50K AAdvantage or 40K ThankYou for Opening a Citi Checking Account: Full Details, How to Open & Ways to MAXIMIZE!

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Citigold Bonus 2016

Citigold Bonus 2016: 50K AAdvantage & 40K ThankYou Checking Offers

Citi has been one of the more aggressive banks when it comes to giving out checking account bonuses this past year+. In late 2015 they wowed us with Citigold 50K offers for both ThankYou points and AAdvantage miles. Now, new offers have emerged, however the ThankYou offer is slightly lower while the AAdvantage offer remains the same. Let’s take a look.

The Offers

AAdvantage: Earn 50K AAdvantage miles after opening a Citigold checking and making $1K in eligible debit card purchases in the first 60 days and 1 bill payment in 2 consecutive months.

OR

ThankYou: Earn 40K ThankYou points after opening a Citigold checking and making 1 bill payment in 2 consecutive months.

Who Is Eligible?

  • For the 50K AAdvantage offer you must currently have a Citi AAdvantage Mastercard. An older cobranded Visa card may work as well.
  • For the 40K ThankYou offer you must currently have a Citi ThankYou point earning credit card.

According to the terms of previous promotions, you can only get a bonus on a Citi checking account once every two years. Others have reported getting bonuses more often, however you cannot get this bonus if you currently have a Citi checking account.

How to Open

There are two ways to open up a Citigold account. With both options you will need one of the following codes:

  • 50K AAdvantage: WD3QFS2Y4C
  • 40K ThankYou: 4368UUP5L4

Phone: Call 1-800-374-9500 and apply over the phone. By applying over the phone you can verify your eligiblity for the offer.

Online: To apply online click here, enter the code (below) and follow the prompts.

Note: Before opening online, I highly suggest reading: Citigold Checking Application Process – Step By Step Walkthrough

Funding the Account

Citi checking accounts can be funded with a Visa or Mastercard up to $100,000. (If you have a credit limit that high!) There are numerous data points suggesting that Barclay’s, Bank of America and Citi cards all code as purchases. (I have personally used Citi and Bank of America cards successfully.) I highly suggest seeing this Doctor of Credit post for the latest data points and reading here as well.

When signing up for the account, there will be an option to fund with a credit card. You will be given a paper to fill out that you can either fax or mail in. In my experience it takes about 2-3 days for them to process the transaction once they receive the faxed in paper.

Monthly Fee & Strategy

Citigold Bonus 2016

Citigold checking accounts carry a $30 monthly fee which is waived the first two months. Citi says the bonus will post up to 3 statement cycles after the requirements have been completed. This means it could take up to five months total to receive your bonus. Once the bonus has posted then you can either downgrade to a Basic Banking account which only requires a direct deposit & bill pay to waive the $10 monthly fee or you can cancel the account.

Note: For the ThankYou offer, you must transfer out or redeem your points before closing or downgrading. For the AAdvantage offer, you can downgrade or close the account as soon as the miles post.

Citi Prestige Annual Fee Reduction

If you have both a Citigold account and a Citi Prestige card, then the annual fee on the Prestige is reduced by $100 to $350. If you are currently a Prestige card holder, then you will notice that your annual fee will be refunded and recharged on a prorated basis for the year at the reduced rate. In ongoing years your annual fee should be $350 if you decide to keep the Citigold account.

Possible 1099

Citigold Bonus 2016

Citi will send you a 1099 if you receive more than $600 worth of value from the points/miles. There was a similar 50K AAdvantage deal last year, however it is too soon to see if 1099s will be issued for those miles. It is a possibility, but it all depends on how Citi values the miles. In the recent past, 30K AAdvantage deals have not triggered 1099s.

With the ThankYou points, it is very important to keep track and make sure you don’t redeem them for more than $600. The only case I can think of where 40K ThankYou points could be redeemd for more than $600 is when a Citi Prestige holder books American Airlines flights at 1.6 cents per point value.

My Thoughts

Both my wife and I opened up Citigold accounts during the last round of promotions towards the end of 2015. We both met the requirements quickly and are waiting on our bonuses to post. Since then we have also opened up savings accounts as well, which has proven to be a good move.

For me, the AAdvantage offer is clearly worth more than the ThankYou offer, but that is definitely subjective and depends on how many of each type of currency you currently hold. During the 2015 version of this deal, Citi was offering 50K ThankYou points as well which made it a tougher decision.

Conclusion

Both of these offers are very good in my opinion and I feel they are worth considering. With the ability to earn up to 50K points/miles plus the option to fund with a credit card, opening a Citigold account might make sense for a lot of people. Combined with the sign-up bonus, credit card rewards and the Prestige annual fee savings, it is quite possible to get $1,000 or more value by opening one of these accounts.

HT: Milenerd via Doctor of Credit


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55 COMMENTS

  1. Can you be an authorized user for a Citi AA credit card and be eligible for the promotion? Or does it only apply to primary credit card account holders? Thx.

  2. Can you do this in person at a Citi bank branch? Seems like a lot of steps and might be easiest in person (particularly funding the acct with a credit card).

  3. I keep missing out on these offers due to the fact that I am a citigold for many years. This offer is obviously for new customers , is there a way to go around it and become eligible?

  4. Just tried to open another Citigold account and was told I am not eligible for the 50K aa miles because I already have an account.

  5. thanks, what about the Citi Amex co-branded AA card? I think this worked for someone to open a Citigold account last year?

  6. You mention that it was a good move to also open up a savings account. What is the benefit? Additional bonus? Ability to fund with credit card?

  7. I just called in with the code for the TY points bonus (4368UUP5LV) and they said it wasn’t valid 🙁

    Anyone having any luck with this? Either online or via phone?

    • I just called in to their sales department (1-800-321-2484) and was told that I could just open the acct without the code and that I would be given the sign-up bonus as long as I met the requirements (2 bill pays over consecutive months). Finding that a little hard to believe since they won’t know if I want the AA miles or the TY points. He said that the code is targeted but that I would be eligible if I met the above. I’m going to open it anyways since I can fund with my credit card and I wouldn’t mind the rebate in terms of my Citi Prestige annual fee. I’ll consider it a minor miracle if I get the 40k TY points though 🙂

  8. Hi, 1099 form might be a problem for me. My aim is to apply for Citi Prestige on the first days of February, so this would come handy to reduce the annual fee. Citi Pristige would be used to use Citi TYPs for a $2k flight, however those TYPs are already sitting on our accounts. I understand that is actually not connected to the new 40k pts, but will it trigger a 1099 form? Thanks

  9. We can fund with a CC up to $100K? Dang.
    Once we pay the two consecutive monthly payments to a bill provider can we simply withdraw?

  10. So in theory we would get the bonus points from the offer and CC points if we fund with our Citi or AA(Citi or Barclays) card?
    I assume if we simply maintain a $50K balance the $30 monthly fee goes away until we wait to receive the TY or AA points/miles.

    • Yes, correct. I simply moved my 401k to Citibank since it was just sitting at another institution not doing anything for me. If you’re a Prestige cards holder and also a Citigold client, the customer service boost is incredible with a capital I. It really pays for itself.

  11. If I don’t currently have a Citi AA card, can I apply for one and assuming approval, sign up for the Citigold account after that? Or do you need to already have an AA card open before a certain date?

  12. Do you have to notify your credit card company of your large “purchase” prior to funding your account? I already called to lower my cash advance limit. Also, how much of your total credit did you use when funding your account?

  13. Without a TY points card, will the bonus come through and whats the TY points worth if it can be linked to a TY account using the checking account? Thanks!

  14. New to this game so bare with me.
    So I open the Citigold account, fund it with my Barclay Arrival Plus card then, collect the bonus, then turn around and pay off the Barclay charge with the money in my newly opened Citigold account. Is this correct?

  15. Shawn, when you say that you and your wife “met the requirements quickly” of making $1K in eligible debit card purchases in the first 60 days and 1 bill payment in 2 consecutive months, did you leave your account at $0 or did you leave some money in there and paid off your CC via some other means?

  16. I called in to see if I was eligible, and the rep looked me up and and she said I was not. She stated that the offer was not in my profile and that there wasn’t anything I could do, even with the promo code. Bummer

  17. so if you’re former citi gold client, but never received bonus from citi gold, are you elgible again for the bonus on this promo?

  18. Do I need to call my credit card company for a big purchase notification?. Should I tell them that it is for funding an account?

  19. Quick Question.

    To get Thank you point offer(40k), Should I hold cigi gold account until I get bonus? or Can I cancel account when I met requirements.

    Also, Is that different Thank you point account between citi gold and premier.

    • Yes you do need to keep the account as a Citigold until the bonus posts. ThankYou points earned through a bank account cannot be transferred to travel partners, but otherwise work the same.

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