This offer expires April 30, 2013, just a couple week away.
This is a pretty good offer from Citibank which requires a bit of work, however, the bonus is valuable: thank you points worth at least $900. Thank you points are redeemable for gift cards and other things like flights. For instance, 90,000 points will get you $900 worth of Home Depot gift cards.
How many points you get depends on which package you get. To get the maximum # of ThankYou points, you will need to sign up for a checking account and a credit card.
There are 3 package options:
1) get 90,000 points = Citigold checking (40,000) + Citi Thank You Premier card (50,000)
2) get 50,000 points = Citibank regular checking (20,000) + City Thank You Premier card (30,000)
3) get 40,000 points = Citibank basic checking (10,000) + City Thank You Premier card (30,000)
Citi makes you work a bit. Here are the catches:
1) this offer is available in select branches only, as I told at the branch. The checking account is available online but the package deal with the credit card, I haven't found yet.
2) the checking accounts require:
- 1 direct deposit AND 1 online bill payment for 2 consecutive months (I would do the first two months to qualify)
3) the credit card requires some purchases to get the points:
- Citigold member-get 30k points after $3k purchase in the first 3 months, and 20k more points after $15K total purchase in the first 12 months.
- regular checking and basic checking members get the same 30k points after $3k purchase in the first 3 months, but the extra 20k points are not available.
Minimum balance requirements and monthly fees
1) CitiGold checking: minimum $50k combined balances to avoid $30/month fee
2) regular checking: minimum $15k combined balances to avoid $20/month fee
3) basic checking: minimum $1,500 combined balances to avoid $10/ month fee
If you have cash sitting in another bank account earning nothing (or close to it), you might as well move some of it to Citibank and earn something for it. The minimum balance requirements and fees can be viewed at the bottom of this page (click here).
What are ThankYou points good for?
You can buy almost anything with the points. For instance, 10,000 points can be redeemed for many different gift cards, including Lowes (home improvement), Barnes & Noble, Best Buy (to buy some electronics), Bloomingdale's, Macys, iTunes, TJMaxx, Pottery Barn and many more. You can also get more value from it by booking travel. Another blog, NerdWallet discusses the different redemption options and which are best.
When do you get the points?
The points should be posted 90 days from the end of the statement period that you meet the requirements. So if you meet the requirements in the first 2 months, 90 days after that, your points should hit your account (or 5 to 6 months after you open the account). This is important because you have to keep the account in good standing until you get the points which means keeping the min balance in the account or paying the monthly fee.
Some people have reported receiving form 1099-misc tax forms because Citi can report the bonuses they give you as taxable income. The terms state they must report anything over $600. As a result it may make sense to participate only in part of this promotion so that your bonus is less than $600. Going for the 90,000 points maybe be the same value as say the 50,000 points after you consider taxes.
If you are a new Citibank customer this maybe a good way for you to rack up a lot of thankyou points. I would probably go for only the Citigold checking account for 40k points and skip the credit card minimum spend requirements and tax hassle because this seems to be the quickest and least effort method. Some people may not want to setup a direct deposit just for this promotion. I have read that some people have successfully done a fake direct deposit of sorts by setting up a recurring transfer from their ING direct or Paypal account. There are a couple of articles that talk about this: US News, Fat Wallet Forum.
Where do I start?
Step 1: Call up your local branch and see if they have this promotion. If you just want to participate in the checking account promotion, you can do it online here: Click here
Step 2: Open a checking account and/or credit card and meet the minimum spend requirements on the credit card and deposit requirements on the checking account
If you take advantage of this, let us know how it goes below.