By: Revanche

Citibank Pros and Cons

July 10, 2006

I previously touched on a few things I wasn’t happy with in working with my Citibank accounts system, so I thought it’d be fair to do a full assessment.

Pros:
** Immediate online access to all my checking and high-interest savings accounts. (I suppose this could be a con for those who don’t want easy access to their savings, but I find that it just doesn’t make sense to have emergency money that’s not readily available.)
** Linking Citicards: You can link all your Citi branded cards and it will show your basic card information such as total balance, amount due, amount available, and some transactions. I don’t particularly need the transactions as I just log on to the Citicard account but it’s still handy.
** Ability to show or mask all your account numbers: Let’s be honest. I’m simple. I want to be able to do stuff online, and not have to lug every single account number around with me in my head or wallet. I can just show the account numbers so when I call with a dumb question, I don’t have to fumble around looking for any bank account information that I don’t have.
** Next Day Transfer: double -edged ability, this one. It’s great for a one day transfer of my savings from my WAMU account which is loads better (and worth 2-3 days of interest) than the transfer times I had with ING or ED. But it can be a con as well.
** Awesome sign-up bonus — when they pay you. My signup bonus was $100 for opening a checking account (after 90 days) and another $100 for linking and paying a Citi credit card online (I don’t remember how long it says I have to wait for this part). I haven’t seen my money yet since I opened the accounts at the end of April so I still have a few more weeks before they’re late. I’d opened a checking account a few years back just for the bonus and closed it soon after, and they waited a while to deposit the money but didn’t give me any problems. Feathers crossed that they’re still as hassle-free this time around!
** The requirement of having a checking account with them was good to me because they give you a set of free checks (not just starter checks, printed ones) which is convenient if you just use a few checks.
** Thank You Points: the break-up radio commercials ads may be annoying, but a little extra for free is always good. With these points I may eventually be able to liberate those stray points that never quite add up to a good reward ($100 GCs = yum!)

Squawks:
** So far it doesn’t look like they’re terribly prompt with interest payments, and I’m not a fan of the rolling statement date. I’d gotten used to the last of the month statement-ending-date with ING and ED. That’s minor though.
**As previously mentioned: The savings accounts are money market accounts, which means there’s a limit of 6 transactions per statement period. Ideally I wouldn’t need that many, but I’m still working out the allocations and everything, I need some slack!
** Next Day Transfers: from outside institutions are unreasonably restricted, very annoying. (see previous post). I can understand if this were a transfer into a checking account in which case they’d be protecting themselves from people who transfer ghost money and write bad checks which may not be caught for a while, but these. are. savings. accounts!! I can only try to transfer money out, which just wouldn’t go through anyway if I didn’t have the money!

Hm, I guess I’m more a fan of Citibank’s new accounts than I thought.
Hope this is useful for someone out there 🙂

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