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Earn a $700 sign-up bonus with this Citi checking account

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CNN Underscored reviews financial products such as credit cards and bank accounts based on their overall value. We may receive a commission through Citi if you apply and are approved for an account on this page, but our reporting is always independent and objective.

Our quick take: The Citi Priority checking account offers an exceptional bonus of up to $700, though steep deposit requirements apply. But the account comes with mobile and online banking access, and Citi operates more than 65,000 fee-free ATMs nationwide.

Pros:

  • Earn a $700 deposit bonus with a minimum of $50,000 moved to Citi and maintained there for at least 60 consecutive days.
  • Citi mobile banking features and online bill pay.
  • Access to 65,000-plus fee-free ATMs within the United States.
  • Refer friends and family for more bonus cash.

Cons:

  • High new money deposit of $50,000 or more required to earn the bonus.
  • Must maintain an average minimum balance of $50,000 to avoid a $30 monthly service fee.
  • $700 bonus will be reported to the IRS as interest to the first signer on the account.

Best for: People with a high net worth who have a large stash of cash to park somewhere and want to earn a sizable bonus for opening a new checking account, as well as those who want convenient access to fee-free ATMs almost anywhere in the country.

See how to qualify for a $700 cash bonus when you open a new Citi Priority checking account.

If you have a significant chunk of cash and you’re looking for a new checking account that pays out a big bonus, the Citi Priority Account Package is worth a look. Right now, through June 30, 2021, you can earn a $700 cash bonus when you open a new Citi Priority checking account, deposit at least $50,000 in funds from a non-Citi account within 30 days of account opening, then maintain that amount for at least 60 consecutive calendar days.

That’s a high deposit threshold to meet, but it can be doable for those willing to move their emergency funds over to Citi, as well as people in the process of saving up for a large expense. However, the account also charges a $30 monthly fee unless you maintain at least $50,000 in the account beyond the initial offer period, so you’ll need to plan on keeping your money in the account for the long term to avoid being charged.

Open a new Citi Priority checking account with a potential $700 cash bonus.

The biggest upside that comes with opening a Citi Priority checking account is its potential $700 in bonus cash. You’ll have to move a significant amount of new money ($50,000) to the account to qualify, yet you can get a return on those funds relatively quickly, at which point you can decide whether to continue on with the account.

Another benefit of the Citi Priority account is its massive network of ATMs, which include 65,000 fee-free ATMs nationwide. For those who still prefer to bank in person, Citi has a significant worldwide footprint, with over 2,600 branches in 19 countries, including almost 700 in the United States. However, while the bank’s ATMs are widespread, its branches are concentrated in just a handful of states.

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With 65,000 fee-free ATMs, you’ll have no problems accessing your money from a Citi Priority checking account.

But even if you don’t have a nearby branch, with the Citi Priority account, you also get easy access to Citi’s mobile banking features, including online bill pay. Citi also has a referral program that lets you earn more cash when you refer friends to Citi and they also open a new account.

Finally, Citi Priority comes with some elite travel and banking benefits. For example, account holders get select waived fees on stop payments, incoming wire transfers, money orders and more. Members also enjoy no foreign transaction fees on purchases made with the Citi Priority debit card.

Get access to over 65,000 fee-free ATMs with a new Citi Priority account.

By far, the biggest downside of this account is the enormous amount of money you need to deposit and maintain in order to earn the bonus and avoid monthly fees. Even after you deposit at least $50,000 into your new account within 30 days and keep it there for at least 60 days to earn the $700 bonus, you have to maintain a balance of at least $50,000 in order to avoid the $30 monthly maintenance fee.

If you decide to instead simply pay the monthly fees on an ongoing basis, they would quickly eat away at the bonus you earned for opening the account. In fact, at $30 a month, you’d be charged $700 in fees in just 23 months, so you really need to either plan on keeping the money in this account or making a rapid decision on whether the account is worth it.

The fine print on this offer is also rather stiff. For example, in the terms and conditions, it states that “If your Minimum Balance drops for even one day below the required balance applicable to your Eligible Package during the Maintenance Period, you will not be eligible for this promotion.” So you need to be extremely sure not to fall under the $50,000 threshold for 60 days after you first deposit the money.

Also, according to the terms, the $700 cash bonus gets paid within 90 calendar days after you’ve completed all required activities, so that means you could be committed to this account for as long as 180 days, since you have up to 30 days to first deposit the $50,000, then you have to maintain it for another 60 days and then it could be another 90 days before you actually get the bonus.

Finally, remember that the $700 checking bonus will need to be reported as interest income on your tax return. That makes it a little less valuable when you compare it to credit card rewards, which are typically considered to be a rebate and thus not counted when calculating income taxes.

Related: How to choose the best checking account.

Keep in mind that Citi currently has a few other checking account offers that can earn bonus cash, although the requirements vary. The following chart shows the bonus offers and requirements for each type of account, as well as other details.

Citibank® Account Package Citi Priority Account Package Citigold® Account Package
Bonus offer $300 $700 $1,500
Minimum deposit requirement $15,000 $50,000 $200,000
Monthly account fee $25 if you don’t maintain an average monthly balance of $10,000 or more $30 if you don’t maintain an average monthly balance of $50,000 or more $0

As you can see, the Citibank Account Package may be worth a look if you want to earn a cash bonus but you don’t have $50,000 to meet the minimum deposit requirement on the Citi Priority account. Meanwhile, the Citigold Account Package could be a good fit if you have a massive amount of cash that you want to keep in a checking account, and you never want to worry about paying a monthly fee.

If you’re currently looking for a new checking account and you have $50,000 that you can keep on deposit for several months at minimum, the Citi Priority account is worth considering. Just remember that, once you earn the $700 bonus, you’ll have to continue on with at least $50,000 in your account to avoid a $30 monthly account fee.

These are some big requirements to meet, and keep in mind that plenty of other checking accounts with bonus offers come with lower minimum deposit requirements. Before you open a new account, make sure that the bonus is worth pursuing, and that you can meet the requirements to earn it with ease.

Learn more about the Citi Priority Account Package and how to earn a $700 bonus.

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