Posted by William Charles on April 15, 2018
Bank Account Bonuses

Published on April 15th, 2018 | by William Charles


[Expired] [CT, DE, MA, MI, NH, NJ, NY, OH, PA, RI, VT] Citizens Bank $400 Checking Bonus

There is a new offer for up to $500. More information here.

Unfortunately this bonus has expired, click here to view the best current checking bonuses.

There is also a $200 bonus currently available as well. More information here.

Offer at a glance

  • Maximum bonus amount: $400
  • Availability: CT, DE, MA, MI, NH, NJ, NY, OH, PA, RI, VT
  • Direct deposit required: Yes, $1,000+
  • Additional requirements: None
  • Hard/soft pull: Soft pull as long as you opt out of over draft protecton.
  • ChexSystems: Unknown
  • Credit card funding: Up to $1,000, Visa & MasterCard only
  • Monthly fees: $25, avoidable
  • Early account termination fee: None listed
  • Household limit: None
  • Expiration date: June 30th, 2018 July 31st, 2018 September 30th, 2018

The Offer

Direct link to offer

  • Citizens Bank is offering a bonus of $400 when you open a new Platinum checking account and complete the following requirements:
    • Receive a direct deposit of $1,000+ within 60 days of account opening.

The Fine Print

  • To qualify for the $400 bonus you must open your first new Platinum checking account between 3/30/2018 and 6/30/2018 and have at least 1 single direct deposit of $1,000 or more post to your new checking account within 60 days of account opening.
  • Direct Deposit is recurring income electronically deposited into your Citizens Bank checking account and may include salary, pension, Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits and other regular monthly income.
  • Primary signer on the new checking account may not be or have been a primary or secondary signer on any Citizens Bank personal checking account within the previous six months.
  • The new account must be open and in good standing to qualify for this offer.
  • Offer may be withdrawn without notice and cannot be combined with any other checking offer.
  • In order to be eligible to participate in this promotion, the customer must open their first new personal checking account via Citizens Bank’s online account opening system accessed by clicking on the link on this page.
  • Customer should print this screen for their records.
  • Customer may only be paid a bonus associated with this program one time.
  • If you meet all of the above requirements and open a Citizens Bank Platinum Checking® account you will receive a $400 bonus.
  • Bonus will post to the checking account within 90 days after direct deposit has posted and will be labeled as “Balance Builder Bonus.”
  • Bonus will be reported to the IRS for income tax purposes.

Avoiding Fees

Citizens Bank Platinum Checking Account $25 Monthly Fee 

  • Citizens Bank Platinum Checking: $25 fee is waived with $25,000 in combined deposits

Early Account Termination Fee – None

Our Verdict

Keeping the account fee free is difficult, with a $25,000 deposit required. You’re better off just paying the monthly fee than putting the $25,000 in the account when you compare the lost interest you’d receive if you put that $25,000 into a 2% APY+ account (you’re losing out on about $1.35 per day). If you received an eligible direct deposit on the first day of account opening, you’d still need to wait around three months to receive the bonus. Best case scenario you’ll need the account open for four months, but most financial institutions usually waived the monthly fee for the first two months. Not sure this is the case here or not.

They do have a $150 bonus that is easier to keep fee free, but I think this $400 bonus is better. Even if you end up paying 6 months of fees you’ll end up with a $250 bonus vs $150 and you shouldn’t need to pay that much in monthly fees anyway. Because of that I am adding this to our list of the best checking bonuses.

Big thanks to reader, SirEel who let us know. Learn how to find bonuses and contribute to the site here.

Useful posts regarding bank bonuses:

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Not sure I agree with the math here. If you end up paying 150 in fee, you essentially make 400 (1 – tax rate) – 150. If your rate is 33%, then it comes out to 116.

you can close the account after three months and not incur a fee so you’re netting 325 assuming the first two months aren’t fee-free..if they are then you’r pocketing 375

I’m with vipul. There still is a tax liability. My tax rate is 25% so I’ll pay $100 off of the $400. And if I have to keep it open for 4 months another $100 in fees. It’s still free money for minimal time and effort, but not quite attractive as first glance. I did a lot of bank promos last year and had to cough up the tax money last week when I paid my federal and state taxes. Again, still more money then I would’ve had without doing the promos. Appreciate this site and the comment forum.

But that isn’t good logic seeing as how you’ll pay 25% on any bank bonus… I’d rather pay 25% on a $400 bonus than 25% on a $150 or $250 bonus…. you still end up with more at the end of the day.

Also, has anyone checked to see if you can downgrade the account after bonus posting?

I can confirm that I was able to downgrade by calling 1-800 number. I did it a few days after bonus posted.

Yes, I downgraded the day after it posted via SM.

Ahh! A new page for the $400 bonus. Still get this Cit’ ad to pop up, even at the top of this page now too.

Thank you Will for the acknowledgement. I’m getting the hang of things here slowly. Been Col Kurtz for two decades and back now to reap some of this American pie.

My Platinum bonus last year arrived with the first fee, third month statement.

I called to ask them for a foregiveness the next day and after that was accomplished, closed the acct (I left my post details on the old $400-150 page, bottom). Voila! No fee incurred.

Anyone with churn details? I’m at least 6 months out/closed and in a new year and want to put the application in now but was hoping to hear from someone about their success, before sacrificing myself. I’m guessing from churn consensus that I should be good to go, but it seems that sometimes a full 12 months is needed. Obviously, don’t want to lose the bonus and wait another year from that close date. Woe is me…

Dan has mentioned in other Citizens posts that he has churned three times, but nobody seems to be able to catch him for an answer on how soon after he did it.

Dan…? I’m telepathing warm thoughts. Please come in Dan…

Is there a PM function here I’ve overlooked?

Dan - Legal Bank Robber
Dan - Legal Bank Robber

SirEel Are you talking about me? I am churning Citizens for the third time. Currently awaiting bonus payout its about a month since I did a “DD”

Finally… a DP for churning Citizens. Thank you Dan - Legal Bank Robber

@Dan – Legal Bank Robber

Thanks for replying. End of the month just came and still no-show on the 2nd bonus attempt after 6-7 weeks of fulfilling req’s.

Did you have the exact same acct type each time? Both now are the Plat’. Perhaps should have mixed that.

If you could tell us if you did the exact same acct type each time, much appreciated.

Still looking for how to address a comment to another user here (so they’ll get a message in the email box saying they’ve been addressed)…missing something and can’t find an answer in search. Anyone? TIA

Dan - Legal Bank Robber
Dan - Legal Bank Robber

I had a one deposit the first time and then did platinum. I’m doing platinum again right now and awaiting bonus payout. I’m sorry if I misled you to thinking I already received two platinum bonuses, that wasn’t my intent. SirEel

Outstanding Dan. Thanks. Double plats here too. Hope we get good news soon.
I confirmed the promo code is attached to acct today, phone..
They confirmed my DD and said wait out the full 90 days…

Dan – Legal Bank Robber

Dan - Legal Bank Robber
Dan - Legal Bank Robber

SirEel Thank you for update

Dan et al,
yours came thru?
mine came thru nearly mth later than others, hmm ..??
first fee returned ->forgiveness..closing out

Dan - Legal Bank Robber
Dan - Legal Bank Robber

SirEel Yes mine did

I see your point. I did receive one bank bonus last year, I think it was from HSBC for $350 WITHOUT any fees so, yes, I paid 25% tax on $350, but I also got to keep all $350 minus taxes without paying the $100 in fees I may incur on this one. However, this promo seems fairly simple and straightforward so perhaps this is a good one to go after. I’m trying to limit my new bank account openings to 5-7 this year so I’m weighing my options. Just an observation that it isn’t as lucrative as the initial bait, but indeed still worth it for many.

Do you remember how long it took hsbx to reward you the bonus after you meet the deposit req? I meet that req on dec 26(about 3 weeks after applying) and still waiting my bonus.

just signed up, thanks

“Credit card funding: Up to $1,000, Visa & MasterCard only (most likely cash advance due to have to opening in branch)”
What do the parentheses mean? This is an online opening…

It says must open first new Platinum checking account. Does it mean even if I one has the normal checking for the other bonus then its means still eligible? If so one can get both.

I think it’s doubtful you can do both. The fine print above says: “the customer must open their first new personal checking account via Citizens Bank’s online account opening system…” so if you already have a Citizens checking account, it looks like you wouldn’t meet this requirement.

Actually the Citizens bank offer states “first new Platinum checking account” not personal account. I believe Doc changed the wording as well to match.

Correction it does say both. So very confusing.

Doesn’t citizens Bank pay bonus in 60 days after DD?. That is how it has been till last year. So, one can close the account before 90 days if they time it right. Also they give 90 day grace period for fee to bring the balance to 25k. I opened the same in Feb using USPS mover packet, expecting bonus in end of April.

You could always call and ask to downgrade the account after the bonus posts.

Also, like Cap One, this may be a once in a lifetime bank. Those of us that did these last year may be ineligible.

Someone posted about the net return on taxes… you pay the same tax rate on the $150 bonus, too. $400 is worth doing even with a few months of fees.

Can I do an ACH Deposit for a direct deposit?

Absolutely not

Doc, fine print states you must open your first new “Platinum checking account” not first new “personal checking account.” This could be significant as it may allow those of us who went for the smaller bonus and closed accounts more than 6 months ago, to qualify for this bonus.

Are you going for this promotion?

I hope your interpretation is correct but the terms also states, “In order to be eligible to participate in this promotion, the customer must open their first new personal checking account via Citizens Bank’s online account opening system accessed by clicking on the link on this page.”

I received a bonus last year so trying to decide whether to try again myself.

I don’t know, I am still debating. Their terms and conditions are really confusing. The terms also state “Customer may only be paid a bonus associated with this program one time.” We do have until June 30th so I may wait for more DPs.

Oh and there are a coupe data points of Citizens bonuses being churned. So that might push me in the direction of trying.

Grrr. Just closed my account few days ago. I guess gotta pass this one.

So they require authorization to run credit report. My credit reports are frozen, so I expect my application to not go through.


Its a soft pull but you have to unfreeze. So unfreeze, apply, refreeze after approval.
I just opened and funded 1K with CC. they have not done even temp charge to CC which according to the description will be done only after 2 days. So have to wait to see if its CA or not.

I did exactly that. Funded $1K with Chase CSR but temp authorization only showed up today (2 days later). Also sent $1k from Fidelity which posted as Direct Deposit (atleast the description). Hoping it works out.

For my SO – I think initial funding is not going to happen as Chase sent a fraud alert. Unless Citizens tries it a 2nd time (highly doubt it) – I am out of luck on that.

Will update if Fidelity works for Direct Deposit.

So CSR posted as purchase.

No sign of a 2nd attempt on my wife’s account after Chase fraud alert – got to write this of as a missed opportunity on that front. No biggie


Have to call Citizens for themt o make 2nd attempt. See my DP above.

I am waiting for your DP of Fidenlity

I am not a US citizen and therefore will have to go in a branch to open an account. But looks like there are no Citizens Bank branches in NJ. All I see are thier ATM’s. Can anybody else in NJ please confirm?

There are branches in southern Jersey. Look around the Camden or Cherry Hill areas.

Thanks, found a few near Trenton (closest for me from central NJ) although in PA.

There’s one inside the Mount Holly Acme, that’s where I opened my account for the smaller bonus in January.

Please don’t go into Camden for a bank bonus. =:o

You don’t have to be a US citizen to open online for this bank.

4 days after opening (and funding $1k with Chase United MPE), Citizens Bank suddenly closed my account. I was able to ACH pull the funds out. Their phone reps would not tell me why the account was closed. I am waiting for an explanation by mail.

Is this your first account/bonus with them? Are you in a target state?

did they tell you why by mail ?

cannot fund with VGC even registered info matches


Partial DP: Opened the day Doc posted this since I was rushing to meet spend on WF Bus Plat before the cycle closed. Funded 1K with the card. There was no hold for a full 48 hours (indicating manual keying of transaction). Then got email saying card was declined. Also got WF fraud alert and WF called me to verify trans. Said large cash advance was made. I verified the trans was good and asked for it to pass thru – even CA is ok since stmt would close couple days later and I could pay off the 1K then since I did not want the new account/bonus to get messed up. Was told to retry the trans. Note that there is no way to tell if WF card trans is CA or not until charge posts since there is no separate CA line.
Called Citizens and asked to retry and checked it if was CA. Was told it would not be CA. Retried and went thru.
WF statement posted today and did not code as CA thankfully and earned full 1.5% CB as well for the 1K.
So, so far kind of positive experience – at the very least met the 5K spend on WF Plat within the month of opening.
Note well that for the Citizens bonus, it needs a 1k NON-CUMULATIVE DD. I am going to try from couple places before I go emp.

Hi, did you do the 1k cc funding just to meet your WF 5k bonus or does cc funding also counts as DD for the citizens, no way for poor ppl like me to have 1 single DD of 1k if i only get paid around 450-600 weekly and on this case it seems cummulative is not an option.


I’m not doing a real DD of 1K either….at least not until I try other ACH options. Also I have not seen any DP that says CC funding worked to trigger bonus. DPs for this bank from DOC seem to indicate ACH from some hubs like Chase might work. So that is the way to go….irrespective of what you earn, 1K ACH from a savings elsewhere should be possible for you to do. There are also no term requirements. Soon as ACH hits you can pull out and/or bill pay out.

Thanks, will wait for some DPs before taking the risk, i do own a few savings and 2 checking(WF and TD) will try after reading someone succesffully got it from a similar account i own(i see someone got it with WF so might as well do that one), will definitely keep an eye on this offer.

hey– what ended up working for you for citizens as DD?

just as a fee-free option, you can keep $10K in the checking and $15K in a breakable CD earning 1.65% for having the platinum checking, which at least partially mitigates having basically zero interest on the checking amount.

if the first two months are fee-free then really not worth the hassle of opening up the cd, etc.

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