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www.citi.com/rewards

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http://offer.citibank.com/cbol/10/checking/q3/consumer/default.h...




Promotional Offer Terms and Conditions

Checking and Savings Offer
*To qualify for 20,000 ThankYou Points, open a new regular checking account in The Citibank Account or Citigold® account package by 10/17/2010 and enroll it in Citi® ThankYou Rewards. Within 60 days of account opening you must begin performing at least one of the qualifying activities: 1 direct deposit to, or at least 2 electronic bill payments from, or 5 or more debit card purchases from, the checking account each month and continue for 2 consecutive months.

You can also qualify for an additional 20,000 ThankYou Points by making a deposit of $25,000 or more of funds not currently held at Citibank or an affiliate of Citi into a new or existing Citibank® Savings Plus Account linked to your regular checking account by 10/31/10. You must also complete at least 1 direct deposit to, or at least 2 electronic bill payments from or 5 or more debit card purchases from the linked checking account for an additional (third) month.

Electronic bill payments are those you make using Citibank® Online, Citi Mobile or CitiPhone Banking®, excluding transfer payments made to accounts with Citibank or its affiliates. Accounts are subject to approval, terms and fees. Existing checking customers not eligible for checking offer. Offers may be modified or withdrawn at any time without notice, expire 10/17/2010, are not transferable and cannot be combined with any other offer. Limit of one of each offer per customer. Checking account enrollment in Citi® ThankYou Rewards limited to citizens and resident aliens of the U.S. with a valid U.S. taxpayer identification number. Customer is responsible for any taxes. Points will be awarded within 90 days of satisfaction of all offer terms if both accounts are open and in good standing at the time the Points are credited.

Savings Only Offer for Existing Checking Customers:
To qualify for 20,000 ThankYou Points, make a minimum deposit of $25,000 by 10/31/10 in funds not currently held at Citibank or its affiliates into a new or existing Citibank® Savings Plus Account linked to a qualifying checking account, enroll the checking account in Citi® ThankYou Rewards Network, and then complete at least 1 direct deposit to, or at least 2 electronic bill payments from, or 5 or more debit card purchases from the linked checking account each month for 3 consecutive months. Electronic bill payments are those you make using Citibank® Online, Citi Mobile or CitiPhone Banking®, excluding transfer payments made to accounts with Citibank or it's affiliates. You must begin performing the qualifying account activities (e.g., direct deposit) within 60 days of satisfying the minimum promotional deposit requirement described above.

For a Citibank Savings Plus Account opened online via www.citibank.com, the Annual Percentage Yield (APY) as of 9/07/2010 is: a balance under $9,999.99 earns 0.25% APY, a balance of $10,000 to $24,999.99 earns a 0.40% APY, and a balance of $25,000 or more earns a 0.70% APY. Rates are variable and may change without notice. $100 minimum opening deposit required. Fees may reduce account earnings. Deposits are subject to Citibank's standard funds availability schedule. Interest rates for accounts opened at a Citibank branch may differ.

Electronic bill payments are those you make using Citibank® Online, Citi Mobile or CitiPhone Banking®, excluding transfer payments made to accounts with Citibank or its affiliates. Accounts are subject to approval, terms and fees. Existing checking customers not eligible for checking offer. Offers may be modified or withdrawn at any time without notice, expire 10/17/2010, are not transferable and cannot be combined with any other offer. Limit of one of each offer per customer. Checking account enrollment in Citi® ThankYou Rewards limited to citizens and resident aliens of the U.S. with a valid U.S. taxpayer identification number. Customer is responsible for any taxes. Points will be awarded within 90 days of satisfaction of all offer terms if both accounts are open and in good standing at the time the Points are credited.


Terms and conditions of accounts, products, programs and services are subject to change.

Information about Checking Accounts

Open a checking account in The Citibank Account package with a $100 minimum deposit. Then, you just need to maintain a combined average balance of $6,000 across any of these linked Citi accounts. Otherwise, these fees will apply: $9.50 monthly maintenance fee for Regular Checking ($12.50 in CA, NV, FL, IL, DC, VA and MD)

Open a checking account in a Citigold package with a $500 minimum deposit to the checking account.. There's no monthly maintenance fee for the first two statement cycles. After that, we'll continue to waive the monthly fee if the combined average balance of your eligible linked accounts is:
$100,000 or more across all your linked Citi accounts
OR
$250,000 or more if your Citibank first mortgage is included in the total relationship. Otherwise, a $25 monthly service fee will apply.

Important Notice: For the full terms and conditions, see both the Client Manual: Consumer Accounts and the Citibank Online Marketplace Addendum. Also, see important information about changes to the terms and conditions for Citibank deposit account packages beginning October 25, 2010.

Member Summary
Most Recent Posts
Finally received the first 20k points for opening the checking account. Still waiting on the next 20k for the savings a... (more)

tracyinca (Feb. 28, 2011 @ 11:19a) |

Received the 20k pts. for the savings on the 25th of Feb.

akbrush (Feb. 28, 2011 @ 1:24p) |

Second 20K points bonus received Feb 25th. (for savings)

curtisekarr (Mar. 01, 2011 @ 10:29a) |

DEAL EXPIRED @ end of OCT 2010

Maintain a minimum of:
$6000 with Citi until bonus posts for "The Citibank Account"
or $100000 with Citi for a Citigold account.

Otherwise, monthly fees apply to both accounts.
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I'd have been excited 2 years ago, but am gonna pass given how difficult it is to get gift certificates using TY points (ideally, 10000 TY points should be redeemable for a $100 gift cert to any major retailer).

Not a bad deal all things considered. Assuming you could get ~$300 for selling $400 in gift cards that would be ~7.2%/y for two months. Might not be a bad way to use some 0% CC money.

Thanks OP.

I agree with FW10001 - not only are the points diminishing in value, it is also my experience, that Citi reports these bonus points as an inflated value to IRS - I got nailed because i got a 1099-MISC for these points. Some FW users say, it was only triggered if the redemption was > 600$ -

Still, the way Citi reports this to IRS - 40k points will be reported as a big $$$ amount, on which you'll owe income taxes (fed + state). I'm just saying - Be careful...

Citi only reports over $600.


Can still get $100 GC for 10k points at about 5 - 10 retailers. Staples, maycs, among others.

It appears this offer is valid for previous Citibank checking account holders.

Does citi consider an Ally bank deposit as a 'direct deposit" ?

Best offer I've seen in a while around here. Is it clear how long the $25,000 has to be left in the account? That's a lot of money to be sitting around in a low interest account for more than a month or so. The first 200K points seem quite managable though.

sloppy1 said: Does citi consider an Ally bank deposit as a 'direct deposit" ?

I've been using Ally for a previous citi checking deal and I have not been hit with any fees. I just set up a regularly monthly ACH push.

My personal experience citi will not deposit thank you points without several phone calls to customer service.
And look at the fine prints. I am sure they will find something missing when its time to get the points.
Recently it took me over a year and several calls to customer service of citi and thank you network to get my points from last promotion

My experience with Citi reward fulfillment dept. has been nothing but horrible. When it's time to reward, they would quietly not give anything despite following the rules to the letter. When called asked what's going on, they would with a straight face (and ice-cold voices) say "You did not qualify for this promotion because [blablabla]" (made up). I don't play these games with them anymore, no matter how enticing the offer may sound.

I'd think a Citi branch rep would be a place to get help if the TYP bonus arent posted. At least to start the process.

Historically, this deal has been ok, even when savings rates were around 4-5%; Citi offered 16,000 TYP bonus with triple relationship TYP bonuses for 12 months back in July/August 2008; $225 cash bonus in February/March 2009; $100 or 20,000 TYP bonus in August-November 2009. All required monthly DD or 2 e-bill pay or 5 debit signature purchases for 3 months or 6 months total.
With interest rates so low now, this could be decent deal. But, $6000 min balance to avoid monthly service fee is alot; even in all linked accounts, your money would be in the Ultimate Saving Account, currently yielding 0.70%. Most popular online savings accounts yield ~1.10% (range 0.99-1.75% depending which bank now). Besides the 20k checking bonus TYP, and besides having at least $25,000 deposited into a linked Citi Savings Plus Account earning 0.70% currently and meet requirements, dont forget to link your Citi products to the Citibank Account checking. To get relationship TYP monthly, you must have and use monthly your Checking Account, Debit Card, and at least 1, upto 5, additional products...OnlineBillPayment; CD; Savings/MoneyMarket; DirectDeposit; ReadyCredit; CheckingPlus; PersonalLoan; HomeEquityLine; HomeEquityLoan; Mortgage; StudentLoan. 3citi products=100typ; 4=200; 5=400; 6=600; 7=800 (Citigold accounts get 50% more typ)per month.
!! As above, T&C state that as long as new $25k money is deposited into savings and you meet the requirements for the additional 3rd month of 1DD, 2billpay or 5 debitc purchases from your checking account, then you will receive the 20k + 20k TYP within 90 days of satisfaction of all offer terms; which means expect to get it around 7-8 months after the day you open your account. (since it usually takes a week to get/activate debit card, do the linkings, do the monthly transaction, and statement closing periods). Edit: it doesnt say anything about minimum funding requirements; but citi could say you deposited it and withdrawed it too soon and blahblah.

Good deal, been waiting for a good citibank bonus. I've always gotten all my citibank bonuses without any issues. Looks like the $25K savings account bonus is good for preexisting citibank customers too. Going to have to go branch to check it out.

For those that concerned about citi reporting thank you pts to the IRS, sounds like it's only for high value redemptions. Besides, any interest you earn anywhere else will be reported to IRS as well, so what's the difference?

Right now I'm in the middle of an "investigation" by Citibank to see why I didn't get the bonus I was promised.

I've had multiple 'investigations' done in the past when my bonus didn't post properly, and they've all gone fine and they post the points/miles. In one case, they posted double the bonus....and that was back when the 20k points = $400 flight. Worked out well!!

$6k earning 1% or 0.7%. $25k more earning 1.3%(onlinesavings) or 0.7%. The worse case scenario: $25k at citi for 3 months and then move it out; you lose $12.50/month for 25k (earn 0.7% vs 1.3%). If you have Citibank Account checking, then your $6k held at their ultimate savings 0.7%, you lose $3/month compared to other banks' onlinesavings at 1.3%. But, if you earn 3% from a RewardsChecking account, then your $25k (usually max amnt with hi-yield at RCA), the cost is $47.92/month. For $6k, you' lose $11.50/month interest if at Citi's UltimateSavings (to avoid monthly fees of CitiAccount package) and not at a RCA. Either way, for new accounts opened, be sure to check Availability of Funds section in the terms and account agreements to know when your money is available for withdrawal.

Is the hassle worth it?

How does Citibank work, if you have $25,001 in the Savings Account, does all of it earn 0.7% or only $1. The rest are at a lower rate?

Back in '08 when Citi had a similar offer you could fund your new account with a credit card. Any idea of that might still be the case?

My analysis...

First deal is worth it. $200 worth of gift cards for a minimal amount of work, and that $6000 isn't losing a ton of interest.

Second deal is not worth it. Less work perhaps, but $25,000 is too much to be sitting in a low interest account. You are better off spending the time to get reward checking.

The checking deal looks good, but I have an existing Checking account (EZ Checking) with them right now.

Existing checking customers not eligible for checking offer.

Any idea if there would be an issue if I closed the account, wait a few days, and then try this out.

rlaw said: The checking deal looks good, but I have an existing Checking account (EZ Checking) with them right now.

Existing checking customers not eligible for checking offer.

Any idea if there would be an issue if I closed the account, wait a few days, and then try this out.


This probably wouldn't work because they can easily see that you just had a citibank account.

somdave2005 said: rlaw said: The checking deal looks good, but I have an existing Checking account (EZ Checking) with them right now.

Existing checking customers not eligible for checking offer.

Any idea if there would be an issue if I closed the account, wait a few days, and then try this out.


This probably wouldn't work because they can easily see that you just had a citibank account.


Right but you're not an existing checking customer when it's opened and if they open the account under the promo they owe the bonus to you. By the way, I got the 5% back on debit purchases (up to $500 back) for Citigold promo earlier this year doing this very thing. Closed and say 4 days later opened a checking account anew.

dbl118 said: My analysis...

First deal is worth it. $200 worth of gift cards for a minimal amount of work, and that $6000 isn't losing a ton of interest.

Second deal is not worth it. Less work perhaps, but $25,000 is too much to be sitting in a low interest account. You are better off spending the time to get reward checking.


Really?

We're talking $25K that maybe could earn what? 1.15% in the top tier in some other larger consolidated account like INGDirect Electric Orange? So let's play those numbers out. *IF* you've got the liquid balances elsewhere to get to the top tier (big if for some) that's opportunity cost of .45% per year. Say you're fronting the $25K for 6 mos to get the deal... that's call it $55 in foregone interest which will really be call it $35? after-tax. So you tell me: $200 worth of gift cards (not taxable unless you hit the $600 redemption reporting trigger) or $33 in after-tax interest income. Again if you don't have the liquid balances to get the top tier, that $33 dwindles even more.

I'm eager to see the error of my ways. Really!

hellyea81 said: I've had multiple 'investigations' done in the past when my bonus didn't post properly, and they've all gone fine and they post the points/miles. In one case, they posted double the bonus....and that was back when the 20k points = $400 flight. Worked out well!!

I agree completely. There seems to be a pattern of needing to trigger investigations (maybe they're just pathologically slow on fulfilling) as I've triggered investigations on like 3 different occasions, but all of mine went great. I also believe I was double rewarded 1 time. Go figure!

Sorry for being such a chatterbox (a lot of good dialog here), but I do have a question.

Sometimes they give a better deal for CitiGold... on this promo, while they mention terms for minimum balance for CitiGold I don't see a kicker for CitiGold. Right?

(Btw, presently min balance for CG is $100,000 for deposit accounts but dropping to $50,000 in October.)

wizardknight said: Not a bad deal all things considered. Assuming you could get ~$300 for selling $400 in gift cards that would be ~7.2%/y for two months. Might not be a bad way to use some 0% CC money.

Are you living off the land or something? Why not just "sell them to yourself" at face by getting GCs at retailers you would actually use and alternatively spend real cash at? Yeah the 10,000 pts for $100 options are fewer now, but you should be able to get at least ~ $350 in GCs out of this even at the premium redemptions of 6,000 pts for $50.

This looks like a decent deal. Believe it or not, I just applied last week for the Citi Forward to use for my entertainment,restaraunt, Amazon purchases. I was going to get an authorized user for the account, so my wife could get a card. But maybe I should have her just open her own.
I also have a good bit of liquid cash sitting around (see bagofchips post above) that I could probably supplement this deal with. Maybe open an account for myself and my wife.
Therefore:

Citi Forward account #1 opened - 8500 Thank you points
Citi Forward account #2 opened - 8500 Thank you points
Citi Checking #1 opened w/ $6k - 20000 Thank you points
Citi Checking #2 opened w/ 6k - 20000 Thank you points

So thats almost 60k in points right there, or ~$500 in GCs... Should I go for this?
Im also getting a PenFed Visa plat for gas purchases (Yes, Im trying out the whole credit card 'swiss army knife' technique)

And yes, I always pay my CC balances off every month

Kind of surprised this is getting so much green / attention. This is an awful lot of money to tie up just for a potential $200 in Gift Cards. The second part of the deal is even worse.

Am I just missing something?

Either way, thanks OP for posting it.

Whether that's an awful lot and tied up is obviously subjective.

If you have liquid funds that you just aren't going to do anything else with but put in savings (and no plans to use any time soon), I made the point above that it seems a decent-enough kicker on your money.

So what deal will you do instead w/ that $25K? Maybe I'll do likewise.

defjukie said: Kind of surprised this is getting so much green / attention. This is an awful lot of money to tie up just for a potential $200 in Gift Cards. The second part of the deal is even worse.

Am I just missing something?

Either way, thanks OP for posting it.


For liquid money this is a good deal. The best liquid money account is about 2%, so going on that here are my own calculations for $25K in liquid money.

2% High yield savings: $25K x 3 months = $125 before income tax
Citibank $25K bonus deal: $25 x3 months = $43 before income tax

Final Tally After income tax (this will vary based your tax bracket, I'm in 33% fed income + 9.55 CA tax)

2% high yield savings: $71
Citibank $25K bonus deal: $24 + $200 (thank you pts) = $224

As you can see, the citibank deal smashes any high yield savings after taxes. It's even better if you can do the Citibank checking account deal for only $6K, which you can park in the Ultimate Savings account for .7% yield.

Neidman said: Back in '08 when Citi had a similar offer you could fund your new account with a credit card. Any idea of that might still be the case?

??

This deal sounds good to me. I assume I'm not eligible for the checking part, though, because I already have an EZ Checking account.

The savings part would be pretty convenient for me. I typically park $20k-$30k at Citi anyway. I've been thinking over moving money to a higher-yielding account, but I hate waiting for ACH transfers. Getting rewarded to leave the money where it's most convenient for me would be great. The stipulation that the account has to be funded with outside money isn't a problem, because I recently moved most of my balance at Citibank elsewhere temporarily. I'm just not sure I'm eligible, because I have an EZ Checking account, not a Citibank Account. If you click through to the page for existing customers, the terms say you need an eligible checking account, but they don't specify which are eligible.

Kind of funny that I've been a Citibank customer for 4 or 5 years and this would be my fourth savings account with them. They aren't big on offering higher rates or promotions for existing savings accounts.

Joe328 said: This looks like a decent deal. Believe it or not, I just applied last week for the Citi Forward to use for my entertainment,restaraunt, Amazon purchases. I was going to get an authorized user for the account, so my wife could get a card. But maybe I should have her just open her own.
I also have a good bit of liquid cash sitting around (see bagofchips post above) that I could probably supplement this deal with. Maybe open an account for myself and my wife.
Therefore:

Citi Forward account #1 opened - 8500 Thank you points
Citi Forward account #2 opened - 8500 Thank you points
Citi Checking #1 opened w/ $6k - 20000 Thank you points
Citi Checking #2 opened w/ 6k - 20000 Thank you points

So thats almost 60k in points right there, or ~$500 in GCs... Should I go for this?
Im also getting a PenFed Visa plat for gas purchases (Yes, Im trying out the whole credit card 'swiss army knife' technique)

And yes, I always pay my CC balances off every month


Fundamentally, the credit card deals are independent of this deal since you can do either independently.

The most important interaction is that it may be harder to use Thank You points for gift cards to stores you would regularly shop at. For my family the Land's end gift cards (usable at Sears and K-Mart also) are reasonable choices. However, we have been accumulating them much faster than we use them (due to having a CITI AMEX that gives 5% and 3%, plus some special offers, plus a Forward card). When you add a second promotion to the first, the period of time until you use the gift cards in ordinary spending goes up.

A positive interaction is that you can lose points when you close an account 30 days to use them), or often be forced to spend the remaining points on a less valuable reward. Having another source of points may make it a little easier to manage this problem.

A plausible scenario is that you eventually decide to close the banks accounts to avoid the fees (or minimum deposit requirements). You then have 30 days to use the points (you may have some from just using the accounts even if you have already used the bonus points).If the credit card is generating points still you may find it easier to use the points. Say you have 2,000 bank points on closing and that does not get you a desired reward that needs 2500 points. If you expect say 600 points from the card before the 30 days are up, you could spend 2500 points, fully using the bank points (they use first in, first out accounting). the unused 100 points are credit card points and will remain if you still have the card.

Those considering opening new checking accounts should be aware that CITI is making it hard to avoid fees for statements closing after late October. They are eliminating direct deposits as a way to avoid fees and raising the age for Senior Citizens to qualify for fee waivers from 50 to 65. Since you have to have the account open to get the points and these come much later than you qualify, you may have to keep $6,000 in a low return investment for about 6 months (and longer if you have to argue over getting the points), which somewhat reduces the benefits (except for those over 65).

A major issue on the the saving account offer is whether you can put $25,000 in and then remove it, or whether you must tie it up for months. The terms do not appear to require you keep the funds there, but I could imagine it being an issue if you do not. Obvious strategy is to deposit $25,000, but keep total deposits at only $6,000, until you get your points to keep the account free (which may take 6 months or more).

This appears more attractive for those over 65, or who have or intend to have a CITI checking account in any case.

A technical question is whether the exclusion of those having current checking accounts would apply to those who are listed on other accounts, and whether removing them would affect this. My wife and I have opened checking accounts already, and then added the other person to the accounts. I was added to my wife's account because they said it would keep hers free (I am over 65), but that now appears not to be so, since I am not listed as first. We are thinking of closing hers to avoid the fee increases. If she was then taken off mine, she might qualify for a new account offer (anyone know?).

The error of your ways is pretty simple. The $25,000 would not be sitting in a savings account earning 1.15%. It would be sitting in a reward checking account at 2-4 times that percentage for most people here, or a CD at twice the value. You can easily get over 1.15% in a savings account anyway with very little research.

Personally, I'm not embarrassed to say that I don't quite have $25,000 liquid cash. I have a secure job, no children, and I'd rather put my money into retirement (I can turn off my retirement contributions like a faucet if I needed more liquid cash).

I'm not saying it's a horrible deal. It just doesn't seem worth it, especially since 20,000 thank you points does not equal $200 to many people.

Bagofchips said: dbl118 said: My analysis...

First deal is worth it. $200 worth of gift cards for a minimal amount of work, and that $6000 isn't losing a ton of interest.

Second deal is not worth it. Less work perhaps, but $25,000 is too much to be sitting in a low interest account. You are better off spending the time to get reward checking.


Really?

We're talking $25K that maybe could earn what? 1.15% in the top tier in some other larger consolidated account like INGDirect Electric Orange? So let's play those numbers out. *IF* you've got the liquid balances elsewhere to get to the top tier (big if for some) that's opportunity cost of .45% per year. Say you're fronting the $25K for 6 mos to get the deal... that's call it $55 in foregone interest which will really be call it $35? after-tax. So you tell me: $200 worth of gift cards (not taxable unless you hit the $600 redemption reporting trigger) or $33 in after-tax interest income. Again if you don't have the liquid balances to get the top tier, that $33 dwindles even more.

I'm eager to see the error of my ways. Really!

dbl118 said: The error of your ways is pretty simple. The $25,000 would not be sitting in a savings account earning 1.15%. It would be sitting in a reward checking account at 2-4 times that percentage for most people here, or a CD at twice the value. You can easily get over 1.15% in a savings account anyway with very little research.

Personally, I'm not embarrassed to say that I don't quite have $25,000 liquid cash. I have a secure job, no children, and I'd rather put my money into retirement (I can turn off my retirement contributions like a faucet if I needed more liquid cash).

I'm not saying it's a horrible deal. It just doesn't seem worth it, especially since 20,000 thank you points does not equal $200 to many people.


Not to take us too far off track, but I'm interested in the reward checking you refer to. Can you make a recommendation please?

ProfessorEd said: Those considering opening new checking accounts should be aware that CITI is making it hard to avoid fees for statements closing after late October. They are eliminating direct deposits as a way to avoid fees and raising the age for Senior Citizens to qualify for fee waivers from 50 to 65. Since you have to have the account open to get the points and these come much later than you qualify, you may have to keep $6,000 in a low return investment for about 6 months (and longer if you have to argue over getting the points), which somewhat reduces the benefits (except for those over 65).

A major issue on the the saving account offer is whether you can put $25,000 in and then remove it, or whether you must tie it up for months. The terms do not appear to require you keep the funds there, but I could imagine it being an issue if you do not. Obvious strategy is to deposit $25,000, but keep total deposits at only $6,000, until you get your points to keep the account free (which may take 6 months or more).

This appears more attractive for those over 65, or who have or intend to have a CITI checking account in any case.

A technical question is whether the exclusion of those having current checking accounts would apply to those who are listed on other accounts, and whether removing them would affect this. My wife and I have opened checking accounts already, and then added the other person to the accounts. I was added to my wife's account because they said it would keep hers free (I am over 65), but that now appears not to be so, since I am not listed as first. We are thinking of closing hers to avoid the fee increases. If she was then taken off mine, she might qualify for a new account offer (anyone know?).



Professored, the way to avoid fees on your citibank accounts is to "relationship" all you and your wife's accounts. Everyone in your household can be "relationship" and balances will be combined for qualification of minimal balances to avoid fees. Hope that helps.

dbl118 said: The error of your ways is pretty simple. The $25,000 would not be sitting in a savings account earning 1.15%. It would be sitting in a reward checking account at 2-4 times that percentage for most people here, or a CD at twice the value. You can easily get over 1.15% in a savings account anyway with very little research.

Personally, I'm not embarrassed to say that I don't quite have $25,000 liquid cash. I have a secure job, no children, and I'd rather put my money into retirement (I can turn off my retirement contributions like a faucet if I needed more liquid cash).

I'm not saying it's a horrible deal. It just doesn't seem worth it, especially since 20,000 thank you points does not equal $200 to many people.

Bagofchips said: dbl118 said: My analysis...

First deal is worth it. $200 worth of gift cards for a minimal amount of work, and that $6000 isn't losing a ton of interest.

Second deal is not worth it. Less work perhaps, but $25,000 is too much to be sitting in a low interest account. You are better off spending the time to get reward checking.


Really?

We're talking $25K that maybe could earn what? 1.15% in the top tier in some other larger consolidated account like INGDirect Electric Orange? So let's play those numbers out. *IF* you've got the liquid balances elsewhere to get to the top tier (big if for some) that's opportunity cost of .45% per year. Say you're fronting the $25K for 6 mos to get the deal... that's call it $55 in foregone interest which will really be call it $35? after-tax. So you tell me: $200 worth of gift cards (not taxable unless you hit the $600 redemption reporting trigger) or $33 in after-tax interest income. Again if you don't have the liquid balances to get the top tier, that $33 dwindles even more.

I'm eager to see the error of my ways. Really!



The Highest Rewards Checking account at 4% still cannot beat out this deal after taxes. See my calculations in my previous post. at 4% for 3 mo, I get $142 after taxes (tally depends on your tax rate). With this deal, I get $225. In addition, you have to do even more work for those rewards checking accounts ie 12 debits/mo, direct deposit, access online banking, etc.
If you already are earning TY pts through Citibank credit/banking or if you were going to open Citibank accounts anyway, this is a good deal. And yes, 20k TY pts IS worth $200 since you can get $100 GCs at numerous places. I mainly get Sears/Lands End, Staples, Macys gift cards.

You said...

"The Highest Rewards Checking account at 4% still cannot beat out this deal after taxes. See my calculations in my previous post. at 4% for 3 mo, I get $142 after taxes (tally depends on your tax rate). With this deal, I get $225. In addition, you have to do even more work for those rewards checking accounts ie 12 debits/mo, direct deposit, access online banking, etc.
If you already are earning TY pts through Citibank credit/banking or if you were going to open Citibank accounts anyway, this is a good deal. And yes, 20k TY pts IS worth $200 since you can get $100 GCs at numerous places. I mainly get Sears/Lands End, Staples, Macys gift cards."


1. It's not clear to me how long the $25,000 has to stay in the account. It may be more or less than 3 months.
2. The work to earn reward checking is quite minimal... it can be accomplished in less than 5 minutes a month by doing a few clicks online.
3. If you are planning to take the money out of reward checking you would still have to make the payments for both the month you take it out, and the month it goes back in anyway. This hardly matters to me since as I said it requires minimal work, but it could be a factor for some.
4. You are losing some interest on the time it takes to transfer money to and fro.
5. You may have to fight citi for the bonus.
6. Say what you want, but $200 in giftcards is not worth $200 cash to me. I don't buy from those stores.

I'm not saying this is a horrible deal. You probably do come out ahead. I just don't think you come out enough ahead to make it worth it.

Skipping 91 Messages...
Second 20K points bonus received Feb 25th. (for savings)



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