Your Guide To Opening a Citibank Account

Citi bank open account

If you’re here, you’ve likely decided on — or are strongly considering — a Citibank open account. Citibank is a global financial institution that’s been around for more than 200 years. As a leader in personal banking, credit cards and wealth management, Citibank has 2.300 branches for a total of 84,000 branches and ATMs available in the U.S.

A recent GOBankingRates survey found that more than 30% of Americans don’t have bank accounts. And many who do never consider moving their assets to another bank — even when they’re offered lucrative sign-up bonuses to do so. Whether you’re a first-time bank account owner or you have experience across multiple banks, learning how to open a Citibank account is as simple as spending a few minutes on this article.

This guide will cover every step to opening an account with Citibank, as well as main account features, how to avoid fees and whether Citibank is really the right choice for you.

How To Open an Account at Citibank in 3 Steps

You may be asking yourself “What do I need to open a Citibank account?” The Citibank account you want to open depends on your current banking needs. Are you looking for a bill-pay account to use for rent, utilities and other monthly expenses? Or do you need a secure place to grow that new car fund? Here’s what you need to get started with opening a Citibank account.

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1. Gather Your Personal Information

Whether you’re applying for an account online or in person, you’ll need these documents/information.

  • Personal information, including name and date of birth
  • Social Security number
  • Contact information, including phone number and email address
  • Employment status and income

If you decide to go to a branch to open an account, you’ll want to bring your driver’s license, state ID or military ID to verify your identity.

2. Choose an Account

Go over Citibank’s account options to decide which is best for you. Citibank’s accounts are generally designed for customers based on their account balances. There are no minimum balance requirements, but a monthly maintenance fee is charged if you don’t maintain a minimum balance.

Citibank Checking Accounts

  • Citigold: There are no monthly maintenance fees for this premium checking account, but you’ll need to maintain a monthly balance of $200,000 or more across all eligible Citi accounts. You won’t be charged out of network ATM fees and will earn 0.03% APY on your checking balance.
  • Citi Priority: Citi Priority checking has the same low-fee, interest earning features as the Citigold account, but comes with lower balance requirements. Unless you keep a combined balance of $50,000, you could pay a $30 monthly maintenance fee.
  • The Citibank Account: Unless you keep an average combined balance of $10,000 or more, you’ll have a $25 monthly maintenance fee. However, out-of-network ATM fees are waived if you maintain the balance and you can earn 0.01% in interest.
  • Basic Banking: Best for people who just want the basics, avoiding the monthly maintenance fee of $12 is simple. Maintain a balance of $1,500, schedule one bill pay or receive at least one direct deposit per statement cycle. In addition, adults over 62 qualify for free Basic Banking.
  • Access Account: Ideal for digital bankers, you’ll avoid the $10 monthly fee the same way as basic banking — maintain a balance of $1,500, schedule one bill pay or receive at least one direct deposit per statement cycle. The main difference between the Access and Basic account is checks. You won’t have check-writing privileges with the Access account.

Citibank Savings Accounts

  • Citi Savings: Interest rates depend on your account package, or which checking account you open in conjunction

3. Apply for a Citibank Open Account

You can apply to open an account online, over the phone or in person. The process should be simple if you have all the required information listed above.

To apply online, follow these steps:

  1. Go to the Citibank homepage.
  2. Click on “Open an account” on the top menu bar to the right.
  3. Select the account you would like to open.
  4. Fill out the necessary information.

To apply in person:

You can also visit your nearest Citibank branch and have a representative walk you through the application process. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, you’ll need to make an appointment first. Applying at a branch is preferable for customers who are new to Citibank or new to banking in general. To find a Citibank location near you, visit its branch locator and enter your location.

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To apply over the phone:

It’s possible to call 1-800-374-9500 from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. EST and speak with a representative for Citibank open account help. Have your personal documents and details ready to provide the representative with the info they ask for.

Citibank Checking Account Fees and Features

You may have noticed that Citibank has a bevy of checking, savings and CD accounts, but for the sake of simplicity, we’ll talk mostly about its checking and savings options.

Checking Account Fees and Features

Citibank is one of the best banks for a checking account. However, watch out for fees. Even the basic account has requirements to avoid maintenance fees and other charges for various transactions. Some of the fees include:

  • Monthly maintenance fees: Up to $30
  • Out of network ATM: $2.50 each on select accounts
  • Insufficient funds (NSF): $34
  • Returned deposit: $12
  • Stop payment: $30
  • Wire transfers, domestic and international: $15 to $45

Citigold

  • Best For: People who hold high account balances of $200,000 or more
  • Monthly Fees: None
  • Opening Deposit: None
  • Features:
    • Earn 0.03% APY
    • No ATM fees
    • Dedicated team
    • Free financial planning
    • Access to Citigold Concierge services

Citi Priority

  • Best For: People who hold medium-to-high account balances of $50,000 or more
  • Monthly Fees: $30 if you don’t meet the waivable minimum of $50,000 in combined balances
  • Opening Deposit: None
  • Features:
    • Earn 0.03% APY
    • No ATM fees
    • Free checkbook orders
    • Relationship pricing

The Citibank Account

  • Best For: Best for people who want interest checking and can hold a balance of $10,000 or more
  • Monthly Fees: $25 if you don’t meet the waivable minimum of $10,000 in combined balances
  • Opening Deposit: None
  • Features:
    • Earn 0.01% APY
    • First checkbook order is free
    • ATM fees waived if the minimum monthly conditions are waived

Basic Banking

  • Best For: A no-frills, basic checking account
  • Monthly Fees: $12, can be waived
  • Opening Deposit: None
  • Features:
    • Fee waived for account holders over 62
    • Maintenance fees can be waived for one bill pay or direct deposit per month

Access Checking

  • Best For: People who want the perks of banking without the hassle of overdraft fees
  • Monthly Fees: $10, can be waived
  • Opening Deposit: None
  • Features:
    • No checks
    • Fee waived for keeping a $1,500 balance, one bill pay or direct deposit per month

Citibank Savings Account Fees and Features

Interest rates depend on your account package, which checking account you open in conjunction.

Savings Account Fees and Features

Citibank only offers one savings account package, which the bank encourages all account holders to open. If it’s not linked to a checking account, the monthly fee can vary between $4.50 and $30, although it can be waived. Rates depend on the balance and are between 0.04% and 0.15% APY.

Citibank Online Savings

  • Minimum Opening Deposit: None
  • Monthly Service Fee: Same fee as the linked checking account and can be waive
  • Features:
    • Up to four free withdrawals allowed per cycle
    • Link to a Citibank checking account for overdraft protection
    • Set up automatic deposits

How To Avoid Unwanted Fees

Now that you’re acquainted with Citibank’s fees, you can strategize on how to avoid them.

Preventing Unwanted Fees

  1. Set up alerts: You can get email or mobile notifications when your balance gets below a set amount. It could save you from overdraft fees, which add up.
  2. Overdraft protection: Link your Citibank savings account along to your checking account so the funds you need automatically cover checks or debits.
  3. Avoid ATM fees: Except for Access and Basic Checking, ATM fees from non-network machines may be waived.

Should You Open a Citibank Account?

There are many solid banks that provide competitive rates and services. However, Citibank holds its own due to the large network of nationwide branches and ATMs and the number of account options.

Pros

  • Interest-earning checking accounts
  • 84,000 branches and ATMs available in the U.S.
  • One of the largest, most recognizable banks in the country
  • Large variety of credit cards available

Cons

  • Savings account options are limited
  • No free accounts; only ones with the ability to waive the monthly fee are available
  • Low APY on your balances

How Does Citibank Compare to Other Banks?

Citibank offers bank accounts for individuals who prefer a traditional, in-person banking experience and for online bankers. But has the bank spread too thin by trying to do both? Here’s how much you’ll pay for the same services at competing banks.

Account Fees and Rates Comparison

Wells Fargo

  • Basic Checking Account Fees: $10, can be waived
  • Basic Savings Account Fees: $5 monthly fee; waived when you meet account requirements
  • Overdraft Fees: $35
  • ATM Fees: $0 at Wells Fargo ATMs; $2.50 at non-Wells Fargo ATMs
  • Basic Saving Interest Rate: 0.01% APY

Ally Bank

  • Basic Checking Account Fees: No monthly maintenance
  • Basic Savings Account Fees: No monthly maintenance fees
  • Overdraft Fees: $25
  • ATM Fees: $0 at Allpoint ATMs; $10 in fees refunded per month from other ATMs
  • Basic Saving Interest Rate: 0.50% APY

TD Bank

  • Basic Checking Account Fees: $15; can be waived with a $100 daily balance or if you’re between 17 and 23 years old
  • Basic Savings Account Fees: $5; several ways to waive fee
  • Overdraft Fees: $35
  • ATM Fees: $0 at TD Bank ATMs; $3 at non-TD Bank ATMs
  • Simple Savings Interest Rate: 0.02% APY

Chime Bank

  • Basic Checking Account Fees: No monthly or minimum balance fees
  • Basic Savings Account Fees: No monthly or minimum balance fees
  • Overdraft Fees: None
  • ATM Fees: $0 at MoneyPass ATMs; $2.50 elsewhere
  • Basic Saving Interest Rate: 0.50% APY

Chase Bank

  • Chase Total Checking Account Fees: $12; options to waive fees
  • Basic Savings Account Fees: $5; waived when you meet account requirements
  • Overdraft Fees: $34
  • ATM Fees: $0 at Chase ATMs; $2.50 at non-Chase ATMs
  • Basic Saving Interest Rate: 0.01% APY

Capital One

  • Basic Checking Account Fees: $0 in monthly or maintenance fees
  • Basic Savings Account Fees: $0 monthly fees
  • Overdraft Fees: $35
  • ATM Fees: $0
  • Basic Saving Interest Rate: 0.40% APY

Is Citibank the Bank for You?

Citibank’s wide range of account options for people with all types of balances makes it easy to grow with the bank. In addition, you’ll find plenty of credit card products and loan options.

There is probably a Citibank branch or ATM near you, making the bank a convenient option if you travel often. And last but not least, Citibank’s signup bonuses can be lucrative. You can earn free cash, simply for opening an account.

Cynthia Bowman contributed to the reporting for this article.

Rates and fees are subject to change.

This content is not provided by Citibank and the companies mentioned. 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 and the companies mentioned.

About the Author

Levi joined GOBankingRates in 2019. He's found success in financial, political and military lifestyle writing, with work appearing on MSN, Yahoo Finance, OurMilitary.com and more. With a background in narrative writing, he enjoys turning interesting conversations into impactful content.

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