I just happened to see a Citibank ad on Bankrate.com advertising 4.75% APY and went on to check it out. So I clicked on the link and was taken here. This page states – “Introducing the e-savings account with FREE Citibank EZ Checking”. Yes the FREE is in capitals on the site. Under the 4.75% APY, the Ad states – “No minimum balance required”. It is shameful that Citibank uses such deceptive marketing to sucker people into opening an account. Even the fine print does not state the minimum balance required for the EZ Checking.

So I clicked on ‘FAQ’. The FAQ also fails to mention this. I think, maybe citibank has changed the structure of the EZ Checking account and made it totally free.

So I clicked the Open Account button and it says:

You are applying for: Citibank® EZ Checking with
Regular Checking Account
e-Savings

Here if you click on EZ Checking it says:

  • Balance. To avoid monthly fees, you need to use Direct Deposit, or make two monthly bill payments, or maintain a $1,500 combined average balance.
  • Monthly Fee. Free if you meet the combined balance or if a Direct Deposit is made, or if you make two monthly bill payments. If not, $7.50 in NY, NJ & CT; $9.50 in all other states.
  • Checks. Free, if you meet the combined balance or if a Direct Deposit is made, or if you make two monthly bill payments. If not, $.50 per check in CA & NV. In all other states, 1-10 free per statement period; 11+, $1 each
  • ATM Use. Free unlimited use of Citibank ATMs. With non-Citibank ATMs: In CA, NV and NY, the fee is $1.50 per use. In all other markets, 1-5 free uses per statement period; 6+, $1.50 each.
  • Fee Rebates. Save up to $12 a year just by using Automatic Deductions!
  • Free Services. Online bill payment, online bank statements, online check images, e-mail & wireless banking alerts.

After some more investigation, I found that regular checking has a monthly fee!! Nowhere on these pages could I find any mention of that or whether the fee is waived for this package.

I had a Citibank easy checking account and was happy with the extra features like ATM reimbursements and free international access. However I will now avoid Citibank thanks to this deception.

So if you are opening an account at Citibank, always read the fine print everywhere, not just on the main page!

If you are looking for a High Yield Savings, may I recommend HSBCDirect, which is actually No Fees, No Minimums and now 4.65% APY

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