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Citi Accelerate Savings Account Review: High Rates from a Big Bank

(4 out of 5) MyBankTracker Editor's Rating

With so many banks offering savings accounts, it’s easy to develop the mentality that all savings accounts are the same. 

But while every savings account serves the same basic function—to protect and grow your money—some accounts can offer a higher return on your cash.

If you’re looking for a new way to maximize your savings growth, Citi’s Accelerate High-Yield Savings account shines as a strong option -- even when compared to some popular online savings accounts.

While the account offers a very high savings rate, it's important to note that it isn't available to everyone and the account must be opened alongside a Citi checking account.

Here’s what you need to know when deciding whether the Citi Accelerate Savings is the right choice for you.

Citi Accelerate Savings Account Pros & Cons

Pros Cons
  • Offers a highly competitive savings rate
  • No minimum opening deposit
  • Convenient access available with online and mobile banking
  • Must be opened with a Citibank account package
  • Only available in markets without a major Citibank branch presence

Eligible Applicants

First and foremost, the Citi Accelerate Savings account is not available to applicants with a residential address in:

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

Additionally, the Citi Accelerate Savings account must be opened as part of a Citi banking package.

This means:

It must be opened alongside a Citi checking account.

The most appropriate option is the Citi Elevate account, which is designed to be available for the same markets as the Citi Accelerate Savings account.

Among the Market-Leading Savings Rates

If you keep your savings account with a brick and mortar bank, you might become accustomed to earning a low interest rate. 

What many people don’t realize, though, is that it is possible to earn higher rates and grow their balances faster.

As a high-yield savings account, the Citi Accelerate Savings will earn more than your traditional savings account. 

Be confident that you’ll receive a rate that’s higher than those offered by brick and mortar banks. 

The top-notch savings rate will prove to be helpful for financial goals such as:

Also, interest with the Citi Savings compounds daily and you’re paid monthly.

Monthly Service Fee

Monthly service or maintenance fees are common with some bank accounts.

The average cost of a monthly fee can range from $5 to $25 or more, depending on account features. 

The Citi Accelerate Savings account has a monthly fee of $4.50.

The only way to waive the monthly fee is to maintain an average monthly balance of at least $500.

Savings on Autopilot

Some people might agree that the hardest part of building a savings account is remembering to put money in the account. 

Many financial experts recommend paying yourself first. Yet, many people only think about saving money after they’ve paid their bills. And sometimes, there isn’t much left over.

Now:

To make paying yourself easier, the Citi Accelerate Savings account gives the option to set up recurring automatic transfers.

To do so, though, you’ll need to link a checking account to your Citi Accelerate Savings. 

You can choose how often to transfer funds into your savings account.

You can select the transfer amount, date, frequency, and duration. 

Overdraft Protection

Life happens. So at some point in the future you might forget about a check you’ve written or a debit card transaction.

This can result in having insufficient funds in your checking account. 

Overdrawing your account can lead to costly fees. To avoid this, sign up for Safety Check. You’ll receive overdraft protection in the event that you don’t have enough funds in your account to cover a transaction. 

You’ll link your Citi Accelerate Savings account with your Citi checking account. If there’s ever insufficient funds in your checking account, money from your savings account will transfer to checking to cover the transaction. 

Keep in mind:

Depending on your account package, you’ll pay a $10 fee for every overdraft protection transfer.

No Minimum Opening Deposit

Another great feature of the Citi Accelerate Savings account is that you don’t need a lot of money to get started. 

As you shop around and compare savings accounts, you’ll find that some banks have a minimum opening deposit of $25, $100, or $500 (or more).

Convenient Features Offered by Citi

Convenience is also important when choosing a savings account or bank. Accessing money in your Citi savings account has never been easier.

The bank offers convenient ATM and branch locations throughout the country. 

You can also take advantage of many digital tools. These allow you to manage your account from anywhere, anytime.

For example, check your balance, transfer funds, and deposit checks through your mobile device. 

You can even set up balance and deposit alerts. Also, you can bank with confidence because funds in your account are FDIC-insured up to $250,000.

Other Citi Fees to Know About

In addition to the monthly service fee and overdraft fee, be mindful that there’s also a fee when using a non-Citi Bank ATM. 

Actual fees will vary depending on your banking package.

For example, if you have an Access Account package—which includes your Citi Accelerate Savings and a Regular Checkless account, there’s a $2.50 per withdrawal fee when using a non-Citi ATM. 

If you have a Citi Accelerate Savings along with a Citi Regular Checking, there’s no fee for using a non-Citi ATM, if you’re age 62 or older. 

Then again, if you have a Citi Accelerate Savings account with a Regular Interest Checking account, you’ll pay no ATM fee as long as you meet the monthly balance requirement.

Compared to Other Savings Accounts

When shopping for a savings account, it’s also important to research the competition to make sure you choose the right account for your needs.

Other high-yield savings accounts comparable to the Citi Accelerate Savings include:

Marcus Online Savings by Goldman Sachs

This high-yield savings account offers a rate that’s four times the national average.

You can get started with no minimum deposit and no monthly service fee. 

To start transfers in and out of your account, link another checking or savings account with your Marcus Online Savings. Funds in this account are FDIC-insured.

Read the Marcus Online Savings editor's review.

American Express Personal Savings

An American Express Personal Savings account also allows you to open an account with no monthly fee and no minimum balance. Funds are FDIC-insured up to $250,000. Plus, you’re able to link up to three bank accounts. 

You can also set up recurring transfers to maintain a regular savings schedule. There’s the option to schedule your transfers online or over the phone. 

Interest compounds daily and you’re paid monthly.

Read the American Express Personal Savings editor's review.

Discover Bank Online Savings

Discover’s online savings account offers a rate that’s five times the national savings average and features no account fees.

Therefore, you don’t pay a monthly maintenance fee or an excessive withdrawal fee. 

Open an account with no minimum opening deposit. Also, interest compounds daily and you’re paid monthly. Enjoy other convenient features, too, such as mobile check deposit.

Read the Discover Bank Online Savings editor's review.

Final Verdict

If you’re looking to establish a relationship with a major bank and you prefer managing your savings account online, the Citi Accelerate Savings account is worth consideration. 

You can earn a higher return on your money.

Keep in mind, though, that you can only get a higher rate when you open a Citi Accelerate Savings as part of a banking package. These packages can include a regular checking account or an interest checking account. 

With many other banks, you don’t have to open a package to benefit from high-yield savings. 

Keep in mind, too, that this high-yield savings account is only available in select states. So depending on where you live, you might not have access to the account. 

If you have access to this account, a Citi Accelerate Savings account is an excellent tool. You can grow your savings account faster and hit your financial goals in record time.