Posted by William Charles on January 10, 2020
Bank Account Bonuses

Published on January 10th, 2020 | by William Charles

71

[YMMV, In Branch] Citibank Business Up To $2,000 Checking Bonus

Update 1/10/2020: Deal has been extended to March 31st, 2020 as per reader B

Offer at a glance

  • Maximum bonus amount: $2,000
  • Availability: Must open in branch [Branch locator]
  • Direct deposit required: No
  • Additional requirements: Deposit up to $200,000
  • Hard/soft pull: Soft pull
  • ChexSystems: Unknown
  • Credit card funding: None
  • Monthly fees: $15, avoidable
  • Early account termination fee: None
  • Household limit: None listed
  • Expiration date: December 31st, 2019

The Offer

 No direct link, being offered in branch

  • Citibank Business is offering a bonus of up to $2,000 when you open a new business checking account. The bonus you receive depends on how much you deposit, balance must be maintained for 60 calendar days after deposit.
    • Receive a $200 bonus with a $5,000 deposit
    • Receive a $500 bonus with a $15,000 deposit
    • Receive a $700 bonus with a $25,000 deposit
    • Receive a $1,000 bonus with a $50,000 deposit
    • Receive a $1,500 bonus with a $100,000 deposit
    • Receive a $2,000 bonus with a $200,000 deposit

The Fine Print

  • All bank account bonuses are treated as income/interest and as such you have to pay taxes on them

Avoiding Fees

Monthly Fees

The easiest account to keep fee free is the CitiBusiness®Streamlined Checking Account, this has a monthly fee of $15 and is waived have an average monthly balance of $5,000 or more.

Early Account Termination Fee

There is no early account termination fee to worry about.

Our Verdict

Reader Jay was able to get this offer just by going into a branch and asking if they had any current promotions for opening a new account. Entirely possible it won’t be available in all/most branches, but feel free to share your data points in the comments below. Similar to a previous targeted bonus, with higher tiers available as well. The return gets worse as the bonus increases as unfortunately.

Useful posts regarding bank bonuses:



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Jay
Jay

Couple of things I also mentioned to Will in my email that might be of importance:

– I had no prior business relationship with Citi (either CC of banking)

– I only have a “business” as a sole prop

– I needed no extra business verification of any kind

– after you open the account you have 30 days to deposit the money. AFTER those 30 days, you have to keep the money in for 60 days.

– As per the terms, it looks like cash deposits don’t count (so use e.g. ACH)

Let me know if you got any further questions… 🙂

P.S.: The promotion is called ‘Fall 2019 Small Business Checking Account Offer’ and is running from Oct 1st through Dec 31st as per the terms

Eugene
Eugene

I was able to signup for this offer as well at the end of September. I received this offer in the mail. My experience:

1. I have a business checking with WF under an old business which previously had a DBA (I keep it open to get offers like this and other credit card offers)
2. I was able to sign up for this offer even though my previous business is no longer in operation (the banker pushed it through)
3. I tried to use my current rental properties as my sole proprietorship but was not allowed (banker told me that rentals were not accepted for this offer. YMMV)
4. I was offered a 2% savings account for deposits of $50,000 to 2M until the end 2019 (I deposited $50K to get the $1000 bonus)
5. I signed up for the streamline checking with $5000 to avoid monthly fees.

Jay
Jay

Thanks for the DP, Eugene
Interesting, esp. point 4, since I wasn’t offered that.
But re-reading the terms, it does mention a CitiBusiness Insured Money Market Account (IMMA) – is that what you got for your savings account?

Anyway, yeah it seems like it’s just random with Citi (kinda expected 😉 ). The first branch I went to printed me out the terms, but I made the mistake of naming a “business” that was considered ‘high risk’, so would have needed further documentation.
So I went to the next branch who told me that they only can do a sign up if I have a bunch of business ceritficates.
3rd branch was the charm… 🙂

SMan
SMan

I guess, Interest rates at Citi are state specific. 2% savings is not offered in california.

Eugene
Eugene

I love in CA and got the 2% savings or maybe it was the IMMA that Jay mentioned

Erik
Erik

My banker told me told that they don’t offer the 2% Savings in California. However, there is a time-limited promo for the Money Market accounts that gives you an *additional* 1.5% interest rate if you deposit $50K.
(that is in addition to the standard 0.3% for deposits $100K and above)

Jay
Jay

Forgot to post update, but yeah, thanks to Eugene’s tip, I was able to set this up too: 1,5% extra for MMA but does count to fulfill this checking bonus… 🙂

SamSimon
SamSimon

hey Jay, what’s “high risk business” that you mentioned? thx

Jay
Jay

Hey SamSimon , from my limited experience:
Anything internet related seems to fall under this category, as well as real-estate, and any international set ups.

Citi Business accounts are always opened by an internal back office reviewing the in-branch application (so you never get approved on the spot!).
When I initially applied the banker told me the system is asking for specific verification (he even showed me his screen where my selected field of “business” told him exactly which extra documents are required).
So I ended up adjusting my strategy when applying at a different branch… 🙂

anthonyjh21
anthonyjh21

Adjust in what way(s)?

Jay
Jay

The way my “business” operates (in avoiding ‘risks’ from my last comment)

Doug
Doug

Oops already stated in a different comment.

RY
RY

Any mention of when the bonus posts? Citi is known to payout pretty late on the personal checking bonuses

Jay
Jay

“The Cash bonus for which you qualify will be credited to your Citibank business checking account within 90 days from the end of the month in which you complete all Offer requirements”

Also see above for how to keep account fee free while you wait…

GradCashGrab

Keep it up, Jay . Love people like you with intricate details/further clarification without prompting it.

SamSimon
SamSimon

Jay, hey, can you please look at paperwork if you have, and tell me under what category they opened your business? Was it LLC, or something like that? I went to 6 branches (NYC) and they all said I need license/certificate (even if Sole Prop business under my name and SSN) They have to pick 1 option out of three: license, certificate, registration when they tried to open an account for me… They said If I got none of the things mentioned, they cannot open an account… thanks

Matt
Matt

Umm this is amazing. $700 with $25K deposit seems like the sweetspot, no? or maybe the $500 with $15K. Putting $10K somewhere else could get you $200+ maybe, but doubtful.

Jay
Jay

You might even look into the 50k level for the extra $300, since its only 60 days if you time it right.

Imo, better then the current 75k Chase Sapphire upgrade offer (esp. if you wont use securities), Marcus promo and other stuff like SimpleFinance.

And that’s me also comparing to having a (state-restricted) >4% high earn savings option (unlimited, since I can just open new accounts, similar to old Orion)
But obv. it’s all ymmv… 🙂

anthonyjh21
anthonyjh21

What 4% option are you referring to?

Wyle
Wyle

FYI, bonuses work out to 4% for the $5k deposit, 3.3% for $15k, 2.8% for $25k. 2.0% for $50k, 1.5% for $100k, and 1.0% for $200k. Multiply by 4-5 for APY (depends on deposit/withdrawal timing).

Erik
Erik

I currently earn 3.28% interest (3.3% Yield) elsewhere. Assuming Citi interest is 0%, the best bang for the buck in this case is the $1.5K/$100K Option ($920.38):
Bonus, Deposit, Interest loss (60 days), 90 Day cost (5K Bal), Net Gain
$200.00 $5,000.00 $26.96 $40.44 $132.60
$500.00 $15,000.00 $80.88 $40.44 $378.68
$700.00 $25,000.00 $134.79 $40.44 $524.77
$1,000.00 $50,000.00 $269.59 $40.44 $689.97
$1,500.00 $100,000.00 $539.18 $40.44 $920.38
$2,000.00 $200,000.00 $1,078.36 $40.44 $881.21

Erik
Erik

I forgot to mention that the offer is available in San Diego.

Lord Dima

Erik which SD branch did you open the account in? Any hassle?

Erik
Erik

I went to PB. No hassle.
If you don’t mind, could you please give them my referral code when you open an account: 201284744 ? I get a $100 bonus and it doesn’t cost you anything extra :-).

Erik
Erik

With the IMMA 1.5% extra interest rate offer, the best option is now $200K deposit which gives a *net gain* of $1,472.99 vs $1,216.27 for $100K deposit; $256.72 more!

*Net gain vs keeping the money in my 3.3% account.

Ad
Ad

what is the 3.3% account are you using for 200K?

Erik
Erik

For example, Heritage Bank (although I don’t have 200K there now 🙁 ). They allow multiple accounts.

Erik
Erik

I was told that I could put the larger part of the deposit in a savings account and still qualify for the promo. $5K still needs to be in the checking though to avoid the monthly fee. Thus, for the optimal $100K deposit, $95K can be in Savings which earns 0.3% in CA. This would give me an extra $46.85 for the 60 days.

Erik
Erik

Correction: I need to have $100K in the the Money Market Account to earn 0.3%.

However, there is another promo “National CitiBusiness IMMA Limited-Time Offer” which has a “Promotional Interest Rate” of 1.5%. The banker said that it can be used together with the checking promo.

I read the Terms regarding the interest rate/APY but I am not sure that I understand completely;
I see a 1.5% rate, or 0.90% APY or “it may be less”.
I think that it may have to do with the fact that the rate is only valid from 10/8/19-3/31/20, and the APY is calculated over one year.

In any case, for our purposes, the important point is that we may get 1.5% (promo rate)+0.3% (standard rate) = 1.8% during our 60 day deposit period!

(NOTE: This promo includes California)

Firefly
Firefly

Does the money market have a monthly fee, minimum balance, and/or ETF? This information isn’t listed on the product page.

Erik
Erik

I was told that the MM fee is $15 for balances below, I think, $10K. Since I will put in more than that, I will be OK. MM account can be closed after the 60 days when the balance will be $0.

Min Deposit is $50K to earn the Promo Rate, which begins to accrue 7 days after account opening. I was told (in writing) that funds can be added after the 7 days and still earn the promo rate.

What is ETF? Exchange Traded Fund…?

Note that you still need to keep min $5K in the checking to avoid a $15 fee there!

Firefly
Firefly

Thanks so much for the detailed info!!!
ETF = early termination fee

RY
RY

I asked the banker about this when opening both the checking and MM accounts, and she said the full balance (in my case $50k) has to be in the checking, not the MM. I’m in California.

Erik
Erik

Ask the banker to get a copy of the terms. It states:
“…(2) within the 30 calendar day period immediately following account opening, deposit in the aggregate, New-to-Citibank Funds that meet one of the Qualifying Balance Levels to your new business checking account, CitiBusiness Money Market Account (“IMMA”), or any combination of such accounts;…”

Erik
Erik

Correction to the interest rate; Apparently only the promo rate is given (w/o the standard rate). The promo rate is currently 1.65%.
I was also told (in writing) that interest starts accruing about 2 business days after depositing at least $50,000.

Erik
Erik

A WARNING to anyone going for this otherwise excellent offer:

According to the Terms, the funds needs to be maintained for 60 days starting 30 days from account opening, NOT from the date of funding (which has to be within 30 days) !!

For example, if account is opened on November 1, the best time to make a deposit is just before 30 days have passed, November 29. Then keep the deposit there for 60 days starting on Dec 1 and withdraw on January 30.

Chris
Chris

Great catch! Thank you very much for sharing this. The language on the main promotion page the banker printed for me definitely did not make this clear. Once again, thank you for sharing.

Jay
Jay

“– after you open the account you have 30 days to deposit the money. AFTER those 30 days, you have to keep the money in for 60 days.”

Tried to warn you all already, but I guess you made it more obvious… 🙂

Erik
Erik

I hope that it is OK to post my referral code 201284744 here? If not please remove it.

If anyone opens an account at Citi I would be very grateful if you could give them my referral code. I get a $100 bonus and it doesn’t cost you anything extra :-).
(just give them the code and not my name).

anthonyjh21
anthonyjh21

What kind of business questions did you get? You’re in California too right?

Erik
Erik

Yes, I am in CA (SD). The account was tilted with first and last name only (Sole Prop). No docs needed in this case.
The business question were quite extensive but the rep was quite helpful and made sure that the answers were clear.
She said that the back-office can be very picky and may send it back for clarification otherwise.
The account review took one day before the account could be opened.
(Don’t forget to ask for the Promo MM – see my comments below).

SamSimon
SamSimon

Erik, hey, can you please look at paperwork if you have, and tell me under what category they opened your business? Was it LLC, or something like that? I went to 6 branches (NYC) and they all said I need license/certificate (even if Sole Prop business under my name and SSN) thanks

Erik
Erik

@SamSimon,
As I said above, I opened the account as sole prop with my name and SS#. No paperwork was needed.
My SO did the same. Maybe the laws are different in NY? What specific license/certificate are they looking for?
Maybe you can do a DBA if they just want some proof of the BSN.

SamSimon
SamSimon

They want something, DBA, registration, license/certificate… I’ve opened 4 business accounts within last 3 years with 4 different banks, as Sole Prop, and sometimes when I was asked for the documents, I just go to another branch and open with no issues…. after I saw at least two people here opened it without any issues… I’ve tried 6 citi banks (NYC). Just very odd/strange. Maybe I will get some papers later… Maybe it’s NYC, I can make few call to CA branches and asked what docs they need, stating that I’m local Sole Prop business… Regards!

Erik
Erik

A free “paper” proof option is a Seller’s Permit (at least in CA).

joe
joe

I live in NJ (no branches within 100 miles of me) but im traveling to NY tomorrow. Do they allow out of state apps or do i need to live near a branch?

KLUE
KLUE

Went into a Citibank in CA and had the bonus available.
Banker looked at CA registered businesses site and told me I needed to be registered with ETIN to move forward.
I told him I never got one as a sole-prop. Later after looking into it, I actually can’t be registered because CA doesn’t register sole-props.
Anybody else run into this issue? Should I just try another branch?

Jay
Jay

KLUE My own DP – I overall went to 4 different branches:

The first branch seemed the easiest to deal with, but I made a strategic error with my “business” (see my other comments here), so the internal system send a prompt to the banker during the application demanding specific business related verification.

The 2nd and 3rd branch were very strict in telling me there is NO WAY I could get this account/promo without a multitude of documents (way more than the 1st would have needed, and without me ever telling them what business I had).

The 4th branch let me sign up without any documents at all (apart from drivers licence). Received email from Citi back office a day later that my account is opened.

So yeah, it seems ‘a bit’ YMMV… 😉

bax
bax

Do they charge the service fee during the first 30 days, w/o the 5k in? I’m inclined to just put in a token amount during those 30 days, to avoid getting the account closed.

Erik
Erik

Checking & MM accounts opened 11/1/19. $25 was added to Checking and MM on 11/27. Large check deposits added to checking and MM on 11/29. Statement closed on 11/30 with no fees.
However, accounts are now gone from online banking and was told to contact the fraud department because of large check deposits….

Baked
Baked

Erik, did this get resolved in your favor ?

Erik
Erik

They froze the accounts because they couldn’t find the business registered with the state. They had made an error, not realizing that the BSN was Sole Prop and cannot be registered with the State….
The freeze was removed.

John
John

Banker told me fee was waived for first two months when I applied for the account today. From this branch (MD), at least, it’s just an application that goes off to some central place for approval.

Terms mention closure after 45 days with zero balance. You should be fine with $1 until day 30.

Erik
Erik

CORRECTION:
Checking & MM accounts opened 11/1/19. $25 was added to Checking and MM on 11/27. Large check deposits added to checking and MM on 11/29. Statement closed on 11/30 with no fees.

HOWEVER, a $15 fee was charged on 1/8/20 for not keeping the Balance at $5K in November…..

Note that the “Tier 2” Money Market account (that now earns 1.65%) was not charged a fee, I was told by supervisor that this account does not have monthly fees! Instead they charge $0.75/deposit ticket and $0.18/check…

SamSimon
SamSimon

I called and went to 6 different branches around NYC (Brooklyn, Manhattan) They all said, I need certificate for my sole proprietor business… Even though business is under my name and my SSN, and it’s NOT a DBA business… Some people I see here were somehow lucky to open business without certificate. But One banker showed me the screen, when we were trying to open an account, and there were 3 options, I don’t remember exactly but: 1. stated I need certificate. 2. If I’m a doctor or a lawyer (need license) 3. If business is registered and have registration. HE said he would like to open an account, but he is not sure which one to choose…. because they all ask for papers. But I got no any business papers.

Jay - ⒿⒶⓨ 🙈 🙉 🙊
Jay - ⒿⒶⓨ 🙈 🙉 🙊

SamSimon
just saw your posts now that DoC updated the post. Anyway, see my post 846609 here. The experience you have kinda mirrors mine from branch number 2 and 3.

Can’t really offer you any real help, except for:
the account is opened by the back office, always.
Find a banker who is willing to fill out an application for you and send it in (if really needed, just tell them DBA ‘own name’.). State you’ll be fine with receiving a rejection or that whatever the backoffice wants for documents you will hand in after. I know multiple DP’s (myself included), who just got their accounts opened a day later with no extra documents.
Hope this helps somehow… 🙂

P.S.: There are however some hard restrictions if e.g. your business is set up internationally or online only, so try to make it ‘old-school’.

SamSimon
SamSimon

@Jay – ⒿⒶⓨ 🙈 🙉 🙊
hey, what state (city) are you in? I will try maybe again… I called back office few times (Rep spoke with them directly for me) they stated they don’t need any documents for Sole Prop, but rules vary state by state, city by city, branch by branch, manager by manager (“up to their discretion”) Regards

Jay - ⒿⒶⓨ 🙈 🙉 🙊
Jay - ⒿⒶⓨ 🙈 🙉 🙊

I’m on the west coast. Yeah, I can relate; had very different experiences myself going to 4 branches (all like within 20min of each other).

Best of luck, hope you eventually find a banker willing to fill out an application for you. 🙂

B
B

This deal has been extended through 3/31/20, per a fact sheet I picked up at a branch today.

ArtNomad
ArtNomad

Not sure of the link ettiquette, as I’m new here. but a subset of these offeres ARE apparently available online (no branch visit): https://banking.citi.com/cbol/checking-tiered-offer/default.htm?

Enrico
Enrico

Those are not Business accounts, they are personal and there is already a separate article about it.

Mary
Mary

If I recently closed my citi business account, how long do I have to wait to open a new one and get this offer? Thank you 🙂

Son
Son

For personal is 6months. Not sure about business.

Son
Son

I just came back from a local Citi branch in So Cal (91745). I told the banker my business is online sales and rental properties. He said,”rental properties might work, but online sales may require more paperwork, business license, etc.” So he put my application through. He said he should find out by tomorrow after if it will be approved. A few tips he gave me that I knew already, but just in case some people do not.

1. make sure the check you are depositing is drawn from Citibank.
2. no cash deposit (I remember seeing one DP that one person didn’t get bonus because they did not read the part about cash deposits does not count.

Son
Son

Sorry, Typo in #1. Make sure the check you are depositing is NOT drawn from Citibank 😀

Erik
Erik

1. Make sure the check you are depositing is NOT drawn from Citibank.
— It has to be “new” money!

IS250
IS250

And to confirm, the balance period for the bonus starts 30 days after opening?

Son
Son

Sorry, the banker told me, but I was not paying attention. I was leave the money in there until I get my bonus. He did tell me that I can take most of the money out after the 60 days balance required period, just maintain 5k to not get service charge

Son
Son

Got an email this morning: Your New Account: Your Business Account Confirmation.

Opened with just my driver’s license, and business was Rental Property. Applied at 4pm, received email confirmation at 11am the next day. I think if you apply early, you can get approval notification the same day. The banker told me it was too late during the day to get the approval the same day.

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