In September 2022, Citibank launched Citi Plus, an all-in-one digital wealth solution on the Citi Mobile App. A key product in Citi Plus is the Citi Interest Booster Account which offers up to 2.8% interest per annum (p.a.) if certain criteria are met. Such a product immediately puts it the crosshairs of the local banks’ flagship savings accounts. In this article, I review how realistic it is to achieve 2.8% p.a. on the Citi Interest Booster Account as well as how you can get your hands on $690 cold hard cash reward (now upsized to $790) as sign-up gifts during the promotion.
What Is Citi Plus
It comprises of a whole suite of digital banking tools designed to help customers Save, Spend, Invest, get Insured and build Wealth-related literacy. Each of this financial behaviour is a tool under Citi Plus which is also a digital-only offering in Singapore. For instance, the objective of building wealth-related literacy is driven by the Elevate tool. This is a Digital Wealth Platform that provides financial wellness content in the forms of guides, articles, videos with the objective of educating customers to build healthy financial habits.
For the purpose of this blogpost, I will jump straight to the Saving tool- Citi Interest Booster Account.
Citi Interest Booster Account
Having reviewed so many current accounts and savings accounts (‘CASA’) over the years, readers should now be very familiar with what I have put out in Diagram 1. Besides indicating the criteria to qualify for the activity and its respective interest rates, I have also included my take on how easy it is to jump across that particular hoop.
Easy Categories/Missions of Citi Interest Booster Account
1) Base– During the promotional period till 31 Dec 2022, the base interest rate for the first $50,000 in the Citi Interest Booster Account earns 0.3% p.a. Unless extended thereafter, it will revert back to 0.01% p.a.
2) Spend – Spending $500 per month on the Citi Cash Back+ Card is relatively easy which has a cashback rate of 1.6%. However, for someone who is also a Citi Interest Booster Account holder, the cashback is upsized to 2%. This puts the Citi Cash Back+ Card above its peers such as the Standard Chartered Unlimited Credit Card. Annual fee for 1st year is also waived.
Let’s also not forget that this is a MasterCard which can be added to the Amaze Card by Instarem. This is perfect for overseas holidays since one gets superior foreign exchange rates with no foreign currency fee levied. In addition, eligible spending also earns InstaPoints which can be exchanged for cash into the Amaze wallet. In short, one gets to double dip for spending overseas and that is why I am applying for this card. (more details on that shortly)
3) Save – Saving an additional $1,500 against the previous month is tough but doable so this stays as an easy mission.
4) Birthday – Customer just need to keep the account open during the birthday month to enjoy additional 0.1% for the birthday month.
Hard Categories/Missions of Citi Interest Booster Account
i) Invest– I don’t see myself investing via Citibank’s platform as I use low-cost brokerages such as uSMART and Tiger Brokers. For securities purchases, the minimum transaction value is $5,000 to qualify. Since 3 transactions are required, the minimum total transaction size would aggregate to $15,000 per month. That is a tall order for the emerging affluent that Citibank Singapore is targeting.
ii) Insure – My household is very well insured and asking me to take out an insurance policy with annual premium over $5,000 is a big ask. Besides, one probably need to buy a life policy over a term policy to hit $5,000 annual premium qualifying condition.
iii) Mortgage – This is probably the hardest because one doesn’t just take out a home loan for no rhyme or reason. There is also lock-in period to observe if a Citi Plus user wants to refinance an existing housing loan with Citibank. Finally, the threshold is a minimum of S$500,000 which looks really outsized compared to $50,000 eligible for the bonus interest rate?
If I add up all the easy categories less the Birthday category, the realistic interest rate for Citi Interest Booster Account is 0.7% p.a. It is not fantastic because I have explained in previous article how I easily achieve 1.2% -2% interest rate with other savings accounts. At this stage, I would have ordinarily passed on this and moved on but then I saw a super attractive welcome offer that I need to introduce to my readers.
SingSaver & Citibank Welcome Offer for both Citi Plus and Citi Cash Back+ Card
If you apply for Citi Plus and the Citi Cash Back+ Card via SingSaver, you get to earn at least $690 in cash. Mind you, this $690 is not difficult to achieve as the threshold is set quite low. Diagram 2 will provide the breakdown on how you can achieve $690 in cash rewards.
In all honesty, this has to rank as one of the best sign-up gifts offered by both SingSaver and Citibank. Funnelling in $15,000 and spending $500 within a month of getting the Citi Cash Back+ Card are not difficult activities to complete. Never one to pass up on a good deal and since I am a new to bank customer, I promptly applied for these 2 products.
How To Sign Up For Citi Plus
Step 1- Click on my referral link and fill in your email address
Step 2- Assuming you are not an existing Citi customer, allow Singpass to pre-fill your form and complete account opening process
Step 3- Check your inbox for email from SingSaver. Click the button “Secure Your Reward Now!”
Step 4- You will be prompted to sign in to your SingSaver account. Do create an account if you don’t have one.
Step 5- Fill out the SingSaver Rewards Redemption form as shown in Diagram 5. Take note of the 12-digit application number from Citibank (can be referenced against your SMS or email from Citibank)
The $150 cash reward will be paid via PayNow if you fulfill all the conditions.
How To Sign Up For Citi Cash Back+ Card
Once you have gone through the application process for Citi Plus via the SingSaver platform, applying for Citi Cash Back+ Card will be a walk in the park. I shall not repeat the entire process since it is essentially the same. Do note that besides S$350 cash, readers might want to consider other higher value gifts such as the Dyson v8 Slim Fluffy, Tilt 500 XS 14in Folding Bike or Ergotune Supreme V3.
I think the Citi Plus is not the most competitive product with the best benefits in the market at this juncture. However, I understand that Citibank Singapore intend to listen to customers’ feedback and improve the product along the way. Well, at least I know that I have until another 6 months later to evaluate if I will continue using Citi Plus thereafter. Until then, I have helped myself to the generous welcome rewards first.
*Note that this article contains referral links that goes to maintain the sustainability of this blog