Citi® Accelerate Savings Review

Citi® Accelerate Savings is a high-yield online savings account from Citibank N.A.

While big banks are typically known for ground floor savings rates on deposit accounts, Accelerate Savings serves as Citi’s HYSA.

In this post, you’ll learn about every aspect of the Citi® Accelerate Savings account.

We’ll take a look at its top features, how it stacks up against other online options, and more.

Citi® Accelerate Savings Features

Here are the top features that the Citi® Accelerate Savings account comes with:

Available in 43 States

Citi® Accelerate Savings is available in every state except for California, Connecticut, Maryland, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, and Virginia.

The account is also not open to customers in Washington, DC, and it’s only available in select markets in Florida and Illinois.

Account Packages

You can open a Citi® Accelerate Savings account with any of the following banking packages:

Everyday Banking Packages

  • Citi Elevate Account Package
  • Access Account Package
  • Basic Banking Package
  • The Citibank Account Package

Premium Banking Packages

  • Citi Priority Package
  • Citigold® Package
  • Citigold® Private Client

Annual Percentage Yield (APY)

The trademark account feature of Citi® Accelerate Savings is its high-earning APY. At 1.01%, it’s one of the best rates available among traditional banks.

Best of all, the high rate is available as long as your balance is at least $1, and there’s no limit on earnings.

Automated Savings

Citi helps you put personal finance on autopilot with automatic savings tools.

You can set savings goals, track your progress, customize a budget, and transfer funds automatically between all of your Citi accounts.

72,000+ Free ATMs

With your Citi debit card, you’ll have fee-free access to more than 72,000+ Citi and MoneyPass ATMs in the US.

Citi® Accelerate Savings comes with the standard six withdrawal limit per month.

But, since the account is linked to your checking, you can easily move money around and take it out when you need to.

Mobile App

The Citi mobile banking app is extremely well-liked, especially for a traditional bank. The app has an impressive 4.9-star rating in the App Store and a 4.7-star rating in the Google Play Store.

Since Citi® Accelerate Savings is an online account, app functionality becomes even more important.

With the app, you can manage all of your Citi accounts and credit cards, make mobile check deposits, and move money around as you need to.

Overdraft Protection

With any Citi savings account, you can choose to enroll in SafetyCheck for overdraft protection.

SafetyCheck automatically transfers funds from your savings to your checking if you overdraw so that you’ll avoid an overdraft fee.

Depending on which account package you have, there might be a fee for the transfer, but at $10, it’s significantly smaller than your standard overdraft fee.

Fees

Citi® Accelerate Savings has no minimum opening deposit or minimum balance requirements, so anyone can easily open an account.

That said, this is still a Big Four bank account, so don’t expect a complete absence of account fees.

Here’s everything you need to know about the cost of a Citi® Accelerate Savings account.

Monthly Maintenance Fees

The monthly service fee is where things get a little complicated. The total fee you’ll pay depends on which account package you have and whether or not your savings account is linked with your checking. Fortunately, every single one of the fees can be avoided.

Citi’s most premium account packages, Citigold® and Citigold® Private Client, do not have any monthly fees, but you’ll need to meet a high balance threshold to qualify for either — the minimum balance across all linked accounts is $200,000 for Citgold and $1 million for Citigold® Private Client.

The rest of the account packages all come with a fee. Here’s the breakdown of each one and how to avoid it:

  • Citi Priority: $30 per month, or $0 when you maintain a balance of $50,000 or more across linked accounts
  • The Citibank Account Package: $25 per month, or $0 when you maintain an average monthly balance of $10,000 or more across linked accounts
  • Citi Elevate: $15 per month, or $0 when you maintain an average monthly balance of $5,000 or more in your checking account
  • Basic Banking: $12 per month, or $0 when you make one qualifying direct deposit or bill payment per month or maintain an average monthly balance of $1,500 or more across linked accounts
  • Access Account Package: $10 per month, or $0 when you make one qualifying direct deposit or bill payment per month or maintain an average monthly balance of $1,500 or more across linked accounts

The other option for select packages is to opt not to link your savings account to your checking.

In this case, the monthly fee for a Citi® Accelerate Savings account within a Basic Banking, Access, or Citi Elevate is $4.50 per month.

You can avoid it by maintaining an average monthly balance of $500 or more in your savings.

ATM Fees

Citi has one of the biggest ATM networks of the big banks, with more than 65,000 free locations.

If you use an out-of-network ATM, there’s a $2.50 fee, plus whatever the ATM charges.

Overdraft Protection Fees

If you overdraw your checking account, the standard fee is $34 per overdraft.

If you enroll in SafetyCheck, there’s a $10 fee for the transfer from your savings account, unless you’re enrolled in one of Citi’s premium account packages, which all allow for fee-free overdraft protection.

Wire Transfer Fees

Like most fees, the cost of a wire transfer will vary a little depending on your account package.

Incoming wire fees are waived with premium packages, but you’ll pay $15 when you receive a wire in an everyday package.

Across all account options, outgoing domestic wires are $25, and outgoing international wires cost $35.

Getting Started

If you’re ready to open a Citi® Accelerate Savings account, you can head right to Citi’s website to sign up.

The process takes just a few minutes, and all you need to get started is a valid ID with your name, address and date of birth and your social security number.

To fund your new account, you can link an external account or move money over from an existing Citi account.

If for some reason, you can’t open your account online, you can opt to do so over the phone.

Promotions

There’s no promotion tied directly to the Citi® Accelerate Savings account at the moment, but there are promotions you can snag with Citi:

Here are some of the best Citi promotions going on right now:

1. Citi Priority Account - up to $1500 bonus

Expires: July 17, 2022

Available nationwide with the ability to open online, Citi is offering up to a $1,500 cash bonus when you open a new Citi Priority Account.

This is a tiered bonus based on the amount you're able to deposit and maintain in your new account. $15,000 in new funds will earn you $300; $50,000 will earn you $700; or $200,000 will earn you the full $1,500.

Depending on when you deposit the cash (it needs to be there by the 20th day), the bonus represents an effective rate of roughly 5-11% on your savings. The $300 offer nets you the best effective rate, but every offer is significantly more than what you can find on most savings accounts. So if you have the cash, this is a great way to put it to work, risk-free.

How to earn the bonus

The Citi Priority Account sign up offer requires you to deposit and maintain a minimum balance in order to earn the $1500 bonus. Full requirements to receive this bonus are:

  1. Open a new Citi Priority Account using the link below.
  2. Within 20 days, deposit $15,000 into your new account to earn $300, $50,000 to earn $700, or $200,000 to earn $1,500.
  3. Maintain that balance for 60 days or more after the 21st day that the account was opened.
  4. Bonus will be credited to your open, eligible account within 90 calendar days after completing the requirements.

read the full terms

2. Business Checking Account - up to $2000 bonus

Expires: July 5, 2022

Renewed for 2022, CitiBusiness if offering up to $2,000 when you open a new business checking account in-branch and make a minimum deposit within 30 days.

This is a tiered offer, where the more you deposit the more you earn (starting at a $200 bonus for $5,000, up to the full $2,000 for depositing a cumulative $200,000).

If you have the cash and live close to a physical branch, this is a solid welcome bonus. The lowest tier represents a 12% effective rate on your savings – not bad!

Branches currently located in the following metropolitan areas: Los Angeles (CA), Orange County (CA), Riverside (CA), San Diego (CA), San Francisco (CA), Miami (FL), Chicago (IL), Baltimore (MD), Las Vegas (NV), New York City (NY), and Washington, DC.

How to earn the bonus

The Business Checking Account sign up offer requires you to deposit and maintain a minimum balance in order to earn the $2000 bonus. Full requirements to receive this bonus are:

  1. Open a new Citibank business checking account in-branch.
  2. Within 30 days, deposit $5,000 to earn $200, $15,000 to earn $500, $25,000 to earn $700, $50,000 to earn $1,000, $100,000 to earn $1,500, or $200,000 to earn $2,000.
  3. Maintain that balance for 60 days.
  4. The bonus will be credited to your business checking account within 90 days from the end of the month in which you complete the requirements.

read the full terms

3. Citigold® Checking Account - up to $1500 bonus

Expires: July 17, 2022

Citi has increased their offer this year, up from $700 in years past. They've also tiered the bonus, allowing you to earn smaller rewards for lower balance requirements (the Citigold® Account bonus used to require $200k to earn $700 – no other tiers were available).

If you're purposely keeping cash in a bank account, this is an easy way to put it to work. Depending on when you deposit the cash (it needs to be there by the 20th day), the bonus represents an effective rate of roughly 5-11% on your savings.

Tip: They're running this same deal on other accounts, too, like the Citi Priority Account.

How to earn the bonus

The Citigold® Checking Account sign up offer requires you to deposit and maintain a minimum balance in order to earn the $1500 bonus. Full requirements to receive this bonus are:

  1. Open a new Citigold® Account using the link below.
  2. Within 20 days, deposit $15,000 - $49,999 into your new account to earn $300, $50,000 - $199,999 to earn $700, or $200,000+ to earn $1,500. *Must be New-to-Citi funds
  3. Maintain that balance for 60 days or more after the 21st day that the account was opened.
  4. Bonus will be credited to your open, eligible account within 90 calendar days after completing the requirements.

read the full terms

Security

Citi has all of the resources in place to provide peace of mind for online banking when it comes to security.

You’ll get personalized support if your identity or account is compromised, and Citi keeps on an eye on things with 24/7 fraud monitoring, plus real-time alerts if suspicious activity is suspected.

When banking online or through the app, you can count on 128-bit encryption and multi-factor authentication to keep your sensitive information safe.

All Citi accounts are FDIC-insured, so deposits are protected up to $250,000.

Customer Service

When you need help with your Citi® Accelerate Savings account, Citi’s online help center is available through the website or the app. You can browse through FAQs, use live chat, or send a secure email.

Citi has a dedicated online banking phone line (800-374-9700) that’s available Monday through Friday from 7 am to 11 pm Eastern Time and 9 am to 5:30 pm on weekends.

Unfortunately, Citi seems to provide a level of customer support that runs par for the course with bigger banks — at the moment, the bank has a customer service rating of just 1.9 stars (out of 5) on Trustpilot.

Pros & Cons

Pros:

  • High savings rate
  • No minimum balance requirement
  • Great mobile app
  • Tons of accompanying banking products

Cons:

  • Various account fees
  • Must sign up for account packages
  • Low-rated customer service
  • Not available in all markets

Alternatives to Citi® Accelerate Savings

If you live in one of the states where Citi® Accelerate Savings isn’t available or just want to browse what else is out there, there are plenty of high-rate online savings accounts to choose from.

Check out Savings Builder from CIT Bank (no relation to Citibank N.A.), Marcus by Goldman Sachs, Ally Bank, or Chime’s High Yield Online Savings.

It’s also worth looking into credit unions like Alliant or Connexus, which tend to offer lower fees than banks with comparably high-yield rates.

FAQs

Is Citi® Accelerate Savings good?

The best savings accounts should always come with a few benchmark perks, such as high rates, low fees, and plenty of online functionality.

Overall, Citi® Accelerate Savings hits two out of three. The savings rate is on the higher end, and the app is outstanding, but there are more fees than you’ll see with fully online options.

That said, one of the main draws of the account is that it comes with the Citigroup name. The bank is a well-established, member-FDIC financial institution plus a major credit card issuer.

What is the interest rate on Citi® Accelerate Savings?

Right now, the account comes with a 0.60% APY for balances of $1 or more. Like most accounts, the rate is variable and will adjust over time based on market trends and Federal Reserve.

Also, this is well above Citi’s CD rates, which hover between 0.05% to 0.25% APY.

What is the Citi® Accelerate Savings account?

The Citi® Accelerate Savings account is Citi’s online, high-yield savings account.

Unlike most traditional bank accounts, Citi® Accelerate Savings is a checkless, online bank account that provides higher returns than a standard savings account.

Is Citi® Accelerate Savings Right For You?

In some ways, the Citi® Accelerate Savings account is a seemingly perfect balance between old and new.

The account is high-earning and fully digital while retaining the brand name and vast resources of a Big Four Bank.

High-yield savings accounts definitely aren’t the norm for brick-and-mortar banks.

With Citi’s huge market presence and modern features, the account feels like traditional banking’s answer to the ever-expanding selection of upstart neobanks.

On the other hand, it still falls a little short of many of its digital counterparts. Fees are avoidable but not non-existent. The account also isn’t available nationwide, and Citi’s overall level of customer service has come into question.

If nothing else, Citi® Accelerate Savings is a good sign that traditional banks are starting to understand where their savings options have been falling short.

The consumer banking space has more options than ever, and big banks will need to continue to embrace modern practices to stay competitive. Here’s to hoping that there’s more to come.

The content on this page is accurate as of the posting date; however, some of the offers mentioned may have expired or changed.