Chase vs Citibank: Which Is Best for You?

Spencer TierneyNovember 19, 2019
On a similar note...
On a similar note...

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The two big national banks Chase and Citibank have solid branch and ATM networks that reach both coasts, but they differ in some ways.

Consider what’s important in your banking life, whether that means nearby ATMs or branch access, and read on to see how the banks compare.

Snapshot comparison

Chase

Citibank

Checking accounts

Chase Total Checking®

  • Monthly fee: $12 (See below for three ways to waive it).

  • Minimum opening deposit: $0.

Citi Regular Checking (in Basic Banking package)

  • Monthly fee: $12 (See below for three ways to waive it).

  • Minimum opening deposit: $0.

Savings accounts

Chase Savings℠

  • APY: 0.01% (effective 9/14/20; rates are variable and subject to change).

  • Monthly fee: $5 (See below for five ways to waive it).

Citi Savings (in Basic Banking package)

  • APY: 0.04%, may vary by state.

  • Monthly fee: $4.50 (See below for two ways to waive it).

Certificates of deposit

Chase CD interest rates

  • 1-year: 0.01%.

  • 5-year: 0.01%.

  • Minimum deposit: $1,000.

Citibank CD interest rates

  • 1-year: 0.25%.

  • 5-year: 0.25%.

  • Minimum deposit: $500, $1,000 or $2,500, depending on the state.

Overdrafts, ATMs, customer service

  • Overdraft fee: $34, maximum of three per day.

  • Overdraft protection transfer fee: $0.

  • ATMs: 16,000.

  • Branches: Nearly 4,900.

  • Customer service: Available by phone (7 a.m.-12 a.m. ET), email and social media.

  • Overdraft fee: $34, maximum of four per day.

  • Overdraft protection transfer fee: $10.

  • ATMs: 60,000.

  • Branches: Over 600 in the U.S.

  • Customer service: Available by phone (9 a.m.-11 p.m. ET every day), social media and live chat (for existing customers).

  • Chase Chase Overall Star Rating
    NerdWallet rating 
    Read review
    Citi® Citi® Overall Star Rating
    NerdWallet rating 
    Read review

    Choose Chase if:

    • You prioritize branch accessibility.

    • You want a cheaper overdraft protection policy.

    Choose Citibank if:

    • ATM accessibility is a priority.

    • You want higher CD rates.

    Or go with an alternative

    Unlike these brick-and-mortars, online banks don’t have thousands of branches. But they do have excellent annual percentage yields (APYs) that make your savings grow faster. And fees tend to be low or nonexistent.

    Chase vs. Citibank: Basic checking accounts

    Chase Total Checking®

    Citi Regular Checking (in Basic Banking package)

    Monthly fee

    $12.

    You must meet one of the following requirements:

    • Receive $500 or more in direct deposits monthly.

    • Maintain a beginning day balance of at least $1,500.

    • Have an average beginning day balance of at least $5,000 across qualifying Chase accounts.

    $12.

    You must meet one of the following requirements:

    • Have one qualifying direct deposit and one qualifying bill payment monthly.

    • Keep a balance of at least $1,500 across Citibank checking and linked savings accounts monthly.

    • Account owners 62 or older have the fee waived.

    Minimum deposit to open

    $0.

    $0.

    APY

    None.

    None.

    ATM fees and network

    • 16,000 fee-free Chase ATMs.

    • $2.50 fee for using out-of-network ATMs in the U.S, plus any fees from ATM owner.

    • 60,000 fee-free ATMs.

    • $2.50 fee for using out-of-network ATMs, plus any fee from ATM owner.

    Sign-up bonus

    • $200 (expires 1/20/2021); our bonuses roundup explains how to qualify.

    • $200 as part of Basic Banking package (expires 1/5/2021); our bonuses roundup explains how to qualify.

    Both have roughly the same fees, with variations in ways to waive them.

    Citibank has a better ATM network, with over 60,000 fee-free ATMs across the nation.

    » Want more options? Take a look at NerdWallet’s best checking accounts.

    Chase vs. Citibank: Basic savings accounts

    Chase Savings℠

    Citi Savings (in Basic Banking package)

    APY

    0.01% APY (effective 9/14/20; rates are variable and subject to change).

    Rates may vary by state. In some, it's 0.04% APY for balances below $10,000.

    Monthly fee

    $5.

    • Have a daily balance of $300 or more.

    • Set up an automatic transfer of $25 or more from Chase checking or prepaid card.

    • Link this account to a high-end checking account such as Chase Premier Plus Checking℠.

    • Note: Account owners younger than 18 don't have to pay a fee.

    $4.50.

    • Have at least $500 average monthly balance.

    • Note: As part of the Basic Banking package, no monthly fee if requirements to waive linked Regular Checking fee are met.

    Minimum deposit to open

    $0.

    $0.

    Sign-up bonus

    • $150 (expires 1/20/2021); our bonuses roundup explains how to qualify.

  • $200 as part of Basic Banking package (expires 1/5/2021); our bonuses roundup explains how to qualify.

  • Both have minimal interest rates, with Citi having a slight edge.

    Both have monthly fees that are easy to avoid.

    » Want to find higher rates? Check out NerdWallet's best online savings accounts.

    Chase vs. Citibank: Certificates of deposit

    Chase

    Citibank

    1-Year APY

    0.01%.

    0.25%.

    3-Year APY

    0.01%.

    0.25%.

    5-Year APY

    0.01%.

    0.25%.

    Minimum deposit to open

    $1,000.

    $500, $1,000 or $2,500, depending on the state.

    Rates may vary by location.

    Citi has generally better rates.

    Returns at both banks are generally lower than what online banks offer. To see more detail about Chase’s offering, see our Chase CD rates review.

    » Want better returns on your CD? See our list of best CD rates.

    Chase vs. Citibank: Banking experience

    Chase

    Citibank

    Branches

    Nearly 4,900.

    Over 600.

    Banking apps (current ratings from app store users)

    • 4.8 out of 5 stars for iOS.

    • 4.4 out of 5 stars for Android.

    • 4.8 out of 5 stars for iOS.

    • 4.7 out of 5 stars for Android.

    Customer service

    • Available by phone (7 a.m.-12 a.m. ET).

    • Email support available.

    • Social media support available.

    • Available by phone (9 a.m.-11 p.m. ET every day).

    • Social media support available.

    • Live chat support available (for existing customers).

    Though similar in bank experience offerings, Chase has a far superior branch count. Citibank holds 1,800 branches internationally; consider this if you travel frequently and find yourself in need of branch services abroad.

    Chase vs. Citibank: Overdraft fees

    Chase

    Citibank

    Overdraft fee

    $34, maximum of three per day.

    $34, maximum of four per day.

    Overdraft protection transfer fee

    $0 per transfer.

    $10 per transfer.

    Extended overdraft fee

    None listed.

    None listed.

    You won’t find cheap overdraft fees at either bank. Chase offers overdraft protection transfers for free, while Citi charges $10 per transfer.

    More branches or more ATMs

    For more branches, Chase may be better for you. But for more free ATMs and higher CD rates, Citibank may be more attractive.

    Both banks have a range of accounts and big ATM networks, but they’re similarly bogged down by high fees and poor rates.

    If you’re not impressed with either bank, check our roundup of the best online banks or best credit unions for other options.

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