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$25 Bonus at Citibank for Opening the Ultimate Savings Account - Update

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Citibank
Citibank has a $25 bonus for opening its Ultimate Savings Account with a minimum initial deposit of $1,000. A $1,000 minimum balance must be maintained each month for the next 3 consecutive months to earn the bonus. You can apply online or by phone at 1-877-695-9400. Make sure to mention the code CYA8. This is the same offer that I had reported on in October. It's scheduled to expire on 1/31/09.

Some important small print of the promo:
  • $25 offer is only available for first-time Citibank deposit account customers
  • $25 will be credited to your account within 120 days from the date of satisfaction of offer terms
  • The amount of any bonus payment will be reported to the IRS as interest earned in the year credited

$25 is not much, but at least the Ultimate Savings Account has two nice features: currently has a fair yield of 2.75% APY and there are no monthly maintenance fees.

About the fees, their small print is confusing: "No monthly maintenance fee applies when held as a stand-alone account in the Citibank Account relationship package." I'm not sure what this means, but I've had this savings account since December with a small balance and with no checking account, and I have not been charged any fees. A reader mentioned this same thing in my previous Citibank post.

The two downsides to this Ultimate Savings Account is that the yield will probably not remain competitive and it has a very low ACH outbound transfer limit: $2,000 per day and $10,000 per month. A reader in my last post provided the following tip of how to get around this limitation:
One can overcome the $2k/day, $10k/month outbound limits by opening some other type of savings or money market account with Citi, doing an internal transfer, then doing the ACH transfer from the standard savings/MM account.

You should also be able to transfer above these limits by initiating ACH transfers from another bank.

About a hard credit pull, readers have reported that Citibank has a new policy in which they no longer do hard credit pulls for deposit account applications with no overdraft protection. When I opened a Citibank checking account in 2006, I had a hard credit pull. A reader commented in my last post that he received a hard pull by Transunion when he recently applied for the Ultimate Savings Account.

Citibank still has a $100 checking account bonus that is scheduled to expire 12/31/08. It should be noted that it's not as good as previous promotions (see post).

Citibank is FDIC insured (FDIC Certificate # 7213).
  Tags: Citibank, savings account

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Comments
9 comments.
Comment #1 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
What it means is that there is no fee if you only have an Ultimate Savings Account. If you have any other accounts with Citi (CD, free checking, etc.) the requirements to be fee free default to those accounts. I have a Citi checking and U.S.A. and get everything free by having a direct deposit made to the checking account. The other way to have it free is to have $1,500 daily across all your linked Citi accounts.

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Comment #2 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
This promotion is a "joke" and a sign of the times.

Even in these tough times, I don't know if it's worth one's time to earn such a small amount. $25 bonus???

1
Comment #3 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
I just opened an Ultimate Savings Account last month, so I am sure that automatically prevents me from getting the bonus by closing and then reopening a new account at Citibank. This account was added after Citibank had already been offering the e-Savings account which does require a checking account to be opened at the same time. The minimum monthly requirement for that checking/savings account package is $1500. Curiously, the e-Savings account rate is lower than the Ultimate Savings Account rate. This "new" account removes the checking account requirement, but you still need at least $1500 per month or they will sock you with low balance fees (your overall money balance in Citibank must be at least $1500 per month or this so-called no minimum balance account is not fee free). The low ACH limits is a downside of these accounts. Yes, a $25 bonus is not much, but some of the other online banks are offering a similar bonus amount (such as ING direct). I guess you could look at the amount as enough to get a free toaster.

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Comment #4 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Yup, it's a bad joke. I'm still trying to fund it, they want only a checking Account to fund it, btw, you can be charged a transfer fee from exterior checking Account to fund it.

Not worth it.

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Comment #5 by Bill M (anonymous) posted on
Bill M
Waste of time, wait 3 months for $25?

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Comment #6 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
To the poster on 12/21/08 at 11:40 PM.

I did an ACH transfer to deposit the opening balance to the savings account from an external bank was not charged a fee. This account has to be opened online (or via the phone) so charging to transfer money does not make sense. I would not have opened the account if there were a external transfer fee involved.

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Comment #7 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
To the poster Anonymous, on at 2:32 PM, December 22, 2008

Citibank did not charge a transfer fee.

fee was from my exterior bank checking Account to send into Citibank.

Citibank wants only a checking Account to fund it so I could not cancel transfer to avoid fee at exterior checking Account. This was not made clear at Citibank.

Citibank should just use regular ACH pull transfers (free) to fund new
Accounts.

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Comment #8 by dealman (anonymous) posted on
dealman
It's not much but would be worth it if you are already opening an account.

I submitted it to BankFiesta.com to share with others, hopefully will get you some additional visitors too.

Cheers,

dealman

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Comment #9 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
I opened the Ultimate Savings at the beginning of January over the phone.
Apparently, not only did the supposedly English speaking customer service rep get my address wrong, causing bank correspondance to go out incorrectly, but Citi's fraud detection software inadvertantly flagged my own home address as a "Hotel".
This caused more mess for me to clean up, and further delay.
The level of outright incompetence and carelessness exhibited by Citi over the past 20 years is staggering.
There can be absolutely no doubt as to why it is in such dire straights.
It must be said that this is entirely of their own making, and would be comical except for the fact we are all paying for it.
Word to the wise:
AVOID CITIBANK!

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