Posted by William Charles on May 6, 2015
Bank Account Bonuses

Published on May 6th, 2015 | by William Charles

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Citi Checking Up To 30,000 American Airlines Miles Bonus, No Direct Deposit Required

You can get the bonus as long as you have a Citi American Airlines credit card open. If  worried, you can always call up and apply over the phone – making sure you confirm your eligible first (and getting a reference number).

I have written a post about this bonus before, but it was getting quite cluttered so I thought a new post was in order. There is one important difference in this bonus, it’s only for new consumer checking customers. In the past it was possible to do this every two years.

Offer at a glance

  • Maximum bonus amount: 30,000 AAdvantage miles
  • Availability: Nationwide, must have a credit card that earns American Airline miles open
  • Direct deposit required: No
  • Hard/soft pull: Soft
  • Credit card funding: Yes, $100,000 limit (be wary of cash advance fees, click that link to see what has/hasn’t been a cash advance and set your cash advance limits appropriately).
  • Monthly fees: $10-$30, avoidable
  • Early account termination fee: $0
  • Expiration date: September 30th, 2015

The Offer

Direct link to offer (promotional code is 4YQY4RMDRM, this is not unique)

Regardless of which account is opening, you need to complete the following requirement in addition to the debit card purchase require. Make one or more qualifying bill payment for two consecutive calendar months.

  • Open a Citigold account and make $750 or more in qualifying debit card purchases and receive 30,000 American Airline miles
  • Open a Citibank account and make $375 or more in qualifying debit card purchases and receive 15,000 American Airline miles
  • Open a Basic Banking account and make $125 or more in qualifying debit card purchases and receive 5,000 American Airline miles

citi american airlines checking promo

The Fine Print

You can view the full page of fine print by clicking promotion disclosures to the left hand side after entering the code.

  • Offers for new consumer checking customers only
  • AA miles will post to your account 90 days from the end of the statement period in which you complete all offer requirements
  • Limit of one offer per customer and account
  • Qualifying bill payments are those made using Citibank® Online, Citi Mobile® or CitiPhone Banking®. Bills paid by making a transfer between linked accounts and/or transfer payments made to accounts within Citibank or to accounts with Citibank affiliates do not qualify as bill payments for this offer
  • Qualifying purchases are those made using the Card to buy goods and services and are net of returns and other adjustments. ATM withdrawals, cash back and bill payments do not qualify as Citibank Debit Card purchases. Net qualifying purchases are determined in Citibank’s sole discretion and must post to the new account within 60 days of account opening
  • All accounts must be in good standing at time of bonus posting to be eligible
  • This offer is available to Citi® / AAdvantage® credit cardmembers who receive this communication, as mentioned previously this hasn’t been enforced in the past

Avoiding Fees

Citigold Account Package $30 Monthly Fee

To avoid the $30 monthly fee you need to complete one of the following:

Citibank account Package $20 Monthly Fee

To avoid the $20 monthly fee you need to have a combined average balance of $15,000 or more

Basic Banking $10 Monthly Fee

Make a direct deposit (the following methods count as direct deposit, click to view) and 1 bill payment each month or keep an average balance of at least $1,500 in the previous calendar month to avoid the monthly fee.

Early Account Termination Fee $0

We couldn’t find any mention of any EATF in the product disclosures and haven’t heard of anybody being hit with a fee. Your account does need to be open for the miles to post though.

Our Verdict

At bare minimum you’ll need to keep the account open for 5 months (two months to complete the bill pay requirement and three months to wait for bonus to post),  Citi waives the monthly fees for the first two months this means you have two options for the highest bonus:

  • Pay $90 in fees
  • Keep $50,000 invested for 3 months

If you put $50,000 into a 1% checking account for 4 months, you’d earn $125 in interest, so paying the fees is the best option as Citi pays basically nothing in interest. If we add in another month to give us some cushion room, the numbers turn out like this $120 in fees or $166.67 in lost interest.

$120 in fees for 30,000 AA miles is a decent option, but we also need to take into account the $750 in spend requirement. Putting that on a 2% card would earn us another $15, so we’re now paying $135 in misc charges, getting a ChexSystems inquiry and having to do two bill pays for 30,000 miles.

That’s still a pretty good deal, but personally I’d prefer 40,000 ThankYou points, which is another offer Citi does. The only different is that it doesn’t require any debit card spend. Keep in mind if you have a Citi gold account, you also get a $100 discount on the annual fee of the Citi Prestige card.

It’s possible to get the fees waived on your Citi Gold account.

If you have somebody that you trust with a Citi Gold account and they are maintaining the $50,000 minimum balance you can get them added as a secondary signer to your account. By doing this, you will not need to meet the minimum balance requirement to keep it fee free. They will have access to your account, but you will not have access to theirs.

F.A.Q’s

How does Citi know when you deposit your American Airlines miles?

Citi are able to locate your AA number through your social security number. They already have your AA number & SSN through your application for a Citi AA card.

Do I have to pay taxes on these miles?

Typically when you receive a bank bonus you do have to pay taxes, I don’t think Citi has sent out any tax forms for this bonus since 2011-2012. As always, you should speak to a tax professional regarding your tax liability.



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Nate8
Nate8

Thanks for the clean up. One tip — you state: “Availability: Nationwide, must have a credit card that earns Citi ThankYou points open” but I think you mean to say “Nationwide, must have a credit card that earns AAdvantage points open” since this is the page for the AAdvantage version.

R.
R.

Small typo in “availability”: you need an AA card, not a TY card.

John
John

I just signed up for the account. It explicitly said it allows credit card funding up to $100,000 during the funding section, so you can update the “Credit card funding: Yes, unknown limit”

I’m using my arrival to fund this account with $18K so I will be getting 36K arrival miles and 30K AA miles. 🙂

Thanks

trackback

[…] to 30,000 American miles or 40,000 ThankYou points for a Citibank checking account. And remember that to date it’s […]

jim
jim

i received same exact offer todya in mail. it never mentions any minimum deposit requirement and fees.

I can do $750 send and 2 bill payments but if I have to pay $30 fee for 3 months or more, that is not a good deal for me. I don’t have 50k to deposit to avoid fee. I have 6 open citi cards with credit limit total of about $35k.

Any other way to avoid the $30 monthly fee? and where does it say you deposit $10k?

Joe
Joe

I had a checking account in the past but its been closed for over a year now, have you heard if the two year waiting period is enforced?

beachfan
beachfan

Helpful post, thanks!

I’m trying to decide between 40k TYP and 30K AA miles offers. Thanks to your post on the 40k offer, I know how to manage things to avoid taxes (keep it under $600).

Do you know how they value the 30k miles?

Secretary Toaster
Secretary Toaster

Hey so anyone who lives in the great state of Illinois able to get this to work online? The system bugs out everytime I try and says that I have to call to setup the account.

Secretary Toaster
Secretary Toaster

Well OK so it works if I just log into my citi credit card account, then go to -> new account at the top of the page. Woohoo.

PorkIsKing
PorkIsKing

Will, I’ve had my Citibank checking account for 18 years. They say this every time I call and thank me for being a customer. Aside from being courteous, do you know if having a long banking relationship with a checking account has any relevance on credit card approvals, or anything else for that matter?

I was thinking of closing my regular checking account and then applying for the gold. Would I be then be eligible as a “new consumer checking customer”?

DJ
DJ

I received this offer for both me and my wife. Can I open a Citigold account, put $50k in it and then open her account and add myself as a secondary co-signer so that her Citigold account is free? Anyone has tried this before? My question is basically, is this co-signing tied to this offer in any way or is it only to waive the Citigold maintenance fee?

DJ
DJ

Another question – does loading into Serve qualify for meeting $750 debit card purchase requirement?

DW
DW

Curious if you tried to Serve load and if it worked?

Angela
Angela

So I tried to open an account today… anyone else have a ridiculously hard time getting Citi’s website to actually function? It kept erroring out right at the ‘fund the account’ page… tried using the chat function for help… got a rep who could not possibly have English as a first language and who could not offer any help whatsoever… then sat on the phone for an hour with a completely incompetent rep who also ultimately was no help. Bottom line, two hours later, still can’t get the account opened, it keeps getting stuck on the account funding page and phone reps just want to start a new application – even though citi has clearly already done a credit check/pull because they asked me verification questions off my credit report. This customer service was really, really bad… I know 30k almost free miles are tempting but man I hate doing business with awful companies. Anyone else get this kind of major hassle, or am I just super lucky?

Joe
Joe

Yup, I got the same error message on the funding page. I think I’ll wait a few days, maybe the site is buggy. BTW, when trying to fund the account via CC, did you have to download a form that you have fill out and mail in the CC number? Thought that was strange…or maybe my application was completely jacked up.

learner
learner

Just opened one today, wanted to fund with my US Air card.
They required me to sign and mail a form for cc funding. But that form doesn’t list anywhere the account number of the new checking account, nor did i need to enter the credit card # online. How can they match the credit card number for funding (from the form) to the checking account?

DW
DW

Did you find a solution to this? I am about to do the same thing

Paul
Paul

I just did it, worked out. I can confirm BofA Alaska, more than 15k, counted as purchase. Although I did get a call about a “credit review” that appears to have gone no where. I will update.

Paul
Paul

Confirmed. 16k BofA Alaska. Got the points

Jeff Bauer
Jeff Bauer

I tried this offer several times this morning and the link appears to be dead.

apple
apple

Hi, can we still fund the citi checking acct with Barclay Arrival Plus card with Purchase coding? not cash advance?? anyone applied recently??

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