can get online access. I tell you my long story just to confirm that all the bad reviews on depositaccounts.com appear to be true.

Speak Your Mind

*