Citigold AAdvantage & ThankYou 50K Checking Offers
Update: I also posted a step by step guide to opening a Citigold account. I highly suggest reading the information in this post about the offers and then heading over there to learn about the application process.
Citi has been one of the more aggressive banks when it comes to giving out checking account bonuses. Back in yesteryear they used to consistently hand out 1099s, but it seems they have cooled down on that a bit. Over the past couple of days details have emerged about two pretty amazing new bonuses for opening a Citigold account. Let’s take a look.
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. Full terms.
Earn 50K ThankYou points after opening a Citigold checking and making 1 bill payment in 2 consecutive months. Full Terms.
Who Is Eligible
- For the AAdvantage offer you must currently have a Citi AAdvantage Mastercard. An older cobranded Visa card may work as well.
- For the ThankYou offer you must currently have a ThankYou Preferred, ThankYou Premier or Citi Prestige 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.
How to Open
To open either account, simply visit the Citi website and enter one of the following codes:
- AAdvantage 50K – 42ERCWNQU6
- ThankYou 50K – 42ERCZ42PY
Citi only does a soft credit pull when opening a checking account.
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 highly suggest seeing this Doctor of Credit post for the latest data points.
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. Others have reported it normally takes a couple of days for the charge to go through.
Monthly Fee & Strategy
The monthly fee for a Citigold checking account is $30. This fee is waived the first two months. I found it took 3 months for my miles to post the last time I took advantage of this promotion. Once the miles/points have posted 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 Cardholders
If you have both a Citigold and a Citi Prestige card, the annual fee on the Prestige is reduced by $100 to $350. Even if you have already paid the annual fee, this amount should be adjusted for you. Note that some people have reported that downgrading their Citigold to a Basic Banking after the points have posted, has still allowed them to keep the reduced annual fee.
As I mentioned before, Citi will send you a 1099 if you receive more than $600 worth of value from the points/miles. For the AAdvantage deal, it is hard to say how they will value the miles. The promotional page does not mention a 1099.
With the ThankYou points, it is very important to keep track and make sure you don’t redeem them for more than $600. For example, Citi Premier cardholders can book flights at 1.25 cents each. This would give you $750 worth of value. That would trigger a 1099. You can of course redeem ThankYou points for gift cards at $.01 each which would amount to $500 in value and should be safe.
I was already going to open a Citigold checking account in the next week under the old 40,000 ThankYou point offer. Since I have a Citi Prestige card and a card currently giving me unlimited 3X points, I thought it was a great time to open an account and fund it with the 3X credit card. Now with these new offers, I am sort of torn.
Personally I value the 50,000 AAdvantage miles higher than the ThankYou points, but I am worried that they will trigger an automatic 1099. I have no basis for this other than a belief that Citi might value AAdvantage miles at 1.2 cents each or higher. At least with the ThankYou points offer I could ensure I don’t get hit with a 1099. To be fair, a 1099 isn’t the end of the world, however it does cut into the value of the bonus quite a bit.
Both of these offers are fantastic and both are available now. With the ability to earn 50K points plus the option to fund with a credit card, opening a Citigold account might make sense for a lot of people. I know I will be opening one very soon. Combined with the sign-up bonus, credit card rewards and the Prestige annual fee savings, I will personally get almost $1,000 in value from one checking account!