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Citi Interest Checking account review

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Earn interest on your balance and get the convenience of a linked savings account.

finder.com’s rating: 2.7 / 5.0

★★★★★

Checking accounts are a great place to store your money while budgeting for bills and other everyday expenses. And with Citi, you’ll get easy access to your money with the added peace of mind of banking with one of the Big Four. Plus, the Citi Interest Checking account pays interest on your balance and more.

$25 per month

Monthly fee

0.01%

APY

$0

Minimum deposit to open

Details

APY0.01%
Monthly fee$25 per month
To waive the feeMaintain a combined average monthly balance of $10,000+ in eligible linked deposit, retirement and investment accounts
Minimum deposit to open$0
Intro or bonus offerGet a $400 bonus when you open a new checking and savings account by June 30, 2019, deposit $15,000+ of new money and maintain that balance for 60 days. Get another $100 bonus when you set up a monthly direct deposit.
ATMsover 60,000 fee-free ATMs
ATM transaction fee$0
Out-of-network ATM fee$2.50 or $0 when you meet monthly minimum balance requirements
Foreign transaction fee3%
Overdraft fee$34

Expert review

Peter Carleton

Review by


Peter Carleton is a writer that covers banking and investing, breaking down what you need to know about where you put your money. When Peter's not thinking about cutting-edge banking apps and robo-advisors, he runs a creative agency and spends his spare time cooking or reading.

Expert review

Citibank’s interest-bearing checking account comes with access to rewards, cash bonuses and a linked savings account to make growing your funds even easier. However, it also comes with maintenance fees that can only be avoided with high average monthly balances. If you’re just starting to build your savings, this account might not be your best option.

Choose a package to go with your account

When you open a checking account with Citi, you’ll need to choose from one of five packages, and only three of those packages offer Interest Checking. The monthly fee, interest rate and perks of your Citi Interest Checking account vary depending on which package you select.

  • The Citibank Account: A full-featured checking account with reimbursements for ATM fees, the ability to earn interest and rewards, and more.
  • Citi Priority: Priority banking with investment resources, rewards points, preferred pricing and more.
  • Citigold: A full-service checking account with wealth management, dedicated support, preferred rates and the highest level of rewards points.

What are the benefits of the Citi Interest Checking account?

The Citi Interest Checking account works like any standard checking account, but it offers a handful of perks that make it stand out from the rest:

  • Cash bonus. You can earn a cash bonus of up to $600 when you open an eligible account, make a qualifying deposit and set up a recurring direct deposit by the promotional deadline.
  • Earn interest. Get up to 0.3% APY on your balance just for keeping your money in this account.
  • Convenience. Citi bundles this account with a savings account, allowing you to do all of your banking in one place.
  • Security. Citi is a FDIC-insured institution, meaning deposits up to $250,000 are covered if the bank fails.
  • Easy access. This account comes with access to over 60,000 fee-free ATMs across the country, over 700 branch locations and a free mobile banking app for banking on the go.
  • Rewards. This account has the ability to earn rewards in the form of gift cards, shopping discounts, travel points and more. Plus, you can join the Citi Entertainment program to get exclusive access to concerts and other events.
  • Support and wealth management. Depending on your balance, you can get dedicated support and a personal financial advisor for financial planning.
  • No minimum deposit. Regardless of which banking package you choose, you can open a checking account with as little as $0.

Citi ATM network and fees.

Your Citi debit card gives you access to over 60,000 fee-free ATMs and 700 branch locations across the country. But if you can’t make it to a Citibank or Moneypass ATM, you can still avoid paying extra:

  • Waive the Citi fee for non-Citi ATMs if you select The Citibank Account Package and maintain the $10,000 minimum balance.
  • No Citi fee for non-Citi ATMs if you select the Citi Priority or Citigold packages; an ATM-owner fee may still apply.
  • Unlimited refunds of non-Citi ATM fees with the Citigold Package.
  • Domestic ATM fees of $2.50 per withdrawal, transfer or inquiry — plus fees from the ATM owner — with The Citibank Account Package and a balance below $10,000.
  • Foreign ATM fees $2.50 + 3% of transaction value per withdrawal — plus fees from the ATM owner — with The Citibank Account Package and a balance below $10,000.

Citi also has a large international presence, so you won’t be charged any transaction fees if you use a qualifying ATM outside the US.

What should I look out for?

While the Citi Interest Checking account does offer a number of benefits, there are still a few things to watch out for:

  • Monthly service charge. Depending on which package you choose, there is a $0-$30 monthly service fee. However, each account has ways of avoiding the fee:
    • The Citibank Account: Maintain an average monthly balance of $10,000+ in eligible linked accounts.
    • Citi Priority: Maintain an average monthly balance of $50,000+ in eligible linked accounts.
    • Citigold: There’s no monthly fee, but you’ll need to maintain an average monthly balance of $200,000+ in eligible linked accounts to qualify for this package.
  • Overdraft fees. You’ll be charged $34 per overdraft item, up to a maximum of four charges per day. If you have a linked account, Citibank will charge $10 when it transfers money from one of your other accounts to cover an overdraft transaction.
  • Branch availability. Citi only has branches in CA, CT, FL, IL, NJ, NV, NY, SD, VA and WA.
  • Low-interest rate. The interest rate on this account is lower than what you can find from other institutions.

If you’re not sure Citi’s interest-bearing checking has the best features for you, use our guide to compare your options and find one that suits your financial needs.

Compare 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 up to $700 (max. $120 per month) for eligible new customers who open an HSBC Premier checking account. Conditions apply. Deposit products are offered in the US by HSBC Bank USA, N.A. Member FDIC.
Chase Total Checking
$0
Access to 16,000 ATMs and nearly 4,900 branches nationwide
$2.50
Get a $200 bonus when you open a new Chase Total Checking account and set up direct deposit within 60 days of opening your account. Chase's simplest checking account is easy to use and gives you access to 16,000 ATMs and nearly 4,900 branches. Available online nationwide except in Alaska, Hawaii and Puerto Rico.
Chase Premier Plus Checking
$0
Access to 16,000 ATMs and nearly 4,900 branches nationwide
$2.50
Get a $300 signup bonus as a new Chase checking customer when you open a Chase Premier Plus Checking account and set up direct deposit. Available online nationwide except in Alaska, Hawaii and Puerto Rico.
TD Beyond Checking
$0
1,900 ATMs across the country and Canada
$0
A checking account that offers interest plus three ways to waive the monthly fee, two overdraft paybacks a year and no ATM fees with a $2,500 balance.
N26
N26
$0
Fee-free ATM withdrawals at Allpoint ATMs
$0
A digital bank account with no hidden fees, no minimum account balance and no maintenance charges.
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
Aspiration Spend & Save Account
$10
Fee-free ATM withdrawals at Allpoint ATMs
$0
A spend and save combo account with no monthly service fees, free access to every ATM in the world, unlimited cash back rewards and deposits insured by the FDIC. The Aspiration Spend & Save Account is a cash management account offering of Aspiration Financial, LLC, an SEC-registered broker-dealer. Aspiration is not a chartered bank.
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.
TD Convenience Checking℠
$0
1,900 ATMs across the country and Canada
$3
Offering digital wallet compatibility, free Zelle transfers, TD rate discounts and no fees for students and young adults age 17 to 23. But the $15 monthly maintenance fee could chip at your funds.
HSBC Advance Checking
$0
Surcharge-free HSBC ATMs nationally and internationally, plus up to four rebates a month for using non-HSBC ATMs in all US states except New York
Get up to $270 (max. $50 per month) for eligible new customers who open an HSBC Advance checking account. Conditions apply. Deposit products are offered in the US by HSBC Bank USA, N.A. Member FDIC.
Axos Bank Essential Checking
$0
ATM fees reimbursed at any ATM nationwide
No fees. Unlimited domestic ATM fee reimbursements.
Chase Sapphire Checking
$0
Free to use anywhere worldwide
$0
Get a $1000 welcome bonus when you join Sapphire Banking by October 14, 2020. Within 45 days of joining, transfer a total of $75,000 or more in qualifying new money or securities to a combination of eligible checking, savings and/or investment accounts (excludes any J.P. Morgan retirement accounts and CDs), and maintain the balance for at least 90 days.
Unlimited Cash Back Bank Account by Green Dot
Unlimited Cash Back Bank Account by Green Dot
$0
Thousands of free in-network ATMs
$3
Earn 2% APY on your savings by opening a High-Yield Savings Account + 2% cash back on online and mobile purchases
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Compare up to 4 providers

How do I apply?

You can open the Citi Interest Checking account online, by phone or at a branch. Here’s how:

Online
  1. Visit the Citi website and click Banking.
  2. Scroll down to your desired package and click See Details.
  3. Scroll down and click Apply Now.
  4. Select Interest Checking or Interest Checking and Citi Savings.
  5. Enter your personal information, then click Next.
  6. Verify all details, enter your banking info, fund your account, then Submit your application.
By phone

If you’d prefer to speak with a representative, you can open an account over the phone by calling 800-745-1534.

At a branch

Make an appointment or visit a branch to open the Citi Interest Checking account in person.

Eligibility

In order to open this account, you’ll need to meet a few eligibility requirements:.

  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Be a US citizen or resident alien
  • Have a valid US residential address
  • Have a valid Social Security number

If you’re looking to earn the cash bonus, here’s what you’ll need to do:

Required information

Whether you apply online, by phone or at a branch, you’ll be asked for the following information:

  • Name
  • Date of birth
  • Proof of residential address
  • Address
  • Social Security number
  • Employment information

What other checking options does Citi offer?

Besides the Interest Checking account, Citi also offers two no-frills checking accounts that are available within its pricing packages.

  • Regular Checking. This simple checking account offers unlimited check writing and special perks for those aged 62 and older.
  • Checkless Regular Checking. Offered only with the Access Account Package, this doesn’t come with paper checks but it provides access to the full range of Citi products and services.

Frequently asked questions

Checking account ratings

★★★★★ — Excellent

★★★★★ — Good

★★★★★ — Average

★★★★★ — Subpar

★★★★★ — Poor

We analyze top checking accounts and rate them one to five stars based on factors that are most important to you. These factors include: monthly fees, the ease at which monthly fees can be waived, the breadth of ATM access, ATM and overdraft fees, and customer service.

Read the full methodology of how we rate checking accounts.

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