Posted by Chuck on January 19, 2016
Checking Accounts

Published on January 19th, 2016 | by Chuck

49

Downgrading Citigold Checking Account to Basic

We noted that you should be downgrading your Citigold checking package, and not cancelling it directly, due to the $30 fee that may hit even after the account is closed and cause the closed account to go on as overdrawn. See PSA: Don’t Close Citigold – Downgrade It!

Two notes about the downgrade process:

  • The downgrade process is not instant and may take a few days or more. Since the $30 monthly fee on Citigold is processed on the first of each calendar month, you want to give some time there for the downgrade to process before the fee hits. (If not, try chatting to get the fee waived.)
  • The account number stays the same when downgrading and all pending transactions (in or out) will continue to process as usual.

Once downgraded for a month, you can safely close it out and request a check for the $1,500 balance. However, some may prefer to keep the Citi checking account so as to maintain a relationship with Citi, among other reasons.

There are two ways to avoid the $12 monthly fee, let’s take a look:

$1,500 Balance

If you have an average balance of $1,500 in you Citi Basic account, it will remain fee-free.

If you have a Citi savings account as part of your Citi Basic package, the $1,500 requirement is combined between the Basic checking and the linked savings account; if you have $1,500 in your checking or savings or combined between the two it will work to keep both accounts fee-free.

Direct Deposit + Bill Payment

The second method is to do a bill payment and to have a direct deposit into the account. I confirmed via chat that when using this method, it will keep the entire package fee-free, both the checking account and the linked savings account.

No specific minimum is mentioned for these transactions and many different forms of electronic transfers have been considered a direct deposit in the past. Interestingly, the terms in the fine print (footnote 7) indicate that any ACH is good enough to be considered direct deposit, no need for an employer payment.

Screen Shot 2016-01-17 at 4.06.24 PM

I just set up a recurring $5 ACH transfer from my regular checking account to my Citi checking account. I also set up a recurring $5 bill payment from the Citi checking account to one of my credit cards. Hopefully, this arrangement will keep it fee-free.

You can set up recurring payments in your online login by selecting the Payments & Transfers tab at the top of the page, then select Pay Bills at the top left of the page, and the Set Up Recurring Payments tab will pop down.

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E
E

Any idea if the Citigold 50k TY bonus will return?

William Charles

No idea, some sort of offer will return we will have to wait and see what it is.

mark
mark

how often do they tend to post new offers?

William Charles

Fairly regularly, like 3-4 times a year last year from memory. But 50k/50k was by far the best we’ve seen.

TD
TD

HI Doc,

I have downgraded my account to basic checking… do you know the Thank you points earned with CitiGold checking will expire after the the downgrade.

Michael
Michael

I have the same question…it’d be good to update article with the answer

jack
jack

I cancelled my citigold outright in August. I call citi about once a month to make sure my account is closed and not accruing fees. The reps always say it isn’t but, let’s be honest, the word of a citi rep really does not mean much. Doc, any advice on how I can get to the bottom of this?

jay
jay

Will this keep prestige’s fee to $350?

William Charles

Has in the past, but it’s definitely not supposed to.

bob
bob

How long after opening the account does it have be a CitiGold account before downgrading in order to get the bonus?

Bellevuemike
Bellevuemike

If downgraded to Basic, can you still open savings accounts (for the purposes of credit card points)?

PghRocks
PghRocks

I would like to know this too, thanks!

Beachfan
Beachfan

Hi; great post.

I didn’t see where you talk about the multiple savings accounts in the previous newsletter, can you provide a link?

Thanks!!

Biggie F
Biggie F

I signed up for Citigold 40K TYP in August (joint account with wife – dumb move, although they did discount $100 on each Citi Prestige card). Monthly fee for 1 December was the first to show … at end of December! Then came 1 January fee… This motivated me to push them for the points. They said the problem was that I had not set up on-line Rewards account within my various cards and rewards accounts to receive the money. Well, I had tried, and even contacted someone, but … Long story short: They made me fill out something formal to restart some sort of inquiry, but assured me I would get the points, and they showed up within a week. Victory! [This is just general info for folks having similar issues.]

Now I know — this blog is great — that what I need to do now is move my 40K TYPs to Prestige and use them in sub-$600 chunks within the next 90 days. I then should downgrade and I know that the clock is clicking to avoid the $30 fee for February.

But I am feeling greedy. Like rich, just above, I’m a little unclear on exactly which savings account(s) can be funded by credit cards. Since I/we have three Barclays Aviator cards, I am tempted to stay a Citigold member another month to set up 2-3 savings accounts and do some credit card loads. Am I thinking clearly about this? Or should I just hurry up and downgrade, and set up 1 savings account after?

JDDTx
JDDTx

Question on CitiGold – I distinctly remember a statement (that I can’t find now despite some digging) – that there is a way to “link” accounts – so that the $50K balance in one account counts as credit towards your spouse’s account when calculating if the minimum balance is met for account purposes? My situation is this: I have the CitiGold account and the bonus has posted, and for whatever reason – I am still leaving $50K in that CitiGold account – so I have no monthly fees; I am going to have my wife also sign up and will fund her account with another $50K (plus the other debit/spend requirements) – but after her bonus posts, I will downgrade her account/close it – UNLESS there is a way to link accounts and get credit across both for the $50K in mine. (We both currently have Citi Prestige cards). Any help or a post to that article where you first mentioned this would be greatly appreciated. Hoping I didn’t just make up reading that!

anthonyjh21
anthonyjh21

Does anyone know if downgrading will still earn any TYP for the basic account, assuming I do billpay/DD? I’m only a few points shy of a redemption amount and it would prevent me from needing to pull my Citi card out of the sock drawer and use it to earn TYP.

rb
rb

Did it works??

“I just set up a recurring $5 ACH transfer from my regular checking account to my Citi checking account. I also set up a recurring $5 bill payment from the Citi checking account to one of my credit cards. Hopefully, this arrangement will keep it fee-free.”

James
James

I just chatted with a rep and they said $1 for bill pay and $10 for DD minimums.

Richard
Richard

Same here. I can confirm this. $10 DD and $1 BillPay. I just downgraded to Basic Banking Account.

trackback

[…] The other option is the downgrade the account to a Basic checking account. The Basic account just has a $10 monthly fee, and the fee can be waived with a $1500 balance or by having a direct deposit and one bill payment per month. We wrote more about downgrading here. […]

54austin
54austin

Long story short, Citibank is insisting that 50k points I received for a credit card offer is the 50k I should have received for this checking account offer (two investigations have reached this conclusions). I recall reading somewhere that I can file a claim with a third-party, government/regulatory body. Do you know how long this process could take and/or the success rate? Wondering if I should just cut my losses since I have been paying the monthly fee since then.

Thanks for your insight.

T.

Chris
Chris

54austin: the Consumer Financial Protection Board. I used it when they didn’t want to credit my 50K AAmiles for opening the Citigold account. It took a couple of weeks, but I got a letter saying the miles would post w/in 60 days.

N
N

I can second the comment regarding the CFPB – Consumer Financial Protection Board. I filed a claim as well at the end of June after waiting almost 4 months after meeting the qualifications for the 50k AA miles. In the claim, I included the letter CIti sent to me stating that I met the requirements for the promotion. This letter was sent to me in response to a request I made to customer service to confirm I met the qualifications of the promotion. So, within 2-3 weeks of submitting the claim on CFPB, I heard a response stating that the miles would be posted within 60 days. And actually the miles posted in less than 5 days after hearing from CIti through CFPB. I was on the fence about submitting a claim, but finally decided that it was indeed worth it. And I am glad I did. 7 months after opening the account, I was able to receive the promotional bonus.

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