Citi Checking Account Bonus Offers
Citibank has long been generous with their checking account bonuses. A few years ago, some would argue they were too generous, given that they issued 1099s at the end of the year for the bonuses. Fortunately, that seems to have changed.
Most Citibank checking account bonuses are targeted. For example, they will target American Airlines cardholders with a bonus paid out in miles and other cardholders with a bonus paid out in ThankYou points. Thankfully it seems both of those offers are currently available.
There seem to be two main offers making the rounds. Lets take a look at them.
- Open a Citigold Account and make one qualifying bill payment for two months – get 40,000 points.
- Open a Citibank Account and make one qualifying bill payment for two months – get 20,000 points.
- Open a Basic Banking Account and make one qualifying bill payment for two months – get 10,000 points.
Officially these offers are targeted, meaning you need to have a promo code to get either of them. For the AAdvantage offer, Miles Momma has a code in the post I linked to above. Google is also your friend. In the past, these codes have worked multiple times.
If you have a promotion code, head over to this page and enter it. If you don’t have one, you can try to mention the offer to them via phone by calling 866-810-9043. In my opinion though the easiest way to go is to open an account in branch. (Note: Citi runs a SOFT credit inquiry when opening a checking account.)
In my opinion it only makes sense to open a Citigold account to get the maximum miles. The Citigold account has a $30 monthly fee. Fortunately Citi doesn’t start charging the fee until the third month, meaning it is possible to get the bonus for free. In my case it took 3 months for the miles to post, meaning I paid $30 for 30,000 miles. Once the bonus posts, you can cancel the account, or downgrade to another Citi product.
You can only get one of these bonuses every two years, so it is as good a time as any to get in on the fun. (Update: One of my readers reports doing it 4 times in the past 2-3 years, so the “two year” rule may not be strictly enforced.) Personally I would go for the ThankYou offer if you have a card that allows for transfers like the Premier or Prestige. ThankYou points are worth a lot more than they used to be now that they have transfer partners.
My wife and I both were able to get the AAdvantage miles offer back at the end of 2013. I was originally targeted in early 2013, but I was out of the country and kept running into problems with their online application website. I decided to wait until we returned home.
Unfortunately by the time we got back, our promotional code had expired, so I thought we were out of luck. Thankfully I decided to call in and was given the promotion without an issue. Similarly, my wife applied for her account in branch and was able to get the offer by simply mentioning it. (The agent looked in the system and was able to find it.)
As I mentioned before, Citi used to send out 1099s for these bonuses since they valued them at greater than $600. Thankfully, it seems as though their policy has changed. While they publicly state the ThankYou points are worth $400, the AAdvantage miles are a grey area.
Fortunately I can report in 2013 I wasn’t sent a 1099 for the miles. Others have reported the same thing. (Of course this policy can revert back at any time, so it is something to keep in mind.)
Since these checking account bonuses can generally be had every two years (people have had success doing it more often), I recommend signing up (or attempting to sign up) for one of them. Many people who haven’t been targeted have reported being able to sign up and earn the bonus
Have you ever received an offer like this from Citi? What has your experience been? Let me know in the comments!