Citibank is offering a cash reward to bring new customers to their checking accounts. You can earn $100 for opening the Citigold Account, or $50 for opening the Citibank Account. Naturally, each has its own hoops to jump through, and its own requirements and fees. The deal started in January, and will last until the end of 2012. It is only available online or by phone.
To qualify for either, you must be a new Citibank customer, and in addition to opening up a new checking account, you must move at least $1,000 into the account within 45 days of opening it. Also, new customers must make one direct deposit and one electronic bill payment for two consecutive months within the first 45 days. That will require some vigilance, considering 45 days is only a month and a half.
Customers may use Citibank Online, mobile, or phone banking services to make a qualifying electronic bill payment. The $1,000 in funding cannot come from another Citi account.
The Citigold account is Citibank’s “premier banking relationship,” and it includes exclusive customer service, preferred rates and special rewards. It also comes with a $30 monthly maintenance fee unless you keep $50,000 in deposits in the account or $100,000 in combined balances with the bank (not including first mortgage).
The Citibank Account is a more stripped-down account, and it comes with a $20 monthly maintenance fee. A $15,000 average balance will waive that fee, however.