Posted by William Charles on September 21, 2017
Bank Account Bonuses

Published on September 21st, 2017 | by William Charles

113

Citi $300 & $500 Personal Checking Bonuses

This bonus has expired, but you can view the current $300 bonus that doesn’t require direct deposit by clicking here.

Offer at a glance

  • Maximum bonus amount: $500
  • Availability: Nationwide
  • Direct deposit required: Yes, two consecutive months after account opening
  • Additional requirements: Deposit $15,000/$50,000
  • Hard/soft pull: Soft pull
  • ChexSystems: Yes
  • Credit card funding: None
  • Monthly fees: $25-$30, avoidable
  • Early account termination fee: None
  • Household limit: None listed
  • Expiration date: September 30th, 2017 December 31st, 2017

The Offer

Direct link to offer

  • Citi is offering two sign up bonuses for individuals opening a new checking account. One bonus is for $300 and the other is for $500.

 

$300 Bonus

  • Receive a sign up bonus of $300 when you complete the following requirements:
    • Open a new eligible consumer checking account in The Citibank Account Package
    • Within thirty days, make a qualifying deposit of $15,000 or more in new-to-Citibank funds into the new checking account or new or existing Citi Savings Account or existing Citibank Savings Plus Account, and maintain a minimum balance of $15,000 for sixty consecutive calendar days following the date when you made the qualifying deposit.
    • Within thirty days, 1 qualifying Direct Deposit must post to the new checking Account each month for 2 consecutive calendar months after opening the new checking account.

The Fine Print

  • For the Citi Priority Cash bonus offer, “Eligible Customers” are “New-to-Citibank” customers who (1) enroll in the Priority Checking Offer, (2) open an “Eligible Checking Account” as first signer and are also (3) at least eighteen (18) years of age, and (4) have a valid W-9 or W-8 BEN on file with Citibank. (5) have not been a signer or owner of a Citibank checking account within the last 180 calendar days.
  • “Eligible Checking Account” means a new checking account in The Citi Priority Account Package. Fiduciary, estate, business, and trust accounts that are not Living Trusts, are not eligible for this cash bonus Checking Offer, even if the account otherwise meets the definition of Eligible Checking Account. All accounts subject to approval. The Eligible Checking Account and, if applicable, Eligible Savings Account, must be in good standing for the Eligible Customer to receive this cash bonus offer
  • All bank account bonuses are treated as income/interest and as such you have to pay taxes on them

$500 Bonus

  • Receive a sign up bonus of $500 when you complete the following requirements:
    • Open a new eligible consumer checking account in The Citi Priority Account Package
    • Within thirty days, make a qualifying deposit of $50,000 or more in new-to-Citibank funds into the new checking account or new or existing Citi Savings Account or existing Citibank Savings Plus Account, and maintain a minimum balance of $50,000 for sixty  consecutive calendar days following the date when you made the qualifying deposit.
    • Within thirty days, 1 qualifying Direct Deposit1 must post to the new checking Account each month for 2 consecutive calendar months after opening the new checking account

The Fine Print

  • For the Citi Priority Cash bonus offer, “Eligible Customers” are “New-to-Citibank” customers who (1) enroll in the Priority Checking Offer, (2) open an “Eligible Checking Account” as first signer and are also (3) at least eighteen (18) years of age, and (4) have a valid W-9 or W-8 BEN on file with Citibank. (5) have not been a signer or owner of a Citibank checking account within the last 180 calendar days.
  • “Eligible Checking Account” means a new checking account in The Citi Priority Account Package. Fiduciary, estate, business, and trust accounts that are not Living Trusts, are not eligible for this cash bonus Checking Offer, even if the account otherwise meets the definition of Eligible Checking Account. All accounts subject to approval. The Eligible Checking Account and, if applicable, Eligible Savings Account, must be in good standing for the Eligible Customer to receive this cash bonus offer.
  • All bank account bonuses are treated as income/interest and as such you have to pay taxes on them

Avoiding Fees

Citi Priority Account Package $30 Monthly Fee ($500 bonus)

  • The Citi Account Package has a monthly fee of $30, this is waived if you maintain a combined average monthly balance of $50,000 or more in eligible linked deposits, retirement and investment balances. There is no early account termination fee for this account.

Citi Account Package $25 Monthly Fee ($300 Bonus)

  • The Citibank Account Package needs $10,000 in combined average monthly balances to remain fee free. Otherwise, there is a $25 monthly fee.

Early Termination Fee

In the past, Citi has not charged any ETF, and none is mentioned for this offer.

Our Verdict

I thought it would be best to combine the $300/$500 bonuses into one post as readers seem to often think we don’t have both bonuses on the site and this way nobody can miss both options. There is also some new verbiage that states that the offers are only available to New-To-Citibank customers, but then it goes on to say you’re not eligible if you’ve been an owner or signer of an account in the last 180 days. I imagine this means they don’t truly mean “new customers”. Now onto the deal themselves.

I think it’s important to remember that you need to deposit $15,000/$50,000 for at least 60 days. In all likelihood you’ll need to keep that deposited for longer as you need the bonus to post as well and both accounts have monthly fees of $25/$30 if balance requirements are not met. You should really be comparing this to how much money you’d be missing out on if you put this money in high interest savings account. For example if you put $50,000 in an account for 60 days you’d receive the following amounts of interest:

  • 0.1%: ~$8.2
  • 1%: ~$82
  • 3%: $246
  • 5%: $410

Because of that I don’t think the $500 bonus is worth considering. The $300 bonus is more attractive as you need to deposit $15,000. If we do the same calculations as above we get:

  • 0.1%: ~$2.5
  • 1%: ~$25
  • 3%: ~$74
  • 5%: ~$123

The opportunity cost is a lot less. Just keep in mind you’ll likely need to have the account open for more a lot longer than 60 days and Citi is notorious for making it difficult when it comes to bank account bonuses. We’ll still keep listing the $300 offer on our best checking bonuses pageThe other thing to keep in mind is that the account required for the $500 bonus will lower the annual fee on the Prestige by $100 as well.

Useful posts regarding bank bonuses:



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Marcus
Marcus

Isn’t it more meaningful to show the opportunity cost of $35,000 over 60 days which highlights the difference in the $300 and $500 bonuses? Just a suggestion for next time.

RJ
RJ

And the opportunity cost of $10,000 for another 4 or 5 months while you are waiting for your bonus to post.

wwllmm
wwllmm

BEN?

RJ
RJ

DoC mentioned it, I want to say it again, make sure you submit your W-9 or W-8 BEN, or be prepared for withholding.

Also be prepared to park $10,000 here until next spring, and still be fighting with them for your bonus. Take screen shots of everything, good chance you’ll have to submit them to CFPB. It took 7 months and a complaint to CFPB to get my bonus from Citi.

The part about saving $100 on your CC AF certainly makes this more interesting!

Mendel
Mendel

RJ

Can u please clarify what the w9 w8 has to do with bonus and what it means exactly?

Thx

gene
gene

Does anyone know what they mean about new to citibank. A friend recently tried and did not qualify for a checking bonus (they were very difficult) and they tried to tell him that he would never qualify for the new checking bonus again. I think he spoke to someone high up>?shouldn’t you show the opportunity cost for 180 days if that is how long you need to keep open to avoid fees?

Reg
Reg

Gene, great point! This is the big question! What does new-to-Citibank customer mean? Does it mean that you have never been a Citibank customer or that you have not had signing authority on a Citibank checking account in 180 days.

This is VERY important for churnability. This could mean the difference between once a year and once a lifetime.

Jags
Jags

Never again with a Citi checking bonus.

mjs
mjs

Amen. The time value to fight their absolute outdated IT, clueless and multi-departmental CRMs and other convoluted practices that lead to lots of issues with setting up and maintaining the accounts is just not worth it.

And I’m someone who does 5-10 checking/savings accounts (and helps 3 family members set-up an equivalent number of accounts) per year.

tro
tro

“We’ll still keep listing the $300 offer on our best checking bonuses page. The other thing to keep in mind is that this will lower the annual fee on the Prestige by $100 as well.”

I don’t think the 15k level qualifies you for the Prestige reduction?

bob
bob

the last two times i did a Citibank bonus, it was easy enough – the only problem was getting them to properly close the account. oh, and you have to “activate” the checks you get – or your first one will bounce.

J.
J.

All things considered, this probably shouldn’t be on the best checking account list. One step below best.

Reg
Reg

I want to add a DP. Citi has been much better at administering these bonuses, even sending an email to follow up and tell you that you’ve met the requirements and that your bonus is coming within 30 days.

Yes, they have been difficult in the past, and yes, you should consider your money locked up for 60+90 days. But according to Don’s new post, they pay out before 90 days.

I would recommend giving this a try.

Matt P
Matt P

I’m confused about reducing the prestige af. Can you get this with the $15,000 bonus checking account or do you need to go to $50,000?

MontyFC
MontyFC

You need a priority or gold account in order to reduce the membership fee. So that would be the 50k account.

RJ
RJ

Good catch. DoC, maybe that link should probably be moved to the appropriate section, it’s a bit misleading(until you click on it).

JT
JT

Closed mine from the previous $300 bonus about a week ago. Let’s hope Citi has something good in 60 days!

JM
JM

Now u can’t open a new account within ‘180 days’ of closing, if u want the bonus

Ryan
Ryan

I recommend the 50k/$500 if you have it.

Reason being because you can only get a Citi bonus once every six months and for an extra 30 days, you get an extra $200.

Plus, for me, since they still have me coded as Citigold, they don’t charge me the $30 maintenance fee.

They do wait until absolutely the last possible minute to credit the bonus, though.

yana
yana

I think what doc trying to say is, if you put that extra $35k into a high interest account you can get more than that extra $200 bonus.

lin
lin

where is $35k to get more than $200.?

lin
lin

is citigold need 100k to no $30. fees?

Senthil
Senthil

Did citi change the policy for new to citi from 90 days to 180 days? “have not been a signer or owner of a Citibank checking account within the last 180 calendar days”

Preeti
Preeti

what qualifies as direct deposit for citibank?

Shane

Declined via online app. Has anyone had luck on a recon? The phone reps say I have to wait for a letter for the reason but I expect too many inquiries.

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