Dedicated to Deposits: Deals, Data, and Discussion

Citibank's e-Savings Account now 5.00%

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Citibank just raised the yield of its e-Savings Account from 4.75% to 5.00% APY. Since it relaunched the e-Savings account last March, Citibank seems to be serious in keeping e-Savings very competitive. The APY in March was 4.50%. It was raised to 4.75% in May, about a week after the last Fed funds rate hike.

Citibank now joins with OneUnited Bank as having a 5% no-minimum internet savings account (see post about OneUnited). Refer to my March post for details about the Citibank e-Savings account. Some additional details from the FW e-Savings thread include:
  • Citibank does a hard credit inquiry for opening this account. This can be avoided if you already have a Citibank account.
  • Bank-to-bank ACH transfers in are free. ACH transfers out cost $3 (3 day) $10 (1 day)
  • ACH outbound transfer amounts are limited to $2K/day (see Citibank page for details)
  • Citibank EZ Checking is required, but is now free if you apply online for both a new regular checking and e-Savings Account in the EZ Checking package by 12/31/2006. Your relationship package will then be free of monthly maintenance fees and per-check fees.
  • It has been reported on this FW thread that Citibank counts Paypal and ING Direct transfers as direct deposit

There are other potential perks with Citibank's accounts. These include Citibank's Thankyou Redemptions program (see FW thread), checking account bonuses (see post), and a 6% 6-month CD for those in Texas (see post).

Thanks to Steve who mentioned this new 5% rate in the finding deals post.

[Edit 6/26: Updated info on EZ Checking account which can now be opened so that it's free of monthly maintenance fees regardless of direct deposit or bill pay]

Comments
21 comments.
Comment #1 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
I thought it's stated that the Checking account is free as long as it's linked to the e-Savings account. You don't need direct deposit, a minimum $1500, or two bill payments per month to qualify for free checking. See quote below:

†To qualify for Free Citibank® EZ Checking, you must apply online for both a new regular checking and e-Savings Account in the EZ Checking package by 12/31/2006. Your relationship package will then be free of monthly maintenance fees and per-check fees. Charges for other account-related services may apply. All accounts are subject to approval. Offer only available for first-time Citibank checking/deposit account customers, and is valid only once for any individual.

I also chatted online with the CSR, and I think that's what she said.

Could this free checking thing be confirmed again?

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Comment #2 by Banking Guy (anonymous) posted on
Banking Guy
Thanks for this info. I think you are right. Looks like Citibank has changed things so that people who sign up for the e-Savings don't have to worry about fees in the EZ Checking account. I hadn't reviewed the small print lately. I've updated the post with this correct info.

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Comment #3 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
With respect to the fees, I read elsewhere that the fees for electronic transfer OUT of citibank are only applied when initiated from within Citibanks system, i.e., if you use your ING or HSBC to initiate the transfer of funds out, apparently there is no fee, although I would assume that the $ amount limitations would still apply.

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Comment #4 by Banking Guy (anonymous) posted on
Banking Guy
Yes, I think initiating a transfer out from ING, HSBC or another bank would not get charged a fee. It may not even be limited by amount. This is something I'll check into.

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Comment #5 by newyorkdepositor (anonymous) posted on
newyorkdepositor
Citibank has not charged me for transfers to and from other banks, nor have they restricted transfer amounts.

I’ve found that GMAC Bank allows for transfers, which in my experience have not been restricted as to amount. GMAC now requires that transfer links can only be set up using trial deposits or the mailing of a voided check.

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Comment #6 by Banking Guy (anonymous) posted on
Banking Guy
Thanks for the info. Are the transfers that you are referring to initiated at another bank or were they intiated at Citibank?

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Comment #7 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
I noticed that this account can be funded by a credit card. Does anyone know if this counts as a cash advance or a purchase? If a purchase it would make a nice use of a rewards card.

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Comment #8 by Banking Guy (anonymous) posted on
Banking Guy
I've read that credit card companies can choose to consider it as a cash advance instead of a purchase. Be careful if you try the credit card funding.

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Comment #9 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Banking Guy,

Do you have an answer to your post on 4:30 PM, June 26, 2006? I'm curious about the outbound transfer fees and limitations as well.

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Comment #10 by Banking Guy (anonymous) posted on
Banking Guy
Found this on the FW e-Savings thread:

Confirmed with CSR that there is a $3 fee to ACH push out of the Citi account. She did say however that there is no fee for an ACH pull. So, for example, if you have an ING account, you can initiate an ACH transfer to pull money into the ING account, rather than pushing it from the Citi account.

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Comment #11 by tomcheng (anonymous) posted on
tomcheng
For what it's worth, a recent Wall Street Journal article mentioned that Citibank plans to eliminate the $3 fee for ACH pushes:
"Over the next 45 days, [Citibank] plans to double that incoming limit to $100,000, boost the outgoing limit to $50,000 and drop the standard $3 outgoing transfer fee."
(Online banking beefs up to pull in customers)

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Comment #12 by Banking Guy (anonymous) posted on
Banking Guy
Glad to see Citibank is droping the $3 outgoing ACH fee.

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Comment #13 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
I would highly recommend NOT doing business with Citibank.

The customer service is atrocious. I have been trying to activate my account for the past 3 weeks. They keep telling me my account is "blocked" and that they require more information from me. Everytime I send them what they need, they keep asking me for something different. This cycle has annoyingly repeated itself. Worst of all, the customer service people are of no help and are down right rude. Since there are multiple other banks similar high interest savings account, I would suggest taking your business elsewhere.

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Comment #14 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Infact my experience has been great. Customer service was great for me
annonymous, chicago

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Comment #15 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
My experience so far with them has also been wonderful.

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Comment #16 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
I agree with a previous post: Citi's customer service is TERRIBLE. They apparently cancelled my bank card ("in error"), didnt tell me about it, and I've had to call 6+ times to get the attention of someone senior enough to do something about it. Such a shame as I've been with citi 10 years but am now planning to switch...

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Comment #18 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
I also had a horrible customer experience with Citibank. It took us several weeks to get the account open. The technical support people do not know anything about banking, and the banking people do not understand their own website. They kept blaming the problem on each other and would not talk to each other. (They are also all in India). Their online help consists solely of form letters and does not answer questions. Finally, they take three days to execute many inter-institution transfers. The money comes out of one account and does not show up in the next for three days. Multiply this by thousands of transfers a day and you make a pot of cash on the interest you are witholding from your customers. If you ask Citibank about it, they say it is just the policy of the company they use for the transfers and that they have no control over. I find it hard to believe that mega-giant Citibank has no control overs its own transfer contract!

I would like to get recommendations on another high-interest account with good customer service. Any suggestions?

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Comment #19 by Banking Guy (anonymous) posted on
Banking Guy
I've been happy with GMAC's Money Market Savings Account and their customer service (see post).

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Comment #20 by CreditBlogger (anonymous) posted on
CreditBlogger
That's great Citibank saving account has become cheaper to hold. I hope they will improve the credit card rates and service as well!

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Comment #21 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Dear Sir or Madam:
As a requirement of the degree of Doctor in Business Administration at Argosy University/ Southern California Campus, I interned to conduct a survey among financial employee in the U.S. and Taiwan.

If you work for banking industry,I request your cooperation responding through an internet survey-questionnaire system. All data will be kept confidential and results will be available to your organization upon request.

Thanks for in advance for your cooperation.

Link to Survey: http://www.my3q.com/home2/224/leeyuehshian/39772.phtml

Sincerely,

Yueh-shian Lee

Doctoral Candidate

Argosy University/ Southern California Campus.

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