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Citibank Raises Yield on Ultimate Money Account to 5.10% / Citibank Promo Updates

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Citibank
Update 3/13/08: The yield on the Ultimate Money Account has been falling for the last several months. It's currently 3.25% APY. Please check Citibank's website for the latest rates.

Citibank just increased the yield on its Ultimate Money Account from 5.00% to 5.10% APY. It has no minimum balance requirements. To earn the 5.10% yield, it requires you to make at least 2 electronic bill payments per month from your linked Citi checking account. If you don't meet these requirements a lower rate will be applied (currently 4.50% APY). I was told by the banking rep that they give you 3 months of the full yield without the bill pay requirement. To apply for the Ultimate Money Account, you must have or open an EZ Checking account or another eligible checking account.

To qualify for free EZ Checking, you must apply online or by phone for the Ultimate Money Account in the EZ Checking package. You must be a first-time Citibank deposit (checking or savings product) account customer to qualify for this free checking. Your relationship will then be free of monthly maintenance fees and per-check fees. Otherwise, you'll need to either maintain a combined $1,500 balance, use direct deposit or make 2 monthly bill payments to avoid a monthly fee and per check fees.

Citibank first launched this Ultimate Money Account last May. While Citibank keeps this rate high, the e-Savings account yield has gone way down to 4.25% APY. This use to be 5%. For added confusion, they also have the Ultimate Savings Account that has a yield of 4.75% APY. This one has no checking account requirement, and there are no minimum balance or monthly fees as long as it's held as a stand-alone account

Citibank Checking and Savings Account Bonuses

I just called Citibank at 1-877-624-9600 to check on the available promos. I was pleasantly surprised to get a hold of a knowledgeable customer service rep in only a minute. Here's the deal on the available promos:
  • $200 Checking - Code: MGCH, Expires 12/31/07. No online promo page. First $100 requires a $1,500 deposit into EZ Checking. Second $100 requires you to sign up and use direct deposit for 6 consecutive months OR pay 2 bills a month for 6 consecutive months. I signed up for this promo on 10/16/06. Received the first $100 on 12/1/06. Three months after 6 monthly direct deposits, I sent them a secure message about the second $100. They investigated and credited the second $100 last month. See post for more promo info.
  • $100 Ultimate Savings Account - Code: CSLN, Expires 9/30/07. This is the easiest one. You just open this account. No checking account is required, and there are no minimum balance or monthly fees as long as it's held as a stand-alone account. See post for more promo info.
  • $50 Ultimate Money Account - Code: CSNL, Expires 9/30/07. Must open both the Ultimate Money Account and a new regular checking account in the EZ Checking package.
  • $200 Checking for Citi credit card holders - Code: MVS2, Expired on 8/31/07.

Note, both of the above online promotion pages state that these must be opened by 8/31. My expirations dates are based on what I was told by the customer service rep. So if you're worried about the bonus expiration, I recommend calling 1-877-624-9600.

Some important notes regarding these bonuses:
  • Must be a new Citibank deposit customer (never had a deposit account at Citibank).
  • Bonus will be reported on IRS form 1099-INT
  • It may take 120 days after first statement to receive bonus. I recommend contacting them by using their secure online message system if you don't receive it.
  • Many readers have complained of not receiving bonuses

Some important notes regarding Citibank savings and checking accounts:
  • Hard credit pull is done in the application (can temporarily ding your credit score)
  • Restrictive online funds transfer service in which outgoing external transfers are limited to a daily limit of $5,000 and a monthly limit of $10,000
  • Several readers reported having their accounts closed by Citibank for unclear reasons before receiving bonuses.

Thanks to the reader who mentioned this rate update in the finding deals post.

  Tags: Citibank, checking account, savings account

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Comments
24 Comments.
Comment #1 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Good luck getting bonuses. I opened an account 12/30, attempted to fund it immediately, took nearly 2 months before the monies showed up, took another 2 months to get bonus,after repeated communications with them. 2 dings dated 12/30 showed up on my report. Finally got my $100 bucks and am outta there. Make sure you print out or print screen any offers you take, you will need it.

1
Comment #2 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Note that you can ACH transfer $2K over the $10K per month limit by using the next day option. It's still restrictive, but the next day option limit is separate from the 3-day ACH limit.

1
Comment #3 by Hongjun (anonymous) posted on
Hongjun
About CSLN code, you have the following page after clicking apply button. So what if you do not receive the code from USPS?

You have entered offer code CSLN By clicking to continue the application below, you acknowledge and agree that this bonus offer is not transferable. If you did not receive the offer code listed above in a promotion directly from the United States Postal Service and Citibank you are not eligible for this bonus offer.

1
Comment #4 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
I do NOT trust Citibank with my funds.

I use HSBC now which has a lower 5.05% APY but it has been totally consistent and also has a 2.50% Online Payment Account. I have it linked to Interest Checking for the additional perks.

Would NOT recommend Citibank unless you have no other local high rate banks around.

Im actually looking for a better combo than HSBC but Citibank does NOT fit the bill.

1
Comment #5 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Seems like the choices for high rate banks with good branch structures are:

HSBC, Wamu AND Citibank. WaMU I had a NIGHTMARE experience with and will NEVER use them again. Citibank I also had bad experiences with. HSBC I had some issues early on (was charged for a box of checks, and they lost a cash deposit of mine at an ATM of which was triple marked and they finally found and credited the funds back to me. Since that time management at HSBC had changed and things started to shape up although HSBC is not perfect by any means and I still have some problems with HSBC EasyView which uses yodlee which hopefully they will fix soon.

1
Comment #6 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Isn't the 5.10% APY for Citibank Ultimate Money account only for balances above $25K? Here's a quote from their rates page:

Ultimate Money Account 5.10 4.97
$10,000 to $24,999 4.50 4.40
$10,000 to $24,999 4.50 4.40
$25,000 and up 4.50 4.40
$25,000 and up 5.10 4.97

I realize the numbers don't make any sense, but that's what the page says. So inquire before opening the account. Having said that, I have a number of linked Citi accounts, and have been generally happy with the overall experience.

1
Comment #7 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
The Citibank bonuses are definitely a ymmv. I opened my account in late May. Come the end of August (90 days), I never received the bonus. When I sent a message, I got a reply that an investigation has been opened to figure out why the bonus was not credited. The investigation could take up to 30 days. Very disappointing.

1
Comment #8 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Yes, I also did a Citi promo in which I made 2 bill payments per month for 6 months for a bonus of $100. I never received it. I inquired, and they did a research. Then I received a letter that said I did not fulfill the 2 bill payments for 6 months, and therefore did not qualify for the promo. This obviously wasn't true, so I pulled all of my money out of Citibank. Too bad for Citibank.

1
Comment #9 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
I have posted it before that making 2 bill payments could not be any easier.

You just set a recurring transfer from MM to ezchecking and set up 2 recurring payments of $10 each.

1
Comment #10 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
I do not recommend putting effort into this. I tried to do the MGCH bonus earlier this year and it was a huge waste of time. They ended up closing the account for absolutely no reason, my $1500 was tied up for a week while the check was in the mail, and I never received my bonus. I will never deal with Citibank again.

1
Comment #11 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
I did receive the $100 bonus for opening a Citibank Ultimate Online Savings account after about 2 months.

1
Comment #12 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Since I freely complained about not receiving the bonus as promised a couple of days ago, I fell it only fitting to give credit where credit is due.

I received my $100 bonus yesterday. It took almost 4 months and a lof phone calls and e-mails but it did show up.

I guess I'll continue the 2 billpays per month to receive the second $100 bucks sometime early next year.

Memo to self--these hoops are not worth the payoff.

1
Comment #13 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Both MGCH and MGWE are expired told by two of the representatives.

1
Comment #14 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Citibank just reduced the Ultimate Money Account to 4.5% APY and the Ultimate Savings Account to 4.0% APY. Their 6-month CD is 6.75%. I guess we knew this was going to happen eventually.

Also, I have been satisfied with my experience with citibank. Customer Service has been responsive and I have had no major issues, although it did take a while for the money to show up on my checking account when I sent them an intial check.

I used MGCH code and opened the account July 1 and received the $100 bonus Sept 13. But, that has expired, but just wanted to share my experience. Citibank was the best deal around for me that actually had branches and ATMs (love those 7/11s).

1
Comment #15 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Their 6-month CD is 4.75%, not 6.75%. Sorry for the typo.

1
Comment #16 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
I saw that Citi dropped the rate to 4.5% and wanted to transfer my money out, but I see that Citi has also dropped the daily external transfer limit to $2,000 for standard transfers. How annoying!

1
Comment #17 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Worst experience ever! I'm guessing that everyone who said they received a bonus works for Citibank. I didn't get a bonus, they just waited a while and then said that I didn't qualify for the reward. Oh, and in addition to the two hard pulls on my credit report they didn't give me any interest on the money they held for four months!

1
Comment #18 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
This just in from Citibank . . . they have reduced the daily limit on outgoing ACH transfers from $5,000 to $2,000.

1
Comment #19 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Believe or not, Citibank makes so many mistakes on crediting bonuses.
So you have to pay attention and keep sending online message to Citibank CSR with so enough patient.
However, your effort will be rewarded. They sometimes forget that they already gave me all the credit. It means, I got $50 extra credit on $200 promotional credit in 2007. THX

1
Comment #20 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Rate on Ultimate Money Account now down to 3.25%

1
Comment #21 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Now, the rate has dipped to 2.8%. I'm getting out of this account ASAP. The 5%+ was good while it lasted...

1
Comment #22 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
I'm pulling my money out. Maybe Citi will start a new high interest account.

1
Comment #23 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
As usual, Citibank is not the greatest banks. First, like few others, they outsource CSR to India. Second, they're similar to amtrust with "teaser" rates and "teaser" bonuses. Take the current offer from now til July 31, 2008 or August 2008, where you have to open The Citibank Account to get 16000 thank you points, and a chance to triple your banking relationships points for 12 months...and maintain minimum $6,000 in your relationship to avoid steep fees for maintenance and per check item and non-citi atm fees. It's great to take advantage of their accounts; but it will be foolish to maintain this account (The Citibank Account or higher) because the longer you're with them, in the long term you will be paying for the account through lost interest from other banks.

1
Comment #24 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
In some states, Citi now is offering 3.75% on a "Rate Accelerator MMF" for 25k+ with DD, 2 Billpay or debit usage. I moved my cash out of Ultimate Money to get this new account.

1