Why I Close My Citibank Step Up Interest Account

Today, I went to Citibank branch at Church Street to close my Citibank step up interest account and withdraw the balance.

First, I filled up the account closure form at the customer service counter. Apparently or coincidentally, there was a queue of people closing their step up interest account as well.

Second, take a queue number. When it is your turn, the bank teller will tell you she needs to inform some banker to come down from the second floor to authorize and pass you the money. I waited for almost an hour before she called me and tell me I can collect my money.

Why am I closing my Citibank step up interest account?

Better Interest Rate Elsewhere

At maximum 0.13% pa, you are better off parking your money elsewhere with OCBC 360 or UOB One account.

Minimum Total Relationship Balance of 15K

Most of you who has a Citibank step up interest account should have received the following email notification.

From 1 February 2017, we will increase
i. The minimum Total Relationship Balance (as defined below) from S$5,000 to S$15,000 and
ii. the account service fee from S$10 to S$15.
The account service fee will apply at the end of each month should your Total Relationship Balance fall below S$15,000.

Seriously, this is the second time I have seen Citibank raising the minimum total relationship balance. Personally, I felt it very inconvenient to deposit money and withdraw money from Citibank. There is a lack of automated teller machines (ATM) island wide. There are many times that I thought of depositing money but didn’t know where to find a Citibank deposit machine. Branches at nearby train stations do not take in cash deposits.

Second, I felt it is totally unreasonable to charge $15 for the account service fee. We are depositing (lending) money to banks and we have to pay for it? Absurdly ridiculous.

7 thoughts to “Why I Close My Citibank Step Up Interest Account”

  1. Hi MSR,

    I got that email too and grumbled for a little bit. But I’ll still be topping up my Citi MaxiGain account to $15k. I’m getting about 1% now after building up my “counters”. If the SIBOR rate stays constant, I should be pulling in about 1.6% by mid year and that’s going to beat most fixed deposits!

    However, I don’t use my Citi as a regular account. I use it like an online savings-only bank account.

    1. I would like to second GMGH.
      Many financial products are out there but only a handful are gems. Step up account is not a gem.

      MaxiGain is one of the gems if you can get past the 15k minimum relationship barrier.
      FD rates have fallen drastically past half year. My MaxiGain is also giving me better rates as I have stepped up past #6.
      Myself I am looking forward to moving maturing FD from Maybank & SC into this MaxiGain.

  2. Feel sorry for you. I took their maxigain savings account .. its good. try that lah. Consolidate money w/ maxigain, FAST to dbs and withdraw islandwide..

  3. Thanks for your post. Yes, I’ve a step up account with Shittybank too. I’m thinking of closing it now. Which would readers recommend to go to? Ocbc or Uob?

  4. Now Citibank Maxigain at Step 12 is > 2%. Transferring money interbank is easy and immediate with FAST. I do agree that maintaining 15K may be a headache if you do not have much spare cash. Try OCBC360 or SCB Bonus Saver but do be informed that you need to spend to get the better interest rate.

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