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You wrote, Is the $2,500 you are going to use in one single account, or do you have other accounts from which you could draw additional funds?

In the application, there is a link to add other direct debits. Perhaps you could debit two accounts for $1,000 each, and another for $500. This would be a hassle, I agree, but it would allow you to get the bonus. You could also send in a check for the amount; however, it would take longer to get the account up and running this way.

I have a checking account and a regular individual brokerage account with check writing priveledges. I assume I can draft the brokerage account. I also have an ING Direct account I suppose I could draw on. I've never tried external ACH transfer with ING Direct and I wouldn't like to experiment with it here.

I wonder if I can just draft the same account three (3) times? I think I'll try that first.

I don't understand why they have a problem with larger amounts. I've recently had MBNA send my checking account $23,000 by ACH in one lump sum. I've also initiated rather large external, out-bound transfers, so I know my CU will accept them. I guess Citibank considers large electronic transfer to be too big a risk. I just don't see how they're less risky than sending a paper check.

I suppose this all suggests that inter-bank ACH transfers after the initial funding are going to be out of the question? I imagine support for such a feature is pretty rare even in online banking.

If I can fund the account at a later date (the offer terms say it must be funded by 12/31/02) and still earn the bonus, I could just get the Citibank account and ABA numbers and use Yahoo FundsTransfer (aka: CashEdge) to move the rest of the money around. The only problem there is that it takes the better part of a week just to set up and validate an account with CashEdge.

In any case, I assume I'll be setting the account up with CashEdge. That should make it easier and quicker to liquidate the account when the time comes or I need the funds.

Since I have to pay 2 bills with their online bill payment service, I was going to send them $2,750. I'd use the extra $250 to pay bills. I'd collect the extra $1,000 by ACH once they've credited the bonus to my account.

I'm wondering... What kind of difficulties do you think Citibank is going to give me when I ask to close the account? Since I have to maintain a $1,500 balance with Citibank to avoid a fee, simply doing an ACH transfer out won't cut it. I suppose this means that I'm going to have to have Citibank send me a check? I hate that. I'm always fearful that the mail will get lost or stolen and getting the check re-issued could be a problem. Perhaps I should ACH-out everything except the amount required by a monthly service fee. Then I can call and close the account and if they want to write me a check for anything remaining, any loss due to the USPS won't be a big deal.

Hey! Are they going to make me pay for paper checks? Not that I need them; but writing a paper check to clean out the account would be an easy option. ING also requires me to send in a paper check to link another account, which is a bit of a nuisance.

You know, I've really gotten to the point where I hate dealing with paper checks and the USPS.

Anyway, just thinking aloud...

- Joel
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