Citi Offering Cash Back for New Customers

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The Associated Press

Citi is offering anyone who opens a checking account 5% cash back on debit purchases through Nov. 30.

How It Works:

You need to sign up by July 9 for an EZ Checking, Citibank Checking or Citigold account.

Basic checking accounts do not qualify.

Those who open an EZ or Citibank account need to spend at least $250 a month to get the rebate. The total cash back you can earn during the promotion is capped at $250.

Anyone who opens a Citigold account needs to spend at least $500 a month. Total cash back earnings are capped at $500.

The Fine Print:

Only debit purchases that require the cardholder's signature qualify. That's because such transactions generate more merchant fee income than PIN purchases. Cashiers may not always offer the signature option, so you'd need to make a habit of requesting it.

Each of the qualifying checking accounts also requires a minimum average monthly balance:

— EZ Checking: $1,500.

— Citibank Checking: $6,000.

— Citigold: $100,000.

Depending on the type of account, balances from other Citi deposits — such as savings, money-market or mortgage accounts — can count toward your average monthly balance.

Background:

Debit reward programs aren't that unusual. In fact, Citi has a free rewards program for all debit card holders. Cardholders earn points that can be redeemed at the bank's online mall.

Bank of America, Chase, and Wells Fargo also have debit reward programs. Program terms vary, of course, and some require annual fees.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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