To celebrate its 1-year anniversary, Citi Plus customers can now enjoy increased interest rates of up to 4.0% interest per annum (p.a.)^ for the Citi Interest Booster Account. This boost (pardon the pun) is much welcomed as it allows Citi Plus to stay competitive during an environment of high interest rates. Hence, when viewed in totality with what Citi Plus has to offer as well as the attractive anniversary perks, starting a relationship (in other words, opening an account) with Citi Plus is not too shabby a proposition. Let me break it down and explain to you why.
^T&Cs apply. Insured up to S$75k by SDIC
Citi Interest Booster Account
Citi Plus, an all-in-one digital wealth solution on the Citi Mobile® App, comprises a whole suite of digital banking tools designed to help customers save, spend, invest, get insured and build Wealth-related literacy. Customers can save with Citi Plus via the Citi Interest Booster Account and achieve up to 4.0% interest rate p.a.^ on their savings.
*1.5% p.a. base interest only applicable to the first $50,000 and 0.01% p.a. will be applicable above $50,000 in the Citi
Diagram 1 shows the criteria to qualify for the activity and its respective interest rates. The interest rates are aggregated based on the respective activities that the customer qualifies for. Therefore, if a customer meets all the criteria set out in Diagram 1, the aggregated interest rate is 4.0%. That would require the customer to complete all the tasks that I have rated in terms of the level of difficulty.
(Difficulty level: 1 star) Categories/Missions of Citi Interest Booster Account
Base– The base interest rate for the first $50,000 in the Citi Interest Booster Account earns 1.5% p.a. This is a vast improvement from the 0.3% that it was offering when it first launched last year.
1) Spend – Spending $500 per month on the Citi Cash Back+ Card would already give you an unlimited cashback rate of 1.6%. However, for someone who is also a Citi Interest Booster Account holder, the cashback is upsized to 2.0%. This puts the Citi Cash Back+ Card above its unlimited cashback counterparts which provides cashback in the 1.5% – 1.7% range. Alternatively, this spend can be met via the Citibank Debit MasterCard and the annual fee for 1st year is also waived.
2) Save – Saving an additional $1,500 against the previous month might be tough but can be easy to achieve if you’re disciplined enough to set aside your salary for savings before expenditure. Therefore, with the right mindset, this can be considered as an easy mission. Average daily balances are used here. However, do note that the additional 0.2% is only levied on the incremental balance.
3) Birthday – Customer just needs to keep the account open during the entire period of the birthday month to enjoy additional 0.1% for the birthday month.
(Difficulty level: 2 stars) Categories/Missions of Citi Interest Booster Account
4) Invest– Simply perform 3 eligible investment transactions in a calendar month and they must be settled within the same calendar month to qualify for an additional 0.6% p.a. on your savings. Eligible investment transaction includes any of the following:
A) Purchase investment funds with a minimum transaction value of S$1,000.
B) Foreign currency exchange transactions that include conversion made between your own accounts valued at a minimum of S$1,000 or its equivalent
c) Buy securities listed on any stock exchange in the US, Singapore and Hong Kong with a minimum transaction value of S$5,000. There are some ongoing trading offers for Citi Plus customers to celebrate their 1st birthday:
- Enjoy 6 months of commission-free buy trades online for U.S., Singapore and HK markets when you open a new Citibank Brokerage account before 31 Dec 2023
- Existing Citi Plus customers with brokerage account will not miss out either as they enjoy commission-free buy trades for U.S., Singapore and HK markets until 31 Dec 2023 (Terms & Conditions apply)
5) Insure – Firstly, you’ll need to buy a life policy versus a term policy to meet the $5,000 annual premium qualifying condition. Secondly, do note that the bonus interest will only be paid for 12 months.
(Difficulty level: 3 stars) Categories/Missions of Citi Interest Booster Account
6) Mortgage – This is probably the hardest because one doesn’t just take out a home loan for no rhyme or reason. There is also a lock-in period to observe even if a Citi Plus customer wants to refinance an existing housing loan with Citibank.
If I add up all the 1-star categories, the realistic interest rate for Citi Interest Booster Account applied on the entire balances is at 1.9-2.0% p.a. (higher rate applies during birthday month) On top of this, there are super attractive welcome offers that got me excited.
Attractive Welcome Gifts for Citi Plus
As shown in Diagram 2, there is a total welcome gift worth up to $321 (in cash and in kind) for new to bank customers. This is how to maximise the welcome bundle:
- Simply start a relationship with Citi Plus and open a Citi Interest Booster Account. This will make you eligible for Reward (1).
- Thereafter, deposit $20,000 of fresh funds into your Citi Interest Booster Account within 2 months and maintain this for the next 4 months. This will make you eligible for Reward (2).
- If you are not a Citi Credit Card cardholder, you might as well apply for the Citi Cashback+ Mastercard to unlock more welcome gifts and earn 2% cashback.
By adding up items (1) and (2), the maximum welcome gift can reach as high as $321! If you deposit just the minimum required AUM of $20K for 6 months, that is an annualised yield of 3.2%. The cash rewards from SingSaver will be paid conveniently via PayNow while customers will receive a notification from SingSaver on the steps to collect the Sony earbuds (if this reward is chosen).
While you are drooling over this offer, take note that this is only applicable to New-to-Bank customers. This refers to a Citi Customer who fulfils the following criteria:
- Not a U.S. Person
- At least the age of 18 during enrolment month
- Does not have a primary banking account or primary relationship in each of the last 13 calendar months before enrolment month
Start a Citi Plus Relationship Today
There is no better time to start a Citi Plus relationship than today because Citibank is organizing a Lucky Draw campaign to celebrate the 1st year anniversary of Citi Plus. As a result of the lucky draw, 12 lucky winners will receive a pair of Singapore Airlines Economy class tickets to Hong Kong! What makes this Lucky Draw even more enticing is that you have a direct influence in increasing the probability of being 1 of the lucky 12 winners. Refer to Diagram 3 on how your actions can increase the number of chances earned towards the Lucky Draw campaign.
Do take note that as part of their anniversary celebration, Citi Plus customers get to enjoy 0% spread for all eFX and CGW transactions (up to $180 cash rebates)*. That may entice users to increase their Lucky Draw chances at Category 4.
This 1st Year Anniversary Lucky Draw campaign is valid till 31 Dec 2023. The 12 lucky winners will be announced on the Citi Plus Singapore website within 2 weeks after the draw date of 15 March 2024. Full terms and conditions of the Citi Plus 1st Year Anniversary Lucky Draw campaign can be found here.
When I first reviewed Citi Plus during its launch, I was told that they have every intention to listen to customers’ feedback and improve the product along the way. I feel that the first step has already been taken by extending the base rate to 1.5%, and so I’m giving credit where it’s due. Looking at the welcome gifts which yields 3.2% and at least 1.9% -2.0% interest on your savings with the Citi Interest Booster account, 5.2% yield is very generous. You can get your hands on the welcome gifts by starting a Citi Plus relationship today via my referral link!
This article is published on 21 Nov 2023
Disclaimer: This article is written in collaboration with SingSaver but all views expressed herein are the independent opinion of Heartland Boy.
^T&Cs apply. Insured up to S$75k by SDIC