Posted by Chuck on June 6, 2016
Checking Accounts

Published on June 6th, 2016 | by Chuck


[Expired] Citibank $400 Checking Bonus with $15,000 Initial Deposit – No Direct Deposit Needed

Offer at a glance

  • Maximum bonus amount: $400
  • Availability: Nationwide (can be done online)
  • Direct deposit required: Not required
  • Additional requirements: Maintain $15,000 for 30-days
  • Hard/soft pull: Soft pull
  • Credit card funding: None
  • Monthly fees: $25, avoidable
  • Early account termination fee: None
  • Expiration date: August 31, 2016 October 31st. 2016 November 15th, 2016

The Offer

Direct Link to Offer

  • Get a $400 bonus when you open a new Citigold or Citibank Account checking package, deposit $15,000 of non-Citi funds within 30 days, and keep the funds there for 30 consecutive calendar days

Screen Shot 2016-06-06 at 3.01.00 PM

Use the link from the landing page and it will pre-populate with the offer code; you need that offer code there to get the bonus. You can also apply in a Citi branch or over the phone at 1-866-422-1475 and use code CZPE. 

[If you apply online from a non-cookied browser, you’ll get an error message after entering your home state. Just click the back button and everything should be smooth sailing from there.]

The Fine Print

  • Cash bonus will be credited to your new checking account within 90 calendar days from the date when you completed all offer requirements.
  • This offer is for new consumer checking customers only, 18 years or older. Enrollment in this offer does not guarantee eligibility. To be eligible for this offer, customer must not currently have a consumer checking account with Citibank. Customers are not eligible for this offer if the customer was a signer on or owner of a Citibank consumer checking account within the last 60 days. Eligible accounts must have been opened within 60 calendar days of enrollment in this offer. However, signers on fiduciary, estate, business and certain trust accounts are not eligible. Customer can have an existing Citibank Savings Plus Account.
  • Effective November 1, 2016, the $30 monthly service fee will be eliminated for customers in The Citigold Account Package.
  • The new checking account in The Citigold Account Package or The Citibank Account Package and/or new or existing Citibank Savings Plus Account must be open and in good standing at the time the cash bonus is credited to the checking account.
  • Offer may be modified or withdrawn at any time without notice, is not transferable and cannot be combined with any other checking offer.
  • The bonus will be reported to the IRS as interest on a 1099 INT form.
  • Limit of one of each offer per customer and one offer per account (sounds like two people living in the same household can each do this offer separately).

Avoiding Fees

Monthly Fee

This bonus is available on the Citigold Account Package and the Citibank Account Package.

  • The Citigold Package needs $50,000 in combined deposits and retirement balances to remain fee free or $100,000 in deposits, retirement balances, and investments. Otherwise there is a $30 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

In order to get the bonus, you just need to leave the funds there for 30-days, but you do need $10,000 in the account to avoid the $25 monthly fee on the Citibank Account Package. And it can take up to 90-days from the end of the 30-days until you get the bonus. Overall, you’ll have $15k tied up for 30-days and $10k tied up for another 90-days.

Now let’s dive into the math. $10,000 is being tied up for 4 months, and another $5k for 1 month. If you had the $10k in a 1% APY account for 4 months, you’d get around $33 of interest. If you had $5k in a 1% APY account for 1 month, you’d earn around $4. Overall, you’re losing ~$37 in interest by doing this deal when comparing it to a 1% account, so you’re netting an extra $363.

Looking at it another way, you are earning a return of around 10% APY for tying up this $10k for 4 months and $5k for 1 month. Pretty awesome.

If you can’t tie up $10k for 4 months, but you have $15k to tie up for 30-days, you might consider doing this offer and depositing $15k for 30-days and then just paying the $25 monthly fee for a few months. Typically, Citi waives the first couple months, so let’s say you’ll end up paying $75 in fees and net $325. Still a good deal.

If I didn’t already have a Citibank checking account, I’d jump on this offer. While there have been other great offers for Citibank checking accounts, those seem to be by invitation-only going forward and aren’t publicly available. This offer has a public landing page and isn’t targeted for specific people.

Here’s how I’d go about this offer:

  • Apply for the Citibank Account Package (not the Citigold Account Package) using the offer landing page, making sure the offer code is correctly populated
  • Transfer $15,000 from my regular (non-Citi) checking or savings account and leave it there for 30-days
  • Transfer out $5,000 to my regular savings account and park the remaining $10k there for 3 more months until the bonus posts so as to keep the account fee free
  • Then I’d downgrade the account to Citi Basic (can be done via chat or Secure Message)
  • Then close it out a month later

This added downgrade step is is to avoid an extra fee/hassle as described in this post.

In fact, I think I’ll close out my Citi checking account today and wait 60-days to apply for this offer – it runs until August 31. As noted in the fine print, so long as you haven’t been a checking customer for 60 days you can get the bonus. I’m a bit worried that closed accounts linger in Citi’s system for some time so I’ll push off applying for the offer until close to August 31.

We’ll add this to our list of Best Bank Account Bonuses.

Hat tip to eChaos on r/churning


Useful posts regarding bank bonuses:

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I signed up for this offer and an account was opened. I also have another mailes for the Citigold 50K TYP which I intended to sign up later this month. While this offer explicitly states that it is for new consumer checking accounts only. The mailer does not say it.

Can I now sign up for the Citigold account as well and get the 50K TYP from it, that offer does not state the “for new checking account only” condition.

Is SSN a requirement to be eligible for this offer?

SSN was asked for as part of the sign up bonus. There were other check boxes for those who did not want to give it on line.
You can call their One stop- (800) 321-2484 banking line
OR call the application by phone, but use the promo code and phone number on the Citi link DoC takes you to.

Get it in writing with these guys!

There is not a 2 month fee-free period for this offer. Though if you want the bonus, this won’t be a problem…

Quickly scanned this while at work so maybe I’m missing something but this jumped off the page to me:

“Effective November 1, 2016, the $30 monthly service fee will be eliminated for customers in The Citigold Account Package.”

So Citigold is going fee free starting Nov 1…?

Means that if you don’t have $200k or more in combined assets with CB, you’ll get auto-downgraded to the next tier checking account package they’ll have at the time.

Yeah I saw that too and it would be nice for Prestige AF discount. But there has to be a catch.

Yes , if you call parking $200,000 in citigold free.

What’s the best strategy for me given that I have recently got 40k TYP from a Gold checking account? Transfer the points to a airline partner and close the current checking account? And then open a new one?

Hey Chuck. Great post. I emailed you about this new offer a few days ago.

The question I had for you then was this. I currently have a Citigold checking account. I received my 50k TYP bonus on June 1 which I converted into gift cards on June 2. I saw the $400 bonus offer (subject of this thread) on June 3.

For the last few months, my plan has been to downgrade to Basic checking a week after I got my 50k TYP, and then close my checking account a month after that.

But if I were to do that, as I pointed out in my email, I won’t be eligible for the $400 bonus since my close date will be too close to Aug 31.

So here was the question I asked: Can I avoid my last $30 Citigold fee by downgrading now to Basic (June 8 say) then close my Basic account a few weeks after that (e.g. June 22)? Or will I still likely be charged my last Citigold fee at close since it is all happening within the same month?

If there is a decent chance I will still be charged the last $30 CG fee, then I’ll just close my CitiGold right away and not bother with the downgrade. My overiding interest right now is becoming eligible for the $400 offer. But of course, if I can do that AND avoid my last $30 fee, that would be even better.

I’m getting an error message when i click on the authorization form link for the debit card.

I don’t get an error, but the resulting file will not open. I have not gotten the welcome email yet. I assume they would put the link in there as well, if it is really something they need.

Applied and got denied. The rep say they’re having problems with the online app today. So i would call them to make sure they got your application.

I opened prestige card with the banker last year with 350 AF without being citi gold. The banker told me it should be 350 all the way down unless I mess up my account. I was wondering if I open the citi gold account then cancel it, will my prestige card go back to 450? Any thoughts?

There was no mentioning in the Terms and Conditions that you have to maintain Citigold to be eligible for the $350 AF.

is it possible to fund this account via a wire transfer from another internet based bank account, i.e. capital one 360?

Yes. You can do that. You need to do the account verification thing on Capital one website and that takes 2-3 days. Then transferring the funds takes another 4-5 days. But it works fine.

Hi Chuck,

I closed my CitiGold checking account last month. That being said, I just applied today for the Citibank Account Package. I spoke to a personal banker over the phone and they helped me set up a new checking account using the offer code mentioned above. They said that I should be receiving my account documents within 5-7 business days. I also spoke to a call center supervisor and they said that the personal banker would know and tell us if we were not eligible for the promotion. So far, it seems successful.

If I signed up for A citigold acct last July 2015, got my bonus thank you points in September, 2015 and then recently downgraded the acct to just a regular checking acct. (not citigold). Can I apply for this offer this year and still get the bonus?

Got to the funding step and didn’t have my routing info with me so, entered $0 for the amount and left the routing blank. Got an error at the next step saying it could not verify my source bank. (Of course.) It allowed me to enter a new funding amount, but there was no longer a box for routing info. Trying to hit next got me a “feature temporarily unavailable” error. Called the apply by phone number and the gentlemen said he did not see an account under my SSN yet and to check back tomorrow and maybe my (partial?) app would show in the system.

Based on a tip from MISS_COUCHBLOB on reddit, I was able to complete my app. Had to try in a different browser to get past the error, but it worked! Waiting for my “welcome email”.

“Log into citi first and then go to the original signup page as if you were doing the app from scratch, proceed and it should “remember” you and finally show an option to continue your previous app. Good luck!”

Which codes did you’ll use online? The one that was auto-generated? CZKD? This code might be incorrect

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