Posted by William Charles on January 31, 2019
Savings Accounts

Published on January 31st, 2019 | by William Charles

52

Citi Accelerate Review: High Yield Savings Account (2.36% APY)

Offer at a glance

  • Interest Rate: 2.36% APY
  • Minimum Balance: None
  • Maximum Balance: None, FDIC insured up to $250,000
  • Availability: Available in the following states: TX, AL, AK, AZ, AR, CO, DE, GA, HI, ID, IN, IA, KS, KY, LA, OK, ME, MA, MI, MN, MO, MS, MT, NE, NH, NM, NC, ND, OH, OR, PA, RI, SC, SD, TN, UT, VT, WA, WV, WI and WY and the following territories, possessions and military addresses of AA, AE, AP, AS, GU, MP, PR and VI
  • Hard/soft pull: Soft pull
  • ChexSystems:  Yes
  • Credit card funding: None
  • Monthly fees: $4.50
  • Insured: FDIC

The Offer

Direct link to offer

  • Citi has launched a new high yield savings account called ‘Citi Accelerate’. It’s only available in select states and offers 2.36% APY.

 

Avoiding Fees

This account has a $4.50 monthly fee, this is waived if you have a balance of at least $500. There is also a $2.50 ATM fee if you use a non-Citibank ATM.

Our Verdict

Interesting to see Citi offer a high yield savings account, also interesting that it’s actually somewhat competitive compared to the best current high yield accounts. Traditionally financial institutions such as Citi with a large bank presence have offered incredibly low (e.g 0.01% APY) even on savings accounts. Citi has indicated previously that they wanted to open the largest national online bank, so I wonder if this roll out is part of this or not.

Hopefully this puts pressure on other larger banks to start offering high interest savings accounts. At the moment I don’t really see any reason to open this account, although it might help waive the monthly fees on Citi checking accounts (and it’s possible to get a bonus for opening those). For a list of the best current high yield accounts, click here.

Hat tip to UA6RBP

 



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Ben
Ben

Your list doesn’t have Texas, but the link allows me to select the Texas area and doesn’t redirect away from the Accelerate.

I wonder if different Terms and Conditions apply, therefore it’s actually considered a different account?

In any case, my plan is to get this to earn some interest while maintaining the minimum balance to keep the checking fee-free until the bonus posts.

Ben
Ben

Ahh, fine print…. “Interest Rates. The interest rate shown is available to customers in the National Rate Region and in Texas”

Ra Du 96
Ra Du 96

[removed]

Stan
Stan

good to see for consumers.
i really wonder what it does for citi though.
bank of america and wells fargo keep doling out the 0.0000000000 interest.

Googlre10
Googlre10

Wish they give some bonus. Still better rates among other high yield savings accounts

calwatch
calwatch

This is kind of like PNC where they don’t offer it in markets where they have branches. PNC is at 2.40% if you do the direct deposit or debit card transactions but this Citi deal will stack with their checking bonuses which are generally higher. Even Chase is trying to get competitive with savers by offering a 1.75% 9 month CD, 1% below the leaders but still much higher than BoA or Wells.

Tom
Tom

BOA has a 2% 13 month CD right now.

AP
AP

Isn’t the PNC 2.40% rate for Growth Accounts when you meet their DD/debit card transaction requirement? This 2.40% is greater than their high-yield savings of ~2.45%.

Dylan
Dylan

For the citi checking bonuses, can we move the money into this savings account so we can at least get some yield?

for example to do the $200 checking bonus, you need to deposit 5K into the checking account and leave it there for 60 days. Can I instead withdrawal 3.5K on day 61 then leave 1.5K in the savings account until the bonus posts? hmm…

Yoni
Yoni

Interesting, for the $400 or $500 bonus it reads:
“Deposit a minimum of $15,000 New-to-Citibank funds between the new checking and savings accounts.

Maintain a minimum of $15,000 between the checking and savings accounts for 60 consecutive calendar days.”

JC
JC

Wish I could open one up as I have had a Citibank checking account since they opened branches in the Philadelphia region. However, while this offer is available in 41 states plus various US territories I am not eligible because I live in a state with a total of 9 branches and the closest branch to me is about 75 miles.

I would have thought that in states where they have limited branches which are typically clustered around a major city such as Florida, New Jersey, and New York they would have made counties without branches eligible which Bank of America, Investors, and other banks have done in the past with various promotions. It seems foolish to exclude people that live on the west coast of Florida from opening a high deposit account with them when the closest branches for these folks are on the East Coast and easily 2-3 hours away. The same with Upstate New York where Citibank sold all of their branches to M&T years ago yet the closest branches for these folks is typically New York City and/or its suburbs. The same applies for New Jersey where the branches are all located in the suburbs of New York City but the folks in South Jersey are not eligible. After all, it is not likely that many of these currently excluded customers would otherwise bank with Citibank.

Ashley
Ashley

That’s exactly my problem. I’m located in South Jersey and I currently use Barclay’s online, this would have been a nice new savings account for me. I don’t mind rate chasing if there’s more than a .10 rate increase in interest.

Ann
Ann

Check out All America Bank for another alternative. 2.5% on up to $50k.

JC
JC

Funny enough I also use Barclays online. Another option is Citizens Access which is paying 2.35% APY but it does require a $5,000 minimum. balance. Not sure if these accounts can be accessed at a local Citizens branch since there are a few in S. Jersey or if it is strictly online only.

Jack - NJ
Jack - NJ

On that last note about other banks low rates, the WSJ today wrote an article about how to switch your money to a bank that actually pays you for it. Can share the link here if you’d like

Lia
Lia

I called Citi new account service and was told the amount in this high yield saving account does not count for the balance required for the Citi bonus.

Yoni
Yoni

Per TOC fine Print bottom of page for bonus even a little printer symbol to print paper or pdf :

“A minimum balance of $15,000 must be maintained for sixty (60) consecutive calendar days following the date when the $15,000 deposit was made (“Minimum Balance”).
The Minimum Balance may be held in one of the eligible accounts or in a combination of the eligible accounts.
For example, a $15,000 balance in the Eligible Checking Account for sixty (60) consecutive calendar days will fulfill the Minimum Balance requirement. In addition, balances of $10,000 in the Eligible Checking Account and $5,000 in the Eligible Savings Account for sixty (60) consecutive calendar days will also fulfill the Minimum Balance requirement”

Yoni
Yoni

Correction because the 2.36% savings accounts is not what is showing up that I am opening which is a Citi Savings and not the Citi Accelerate (2.36%). Best I can tell no way to change to the other product when opening the account you might be able to link it after fact.

Charlie
Charlie

I live in DC and have two Citibank branches within a mile of my apartment. Sorry to see that the high yield savings is NOT available in DC. Why? Does Citibank hate us?

Normalin
Normalin

When I traveled to NYC last year, I opened my account at a NYC branch. However, I actually lived in Louisiana. Do I have a NY account or LA account?

Ben
Ben

Spoke to a phone banker to confirm the signup bonus was attached for the accounts I opened last month, and asked for details on the Accelerate Savings. Learned the following:

* It can be linked with checking, putting it into the same account package. It will be alongside the low-yield savings account, not replace it.

* It’s a real pain (sounded like a whole lot of extra identity verification) to set up linking if you are a “new to bank” account. So they really would prefer you add this one after the package has been open for over 30 days. Not sure if people with credit card history would overcome that.

* Having it linked won’t interfere with earning the checking+savings signup bonus. But money in this account isn’t counted toward the balance you need to maintain for 60 days.

* Once you’ve completed the promo step of maintaining the balance in the checking and ordinary savings for 60 days, you can move funds into the Accelerate and it will count for keeping the whole package fee-free. But don’t reduce the balance to $0 in any account because that will trigger closing the account and void the bonus.

I chose to wait and open it after reaching 30 days, but if I didn’t have a comparable rate from PNC high-yield savings, I probably would have elected to jump through the hoops to open and link this Accelerate Savings account now.

Ben
Ben

Opened successfully on Friday morning before work. Not the quickest process, still a bunch of identity verification questions even though it was over 30 days of being a customer, but painless overall.

Account showed up immediately in online banking, but the opening deposit will take about 5 business days to appear. Probably should have made a smaller “opening” deposit and moved the rest instantly with online transfer. (Did $300 from Citi checking, remember to not drop below $15,000 in the qualifying accounts, which doesn’t include the new accelerate)

Halamadrid
Halamadrid

Word of caution. I opened and then immediately closed this account. I originally opened my checking account in state A, but now live in state B. Both states A & B qualify for this account. Upon opening the savings account Citi told me that I couldn’t connect the two accounts. I would also need a separate debit card and login for the new account. Even the agent over the phone told me that this limitation made no sense for a bank the size of Citi. This setup is useless to me so I immediately asked to close. My initial deposit was tied up for several days also so I guess always open the account with the least amount of money possible in case there are any issues and your money is tied up for a while.

Ted
Ted

Citi sent out emails to AA gold card member with an offer to earn 10K aa points after opening a new citi accelerate savings account and log in to new account 2 times using mobile app within 30 days

Jacob
Jacob

Would putting money in there qualify for citi gold status?

JD
JD

Be aware that while you’re allowed to transfer (inbound) up to to $100K per day into the account, you’re only allowed to transfer outbound a maximum of $2K per day. So, if you were saving money for a rainy day and needed $25K for an emergency, since you can only do 6 outbound transfers per month (at $2,000 max each), it’d take you 3 months to get all of your savings back ($12K per month total in each of the first two months, then the final $1K in month 3).

https://online.citi.com/US/JRS/pands/detail.do?ID=InterInstitution

Ben
Ben

If the limits are too low, don’t use the Citi outbound transfer, use your other bank’s inbound transfer.

Also if you have a checking account with Citi, you can transfer any amount into there and then distribute it further without being subject to the 6 withdrawals/month limit.

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