Citibank Review

Citibank

Overall Rating

9

Bottom Line

If you're looking for convenience and the peace of mind that comes with big banks, combined with a competitive HYSA account, you can't go wrong with Citibank

Pros

  • Security of a National Bank
  • Huge ATM Network
  • Competitive Interest Rates
  • Solid Account Bonuses
  • Numerous Credit Card Options

Cons

  • Monthly Service Fees
  • Large Balances needed to Avoid Fees
  • Not Available in Certain Markets

Citibank has a long history of providing financial services to urban-dwellers.

Founded in 1812 as the City Bank of New York, Citibank is the consumer banking division of Citigroup — the third-largest financial institution in the U.S.

With over 700 domestic branches and over 2,500 worldwide, Citibank is one of the “Big Four” American banks.

In the US, most Citibank locations are concentrated in the six major metropolitan areas: New York City, Chicago, Los Angeles, Washington D.C., Miami, and San Francisco.

Citibank also utilizes the MoneyPass ATM network, which provides 65,000 fee-free locations for Citibank customers.

Let’s take a look at the products and features that Citibank has to offer:

In This Article

Citibank Checking Accounts

Citibank offers seven different checking account options. Each account is part of an account package, which includes a savings account.

You don’t have to open both accounts in each package, but you won’t be able to open a savings account without enrolling in a checking account first.

All Citi accounts have no minimum opening deposit requirements, so new customers will be able to open one without having to throw in a large chunk of cash.

Citi Access Account Package

The Access Account Package is a bare-bones checking account for people who don’t need physical checks and want to avoid overdraft fees.

The account gives you access to Citi’s full range of digital products and services. Paper checks don’t exist here, so all transactions will have to be made digitally.

The upside is that the account doesn’t allow you to overdraft, so your debit card will simply decline the purchase if you don’t have enough funds to cover it.

The Access Account comes with a $10 monthly service fee, which you can avoid by linking a direct deposit or maintaining an average monthly balance of $1,500 between linked accounts.

Citi Basic Banking Package

Basic Banking is Citi’s standard checking account that should serve most people’s basic checking needs.

You’ll get a debit card, unlimited check writing, and access to mobile banking.

Basic Banking gives you access to free ATMs within Citi’s network. Good news for seniors looking for a checking account: If you’re 62 or older, Citibank waives the fees on non-Citi ATMs.

The monthly maintenance fee for Basic Banking is $12. To avoid this fee, you have to link a direct deposit and make at least one qualifying bill payment per statement period.

Citi Elevate Account Package

Elevate is a high-yield checking account that allows you to earn more interest on your deposits.

The interest rates are tiered, so the higher your balance, the more you can expect to earn.

Currently, the standard APY for balances under $10,000 is 0.05%. The rate goes up to 0.25% when your balance reaches $25,000.

These are surprisingly good rates for a big bank checking account, so if you’re looking to earn interest from your checking account, this could be a good option.

Elevate comes with a $15 monthly fee. Unfortunately, the only way to avoid this fee is to keep an average monthly balance of at least $5,000 in your account.

The Citibank Account Package

The Citibank Account might be a good option for those who can maintain a higher minimum balance in their checking and savings. If you can swing it, this account comes with some added perks.

If you meet the minimum average monthly balance of $10,000 between your linked accounts, you’ll get access to Citi ThankYou Rewards Points, and waived fees at non-Citi ATMs.

This minimum balance is also the only way to avoid the monthly maintenance fee, which is $25.

The Citibank account also pays interest on your checking deposits. But at an APY of only 0.01%, it’s not much to get excited about.

Citi Priority Account Package

Citi Priority gives customers more access to professional financial guidance.

With this account, you’ll be able to chat with Citi Priority Advisors at your local branch or over the phone

You’ll also have access to other investment resources and financial planning tools.

Like the Citibank account, you’ll qualify for ThankYou points, and get preferred pricing and rates on other services throughout the bank.

Citi Priority is a higher-tier checking account and any balance will currently earn you a standard APY of 0.03%.

You need an average monthly balance of at least $50,000 in linked accounts to get the $30 monthly service fee waived.

Citi Logo

up to $1500

Citi : Priority
Available nationwide

Details

Citigold® Package

Citigold® takes things a step further and sets you up with your own dedicated financial team. This includes a relationship manager, as well as a wealth advisor.

There’s no monthly fee, but to keep your account, you need to maintain a minimum balance of at least $200,000 between your liked checking, savings, and investment accounts.

Citigold® Private Client Package

Citigold® Private Client is the bank’s highest-tier checking option.

In addition to all the benefits of the previously-mentioned accounts, you’ll gain access to presale tickets for entertainment and dining, as well as higher account thresholds and more flexibility for moving your money around.

Private Client has an average monthly balance requirement of $1,000,000 across all accounts and has no monthly fee.

Citibank Savings Accounts

Citibank has two options for savings accounts:

Citi® Savings

Citi® Savings is the bank’s standard savings account that easily links with your Citi checking account (if you have one).

As with most savings accounts, you can earn interest on your deposits.

However, the interest rate that you earn depends on which account package you enroll in, and on how much you have deposited in the account.

Similarly, the fees, and how to avoid them, depending on which package you enroll in.

So, be sure to understand the requirements for whichever account package direction that you decide to take.

Citi® Accelerate Savings

If it’s available in your state, Accelerate is an attractive high-yield savings account (HYSA) option.

The standard APY for Citi® Accelerate Savings currently sits at 0.50% and you just need a balance of $1 to earn it. This makes it one of the highest interest rates you can expect to see at any bank. This rate is especially high for a big bank.

As with Citi® Savings, the fees for Accelerate varies.

If you have a standard checking account, you need to keep a $500 minimum balance to avoid the $4.50 monthly maintenance fee.

Citibank CD (Certificates of Deposit)

Citibank offers three different types of FDIC-insured certificate of deposit accounts (CDs):

Citibank Fixed Rate CD

Citibank Fixed Rate CD comes with a locked-in CD rate that ranges from 0.05% to 0.15% APY, depending on the CD term you select.

Current CD terms are 3-months, 4-months, 5-months, 1-year, 13-months, 18-months, and 5-years.

Looking at the current numbers, the 3-month or 5-year term seems to be the best deal, which has a 0.15% APY on any deposit amount.

Citibank Step-Up CD

Citibank Step-Up CD is a longer-term CD option with a rising APY every ten months.

If you commit to a 30-month term, your rate will rise from 0.05% to 0.15% toward the end of the term.

Citibank No Penalty CD

Citibank No Penalty CD offers more flexibility, but a lower APY than the bank’s other options.

Once you open up an account, you get a six-day grace period to withdraw your funds without a penalty.

After that, you’ll earn 0.05% APY on your investment.

Considering that there are high-yield savings accounts (HYSAs) that yield around the same APY, so make sure to consider all of your options before diving in.

Citibank Credit Cards

Citibank is one of the biggest credit card issuers in the world. Cashback rewards, travel rewards, and business cards are just a few of the Citi credit cards to choose from.

In general, Citi cards are a little easier to obtain than some other banks. That’s because you only need a fair credit score (600-649) to qualify.

As you might expect, a fair credit score won’t get you access to Citi’s higher-tier cards, but, you can get your hands on some solid credit card products.

Then, if you pay your bills on time, and avoid taking on too much debt, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t be able to improve your credit score and bump up to the next tier of cards.

Citi currently has 16 different credit cards available. Here is a shortlist of Citi’s most popular cards:

Citi Rewards Cards

Citi’s rewards credit cards are based on the bank’s Thank You points system.

Once you build up enough Thank You points, you can cash them in to book travel, buy gift cards, or apply them as a credit toward your statement balance.

Here are two of Citi’s top rewards cards:

  • Citi Rewards+: Citi Rewards+ is a rewards card issued by Mastercard with no annual fee. You’ll earn points on every purchase, and Citi is currently offering 15,000 bonus points if you spend $1,000 or more in your first three months. This is also a good option if you’re looking to move some debt around, with 0% APR on balance transfers for 15 months.
  • Citi Premier: Citi Premier is a higher-tier rewards card that earns triple points on transactions at restaurants, supermarkets, and gas stations. The signup bonus is also more tempting, with 60,000 points up for grabs if you spend $4,000 in the first three months. In exchange for those perks, there’s a $95 annual fee.

Citi Travel Cards

Citi partners with American Airlines across its travel credit card portfolio.

There are four different cards that can help you earn AA Advantage frequent flier miles. Here are two that stand out:

  • Citi AAdvantage MileUp: Citi AAdvantage MileUp is an entry-level travel card that earns 2 AAdvantage miles for each $1 spent on American Airlines purchases and at grocery stores. You can also earn 1 mile for each dollar spent on all other purchases. There is no annual fee, and the card currently offers a sign-up bonus of 10,000 AAdvantage miles and a $50 statement credit if you spend $500 during the introductory period.
  • Citi Executive World Elite: Citi Executive World Elite is Citibank’s premium travel credit card that comes with a ton of perks, including Admirals Club membership, priority check-in, and no foreign transaction fees. If you travel a lot, these benefits will pay for themselves. On the other hand, if you don’t travel often, the $450 annual fee probably doesn’t make sense.

Citi Cash Back Cards

Cardholders who just want cash back have a couple of options as well.

  • Citi Double Cash: Citi Double Cash is a cash back card that pays 1% cash back on all purchases, twice — once when you buy something, and again when you pay your balance on those purchases. (Double Cash, get it?).
  • Costco Anywhere Visa: Costco Anywhere Visa pays up to 4% cash back on eligible Costco If you’re an avid Costco shopper, this is a pretty nice feature to have.

Citibank Fees

Here is a breakdown of the various fees you can expect from Citibank.

In most cases, you can avoid monthly fees by linking a direct deposit, making a monthly bill payment, maintaining a certain balance, or some combination of the three.

Monthly Maintenance Fees

Unless you plan to open a premium checking account — and have a large balance stashed in it — you can expect to pay a monthly service fee.

Here is a summary of the current monthly service fees that Citibank charges:

Citi Account Monthly Service Fee Avoidable?
Access Account Package $10 Yes
Basic Banking Package $12 Yes
Elevate Account Package $15 Yes
Citibank Account Package $25 Yes
Citi Priority Package $30 Yes
Citigold® Package $0 n/a
Citigold® Private Client Package $0 n/a
Citi® Accelerate Savings $4.50 Yes

To learn how to avoid the monthly fees associated with each account, check out the Products and Features section above, which covers each account in more detail.

Overdraft Fees

Citibank charges a hefty overdraft fee of $34. If you aren’t careful, you could get dinged for this fee up to 4 times within a 24-hour period.

If you tend to carry a low balance, or if overdraft fees are a big concern of yours, Citi’s Access Account package might be a good option.

You can also enroll in overdraft protection, which transfers funds from a linked savings account, money market account, or a line of credit.

ATM Fees

Citibank charges a $2.50 fee if for using non-Citi ATMs, on top of whatever the ATM itself charges.

Higher-level accounts offer ATM fee waivers and reimbursements, but there’s no way to get around non-Citi ATM fees with basic packages.

Citibank does have a massive network of ATMs, so hopefully, you won’t run into this fee too often.

Getting Started with Citibank

When you’re ready to open up a Citi account or credit card, it’s easy to do so online, in person, or over the phone.

Citi offers different accounts, products, and rates in different markets, so it might be easiest to speak with someone if you’re a new customer.

That way, you’ll get a full understanding of exactly which options are available to you, without having to spend too much time doing your own research.

Once you’re signed up, you’ll have access to the Citi mobile app, which lets you handle most banking transactions on the go.

Citibank Promotions

Citibank is at the top of its game when it comes to providing new customer incentives.

As with many of Citi’s account perks, sign-up bonuses tend to be tiered. The higher level of account you open, and the more money you deposit, the larger bonus you’ll get.

Citi does not have any minimum opening deposit requirements. However, to qualify for a signup bonus, you do have to hit a certain deposit amount within the first 30 days of opening the account.

You also need to maintain that account balance for at least two months.

Here are some of the current promotions that Citibank has available:

BankAmountExpiresRequirements 
Citi LogoCiti Citi Priority Account $1500 January 4, 2022
  • Minimum Balance
Citi LogoCiti Citi® Savings Account $2000 January 4, 2022
  • Minimum Balance
Citi LogoCiti Business Checking Account $2000 January 4, 2022
  • Minimum Balance
see all bonuses

Citibank Security

Citibank is FDIC-insured, and, like all big national banks, they implement a ton of security measures.

For example, the bank offers a number of protections against identity theft, and against unauthorized transactions from your account.

You can also sign up for online fraud protection, and receive account alerts for suspicious transactions right on the mobile app.

Overall, you can feel comfortable that your data and funds are safe with Citibank.

Customer Service and Support

Citibank offers the type of customer support that you can expect from a large national bank.

Phone support is available seven days a week, and there’s a live chat feature on the website and mobile app.

You can also stop by a local branch to get help or schedule an appointment online to meet with a banker.

Citibank Pros & Cons

Pros:

  • Big, secure national bank
  • Huge ATM network
  • Competitive interest rates
  • Top tier HYSA (Accelerate Savings)
  • Solid account bonuses
  • Lots of credit cards

Cons:

  • Too many monthly service fees
  • Large balances required to avoid fees
  • Not available in certain markets
  • Limited physical branches outside of major cities

Alternatives to Citibank

Some of the more popular alternatives to Citibank include:

Frequently Asked Questions

Now, let’s cover some questions about Citibank that you might be asking:

Does Citibank have the best savings account?

Yes and no. Citi offers one of the best savings account interest rates that you can find from any large bank.

The current APY on Accelerate Savings is 0.50% APY, which puts it among the top high yield savings accounts. Best of all, the minimum balance to earn the APY is a whopping $1. The only downside is that Accelerate Savings is only available in select markets.

Is Citibank better than Chase?

Citibank and Chase have quite a bit in common. They’re both Big Four banks, they are both based out of New York, and both offer comprehensive financial services throughout the country.

Deciding which of the two is best for you comes down to a few differences.

Chase has a much larger network of physical branches, while Citi has fewer branches and is mainly located in urban areas.

Chase also has a wider variety of credit card options and tends to have better rewards associated with them.

That being said, when it comes to HYSAs, Chase doesn’t have an option that comes close to the higher rates you can earn from Accelerate Savings.

Is Citibank only available in major cities?

No. Citibank is available to customers nationwide. That being said, if having a physical branch near you is important, you might have a tougher time finding one outside of a major metro area.

Also, while the bank itself is open to anyone, anywhere, you might get different rates and account options based on your location.

If you’re interested to know what’s available in your area, go on the website and type in your zip code. From there, you’ll get an idea of what’s available in your specific market.

Is Citibank Right For You?

Citibank offers most of the things you can expect from a bigger bank.

You’ll have lots of account options, convenient and secure online banking, and easy customer support access. As with most big banks, you also have to watch out for fees.

The thing that sets Citi apart from the pack is the Accelerate Savings interest rate.

While the other Big Four banks offer microscopic interest rates on even their highest-yielding accounts, Citi goes against the grain and has one of the best HYSA rates, period.

Citi also offers attractive signup bonuses and a competitive variety of credit card options that are relatively easy to qualify for.

If you’re looking for convenience and the peace of mind that comes with big banks, combined with a competitive HYSA account, you can’t go wrong with Citibank — if it’s available in your area.

If you are the type of customer that doesn’t want to worry about carrying a minimum balance to avoid monthly fees, or if you live in a rural area, then you might want to look more closely at a local credit union, or no-fee online-only bank.

Here’s to finding the best place to grow your nest egg.

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