Posted by Chuck on November 19, 2019
Checking Accounts

Published on November 19th, 2019 | by Chuck

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Citibank Launches Digital Checking Account with 1% APY & Unlimited Reimbursed ATM Fees (Citi Elevate Review)

  • Availability: Available in the following areas: AA, AE, AK, AL, AP, AR, AS, AZ, CO, DE, GA, GU, HI, IA, ID, IN, KS, KY, LA, MA, ME, MI, MN, MO, MP, MS, MT, NC, ND, NE, NH, NM, OH, OK, OR, PA, PR, RI, SC, SD, TN, TX, UT, VI, VT, WA, WI, WV, WY and select markets in Florida.
  • Hard/soft pull: Soft pull
  • ChexSystems: Yes
  • Credit card funding: None
  • Monthly fees: $15, avoidable
  • Early account termination fee: None

Citi Digital Checking

Direct Link | Press Release

Citibank announced today a new interest-bearing checking account which also waives and reimburses all ATM fees nationwide with no limit. The interest rate is currently 1.00% APY for balances over $25,000. The account is called Citi Elevate. (The rate is 0.4% for balances between $10,000 and $25,000 and 0.2% for balances below $10,000.)

The Fine Print

  • A monthly fee of $15 is waived for accounts with average monthly balances of $5,000 and above.
  • Account not available in all markets.
  • Digital delivery of statements and other legal notices is required.

Our Verdict

Obviously the 1% interest rate isn’t exciting, but there are almost no checking accounts that offer any interest at all, so 1% is actually pretty good. Could be a good option for someone who needs high balances in their checking account at all times.

READ: What’s the Best High-Yield APY Checking Account Option?

The most interesting thing would be if this account becomes eligible as an option for Citi checking account bonuses. For now, they aren’t offering any signup bonus on the Elevate account.



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Dan K
Dan K

IMO, unless one has significant existing assets with Citi or a preference for leaving large sums of money in their checking account (no judgment, I understand people have their preferences/circumstances), accounts like Schwab Checking make this account pointless.

DCJoe
DCJoe

Agreed 100%. Even if you only travel overseas once, the Schwab account is a no brainer because of the lack of fees. Even the brokerage account is useful because it (mostly) triggers DD requirements.

Keep $200 in the Schwab account for emergency cash needs and the rest in Ally/Marcus/wherever savings and you are done. One day transfers make it all very easy.

bac
bac

I saw an ATM receipt with a remaining balance of over 100k the other day.

Naota
Naota

Can someone tell me what Schwab checking you are referring to? I see a 0.15% interest rate for Schwab. Places like Alliant do better than that for their checking while also offering a better savings.

Just trying to make sure there isn’t something I am not aware of.

Yoshamano
Yoshamano

As DCJoe alluded to, Charles Schwab’s checking account is useful for it’s utility rather than it’s interest rate. In particular it’s lack of forex fees. So if you travel abroad and use your Schwab debit card to withdraw local currency you won’t be hit with a fee to convert USD to the local currency. Since Schwab also refunds most ATM fees you won’t be hit by those either. However, if you never travel outside the US then Schwab’s checking account isn’t all that special.

Dan - Legal Bank Robber
Dan - Legal Bank Robber

This is a Walmart version of SoFi.

Tenchuchoy
Tenchuchoy

I agree! SoFi has a similar account with higher APY (1.60%).

Dan - Legal Bank Robber
Dan - Legal Bank Robber

With no requirements

Lrdx
Lrdx

A checking?

JK
JK

It functions pretty much exactly like a checking account (you get a debit/atm card, checks, etc.), but as far as I know they don’t call it that, they call it a “cash management” account or such. The relatively generous (at least, at the time.. it’s been nerfed a few times since) APY is what attracted me initially, but the fact that you can use *any* ATM ever without fees is what makes it a keeper.

alex
alex

do you know what the deal was with ther 1% foreign conversion fee? they claim it’s charged by visa so in theory it would be the same schwab…but schwab makes no mention of it

currently use schwab and been wanting to switch to sofi money but that on top of no mint integration kept me away, there’s no way I’d be able to juggle 50 accounts without mint

Hoang Nguyen

In the sense that SoFi is Whole Food or Costco?

Roy
Roy

Plenty of other places to stash $5,000 for a better rate of return, even on checking.

Kid Lightning
Kid Lightning

Don’t understand why it’s not open to VA residents? There’s a citi branch right down the street from me…

Andrew
Andrew

I think it’s the same BS citi pulls with their high yeild savings, only available where they don’t have a presence.

qmc
qmc

That’s exactly why… they want it to be digital only, and not have to give you the better payouts while forcing you to support the costs of having the local branches. ATM reimbursements are good if you don’t have a network of locations already, but if they let you have it and you just use whatever the closest ATM is instead of going to a Citi ATM, they come in the hole.

CK
CK

It would be nice if some of the bigger brick and mortars would follow their lead. Even if they cap it at %50-100k, throw us a bone. The .01% from JPM is insulting, but as long as we shower them with deposits they have no incentives.

potatoslayer
potatoslayer

This, to me, is a joke. I have two checking accounts already that pay 2% and much less nonsense.

Naota
Naota

Where?

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