- Bargaineering - http://www.bargaineering.com/articles -

Citibank e-Savings Account – 4.75%

This article’s rates are out of date, see this list for the current best in high yields savings accounts [3].

Citibank has come out guns blazing with their e-Savings Account having an interest rate of 4.75% (compared to Emigrant Direct’s 4.5% [4]). Will we see ED pop up to 4.75% in response to Citibank’s move and the recent Fed hike? Who knows, but from the look of it the e-Savings Account mirrors every other online savings account with a few important differences.

Easier Access to Funds
One stark difference that might trump any minor interest rate differences is that you can, you actually must, link your e-Savings Account to a Citibank EZ Checking account. Compared to ING and Emigrant which have no checking account capabilities, this means instant access to your savings account money compared to the usual 5 business day delay when you transfer money from the ING/ED account to your external account. I’m not sure how this compares for other online savings accounts (HSBC?).

Must Link To Checking Account
You must link your account to a “qualifying relationship package” which includes “CitibankĀ® EZ Checking, Citibank Account, Citibank Everything CountsĀ® and CitiGoldĀ®.” The fees on those accounts still apply! On the EZ Checking, you must maintain a minimum balance of $1,500 across all of your accounts (unsure if e-Savings applies but the list does include Money Market accoutns, which is what e-Savings is) to avoid the minimum balance fee. If e-Savings does apply, then effectively you have a $1,500 minimum balance requirement on the account that can accrue interest. If it doesn’t, then you have a $1,500 minimum balance that will not accrue interest sitting in your EZ Checking account.

My Thoughts
I’d call to see if the e-Savings balance counts towards the $1,500 minimum requirement for EZ Checking (I suspect it does) and if so, this seems like a pretty attractive offer if you don’t already have your money in a high yield online savings account. If you don’t, I suggest you also open up one at ING Direct [5] to get a $25 referral bonus, visit this ING Promotion page [6].

Thanks CK for the heads up.