Citi Priority Provides Nice Benefits
Citibank has come up with an all-inclusive financial package that offers both investing and banking perks. Called Citi Priority, this membership comes with all the normal Citi services, such as branch locations and a handy mobile app. But it also offers a long list of benefits that other Citi customers don’t get.
For example, Citi Priority customers have a $2,000 daily ATM withdrawal limit. Regular customers, by comparison, are restricted to $1,000. Priority customers also pay no foreign currency transaction fee when using an ATM, while normal bank customers must pay 3.0%. The purchase limit at point-of-sale terminals is $10,000 for Priority clients, which is twice as high as the normal restriction.
All Citi customers have access to Checking Plus, a deposit account that comes with overdraft protection in the form of a revolving line of credit. This very convenient service eliminates the worry of bounced checks, although Checking Plus isn’t free. Regular customers pay a $10 overdraft protection fee per day when at least one overdraft comes in, while Priority members pay nothing. There is also interest charged on the loan amount. For Priority members, it is the prime rate plus 12%, while regular customers pay an extra 3%.
With all of these benefits, you may have already guessed that there might be a charge for a Priority membership; and yes, there certainly is. The fee is $30 per month, although it can be avoided by maintaining $50,000 or more in Citi assets. These funds can be held in bank, investing, and/or retirement accounts.
Customers who don’t have $50,000 to deposit with the financial giant may nevertheless find Priority to be worth it because of the program’s many cost-saving advantages. For instance, money orders, official checks, and stop payments are all free with Citi Priority. These services cost $5, $10, and $30, respectively, for clients with regular accounts. A Priority membership also eliminates charges for checkbook reorders and incoming wire transfers. Other deposit products and services have reduced fees.
Besides discounts on checking and savings accounts, Priority members also receive perks in other areas. For example, a Priority membership comes with a 0.25% discount on personal loans. A home equity line of credit is eligible for the same discount. An application from a Priority member for a mortgage or home equity line of credit is fast-tracked through a dedicated team of loan professionals, a nice service that regular banking customers don’t get.
Citi Personal Wealth Management is the company’s brokerage service, and it offers portfolio management, trading in stocks, mutual funds, and other securities, investment assistance from a financial advisor, and more. A Priority membership waives the $75 Wealth Management annual fee and comes with $9.95 stock and ETF trades, which is half what other customers pay.
Priority members can also enroll in Citi ThankYou Rewards, the bank’s customer loyalty program. Any type of deposit account can be opened in order to earn points in the program. Citi offers several checking and savings accounts with a variety of minimums and requirements. Priority members earn the highest number of ThankYou points for a checking account. The basic checking account can be opened with zero deposit, while the savings account requires $100.
A financial package similar to Priority is Citigold, which comes with a lot of the same benefits. One perk that Citigold offers that Priority doesn’t is unlimited refunds of ATM fees that are charged by owners of non-Citi cash machines. Although this would be a very convenient service for some people, a Citigold membership does require $200,000 in assets. The program does not have any monthly fee, however. Citigold also comes with free reorders of specialty checks for clients who have at least $500,000 on deposit. For Citi clients with less than $200,000, the Priority package is a good value.