Citi, also known as Citibank, is one of the world’s largest financial institutions, with over a trillion dollars worth of assets. It features a wide scope of business operations, from small business and commercial banking, to credit cards and investment vehicles. Its personal banking options feature standard products like checking, savings, and money market accounts, as well as certificates of deposits. The bank also features services that are unique to Citi and offer customers intuitive means of managing their deposit accounts.
Citi’s checking account offerings differ by account requirements and benefits. It has a student account that has no monthly fees and comes free ATM use, and its premium account offers free financial advice from a Citi expert. Each checking account is part of the bank’s reward program that offers ways for customers to earn points that can be redeemed for various merchandise or travel rewards. Citi’s savings account options feature a basic savings account with no monthly fees when a minimum daily balance is kept, and a money market account that offers increased rates of interest as the account balance grows. CDs and IRA CDs give customers guaranteed interest rates and are available in term lengths from 3 months to 5 years. Citi regularly features special offers connected to various deposit accounts, from bonus reward points to cash back incentives.
Citi online banking is free and makes account management easy for customers. From bill payment to money transfers to account alerts, Citi’s Internet banking platform offers great functionality. Its smartphone and tablet apps make banking on the go convenient and offer nice user interfaces. Citi’s sophisticated financial tools also provide a means for customers to analyze expenses, create budgets, track their net worth, and set bill reminders. The bank operates its own ATM network of over 26,000 ATMs located across the United States and in 40 countries.
Citi has more than 200 years of history behind its name, being originally established in New York City as the First National City Bank in 1812. It is a subsidiary of CitiGroup, which is a company that operates numerous trusts and funds under its umbrella. The bank changed its name to CitiBank in 1976 moved to its current headquarters in Sioux Falls, South Dakota in 2011.
I banked with Citibank while I was a foreign student in New York City. I used the account to receive money from my parents who were not in the US. Citibank charged reasonable exchange rate and wire transfer fees. As a student, they allowed me to open a checking/ savings account with no minimum account balance required. They also provided me with free check books that really came in handy. After I graduated, I used Citibank to send money back to my Citibank account based in my home country to pay back a loan. Citibank never revoked my student status so I never felt the pressure to maintain a high account balance. When I did transfer funds internationally, I simply walked into a nearby Citibank branch and was always greeted by friendly bank employees. I have always had a good experience with Citibank.
This is the Citi specialty - form W9.
I don't remember W9 form for a requirement from any other banks or unions so far.
The process of submitting the form is taking already around four weeks. Mailed with a welcome kit envelope and faxed to a provided number. Checked a status - not on file. Mailed again to another provided address and faxed to another number. Checked the status - not on file. Called to local office numerous times - busy signal and instantaneous route to a call center. The same result if you choose a different language. I will drive to their local office. My hope is - they will allow to fill W9 form in the office. The bank immediately started withdraw Federal tax as it seen on my first statement from the Citi bank. I will update my review next week after my visit to their local branch.
I drove today to a local office. It took less than 5 minutes to fill out a new W9 form. Nice, efficient and helpful representatives in the local office.
So I applied for and was approved for interest checking and Citi accelerate savings. So I went into my account and found no proof that I would get the 2.36 percent. So I kept digging. Turns out this rate isn't available in NY! I would be getting, evidently, some God awful brick and mortar savings rate of around .13 percent. Thats right. I was approved for a product not available in NY. Not funny. Can't wait to shred the checks and debit cards on the way.
Update- On August 10 i called Citibank and was told my rate would be .04 percent. I closed my accounts.
Lured in by the 2.36% APR on the Accelerate Savings Account and the constant emails RE: same due to my long-standing double cashback Citi card I decided to open one of these savings accounts.
FYI the day after I applied the APR dropped to 2.21% APR.
That was 5 weeks and about 10 phone calls to the Philippines-based call center ago. Don't get me wrong, I'm a very patient person and have no problem with call centers not being in the US. I'm a blow-in myself, though a native English speaker. I think all but one Citi representative I spoke with had acceptable English.
But the systems. WOW. Just Wow. I see someone below titled their review "Clown Show". It really is that bad. I mean from having the double cashback card I already knew their website was iffy (improving very very slowly over the past number of years).
I can't even summarize all the errors I've run into in this process. Here's what I remember after filling in the online application:
1) Email arrives with DocuSign link (turns out you need a "signature card" and W9 filled out after the online setup process). The DocuSign process for signature and W9 had a bogus verification step. Cue initial phone calls. I had them reactivate the DocuSign form TWICE. Verification was first two letters of surname plus last 4 of social. Not rocket science. I do have an apostrophe in my name, the instructions clearly said to leave it out. I tried every possible combination of upper and lower case (on the two letters!) and spoke with call center people several times. All they could recommend were things like all-upper versus all-lowercase. Literally telling me the opposite of what the instructions Citi had placed on the DocuSign validation page and previous reps had said. You don't have to read in between the lines there to realize ***they don't know what's going on with their own processes***. At all. So none of it worked. I am a web programmer and asked them to please pass this problem along to tech staff to save future customers this frustration. No interest in that at all. I should have stopped the process at that point and skedaddled, but instead I agree to a package of documents sent by post to continue on.
2) A massive bundle of mail documents eventually arrived after several weeks. Buried in the massive ream of paper is the signature card and W9. Filled them in. You have to fax or snail mail if DocuSign didn't work. Used faxzero.com and saw that it would take a few working days on their side to process.
3) More time passes. No email about receipt of documents. I start getting some "please fund your account" emails. In the ream of paper they have a few options to fund.
- The mobile app funding option won't work cause you need your debit card PIN to add the account, but of course you haven't gone through the process yet, you don't even have a card, so that's chicken-and-egg. Their systems are full of poorly-thought-out nonsense like this. GRRRR
- Mail a check to Texas. What year is it?
- Call them and try to set up a bank transfer. I do this and verify that the faxzero stuff was all received. I was told it was. I handed over yet more personal info to do a bank transfer of $1000 and try to get the ball rolling on this. Was told it would be maybe 3 working days for the transfer to be entered and another 3 to get processed. Something like that.
That was about 10 days ago. So I rang up again to see why I haven't seen money move out of the Ally Bank account in question.
Eventually I get talking to someone and was told the account was closed because the documentation was not received. As I said I verified that was all in order when arranging funding.
She added "or maybe it wasn't received soon enough". You will get lots of uncertainty about their own processes when asking what's going on. And no wonder. It's a spaghetti pile, as far as I can tell.
No email was generated regarding the closing of the account, or any missing documentation for that matter. Amazing. Do they even want new customers? The only emails sent the whole time were the ones linking to the clearly-broken DocuSign verification page and a smatter of "give us yer money", a.k.a. "please fund your account" emails.
Now, let me tell you, I'm really glad they closed the thing. I was worried I would be told it would be a few more working days or some such and that I'd be stuck dealing with this bank for years.
Please take my word for it that you don't want the hassle of dealing with this bank. I've been using the double cashback card as my main credit card for years, without ever needing to call customer service, but am now thinking I should swap to another after seeing how the sausages are made at Citi.
The comparison with Ally, say, couldn't be more stark. A near-perfect website, online chat with short wait times, US call centers. My experience with them has always been fantastic.
I regret ever mooching away to try to get higher than the 1.9% APR their easy-as-pie savings account gives you. And guess what?... they have CD's (including a no-penalty one) that have rates even closer to the Citi Accelerate rate.
In fact, the 18 month one is higher at 2.30% APR (on $25k+).
I will think about opening one of those as I enjoy shredding the 50 double-sided pages of crap Citi sent me to open this non-existent account.
Thanks for letting me vent.
|FDIC Certificate #||7213|
|Return on Assets - YTD||1.21%|
|Return on Equity - YTD||11.65%|
|Annual Interest Income||$44.79B|
|Assets and Liabilities|
|Assets||Q3 2019vs Q3 2018||$1,472.9B$1,415.1B|
|Loans||Q3 2019vs Q3 2018||$649B$630.7B|
|Deposits||Q3 2019vs Q3 2018||$1,102B$1,018.7B|
|Equity Capital||Q3 2019vs Q3 2018||$149.6B$146.5B|
|Loan Loss Allowance||Q3 2019vs Q3 2018||$10.84B$10.59B|
|Unbacked Noncurrent Loans||Q3 2019vs Q3 2018||$5.03B$4.84B|
|Real Estate Owned||Q3 2019vs Q3 2018||$61.0MM$87.0MM|
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|APY||MIN||MAX||ACCOUNT NAME||VIEW DETAILS|
|1.85%||-||-||Citi Accelerate Savings|
|APY||MIN||MAX||ACCOUNT NAME||VIEW DETAILS|
|1.01%*||$25k*||-||High Yield Checking|
|OTHER TIERS: 0.20% → Up to $10k | 0.40% → $10k - $25k|
|0.03%||-||-||Citigold Interest Checking|
|0.03%||-||-||Interest Checking- Citi Priority|
|0.01%||-||-||Interest Checking Account|
|APY||MIN||MAX||ACCOUNT NAME||VIEW DETAILS|
|1.60%*||$10k*||-||8 Month CD|
|OTHER TIERS: 0.07% → $1k - $10k|
|1.25%||$1k||-||18 Month CD|
|1.25%||$1k||-||5 Year CD|
|1.25%||$1k||-||13 Month CD|
|1.01%||$1k||-||3 Year CD|
|1.01%||$1k||-||4 Year CD|
|0.75%||$1k||-||7 Month CD|
|0.70%||$1k||-||2 Year CD|
|0.70%||$1k||-||30 Month CD|
|0.50%||$1k||-||1 Year CD|
|0.25%||$1k||-||6 Month CD|
|0.25%||$1k||-||15 Month CD|
|0.20%||$1k||-||14 Month CD|
|0.15%||$1k||-||11 Month CD|
|0.10%||$1k||-||9 Month CD|
|0.10%||$1k||-||10 Month CD|
|0.05%||$1k||-||3 Month CD|
|0.05%||$1k||-||4 Month CD|
|0.05%||$1k||-||5 Month CD|