Reposting this because it’s clear it’s only based on base spend and not category bonus spend.
Citi offers a relationship bonus to some of their cardholders that also use some of their other products. I thought it’d be a good idea to look at the relationship bonuses they do offer and the fine print.
At the moment this relationship bonus is only available on their premium Citi Prestige credit card which comes with an annual fee of $350-$450 depending on which offer you apply for. If you have the Citi Prestige card there are four banking products that will earn a relationship bonus: Citigold, Citi Private Bank, Global Client or employees in a special offer.
|CITIGOLD®||GLOBAL CLIENT||EMPLOYEES IN A SPECIAL OFFER||CITI PRIVATE BANK|
|15%||15%||15%||25%|It looks like these bonuses apply to all points earned, rather than just base points. If this is the case you should earn at the following rates:
According to the example given in the fine print:
For example, if you have a Citigold checking account, and you use your Card Account to make $10,000 in purchases during a membership year, then we’ll multiply $10,000 by 15%. Based on that calculation, you’ll receive 1,500 Points.
This is based on base spend only (e.g you’ll only get 0.15x points per dollar spent regardless of whether it’s made in bonus category or not).
15% Relationship Bonus
- 3.15x points per $1 spent on all Air Travel & Hotels Spend
- 2.15x points per $1 spent on all spend at restaurants and entertainment
- 1.15x point per $1 spent on all other purchases
25% Relationship Bonus
- 3.25x points per $1 spent on all Air Travel & Hotels Spend
- 2.25x points per $1 spent on all spend at restaurants and entertainment
- 1.25x point per $1 spent on all other purchases
None of these rates are exceptional, but depending on how you value Citi ThankYou points and other airline currencies it might make sense to put spend on this card with the relationship bonus.
The other thing we need to consider is how expensive is it to use Citi’s banking products compared to alternatives.
Citigold checking comes with a monthly fee of $30, there are a few different ways to get this fee waived:
- $50,000 in combined link deposit or retirement accounts
$100,000 in all linked deposit, retirement, credit or investment accounts (excluding a first mortgage with citibank)
$250,000 including linked Citibank mortgages
Have a CitiBusiness® Preferred Banking account. This account has a $40 monthly fee, but it’s easier to waive. You only need a $15,000 account balance to get it waived instead of $50,000. You can read more about this here.No longer works
Sign Up Bonuses
The main reason people sign up for a Citigold checking account is the fact that it offers a sign up bonus. Unfortunately all of the sign up bonuses are now strictly targeted and you won’t be eligible unless you receive a direct offer.
Let’s assume you don’t pay the annual fee for the full year, you’ll be stuck paying $360. The other option is that you put $50,000 into your Citigold account, but this means you’d be loosing out on $500 in interest if you had it in a 1% checking account.
There isn’t a lot of information on who is considered a global client. Citi’s Global client page can be found here. But it basically just looks like a sales front for them to see products to consumers either entering or exiting the US. If you know anything else about what qualifies as somebody as a global client for the purposes of this relationship, please let me know in the comments.
Employees In A Special Offer
Citi offers a program called “Citi At Work”, I don’t think this benefit falls under this program. Instead I think Citi are talking about their own employees. If anybody has any experience qualifying this way then please let me know.
Citi Private Bank
This is the one that we’re the most interested in, that’s because it offers a 25% bonus rather than 15%. Unfortunately Citi Private Bank, as the name suggests is only available to ultra high net worth individuals. To be invited to join you need to have invest-able assets of at least $25 million dollars.
If you have that type of money, you’re most likely not that interested in trying to squeeze out another 25% return on your credit card transactions. Even if you were, most likely you’d be more concerned with cash back rather than airline miles.
Relationship bonuses are rarely a good deal for consumers, in this case that holds true. Citigold isn’t a great option when there are so many fee free solutions out there that actually offer interest. If you have ridiculously high spend and really value Citi TYP’s, then this program might make sense for you.
It also might make sense if you’ve signed up for one of their checking bonuses and are waiting for the bonus to post. It isn’t clear if your checking account needs to be open for the full year, or only when your card member anniversary ticks over.
This post is part of our series on relationship bonuses that credit card issuers and financial institutions offer. You can read more in this series by clicking any of the links below:
- Bank of America Preferred Rewards Program: 5.25% Cash Back On Gas, 3.75% Travel, 2.625% All Purchases