Some big banks are stepping up and competing with online institutions for the best rates on savings accounts.

In fact, Citibank, the retail banking arm of Citigroup, just launched a highly competitive savings product. Called Citi Accelerate, this high-yield savings account pays 2.36 percent APY, well above the national average of 0.1 percent.

That yield is significantly higher than the savings rates offered by some of the nation’s largest banks. It also ranks high among the best nationally available savings account rates overall.

The new offering from Citi charges limited fees, and customers will enjoy having a high-yield savings option attached to a major bank that offers a range of other services. The offer is available in only 41 states (see below for a full list).

Citi is among just a select few large banks currently offering high-yield savings products worth considering. Notably, PNC Bank’s savings account pays 2.35 percent APY, just below Citi’s rate on a saving account.

How the account stacks up

At 2.36 percent APY, Citi’s high-yield savings account rate is very competitive, but several banks are offering slightly better deals.

CIBC Bank USA, CIT Bank, MySavingsDirect, TAB Bank, and Vio Bank all currently come out on top of Citibank.

As a plus, Citi requires no minimum deposit required to earn the APY, which is on par with other banks paying the top rates.

But where Citi really stands out is for the variety of other products it offers in addition to its savings account. It’s a full-service bank, providing everything banking related in one spot. And it has nearly 700 branches throughout the U.S.

If you’re already a Citi customer or you’re looking for an account at a bank that has a large national presence, this high-yield savings account may be worth considering.

Still, you can find higher yields elsewhere by shopping around. Make sure to consider all of your options before settling on an account.


Requirements, minimums and fees

Citi’s Accelerate Savings account must be opened in conjunction with one of its five banking packages. Some of those packages offer the potential to earn higher interest rates on savings and money market accounts, such as “The Citibank Account.” If you’re already a Citi customer, you can apply to add Accelerate Savings to an existing package.

There’s no minimum balance requirement to earn the APY and no minimum to open an account. But it does come with a monthly service charge fee of $4.50. That fee may be waived by maintaining a balance of $500 or more.

The ATM fee for non-Citibank ATM withdrawals is $2.50.

What else Citi offers

In addition to its savings account, Citibank offers a range of basic banking products you’d expect from a large institution — checking, CDs and banking IRAs.

Banking can be done digitally on Citi’s site or through its mobile app.

Like its savings selections, there are five different packages available for its checking options, with the “Access Account” package being the most basic. It includes a basic checking account with no paper checks and access to Citi’s digital products and services.

CDs at the bank range from three-month to five-year terms with varying minimum deposits and APYs. For example, its six-month CD pays 2.25 percent APY on minimum deposit amounts of $0 to $1 million or more. The 18-month CD from Citi pays 0.5 percent APY on deposits below $25,000 and 2.6 percent APY on deposits from $25,000 to $49,999.99.

Because it’s a big bank, it also offers credit cards, loans, investing services and wealth management.

States where the Citi high-yield savings account is available

The Citi Accelerate account is available in these states: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

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