401k and Personal Finance

Leaving the Citi

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I mean the Citi Bank checking account. A few years ago I opened Citi Checking account online, mainly to take advantage of a $150 offer (if I do direct deposit) or keep balance at certain level (which is $1,500). A few months ago, I switched job, and in the process did not set up the direct deposit for Citi. Citi did not access the monthly charge initially until May 7, they put up $9.50 monthly service charge. Since I no longer need the account, and there is no Citi bank branch here in St. Louis, I went ahead, called the custmer representative (who is in India), and closed the account.

To be fair, although there is no branch here, I have used Citi bank for online billpay and used their customer service from time to time. One interesting moment is once, when I called them I forgot my password, the guy on the other side of the phone (in India) told me go to a bank branch and get it. I told him the nearest branch is $300 miles away. Eventually I called a US based customer number to get another password. To be fair again, they did send me password by mail (before I call), and I just lost track of it.

Another motivation for opening the Citi account, was I saw their branch in Shanghai, thinking I can withdraw money using Citi debit card while visiting Shanghai. Unfortunately that did not turn out to be true. They are totally separately. Actually I called the Shanghai customer service number trying to deposit USD once, and they don’t take it.

I know Citi bank is having a hard time now, I am in no way or intension to bad mouth them. I know they grow pretty aggressively in China in recent years, like offering residential mortgages for Expatriates. I hope they survives, and provide some competition against all the other banks. And eventually I could benefit as a consumer. But right now, I am happy with B of A, and US Bank (Bancorp).

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