Posted by William Charles on January 2, 2018
Bank Account Bonuses

Published on January 2nd, 2018 | by William Charles

47

Citi $300/$500 Personal Checking Bonus – Direct Deposit Not Required

Update 01/10/18: There is now a link for the $500 bonus. Unlike previous $500 bonuses you can open a Citibank Account Package rather than having to do the Priority Account Package. This makes that deal slightly more attractive but still not worth doing. Hat tip to reader Sam.

Offer at a glance

  • Maximum bonus amount: $300/$500
  • Availability: Nationwide
  • Direct deposit required: None
  • 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: March 31st, 2018

$300 Offer

Direct link to offer

  • 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.

The Fine Print

  • For The Citibank Account cash bonus offer, “Eligible Customers” are “New-to-Citibank” customers who (1) enroll in the Citibank Account Package $300 Offer, (2) open an “Eligible Checking Account” as first signer. are also (3) at least eighteen (18) years of age, (4) have a valid W-9 or W-8 BEN on file with Citibank, and (5) have not been a signer or owner of a Citibank checking account within the last 180 calendar days.
  • The bonus will be reported to the IRS as interest, in the year received, as required by applicable law. Bonus payments received by U.S. persons will be reported on IRS Form 1099-INT for the year received. Bonus payments received by non-U.S. persons will be reported on IRS Form 1042-S for the year received. Customer is responsible for any applicable taxes and consulting a tax advisor. To be eligible for the bonus, a U.S. person must have a valid Form W-9 on file, and a non-U.S. person must have a valid Form W-8BEN on file, and the account must not be subject to backup withholding.

$500 Offer

Direct link to offer

  • 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 or 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.

The Fine Print

  • For The Citi Priority and Citibank Account Package cash bonus offers, “Eligible Customers” are “New-to-Citibank” customers who (1) enroll in The Citi Priority and Citibank Account Package $500 Offer, (2) open an “Eligible Checking Account” as first signer, are also (3) at least eighteen (18) years of age, (4) have a valid W-9 or W-8 BEN on file with Citibank, and (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 or Citibank Account Package. Fiduciary, estate, business and or trust accounts are not eligible for this Checking Offer even if they otherwise meet the definition of Eligible Checking or Eligible Savings Account. However trust accounts that are a Living Trust and Custodial accounts are eligible. 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.
  • If you are an Eligible Customer and enroll and fulfill required activities (see required activities below), you can earn a $500 cash bonus. If you fulfill the required activities for this offer and meet all other conditions then the cash bonus will be credited to your new checking account within ninety (90) calendar days from the date you complete all offer requirements.

Avoiding Fees

Citi Account Package $25 Monthly Fee

  • 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

They have offered similar/the same bonus in the past. Last time it was offered there was a $500 bonus but that required depositing $50,000. This bonus also does not require a direct deposit whereas the other one did. You need to remember you’ll need to deposit the $15,000 for the $300 bonus and $50,000 for the $500 and have it in the account for at least sixty days. Realistically you’ll need the account open longer than that as it needs to actually post and you’ll have to pay the $25 monthly fee if the $10,000 balance requirement isn’t met. In any case let’s see how much interest you’d miss out on if you had $15,000 in this account for 60 days compared to other high interest savings accounts:

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

Probably still worth doing for most people as even at 5% the $300 bonus is a lot more than the interest lost. Just be prepared to chase Citi down for the bonus as they often don’t post quickly. If we look at the same but for $50,000 we get:

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

A lot less attractive and not worth doing. I’d just stick to the $300 bonus. I’ll add it to our best checking bonuses page.

Hat tip to reader Eric

Useful posts regarding bank bonuses:



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47 Comments on "Citi $300/$500 Personal Checking Bonus – Direct Deposit Not Required"

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mike
mike

any word if citi has cleaned up their IT systems to track bonus and actually pay? Haven’t done one in awhile due to the hassle but am tempted after a couple year hiatus.

meed18
meed18

The word is NO.

I did the last one for Citi (that required $15k and DD). I had to chase them down for my bonus. Opened the account in June. Rec’d bonus in December. So it took almost 6 months from account opening to when they would pay me out. Figure a minimum of 5 months (60 days to meet requirement + 90 days to pay out) to get the bonus. Add 15 or so days to hassle them and get them to pay out. Then wait until the next statement to close the account. That’s 6 full months. You’re losing interest on $15,000 for ~3 months and interest on $10,000 for ~3 months. @1.35%, that’s about $85. The real value of this bonus is $215 minus the time you spend chasing them down.

If you’ve never done a Citi bonus before and you have the $15k lying around and won’t miss it, go for it, it’s not the best $215 bonus out there, but now that it doesn’t require DD, it’s still pretty good. If you are churning it and worried they might not pay because you’ve rec’d the bonus before, consider that this could be a $85 loss and base your decision on that possibility too. I don’t know how many people have been denied doing this a second or third time, so I don’t know the likelihood of the $85 loss.

Ken
Ken

I’ve received the bonus within the promised time for myself and my wife 5 times now, so I don’t know what happened in your case.

Also, you’ll miss out on roughly $75 in lost interest. You only need to keep the $15k for 60 days, not 3 months, so you’ll lose out on $10k in interest till the bonus posts. Not great, or course, but it’s still a good bonus if you figure it’s worth ~$200.

We’ll be eligible again in a few weeks.

meed18
meed18

Yes, only 60 days. But I’m paranoid, so I want to make sure it’s in for at least 2 full statements, which is essentially anywhere from 60-90 days depending on how it’s timed.

As for getting the bonus without bothering them about it, I got it once myself without hassling them and then had to hassle them when it was my wife’s turn. Based on other data points on this site, having to hassle them isn’t exactly uncommon, so that’s why I am providing my disclaimer. Glad you’ve been more fortunate.

Larry
Larry

I did three of their previous bonuses and got the bonuses within three months of meeting the requirements but YMMV as others have reported. I find that following up by messaging them after meeting the bonus requirement(s) helps to confirm that you’ve met the requirements and that you can expect to see the bonus within 90 days.

This one is a little different in that you have to keep the $15,000 deposited for 60 days after depositing the money to meet the requirement so you could be looking at 5-6 months before seeing the bonus if everything works out.

Going to try for a 4th bonus with them so will see if they accept my app this time.

zjts
zjts

the ofer that ended 12-31-17 says “and maintain a minimum balance of $15,000 for sixty consecutive calendar days following the date when you made the qualifying deposit.” why is this any different?

TG
TG

I’ve been doing Citi bonuses for years and I’ve never had an issue. Every bonus posted without needing to contact them, though the bonuses are slow to post (as stated in their terms).

Frito Pendejo
Frito Pendejo

I’m worried about trying this because I had a citi account I closed over 180 days ago but I kept getting emails about it for months later after I’d closed it.

Mike
Mike

Ya they have some issues with closing accts. Took me like 3 times and i had overdrafts because it wasnt closed correctly. I recently had trouble adding authorized users because my cc is connected to my citi 1 bank acct that i closed 2.5 yes ago. They sure are a mess.

Might be worth a call to verify it is truly closed

Gadget
Gadget

+1. I have had issues in the past closing accounts with them too. Citi sent me an overdraft letter about 3 months after closing stating it was about to go to collections. Called immediately, and they refunded the overdraft fees, and properly closed the account at that time. CSR stated it wasn’t properly closed the first time I called. Luckily I had notes stating exactly when I called to close the account originally.

Anyway, long story short, take notes and screenshot any time you deal with Citi. They did post the bonuses for me without calling, both times I have done this promo in the past. They met the terms, which I think was 90 days from opening (I would have to check my notes).

Last word of advice – If you have other Citi accounts, disconnect your checking account from your Citi login prior to closing the checking. Otherwise, about a month after you close your account, your login will be deleted and you will have to create a new username.

Frito Pendejo
Frito Pendejo

Hmm so I just double-checked those emails and they all said:

Thank you for choosing Citi for your banking needs, and for your enrollment in the Citibank $300 Checking Offer (“Offer”). Unfortunately, we have determined you have not fulfilled the Offer’s required activities for the following reason:
• The checking account is closed

So maybe I am okay since I got a half dozen emails saying my account is closed. I never got the bonus because there were so many delays getting the initial deposit transferred over I missed the deadline and just immediately closed the account.

Credit
Credit

There are three tiers $300, $500 and $700.

Just opened mine

Ryan
Ryan

Does anyone know if Citi gives pre-approval offers for cards when you open banking products with them? Also, are they Chex INQ sensitive?

Gadget
Gadget

I have gotten CC pre-approval notices, but I don’t think it’s banking related… I believe it’s because I hold other cards with them, and have opted in on the opt-out website for preapprovals. (https://www.optoutprescreen.com)

Also, Citi used to have a way to opt-in from your Citi login, but I don’t see it anymore. Was under: “Profile & Settings > My Communications > Edit Communication Options > Email Preferences > Send me email about my account and other products and services.” Now maybe you have to call to opt-in? Or just use the Citi online prescreen tool?

I have applied twice for their checking in the last two years – pulled Chex each time – and I always have a lot of Chex inquires going on. Approved both times. About to pull the trigger again.

Gdawg
Gdawg

I see there’s a bunch of DPs that they pull Chex, but couldn’t see mention of being declined because of too many new accounts. Any know if they are Chex sensitive?

Matt D
Matt D

Interesting…got the wait for a letter in the mail in 7-10 business days. I might have hit my limit as this is the only app I haven’t been approved for ever. I was going to fund the 15K but couldn’t do it right away because of the application so I put will fund later not sure if that was why I was declined.

Might have done 8 or so apps in the last 6 months, guess I’ll wait for the letter and see if I can call in this offer was intriguing because it doesn’t require DD, will report back if I’m able to open after the letter.

simon
simon

here is a DP for u: i applied few minutes ago for citi regular (no interest checking) and linked funding account, then got pop up said application pending and someone maybe contact me back 3 to 5 business days? not sure approved or not.

Gdawg
Gdawg

Were you eventually approved?

Adam

Does anyone know if I’ll have to unfreeze my credit reports to open another account with them? This will be my third checking account bonus with them since 2016.

SamSimon
SamSimon

Citibank uses ChexSystems

Shea Travels
Shea Travels

Applied Jan 2 and finished the application without error, or so I believe. I was given a success message and to expect my welcome package in the mail, as well as an email. Two days later, I still haven’t received any type of email. Anyone receive any email after applying?

Also, this is somewhat worrying…. the promo id included in the URL on the landing page is CZ22… but the promo code in the links to the actual applications (both regular and interest checking) have a different promo id, CZ9Q…. really hoping this tracks correctly.

Sean X
Sean X

I also applied on 1-2, got a success message, and haven’t received any email.

LP
LP

Their online app system is broken. I applied once on 12/29, got a “we cannot approve at this time message.” Wife and I applied again 12/30, got a “app being processed” message. Never got an email for either of us. Called several times this week, last time 1/5, they can’t find either of our apps ever going through at all. So beware. This offer lasts until March, I would give them some time to get things fixed or just apply over the phone or in branch. If you applied on/before 12/31, you can cancel before opened to do the easier non-DD offer now. They say no problem to do multiple apps (especially if they’re not going through!).

Ben
Ben

+1 – Just called in and the agent was NOT able to find my application. Completed it over the phone and was instantly approved. Glad I called in!

Tomtoo
Tomtoo

+2 “we cannot approve at this time…”

bernie k
bernie k

Does anyone know what the W-9 requirement refers to? I have done this reward 2 times. Never heard of the W-9 on file requirment. Thanks

kirk
kirk

it refers to your SSN. but for me, it’s just another trick that citi uses to deny people their bonuses (saw it from previous threads). shouldn’t be a problem for most people esp if you were a previous account holder or opened the account with no hiccups whatsoever although you never know with shiti(!). so if you’re paranoid about this, like i was, just go to chat and get a confirmation that your account is w-9 certified. that’s what i did. i noted the date and saved the conversation. and while you’re at it, ask if they need anything else from you to completely/fully open the account and avail of the promo AND if the promo is actually attached to your account. *i app during that sept expiration promo. i was given a 4 character OFFER code (CZ4J) AND a 10 character PROMO code (48*S*R*V*8) <- don't really want to fully disclose it as i'm not sure if this was unique to my account or not.

as always, ymmv.

btw i just got the email today that my $300 bonus will post soon ~ 'You’ve Earned Your Citibank Award'. will post a detailed DP once the bonus shows up on my account. in a week's time per recent DPs.

bernie k
bernie k

Thanks Kirk! I usually don’t have problems getting the bonus but this was a bizarre wrinkle…. nice of you to respond so fully. Appreciate it. And yes, i will confirm the offer code and my ability to obtain the bonus.

GGBG
GGBG

Which of the two accounts it’s better to go with? Regular Checking or Interest Checking?

Joanne
Joanne

I just inquired about this at Citi Bank. The deal is that after keeping $15K for 60 days you need to maintain $10K (if you want to avoid fees) for an additional 90 days! So this deal isn’t that great tying up your money in basically a very low interest rate account for 5 MONTHS!!!
I have done their offers before received the bonus but always made sure that I followed up regularly!!!

bernie k
bernie k

Joanne, the offer does not state that one has to go beyond the 60days in order to recieve the $300 bonus. I bet the bonus takes some time to be credited — but are you sure one has to wait another 3 months after satisfying the requirements? I have done this before and they credited my account after satisfying the requirment. thanks.

Sam
Sam
Dan
Dan

Same thing here as other posters mentioned above: I applied on 12/15/17 and it was submitted successfully, and even printed a copy of my application. Radio silence since then, I called and they have no record of it. CSR recommended going into a branch for best results. Wow.

Ryan Goldstein

Same here. I called the next day to check the status of the application, and the CSR said he sees no indication that I applied for an account and that I should have received information like my account number on the next page after submitting the application. Instead, I just received a message saying my application is being processed. He suggested submitting another application online, and if it still doesn’t work, to call back again, and I can try submitting an application over the phone.

It’s amazing how incompetent Citi can be.

Sean X
Sean X

Has anyone had success opening online yet? No branch anywhere nearby me.

Shea Travels
Shea Travels

My online application was “successful” on Jan 2. Haven’t heard/received a peep from them…

TG
TG

I’m not sure why DoC is so against the $500 bonus. Yes it’s half the APR (6% vs 12% for the $300), but unless you have somewhere else better to park the money at no risk for >6% APR, then doing the $500 offer is better.

Jim
Jim

It’s just a recommendation, no one’s stopping you. If you have the capital laying around, go for it.

An additional $35k for $200 more might be perfectly acceptable for some folks

kirk
kirk

08.25.17 opened (exp. 09.30.17)
09.06.17 15k deposited
1st month required DD – did a barrage of ACH/’DD’
(fidelity, chase, discover, alliant, wells fargo)
2nd month and bi-weekly thereafter – real work DD
11.13.17 took 5k out (after 60+ days)
01.09.18 got the bonus email
01.16.18 $300 bonus posted!

Thanks DoC!

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