Many large banks have continued to offer checking account promotions. However, customers who participate in these offers will have to be careful to avoid fees. That's the case with Citibank's latest promotion. On the plus side, Citibank has started providing a clear 2-page summary of its checking account fees and features. This is a new standard that many banks are adopting. You can review the checking account summaries at Citibank's checking comparison page. Click on the "learn more" links to see the 2-page summaries in PDF format.
The new Citibank checking promotion is listed at the bank's checking page. Here's the direct link to the promo. To qualify for the bonus, the following is required:
- Open a new Citibank checking account package by 10/31/12
- Within 45 days after account opening, enroll the new checking account in Citi ThankYou Rewards AND
- Complete one direct deposit AND complete one qualifying bill payment for two consecutive months
The amount of the bonus depends on the checking account package that you choose. As you might expect, the largest bonus requires a checking account with a high monthly fee that's not easy to get waived. Below is a summary of the bonus amounts and the checking packages. I did not list all ways that you can have the fees waived. Refer to the checking account fee summaries for the full details.
The Citigold Account package qualifies for 30,000 ThankYou Points redeemable for up to $300 in gift cards. However, this has a $30/month fee unless you maintain $50,000 or more for all linked deposit and retirement accounts.
The Citibank Account package qualifies for 10,000 ThankYou Points, redeemable for up to $100 in gift cards. However, this has a $20/month fee unless you maintain $15,000 in combined average monthly balances.
The Basic Banking package qualifies for 10,000 ThankYou Points, redeemable for up to $100 in gift cards. However, this has a $10/month fee unless you maintain either you make 1 Direct Deposit AND 1 Bill Payment each monthly statement period OR you keep $1,500 in combined average balances in either your Basic Checking or with a linked Basic Savings account.
Here's an important detail from the offer's small print:
Offer for new checking customers only. If you have received a bonus reward for opening a new Citibank consumer checking account within the past two years you will not be eligible to receive a bonus associated with this offer.
It should be noted that many readers have reported problems in getting Citibank to pay out its bonuses in past promotions, and many have had problems with Citibank's customer service. If you do decide to open the account, be sure to take a snapshot of the promotion page.
A FW member described his experience when he opened a Citigold Account package for a previous promotion. He opened the account on December and didn't receive the first $30 fee until May.
One important gotcha of this offer is that you could pay more taxes on this bonus than you might expect. According to FW member c3, Citi issued a 1099 of almost $800 for his 40,000 points.
Other Bank and Credit Union Bonuses
We have a bank promotions page with a table of all of the active bank and credit union promotions. You can filter the table based on the type of promotion and based on your state. I have more details about how to use this page in this blog post.