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.