CitiBank Checking Account Bonuses – $200-$400 in Gift Cards …and some fees

November 8, 2011 No Comments »

This offer has changed. Visit our checking account promotions page to see updated offers.

Sure some big banks are still dishing out rewards and bonuses for opening new checking accounts, but only for ‘high value’ clients. A high value client, generally speaking, is anyone holding a lot of cash or equity with the bank through various accounts and financial instruments.

So, while we’re about to make note of two solid checking account bonuses from Citibank, keep in mind you’ll have to hold high balances to avoid monthly fees. (Fee Disclosure Below)

Citibank Checking Account Bonuses:

The first one is 40,000 bonus points for opening a Citigold checking account. The 40,000 “ThankYou” points can then be redeemed for $400 in gift cards. The Citigold account is considered a “premier banking relationship” product by Citibank which requires a high monthly balance to avoid a $30 monthly fee.

The second one is 20,000 for opening a regular Citibank checking account. As with the premium offer, the 20,000 bonus points can also be redeemed for $200 in gift cards. You’ll still need to maintain monthly minimum balance requirements to avoid a $30 monthly fee, but the balances aren’t as high as with a Citigold account.

Here’s what you’ll need to do to get any of the bonuses above:

1) Open a new Citibank checking account in the Citigold or Citibank Account Package by 12/31/2011.

2) Enroll the new checking account in Citi ThankYou Rewards.

3) Within 45 days after account opening, complete one direct deposit AND one electronic bill payment for two consecutive months.

CitiBank Checking Account Fees Associated with Both Packages:

The most basic checking account Citibank offers (called the “basic checking” account) features a $8 monthly fee. The account comes with no minimum balance requirements and a $0 opening deposit requirement. It’s not accompanied with any promotional rewards.

Our take: This account doesn’t really make sense, $96 in annual fees on already low balances? It looks as if Citibank is saying, “if you don’t several thousand dollars, you’re not worth our time.” If you have under $6,000 and are looking for a new checking account, there are plenty of cheaper alternatives that may actually reward you (like this one).

The mid-level package is the Citibank account package. This is the one we’ve mentioned in the promotional section above. It features a very enticing $200 in gift cards for opening the account, however, to avoid a whopping $20 monthly fee, you’ll need to keep an average balance of at least $6,000.

Our Take: While the bonus is generous, if you dip below the $6,000 mark, the fee you’ll incur is quite punishing. Incurring the fee over the course of a year ($240) will completely wipe out the gift card bonus you snagged in the first place. This account, however, could be ideal for you if you know you’ll never have an issue with the minimum balance and the occasional $2 ding for foreign ATM usage. – PS. Ignore the minimum opening requirement of just $100, there’s no reason in having this account without more than $6k.

The last account is for high value clients only. It comes with the advertised $400 bonus in the form of either “ThankYou” points or gift cards. To avoid a $30 monthly fee, you’ll need one of the following:

  • $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.

Our Take: Unless you plan on moving several asset/equity heavy accounts over to Citibank, the account’s probably not for you. If you are looking to switch banks and have assets equal or greater to the requirements listed above, 40,000 bonus points is nice perk!

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