Get $400 for Signing up for a Citibank Checking Account: Expires Soon!

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Citi Checking Bonus

Update: The offer has been extended through 11/15.

Citi Checking Bonus $400

One of the best way to make a few bucks is to sign-up for various checking bonuses. Chase has been very generous this year with their checking bonuses and Citi is now revamping their checking products by offering a cash bonus. (Typically in the past they have offered points or miles in lieu of cash.) This $400 cash bonus has been around since September, but it expires soon, so I thought it was worth highlighting.

The Offer

Start your Citibank relationship today. Open a new account in The Citibank Account Package and earn $400 with a qualifying deposit.

Getting the Bonus

To get the $400 bonus, you need to:

  • Open your account by 10/31/2016
  • Deposit $15,000 in new funds (not currently with Citi) into your checking account within 30 days. (You can also deposit the money into your current savings account.)
  • Maintain the $15,000 balance for 30 consecutive days following the deposit

Key Terms

  • $25 monthly service fee waived if you have $10,000 in combined average monthly balances.
  • ATM fee for use of non-Citibank ATM’s is waived, if combined average monthly balances in eligible linked accounts are met
  • New consumer checking account in The Citibank Account Package is required.
  • This offer is for new consumer checking customers only 18 years or older.
  • Enrollment in this offer does not guarantee eligibility.
  • To qualify for this promotion, you must enroll in the promotion, meet the terms and conditions of this offer and perform the required qualifying activities contained in this offer. 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.

You can view the full terms and apply for the account here.

Analysis

I think this is a good deal if you don’t currently have a Citi account or if you haven’t had one in the past 60 days. Yes, $15,000 is a lot of money to deposit, but it only needs to be held in Citi for 30 days and you can keep it in your savings account if you have one to earn a few cents interest. Overall, I look at the $400 as interest (which it is), so earning $400 in interest on $15,000 in 30 days is a winner in my book.

Conclusion

While Citibank isn’t my favorite bank to do business with, I do enjoy these bonuses. Last year I earned 50,000 AAdvantage miles and my wife earned 50,000 ThankYou points from similar bonuses. Perhaps its time to earn some more! Have you taken advantage of this most recent Citi checking bonus? Feel free to share your experiences in the comments!


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24 COMMENTS

  1. Important tax information: The bonus will be reported to the IRS as interest, in the year received, as required by applicable law. Bonus payments received by U.S. Persons will be reported on IRS Form 1099-INT for the year received.

  2. Assuming a 1% opportunity cost it’s a $363 bonus (to meet requirements and avoid fees). Still a great bonus though. With a bun in the oven due in less than two weeks I opted to avoid anything Citi related seeing as the chances of hand holding and stress potential are just too high. Perhaps the most discombobulated bank when it comes to actually fulfilling a bonus from point A to point Z, including account closure.

    If someone has the time and patience then yeah, $363 bank sign up bonus is about as good as it gets. Just be ready in the event of Citi headaches and investing more time than you thought would be required.

    It also wouldn’t shock me if they extended this bonus again until the end of the year seeing as it was extended once already.

    • Good judgement.

      I, among many others, have experienced endless headaches with Citi – culminating in them charging me a $6 ‘express card delivery fee’ (and resulting $34 overdraft fee) before my initial deposit was made – of course, I never requested expedited shipping. Given that this took me below the ‘$15k in account for 30 days’ requirement; I’m sure they’re going to deny me the bonus.

      If you decide to go for it, stay well on top of it; call ASAP if they miss a deadline (i.e. mailing of the debit card or PIN, or executing the initial deposit transfer). And consider putting a little extra in the account above the $15k required to avoid issues with nefarious charges.

  3. Can the checking account be downgraded after 30 days with most of the $15K then transferred out? In other words, maintaining an account with less features requiring a lower balance to avoid monthly fees. And then closing that account after the 90 days. Thank you.

    • You have to wait for the bonus to post before you can downgrade. You can downgrade at any time of course, but you won’t get the bonus. You basically need to maintain $15k/$10k/$10k/$10k in that order, months 1-4, before the bonus posts and at which point you can downgrade and withdraw the $10k. You can of course pay $25/mo in lieu of the $10k but that’s up to you. There’s data points all over the place in regards to how long it takes for the bonus to trigger, but to be safe I’d just assume 4 months from point you deposit $15k.

      Just be prepared to follow up on all downgrades and account closures. Citi is notorious for zombie accounts and accounts leading to negative balances. I had one which wasn’t even showing up on my log in anymore. The only way I knew the account was still open with a negative $38.50 balance was because I received a paper statement almost 2 months after closing the account.

  4. Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice….
    Last time I signed up for a Citi checking, the 1099-INT they sent valuing AA miles at over 3 cents per miles burnt me so bad I swore I’d never go back to them again. (just checking though, their CC is totally worth it).
    there are way easier bonuses to be had than this. For instance, key bank routinely gives $400 bonus for just having a monthly direct deposit for $500 or more. No need to tie up $10,000.

    • This goes for all bank bonus/interest you earn. Even with the tax hit, most bank bonuses are fairly easy and are definitely undervalued relative to the sexy credit card bonuses out there. No hard inquiry, no hit to your age of accounts, no follow up calls in a year to downgrade/cancel the card. I’ll usually look at anything $200+ and/or $150+ if its as simple as meeting a direct deposit and requires no holding of funds. BUT it also depends on the bank…. I’d prefer to go after a $150 TechCU bonus than I would a $400 Citi bonus.

      Can’t blame anyone in passing on bank bonuses though as they definitely require staying on top of a to do list and ensuring every requirement is met (in addition to 1099).

      • What to do list ? Cant you just deposit $15k and in 4 months take it out with the bonus ?

        How does Citi gain with zombie accounts ?

        • You have 30 days to make the initial deposit.

          From my experience, make sure (a) Citi have all the documents they need to verify your identity and (b) mail you your debit card and PIN – DONT expect Citi to reach out to you to get any of these things done.

          If you fail to do so, they wont complete your initial deposit within that time and/or you wont have access to your money. Also don’t expect them to call you back.

  5. Yeah, I did a deal with Citi about a year ago and it was like pulling teeth. I had about 6-7 different problems and had to get the branch manager involved 3-4 different times. Very time consuming and aggravating. A horrible bank IMO.

    • I agree. Based on my experience (outlined above) they are either intentionally obfuscating the process so they can deny sign-up bonuses, or are just unbelievably incompetent. If the later, I wonder how they are still in business.

    • Jay – Can you offer any advice to someone who is probably going to have to challenge Citibank to award the bonus. I planned to go to a retail location after the initial 30 day deposit period and ask for some assurance that the bonus will be awarded. Otherwise, Ill cut my loses by closing the account.

      Should I ask for the Branch Manager straight off the bat? Anything else to help facilitate the near impossible?

      Thanks in advance!

  6. I had an extra $15K sitting in a checking account anyway so I decided to go for this. I hesitated after reading some of the comments above but did it anyway. Jay, Radster, you are so right. This is not a bank that is building my trust. I included my initial deposit with my application. They were supposed to verify the account I’m transferring from with 2 trial deposits “within 2 business days.” A week later this had not happened. I called to inquire what was going on and the rep confirmed that my account had been “opened” but 1) I had no way to access the account or verify the status online and 2) The trial deposits had not been made yet. Supposedly that will happen at the end of this week (almost 2 weeks after I opened the account!) and I will finally be able to make that initial deposit. And sometime after that I will receive a snail mail with the PIN I need to access “my” account. I’m planning to keep on top of this as recommended by you commenters, but it is making me nervous and I’m kinda sorry I started this. Folks, this is not a good bank. Originally I planned to downgrade the account to a fee-free one after I got the bonus, but now I just plan to close the account and be done with it.

    • I’m sorry you’re experiencing similar problems as I did.

      You may want to call Citi back and make 100% sure they have all the info they need from you. At various points in the process they needed my Drivers License, the signature card, a W-9 and a utility bill (to confirm my address). A lot of my delays were caused by them never reaching out to me to request these documents. Oh, and of course it’s a different department than the one you talk to via their regular call-in number. So be sure you are talking to the “new account department” (or similar).

      Good luck!

      • Wow, @radster! All they asked for from me (at least so far) is name, address, DOB, SSN, and an initial deposit. I did call the New Account department and verified that everything is moving along normally. If they had said that it would take two weeks to verify my bank account I wouldn’t complain. But they specifically said “two business days,” which is apparently a flat out lie. The phone rep seemed to think that 10 business days was the normal time frame. And she assured me that my account has technically been open since 10/24 (although I have no access to it), so should qualify for the bonus.

    • Just make sure to document everything. Also, if it’s not time sensitive (like confirming the bonus is attached to your account), make sure you save copies of all secure messages and anything else that may be required to go after Citi in the even that they don’t pay up. That goes for promises on not getting charged for something… ask via SM every chance you get just to basically get receipt of the conversation. They usually make good on the bonus but it can be quite a frustrating process for many people (as you’re obviously aware) and it’s a good idea to cover your bases here.

      If there’s any silver lining it’s that they’ve shown many of us who we DON’T want to bank with. In general I think most of us are better off sticking with credit unions for primary banking.

  7. Well, I/we might be a glutton for pumishment, but I went ahead and opened accounts for us as well.

    We had good luck/results with our CitiGold openings, so I’ll give this one a shot.

    $400 (even taxable) with no hard pull, is a very good deal for 4 months holding $10k.

  8. Useful analysis ! I Appreciate the facts – Does anyone know if my business could possibly get a fillable IRS 1099-INT example to work with ?

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