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Chase vs. Citibank: Which Is Best for You?

Dec. 10, 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 have branch and ATM networks that reach both coasts, but these big national banks differ in some ways.

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

Chase

3.5 NerdWallet rating
Citibank

3.5 NerdWallet rating
Checking accounts
Chase Total Checking®


  • Monthly fee: $12 (How to waive it).
  • Minimum opening deposit: $25.
  • Sign-up bonus: $200.
    (expires 1/14/2019)

  • Citi Regular Checking (in Basic Banking package)

  • Monthly fee $12 (How to waive it).
  • Minimum opening deposit: $0.
  • Sign-up bonus: $200 as part of Basic Banking package.
    (expires 12/31/2018)

  • Savings accounts
    Chase Savings℠

  • Interest rate: 0.01%.
    (effective 9/14/18; rates are variable and subject to change)
  • Monthly fee: $5 (How to waive it).
  • Sign-up bonus: $150.
  • (expires 1/14/2019)

    Citi Savings (in Basic Banking package)

  • Interest rate: 0.04%, may vary by state.
  • Monthly fee: $4.50 (How to waive it).

  • Sign-up bonus: As part of Basic Banking package.
  • Certificates of deposit
    Chase CD interest rates

  • 1-year: 0.01%.
  • 5-year: 0.35%.
  • Minimum deposit: $1,000.

  • Citibank CD interest rates

  • 1-year: 0.25%.
  • 5-year: 1.50%.
  • 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 by phone 24/7, email and social media.

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

    • Overdraft protection transfer fee: $10.

    • ATMs: 60,000.

    • Branches: About 700 in the U.S.

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

    Choose Chase if:

    Choose Chase if:

    • You prioritize branch accessibility.
    • You want to easily qualify for a checking or savings sign-up bonus (bonus offers expire 1/14/2019).
    • 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 want to open a CD.

    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®
    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.
    [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, 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.
    Interest on balances None. None.
    Sign-up bonus
    • $200 as part of Basic Banking package.
      (expires 12/31/2018)

    • See details on how to qualify.
    Both have sign-up bonuses, but Chase has easier requirements. If you want more details, browse the best bank bonuses for this month.

    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.

    Basic savings accounts

     Chase Savings℠ Citi Savings (in Basic Banking package)
    Minimum opening deposit $25.$0.
    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.
    • Be younger than 18.
    • Link this account to a high-end checking account such as Chase Premier Plus Checking℠.
    [Back to top]
    $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.
    [Back to top]
    Interest on balances0.01% APY.
    (effective 9/14/18; rates are variable and subject to change)
    Rates may vary by state. In some, it's 0.04% APY for balances below $10,000.
    Sign-up bonus
    Each bank has a sign-up bonus.

    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.

    Certificates of deposit

     Chase CDs
    Citibank CDs
    Minimum opening deposit $1,000.$500, $1,000 or $2,500, depending on the state.
    APY on one-year term0.01%. 0.25%.
    APY on three-year term0.30%.1.00%.
    APY on five-year term0.35%.1.50%.
    Citi has generally better rates.

    Returns at both banks are generally lower than what online banks offer.

     

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

    Bank experience

     ChaseCitibank
    Branches5,100.About 700.
    WebsiteEasy to compare accounts, but rates and fees take more effort to find.Easy to compare offerings, but not intuitive for finding fees.
    Banking apps (current ratings from app store users)4.8 out of 5 stars for iOS; 4.6 out of 5 for Android.4.8 out of 5 stars for iOS; 3.9 out of 5 for Android.
    Customer serviceAvailable by phone 24/7, email and social media.Available by phone 24/7, social media and live chat (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.

     

    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 feeNone 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.

     

    Which to choose

    For easier 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.

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