Citi Bank Citi Priority $700 Bonus Analysis

  |     |   415 posts since 2015

Citi is currently offering a $700 bonus when you deposit $50k for 60-days (maintenance period). In reality the $50k needs to be on deposit for the 60-days, plus the 90-day bonus payout period until the bonus posts or if it drops below $50k after the maintenance period you will be hit with a $30 monthly fee. If it drops below $50k during the maintenance period you will forfeit the bonus.

For tax year 2020 I made exactly $9978 in bonus and interest earnings as reported by TurboTax. Almost $5k in bonuses, and the remaining balance was interest earnings. Bonuses are a great way to in increase your income earnings during this zero interest period. I track mine on an excel spreadsheet to manage them because if you do multiple at at time it can easily get out of hand and end up costing money in lost revenue opportunities.

Sometimes a bonus looks like a great deal, but is not when you actually run the numbers. I use the APY calculator to tell me how good a deal it actually is. [] What I do with a bonus offer is to look at the equivalent interest rate earned and not the actual bonus payout amount. This Citi $700 bonus is paying the equivalent of 3.37% interest when you add the bonus value (3.34%) along with the interest rate paid (.03%) on the account.

The strategy with any bonus is to quickly fully fund the account, keep the funds on deposit as short a time as possible so that the equivalent bonus interest rate value does not erode, and avoid racking up fees by keeping the minimum balance requirements and/or activities that are specified in the terms.

This bonus is easy to do, fully fund account as soon as you open it, keep the balance amount needed to qualify for the bonus ($50k), and keep the balance needed to avoid any fees until the bonus posts ($50k). With this bonus there is no getting around keeping the full $50k on deposit until the bonus posts.

This account does not have a early closing fee so once the bonus posts you can transfer funds out, close the account thereby resetting the bonus clock that is currently every 180-days. If you time this just right you can actually do it twice a year.

Bonus Analysis:

Initial Balance: $50,000

Final Balance with bonus: $50,700

Bonus Equivalent interest: 3.34%

Term: 5-months (60-days to qualify, 90-days to wait for bonus payout period)

The checking account also pays an additional .03% interest for a total combined interest rate of 3.37%

The .03% interest on $50k in 5-months is: $6.25

Total earnings bonus plus interest is: $706.25

Citi is slow to pay so it may well take the full 90-days to see the bonus post to the account as has been my experience with them.

Here’s how to get started

1. Open a new eligible checking account in the Citi Priority Account Package during the offer period 4/2/2021 to 6/30/2021.

2. Within 30 days of opening your account, deposit $50,000 in New-to-Citibank Funds in the new checking account.

3. Maintain a minimum balance of $50,000 in the new checking account for 60 consecutive calendar days.

4. After all required activities are met, the $700 bonus will be deposited to your open, eligible account within 90 calendar days.

Select the Citi $700 bonus from this link

Ken Tumin
  |     |   6,129 posts since 2009
Thanks enduser for your informative bonus analysis. It's very much appreciated! You're right that bonuses can help savers earn more in today's low interest rate environment. We'll try to focus more on them this year.
  |     |   208 posts since 2019
Enduser - Good analysis, thanks. I can't do this myself because I finished the earlier Citi “get $400 for depositing $15,000” bonus recently, but some friends can. And yes, Citi does take its time to pay.

A question - do you know of any Citi rules that would prevent one from removing all funds except, say, $100 after the required 60 days, and just eating the $30/month fee for the remaining 90 days? Assuming they had a place with a decent rate to put those funds.

Also, was there a hard credit pull? There was not on my earlier, lower one, but that was not branded a “Priority” account.
  |     |   415 posts since 2015
Thanks Ken.

@111 I posted that exact same scenario at the doc site. There is no mention on the terms that you will loose out on the bonus if your balance drops below $50k after the 60-day maintenance period. So in theory you can reduce the $50k balance down to $121. That change would ally Citi to pull the $30 service fee for up to 4-months all the while leaving $1.00 in the account without the account ever going negative and possibly voiding the bonus by having your account closed if it zeros out per the terms.

$700 bonus – $120 for 4-months $30.00 fees = $580 total earned bonus.

Citi does a soft pull, also no need to send in a W-9 as is stated on the bonus terms.
  |     |   65 posts since 2016
Just a quick Buyer Beware FYI to all to utilize caution with Citi. They refused my bonus a few years ago after I tried to take advantage a $400 bonus at the time because they claimed I did not have a W-9 on file with them. I had used Citibank as my main bank many years. ago when they still had branches in Western NY and when I applied over the phone they did not ask me for a W-9. Needless to say it left a bad taste in my mouth, but if you cross all the T's and dot all the i's it is probably a decent deal during these blah deposit rate times. So far I haven't needed to look for anyplace to move maturing CD's to, but I do have a couple that will be looking for a new home if I don't decide to spend it on updating things around home, later this year and next so may give Citi another look then if nothing fits me better or possibly deposit some more into the longer term add-ons at NAVY, MACU and GTE.
  |     |   415 posts since 2015
@MY2CENTSWORTH I'm not sure what occurred in your case but a W-9 is just a form requesting your SSN or TIN. Any one of those numbers was already provided to Citi when you signed up for the bonus or opened an account with them. Outside of Citi on their bonus terms, not a single other FI that I have banked with or earned a bonus from has ever requested a W-9.
  |     |   130 posts since 2019
For anyone new to the Citi bonus, I would suggest you also do the following:

1. During sign up, screen shot or download the terms that state the bonus offer.

2. After account approval (it may be instant), do a chat with Citi to confirm (i) bonus offer is attached to your account; (ii) whether they need you to submit a W-9 form. Of course, screen shot the chat too!

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