Citi Elevate checking review
Earn up to 0.7% APY — but you’ll need to maintain a high balance.
finder.com’s rating: 3.6 / 5.0
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
Minimum deposit to open
|APY||0.70% depending on which account you choose with your Elevate account|
|Fee||From $4.50 per month|
|To waive the 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|
|Minimum deposit to open||$1|
|ATMs||over 60,000 free ATMs nationwide|
|ATM transaction fee||$0|
|Out-of-network ATM fee||$0|
Heather Petty is a personal finance writer at Finder specializing in home loans, banking and insurance. After falling victim to a disreputable mortgage broker when buying her first home, she’s on a mission to help readers avoid similar experiences when managing their own finances. A self-proclaimed word nerd, her writing has been featured on MSN, Credit.com and MediaFeed.org, among others. Heather previously worked as a technical writer and editor for the casino systems industry and is an internationally published young adult mystery author. She holds a bachelor’s degree in English with a minor in journalism from the University of Nevada, Reno.
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||$2.50 out-of-network ATM fee|
|Citi Interest Checking||$0||$15||Keep at least $5,000 in your checking every month||$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:
- Go to the provider’s site and follow the steps to apply.
- Click Apply Online and select whether you want to sign up for the Interest Checking account, Accelerate Savings account or both.
- Enter your personal information and click Continue.
- Answer questions about your job and income and click Continue.
- Read through the bank’s account disclosures and choose whether to accept or decline. Click Continue.
- Select how you want to transfer money to your new account and submit your application.
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.
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
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
- American Samoa
- Florida (select areas)
- Illinois (select areas)
- Northern Mariana Islands
- New Hampshire
- New Mexico
- North Carolina
- North Dakota
- Puerto Rico
- Rhode Island
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
- Virgin Islands
- West Virginia
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:
- 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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