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Update on Citibank's CDs - Branch Specials & Secured MasterCard CD

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Citibank

Update 2/22/2010: Citibank's CD rates have fallen. Please check Citibank's website for the latest rates.

Citibank has extended its in-branch CD specials including a 4.00% APY 60-month CD for at least another week. I just called and confirmed that these rates were extended for another week. According to the CSR, Citibank typically updates rates on Tuesdays. Below are the special in-branch rates quoted by the CSR for NV, FL and CA as of 8/26/09. I've also included the online CD rates. Note, the online 18-month CD rate is very competitive, and this is available nationwide.


Term Online FL,NV,CA
APY APY
12mo 1.50% 2.00%
18mo 2.25% 2.30%
24mo 1.75% 2.50%
60mo 3.00% 4.00%


For the in-branch rates, you have to call Citibank (1-800-627-3999) to get the rates for your area. There doesn't appear to be any other state that has this 4% 5-year CD. Most have a rate of 3% APY which matches the online 5-year CD rate. If you call Citibank for rates in your area, please leave a comment about what rates they quote. Citibank has branches in CA, CT, DE, DC, FL, IL, MD, MA, NV, NJ, NY, PA, TX and VA. They also have branches in Guam and Puerto Rico.

Refer to my previous Citibank CD specials post for more info on these CDs.

Citi Secured MasterCard 4.07% 18-Month CD

Update 2/22/2010: Citi's website now states the maximum CD deposit is $5,000.

Citi is still listing a 4.07% APY 18-month CD for up to $25,000 in its Secured MasterCard program (see post). There appears to have been a successful purchase of Citi's 4.07% APY 18-month CD. The reader John left the following comment:

Received a letter today from CITI- even arrived at my mailing address -stating that a cd has been opened for 18mos. at 4.07%. I will need to read the attached cd agreement to see if there is any fine print that should be large print. I'll report back.


He also mentioned that the CD was opened on the same day they cashed his check, and according to the documentation he received, he will have to keep the card for the duration of the CD. If you've had success opening this CD and you've confirmed that you're receiving 4.07% APY, please leave a comment in the original post.

Citibank Checking Account Bonus

Citibank has another $100 checking account promotion that's scheduled to last until 9/30/09. However, according to the Citibank CSR, this promotion is targeted to those who received a letter. Thus, I'm not giving it a dedicated post. This FW post has the promo link and some more details. It's very similar to the one they offered last year. The deal has some major downsides. All the checking accounts which qualify for the promotion have hefty minimum balance requirements to avoid a monthly fee.

Citibank is a member FDIC (FDIC Certificate # 7213).

Other Bank Bonuses and Competitive CD Rates:


  Tags: Nevada, California, Citibank, CD rates, Florida

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Comments
27 Comments.
Comment #1 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Citibank is known for amending agreements and hidden fine prints to serve themselves a benefit on expense of the customers.
I would not trust Citibank with my money.

1
Comment #2 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
60 month is only 3% in Illinois, per CSR

1
Comment #3 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
.


One of the nice things about this CD promotion is that one can open the CD over phone, and can fund it using Visa/MasterCard. The funding transaction is not reported as a 'cash advance', but as a regular 'purchase'.

If you have a Visa/MasterCard that rewards you for the purchases, maybe you can look into taking advantage of that as well ...

I have been with Citi for a few decades and I trust them with my money. ( Several of my relatives / friends also trust Citi with their money. )


.

1
Comment #4 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
I visited citi bank local office and have been told that to be qualifiied for the 4.07% CD 18 months, the person must be in need to Re-build credit. In another word, the person must have bad credit in the past. Anyone hear anything different from this?

1
Comment #5 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
We opened an 18 month CD yesterday
in Northern California.
One thing they do NOT say in their ads, is they REQUIRE you to open a checking account also. We went ahead and did the CD, although we have no use for the checking.
Frankly, their ads need more disclosure.

1
Comment #6 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
To the people who already opened the 18mo CD promo, be very careful.
I was told by CSR, the stated interest rate is not written in stone and they can refuse payment on it if all conditions are not met.
You must have bad credit at the day of opening the CD, you must open checking account first or simultaneously, you must pay annual fees, you must use the secure card and not have any bad faith in opening the CD, which means, if you opened the CD just for the benefit of great rate, that may constitute abuse of the agreement and no interest may be paid or you will be switched at their regular CD terms.
Please speak with a supervisor if in doubt or get it in a letter stated all of the conditions for the promo rate.

1
Comment #7 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
I was told similar thing from a CSR a while ago and refused to open it since she said to me that on a special CD rates, all conditions must be met in advance before the interest is paid and on a special offers like this one, different rules apply and the fine print you receive at the opening of the CD, may not apply to you, since this is a special CD, which makes Citibank: Prosecutor, executioner and absolutist in judgment of payment.

1
Comment #8 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
.


>> Citibank: Prosecutor, executioner
>> and absolutist in judgment of
>> payment.

The stated objective, so far as I can see, is to allow the consumer to re-build his/her credit. Therefore if I was the owner of Citi, and I am (a part owner anyway) then I'd surely like to be in the position of the prosecutor/executioner.

If the customers with excellent credit are coming to me, then definitely I'd offer them secure card as they desire, and rather than offering a high rate, I'd offer a very low rate for the CD that they are opening to secure the card.


.

1
Comment #9 by larkin (anonymous) posted on
larkin
My "personal banker" just quoted me 3.00% for 60 months in Pasadena, CA. Told me the rates changed yesterday (Tuesday).

1
Comment #10 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
I would take every negative comment here with a big grain of salt.

The only risk with opening the 4.07% CD is that your app can be denied, and you may lose several weeks' interest while you await a refund.

That, and the fact that Citi may not be around in 18 months.

1
Comment #11 by Doug (anonymous) posted on
Doug
> If I were the owner of Citi, I'd offer a very low rate for the CD that they are opening to secure the card.

And that would be called a bait and switch. Good thing you're not the owner.

1
Comment #12 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
.


>> And that would be called a bait
>> and switch.

Err ... and what would you call the consumers with excellent credit who apply for this secure credit card for the purpose of re-building their credit ... Honest/Upright/Truthful?


>> Good thing you're not the owner.

Well ... but I am. I sure am (part) owner of CitiBank!


.

1
Comment #13 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
.


>> I would take every negative
>> comment here with a big grain
>> of salt.

>> The only risk with opening the
>> 4.07% CD is that your app can
>> be denied, and you may lose
>> several weeks' interest while
>> you await a refund.

Indeed ... to curb the consumers with excellent credit from taking advantage of the program that is really meant for those with poor credit, perhaps Citi should cash the deposit check immediately and then examine the credit report to check if the applicant really needs to re-build his/her credit. If there is no need for the applicant to re-build the credit, then Citi should take its own sweet time to decline the application and issue the refund!


>> That, and the fact that Citi
>> may not be around in 18 months.

Indeed ... That is a real possibility.

But for now "C" has recovered nicely from its low value of 0.97 to 4.63 ... That is a more than 400% gain!


.

1
Comment #14 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
.



>> My "personal banker" just quoted
>> me 3.00% for 60 months in
>> Pasadena, CA. Told me the rates
>> changed yesterday (Tuesday).

My "personal banker" quoted me 4% in Santa Clara, CA today (8/26/2009). I opened 2 CDs.

Details of my "personal banker"- a) Name: Jose b) Phone: 210-357-8736

I used "Schwab Visa" card that pays 2% cash back for all the purchases. ( And as I wrote earlier, the funding transaction is reported as purchase not as a cash advance. )

Roughly speaking this CD transaction results in a 6% gain. The 4% comes from Citi over 5 years, and 2% comes from Schwab/FIA at the next billing cycle - at the most within 2 months - as a cash-back. ( Which of course can be used to earn even more! )


.

1
Comment #15 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Anonymous @ 7:08PM said "...the funding transaction is reported as purchase not as a cash advance": do you know what kind of merchandise associated with that purchase is being reported?

1
Comment #16 by larkin (anonymous) posted on
larkin
To anonymous at 7:08. You have a much better "personal banker" than I do :-)

1
Comment #17 by Doug (anonymous) posted on
Doug
> What would you call the consumers with excellent credit who apply for this secure credit card for the purpose of RE-BUILDING their credit ... Honest/Upright/Truthful?

Absolutely.

The secured card is clearly advertised as useful for BUILDING credit for future borrowing---not necessarily for rebuilding bad credit.
.
Even people with good credit can use this card to improve their score.

Do you honestly/truthfully feel that it is upright that ONLY those with lousy credit should be rewarded?

1
Comment #18 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
"I used "Schwab Visa" card that pays 2% cash back for all the purchases. ( And as I wrote earlier, the funding transaction is reported as purchase not as a cash advance. )"
=============================

Is there a max to how much you can fund via credit card? And can you do it in-branch as well?

1
Comment #19 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
.


>> Is there a max to how much you
>> can fund via credit card?

I guess that it will be equal to the amount of 'remaining credit' you have on your credit card or the maximum daily transaction amount you (may) have on your credit card - whichever is lower.


>> And can you do it in-branch
>> as well?

I did not ask. But I guess that reps in the branch will be able to do what telephone reps can do.


.

1
Comment #20 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
.


>> Anonymous @ 7:08PM said "...the
>> funding transaction is reported
>> as purchase not as a cash
>> advance": do you know what kind
>> of merchandise associated with
>> that purchase is being reported?

Sure ... that's the question I asked the telephone rep ... But he did not know the answer ... So I got him to call me back so that the conversation is recorded and I made sure that I am verbally authorizing Citi to charg my credit card as purchase and not as a cash advance.

If there is an issue, then I of course have two options a) Call Citi and have them play-back the recording of my authorization b) Call Schwab/FIA and dispute the transaction as 'unauthorized' charge.


.

1
Comment #21 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Anonymous @ 9:07AM said "...b) Call Schwab/FIA and dispute the transaction as 'unauthorized' charge":
if Schwab/FIA gives you a credit, albeit temporary for said unauthorized charge, wouldn't that action jeopardize your CD position at Citi?

1
Comment #22 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
.


>> Anonymous @ 9:07AM said "...b)
>> Call Schwab/FIA and dispute the
>> transaction as 'unauthorized'
>> charge":

>> if Schwab/FIA gives you a
>> credit, albeit temporary for
>> said unauthorized charge,
>> wouldn't that action jeopardize
>> your CD position at Citi?

Indeed ... it would ... but then I'd not be keenly interested in continuing with it anyways.

Also a general hint about Purchase vs Cash Advance: Normally for a cash advance you'll need to enter your PIN associated with credit card. As against that for a purchase generally the CVV found on the card itself is used.

Citi asked me the CVV number ... so I'm assuming that they will make this a purchase transaction, not a cash advance.


.

.

1
Comment #23 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
.


Today I saw at Schwab/FIA site that CD funding transactions are reported as "CITIBANK ONLINE - 800-745-1534 MO". I called up Schwab/FIA immediately and I was happy to learn that these are reported purchases exactly as Citi had promised! :-)

So ... roughly speaking these CDs are are giving me approximate annual return of 6% ... The 4% is from Citi which I'll get over 5 years, and 2% is from Schwab/FIA which I'll get within 2 months!


.

1
Comment #24 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Be careful charging these CDs to a credit card. I was hit with a cash advance fee by Chase. It turns out that the charge was coded as a purchase but was flagged and re-coded by Chase as a cash advance. I am fighting with chase to reverse the fee or the transaction but have not had any luck yet.

1
Comment #25 by onle12 (anonymous) posted on
onle12
I opened my checking account last year and got exactly what they promised me....$100. I also opened a Ultimate Savings Account last month and got an awesome rate 1.25% which is better than the most CD rates. My father just opened a CD with Citi last month with them over the phone and he didn't have to open a checking account but he opened on after getting a promo with his first statement that will give him 3X thank you points for the next 3 months! I would trust them because they aren't going anywhere (too big to fall) therefore I'm glad to be with them and am more than happy to take advantage of their promos

1
Comment #26 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
I got the secured Citi Master Card and the 4% CD with no problem in September. After I got the card in the mail, I called to cancel it, and they said they would send me a form to sign and send back (I couldn't just cancel over the phone). The form said that I would be closing both the card and the CD, so I didn't sign and send it back. I will have to pay the $29 fee twice over the 1.5 years term, but the higher interest rate on the $25,000 will more than cover that. My sister signed up as well and got the good rate.

1
Comment #27 by larkin (anonymous) posted on
larkin
Question to anonymous at 11:48--Are you able to access your CD balance through Citibank's website?

1