Citibank Review 2023: Checking and Savings Accounts
- Choice of checking accounts
- High-interest savings account
- Overdraft fees eliminated in 2022
As one of the largest banks in the world, Citibank has a lot to offer its customers — from useful online features to thousands of free ATMs. It’s also a global bank, with thousands of overseas branches to complement the 700+ in the United States. That gives Citi a definite edge over online banks that have no local presence at all.
That said, Citibank falls short in a few areas — namely, the interest rates on some of its accounts are less than stellar. Additionally, Citi has been heavy on the monthly fees, and while there are ways to waive them, we’d prefer to not deal with them at all.
In February 2022, Citibank became the largest bank in the country to announce it was dumping all overdraft fees, returned item fees and overdraft protection fees by summer 2022.
At the end of the day, Citi is a solid bank that gets a lot right. But is a Citibank account right for you? Read on to find out.
Citibank Checking Accounts
Citi offers a variety of checking account options, ranging from basic digital accounts to high-yield interest checking. There are also several premium tiers available.
Citi Basic Banking
- Multiple tiers of checking accounts available
- No minimum starting balance
- Earn interest on checking account balance
More About Citi Basic Checking Accounts
Citibank offers multiple checking account options. While you can open one up by itself, most of the Citi accounts make more sense when opened as part of a package. These packages include a linked savings account and a handful of other perks, and we recommend going this route if you choose to bank with Citi.
There are three Everyday Banking packages and three Premium Banking packages available.
- Access Account Package
- Basic Banking Package
- The Citibank Account Package
- Citi Priority Account Package
- Citigold Account Package
- Citigold Private Client
Most of the Citi checking account packages have a monthly fee, and in some cases it’s rather steep. However, there’s nearly always a simple way to waive that fee. For example, the Basic Banking Package has a $12 monthly service fee, but you can waive it in a number of ways:
- Make one qualifying direct deposit and one qualifying bill payment each statement period.
- Maintain a combined average of $1,500 in eligible linked accounts.
- The first-listed account owner is over 62 years old and opened their account before July 18th, 2022.
- It’s a joint account that includes a minor and the account was opened before July 18th, 2022.
Every account has at least one way to waive the monthly service fee, even if it’s just maintaining a certain minimum balance. That said, we’d still prefer no fees at all — which many of Citi’s competitors offer.
It’s also worth noting that the Access Account package doesn’t have an option for paper checks. If you need to write checks, you’ll have to go with a different Citibank account.
Speaking of all the account options — normally, we’re not a fan of too many choices. However, the various Citi checking accounts offer a reasonable progression from basic starter accounts through to the premium offerings, and it’s relatively clear when you’d choose which account. In this case, we’d actually say the variety works in Citi’s favor.
Citibank Savings Accounts
Unlike the checking account variety, Citi really only offers a single savings account option: Citi Accelerate Savings. However, this account is actually an outstanding option with a very competitive interest rate — you really don’t need much more.
Citi Accelerate Savings
- Excellent interest rate — up to 3.40% APY
- No minimum opening balance required
- Multiple ways to waive monthly fees
More About Citi Accelerate Savings Accounts
A Citi savings account makes an excellent companion to one of the Citi checking accounts. The 3.40% APY rate is quite good, and there really aren’t any fees attached to the account — it’s generally very easy to meet the requirements to waive the monthly service fee.
Add in the benefits of a Citi banking package to your Citi savings account, plus the huge nationwide ATM network, and you’ve got a solid savings account option that’s easy to recommend. That said, if you’re only looking for a savings account, we think you can probably do better with another bank.
Other Citibank Offerings
Being a large global financial institution, Citibank offers a variety of other products besides checking and savings accounts. These include CDs, IRAs, and a variety of small business offerings.
Certificates of Deposit (CDs)
Certificates of Deposit accounts, or CDs, are a specific type of savings account that has a fixed interest rate and fixed terms. In practice, this means that CDs are safe investments, but that once your money is in one, you can’t access it (without penalties) until those terms are up. They’re ideal for holding money that you know you want to save for a certain date, or for a safe and guaranteed return on investment without much risk.
Citibank offers an array of CD accounts to meet your longer-term savings goals. There are three choices: a Fixed Rate CD, a Step-Up CD, and a No Penalty CD.
Citibank Fixed Rate CD
- Variety of term lengths available
- Stable interest rates that won’t change on you
- Low minimum starting deposit
More About Citi Fixed Rate CD
The Citi CD accounts offer a solid option for people that have specific savings goals in mind. The Fixed Rate CD is a standard CD account and offers a range of terms and interest rates, from 3 months to 5 years.
The Step-Up CD is a slightly different option to most CDs. This account is on a 30-month term and the interest rate increases every 10 months over that term, from 0.05% to 0.15% APY.
Finally, Citibank offers a No Penalty CD, which is a little more flexible than a typical CD account. The No Penalty CD has a 12-month term and enables you to withdraw your full balance without the usual penalties associated with a CD account. As a tradeoff, the interest rate on the No Penalty CD is fixed at 3.40% APY.
Other Citibank Features
Citibank’s size also helps make available a full-slate of banking features. Here are two that you would expect to have at a large bank. And when it comes to mobile banking, any bank really.
Citi offers a wide variety of credit cards, from travel and rewards-based cards to cash back and business. Interest rates and cash back amounts are pretty standard for bank-issued credit cards. In other words, expect around 17%–29% interest and around 2% cash back for the best options. These cards make good options for people that want to keep all their accounts under one roof.
Citi also offers a number of loan products, including small business loans, home loans, and personal lines of credit. Personal loans are limited to a max of $30,000 and offer repayment terms of one to five years. Like the credit card products, these are nice if you need a little extra cash and want to keep everything in the same financial institution. There’s nothing inherently special about them compared to offerings from other banks, though.
If you prefer a more long-term option for saving — say, to fund your retirement — Citi offers Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) with no annual fees. IRA stands for Individual Retirement Account, and it’s a type of long-term savings and investment account that is intended specifically for retirement savings.
Citi’s IRA options include both traditional IRAs and Roth IRAs, and the accounts earn between 0.05% and 4.97% APY, depending on the type of IRA you choose. Options include an Insured Money Market account, Variable CD, and Day-to-Day Savings accounts.
Generally, the money market account is going to be the best option for a long-term retirement account like this. A money market account won’t earn as high of an interest rate as a CD, but you can leave the money in the account much longer, so it will accrue much more over time.
The Citibank mobile app is extremely well-rated. It offers all the expected features of an online banking mobile app, from account management and check deposits to customer service and even a place to view your FICO credit score.
While there’s not necessarily anything groundbreaking about the app, it’s easy to use and well-designed. That means it excels at exactly what you’d want your banking app to do. Combined with physical branches, this makes Citibank a very convenient option for personal banking.
As for online banking, you can do everything you’d expect using Citi’s website, from transfers to paying bills. Plus, unlike even the best online banks, Citi actually has physical locations, so you can go get cash in hand if you need.
Pros and Cons About Citibank
Below is a list of pros and cons about Citibank to help you decide if this bank is right for you.
- Lots of choices for checking accounts. It’s very easy to find one that matches your personal financial needs.
- A high-yield savings account with an excellent interest rate. The Citi Accelerate Savings account is a fantastic Citibank account option for standard savings.
- Useful packages that combine checking and savings accounts. These packages help reduce fees and costs and simplify the banking experience.
- Large network of ATMs — thousands are available nationwide, and you can also use any out-of-network ATM for a small fee.
- Unique CD account options — the Step-Up CD and No Penalty CD are available in addition to the standard Fixed Rate CD.
- All overdraft fees, returned item fees and overdraft protection fees were eliminated in summer 2022.
- High monthly fees. While most accounts have a method to waive the fees, they are almost universally higher than other banks.
- Less than one thousand physical locations in the United States. This will either be a non-issue or a deal-breaker, depending on where you stand.
- Interest rates are middle-of-the-road at best. CD accounts, in particular, earn lacklustre interest compared to many competitors.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Citibank
Have questions about Citibank? We have answers.
Yes. Every Citibank account, including checking, savings, and CD accounts, are FDIC insured. What that means is that each account is automatically insured for up to $250,000 per depositor. This is meant to protect your money in the event the bank fails — you won’t lose the funds you’ve deposited in a Citibank account.
Citibank is owned by Citigroup, Inc. Citigroup is a global financial services company that serves over 200 million customers around the world.
Citibank is a reputable bank with a number of positives going for it. It offers a number of packages that combine checking and savings accounts into an easy-to-manage bundle, and the combined balance contributes to the threshold to waive monthly service fees. Plus, the Citi savings account interest rates are excellent.
Citibank isn’t perfect, of course — the interest rates are middle-of-the-road, and there aren’t as many local branches in the U.S. as some of its competitors. However, if you wan
Yes, Citibank offers several different credit card accounts in addition to the usual bank options. Citibank credit card options include cash back rewards cards to balance transfer and low-interest options.
Penny Hoarder contributor Dave Schafer has been writing professionally for nearly a decade, covering topics ranging from personal finance to software and consumer tech.