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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.