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Citibank Review: Savings, Checking, CD, and IRA CD and Money Market Accounts

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any of our network partners.

How Citibank’s checking and savings accounts work

For the most part, you can’t really get an individual checking or savings account at Citibank. Instead, you have to apply for one of five account packages. That means that when you open a checking account, you’ll also get a linked savings account, and vice versa.Some account packages come with a monthly maintenance fee, which applies to the account package as a whole. For example, if there is a $30 monthly fee and you don’t meet the requirements to waive it using either your checking or savings account, the fee will be taken out once that month from your checking account.

To make things less confusing, we’ll go through all of the account packages first describing the checking accounts, because these accounts differ the most between account packages. Then, we’ll describe how the savings account works within each of these packages.

Citibank’s savings account options

Citi® Savings

This account comes with a great rate if you’re eligible. Be sure, however, to read the fine print.

APY

Minimum Deposit Amount

1.60%

<$10,000

  • Minimum opening deposit: $10,000
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $10
  • ATM fee: $2.50 fee per withdrawal on non-Citi ATMs
  • ATM fee refund: None.
  • Overdraft fee: None.

This promotional savings account comes with a great APY that is guaranteed for 12 months. However, there are certain requirements that you have to meet in order to earn this rate. You have to deposit and maintain the minimum deposit amount in order to qualify for the rate. If your balance falls below the $10,000 requirement, the promotional rate will expire and you won’t be able to get it reinstated. Also, the rate associated with this account may not be available in all markets.

You’ll have to open the account in Citi’s Access Account Package, which you can do online. To fund the account, you’ll have to do so via ACH, Direct Deposit, checks, or wires.

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Citi® Savings Account Packages

Generally lackluster interest rates on savings account packages

Citigold® and Citi Priority Savings Account Rates

 

Annual Percentage Yield (APY) by Account Balance

<$10,000

$10,000-
$24,999.99

$25,000-
$49,999.99

$50,000-
$99,999.99

$100,000-
$499,999.99

$500,000-
$999,999.99

$1,000,000+

Standard Interest Rate

0.04%

0.06%

0.10%

0.10%

0.12%

0.15%

0.15%

Citibank Account Package

APY by Account Balance

<$10,000

$10,000-
$24,999.99

$25,000-
$49,999.99

$50,000-
$99,999.99

$100,000-
$499,999.99

$500,000-
$999,999.99

$1,000,000+

Standard Interest Rate

0.04%

0.04%

0.08%

0.08%

0.10%

0.13%

0.13%

Basic Banking and Access Account Packages

APY by Account Balance

<$10,000

$10,000-
$24,999.99

$25,000-
$49,999.99

$50,000-
$99,999.99

$100,000-
$499,999.99

$500,000-
$999,999.99

$1,000,000+

Standard Interest Rate

0.04%

0.04%

0.06%

0.06%

0.06%

0.06%

0.06%

  • Minimum opening deposit: $100
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: For Basic and Access savings accounts, an additional $4.50 monthly maintenance fee applies if they are not linked to checking accounts. For account packages with linked checking and savings accounts, the fee may be charged to the checking account (see above account package descriptions for details).
  • How to waive monthly maintenance fee: For Basic and Access savings accounts, maintain a $500 minimum balance in your savings account or open the savings account with a linked checking account. Requirements for getting maintenance fees waived on other account packages are listed above.

To qualify for the promotional interest rates offered with some of the packages, you’ll need to meet a few requirements. You’ll need to open a new savings account (within an account package) and fund it with at least $25,000. You’ll also need to be 18 years or older, and provide Citibank with a W-9 or W-8BEN. Unfortunately, these promotional interest rates only last for 90 days after you open your account, after which they revert to the much lower standard interest rates.

You can apply for a Citi Savings account online, over the phone or at al branch.

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How Citibank’s savings accounts compare

Although Citibank offers good rates as high as 1.00% APY, it’s for a very short period of time and only if you bring a large amount of cash to the table and still meet other requirements.

Once the promotional period has passed, you’ll be left with piddly interest rates in account packages that may not meet your needs and potentially carry high fees to boot. If you’re looking for a low-fee and high-interest-rate savings account, you can do much better with other banks and credit unions like those in the roundup of the best online savings accounts.

Citibank checking account options

Citigold® Package

Myriad of exclusive deals and perks for people with a lot of cash

APY

Minimum Deposit Amount

0.03%

$0

  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fee: None
  • ATM fee refund: All ATM surcharges from non-Citibank ATMs are refunded for any statement period you are eligible for Citigold®.
  • Overdraft fee: None

The Citigold® account package is more than just a checking account. To qualify for this account package you’ll need to bring a lot of cash to the table: You’ll need at least $200,000 in all linked Citi accounts, whether they be in your deposit, retirement or investment accounts. If your balances dip below that amount, Citi will automatically convert your account to the Citi Priority account package.

But, if you can meet that high bar, you’ll be eligible for numerous perks, even if the interest rate on this savings account is admittedly quite low. You’ll get a personal team to help you navigate the intricacies of all this account package has to offer — and it offers a lot more than just free checks. You’ll get a personal financial adviser, a concierge service and numerous travel perks, as well as discounts and waived fees on various loans, lines of credit and investments. Plus, you can enroll your checking account in Citi’s ThankYou Rewards® program.

You can apply for a Citigold® account online, over the phone, or by visiting a local branch.

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Citi Priority Account Package

Nice perks for people with less — but still a lot — of money

APY

Minimum Deposit Amount

0.03%

$0

  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $30
  • How to waive monthly maintenance fee: Keep at least $50,000 in linked Citibank accounts, including deposit accounts, retirement accounts and investment accounts.
  • ATM fee: None
  • ATM fee refund: Not available
  • Overdraft fee: None

Unlike the Citigold® account, which has no fees, you’ll pay a high monthly fee of $30 with this account unless you can keep at least $50,000 in other linked Citi accounts. If you’re able to do that, though, you can still take advantage of many of the same perks offered to the premium Citigold® members.

You’re eligible to link your checking account with the Citi ThankYou® Rewards program. This account still waives all banking fees, and offers you discounts and waived fees off of investment products, loans, and lines of credit. And while you may not have an entire team waiting at your fingertips, you still have exclusive access to financial advisors to help you make investment decisions.

You can apply for a Citi Priority account online, over the phone or by visiting a local branch.

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The Citibank® Account Package

Average account with above-average requirements

APY

Minimum Deposit Amount

0.01%

$0

  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $25
  • How to waive monthly maintenance fee: Keep at least $10,000 in linked Citibank deposit, retirement or investment accounts.
  • ATM fee: $2.50 for each non-Citibank ATM use, unless you have at least $10,000 in linked Citibank accounts.
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $10 per day when funds are transferred to cover an overdraft.

If you can’t meet the high minimum balance requirements of the Citigold® or Citi Priority account packages, you might consider the Citibank Account. You can enroll your account in Citi ThankYou® Rewards, and your first order of checks is free.

But, you’ll still need to keep a high account balance of $10,000 in linked Citibank accounts to avoid paying the high monthly fee. In return, you earn interest on this account, but it’s a miniscule 0.01% APY.

You can apply for a the Citibank Account in online, over the phone or at a local branch.

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Basic Banking Package

A no-frills account—but watch out for high fees.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $0
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $12
  • How to waive monthly maintenance fee: You can get out of the maintenance fee if you
    1. are 62 years or older
    2. make one bill payment from your account and one qualifying direct deposit into your account each month
    3. keep at least $1,500 in your checking and/or savings account
  • ATM fee: $2.50 for each withdrawal at a non-Citi ATM.
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $10 per day when funds are transferred to cover an overdraft.

This account is truly a no-frills version of Citi’s premium checking accounts. Not only does it not pay any interest or earn any Citi ThankYou® Rewards points, but you’ll have to watch out for high fees, as well. If you can’t meet the minimum deposit or age requirements, you’ll also be shelling out $12 per month for this austere account.

You can apply for the Basic Banking account online, over the phone or at a local branch.

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Access Account Package

A high-fee checking account—that doesn’t let you write physical checks
  • Minimum opening deposit: $0
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $10
  • How to waive monthly maintenance fee: There are three options:
    1. Keep at least $1,500 in your account
    2. Make a bill payment from your account
    3. Have at least one qualifying direct deposit into your account each month
  • ATM fee: $2.50 for each withdrawal at a non-Citi ATM.
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: None

This is a bit of a bizarre account. In exchange for a slightly lower fee ($2 less), you can get basically the same thing as the Basic Banking account but without the ability to write physical checks. If all you need to do is pay bills online, this account might work for you — but as soon as you need to write a physical check, you’re out of luck with this account.

Besides, the requirements to waive the monthly fee are almost the same, though the Access Account lets you slide by with one fewer bill payment/direct deposit per month. If you meet the requirements to have the Access Account maintenance fee waived, why not at least upgrade to the Basic Account and the ability to write physical checks?

If you do decide that this account is right for you, you for a Citi Access account online, over the phone or at a branch.

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How Citibank’s checking accounts compare

Citibank’s premium account packages (Citigold® and Citi Priority) offer a lot of perks by way of waived fees and free services. However, unless you have deep pockets, you’ll likely be limited to considering The Citibank Account, Basic Banking or Access Account. These accounts come with high monthly account maintenance fees unless you can qualify for one of the ways to waive these pesky fees.

All of Citi’s checking accounts — even the ones with the nice premium perks — offer very low yields, especially compared to high-interest checking accounts available elsewhere.

Citibank CD Rates

Small earnings, but small early withdrawal penalties as well.

CD Rates for Citigold® account holders

CD Term

APY by Deposit Amount

Below $10,000

$10,000-
$24,999.99

$25,000-
$49,999.99

$50,000-
$99,999.99

$100,000+

3 month

0.05%

0.05%

0.05%

0.05%

0.05%

4 month

0.05%

0.05%

0.05%

0.05%

0.05%

5 month

0.05%

0.05%

0.05%

0.05%

0.05%

6 month

0.07%

0.07%

0.07%

0.07%

0.07%

7 month

0.10%

0.10%

0.10%

0.10%

0.10%

8 month

0.07%

0.07%

0.07%

0.07%

0.07%

9 month

0.10%

0.10%

1.75%

1.75%

1.75%

10 month

0.10%

0.10%

0.10%

0.10%

0.10%

12 month

0.25%

0.25%

0.25%

0.25%

0.25%

13 month

0.20%

0.20%

2.00%

2.00%

2.25%

18 month

0.25%

0.25%

2.35%

2.35%

2.35%

2 year

0.50%

0.50%

0.50%

0.50%

0.50%

30 month

0.25%

0.25%

0.25%

0.25%

0.25%

3 year

0.70%

0.70%

0.70%

0.70%

0.70%

4 year

0.75%

0.75%

0.75%

0.75%

0.75%

5 year

0.80%

0.80%

0.80%

0.80%

0.80%

CD Rates for Citi Priority account holders

CD Term

APY by Deposit Amount

Below $10,000

$10,000-
$24,999.99

$25,000-
$49,999.99

$50,000-
$99,999.99

$100,000+

3 month

0.05%

0.05%

0.05%

0.05%

0.05%

4 month

0.05%

0.05%

0.05%

0.05%

0.05%

5 month

0.05%

0.05%

0.05%

0.05%

0.05%

6 month

0.07%

0.07%

0.07%

0.07%

0.07%

7 month

0.10%

0.10%

0.10%

0.10%

0.10%

8 month

0.07%

0.07%

0.07%

0.07%

0.07%

9 month

0.10%

0.10%

1.75%

1.75%

1.75%

10 month

0.10%

0.10%

0.10%

0.10%

0.10%

12 month

0.25%

0.25%

0.25%

0.25%

0.25%

13 month

0.20%

0.20%

2.00%

2.00%

2.25%

18 month

0.25%

0.25%

2.35%

2.35%

2.35%

2 year

0.50%

0.50%

0.50%

0.50%

0.50%

30 month

0.25%

0.25%

0.25%

0.25%

0.25%

3 year

0.70%

0.70%

0.70%

0.70%

0.70%

4 year

0.75%

0.75%

0.75%

0.75%

0.75%

5 year

0.80%

0.80%

0.80%

0.80%

0.80%

CD Rates for The Citibank Account, Basic Banking, and Access Account packages

CD Term

APY by Deposit Amount

Below $10,000

$10,000-
$24,999.99

$25,000-
$49,999.99

$50,000-
$99,999.99

$100,000+

3 month

0.05%

0.05%

0.05%

0.05%

0.05%

4 month

0.05%

0.05%

0.05%

0.05%

0.05%

5 month

0.05%

0.05%

0.05%

0.05%

0.05%

6 month

0.07%

0.07%

0.07%

0.07%

0.07%

7 month

0.10%

0.10%

0.10%

0.10%

0.10%

8 month

0.07%

0.07%

0.07%

0.07%

0.07%

9 month

0.10%

0.10%

1.75%

1.75%

1.75%

10 month

0.10%

0.10%

0.10%

0.10%

0.10%

12 month

0.25%

0.25%

0.25%

0.25%

0.25%

13 month

0.20%

0.20%

2.00%

2.00%

2.25%

18 month

0.25%

0.25%

2.35%

2.35%

2.35%

2 year

0.50%

0.50%

0.50%

0.50%

0.50%

30 month

0.25%

0.25%

0.25%

0.25%

0.25%

3 year

0.70%

0.70%

0.70%

0.70%

0.70%

4 year

0.75%

0.75%

0.75%

0.75%

0.75%

5 year

0.80%

0.80%

0.80%

0.80%

0.80%

  • Minimum opening deposit: $1,000
  • Early withdrawal penalty:
    • For CDs with terms of one year or less, you’ll pay 90 days’ worth of interest.
    • For CDs with terms of over one year, you’ll pay 180 days’ worth of interest.

    However, you can withdraw the interest at any time without paying a penalty.

Citibank says that it offers different rates depending on which account package you open up a CD with. (That’s right — you can’t just go to the bank and open a CD. You need to have an existing account with them first.) But, as you’ll see above, the rates actually are the same for each type of account package.

If you already have an account package with Citi and you’d like to apply for a CD, you can do so online, over the phone or at a branch. All you’ll need to provide is basic information about yourself (including your Social Security number), have a physical address in the United States, and have a valid form of ID.

If you have “issues with your credit history” or are depositing more than $100,000 into your CD, you cannot do so online or over the phone — you’ll have to go and visit a Citibank branch in person.

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How Citibank’s CDs compare

Citibank offers very low rates on its CDs, especially compared to high yield CDs you can get elsewhere without having to mess around with account packages.

One clear advantage of Citibank CDs is that the early withdrawal penalties are relatively low. For example, the early withdrawal penalty on a five-year Citibank CD is 180 days’ worth of interest. Discover Bank — which offers much better CD rates — charges a whopping 18 months’ worth of interest if you withdraw the cash early from Discover’s five-year CD. However, Citi’s CD rates are so low, you’d be better off putting money in a high-yield savings account — the best ones offer rates higher than Citi’s CDs — and not worrying about early withdrawal fees. That wouldn’t necessarily be a good strategy in a falling-rates market, but since rates hit a historic low after the financial crisis, we’ve been in a rising-rates market.

Unless you a) already have an existing account with Citibank, b) don’t want to go through the hassle of opening a CD at another institution (it’s not hard, we promise), and c) think that there’s a high likelihood that you’ll withdraw the money early and don’t want to open accounts elsewhere, we wouldn’t recommend a Citibank CD.

Citibank IRA accounts

Guaranteed low returns, especially when compared to equity investments

Citibank offers banking IRAs in two flavors: as CDs (with the rates listed in the section above), or as a money market account at an interest rate of 0.20% APY*. These rates are extremely low, especially when compared to higher-yielding IRA CDs.

In general, the returns on IRA CDs and money market accounts don’t even come close to the kind of gains you need to be making while growing your retirement accounts, and Citibank’s banking IRAs are no exception. For example, equities (i.e., stocks and bonds) earn average returns of around 7% per year — far higher than the piddly 0.50% APY that you can get in a best-case scenario with a Citibank CD.

In fact, the rates that Citi offers for banking IRAs are far lower than typical inflation levels (around 3% per year). This means that even if you opt for the highest rates that Citi offers, your money won’t even keep pace with inflation over time and you’ll be left with less and less each year (albeit at a guaranteed rate).

Overall review of Citibank

Although Citibank offers some great credit cards (such as the Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer and Citi® Simplicity Card), they fall short in the deposits department.

Citibank does offer some nice perks, such as some accounts being eligible for Citi’s ThankYou® Rewards program. The Citigold® and Citi Priority account packages come with features that can save you money and make your life easier, if you have the deep pockets required for these account packages.

All-in-all, while there are some bright spots to Citibank’s accounts, you can earn higher rates and pay lower fees at other banks and credit unions.

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from which MagnifyMoney receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). MagnifyMoney does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

Lindsay VanSomeren
Lindsay VanSomeren |

Lindsay VanSomeren is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Lindsay here

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Reviews

Apple Card Review

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any of our network partners.

The information related to Apple Card and Uber Visa Card has been collected by MagnifyMoney and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication.

Apple aims to redefine credit card usage with the launch of the Apple Card, which debuted in March 2019. In addition to providing a simplified application process and not charging any fees, the Apple Card encourages members to pay less interest and provides special privacy and security features. Customers also receive a percentage of every Apple Card purchase amount in the form of Daily Cash.

Cardholders earn 2% Daily Cash every time they use Apple Card with Apple Pay. 3% Daily Cash on all purchases made directly with Apple, including at Apple Stores, apple.com, the App Store, the iTunes Store and for Apple services, and using Apple Pay for Uber and Uber Eats and 1% daily cash on store, website or app that doesn't take apple pay.

Daily Cash, which is automatically added to your Apple Cash card in the Wallet app on your iPhone, can be used like cash to make purchases, send money to your bank account, pay down your Apple Card balance and more.

If you have an iPhone 6 or later, you may be eligible for the Apple Card. To apply, simply update your iPhone to iOS 12.4, open the Wallet app and tap the plus (+) sign. Once approved, you can begin using your Apple Card instantly via Apple Pay.

You will also be issued a physical, titanium card to use at locations where Apple Pay is not yet accepted. Purchases made using the titanium Apple Card will earn 1% Daily Cash.

In this review, we’ll break down the pros and cons of the Apple Card as well as show how it compares to the Uber Visa Card.

Where the Apple Card stands out

Rewards rate. The Apple Card offers 2% Daily Cash every time they use Apple Card with Apple Pay. 3% Daily Cash on all purchases made directly with Apple, including at Apple Stores, apple.com, the App Store, the iTunes Store and for Apple services, and using Apple Pay for Uber and Uber Eats and 1% daily cash on store, website or app that doesn't take apple pay.

No fees. You will not be charged additional fees to use the Apple Card. In addition to a $0 annual fee, the Apple Card comes with a $0 returned payment fee, a $0 late penalty fee (although you will incur interest charges) and no foreign transaction fees.

Smart payment suggestions. To help you make informed decisions when paying your card bill, the Apple Card will estimate the interest charges you will incur (in real time), based on the amount you decide to pay.

Also, the Apple Card offers smart payment suggestions to encourage you to pay down your balance more quickly.

Privacy and security. A unique card number is created on your iPhone for your Apple Card. This means that each purchase made using your iPhone is protected by Face ID or Touch ID authorization, as well as a one-time unique dynamic security code.

Additionally, the issuer of the Apple Card, Goldman Sachs Bank USA, does not share or sell your data to third parties for marketing and advertising purposes.

Additional Apple Card benefits

  • Titanium card for places that don’t accept Apple Pay
  • Ability to contact Apple Card support 24/7 by sending a text from Messages
  • Real-time views of your latest transactions and balance via the Wallet app
  • Weekly and monthly spending summaries

Where the Apple Card falls short

No sign-up bonus. The Apple Card does not come with a sign-up bonus.

Application restrictions. If you’re an Android cellphone user, you’re out of luck. The Apple Card is only available if you have an iPhone 6 or later that runs the latest version of iOS.

How it compares with the Uber Visa Card

If you want to earn bonus cash back in popular spend categories without paying an annual fee, there are other credit cards to consider. The Uber Visa Card, for example, offers 4% back on dining, including UberEats, 3% back on hotel and airfare, 2% back for online purchases, Uber and music streaming services, and 1% on everything else.
Additionally, the card also comes with a $0 annual fee and doesn’t require an iPhone to apply.

See how the Uber Visa Card compares to the Apple Card in the table below.

 Apple CardUber Visa Card
Annual fee$0$0
Sign-up bonusN/AEarn $100 after spending $500 on purchases in the first 90 days.
Rewards
  • 2% Daily Cash every time they use Apple Card with Apple Pay. 3% Daily Cash on all purchases made directly with Apple, including at Apple Stores, apple.com, the App Store, the iTunes Store and for Apple services, and using Apple Pay for Uber and Uber Eats and 1% daily cash on store, website or app that doesn't take apple pay.

  • 4% back on dining, including UberEats, 3% back on hotel and airfare, 2% back for online purchases, Uber and music streaming services, and 1% on everything else.

Intro APR on purchasesN/AN/A
Regular purchase APR12.99%-23.99% Variable17.74% - 28.49% Variable
Foreign transaction feesNone0% of each transaction in U.S. dollars.

Unlike the Apple Card, the Uber Visa Card allows you to earn $100 after spending $500 on purchases in the first 90 days. Additionally, the Uber Visa Card offers a higher cashback rate on dining, hotels and airfare.

That said, the Uber Visa Card offers a slightly lower cashback rate on Uber purchases than the Apple Card: The Uber Visa Card offers 2% back on Uber purchases, compared with 3% with the Apple Card. The caveat is you must pay for your Uber purchases via Apple Pay to earn the 3% rate with the Apple Card.

The bottom line

If you’re an iPhone user who wants to earn cash back on every purchase and take advantage of tools that encourage responsible card usage, the Apple Card is a solid option. However, if prefer a card that comes with a sign-up bonus and a higher rewards rate on dining and travel purchases, the Uber Visa Card is the better choice.

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from which MagnifyMoney receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). MagnifyMoney does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

Tracy Brackman
Tracy Brackman |

Tracy Brackman is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Tracy here

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Best of, Reviews

The Top 7 Second Chance Bank Accounts

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any of our network partners.

Some banks don’t like giving second chances to customers who have less-than-stellar financial histories, especially since it could expose them to expensive risks. A record of bounced checks or debit card overdrafts could easily lock you out of the conveniences of modern banking.

Fortunately, banks also like making money, and some offer special “second chance” accounts that minimize their risk while allowing consumers to stay in the banking system. A second chance bank account gives customers with troubled records a fresh opportunity to demonstrate they can bank responsibly.

When it comes to a second chance account, fees are an unfortunate reality. But some accounts offer customers a better deal than others, and we’ve researched our database to find the second chance accounts with the most reasonable fee structures, while also factoring in whether they provide online and mobile banking, and how accessible accounts are throughout the country.

Account Name

Monthly Fee

Minimum to open

Availability

Chime$0$0Nationwide
Peoples Bank Cash Solutions Second Chance Checking$4.95$30Nationwide
Radius Essential Checking$0$10Nationwide
Wells Fargo Opportunity Checking and Savings Accounts$10, can be waived if you meet requirements$25All 39 states (plus Washington D.C.) that has a Wells Fargo location.
BBVA Easy Checking$13.95$25Nationwide, with the exception of Alaska and Hawaii
Woodforest National Bank Second Chance Checking$9.95 monthly maintenance fee if you use a direct deposit; $11.95 without a direct deposit$25Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, Virginia, and West Virginia
First National Bank and Trust Company Renew Checking$9.95; $7.95 with direct deposit$25Select areas of Wisconsin and Illinois

Second chance account basics

With a second chance bank account, customers shut out of traditional bank accounts get the opportunity to win their way back into a bank’s good graces. Similar to credit bureaus, financial services company ChexSystems maintains records of consumers’ banking histories. Bounced checks, overdrawn accounts or instances of fraud can all end up on your ChexSystems record; if you accumulate enough black marks on ChexSystems, banks could deny your application to open a new account.

Because second chance accounts are meant for customers who have demonstrated bad banking behavior, some lack features of traditional accounts, such as overdraft protection. In the eyes of the bank, you represent too much of a risk for them to extend you such courtesies.

Nobody likes paying fees, and we generally advise consumers to avoid needless banking fees due to the many fee-free banking options available. But fees are the price you pay for access to banking when you have a poor record. Plus, the second chance accounts listed below give you access to online and mobile banking, which is always a plus.

The 7 best second chance bank accounts

1. Chime

Chime

Fintech app developer Chime is not a bank, however their online checking account product is open to everybody no matter how bad your record is with ChexSystems. Chime does not check on applicants with ChexSystems, plus they offer lots of non-traditional features to help you get your financial life back on track. Best of all is the fact that they charge no fees at all, and require neither a minimum opening deposit or a minimum balance.

Chime account features:

  • No opening balance or minimum balance requirements.
  • Set up direct deposit for your paycheck, and the funds from each pay period will be deposited as soon as the transaction is initiated, giving you access to your pay up to two days earlier than conventional checking accounts.
  • Automatic savings features to help you save in your connected Chime Savings account.
  • The app sends you daily bank account balance notifications, and sends transaction alerts every time you use your debit card.
  • You can disable the debit card from the app.
  • Send 15 fee-free “friend transfers” P2P payments each month.
  • Nominal 0.01% APY on all deposits.

Fees to watch out for:

  • Chime’s service is almost entirely fee-free: No monthly charges, no ACH transfer fees, no foreign transaction fees, and no ATM fees if you withdraw funds from MoneyPass or Visa Plus Alliance network ATMs.
  • If you make an ATM withdrawal outside of these networks, there is a $2.50 fee.
  • Overdrafts are not permitted, so there is never an overdraft fee.

LEARN MORE Secured

on Chime’s secure website

Member FDIC

2. Peoples Bank Cash Solutions Second Chance Checking

Peoples Bank Cash Solutions

This Texas-based bank offers a second chance bank account that is available nationwide, and so long as you don’t have a record of bank or checking fraud on your record, you should be approved for this account. You’ll need to deposit at least $30 before the bank activates your account and provides you with checks and a debit card.

Fees to watch out for:

  • $4.95 monthly maintenance fee
  • $27.50 overdraft fee
  • $27.50 nonsufficient funds fee
  • $3.95 printed statement fee (which can be avoided with electronic statements)
  • $2.00 ATM withdrawal fee at machines not owned by Peoples Bank
  • $25 stop payment fee
  • $20 account closure fee (if within 90 days of opening account)

LEARN MORE Secured

on Peoples Bank Cash Solutions’s secure website

Member FDIC

3. Radius Essential Checking

Radius Bank

Products from online bank Radius are available to customers nationwide, and accessibility is a strong point in its favor. This second chance bank account only requires customers to deposit $10 to open an Essential Checking account, which is lower than some other accounts on this list.

Account Features:

  • A free debit card
  • 24/7 mobile and online banking
  • Access to Radius’s budgeting and personal finance tracking apps
  • Eligibility to upgrade to Radius’s Reward Checking account after 12 months of positive banking history

Fees to watch out for:

  • $9 monthly maintenance fee
  • $25 per item non-sufficient funds fee (waived on all overdraft items $5 or less)
  • $5 daily overdraft fee

LEARN MORE Secured

on Radius Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

4. Wells Fargo Opportunity Checking and Savings Accounts

Wells Fargo Bank

Wells Fargo’s Opportunity Checking and Savings Accounts are tailor-made for folks with a lackluster credit or banking history. With a $25 opening deposit, you’ll get access to a second chance bank account that offers most of the bells and whistles of a traditional bank account. The account does come with a monthly fee, although it’s possible to waive it if you meet a few requirements (see below).

Account features:

  • $25 minimum deposit to open
  • Free transfers are available between Opportunity Checking and Savings accounts
  • You can choose to opt into overdraft protection
  • Free access to bill pay
  • “My Spending Report with Budget Watch” is available if you want to pay extra attention to where your money is going
  • Free debit card with access to more than 13,000 Wells Fargo ATMs throughout the country

Fees to watch out for:

  • $10 monthly service fee, waived if any of the following are true:
    • You make 10 posted debit card purchases or payments
    • You keep a minimum daily balance of $1,500 in the account
    • You receive $500 total in direct deposits each statement cycle
  • $35 overdraft and returned item fee
  • $12.50 overdraft protection transfer fee
  • $15 fee for excess activity (exceeding withdrawals from your savings account)
  • 3% foreign transaction fee with your debit card
  • $5 for money orders
  • $31 for stop payments

LEARN MORE Secured

on Wells Fargo Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

5. BBVA Easy Checking

BBVA
BBVA’s Easy Checking product is available as a second chance account to customers in the Lower 48 (sorry, residents of Alaska and Hawaii, you’ll have to look elsewhere). Note that you must open the account at one of the bank’s branch locations, or by phone outside of the branch network footprint; you cannot open this account via their website. There is a $13.95 monthly service charge to maintain the account. You can request that BBVA upgrade your account one of their regular checking products after 12 months — and ditch that high monthly fee — so long as the Easy Checking account remains active and has a positive balance.

BBVA Easy Checking features::

  • Online and mobile banking, customized alerts, and a free debit card (with option to personalize)
  • $25 minimum deposit to open
  • Free BBVA ATM withdrawals

Fees to watch out for:

  • $3 fee for out-of-network ATM withdrawals
  • $38 insufficient funds fee ($32 in California)
  • $15 deposit item returned fee
  • $32 stop payment fee made over the phone or in person ($30 in California); $25 if made online
  • No fee for closing your account within 180 days of opening

LEARN MORE Secured

on BBVA’s secure website

Member FDIC

6. Woodforest National Bank Second Chance Checking

Woodforest National Bank

This regional bank has a checking account aptly named Second Chance Checking, to help people rejected by other banks access — provided they live in one of the 17 states where a physical branch exists and can meet the $25 minimum opening deposit requirement. Those states are: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, Virginia, and West Virginia.

Fees to watch out for:

  • $9.95 monthly maintenance fee if you use a direct deposit (or $11.95 without a direct deposit), $3.00 monthly paper statement fee (which can be avoided if you sign up for electronic statements)
  • $9 one-time account set-up fee
  • $2.50 ATM withdrawal fee when used at a non-Woodforest network ATM
  • $15 debit card set-up fee
  • $29 overdraft fee (for each charge)

LEARN MORE Secured

on Woodforest National Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

7. First National Bank and Trust Company Renew Checking

First National Bank and Trust Company (WI)

First National Bank and Trust Company’s second chance bank account offering is called Renew Checking. You’re eligible for a new account if you live near the bank’s Beloit, Wisc. headquarters, in southern Wisconsin and northern Illinois.

Account Features:

  • No monthly minimum balance
  • $25 minimum deposit to open
  • Free online and mobile banking, bill pay, and e-statements
  • Access to 70,000 no-fee ATMs worldwide through Allpoint and MoneyPass
  • Eligible to upgrade account after twelve months in good standing

Fees to watch out for:

  • $9.95 monthly service fee, or $7.95 with direct deposit
  • $30 early account closure fee (if closed within 90 days of opening)
  • $34.50 overdraft fee
  • $34.50 insufficient funds fee
  • $34.50 stop payment fee

The fee schedule for personal accounts at First National Bank and Trust Company is here.

LEARN MORE Secured

on First National Bank And Trust Company (WI)’s secure website

Member FDIC

Alternatives to a second chance bank account

Get a prepaid debit card

Tired of the traditional banking experience? You could opt for a prepaid debit card instead. With a prepaid card, you can load money onto it and spend at merchants that accept major credit and debit cards. But if you try and spend more money than what’s on the card, the transaction is declined — although this prevents you from accruing any overdraft or insufficient funds fees. This is useful if you feel you may still have trouble managing your spending and need an extra layer of security to prevent you from getting into trouble.

Some prepaid cards offer extra perks like advance direct deposit and free ATMs so long as you stay in their network.

Open a secured credit card

You may also have better luck applying for a secured credit card if your credit score is in good enough shape. Usually, this requires depositing cash with the lender, who then gives you the credit card for the same amount. Each month that you make on-time payments, the bank will report that good behavior to the credit bureaus, helping you boost your credit score. At the end of the payment period (generally 12 months, though it varies by banks), you’ll get the full deposit back.

Secured cards can come with high interest rates and many don’t feature the enticing rewards other high-end cards do, but they get the basic job done for consumers who don’t need a card with a high credit limit.

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from which MagnifyMoney receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). MagnifyMoney does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

Erin Millard
Erin Millard |

Erin Millard is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Erin at [email protected]

James Ellis
James Ellis |

James Ellis is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email James here