I just happened to see a Citibank ad on Bankrate.com advertising 4.75% APY and went on to check it out.Â SoÂ IÂ clickedÂ onÂ theÂ linkÂ andÂ wasÂ takenÂ 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 requiredÂ forÂ theÂ EZÂ Checking.
SoÂ IÂ clickedÂ onÂ ‘FAQ’.Â TheÂ FAQÂ alsoÂ failsÂ toÂ mentionÂ this.Â IÂ think,Â maybeÂ citibankÂ hasÂ changedÂ theÂ structureÂ of theÂ EZÂ CheckingÂ accountÂ andÂ madeÂ itÂ totallyÂ free.
SoÂ IÂ clickedÂ theÂ OpenÂ AccountÂ buttonÂ andÂ itÂ says:
You are applying for: CitibankÂ® EZ Checking with
Regular Checking Account
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.
IÂ hadÂ aÂ CitibankÂ easyÂ checkingÂ accountÂ andÂ wasÂ happyÂ withÂ theÂ extraÂ featuresÂ likeÂ ATMÂ reimbursementsÂ andÂ free internationalÂ access.Â HoweverÂ IÂ willÂ nowÂ avoidÂ CitibankÂ thanksÂ toÂ thisÂ 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