30,000 American Miles or 40,000 ThankYou Points for New Checking Account

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Doctor of Credit reports that you can sign up for a new Citibank CitiGold (their top tier) checking account with promo code 4YQY4RMDTT and receive 40,000 Citi ThankYou Rewards points for making one qualifying bill payment for two consecutive months.

The offer is available through September 30th.

Key information:

  • There’s no hard pull of your credit, just a soft pull, when signing up for the account.
  • You can generally only receive a checking account signup bonus from Citi every two years.
  • Since they value ThankYou points under this offer at a penny apiece, it shouldn’t generate a 1099 to the IRS.
  • There’s a $30 a month fee, which would be worth paying until the bonus posts, but you can avoid it with a $50,000 deposit or $100,000 in linked Citi accounts.

You get a $100 annual fee credit on the Citi Prestige card which should post automatically, even if you’ve recently paid the annual fee!

  • The awesome $450 annual fee card that’s worth literally thousands becomes a $350 annual fee card.
  • You get the $250 airline credit (works on airline tickets) and $100 Global Entry credit. Already have Global Entry? Buy it for someone else.
  • It comes with American Airlines lounge access and a Priority Pass Select card that includes free guest lounge visits.
  • Plus free golf and fourth night of hotel stays free

And that doesn’t even mention the 50,000 point signup bonus for the card after $3000 in purchases within 3 months.

Citi Prestige and Citi ThankYou Premier ThankYou points transfer to:

  • Air France-KLM
  • Asia Miles
  • Etihad Airways Guest
  • EVA Air Infinity MileageLands
  • Garuda Indonesia GarudaMiles
  • Hilton HHonorsTM
  • Malaysia Airlines Enrich
  • Qatar Airways Privilege Club
  • Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
  • Thai Airways Royal Orchid Plus
  • Qantas Frequent Flyer
  • Virgin Atlantic Flying Club

The $100 fee credit on Prestige helps offset fees on the account if you aren’t in a position to make qualifying deposits.

And you can earn miles for your initial deposit, too because Citi will take a credit card for that deposit. Barclays cards code those deposits as purchases. Don’t use a Citi card, and they don’t take American Express. Doctor of Credit suggests this works with Chase cards, I’m not so sure (although it used to). You can generally make as big a deposit as your credit line allows. (And it’s good practice to set your card’s cash advance limit to zero, just in case.)

If you don’t want the ThankYou points, Doctor of Credit also tells us that a signup bonus of up to 30,000 American Airlines miles for a new checking account is also back using promo code 4YQY4RMDRM. The offer is available through September 30.

You need an American Airlines co-brand credit card to be eligible for the American signup bonus.

To qualify for 30,000 miles you need to open a Citigold account, make a debit card purchase of $750, and make at least one qualifying bill pay for two consecutive months.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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Editorial note: any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer. Comments made in response to this post are not provided or commissioned nor have they been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any bank. It is not the responsibility of advertisers Citibank, Chase, American Express, Barclays, Capital One or any other advertiser to ensure that questions are answered, either. Terms and limitations apply to all offers.

Comments

  1. You can also avoid fees on a Citigold account by having a CitiBusiness® Preferred Banking account and avoid the $40 per month fee on that by having a $15,000 average monthly balance.

  2. Hi
    Just one thing to mention that this 40k thank you points from opening this account is different from regular thank you points because they are not eligible to be transferred to travel partners even you combined them with your regular points.
    Thank you

  3. Selecting NJ as my state in the first popup gets “You can not apply online”. Just a data point.

  4. Definitely cannot be funded with a CSP – I tried about a month ago, when I set up an account and it was running as a CA. Luckily, I have my CA limit set at $100, so it just flat-out declined.

    I set up an account for the wife and myself, and used my Aviator for $15,000, and my wife’s Arrival+ for $17,000. Had some fraud alert issues, but once those were cleared up, it was smooth sailing.

  5. Gary, there are a few very important things to note:

    1) “You get a $100 annual fee credit on the Citi Prestige card which should post automatically, even if you’ve already paid the annual fee!”

    Not quite. If you’ve already paid the $450 annual fee for the Citi Prestige card you won’t necessarily get a $100 credit. For example, if you paid the $450 one month before applying for the checking account, Citi will reimburse you for the remaining 11 months ($412) and then will charge you $350. So you’ll get a $62 credit and, I assume, the annual fee will be charged 12 months after this.

    2) The Citi ThankYou points from the checking account can’t be transferred!

    This is a quirk of Citi – the points gained from a “banking relationship” (as opposed to a credit card) are not transferable.

    3) “There’s a $30 a month fee, which would be worth paying until the bonus posts, but you can avoid it with a $50,000 deposit […]”

    Bad idea. Keeping $50k in this zero-interest checking account for three months means losing the interest you could gain by keeping that money in a savings account which pays an annual 1%. This means you’ll pay $125 (three month interest for a $50k deposit) for saving $90 for the Citigold checking account fees.

    4) “it’s good practice to set your card’s cash advance limit to zero, just in case”

    Some Barclaycard credit cards are hard coded to have a cash advance limit equal to 40% of the credit line on the account.

  6. Is it a $50,000 deposit or a $50,000 balance that eliminates the monthly account charge?

  7. Anybody know if BofA cards work for the initial deposit? Thinking about topping up my Alaska Airlines account

  8. @ Gary

    How about if I already have a basic checking account with Citi since 2008 and never received any sign up bonus? Can I “convert/upgrade” it to Citi Gold and receive this bonus?

  9. Whoops, meant to say, everything in the second half of the post is struck out, so the html strikeout function.

  10. I have been a citibank checking customer many years ago. Will I be able to get this bonus?

  11. What if I do not have any TYP credit cards now…can I still get points for opening bank account?

  12. You can not transfer banking thank you points to partners. You can use them toward the AA ticket purchase at 1.6% if you have the prestige I imagine though?

  13. Do you need a citi thank you card to be eligible? The dr. of credit post seems to provide conflicting information.

  14. Nice post, Gary. Citi Gold + Prestige is the way to go.

    But the reader comments? Ugh.

    Where do I start? Yes, the 1.6x the Prestige gives you can cover all the “banking side” points as well; just no “partner” transfers on those points, as several comments have already noted. You still get “banking side” points even if you have no Citi cards at all, but then they’re only worth a cent. (It’s the Prestige that works the 1.6x magic.) The Gold account just requires assets in checking & savings combined (and I believe, unless I’m mistaken, that brokerage assets can count as well though you may need $100K if you go that route). It’s the deposit followed by maintaining that balance that lets you escape the fee, and so if you fall below $50K for any month you owe the $30 fee for that month — and that’s if you don’t use the $15K “business account trick” that’s already been noted. Anyone else out there think a savings account pays 1% these days? (Citi pays me 0.2% and, ok, I’ll admit Compass pays me 1% on an ordinary private bank savings account but that’s a very special one-off deal.) You can upgrade an existing account, based on a friend’s prior experience, but then you’ll still need $50K of new deposits.

    And with that I’m out of breath.

  15. American Airlines Bonus – I just tried for DC and it also gave me the call the 800 number “You can not apply online”. Ken had the same experience with NJ. If we call does anyone know if we would still get the 30k bonus?

  16. Amex savings pays 0.9%
    citigold and Prestige (and ty premier) is the way to go – $500 in airline credits for the first year, $100 global entry for the $350 reduced fee. the 146k ty points from the three would be worth $2,336 on american. Pair that with some good deals for mileage runs.. Not too shabby.

  17. @Jon

    It takes forever. I opened CitiGold in mid-February on a similar promo, met the conditions almost immediately, and am still waiting for the miles to post.

  18. Same for RI
    American Airlines Bonus – I just tried for DC and it also gave me the call the 800 number “You can not apply online”. Ken had the same experience with NJ. We do not have any Citi Branches in our state

  19. Got the call in as well. Did so. And opened up an account quickly over the phone.

  20. I’m doing the TY point bonus now (did qualifying actions, just waiting for points to post). Does anyone know if it’s possible for me to do the AA bonus on a *second* account? Would I need to close my existing Citigold account first? Thanks for any clarifications on this!

  21. If I opened an account and funded it with a credit card, can I pay off that same credit card bill with this citigold bank account?

  22. At 1.8cents per AA mile, the deal is worth a couple $30 charges. The issue is the high hassel factor of setting up an account with Citibank!

  23. From the T&C on the AAdvantage miles offer:
    “The AAdvantage® bonus miles will be credited by Citibank to your AAdvantage® account within 90 days from the end of the statement period in which you complete all offer requirements.”

    So, looks like it could take a while for the bonus to post

  24. Is the deal worth it if you have to pay $30 for 1 or 2 months? Of course. But Polk is still waiting since February? That means $150 in fees? More? That doesn’t sound like it is worth it.

  25. I was going to try and fund with a CapitalOne Venture to hit minimum spend, but was told it was impossible to lower my cash advance limit. Anybody know if their no-hassle check route counts towards minimum spend?? I was told I won’t earn miles for the check, but I didn’t want to straight up ask the guy if it would count towards minimum spend.

  26. Is it correct that once the bonus is received I can then Chanel the account? Would Thank you points need to be used up first?
    Thanks!

  27. A heads-up for those who signed up for the AA miles bonus…Citi put the ThankYou points bonus on my account instead, and I am currently fighting them to get them to change to the AA bonus. Citi is saying they can’t find the AA bonus as active anywhere in their system.

    Luckily, I took a screenshot of the Promotion Disclosure page so I have some proof of what I signed up for! Here is a link to the Promotion Disclosure for the AA miles:
    https://online.citibank.com/JRSAO/ao_online/editAccountSummaryPromoPopup.do?PromoCode=4YQY4RMDRM

    You may want to follow up with Citi and see which promotion they attached to your account.

  28. When I signed up for this I was careful to use the AA promotion code, not the TY promotion code. I just called and they said that the TY promotion was applied. When I gave them the AA promotion code they said it wasn’t valid. They also said points would post “within 90 days” after meeting the requirements, which means a bill pay in two consecutive months.

    So we are looking at probably $150 in fees to get 40,000 TY points. This was a waste of time. I am cutting my losses and canceling the account.

  29. Data point: received my AA miles, closed my account after 5 months and was charged no fees even though I didn’t have the required account balance…

  30. You do need a Citi ThankYou credit card open at the time of your application in order to get these points. I did not have one- because I didn’t see that listed as a requirement here so I just had to call and cancel the CitiGold account I just opened.

  31. Can the 1.6 cents value per TY point be used to purchase an AA Gift Card or is it airfare only?

    The reason I am asking is because once the TY points post i will have to transfer them to the TY credit card account and then I only have 90 days to use them. Keeping the Citigold account open does not makes sense either unless you can downgrade the banking account to a no fee version which keeps the points alive.

  32. Anyone know if you can load from multiple credit cards (e.g. $5,000 from one, $10,000 from another, $15,000 from another), or can you only load from one card?

    Separately, what are some of the best cards to use to load the account, if we’re planning to travel around Southeast Asia for a few months, take low-cost intra-Asia flights, book various activities, and mostly stay at Airbnbs (or the like)?

  33. Speaking of hassles, energy required, etc., I stumbled upon some of the *benefits* of having a citigold account after responding to this offer. Rather than planning on closing this account, I’m rather enjoying the perks, and I plan on keeping it open as long as I have travel on the horizon.

    I set things up with citi so that I’m earning 1950 ty pts a month with direct deposit, bill pay, auto-tx to savings. And I’ve used my cg debit card in six countries this summer to have easy access to local currency from any ATM that I happened upon, with absolutely no ATM charges and no exchange fees.

    These unanticipated side effects of the cg account are worth more than $30 a month to me, as I collect points to make travel easier, and think of these efforts as pre-paying the travel, getting good value for effort spent. Kind of like saving up ahead of time!

    To offset the $30 I opened a pair of Santander accounts that are depositing $20 a month in savings (after I jumped through the requisite number of hoops). Auto-transfers from each of these two new banks to my precious local bank completes that circle.

    The “hassle” of setting things up with both of these banks is behind me, no minimum spends, no gift cards, no credit cards to cancel. Just sitting back getting ready to travel again. For $120 a year net I’ll get the $100 “discount” on Prestige, 23400 extra ty pts, and hassle-free ATM access.

    And now on to canceling some of those other cards, and waiting to see where things are in 18 months or so.

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