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Citi Latest To Add Ridiculous Banking Fee

You'll pay $15 a month unless you keep $6,000 on hand.If you are a Citibank Easy Checking customer, start looking for a new bank.

Citi says that later this year it will begin charging customers who own one of these accounts $15 per month unless they keep $6,000 in their checking account.

That’s not a typo.

Grab this checking account and let $6,000 languish if you don’t want to pay $180 in fees per year for the “privilege” of the bank holding your money.

You can get around fees by switching to a basic checking account and keeping a combined $1,500 balance in checking and savings accounts, or by setting up one direct deposit per month and making at least one automated bill payment from the account.

If you fail to meet those requirements, Citi will charge you $8 a month.

We tried to get Citi’s side of this new fee, but the bank’s spokesmen didn’t return our phone call.

This is, of course, Citi’s version of the same temper tantrum other big banks have had over capped debit card swipe fees that went into effect this month.

Just last week, Bank of America announced it would begin charging customers $5 in months they use their debit cards to make purchases.

In response to that story, one reader said: “… Citibank just sent me a letter (October 1st) saying I’d need to pay $15 a month for my checking account or have $6,000 deposited in my linked accounts (by November 10th.) I just switched my paycheck direct deposit to my ING Direct account and will close my Citi accounts as soon as I can.”

This reader has the right idea.

We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: get your money out of the big banks now.

They obviously do not want your business if they’re going to charge you dumb fees to hold your money.

Look at online banks, credit unions and local banks, which will be more than happy to be your bank — and not charge you ridiculous fees for it.

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Comments (5)
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5 Existing Comments
  1. Joe George said:
    on October 4th at 06:01 am

    The big banks are no longer banks. They make their profits on activities that were banned under Glass-Steagall. There is nothing wrong with taking your business elsewhere. The community banks and credit unions will take our business with open arms and no fees. And when you call the customer service of these smaller TRUE banks, you will not have to talk to “Peggy.”

  2. Darrell said:
    on October 4th at 08:18 am

    In the mid-Atlantic region, Citibank’s requirements are different. The Citibank Account will require a $15K combined average balance (up from $6K) to avoid a $20 monthly fee.

  3. Earl said:
    on October 4th at 10:52 pm

    You can thank the Fed for it’s easy money policy. Banks are getting money from the Fed for nothing. Why would they need depositors. Some day they will start charging you just for the honor of letting them keep it safe for you.

  4. Mike Cetera said:
    on October 5th at 11:24 am

    One addition here. From CNNMoney: “…Customers who hold its mid-level Citibank Account will be charged $20 a month if they fail to maintain a minimum balance of $15,000 in their combined accounts. Previously, account holders had to carry a minimum balance of $6,000.”

  5. Steve said:
    on October 10th at 10:50 am

    In California, I switched to the Basic Checking account, which is exactly the same as the EZ account, but has no fee or minimum balance if you do direct deposit and billpay (which I already do). It was an easy phone call, though it feels sleazy of Citi that many customers will probably pay the $15 without taking the time to call about other options.