$500 Bonus To Open a Citibank CitiGold Checking Account

Updated on December 14, 2023


a blue and red logo

$500 Bonus

Citibank is offering big $500 if you open a Citigold checking account.

I found this offer recently and its the highest bonus I've seen Citi offer for opening a checking account (usually I see a bonus of around $100).  The main catch is that you have to deposit $50,000, leave it there for 90 days minimum, and make 2 online bill payments.  Interestingly, in the fine print, they say that only if you have $600+ in awards and misc income awards in the calendar year, only then will they issue you a 1099-MISC.  And they are not requiring direct deposit which is usually a requirement for these offers.  

If you can shift some money around to do this its an great deal.  After 90 days (I would wait until you get the $500), you can do whatever you want with the money in your account.  There is a monthly service fee of $30 that is waived if you keep $50,000 in your account — which you have to for this promotion.  It expires in a couple weeks so sign up soon if you are interested!


Promo code: CZJE

Offer Expiration: 2/28/14

Link to the offer: www.Citi.com (its right on the homepage)

Here's what they are offering:

1. To qualify to earn a $250 cash bonus, open a new Regular Checking account in The Citigold® Account Package by 02/28/14 and within 60 days after account opening, 1 qualifying bill payment must post to that new account and another qualifying bill payment must post to that account during the calendar month after the first payment.

2. To qualify to earn an additional $250 cash bonus, complete the new account opening and qualifying bill pay requirements above and deposit $50,000 or more in new-to-Citibank funds into your new checking account within 60 days after that account opening.

Update 2/21/14 – I registered through the link below and when I logged in I see that they opened a basic checking account, not the Citi Gold (even after speaking with them on the phone before opening the account).  When I called customer service they said it was ok and that I can call the new account service number 800-745-1534 with any further questions about the promotion.  Anyone else have the same issue?

Update 3/19/14 – I called up today (3rd call since signing up) to confirm that I'm on track to receive this promotion and at first the rep couldnt find any sign of me being registered (at least on the first 2 calls they said everything was ok).  Then the rep eventually found the notes under a different account.  So far in February I made my initial deposit and 1st online payment.  In March, I made my 2nd required online payment.  That completed all of the requirements.  The rep entered a promotion dispute and accidentally triggered $500 to be added to my account today but said it would be removed and I would have to call back in 90 days to get the $500 manually added.

Update 4/21/14 – Today I followed up with Citibank to make sure everything was on the up and up (4th follow up).  They confirmed that I will be credited the $500 bonus 90 days from the end of March.  Finally, I don't have to go through the whole explanation again.

Update 6/20/14 – I put a reminder on the calendar to follow up yet again (5th follow up).  I reviewed Citi's last response that said I would receive the $500 credit by 6/1/14, but no credit yet (as expected).  After I call, I have to explain everything again and finally get the rep to find the last letter.  She tells me I should get it by 7/1/14 so again I try to get her to find the letter that states 6/1/14 is the date I should get the credit.  She has to talk to a supervisor then later calls me back.  Then she has to open another investigation.  Great.  What a pain in my ass.  This is “Gold” service and thanking me for 15+ years of banking with them.  In the evening I received a secure email which requires a secure password which I wrote down but didnt take with me so now I have to call and try to explain again.  While waiting and waiting on hold, I checked online and saw a response, AND THE $500 finally credited to my account!  Was this hassle worth it?  No.  In fact, I'm tired of calling and constantly waiting and wasting time that I'm considering moving all my accounts elsewhere.  Where — i'm not sure yet.  Definitely somewhere that I don't need to call so many times.  I'm probably too small of an account for them to care.  Oh well, I withdrew the money (and $500 bonus), closed this account, and moved it over to HSBC because they offered to refinance my mortgage at a rates that was better than anywhere else by about 0.5%.  


And more from the fine print below.

If you have an account already, I suggest you call customer service and ask if you are eligible and ask that they notate your account.  I spoke with them and they confirmed that you don't have to be a new customer completely, just that you did not receive a bonus in the last 2 years.

• New to bank funds are funds that are not currently held by Citibank or an affiliate of Citibank.

• Qualifying bill payments are those made using Citibank® Online, Citi Mobile® or CitiPhone Banking®. Bills paid by making a transfer between linked accounts and/or transfer payments made to accounts within Citibank or to accounts of Citibank affiliates do not qualify as bill payments for this offer.

• Important Tax Information: Offer is limited to customers who are either citizens or resident aliens of the United States (U.S.) with a valid U.S. taxpayer identification number. The cash bonus award for this offer may be reported to the IRS as miscellaneous income on Form 1099-MISC in the year received, if the value of the award plus other taxable miscellaneous income awards received from Citibank, N.A., is in the aggregate $600 or greater for a calendar year, as required by applicable law. The customer is responsible for any taxes.

Offers for new checking customers only. If you have received a bonus reward for opening a new Citibank consumer checking account within the past two years you will not be eligible to receive a bonus associated with this offer. Customer can accept this offer by visiting a branch and talking to a Citibank Representative, by calling CitiPhone Banking® or by clicking “Apply Now” (above) on this page. Must be at least 18 years old to qualify for the promotional offer. Offers may be modified or withdrawn at any time without notice, expire 02/28/14, are not transferable and cannot be combined with any other offer. Limit of one of each offer per customer and account. New checking account in the Citigold Account Package must be open and in good standing at the time the cash bonus is credited to your new checking account.


Disclosure:  TheRewardBoss does not receive anything for you clicking on the links for this offer.  Feel free to use any links you find but make sure you save the promotion code to receive the bonus.


About TheRewardBoss

Want to see how I earn enough points and miles to travel for free? Read this first. Be one of the 10s of 10s of people who subscribe to receive email updates whenever I post a new article. Enter your email address in the top left corner of the site and that’s it. Cancel anytime. Follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, or RSS feed. Take a Free Lyft.

More articles by TheRewardBoss »


  1. Are there any additional benefits to holders of any Citi credit card holders to having Citi Gold checking that could add to the value of this promo?

      • thanks. I did some searching and it looks like they used to waive AF on certain Citi CCs, but as of OCt 2011 stopped doing so for cards opened after then. That was what I had rattling around it the back of my mind as far as possible other benefits.

  2. So I signed up for this checking account and am a bit concerned about the drama that might be involved should I decide to close the account. It appears that CitiGold will let you transfer INTO their account up to $100,000 a day but OUT of the their account to a linked external account only $2,000 a day (and there is a $10,000 30-day maximum). So if I were to complete all the program requirements and put $50,000 in there, I have to keep it in there for 90 days to get the full $500 but I won’t be able to liquidate and close the account easily. Would you mind sharing your ‘exit strategy’? Can we write a big check to ourselves and deposit it in another checking account? Is there a maximum withdrawal or an account closure fee? Just curious what other people have found or or plan to do. They charge $30/mo. for balances that fall below $50,000…

    • Thanks for pointing out the limits. Looks like they changed the rules within the past 2 months or so. I have had external accounts linked and made transfers back and forth without problem/limit.

      I specifically asked before I opened the account how long I need to keep the $ in the account – they said that after I meet the requirements that you can do whatever you want. Since I’m saving for a home, its important that Im not locked in. Anyway I planned to keep the $ in the account at least until I get the bonus even though it seems I don’t have to.

      I wouldn’t worry about any drama. You can just write a check, if necessary, for the entire amount. These limits are for their online transfers not the checks. You may also be able to do online payment to yourself – I called and asked what the limit was for online payments and the rep didnt think there were any limits. I also havent seen any account closure fees. I will post another update in a month or so when I call again and try to get the bonus. Pls post some comments when you get your bonus.

      • Thanks for the quick reply. I completed the bill pay requirements but hadn’t yet put in the money due to my concerns. I just called to verify that I’m indeed enrolled in the promotion and they also confirmed that I can write a check for any amount so that’s at least one way to liquidate. I am willing to try out the checking account but like other commentors above, I am not sure if this is a good account to stash this amount of cash because the interest rate is so low.

        • I just tried it out – the limit to transfer out to an external account does not apply when you initiate the transfer from the 3rd party account (for example, use American Express Personal Savings or ING Direct (now called Capital One 360). I was able to do a transfer larger than the limit — though I didn’t touch the deposited money yet, this was in a linked account which has the same limitations.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *