Citibank customers, get ready. It will soon cost you more to have a Citibank checking account. The banking giant has announced that, beginning in January, the monthly fee for a Citi Rewards account will go from $20 to $25. The fee for a basic Citibank checking account will go from $10 to $12. As reported in the Inquisitr, Citibank increased fees and changed balance requirements on some checking accounts just three years ago. The new increases make Citibank one of the more expensive places to do your banking.
CNNMoney reports Citibank’s minimum balance requirement will also be changing. The average monthly balance required in order to get the fee waived will decrease, which is good news for some customers. But balances on Citibank credit cards, loans, and mortgages will no longer be figured in. Which means that if your Citibank accounts are loaded with money, and you have no loans, you will probably see little difference. But if your Citibank checking and savings accounts don’t have large balances, and if you are paying off a Citibank mortgage, or have a credit card that you carry a balance on, be prepared to pay more.
Citibank’s website explains what customers need to do in order to avoid the monthly service fee. Currently, basic checking customers need to make one direct deposit, and one qualifying bill payment, each month. They must also maintain a combined average balance of at least $1500 in their Citibank checking and savings accounts. The Citi Rewards account does not require a direct deposit, or a bill payment, but the minimum average balance has to be at least $15,000. Maintaining that balance also earns a fee waiver at non-Citibank ATM’s. A footnote at the bottom of the page describing the account explains the change to the balance requirement that begins in January.
“Effective January 1, 2015 credit cards, mortgages and other loans and lines of credit will no longer contribute towards the combined average monthly balance required to waive the monthly service fees and Non-Citibank ATM fees. Also the combined average monthly balance to waive the monthly service fee and Non-Citibank ATM fee will be decreased to $10,000.”
The only footnote that mentions fee changes on the page describing the basic account says that on January 1, 2015, the fee will increase to $12. So, if you have a Citibank checking account with a small balance, the requirements to avoid the fee will not change at all. This means that many Citibank customers will be paying more to keep their accounts open.
In an effort to reduce some of the potential backlash, Citibank announced a new, “checkless” checking account in September. That account carries a $10 monthly fee, which will be waived by meeting only one of the three waiver requirements for the Citibank Basic account. Another benefit of that account that some consumers will like, is that it cannot be overdrawn, which means there will be no worry about paying overdraft fees.
Citibank’s increased checking fees come as the bank undergoes a series of changes. Business Day Live reported on October 14 that Citigroup, the parent company of Citibank, would be pulling out of 11 countries, in an effort to cut costs. That announcement was made on the same day that Citigroup announced its third quarter profits were up. Citibank is raising prices on its customers even though its profits are soaring. Great for Citibank, but what about consumers’ bottom line?
[Photo via ficklefinance.com]