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Citi Elevate checking review

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Earn up to 0.7% APY — but you’ll need to maintain a high balance.

Citi’s Elevate Checking package is a digital account that comes with reimbursed ATM fees and overdraft protections. You can open Citi Elevate through the Citi Accelerate Savings account or Interest Checking account. But the rates offered aren’t very competitive and although it’s an online account, it’s not available in all areas.

From $4.50 per month

Fee

0.70%

APY

$1

Minimum deposit to open

Details

APY0.70% depending on which account you choose with your Elevate account
FeeFrom $4.50 per month
To waive the feeYou’ll pay $4.50 with the Accelerate Savings account unless you keep at least $500 in your account every month or you’ll pay $15 a month with your Interest Checking account unless you maintain an average monthly balance of $5,000
Minimum deposit to open$1
ATMsover 60,000 free ATMs nationwide
ATM transaction fee$0
Out-of-network ATM fee$0
Overdraft fee$0

Expert review

Heather Petty

Review by


Heather Petty is a writer at Finder specializing in banking, investments and insurance. She's a self-proclaimed word nerd who worked as a technical writer and editor for the casino systems industry and is an internationally published young adult mystery author. Heather earned a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Nevada, Reno.

Expert review

Citi’s Elevate account comes with overdraft protection and the ability to earn up to 0.7% APY. But what you’ll earn and pay each month depends on which account you decide to open this package with.

You have the option of choosing the Accelerate Savings, Interest Checking or both. If you’ll need to have access to ATMs, go with the Interest Checking account or both. You’ll get reimbursed ATM fees when you choose the Interest Checking account.

But if you want to earn the highest rate, you’ll want to choose the Accelerate Savings account. Although 0.7% APY is competitive, you can find higher interest-bearing checking account rates elsewhere.

Which accounts can I open with a Citi Elevate package?

You can open a Citi Elevate package with a Citi Accelerate Savings account or an Interest Checking account. You’ll earn a different APY and pay different fees depending on which account you choose with your Elevate account. Here’s how they compare:

Account Minimum opening deposit Monthly fee Waive fee APY ATM
Citi Accelerate Savings $0 $4.50 Keep at least $500 in your savings every month
  • 0.7% APY
$2.50 out-of-network ATM fee
Citi Interest Checking $0 $15 Keep at least $5,000 in your checking every month
  • 0.10% APY under $10,000
  • 0.20% APY $10,000 to $24,999
  • 0.40% APY over $25,000
$0 fees plus reimbursed third-party owner ATM fees

If you choose to open both the savings and checking account, refer to the Interest Checking account details.

How do I open a Citi Elevate account?

You can apply for an account online in six steps:

  1. Go to the provider’s site and follow the steps to apply.
  2. Click Apply Online and select whether you want to sign up for the Interest Checking account, Accelerate Savings account or both.
  3. Enter your personal information and click Continue.
  4. Answer questions about your job and income and click Continue.
  5. Read through the bank’s account disclosures and choose whether to accept or decline. Click Continue.
  6. Select how you want to transfer money to your new account and submit your application.

Eligibility

To be eligible for a Citi Elevate account, you must meet the following requirements:

  • Resident at an eligible location
  • At least 18 years old
  • US resident or citizen
  • Open a Citi Accelerate Savings, Citi Interest Checking or both.

Required information

Have the following information ready before you apply:

  • US driver’s licence or state-issued ID
  • Social Security number
  • Residential address
  • Employment and income information

What are the benefits of Citi’s Elevate account?

The following perks come with your account:

  • No minimum deposit. You can open an account with as little as $1.
  • Overdraft protection. Your account comes with two different overdraft protection services, and the fees are waived for your Elevate account.
  • Paperless. Elevate is a digital account, which means all statements and notices are delivered digitally. If you want paper statements, you need to choose a different account.
  • No ATM fees. If you open your Elevate account with an interest checking account, you won’t pay for ATM fees and third-party fees are reimbursed.

Citi’s ATM network and fees

Citi has over 60,000 free ATMs nationwide. If you open Citi Elevate with the Interest Checking account, you’ll get fee reimbursement for any out-of-network ATM transactions. Citi debit card users also have access to Citi Private Pass, which provides special perks and discounts on concerts, sports events, dining and other entertainment events.

What should I look out for?

Keep the following in mind before you apply:

  • Required checking or savings account. You’ll need a Citi Interest Checking or Citi Accelerate Savings account to open Citi Elevate.
  • High interest requirement. To earn the highest rate at 0.7%, you’ll need to open Citi Elevate with the Citi Accelerate Savings account. Otherwise you’ll earn up to 0.40% APY with the Citi Interest Checking account if you keep more than $25,000 in your account.
  • Not available in all areas. You aren’t eligible to apply for this account if you live in California, Connecticut, Maryland, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Virginia and select areas in Florida and Illinois.
  • Monthly fee. You’ll pay $4.50 with the Accelerate Savings account unless you keep at least $500 in your account every month or you’ll pay $15 a month with your Interest Checking account unless you maintain an average monthly balance of $5,000.

Compare with other checking accounts

Name Product Minimum deposit to open ATMs Out-of-network ATM fee
HSBC Premier Checking
$1
Free to use at all ATMs in the US
$0
Get a 3% cash bonus, up to $600 (max. $100 per month) during first six months after account opening. Must open HSBC Premier checking account through offer page by September 30, 2020, and set up qualifying direct deposits into the new account. Conditions apply. Deposit products are offered in the US by HSBC Bank USA, N.A. Member FDIC.
BBVA Online Checking
$25
No ATM fees nationwide at more than 64,000 AllPoint, participating 7-Eleven and BBVA USA ATMs
$3
A full-service account with convenient, surcharge-free access to two massive ATM networks.
Axos Bank Essential Checking
$0
ATM fees reimbursed at any ATM nationwide
No fees. Unlimited domestic ATM fee reimbursements.
Axos Bank Rewards Checking
$50
ATM fees reimbursed at any ATM nationwide
$0
Earn up to 1.25% APY while enjoying a suite of digital tools for smarter money management.
Aspiration Spend & Save Account
$10
55,000 free in-network ATMs
$0
Deposits are fossil fuel-free. A spend and save combo account with unlimited cash back rewards and deposits insured by the FDIC.
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Compare up to 4 providers

Which areas are eligible for a Citi Elevate account?

Citi Elevate is only open in these locations:

  • Armed Forces America, U.S. Armed Forces, U.S. Armed Forces — Pacific, U.S. Armed Forces — Europe
  • Alabama
  • Alaska
  • American Samoa
  • Arkansas
  • Arizona
  • Colorado
  • Delaware
  • Florida (select areas)
  • Georgia
  • Guam
  • Hawaii
  • Idaho
  • Illinois (select areas)
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Louisiana
  • Maine
  • Northern Mariana Islands
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
  • Mississippi
  • Missouri
  • Montana
  • Nebraska
  • New Hampshire
  • New Mexico
  • North Carolina
  • North Dakota
  • Ohio
  • Oklahoma
  • Oregon
  • Pennsylvania
  • Puerto Rico
  • Rhode Island
  • South Carolina
  • South Dakota
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Utah
  • Vermont
  • Virgin Islands
  • Washington
  • Wisconsin
  • West Virginia
  • Wyoming

How do I deposit or withdraw my money?

Use one of the following options to deposit or withdraw your funds with the Citi Elevate account:

  • ATM
  • Check
  • Bank transfer
  • Wire transfer
  • Zelle transfer
  • Mobile app

What other checking options does Citi offer?

Citi offers account perks, fees and interest rates based on your combined average monthly balance across all of your Citi accounts. You can set up your account as part of one of the following packages:

  • Access Account package. Using direct deposit or online bill payments can waive the $10 monthly maintenance fee on this account. There are no overdraft fees and no paper checks.
  • Basic Banking package. The $12 maintenance fee is waived if you are age 62 or older, use direct deposit or bill pay, or if you maintain an average monthly balance of $1,500 or more.
  • Citibank Account package. Maintain a combined average monthly balance of $10,000 or more across all of your Citi accounts to waive the $25 monthly fee and any out-of-network Citi-imposed ATM fees. Earn interest on your checking account and higher rates on your savings and money market accounts.
  • Citi Priority package. Waive the $30 monthly maintenance fee if you maintain an average monthly balance of $50,000 across your Citi accounts. Includes access to Citi personal wealth advisors and preferred pricing and rates on banking products.
  • Citigold Private Client package. Only for clients who maintain combined balances over $1 million across banking, retirement and investments with Citibank. Includes a personal wealth management team and special benefits across all Citi products.
  • Citigold package. Maintain a combined average monthly balance of $200,000 or more to work with Citi wealth advisors and get preferred rates on banking products.

How can I contact Citi?

Citi offers multiple options for reaching out to its customer service department.

  • Chat with a customer service representative online or through the mobile app.
  • Visit a local bank branch.
  • Call 800-374-9700.
  • Mail to Citibank Client Services Citi Inquiries PO Box 6500, Sioux Falls, SD 57117.

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