Citi Accelerate Savings Review — High-Yield Online Savings

Find out if this Citi product is right for you.

The traditional big banks have seen some major competition of late from their online competitors. Without the cost of maintaining physical branches, online banks can offer far more competitive interest rates on their savings accounts than those of the nation’s most popular banks.

Citbank, however, is one major bank that’s not taking it lying down. With the introduction of its Accelerate Savings Account, Citi appears to be trying to show that the benefits of high-yield savings accounts don’t have to be limited to online banks. However, the product comes with some major limitations, one being that a significant portion of the American population lives in states where the account isn’t available.

Take a deeper dive into the Citi Accelerate savings account and see whether or not it’s the right choice for you.

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Citi Accelerate Savings Account Review

The Citi Accelerate Savings account offers a competitive rate to other high-yield savings accounts but with the significant advantage of being offered by a bank with some 700 U.S. branches and 65,000 fee-free ATMs. If you’re seeking a great rate but couldn’t see yourself using a strictly online bank, this Citibank account could represent just the sort of compromise you’re looking for.

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However, the Accelerate Savings account isn’t offered everywhere. You won’t be able to access the product if you reside in the following areas:

  • California
  • Connecticut
  • Florida (select areas)
  • Illinois
  • Maryland
  • Nevada
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • Virginia
  • Washington, D.C.

And even if you do live somewhere that allows you to open an Accelerate Savings account, it requires you to sign up for one of six designated banking packages that include Citi checking accounts.

For loyal Citi customers living in a place where the product is offered, this is all pretty wonderful news. You can continue banking with your preferred institution while adding the enormous benefit of a high-yield savings account. However, for people who are already happy with their current bank or live outside the available zone, the Accelerate Savings account just isn’t for you.

Who Is Citi Accelerate Best For?

  • Loyal Citi customers looking for better rates
  • People who live in one of the areas where the account is offered

Who Should Pass on Citi Accelerate?

  • Residents in one of the areas the account isn’t offered in
  • People who are satisfied with their current checking account

Alternative Ways To Save With Citibank

For Citibank customers living in areas where they can’t sign up for Citi Accelerate, you can soothe some of your disappointment by using one of the myriad other options offered by Citi in your area.

  • Citi Savings
  • Citi Interest Checking
  • Certificates of deposit
  • Citibank IRAs

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How To Open a Citi Accelerate Savings Account

Opening a Citi Accelerate Savings account is a quick and simple process that you can do online or in person at a Citi branch.

To sign up online, simply visit Citibank’s homepage and navigate to the section on savings accounts through the “Banking” menu. There, you should see a prominently displayed offer for the rate in your area along with a button labeled “sign up.”

Is Citi Accelerate the Right Option?

A significant portion of the American public won’t have to mull too hard over the decision to sign up for a Citi Accelerate Savings account, as it’s not an option in many areas. And for plenty of other people, the additional need to sign up for one of Citi’s banking packages will likely make it a moot point anyway. If you’re already happy with your current bank, there are plenty of options for high-yield savings accounts that don’t require you to sign up for another checking account.

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However, if you are living in the right area and happy with Citibank, Citi Accelerate presents a unique opportunity to enjoy the high rates of an online bank as well as the physical infrastructure of a traditional bank.

So, if you’re already a Citi customer or someone who doesn’t have strong feeling about your current bank, Citi Accelerate could be a great fit for you.

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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.

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About the Author

Joel Anderson is a business and finance writer with over a decade of experience writing about the wide world of finance. Based in Los Angeles, he specializes in writing about the financial markets, stocks, macroeconomic concepts and focuses on helping make complex financial concepts digestible for the retail investor.