Update 9/11/07: Some readers have reported being told this MGCH offer is over. However, I called Citibank at 1-877-624-9600 and was told it's still good through 12/31/07. So "your miles may vary".
The Citibank $200 checking account promotion should still be available. The offer was listed as being valid through March 31, 2007. I first posted on it in October 16. You get the first $100 for opening a regular checking account (EZ Checking is eligible) and funding it with at least $1,500 within 60 days of account opening. To get the second $100 you either have to sign up and use direct deposit for 6 consecutive months OR pay 2 bills a month for 6 consecutive months at citibankonline.com. A scan of the offer is available at this SlickDeals thread. This is available only to first-time Citibank checking/deposit account customers. Also note, you do get a hard credit inquiry for opening the checking account.
I gave this promo a try and applied for the EZ Checking on October 16th over the phone (1-866-810-9043). I did not have to visit any branch. It is important to mention the promo code MGCH. The customer service rep took my information over the phone. You have the option to fund the account with an ACH transfer or by check. I chose funding it with a check. Here's a timeline of the account opening:
- 10/21 - Received the ATM card and PIN in the mail
- 10/23 - Received welcome package and signature card in the mail. Account number included.
- 10/24 - Mailed back signature card and check for $1,500
- 11/05 - Used PIN and account number to gain online access. Opened the 5% e-Savings account. Transfered most of money into e-Savings account (probably could have done this sooner).
- 11/09 - Received first free order of checks in the mail
- 12/01 - Received the first $100 bonus credited to the checking account!
- 8/20/07 - Received the second $100 bonus after sending message asking about it (via their online messaging system). The 6 monthly direct deposits began in December.
Last month I started using the direct deposit to qualify for the second $100. But this will take 6 months. So far it has gone well, and I'm happy with my first $100 bonus. I know others haven't been as lucky with previous Citibank promotions (see post). I don't believe you have to maintain $1,500 in the account. It's only for the intial deposit. But to avoid monthly fees on the EZ Checking you need either a combined average balance of $1,500, or use direct deposit or make two monthly bill payments online or by phone. Please refer to this Citibank page for more EZ Checking account details.