How To Avoid Citibank Fees

Citigroup
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Citibank, one of the biggest banks in America, offers its customers a full array of banking products and services, including banking accounts and credit cards. Many banks charge their account holders fees to take care of overhead costs. These fees can range from overdraft penalties to ATM fees and more.

However, many banks offer their customers ways to circumvent these fees, and Citibank is no different. Citibank’s monthly maintenance fees can be avoided using strategies such as maintaining a designated monthly balance.

Citibank Checking Account Fees

Citibank’s monthly checking account fees are $10 to $30, depending on the package. Citibank offers customers five packages through which they can open a checking account. These packages cover a range of banking needs, from personal checking accounts (through its Basic Banking or Access Account packages) to wealth management (through its Citigold package).

Account Monthly Service Fee Option to Earn Interest
Citigold N/A Yes
Citi Priority $30 Yes
The Citibank Account $25 Yes
Basic Banking $12 No
Access Account $10 No
Information is accurate as of June 1, 2021.

As you can see, not all the accounts require a monthly service fee, and not all of them earn interest. One characteristic all the accounts share is that you do not need to make a deposit to open the account. But what about other checking account fees?

More From Your Money
Fee Amount Charged
Out-of-network ATM fee $2.50 in the U.S.; additional 3% fee for transactions made outside U.S. and Puerto Rico
Overdraft $34
Foreign exchange fee 3% of transaction
Wire transfers $15-$45
Information is accurate as of June 1, 2021.

Some of these fees, and other fees not listed, may be waived, depending on the account package you have.

Citibank Savings Account Fees

Citibank’s monthly savings account fees are $4.50 for basic accounts but can be as high as $30 for accounts that are part of a package, or waived entirely. Like its checking accounts, Citibank’s savings account offerings are spread across five different packages, which customers can choose from based on their savings goals and needs. Each Citibank savings package comes with interest rates that vary depending on the balance.

Account Monthly Service Fee APY
Citigold N/A 0.04%-0.15%
Citi Priority $30 for savings and linked checking account 0.04%-0.15%
The Citibank Account $25 0.04%-0.13%
Basic Banking
  • $4.50 for savings account only
  • $12 for savings and linked checking account
0.04%-0.06%
Access Account
  • $4.50 for savings account only
  • $10 for savings and linked checking account
0.04%-0.06%
Information is accurate as of June 1, 2021.

Citigold account holders do not need to worry about a monthly service fee. However, the lowest rate available for all of the accounts is below the national average, which is 0.06% APY, according to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.

How To Avoid Citibank’s Monthly Maintenance Fees

Most Citibank account packages allow customers to waive monthly maintenance fees through balance minimums or qualifying deposits and payments. Here’s a breakdown of how to avoid fees for each package:

  • Citigold
    • No monthly fees with your Citigold account package
  • Citi Priority
    • Your average monthly balance from your checking or savings account must be greater than $50,000. This figure can be reached through a combination of eligible linked retirement and investment accounts.
  • The Citibank Account
    • Your average monthly balance from your checking or savings account must be greater than $10,000. A combination of eligible linked retirement and investment accounts can help you reach this figure.
  • Basic Banking
    • Make one qualifying direct deposit and bill payment per statement period.
    • Maintain an average monthly balance greater than $1,500 in your checking or savings account or in a combination of eligible linked accounts.
    • The monthly service fee is waived for customers ages 62 and older.
    • For a Basic Banking savings account that’s not linked to a checking account, maintain a monthly balance of $500 or more.
  • Access Account
    • Make one qualifying direct deposit or bill payment per statement period.
    • Maintain an average monthly balance greater than $1,500 in your checking or savings account or in a combination of eligible linked accounts.
    • For an Access savings account that’s not linked to checking, maintain a monthly balance of $500 or more.

More From Your Money

How To Avoid Citibank’s Overdraft Fees

The best way to avoid Citibank’s overdraft fees is to not overdraw. It sounds simple, but it can be complicated if your account is linked to several automatic payments that require vigilance on your part. Citibank’s overdraft fee is $34, which is close to or the same as what other banks charge.

Luckily, Citibank offers its customers two forms of overdraft protection, but you’ll pay a $10 fee for the convenience. Here’s a look at each option:

  • Checking Plus: This plan acts as a revolving line of credit if you overdraw or a cashed check exceeds your funds. The $10 fee applies once the funds are transferred over to your account to cover the overdraft.
  • Safety Check: Citi will transfer funds from your linked savings account to your checking account to cover an overdraft. The $10 fee applies each day Citi covers the overdraft.

Citibank does not approve transactions that would overdraw an Access Account, so customers with this option don’t need to worry about overdraft fees.

How To Avoid Citibank’s ATM Fees

Citibank’s ATM fee for both international and domestic ATM use is $2.50, which is worth noting since some banks charge $5 for ATMs used outside the U.S. If you withdraw cash at an ATM outside of the U.S. and Puerto Rico, you may incur a 3% foreign exchange fee, depending on the type of account you have.

The easiest way to avoid ATM fees is to use Citibank ATMs whenever possible. You can locate the nearest Citibank ATM on Citibank’s website or via the bank’s mobile app. You can also use ATMs at participating Walgreens, CVS Pharmacy, Target, Rite Aid and Duane Reade locations.

Citibank will waive some ATM fees, depending on the package you select. There are no ATM fees for Citi Priority and Citigold accounts. The Citibank Account Package waives the fee if your balance is $10,000 or more. The fee is also waived for Basic Banking account owners ages 62 or older.

How Fees at Citibank and Other Banks Compare

Citibank carries most of the same fees as other banks. To see how Citibank measures up, review the table below.

Fee Wells Fargo Chase Bank of America Citibank
Monthly maintenance Up to $25 Up to $35 Up to $25 Up to $30
Out-of-network ATM withdrawal In U.S.: $2.50

Outside U.S.: $5

In U.S.: $2.50

Outside U.S.: $5

In U.S.: $2.50

Outside U.S.: $5

$2.50 in the U.S.; additional 3% fee for transactions made outside U.S. and Puerto Rico
Overdraft (non-sufficient funds) $35 $34 $35 $34
Excess transactions Undisclosed $5 $10 No fee
Wire transfer $15-$30 $5-$50 Varies $15-$45
International debit purchase 3% of transaction 3% of transaction 3% of transaction 3% of transaction
Information is accurate as of June 1, 2021. Fees listed reflect amounts typically charged; exceptions may apply.

Citibank’s fees are mostly aligned with those of other major banks. But, unlike some other banks, Citibank doesn’t charge fees when it comes to excess transactions.

Getting the Most out of Your Citibank Account

The Citibank account that’s right for you depends on your financial needs. Of course, you want to make sure you’ll save on fees, but here are some other questions to ask yourself when choosing an account:

  • Is it for personal or business needs?
  • How much money am I spending per month?
  • How much do I want to save?
  • Do I want an interest-bearing account?
  • Will this account benefit me over time?
  • Can I take advantage of this account’s features, such as waivers?

If you take the time to think about what you want — and need — from an account before you sign up, you’ll have a better chance of getting a banking product you’ll be satisfied with for years to come.

Rates are subject to change. All information is accurate as of June 1, 2021.

This content is not provided by Citibank. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author alone and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by Citibank.

About the Author

Sean joined the GOBankingRates team in 2018, bringing with him several years of experience with both military and collegiate writing and editing experience. Sean’s first foray into writing happened when he enlisted in the Marines, with the occupational specialty of combat correspondent. He covered military affairs both in garrison and internationally when he deployed to Afghanistan. After finishing his enlistment, he completed his BA in English at UC Berkeley, eventually moving to Southern California.

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