Citibank offers competitive interest rates on its Citi Accelerate savings account, as well as many other benefits. Learn about the features, benefits and fees of the Citibank Accelerate Savings account.
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Citibank is a full-service national bank with a strong online presence as well as a national chain of physical branches.
Even though it has national coverage, many of the banking rules that govern its operation are dictated by state laws. Thus, the terms of its offers, even its online offerings, vary from state to state.
The basics of the Citi Accelerate savings account
Citibank offers two levels of savings accounts – the Basic Citi Savings Account and the Citi Accelerate Savings Account – comprising the following:
- $ 1 minimum to earn APY
- Citi Accelerate Savings Account offers one of the most competitive APY interest rates available on all balances
- Balances up to $ 250,000 are FDIC insured
- Customers can choose from different savings account packages that include other banking products such as paid checking accounts.
- Free and easy transfers between all Citibank accounts
- Access to more than 2,500 branches worldwide and an even greater number of free ATMs
- Free mobile app for banking on your mobile device
One of the main goals of a savings account is to grow your money by earning interest. Obviously, the higher the interest rate offered by a savings account, the better.
This is where the Citi Accelerate Savings Account shines. It consistently offers some of the highest interest rates in the country, which is unusual for a bank that offers both online banking and physical branches.
Plus, you earn a high rate regardless of how much balance you maintain. There are levels of packages, and sometimes the interest rate can vary between them; but in the current environment, there is no difference.
Plus, when paired with a bundle of banking products, the Savings Accelerate Account almost always includes a debit card, giving you enhanced access to your money (within the limits imposed by Federal Reserve Regulation D. to all banks).
Citi Accelerate Savings Account Monthly Service Fee
Citibank offers two types of savings accounts, stand-alone and Accelerate. As the name suggests, a stand-alone savings account is not coupled with any other Citibank banking product.
The standalone savings account has a monthly fee of $ 4.50. These fees can be waived on your Basic Savings Account if you maintain an average balance of at least $ 500 per month.
While the Accelerate Savings account is only available in certain markets, it also comes with a monthly fee of $ 4.50 – if you don’t have a checking account in the Citi Elevate account package where you maintain an average monthly balance of $ 500 or more. The same applies to its $ 2.50 non-Citibank ATM fee.
Additionally, all eligible transactions in any of the Citibank plan accounts earn rewards in their Citi Thank You Points program.
Other savings account fees
There is another charge in addition to the monthly service charge – the Settlement D charge.
Regulation D is a rule imposed by the Federal Reserve that restricts savers by limiting the number of withdrawals they can make to six transactions per month. Banks can charge fees on all transactions above this limit.
Citibank complies with Reg D by charging a fee of $ 20 for each transaction over the limit. There is no limit on the number of withdrawals or transfers that would be subject to these fees.
Citibank’s fees for withdrawals exceeding the Reg D limit of six per month are one of the highest in the banking industry, but are easily avoided by using your savings account for its intended purpose: to save money. After all, the fees can wipe out any interest you earn.
More Features and Benefits of Citi Accelerate Savings Account
While you are considering opening a savings account with Citibank, there are a few other things to consider:
You can use an accelerated savings account as a means of overdraft protection.
If a transaction overdraws your checking account, Citibank will cover this from your savings account. This feature requires the savings account to be linked to the protected current account, so it is not available on the basic (i.e. not connected) savings account.
Citibank’s fee for overdraft protection is $ 10 per day, regardless of the number of overdraft items protected.
Automatic recording program
Citibank tries to make saving easier with its Auto Save program, which allows you to put your savings on autopilot. It’s free and can be customized to suit your situation and goals.
The Auto Save program allows you to select the amount, frequency, dates and duration of the program.
A good feature of the Auto Save program is that it is not limited to pulling only Citi accounts. Citibank also has an inter-institution transfer service, which allows you to make transfers from accounts at other institutions. This applies to transfers to and from bank accounts at other banks and credit unions.
Access your account
The idea behind savings accounts is to make it easier to invest money, not withdraw it. Therefore, it is not surprising that accessing the money in your savings account is not as easy as accessing your checking account.
Getting money from a basic (i.e. not connected) savings account is most often done by visiting a branch and making an over-the-counter withdrawal. Fortunately, Citibank has several hundred branches across the country, which is easier to do than most banks. The other way to access the money you’ve saved is to transfer to another account.
Accessing your Citi Accelerate savings account, on the other hand, is much easier. There are several ways to access your money:
- Online transfer from your savings account to your linked Citibank current account or another account in your Citibank product and service package. When you use your savings account to purchase that item you have saved for, this is the most common option.
- Withdrawal from ATMs at thousands of ATMs around the world, using the debit card provided with your checking account. It gives you direct access to your Acceleration Savings account.
Citibank and some other ATMs can be used free of charge; but in an emergency almost any ATM can be used, for which Citibank charges a nominal fee.
- As with the basic savings account, an ATM withdrawal at any Citibank branch will also give you direct access to your Accelerate savings account.
Are there other ways to save with Citibank?
Citibank offers certificates of deposit (CDs). If you own a small business (even a home business would qualify), Citibank also offers a money market account.
One of the advantages of banking with Citibank is that it is part of Citigroup, which has other account offerings. The first is a savings account set up as part of an IRA (Individual Retirement Agreement). Given their competitive interest rates and FDIC insurance, an account like this could be an attractive part of your retirement investment portfolio.
In addition to banking products, Citigroup also offers investment opportunities. If you opt for the Accelerate Savings account, several investment options are available depending on the account formula you choose, some including a personal investment advisor.
How to Open a Citi Accelerate Savings Account
Citi makes it easy to open an account in person at a branch, over the phone or online. All you need is your driver’s license and (if applicable) your employment information – and, of course, the money you plan to open the account with. If the account is to be a joint account, you will need the same information for the other account holder (s).
If you are already a Citibank customer, they will automatically fill in the information they have about you in the new account. And you can just use a transfer from another account as your opening deposit.
Is a Citi Accelerate Savings Account Right for You?
Rarely do almost all of the details point to a positive conclusion, but this one is one of them. Citibank is a stable bank with many branches and a strong online presence – not to mention the fact that the interest rates on their savings accounts are consistently among the highest in the country (plus it’s relatively easy to avoid monthly service charges).
Therefore, increasing your savings by opening a Citi Accelerate Savings Account is an easy recommendation.