Posted by William Charles on February 17, 2016
Bank Account Bonuses

Published on February 17th, 2016 | by William Charles


[PA]Citadel Banking Offers An Increased Sign Up Bonus Of $250 – No Direct Deposit

Offer at a glance

  • Maximum bonus amount: $250 cash
  • Availability: Must live, work, worship, or study in Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, or Philadelphia Counties, or the city of Lancaster, PA or if  a member of your family or household is already a customer, no matter where you live.
  • Direct deposit required: No
  • Additional requirements: Make three signature based debit card transactions + request points
  • Hard/soft pull: Soft
  • Credit card funding: Up to $500
  • Monthly fees: $0
  • Early account termination fee: None
  • Expiration date: Not listed

The Offer

Direct link to offer

  • Open a new checking account with Citadel Credit Union with a minimum opening deposit of $50 and receive 25,000 points (worth $250 in gift cards) when you complete the following requirements:
    • Make at least three (3) signature transactions using your new debit card within the first 30 days after opening your account
    • Call us or visit any one of our convenient branch locations to request your 25,000 bonus points

citadel 250 bonus

The Fine Print

  • This limited time offer may be withdrawn at any time
  • The offer may not be combined with any other offer
  • Bonus rewards points available to new checking customers only; One offer per household, per lifetime
  • Customer must not have closed a Citadel checking account within the last 12 months
  • All bank bonuses are treated as interest and as such you must pay taxes on them

Credit Card

Citadel also offer a credit card (currently with a $300 balance transfer bonus). After completing the sign up for this checking account you’ll sometimes be pre-approved for this card, if this happens then it’s only a soft credit pull (no hard pull is done), this is called the bank cart trick and is similar to the shopping cart trick

Avoiding Fees

Citadel bank does not charge any early account termination fees from what we could find. They also offer free checking accounts which don’t have any requirements to stay fee free (if the account is inactive for a period of 365  days or more a $5 fee is charged monthly though).  More details on the fee here.

Our Verdict

This is a great bonus, only a soft pull, high bonus amount with easy to meet requirements, no requirements to keep the account fee free and credit card funding pretty much as good as it gets. Only slight hassle is you need to call or go into a branch to get the bonus added to your account, not really a big deal since there is no direct deposit requirement though. We’ve added this to our list of the best bank account bonuses.

86 Responses to [PA]Citadel Banking Offers An Increased Sign Up Bonus Of $250 – No Direct Deposit

  1. Jason says:

    Soft pull. The $250 is points, not cash. Still waiting to receive the points and will see whether able to redeem for cash.

  2. Jack says:

    Thanks, just opened this. Chat agent said the CC funding limit was $500. You can use Visa, MC, Amex, or Discover.

  3. jay says:

    Once in lifetime bonus? Atone successful in opening and getting bonus twice? Did this back in 2014. I guess I won’t be eligible.

  4. Alex says:

    Was anyone able to open the account online completely or did it say at the end that a representative will get back within 24-48 hours?

    • dizzy says:

      I wasn’t, it says application pending.

    • Pat says:

      After applying, I did get the email saying a rep would contract me. Never happened. I applied on a Friday and received email approval on Saturday. I got a copy of my credit reports yesterday. No credit pull at all – soft nor hard. But they did pull Chex Systems.

  5. Harry says:

    Can anyone speak to what you can receive with CU Rewards? That’s what it appears you receive points toward w/ this bonus (and other bank bonuses I have seen before). CU Rewards is referenced in the Citadel direct link page.

    I suspect, but do not know, that you cannot redeem points for cash. It may be a cash equivalent i.e. a gift card to a particular site. The other option appears to be you redeem points for whatever is available in the CU Rewards catalog. Unfortunately it does not look like someone without a CU Rewards account can actually see redemption options.

  6. Harry says:

    William touched on it being $250 in gift cards above, so pardon my one comment about not being able to redeem for cash. But what stores/vendors can you receive a $250 gift card from? If the options are very limited, then this promo is not nearly as valuable to many of us.

    • Sam Robinson says:

      The 25,000 reward points are redeemable for $250 cash, gift cards are slightly better, somewhere around 9000-9500 points gets you a $100 gift card.

  7. Dizzy says:

    How could I prove I “live, work, worship, or study in Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, or Philadelphia Counties, or the city of Lancaster, PA?” Anyone know what they’re asking for for non residents as proof?

    • heathcliffbars says:

      They are asking for government issued ID which matches the address on your application.

      • dizzy says:

        Yeah, but if you work or go to school in PA you might live in NJ, DE etc

        • Ian says:

          If Citadel CU asks, you would have to prove that you “live, work, worship, or study..” by showing a rental agreement or utility bill, a paystub, w2, or employee badge/ID, a check paid to worship place (not really sure to prove you worship there), or a recent school tuition bill or report card or student ID. You may have to fax, mail, or in person.

        • Pat says:

          I was never asked to provide proof. However, I had called to find out what I needed to provide if I attended church in Phila. The ‘”worship” requirement does not necessarily mean “member” of the church. I attend my dad’s church 2x month in the city. I was told I could show copies of checks for donations, get a letter from the church, etc. But I was never asked to show it.

          And I just learned something new about “signature” transactions. Signature transactions just means you DIDN’T select debit and entered your pin. For small transactions, you may not have to sign, even if you opt for credit. The reason why they want us to do “signature” is because the fees are lower for signature transactions vs debit/pin transactions. Maybe everybody else knows this. I’m just finding out.

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  9. Would buying things on Amazon (like gift cards) count as signature transactions? From my Googling, it appears that it would – using your debit card without entering your PIN seems to be considered a signature transaction.

  10. heathcliffbars says:

    This is my first attempt at bank account bonuses so excuse my naivete. When I applied, they required you have a savings account in order to open the checking account. When I got the documentation, there were some fees associated with the savings account. Specifically a $2 fee for paper statements (don’t know if you are defaulted to estatements) and a $5 early termination fee (before 90 days)

  11. dizzy says:

    I just emailed and confirmed you can redeem the entire amount of bonus points for cash promo. They seemed to think NJ address was fine. However a little misleading as no branch location is actually in Philly proper, locations in the burbs. I’ma try this with my new BoA card to hopefully get $425 between the two. Whammy!

  12. Peter says:

    I just opened this account. They pulled ChexSystems report. Please add that to the top.

  13. Andrew says:

    Data point

    Did the three signature transactions — called them — they said it would take about 30 days to get the points but I was confirmed!

  14. Joe says:

    Data point

    Did the three signature transactions — called them — they said it would take about 90 days to get the points but I was confirmed -_-

  15. Andrew says:

    Wanted to confirm I recieved the 25,000 points after 60 days, not 30 like first reported. But happy to get them!

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  17. Ian says:

    Thanks for the info!

    Opened account, they emailed me some extra stuff to fill out and talked to a CS agent on the phone just to answer some of my questions, funded over the phone with Chase Freedom $500 and posted as a purchase!

    Thanks for everything

  18. Ian says:

    For requesting the points call this number 877-780-1615 which gets you directly to the department for requesting the points. Have your account number, address, Mother maiden name, DOB, and last 4 social ready to provide.

    I had to wait on hold for about 10min to talk to someone.

    Hope this helps!

  19. Paul says:


    Did 3 debit card transactions on Amazon (uncheck “process as debit card”) – $1 each, GC reloads

    Sent secure message and received the following:

    “Good Afternoon, I have reviewed your account and submitted your incentive order. It takes up to 60 days for the points to be processed. The points can be redeemed through your online banking under the REWARDS section and registering with CUrewards. At this point there is nothing further that you need to complete.”

  20. illag says:

    only one confirmation so far of a reward being paid, a lot of us are still waiting for the points, seems like they make you wait the whole 60 days, here some new info, once you do get your points it takes another 10-15 days to convert the points to cash.

    so while this might have been the easiest to meet the requirements its probably the longest to pan out.

  21. Marco says:

    My application gets stuck in final Review page.
    The only thing visible is “Application Status” & “Refresh” button and nothing else.
    There is no way to move forward.
    What gives?

    • B says:

      You will receive approval & welcome email from Citadel. Then you will be able to continue application from there. I had received welcome email in 3 days and had to send scan copy of DL.

      • Mark says:

        Thanks @B
        As you said I got approved.
        Maybe they should improve their application process to say something like “your application will be reviewed after we receive your documents as mentioned in our email which will be arriving within 24 hrs”

        Another question: How can you fund the mandatory savings account and with what (e.g. CC)?

  22. Mark says:

    Savings Account Fees

    $2 Paper Account Statement Fee
    $1 per ATM Balance Inquiry at a non-Citadel ATM
    $5 monthly service fee waived for 60 days following account opening; after 60 days, monthly service fee waived if one of the following criteria is met:
    Active Citadel checking account
    Citadel MasterCard® with activity in the last 90 days
    Combined household deposit balance of $1,500
    Combined household deposit, investment and loan balance of $2,500
    A loan balance greater than $0.00
    (Monthly service fee does not apply to any account held by a member under age 21)

    $5 service fee to close account within 90 days of opening
    $10 annual inactive fee waived if customer has $100 or more on deposit

  23. Mark says:

    DP: Was successfully able to fund a Citadel accounts – Free Checking ($495) & Star Savings ($%) – with Bank of America-MERRILL+ Visa Card.
    It only allows a total of $500.
    Hope this helps someone.

  24. Mark says:

    today I chatted with a Citadel representative and was told the details about the requirements to get the bonus as follows:

    – Make three signature transactions with debit card within the first 30 days after opening the account and
    – $50 minimum balance in the account after opening the account.

  25. DMK says:

    Can confirm that points are redeemable as cash (in $50 increments)

    Anyone know if I have to report this as interest income for tax purposes? Unless I get a 1099 from them I’m hoping it might not count because it was first paid out as points as opposed to cash.

  26. XP1 says:

    Anyone try more than one per household?

  27. BC says:

    DP: Citi AAdvantage MC coded as a purchase. Bought the full $500

  28. Pat says:

    IMPORTANT NOTE: What was most interesting is that I was NEVER ASKED TO PROVIDE PROOF of my eligibility to qualify for membership. I didn’t qualify under any of the usual ways, but I was prepared to provide info about my charity work in PA. I guess they don’t care that much.

    ANOTHER NOTE: A rep told me that the 3 transactions must be “signature-based.” I notice they mention that a lot. She said that means cash withdrawals from an ATM don’t count. We must use the card as a credit transaction. However, I called back again to ask the same question and the rep told me all transactions count. Don’t know what to believe, but I will use my card for credit transactions only. I go to Target enough to take care of that.

  29. NBG says:

    Help me out here, please. Does grocery store purchase count as signature?. I didn’t enter PIN when asked and hit enter. But they didn’t ask for signature either (due to min $50+ for signature to be asked).
    I also did the Amazon trick to reload gift card (unchecked the PIN less thingy) – the transaction posted as ” Withdrawal Debit Card Debit Gold/ AMZN.COM/BILL WA Date…” is that valid?.

  30. Pat says:

    I’m still a newbie here, so hopefully others chime in. I always thought that if you hit enter instead of your pin, that it would go through as a credit purchase.

    In my supermarket, the pinpad has 2 options: (1) Debit Mastercard/Visa, or (2) Debit. If I choose the 1st option, I sign the pinpad & it processes as credit. Same thing happens at Macy’s. The 2nd option is pure debit. Pretty sure at the Walmart self-checkout, we can choose credit on the screen.

    I don’t know if the Amazon trick will work.

    • NBG says:

      That is what i thought. What’s even confusing is my Amazon one posted. The Grocery store is still pending even though that was the first purchase i did. If someone can chime in with home the posted transaction looks/says would help with DP.

    • MarcoPolo says:

      Happened with me too.
      Cashier was knowledgeable and asked me to hit the yellow key on the keypad and it counted as credit card purchase.

  31. Curmudgeon says:

    Offer still valid. Popped up on reddit. Might be worth a refresh post.

  32. Frito Pendejo says:

    I was able to apply for my wife who is a green card holder. We live in the Citadel service area and receive bonus mailers from them all the time.

    It says the account must be approved, but that may be normal. I’ll post back when status updates.

  33. NBG says:

    Opened account online on 23 feb. Did the Amazon reloads and requested points on 28th Feb. Today 1st Apr 25K points posted. So looks like 30 days after request to get the points.

    • Pat says:

      Where were the points posted? 3 weeks ago, I was told the points would be added to my debit card, So confused. How would I use points on my debit card, unless the points are cash?

      • NBG says:

        Posted on Apr 1. Points come as rewards. Make sure your card is linked to it. Then once the point posts, you can convert to cash.

        • MarcoPolo says:

          How do you do that – link your debit card to reward account ?

          • NBG says:

            When log in to online banking, there is a link called rewards in the menu. When u click rewards, you should see your Debit Card automatically showing up. And when you click the card, it opens the CU rewards and shows the points earned. If you dont see the card list in the Rewards link, call them and ask it to be linked.

  34. MarcoPolo says:

    Received the bonus 30 days after requesting via SM.
    Added 5000 points 5 times (25000 points) to the cart under the Rewards.
    $250 got deposited into checking account after 3 days.
    The actual account number starts with 10700000xxxxxx which you have to input while redeeming rewards.
    Thank DocC and everyone who helped.

  35. NBG says:

    I got an email offer from Citadel Refer live system for friends and family- Both get $50 for the same requirement as in this post. So even though the $250 offer is one per household, one could make $100 using this for someone in the same household.

  36. MarcoPolo says:

    Fee Schedule Changes — Effective August 7, 2017

    A $5.00 inactivity fee will now apply monthly to each savings, checking, and money market
    account if the combined balance of all deposit accounts is less than $500.
    Inactivity is defined as a 365-day period during which there were no customer-initiated transactions
    on any Citadel account.

  37. Janet says:

    Hi,Does anyone can share your member of family name

  38. jason says:

    hi any membership of this bank can referral me? I will pay you 20 dollor.
    my email

  39. DP

    Opened: 6/4/2017 with Citi Double Rewards $500 – coded as purchase
    Met requirements and requested bonus via SM: 6/16/2017
    Bonus posted and moved to account as cash: 8/2/2017

    Pretty easy.

  40. Hodor says:

    I opened an account with Citadel this week and funded with a Chase SW card. The transaction coded as a sale.

  41. Vi says:

    10/21 Called Citadel Banking after making 4 live POS purchases today (1 ShopRite, 2 Wal-Mart, 1 Dunkin’ Donuts, did not sign for any transactions despite running the latter two stores as “Credit”) and 3 Amazon gift card reloads (unchecked process as debit card).

    Citadel rep said she’d order the 25,000 bonus points for me as I qualified with 3 POS debit transactions. She didn’t mention anything about signature-based credit transactions, perhaps the reqs to trigger the bonus might’ve changed over the last year.

    Will update when points are credited to my CU Rewards and when I cash out.

  42. dizzy says:

    Finally approved for this! My third time applying. The other two went straight to denial (NJ res who also worked in Philly, I just moved back to Philly this time). I don’t know if physically being in Philly/using a Philly address (even tho license is NJ) while applying online made a difference. They asked for copy of lease/utlis and there were some online docs to sign, but went through reasonably quickly.

    • dizzy says:

      Ugh so they sorta messed this up. Only opened the savings account, (which I did not apply for) not the checking, so CC funding not available. Not a total loss but still missed out on some spend opportunity.

      Good news is the up to $300 bonus/balance transfer deal is still live. Not sure I’ll do but good to know it’s still available.

  43. RezDeals says:

    Denied for Chex a few months back. Will be giving it another shot soon.

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