Citibank $400 Checking Account Bonus

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citi400Citibank has a $400 bonus offer for new checking account customers. Here are the highlights:

  • To qualify for a $400 cash bonus, open a new consumer checking account in The Citibank Account Package by 10/31/16.
  • Within 30 days from the date you opened your new checking account, deposit $15,000 or more in new-to-Citibank funds into your new checking account or new or existing Citibank Savings Plus account.
  • A minimum balance of $15,000 is required to be maintained in the new checking account or new or existing Citibank Savings Plus Account, for 30 consecutive calendar days following the date you made your qualifying deposit.
  • The cash bonus will be credited to your new checking account within 90 calendar days from the date when you completed all offer requirements.
  • To be eligible for this offer, you must not currently have a Consumer checking account with Citibank or have been a signer on or owner of a Citibank consumer checking account within the last 60 days.
  • Limit of one of each offer per customer and one offer per account.

Here are details for The Citibank Account Package:

  • $25 monthly service fee waived if you have $10,000 in combined average monthly balances.
  • Interest rate is a tiny 0.01% APY.
  • Free withdrawals from all Citibanks ATMs.
  • Citibank will waive their $2.50 fee for using non-Citibank ATMs, if combined average monthly balances in eligible linked accounts are met. However, you may still be charged a fee by the ATM owner itself.
  • No early account closure fee.

Let’s see… To start, you must not have had a Citibank consumer checking account within the last 60 days. Next, you’ll need to bring in $15,000 of money from a non-Citibank account, and keep it there for 30 days. You’ll need to keep $10,000 in your account to avoid the $25 monthly service fee. You’ll need to keep the account open for up to another 90 days (up to 120 days total) until the $400 bonus arrives.


It is not clear if you need to keep you account at the “Citibank Account” package level past the first 30 days. To be safe, you may want to keep it at that level ($10,000 minimum balance) until the bonus shows up. After that, you may downgrade to their Basic or Access levels with much lower minimum balance requirements, or you may choose to eventually close out the account after that if it doesn’t work for you.

Worth the effort? If you had $15,000 sitting in a 1% APY savings account, you’d earn $50 of interest over 4 months. So you could view this as $350 in extra interest over 4 months. Alternatively, if you earn $400 of interest on a $15,000 balance over 120 days (also ~4 months), that works out to roughly a 8% annualized interest rate. If you take out $5,000 after 30 days and keep $10,000 in there, your effective interest rate will be even higher, closer to 10% annualized interest rate for those 4 months. If the bonus arrives earlier, you could do better. At these assumed balance levels, you will avoid all monthly account fees. Note that the $400 will be reported on a 1099-INT form. Thus your interest is taxable as ordinary income, but any monthly fees you pay are not tax-deductible.



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Comments

  1. This looks like a good offer. I plan to go for it. Thanks for the heads-up.

    • Update. Opened the account and funded it with $15k on 9/4. Waited two months and pulled out $5k, leaving the $10k minimum to avoid the monthly fee. $400 bonus just posted on 12/6, which is more than a month sooner than the 90 days they allow. Very nice.

      • Update #2. Electronically withdrew all but $5 from this account on 12/23 and told them I would like to close the account. They mailed me a check for the remaining $5 which I received on 12/28. Now Citi has another $300 promotion for new checking accounts but you cannot have had an account with them in the last 60 days, so I’m considering opening another account in March. We’ll see.

        https://banking.citibank.com/cbol/17/checking/aquisition/300-offer/

  2. Took you two months to post this…

    • ?? Huh? Maybe this offer has been available for 2 months. So what? Was this blog supposed to tell you faster for some reason? Why? Who cares? The offer is good to Oct. 31st you’ve nearly 2 full months to take advantage. Did you need 4 months?

      • It was first offered in the first week of June’2016. This means you would be about 2 months in the new account, with $10k and waiting for bonus to post. I can see for some people it matters; had MMB posted it earlier, people would get their bonus before December 31, 2016 and report the $400 on their 2016 tax. Since the MMB posted this just yesterday, opening the account now or soon will delay the bonus later into 2017.

        • Ok. but again… honestly who cares?

          If theres some convoluted situation where it actually matters to someone then thats certainly not MMB’s problem to fix.

  3. theodore ho says:

    THANKS FOR THE POST. JUST DID FOR 2

  4. Thanks for the heads up.

  5. This one is a pretty good offer. There are many “meh” Citibank offers that might require $50,000+ balance (meaning you could earn more interest elsewhere), longer commitment times, or $200,000+ to avoid a $30 monthly fee. So the first time I looked at this offer (amongst many), I passed on writing about it. However, yesterday a reader named Anuj brought it back to my attention, so took another look and decided it was worth posting. A rather boring explanation, don’t you think?

  6. I had one experience with Citi on the banking side related to a promotion and I can tell you, its not worth the money. Get a free $100-$200 from one of the many easy Chase, Wells Fargo or the occasional HSBC offers……but Citi is a nightmare both in the short term and long term.

  7. Sounds like a good deal. Does anyone know if Citi will 1) ask you to sign a signature card and mail it back and 2) send you a checkbook? I want neither (currently traveling outside the States and haven’t written a check for probably a decade)…

    • When I signed up there was no signature card to sign, but I already have a credit card with Citi and the new checking account is linked to that login, so that may make a difference. They are apparently sending me a checkbook and a debit card, neither of which I want. Perhaps you could speak to them and tell them you don’t want them to ship those.

  8. Hmm…there’s a citibank very close to me. Considering the breakdown and the 1% I earn, it wouldn’t hurt moving money for the offer. Thanks for the heads up.

  9. Immigrant in CA says:

    I got a message saying you need to call for this offer if you are in California and can’t do it online. Did anyone else have this issue?

  10. This is a new offer to me, but comparable to the Chase bank offers I’ve been seeing. It’s hard to make $400 with such little effort so I don’t see the downside to holding funds there for a short while.

  11. Aside from the effort of initial set-up and then closure, are there no downsides at all to opening a checking account and closing it 4 months later? Are there no impacts to credit scoring? I also think about increased risk of identity theft, or looking like money-laundering. Maybe those last two are a little paranoid, but I am just trying to think about ways this $400 carrot could end up being expensive. Thoughts?

  12. Can you open two separate account – yourself and spouse – and get $800 if you have $30k cash availability?

  13. Linda Buchanan says:

    Sadly, Citibank seems to have closed all their branches in Pennsylvania. And there are none within 100 miles of me in Florida. They have a ton of ATMs though.

    Thanks for your blog, Jonathan.

  14. At the start it asks if checking or interest checking? Does it matters which one I select?

  15. I tried to apply online, but was repeatedly stuck at the DL issuing date. I entered the correct date as printed on my card, but the system insisted that “The date selected is not valid.” At first I thought it might be a browser issue. But I tried two different browsers the same problem occurred. Funnily the system accepted the expiration date but not the issuing date. I suspect it’s a bug. Has anyone encountered the same issue?

  16. I went through the app process couple of days ago. I didn’t enter my bank account info to fund the account, instead deciding to go with the option where Citi will put some money in my account and I have to verify it. Guess just today I get what looks like a phishing email from Citibank.CCSAlert@ccsemail.citibank.com which doesn’t look legit to me. Going to be calling Citibank soon.

  17. I applied for this $400bonus by phone on Aug. 31. Received the signature card and mailed it back on Sept. 9th. So I figure they had my signature card for 2-3 weeks. I followed up with several phone calls only to be told that: they got my signature card, they didn’t get my signature card, my account was blocked, my account was not blocked. And its hard tp get to the right dept. to talk to someone knowledgeable. So, yesterday ( the 29th day which would give me only 1 day left to deposit the required $15,000 to be eligible for the bonus) they routed me to the new account servicing department again and I was told they had to call the mail room to see if my card was there as they didn’t have record of it arriving. And, yes, there it was, in the mail room. So It still had to be processed, which takes a few days. Of course I would not be able to fund my account in the 30 days. However, the agent assured me she would put a note on my account so that I would still get the bonus. I decided to close my unfunded account with CitiBank, as I don’t want to take the chance of after 90 days of them having my money and telling me that I am not eligible for the bonus, as I didn’t fund the account in 30 days. I will look elsewhere for another bonus offer. CitiBank seems to be rather disorganized. I also got a phishing attempt after applying. Be very careful.

  18. Forget about CitiBank promotions… I’m now trying to get payment for the $400. promo after nearly 5 months. You will most likely never see the promotional payment. I went thru previously with CitiBank in 2005 and should have learned my lesson. STAY AWAY from Citi.

    • I don’t get the $400 bonus after nearly 5 months. They opened a case to investigate and might be another 30 to 60 days that you can get the response(not the payment). Stay Away from Citi.

      • Same boat … was supposed to receive my bonus on the 10th of Jan (120 days after deposit of 15K). Contacted Citi to open an investigation and was advised it would be AT MINIMUM another 30 days prior to receiving the bonus … should have just stuck my money in AMD or NVDA and earned 20% ROI…

        • Took an additional 26 days, but I received my bonus today. If you don’t receive your bonus on or before the 120 day mark, contact Citi immediately … otherwise, you may never get your bonus…

  19. E.Thomas says:

    Vance,it seems you are lucky….
    I did open a checking account with $15K for Citibank promotion AZ_3Q16CHKC, in 2016. I should have received the $400 bonus in October 2016. Called several times and complained. In an early December call, their excuse was ” we did not receive your w-9″. Nobody asked me to provide it during my earlier calls. So,I asked them to mail me one. Simultaneously I asked the representative to email the form. They did. Both were completely filled in and sent. Waited till January 2017. No check for $400. During this time I have decided NOT to have any Direct deposits to this account and slowly withdrawn funds keeping few dollars. Called again in early Feb’17. Bank claimed they did not receive the W-9 forms. I have stated that 2 forms were sent and I made copies of the 2 again and mailed the copies together in one envelope. A case # was generated. Waited another month. Called again in April. ( Each call has been for over an hour, talking to numerous individuals. Not all calls were diplomatic, but thoughtful). No check yet. Called again on May 22nd, 2017. Surprised to hear ” We have not received the W-9″. When I challenged stating the past mailings I made, he acknowledged that he “sees the receipt of signed forms in file”. The male representative opened a case ( case # was given to me) and verified my mailing address too. He has told me that the bank will be issuing a $400 check to me by 1st week of June 2017. During this period, I received a letter in early May stating “The account closed “. I have stated to the bank in previous calls that I intent NOT to do any more business with them and would like to close the account as soon as I RECEIVE the $400 bonus. NOBODY SAID ” IF THE ACCOUNT IS CLOSED, I WOULDN’T BE GETTING THE $400 BONUS”. Today, ( May 30th, 2017) I GOT a letter from Ms. Stefanie Cardenas, Director, Client Research stating ” We have carefully reviewed your account and unfortunately, the account was closed on May 04, 2017. Closed accounts are not eligible for Promotion AZ_3Q16CHKC “.
    I do not agree with Ms. Cardenas’ decision.This evening I have contacted 1-888-248-4226 and asked for direct contact address of Ms. Cardenas to write a written complaint. The supervisor I talked to is stationed in PHILIPPINES. According to the supervisor ( Customer relations) Ms. Hazel, I am required to write to Citibank office in San Antonio, Texas. The complaint is in process for Ms. Cardenas and the Citibank CEO Ms. Barbara J. Desoer.

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