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Chase vs. Citibank: Which Is Best for You?

April 5, 2018
Banking, Banks & Credit Unions, CDs, Checking Accounts, Savings Accounts
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We adhere to strict standards of editorial integrity. Some of the products we feature are from our partners. Here’s how we make money.

Chase and Citibank are both big national banks with 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, sign-up bonuses or budgeting tools, and read on to see how the banks compare.

Chase

Citibank

Checking accounts
Chase Total Checking®


  • Monthly fee: $12 (How to waive it)
  • Minimum opening deposit: $25
  • Sign-up bonus: $200
    (expires 10/15/2018)

  • Citibank Regular Checking (in Basic Banking package)

  • Monthly fee $12 (How to waive it)
  • Minimum opening deposit: $0
  • Savings accounts
    Chase Savings℠

  • Interest rate: 0.01%
    (effective 6/15/18; rates are variable and subject to change)
  • Monthly fee: $5 (How to waive it)
  • Sign-up bonus: $150 (expires 4/16/2018)
  • Citibank Savings (in Basic Banking package)

  • Interest rate: 0.04%, may vary by state
  • Monthly fee: $0 when in package with checking or $4.50 for stand-alone savings (How to waive it)
  • Certificates of deposit
    Chase CD interest rates

  • 1-year: 0.02%
  • 5-year: 0.60%-0.80%
  • Minimum deposit: $1,000

  • Citibank CD interest rates

  • 1-year: 0.25%
  • 5-year: 0.80%
  • 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: 5,100

    • Available 24/7 by phone, email and social media

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

    • Overdraft protection transfer fee: $10

    • ATMs: 60,000+

    • Branches: About 700

    • Available 24/7 by phone, email, live chat for existing customers and social media

    Choose Chase if:

    Choose Chase if:

    • You prioritize branch accessibility
    • You want sign-up bonuses for basic checking and savings accounts (bonus offers expire 10/15/18)
    • You want to choose the bank that has a slightly less harsh overdraft policy

    Choose Citibank if:

    Choose Citibank if:

    • ATM accessibility is a priority
    • You travel frequently and want a bank with branches overseas

    Below is a detailed breakdown of how the banks compare when it comes to checking, savings, CDs, bank experience and overdraft fees.

    Basic checking accounts

     Chase Total Checking®
    Citibank 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
    [Back to top]
    $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
    • Be 62 or older
    [Back to top]
    Minimum opening deposit$25$0
    ATM fees and network
    • 16,000 fee-free Chase ATMs
    • $2.50 fee for using out-of-network ATMs in the U.S.
    • $5 fee for withdrawals abroad
    • 60,000+ fee-free ATMs

    • $2.50 fee for using out-of-network ATMs, domestically or internationally
    Interest on balances None None
    Sign-up bonus$200
    (expires 10/15/2018)

    See details on how to qualify
    None
    Chase has a sign-up bonus for its basic checking account, and Citibank doesn’t. If you want more details, browse the best bank bonuses for this month.

    Both are roughly the same, with variations in ways to waive the monthly fee and minimum opening deposits. Pick the one that best fits your situation.

    Citibank has a better ATM network, with over 60,000 fee-free ATMs across the nation. Citibank’s out-of-network fee for international withdrawals is more lenient than Chase’s, making Citi the better of the two banks if you travel abroad frequently.

     

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

    Basic savings accounts

     Chase Savings℠ Citibank Savings (in Basic Banking package)
    Minimum opening deposit $25$100
    Monthly fee$5


    • Have a daily balance of $300 or more
    • Set up an automatic transfer of $25 or more from Chase checking online
    • Be younger than 18
    • Link this account to a high-end checking account such as Chase Premier Plus Checking℠
    [Back to top]
    $0 when in package with checking or $4.50 for stand-alone savings:

    • Have at least $500 in the account separately or combined with a linked checking account
    [Back to top]
    Interest on balances0.01% APY
    (effective 6/15/18; rates are variable and subject to change)
    Rates may vary by state. In some, it's 0.04% APY for balances below $10,000.
    Withdrawal limit fee $5 (applies when you make more than six withdrawals or transfers out per month)None listed
    Sign-up bonus$150
    (expires 10/15/2018)
    See how to qualify
    None
    Chase has a sign-up bonus, but otherwise the accounts are similar.

    Both have minimal interest rates, with Citi having a slight edge on the interest rate, and monthly fees that are easy to avoid.

     

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

    Certificates of deposit

     Chase CDs
    Citibank CDs
    Minimum opening deposit $1,000$500, $1,000 or $2,500, depending on the state
    Early withdrawal penalties?YesYes
    Terms and rates Many terms offered; rates for balances under $10,000:

    1-year: 0.02% APY

    3-year: 0.40% APY

    5-year: 0.60% APY
    Many terms offered; rates below for balances under $10,000:

    1-year: 0.25% APY

    3-year: 0.70% APY

    5-year: 0.80% APY
    For balances below $10,000, Citi is the better choice.

    Chase checking customers qualify for CDs that come with slightly higher rates than the bank’s standard CDs.

     

    » Want better returns on your CD? Find the highest rates on our CD rates tool

    Bank experience

     ChaseCitibank
    Branches5,100About 700
    WebsiteEasy to compare accounts, but rates and fees take more effort to findEasy to compare offerings, but not intuitive for finding fees, CD rates, branches or ATMs
    Banking apps (current ratings from app store users)4.7 out of 5 stars for iOS; 4.6 out of 5 for Android4.8 out of 5 stars for iOS; 4.1 out of 5 for Android
    Customer serviceAvailable 24/7 by phone, email and social mediaAvailable 24/7 by phone, email, live chat and social media
    Though both banks offer similar banking experiences, Chase has a far superior branch count. Citibank has 1,800 branches internationally; consider this if you travel frequently and ever need branch services abroad.

     

    Overdraft fees

     ChaseCitibank
    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$15 each time your account stays overdrawn for 5 or more consecutive business daysNone listed
    You won’t find cheap overdraft fees at either bank. Chase offers overdraft protection transfers for free, while Citi charges $10 per transfer. Chase charges an extended overdraft fee of $15 if you leave an account negative for five days.

     

    Which to choose

    For better sign-up bonuses and 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.

    Updated April 5, 2018.

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