Screenshot of Checking Account Home Page Citibank

A checking account is a vital part of any banking journey and tends to set the tone for the relationship with that particular bank. Without a checking account, it is increasingly difficult for a customer to build up a reputation with a bank. Customers tend to opt for the options that are most agreeable to their individual situations. Citibank Checking Accounts offer customers a range to choose from. This review compares the checking account range with some of the best in the world.

A checking account offering that left us a bit flustered, was the one offered by Royal Bank of Scotland.

About Citibank

Screenshot of the History of Citibank

Founded in 1812, the bank opened its doors as the private bank to a business tycoon. It wasn’t until much later in the 1800s that the bank opened its operations to the general public. It became a formidable force in the financial world and was soon known as one of the top banks in New York.

The 1900s was a period of expansion and the first branch outside the US was established in Argentina. Other branches dotted across the world soon followed. During Word War I, the bank played an important role in the industry. But its glorious reputation was soon tarnished when its then CEO, Charles E. Mitchell, orchestrated one of the biggest financial disasters in American history. Black Tuesday was the start of the Great Depression and many saw their livelihoods disappear before their eyes. Some of the most affected groups of people included the war veterans and the middle class.

After WWII, the aim was to restore America back to its former glory. In the fifties, manufacture and industry sought to do just that. Over the next few decades, the bank introduced more products and services, and everything seemed to be well on track for one of the most prosperous nations in the world. In 2008, this all changed as the banks folded under the pressure of the market crash. This was caused by poor investments in the subprime mortgage markets and Citibank was right in the middle of it.

Citibank is not the only American bank with a rich history. Learn more about the colorful history of Wells Fargo in this full review.

Best Practices for Managing a Checking Account

A checking account is one of the key levers customers can pull when it comes to the relationships with their banks. However, in order for this to work to the advantage of the customer, it’s integral that the account is managed well. Once this is done, there are a number of ways the checking account can count in the favor of a customer.

Keep the Account in a Positive Balance

One of the best things to do to ensure the good health of an account is to keep it in a positive balance. This is not only healthy for the account but will also avoid penalty charges and fees on the account.

Take Advantage of Special Offers

Certain accounts offer special features such as unlimited withdrawals from ATMs or electronic transfers. Try to capitalize on these features instead of using other means to avoid excessive fees.

Citibank Checking Accounts Product Offerings

Screenshot of a Portion of the Product Comparison Citibank

Citigold Package

This package offers customers access to more than just a checking account. Customers also have access to a dedicated team of banking professionals to take care of all their banking needs.

  • The package includes a Citigold Relationship Manager and a Citi Personal Wealth Management Financial Advisor.
  • Customers enjoy in-depth financial guidance. This is through the Citi Clarity One-on-One.
  • Furthermore, customers also have access to market insights and world-class investment capabilities.
  • Customers enjoy preferred pricing and rates on selected items.
  • There is also the opportunity to earn the highest level of Citi ThankYou Reward Points. This is for a checking relationship.
  • Also, this account carries no monthly service fees.
  • Finally, the criteria for the account is to maintain a combined average monthly balance of $200,000 or more. This is over eligible linked deposit, retirement, and investment accounts.

Citi Priority Package

This is a great package for those who want access to more than just a checking account. Furthermore, customers also have access to a Citi Personal Wealth Management Financial Advisor via phone.

  • Customers have access to investment resources in order to simplify their financial decisions.
  • The package also provides access to preferred pricing and rates on certain items.
  • Furthermore, the package offers access to a higher level of Citi ThankYou Rewards Points than ordinary checking accounts.
  • The account also offers access to tools and online facilities.
  • Finally, customers can waive the $30 monthly service fee. They need to maintain a combined average monthly balance of $50,000 or more in eligible accounts. These could include linked deposits, retirement, and investment accounts.

Citibank Account Package

Customers who wish to earn Citi ThankYou Rewards Points will find this to be a perfect fit. Furthermore, the account package also provides access to non-Citi ATMs without additional fees when the monthly balance requirements are met.

  • This accounts also provides customers with access to earn interest on their balance.
  • It also affords customers the possibility of earning higher rates on their savings and money market accounts.
  • Finally, customers can waive the $25 monthly service fee by maintaining a combined minimum balance of $10,000 in eligible deposits. These could include linked deposits, retirement, and investment accounts.

Basic Account Package

This is the ideal account for those who want a simple account, but need access to checks.

  • The account provides customers with access to unlimited checks.
  • There are also special perks for those aged 62 and older.
  • Also, the monthly service fee is waived for the first listed account for those aged 62 and older.
  • Finally, customers have the opportunity to waive the $12 monthly service fee by maintaining a balance of $1,500 or more. They can also make one qualifying direct deposit per month and one qualifying bill payment.  

Access Account Package

Customers who require a simple account that provides access to electronic services should consider this account.

  • This account provides access to a full range of Citi digital products and services.
  • Furthermore, there are no overdraft fees.
  • The account also doesn’t have any paper checks linked to it.
  • Finally, customers have the opportunity to waive the $10 monthly service fee. This is by combined deposits of $1,500 or more in eligible linked accounts. They can also make one qualifying direct deposit per month or one qualifying bill payment.

What We Like About Citibank Checking Accounts

When customers go to the bank to open a checking account, they want to know that the account they’re choosing will meet their needs. With Citibank, there are a number of options to choose from that will allow customers to safely choose the one they’re most comfortable with.

The pricing on the accounts seems reasonable and the fact that customers can waive their fees through certain transactions, make them cost effective too.

Finally, there is an account type for many of the life stages customers will go through. This includes early career right through to retirement.

Those who also want to take a look at Citibank's Credit Cards, have access to the full review.

What We Don’t Like About Citibank Checking Accounts

As much as there is a variety with these accounts, we can’t ignore that there is nothing specific for those who are attending college. Teens are also stuck here, as there is no tailored package for their needs either. This could mean the bank misses out on a big chunk of the market, as there is a credit card option for students. The product range should be a little more comprehensive if it is to satisfy the needs of all the customers.

Another point we’re not too happy about is the lack of clarity regarding the fees. There is nothing mentioned about the transaction fees, only the monthly maintenance fees. Customers who feel that they might be getting a good deal because they’re able to meet the balance requirements might be in for a shock when they see the transactional charges. Is this the case? We can’t be sure because we can’t seem to find them at all.

Critical Reviews Rating Citibank Current Accounts – 8 of 10

Screenshot of the Benefits of Checking Accounts Citibank

We take many things into consideration when determining the rating for a product. When it comes to checking or current accounts, ease of access is one of the main things. This includes accessibility to different demographics, age groups, and through various channels. In this instance, the accessibility rating doesn’t quite make it because the various age groups are not fully satisfied. This is the reason for the first point we’ve had to shave off.

The second point is due to another key aspect of a good account, and that is transparency. A customer should know exactly what they’re signing up for. This not only prevents future queries and complaints but also improves overall customer satisfaction.

For us, the most thrilling part of these accounts is that customers are rewarded for having multiple products with the bank. This increases customer loyalty and reduces the chances that they may seek assistance from other institutions. When customer stickiness improves, the overall piece of pie increases for the bank.

A bank that tends to do checking accounts well, is Bank of Ireland.