Citibank Raises Fees For Accounts, But Plans To Offer Free Credit Reports To Some Customers

Citibank is poised to become the second financial institution to provide customers with free credit scores each month. But that’s only if customers stick with the company after its latest fee hike.

CNNMoney reports that starting in January Citibank will increase monthly fees on a variety of accounts.

The fees for the Citi rewards checking account will increase $5, bringing the monthly cost to $25, while the fees for the company’s basic accounts will rise from $10 to $12 per month.

Officials with Citi said in a statement that the company continually evaluates the pricing of its products and adjustments are made based on servicing cost and marketplace pricing.

But according to Bankrate.com, the fee increases put Citi firmly in the category of priciest accounts.

The average basic interest-bearing account – similar to Citi’s reward account – has a price tag of $14.76 per month, while basic non-interest bearing accounts, like Citi’s basic account, go for about $5.26 per month, Bankrate reports.

In addition to increasing monthly fees, Citi has also made it more difficult for some customers to receive monthly fee waivers.

While the average monthly balance consumers are required to keep in their account in order to get a waiver will decrease, lines of credit, mortgages, credit cards and loan balances will no longer be counted toward that balance.

Perhaps as a way to divert eyes from its upcoming fee hike, Citi also announced that it would begin including customers’ FICO credit scores on monthly statements – with a few exceptions.

Officials with Citi tell the Plain Dealer that the new service came about as a way to “provide enhanced value to out card members.”

Still, the service won’t exactly be readily available to customers.

While Discover, which announced in February that it would provide customer’s their credit scores free of charge, posts the information on physical bills each month, Citi will only offer the service online.

Additionally, the scores will only be provided to the 23.5 million customers with Citi-branded credit cards. That means customers with Sears, Best Buy and Macy’s branded Citi cards will have to get their scores elsewhere, and likely for a fee.

The Plain Dealer reports that both Chase and Bank of America are considering offering customers free, monthly credit scores.

Citi hikes fees on checking customers [CNNMoney]
Citibank to start offering free credit scores to credit card customers; Chase and Bank of America considering the same [The Plain Dealer]