Citi Interest Checking account review
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
Minimum deposit to open
|Monthly fee||$25 per month|
|To waive the fee||Maintain a combined average monthly balance of $10,000+ in eligible linked deposit, retirement and investment accounts|
|Minimum deposit to open||$0|
|Intro or bonus offer||Get 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.|
|ATMs||over 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 fee||3%|
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.
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
How do I apply?
You can open the Citi Interest Checking account online, by phone or at a branch. Here’s how:
- Visit the Citi website and click Banking.
- Scroll down to your desired package and click See Details.
- Scroll down and click Apply Now.
- Select Interest Checking or Interest Checking and Citi Savings.
- Enter your personal information, then click Next.
- Verify all details, enter your banking info, fund your account, then Submit your application.
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.
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:
Whether you apply online, by phone or at a branch, you’ll be asked for the following information:
- Date of birth
- Proof of residential 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.