PSA: Don’t Close Citigold – Downgrade It!

Many of us signed up for a Citigold checking account within the past year for one of a few different bonus offers, see Step-by-Step Guide to Citigold 50,000 Points Checking Bonus.

So we’re now holding after getting the bonus. Time to close the account, right? It has a $30 monthly fee after all.

Not so fast!

The Citigold account package comes with a $30 monthly, and when you close out the account Citibank apparently charges that fee for the month the account was closed. Not only will you get hit with a $30 fee after the account is closed, you may also get hit with a $34 overdraft fee as well.

The best way out of this mess is simply to downgrade from the Citigold package to the Citi Basic package. To keep the Basic account package fee-free, there needs to be $1500 in the account or have a direct deposit and bill pay.

Be sure to put $1500 in the account, and then downgrade it. A month later, it should be safe to close out and request a check for the balance. I verified with Citi chat that if there is a balance in the account you can request to close the account, and you’ll get a check within 5-7 business days.

We wrote in the previous post a more creative reason to keep the account as a Basic without closing it. Whether or not you plan on keeping the Citi Basic account (and tying up $1500), you definitely want to initially downgrade and not close. Save the hassle of having to deal with those fees.

On a related note, we’ll mention here that it’s worth doing the downgrade well before the end of the month since it’s not instant and you want to give it time to settle before the monthly fee comes due.

HT: Reddit


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Rebecca (@guest_272233)
July 1, 2016 14:55

Good ideas here, and thanks for letting us know about them. I have a couple of questions.

1. I don’t understand the purpose of keeping the account open for a month after downgrading it. Once it finishes downgrading, shouldn’t it be safe to close?
2. Would making a quick ACH push into the account and then closing the account when the funds clear be a safe alternative to downgrading, in order to avoid the monthly fees?

Rebecca (@guest_272236)
July 1, 2016 15:02

Sorry, ignore question 2. I realized the problem with it.

Mark (@guest_254508)
May 2, 2016 08:18

Hey Guys,

I have 52K TYP through CitiGold checking and 50K TYP through Premier CC.

I have to book a flight worth $1100. If I transfer Citigold points to Premier, they can be worth 1.25 cents. Citi issues 1099 if the redeemed Bank points are over $600.

How can I avoid getting 1099? I need to downgrade Citigold to basic so they don’t keep charging me monthly fees? My understanding is once you transfer CitiGold points, they will expire in 60 days.

Betty (@guest_249824)
April 22, 2016 14:56

Downgraded to the Basic Package from the Gold after the 50,000 AA points posted last week. The paperwork just came today and I was very much surprised to find out that monthly service fee is also waived if you are 62 YEARS OLD OR OLDER.
The letter said Monthly Service Fee is waived if you satisfy ONE of the following.
1. Qualifying Direct Deposit or
2. Maintain $1,500 or more in account or
3. First-listed owner on the account is age 62 or older.

I called the number listed on the letter and the agent confirmed my birthday and said “yes” the fee is waved because of my age…

Gene (@guest_222105)
February 3, 2016 11:12

was charged my first monthly fee 5 days ago.
bonus just posted.
safe to convert gold to basic/access acct right now and then close basic/access acct before end of bill cycle when next fee hits?

J T (@guest_222009)
February 3, 2016 01:06

Downgraded to basic checking through SM, though it did take a few days before it changed. Still retained the Citigold banner after conversion, and I had planned to apply for the TY Prestige w/ (hopefully) discounted AF. Just noticed the gold banner is gone, one full billing cycle after downgrade. Don’t see any use keeping it open anymore.

J T (@guest_222010)
February 3, 2016 01:14

And I did receive, transfer & cash out the 40k TY points from the Citigold checking bonus before downgrading. The bonus was weeks overdue and took several secure messages and replies before being approved, even though I completed all the req without question. Ended up paying 3x $30 monthly fees on the account before I could get the bonus.

Mark (@guest_217446)
January 14, 2016 11:32

I have TYP from premier CC and I’ll be getting 50K TYP from citigold checking. I’m told Citigold TYP expires after 60 days of transferring after you close the account. How do they know which points come from where? I would like to transfer points to some airline within 60 days, just curious how do they keep track of which points come from where?

Steve (@guest_213846)
January 3, 2016 23:21

I signed up with the American Airlines point bonus. Should I receive the points before downgrading?

John (@guest_211028)
December 23, 2015 13:22

Hi Chuck,

If we downgrade the Citigold Checking to a Basic Checking, can we still open the savings plus account? Is there any fee for the new savings plus account?

John (@guest_211180)
December 24, 2015 01:47

Is there any maintenance fee for the savings account? I could not find any information on the Citi website.

Carl (@guest_210991)
December 23, 2015 10:23

I called on the Citigold account after I performed the qualifying things and asked how to avoid the check account fees. The lady on the phone told me I could downgrade to basic as I had already met the qualifications for the bonus TY points. I just had to have an ADB of over $1500 in the account which is no problem.

But now I am worried that maybe she had it wrong? I have yet to see the bonus points and it has been like 3+ months. (This is from the last promotion that I got into days before it ended) So far ass I see is two posts of 450 TY Points via that account.

My plan has always been to transfer those TY Points once they appear because of the 60 day cancelation thing. Is that a bad plan as well?

Did I help them sucker me into not getting any bonus points? I was told all along that likely February before my points post either way. If anyone can illuminate things for me more I would be appreciative!

PaulSu (@guest_208694)
December 14, 2015 20:58

Today my wife tried downgrading citigold account, after she combined 40k thankyou points to her citi thankyou premier credit card account. The rep said there is a block (lock) on her gold checking account and performed some review. After that, the rep asked my wife if she was taking advantage of the promotion. My wife’s English is not good and did not know how to answer the question properly, so she halted.

Is there any rule to apply lock on the account from closure or upgrading for the gold checking account which already has been used for promotion?

PaulSu (@guest_208696)
December 14, 2015 21:06

To make my question more specific:

1. is it possible my wife’s citigold account was locked because she combined points earned by gold account to other credit card account?

2. any advice on how to ask for a account downgrade?

(Reviewed the account’s disclosure and did not find there is anything saying you can not close or downgrade the account after promotion is got.)