Citi Bank Review

Is Citi a good bank?

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Citi—also known as Citibank—was born more than two centuries ago in 1812 as City Bank of New York. It's the fourth-largest commercial bank in the United States with more than$1.66 trillion in assets. It has more than 2,300 ATMs, its customers can access a network of over 65,000 ATMs, and it has locations throughout the U.S. with many located in New York. Our in-depth review will help you determine whether banking with Citi is right for you.

  • Pros and Cons
  • Company Overview
Pros and Cons
Pros
  • Decent savings account rate available in some areas

  • Rewards points and miles available with certain accounts

  • Multiple ways to avoid monthly banking fees

  • Features tailored to a wide variety of customers

  • No minimum opening deposit for most accounts

Cons
  • No option for a standalone savings account

  • Many fees to navigate

  • Complicated checking account choices or “packages”

  • ThankYou Points earnings system isn't simple

  • Lackluster CD rates

Company Overview
  • Official Website www.online.citi.com
  • Bank Product Offerings Savings, checking, CDs, credit cards
  • Customer Service You can reach Citi by phone, chat or through the Citi app.
  • Year Founded 1812

Who Is Citi Best For?

Citi’s considerable banking options should appeal to consumers who prefer to bank with a larger financial institution with many brick-and-mortar locations and ATMs. In particular, Citi may be a good fit for you if want to:

  • Earn a decent rate in an online high-yield savings account
  • Earn ThankYou rewards points for everyday checking account use 
  • Use your high-net-worth account while traveling or living abroad
  • Combine points with a Citi ThankYou Rewards credit card
  • Earn miles in the AAdvantage mileage program in conjunction with a Citi/AAdvantage credit card 
  • Access full-service banking if you live in a state where Citi has a location

What Does Citi Offer?

As you would expect from a bank of its size, Citi offers a full range of accounts and services. However, Citi bundles checking and savings accounts into seven different “packages,” some of which may not be available where you live. You’ll also need to carefully select the account right for you, as fees and perks vary wildly. 

Accounts

Savings Accounts

Citi has more account types than most banks, so we've created a table to help you differentiate between them.

Citi Savings Accounts
Name Monthly Fee Fee Waiver Who is this Citibank account best for? APY as of 7/19/2021
Basic Banking $4.50 Average monthly balance of $500+ Those looking for a basic package and those over age 62. 0.50%
Access Account $4.50 Average monthly balance of $500+ Those seeking an online-only package 0.50%
Citi Elevate Account $4.50 Average monthly balance of $500+ Those with the cash for the minimum monthly balance, and who seek an online-only account with higher interest earnings and no ATM fees 0.50%
The Citibank Account $25 Average combined monthly balance of $10,000+ in eligible linked accounts For customers who need a standard checking account with more services and features compared to Basic Package, including the ability to earn ThankYou points 0.50%
Citi Priority Account $30 Average combined monthly balance of $50,000+ in eligible linked accounts For those who could benefit from personal wealth-management advising, online trade capabilities, and more ThankYou points 0.50%
Citigold Account $0 Required: Average combined monthly balance of $200,000+ in eligible linked accounts Aimed at high-net-worth individuals who enjoy travel, full-service investment advising and services, and  more ThankYou points with fewer requirements 0.50%
Citigold Private Client $0 Required: Average combined monthly balance of $1,000,000+ in eligible linked accounts For clients who need to take out $5,000 per day from ATMs, or desire access to exclusive Citi-hosted events, free outgoing online wire transfers, and investment counselors 0.50%

Basic, Access and Elevate Savings

The differences between these three savings accounts are relatively small. All three waive the monthly fee of $4.50 if you maintain a $500 balance.

Differences involve the monthly fees for the savings account when linked with a checking account.

The combined monthly fee for a Basic savings account linked with a Basic checking account is $12, but it is waived if you have at least one direct deposit from an employer or other outside source each month, make at least one online bill payment through your Citi account each month, or maintain a combined average monthly balance of at least $1,500 in the two accounts. The basic accounts also waives fees for account holders 62 years of age or older.

The combined monthly fee for an Access savings account linked with an Access checking account is $10, but it is waived if any of the same conditions required for the Basic accounts are met with the exception that Access accounts do not waive fees for account holders 62 or older.

The combined monthly fee for an Elevate savings account linked with an Elevate checking account is $15, but it is waived if you maintain a combined monthly average balance of at least $5,000 in the two accounts.

The Citibank Account

This account can be combined with checking account that earns interest, along with other perks such as no Citi fees at non-Citi ATMs when the minimum balance is maintained.

The $25 monthly fee is waived for a standalone savings account or for combined savings/checking accounts when maintaining an average monthly balance of at least $10,000 in the accounts.

Premium Savings Accounts

Citi offers three tiers of premium savings accounts that can be combined with premium checking accounts for those who maintain high minimum balances. These accounts offer personalized banking services.

The Priority account waives its $30 monthly fee if you maintain a combined monthly average balance of at least $50,000 in this account and eligible linked checking, retirement, or investment accounts.

The Citigold and Citigold Private Client accounts have no fees, but requirements for opening and maintaining them include combined monthly average balances of at least $200,000 for Citigold and at least $1,000,000 for Citigold Private Client in those accounts and eligible linked checking, retirement, or investment accounts.

If you’re already a Citibank customer, you can’t convert your existing package to this package. You must make a new deposit into the Citi Miles Ahead account.

Checking Accounts

As their names indicate, these checking accounts offer parallel features to their corresponding savings accounts and are designed to be combined with them. Each does come with additional features.

The Basic account offers unlimited check writing, and the Access account offers online banking access and no overdraft fees. The Elevate reimburses fees from non-Citi ATMs, and the Citibank Account includes Thank You Rewards. The Premium accounts offer travel benefits and personalized banking and investment tools and advising.

Citi Checking Accounts
Name Fee Fee Waiver Who is this Citibank account best for? APY as of 7/19/2021
Basic Banking $12 One qualifying direct deposit and one qualifying bill payment per statement period OR maintain $1,500 or more combined average in linked accounts OR the first listed account owner is 62 or older Those looking for a basic package with paper checks, and those over age 62. No interest earned
Access Account $10 Maintain $1,500 combined average monthly balance in eligible linked (checking and savings) accounts, or make one qualifying direct deposit or qualifying bill payment per statement period. Those seeking an online-only package, with no need for  paper checks No interest earned
Citi Elevate Account $15 Maintain an average balance of $5,000. Those with the cash for the minimum monthly balance, and who seek an online-only account with higher interest earnings and no ATM fees Below $9,999: 0.05% $10,000-$24,999: 0.10% $25,000+: 0.25% 
The Citibank Account $25 Combined monthly balance of $10,000 or more in eligible linked accounts For customers who need a standard checking account with more services and features compared to Basic Package, including the ability to earn ThankYou points 0.01% APY 
Citi Priority Account $30 Combined average monthly balance of $50,000 or more in eligible linked accounts For those who could benefit from personal wealth-management advising, online trade capabilities, and more ThankYou points 0.03% APY 
Citigold Account $0 Combined average monthly balance of $200,000 in eligible linked accounts. Aimed at high-net-worth individuals who enjoy travel, full-service investment advising and services, and  more ThankYou points with fewer requirements  0.03% APY
Citigold Private Client $0 Maintain $1 million in combined relationship accounts. For clients who need to take out $5,000 per day from ATMs, or desire access to exclusive Citi-hosted events, free outgoing online wire transfers, and investment counselors 0.03% APY

Certificates of Deposit

Citi offers three types of CDs, with terms ranging from three months to five years. Rates are somewhat low, which is pretty standard for traditional brick-and-mortar banks. CDs are FDIC-insured up to $250,000.

Citibank warns that interest rates may vary depending on a number of factors, including your home address, account balance, and account package type (which checking account you have). To receive the best rates, you must have a linked Citigold or Citi Priority account. 

Fixed Rate CD

Citi offers a guaranteed interest rate for the term of the CD, with terms ranging from three months to five years. It doesn’t matter how much you deposit—your APY is the same throughout the term.

Citi Fixed Rate CD Rates (as of July 19, 2021)
Term APY
3 months 0.15%
4 months 0.10%
5 months 0.05%
1 year 0.10%
13 months 0.10%
18 months 0.10%
5 years 0.15%

All CDs renew automatically at maturity for the same term initially selected. At renewal, you’ll have a grace period of up to seven calendar days to make a change to your terms or to deposit or withdraw funds. With the exception of the No Penalty CD, early withdrawal penalties of up to 180 days of simple interest may apply if you cash in your CD before maturity.

Step-Up CD

The Step-Up CD has a 30-month term length with three automatic rate increases every 10 months for a composite APY of 0.17% as of July 19, 2021. The minimum opening deposit is $500.

Citi Step-Up CD Rates (as of July 19, 2021)
Term Rate
30 Months 0.10%

No Penalty CD

Citi’s No Penalty CD provides a guaranteed interest rate for the term of the CD, which is 12 months. You can withdraw the full balance and interest without any penalty any time after the first 6 days.

The minimum opening balance is $500, and the rate remains 0.05%.

This rate is lower than the no-penalty CDs you could find at online banks, with the same minimums or even less. 

Credit Cards

Citi has an extensive list of credit cards that fit every type of consumer. Whether you’re looking for a break on interest or a way to earn rewards, rebuild your credit, or separate business expenses, Citi has a card you may want to investigate.

Other Financial Products From Citi

Citi also offers a wide range of other financial products

  • Car loans
  • Home loans, including purchase, refinance, fixed-equity loans, and lines of credit (HELOCs)
  • Personal loans and lines of credit
  • IRAs 
  • Investment services including self-directed trading, robo-investing, and professional advising 
  • Private banking
  • Small business banking, loans, and services

Citi Customer Service

Citi ranks highest in customer satisfaction among banks in the J.D. Power 2020 U.S. Retail Banking Advice Satisfaction Study, receiving high marks for providing advice and guidance through digital channels. However, direct banks (online banks) still tend to rank higher in customer satisfaction. 

The variety of services and pricing offered is an attempt to encourage the idea of “relationship banking,” including special mortgage pricing for those with large Citi deposits. 

Citi provides a variety of customer service options. Customers can chat with a representative online or through the app (available on iOS or Android), call customer service, or venture into a branch during business hours. The app can be used for mobile deposits.

How to Bank With Citi

To open an account, visit Citi.com or go into a branch. You’ll need to provide a few pieces of personal information when you’re opening an account, which is standard for U.S. banks.

The Final Verdict

Benefits

If you have one direct deposit or you can pay one bill each month from your account, there’s a good chance you can use at least one checking account for free. A competitive savings APY (for a brick-and-mortar bank) allows you to earn interest on your extra funds, particularly in the Accelerate Savings account. And since Citi has an extensive range of banking products and services, you can keep your money management within the same institution. Customer service options ensure you can get answers to your questions around the clock.

Drawbacks

While the savings rate is competitive for brick and mortar, the CD rates are meager compared to online-only or direct banks. As a larger institution, Citi offers more products and services, but these offerings are more complicated than necessary, made even more so with the differing fee waiver requirements and standards for ThankYou points qualification. If you don’t maintain a minimum balance in some accounts, you may need to change packages to one with fewer benefits. 

Article Sources

The Balance requires writers to use primary sources to support their work. These include white papers, government data, original reporting, and interviews with industry experts. We also reference original research from other reputable publishers where appropriate. You can learn more about the standards we follow in producing accurate, unbiased content in our editorial policy .
  1. Citi. "Citi Savings Account." Accessed July 14, 2021.

  2. Citi. "Checking Account." Accessed July 14, 2021.

  3. Citi. "CD Rates." Accessed Aug. 19, 2020.

  4. Citi. "Step-Up CD." Accessed Aug. 19, 2020.

  5. Citi. "No-Penalty CD." Accessed Aug. 19, 2020.

  6. Citi. "Big Banks Raising Customer Satisfaction with Effective Digital Advice Tools, J.D. Power Finds." Accessed Aug. 19, 2020.