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Our quick take: The Citi® Accelerate Savings account currently features an interest rate that’s up to 12 times higher than the national average, with no minimum balance required to open an account, and no cap on the amount of interest you can earn.
- The Annual Percentage Yield (APY) is competitive with other top online banks.
- Avoidable monthly service fee.
- No account minimums required.
- Fee-free withdrawals at 65,000 ATMs nationwide.
- 24/7 digital access with the Citi app.
- Minimum balance of $500 required to avoid a $4.50 monthly service fee unless you also have a checking account in the Citi Elevate Account Package.
- Not available in every state or region.
Best for: People who want an FDIC-insured high-yield savings account with access to digital tools and can keep a balance of at least $500 to avoid monthly service fees.
The Citi® Accelerate Savings account: What you need to know
The Citi® Accelerate Savings account is a no-frills online savings account geared toward people who are comfortable using digital tools. This account can be easily opened online in a matter of minutes, and users can monitor their account balance, deposits and other details using Citi online banking tools.
While interest rates go up and down with the market over time, Citi® Accelerate Savings is currently offering 12 times the national average interest rate — a 0.50% APY. This is at least on par with other high-yield savings accounts offering the best rates right now, and even better in some cases.
It’s also a good choice for those looking to quickly access their savings without any fees from nearly anywhere in the US, since Citibank has 65,000 ATMs nationwide, which represents the largest ATM network offered by a major bank in the country.
Advantages of the Citi® Accelerate Savings account
The Citi® Accelerate Savings account comes with several benefits, and it all starts with the fact you can open your account from the comfort of your home. You don’t have to visit a physical bank location to fill out any paperwork, and you only need your name, address, Social Security number and date of birth to open your account online.
This high-yield savings account also comes with the power of Citi online banking, which lets you monitor every detail of your account online or by using the Citi mobile app. The app lets you manage your accounts — even external accounts — in one place using your favorite mobile device, and you can even deposit checks using the app without having to physically submit them in person or via mail if you have a linked Citi checking account.
You also don’t have to worry about the safety of your money with this account. Not only is Citibank a large, national bank, but deposit accounts at the bank are FDIC insured for up to $250,000 (including principal and accrued interest) per depositor.
Finally, the Citi® Accelerate Savings account doesn’t require a minimum balance to get started, though you do need to have at least $1 deposited in order to earn the 0.50% APY. There are also no monthly maintenance fees if you either have a checking account in the Citi Elevate Account Package or maintain an average monthly balance of $500 or more.
Disadvantages of the Citi® Accelerate Savings account
If you aren’t able to meet the requirements to avoid the monthly maintenance fees, you’ll be charged a monthly service fee of $4.50 and a $2.50 non-Citibank ATM fee. Even at a 0.50% APY, you probably won’t get enough value out of the Citi® Accelerate Savings account if you have to pay that monthly service fee.
On the other hand, if you already have a Citi checking account in the Citi Elevate Account Package or don’t mind setting one up, then you won’t have to worry about the Citi® Accelerate Savings monthly maintenance fee. Or, if you have a considerable amount in savings to stash away, then maintaining a $500 average monthly balance might be no big deal. But those just starting out with a small amount of savings may want to look for an online savings account that never charges a monthly fee.
Also, while the Citi® Accelerate Savings account is available in most states and regions, there are a small handful of areas where customers won’t be eligible for it. But it’s easy to enter your zip code and quickly find out if you’re in an area covered by the account.
Other online savings accounts to choose from
Before you settle on the Citi® Accelerate Savings account, it can help to compare all the best options available today. The chart below shows how Citi’s high-yield savings account compares to some other online savings accounts that offer similar rates and features.
As you can see, several other online savings accounts offer the same APY or close to it without any fees required or hoops to jump through. For example, the American Express High Yield Savings Account lets users get started with no minimum deposit required and no account fees to worry about. However, this account pays out a lower 0.40% APY, which is 20% less than Citi’s option.
You also might look at the online high-yield savings account from Marcus by Goldman Sachs. This account offers the same rate of 0.50% APY as Citi® Accelerate Savings without any account minimums or monthly fees. However, Marcus is an online bank that doesn’t have any physical branches or an ATM network, and it doesn’t offer mobile check deposit.
If you have a large amount of cash, you may want to consider a high-end option like the Citi Priority account, since you can earn up to $1,500 in bonuses when you open a Citi Priority account and deposit and maintain the very high balance required to earn the bonus.
Should you open a Citi® Accelerate Savings account?
If you already have an eligible Citi checking account or you plan to keep at least $500 in your new savings accounts at all times anyway, opening the Citi® Accelerate Savings account could help you secure 0.50% APY without a monthly service fee. This move can be smart if you like the Citi platform already or you are accustomed to using their mobile app. With Citi’s online and mobile tools, you can easily track your balances, deposits and earnings over time.
Even so, it never hurts to compare other high-yield savings accounts, including options that don’t require a minimum monthly balance to avoid annual fees.