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$150 Citibank Checking Account Bonus

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Citibank
Citibank has a checking account bonus in which you can earn $150 in gift cards. Below are some of the important details:
  • open a new qualifying regular checking account in the Citibank Account, Citibank Everything Counts or Citigold account relationship package by 7/31/08 and deposit at least $1,000 in account between account opening date and 7/31/08
  • Within 60 days of account opening, you must (1) enroll your new checking account in ThankYou Network and (2) complete one direct deposit per month, two electronic bill payments or five signature debit card transactions and continue for three consecutive months
  • 16,000 bonus points will be rewarded within 120 days of your satisfying all offer terms; points can be redeemed for $150 in gift cards or other rewards currently available through ThankYou Network
  • Your points from both qualifying debit card purchases and your checking relationship will be tripled for twelve (12) checking statement cycles.
  • Monthly points for checking relationship require customer to maintain an active checking account with customer initiating minimum of one credit or debit transaction to the account per statement cycle.
  • Existing Citibank checking customers are not eligible.

From a comparison of the 3 qualifying checking account packages, you can see all have monthly fees to worry about. The Citibank Account package requires a minimum combined balance of $6,000 to avoid a monthly fee, a $0.50 per check fee and a $1.50 fee for each withdrawal from non-Citibank ATMs. The combined balance can include balances in the savings accounts, and it also can include credit lines and loans.

The tripling of the ThankYou Points can potentially earn you quite a bit. The ThankYou Network overview shows how you can earn the points and how to redeem them. This FW thread has many ways to maximize ThankYou Points in this promotion without having to maintain large balances in low-interest accounts or having to pay monthly fees.

For those trying to earn ThankYou Points, you can earn a quick 200 points, by logging into your ThankYou Network at this promo page and entering in the codes "DPR1CDW408WK" and "CITICCI508IN". Credit goes to this FW thread.

Some important notes regarding Citibank checking and savings accounts:
  • Citibank's savings account rates have declined more than the competition over the last year. As of 5/29/08, the Ultimate Money Market Account has a 2.65% APY and the Ultimate Savings Account has a 2.25% APY.
  • No Hard Pulls: In December a reader reported being told that Citibank has a new policy in which they no longer do hard credit pulls when there is no overdraft protection. The CSR in my last chat session stated "We perform a soft inquiry to your credit to verify your identity only." When I applied in 2006 I had a hard pull for opening Citibank accounts, and many others have also reported this.
  • Restrictive online funds transfer service in which outgoing external transfers are limited to a daily limit of $2,000 (was $5K) and a monthly limit of $10,000
  • Several readers reported having their accounts closed by Citibank for unclear reasons before receiving bonuses.
A couple of weeks ago I posted on a $200 Citibank checking account promotion (see post).

Thanks to the reader who emailed me info on this promotion.
  Tags: Citibank, checking account

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Comments
3 comments.
Comment #1 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
This deal seems costly. To get your 16,000 bonus points and triple relationship points for first 12 months, it will really take 14 months (the deal states that the triple points begins in the 2nd statement period after the statement period you enroll the account with thankyou.) The Citibank Account requires minimum $6000 to waive monthly fees, per check fee, and non-Citi ATM use fees. To maximize the triple points, you need: The CitiAccount, debit card (use 1per month), savings/money market, online billpay, direct deposit, & a CD or loan or personal loan. This gives you 600 TY/month x3=1800 x12months...21,600+16,000+1200 (2xtra months) =37600points. Linking checking (debitcard) to TY takes ~7days for enrollment. So, 38.8k TY gets you $350 giftcards in 14months. HOWEVER, the problem is that you have $6k sitting at Citi earning ~0.35% or ~0.75% or even 1.20% LESS than other banks. ie.ING @3.00%/ ultimate money account @2.65%; if you have >10k, capital one @3.5 or countrywide @3.8% or 12-mo cd @3.95% (as of today). Moreover, Citi's Client Agreement doesnt clearly state whether Ultimate Money Account or Ultimate Savings Account balances help meet the citibank account balance requirement; Are they considered "savings and money market accounts"? Client Agreement does state savings as e-savings, day-to-day savings, and money market account; but no reference to the Ultimate...even though you need a citi banking package to get it. So, if Citi's savings/deposit accounts are always just 0.35% less than other banks, then the loss interest is only $21 per year; but it could be more if the gap between Citi and other banks is more (ie. Countrywide vs Citi). Plus, some of your money will have to sit at no interest (or very little 0.25%interest checking) to pay for your monthly transactions: 2 bill payments (for ultimate money linked); at least 1 debitcard transaction p/ month to "maintain account for relationship TY points." Too much stipulations. And, has anyone confirmed if Ultimate Money Account or Ultimate Savings Account are considered for balance maintenance to waive monthly fee?

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Comment #2 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Yes, the fact that you need to open The Citibank Account makes this deal aweful, since you're forced to have $6k at sub-par APY. This offer is best to take advantage and close after you get your bonus and triple points!

1
Comment #3 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Well, I noticed today that Citibank is offering a 3.50% APY (3.44%) 9-month CD which is reasonably competitive. Since CD's do count toward relationship balances, one could put a minimum balance amount into that 9-month CD and take advantage of the bonus Thank You points.

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