Mike, does Citi do hard credit pulls for opening checking accounts? I got one of those "get 25k TY points for opening a The Citibank Account" offers in the mail.
tjguitar, researching this for you, will get back to you shortly...
Beat you to it!
They will only pull your credit if you DONT opt-out for overdraft protection.
I received a similar promotion for AAdvantage miles if I opened up a checking account and I too was unsure if they would pull my credit.
I walked in to an actual branch and spoke with one of their senior bankers. This is what she explained to me:
If you signup online, there is no option to opt-out of this and your credit will be pulled automatically.
If you go to an actual branch with the promotional letter that you received, the banker has the ability to uncheck the overdraft option which will override the credit check when submitting the paperwork for the checking account.
Chexsystems will be checked though.
My apologies to tjguitar for the delay in answering this question. I wanted to make sure I got it right. Here is the final correct answer (aftermath, the answer you received in the branch you visited was mostly correct, but there is a clarification below as it relates to opening a checking account online):
Citibank does not request a hard bureau inquiry of a individual’s credit report when opening a new checking account. This is true regardless of whether a prospective customer opens a new account by phone, in-branch, or online. One very important note though, if the prospective customer applies for Checking Plus (overdraft protection credit product) or any other credit product that Citi offers, then we will request a “hard inquiry” of their credit report. This is true for account openings through phone, in branches, and online.
ps: I want to publicly thank tjguitar (for asking this question) and aftermath (for contributing). While researching the answer, we came across a site (www.fatwallet.com) that published some misinformation about Citi requesting 'hard inquiries' when customers open new checking accounts. As a result, we'll be asking that site to make corrections. So, a huge "THANKS" to you both from all of us at Citi!
pps: aftermath, if you don't mind, can you PM me which Citi branch you visited? I want to make sure they see this information, as well. Thx!
I really don't know who to believe. If you go over to flyertalk.com there is a thread dedicated to an "American Airlines bonus for opening a checking account" and numerous people have confirmed that they received a hard inquiry when opening up an account online. That is the only reason why I went into a branch in person and what the banker there told me coincides with the information I heard online.
This is not the first time that different departments/branches of a bank have had a different understanding of how things work within their own company.
I'm a believer of hard facts. People have shown hard inquires for opening up accounts online, and the banker showed me that a hard inquiry can be avoided. So I tend to believe them over a random CSR
who says someone "told" them this information. Just like how the Citi CSR
on the phone TOLD me that my CLI
would be a soft inquiry when in fact it turned out to be a hard.
Fatwallet isn't the only site that is reporting hard inquiries for opening up a Citi account. You have to wonder and ask yourself why so many different financial and travel sites are reporting this. Maybe because it's true?
Edited by aftermath, 01 July 2011 - 12:00 PM.