Citi® Accelerate Savings — Review of Its Features, Pros & Cons


The biggest banks generally aren’t known for competitive savings account yields. Even with interest rates higher than they’ve been in years, many big-bank savings accounts remain stuck in near-zero interest rate territory.

Citi® Accelerate Savings is a rare exception. While not quite at the top of the heap, its yield is well above the national average — competitive enough to qualify as a legitimate high-yield savings account. If you’re looking for a strong return on your money without leaving the stable, comforting embrace of an international financial powerhouse, it could be a perfect fit for you.

But before you run out to open an account, make sure Citi Accelerate Savings really is the best choice. Like every bank account, it has some notable shortcomings too.

What Is Citi Accelerate Savings?

Citi Accelerate Savings is a high-yield savings account from Citibank. It yields 4.05% APY on all balances and has no minimum balance to open or maintain. You do need to maintain a balance of at least $500 to avoid the $4.50 monthly maintenance fee.

Like most Citi deposit accounts, Citi Accelerate Savings is the savings part of a checking-savings account package. You must open an Accelerate Savings account alongside a corresponding Citi checking account. Citi Access Checking or Basic Checking are both no-frills checking account options with low, easy-to-waive monthly maintenance fees.

Eligibility is limited to residents of certain states — enter your ZIP code on the application page to see whether Accelerate Savings is available in your area.

What Sets Citi Accelerate Savings Apart?

Citi Accelerate Savings stands out for a few key reasons, not all positive:

  • Yield well above the national average. Citi Accelerate Savings yields 4.05% APY on all balances. That’s well above most other big-bank savings accounts and the national savings account average too.
  • No minimum balance to open. You can fund your new Citi Accelerate Savings account with any amount of cash.
  • Monthly maintenance fee applies on lower balances. Watch out for the $4.50 monthly maintenance fee assessed in any statement cycle your balance drops below $500.
  • Only available in certain states. Citi Accelerate Savings is available in most areas* but not all. Enter your ZIP code on the application page to find out if you’re eligible.

Key Features of Citi Accelerate Savings

Citi Accelerate Savings has all the hallmarks of your typical savings account, but the details vary a bit from what you might be used to. Familiarize yourself with its key features before moving ahead with your application.

Account Yield

Citi Accelerate Savings pays interest at a very competitive rate: 4.05% APY on all balances. There’s no minimum balance to earn interest, and every dollar in your account earns at the same rate.

Account Fees & Minimums

There’s no minimum balance to open this account. However, if your balance drops below $500 in a given statement cycle, you must pay a $4.50 maintenance fee for the period.

Savings Automation

Citi’s AutoSave feature makes it easy to automate deposits to your Accelerate Savings account. Choose weekly, biweekly, monthly, or some other frequency and take the human element out of building your nest egg.

Overdraft Protection

Citi’s optional overdraft protection plan is called Safety Check. If you enroll, you can use your Accelerate Savings account as a backup for an overdrawn Citi checking account (except Access Checking), pulling from the savings account as needed to cover overdrafts. Citi rounds each draw up to the nearest $100.

Mobile Features

Citi Accelerate Savings comes with a comprehensive mobile app with capabilities like:

  • Digital bill payments
  • Person-to-person transfers
  • Mobile check deposit
  • Rapid electronic transfers
  • Single-dashboard view of all active Citi accounts

Deposit Insurance

Citi Accelerate Savings comes with FDIC insurance on balances up to$250,000. In the unlikely event that Citibank fails, the federal government guarantees deposits up to this amount.

Pros & Cons

There’s a lot to like about Citi Accelerate Savings and a few things to dislike.

Pros

  • Excellent yield on all balances
  • No minimum balance to open
  • Excellent mobile app

Cons

  • Minimum balance to avoid the maintenance fee
  • Requires a linked Citi checking account
  • Not available in all markets

Pros

Citi Accelerate Savings’ advantages go beyond its competitive yield. It’s one of the more mobile-friendly accounts on the market and serves as a valuable backstop for checking overdrafts — a capability many online banks can’t match.

  • Excellent yield on all balances. Accelerate Savings doesn’t quite have the best yield of any savings account on the market, but it’s well above the national average and better than the vast majority of big-bank savings products.
  • No minimum balance to open. There’s no minimum balance to open an Accelerate Savings account, which makes it a realistic choice for savers just starting out.
  • Optional overdraft protection for your linked Citi checking account. Citi’s optional Safety Check feature enlists your Accelerate Savings account as a backup for overdrawn checking accounts. The only checking account excluded from the deal is Access Checking. If you anticipate overdrafting often, think twice about opening an Access Checking account as the checking portion of your package.
  • Robust mobile app. Citi’s mobile banking app is better than most. You can do just about anything with it that you can through the regular online dashboard (or in a Citi branch for that matter).
  • Deposit insurance up to $250,000. Rest assured that your money is safe in the very unlikely event that Citi goes under.

Cons

Citi Accelerate Savings has some inconvenient features and limitations.

  • Must keep at least $500 in the account to avoid the monthly fee. This is one of the few high-yield savings accounts that charges a monthly maintenance fee. Fortunately, it’s easy to avoid with a balance of $500 or more, but it’s not ideal for frugal savers.
  • Must open alongside a Citi checking account. You can’t open a Citi Accelerate Savings account by itself. You need to pair it with a Citi checking account, which may have its own monthly fee and waiver requirements.
  • Not available everywhere. Accelerate Savings is available in most areas* but not quite nationwide. Even if it seems like the perfect savings account for you, it might be out of reach unless and until you move.

How Citi Accelerate Savings Stacks Up

The Citi Accelerate Savings account compares favorably to most big-bank savings accounts. But before you apply, see how it compares to one of the best high-yield savings accounts around: the Marcus Online Savings account, backed by Citi competitor Goldman Sachs.

Citi Accelerate Savings Marcus Online Savings
Yield 4.05% APY 4.15% APY
Minimum Balance $0 $0
Maintenance Fee $4.50 if your balance drops below $500, otherwise $0 $0
Linked Checking Account Yes No
Savings Automation Yes Yes
Overdraft Protection Optional No
Available Nationwide Almost Yes

Marcus Online Savings comes with fewer strings than Citi Accelerate Savings, which must be opened as part of a checking-savings package and has a monthly maintenance fee if your balance drops below $500. But Citi Accelerate Savings is a better fit if you want the security of overdraft protection.

Final Word

Citi Accelerate Savings is one of the best big-bank savings accounts on the market. Its yield is well above the national average (if not quite best in class) and it’s easy to waive the monthly maintenance fee with a $500 balance. Optional overdraft protection is a nice touch too, one missing from many online savings accounts.

This account does have some shortcomings though. First of all, it’s not available in all markets. The maintenance fee is a problem for people just starting out on their savings journeys. And you must open it as part of a checking-savings package.

All in all, there’s more to like than dislike about Citi Accelerate Savings. But it might not be right for you.

*The Citi® Accelerate Savings account is available to customers with a residential/home address (not mailing address) in AA, AE, AL, AK, AZ, AR, AS, CO, DE, GA, GU, HI, ID, IN, IA, KS, KY, LA, ME, MA, MI, MN, MP, MO, MS, MT, NE, NH, NM, NC, ND, OH, OK, OR, PA, PR, RI, SC, SD, TN, TX, UT, VI, VT, WA, WV, WI, WY, and select markets in Florida and Illinois.

Editorial Note:
The editorial content on this page is not provided by any bank, credit card issuer, airline, or hotel chain, and has not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of the bank, credit card issuer, airline, or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.



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