Online banking has changed the banking landscape forever. The big banks are still here with their physical locations and wide product range. They are nationally and internationally recognized and offer private banking services to a limited number of elite clients. They are working on establishing a strong online presence, but the challenges digital banks with no physical locations maintain are infinitely more nimble. Online banks have even created their own brand of private banking, and the difference between traditional private banking and premium online banking is a core element of Citigold vs. Unifimoney comparison.
Before we compare Citigold to Unifimoney, it's important to note that Citigold has two variants:
Both are aimed towards high-net-worth individuals. Citigold package requires you to maintain a $200,000 balance in your linked (eligible) deposit, retirement, or savings account. The Citigold Private Client requires a million dollars. Both get you access to better rates and prices for select banking products. Citigold package gets you a dedicated team, including a relationship manager and wealth advisor.
With the Citigold Private Client designation, you also get advanced wealth specialists. It also comes with higher transaction limits, preferential banking, and wealth planning that addresses issues specific to higher levels of wealth.
For this article, we will compare the Citigold package to Unifimoney, not Citigold Private Client.
Citigold is the private banking wing of one of the largest banks in the world and one of the fifth-largest (by assets) in the US: Citibank. It comes with all the bells and whistles associated with private banking. Unifimoney is a new digital bank with a powerful investment platform. It caters to slightly different clientele, i.e., high-earning professionals.
Citibank is one of the largest banks in the country and among the top 15 banks globally (by total assets). It's a 208-year-old financial institution and operates in 19 countries. Its international presence is actually stronger than its local one, as it has only over 700 branches in the US.
Even though it’s actually the lesser of two private banking tiers that Citibank offers, Citigold comes with a decent selection of benefits and perks. You get the highest Citi ThankYou® Rewards Points, which is a system of rewarding transactions and purchases made through the checking account. International wire transfer fees are either waived or reduced, and you get non-Citi ATM fee refunds. Citigold clients also get the best savings rate the bank offers.
In stark contrast to Citibank, which is as conventional as banks can get, Unifimoney is purely an online bank. It's comparable to Citibank or, more exclusively, to its Citigold account because Unifimoney primarily caters to high-earning professionals. It is a relatively larger consumer pool than the high-net-worth individuals but falls under the same affluent customer category.
Unifimoney was created with the aim of making money management easy and highly productive for high-earning professionals and ensuring that their money is growing without their "hands-on" intervention. This notion is endorsed by its hybrid-account that merges checking into saving, a generously high APY of 0.2%, and a money management super app that combines all banking and investing needs into one. It also comes with a powerful robo-advisor with state-of-the-art proprietary features.
There are several differences between the two different banks, but the most prominent ones are between the investment tools, products, and the cost of banking.
Since Citigold offers private banking, the status comes with a dedicated team that includes a Citi Personal Wealth Management Wealth Advisor, i.e., an investment advisor that offers guidance and prepares strategies with you for your long-term and short-term investment goals.
But you also have the choice to self-direct your trades and buy ETFs, stocks, options, or mutual funds. Or you can use their digital investment tool: Citi Wealth Builder. It’s not a robo-advisor. You answer a few of the routine questions, set your investment goals, and the wealth builder will suggest one out of six investment portfolios. There is a 0.55% advisory fee, but it's waived for Citigold customers.
Unifimoney’s approach to investment is radically different. It has partnered up with Quantel AI and uses its product Tenjin AI for investments. It offers three tiers, each with its own fee (0.15%, 0.3%, and 1% of AUM). This robo-advisor creates an investment portfolio that fits your needs best. For two lower tiers, the portfolio comprises of ETFs, but the pro tier creates a portfolio out of individual equities for maximum profitability. Portfolios are balanced yearly, quarterly, or monthly (based on your robo-advisory tier.
Below are the returns from different investment portfolios that Unifimoney's robo-advisor creates for you.
Even though the differentiating power of Unifimoney’s robo-advisor is self-evident, it stands out on two more accounts. It allows you to add precious metals to your investment mix (when the stock market is weak) and also allows you to trade 26 different cryptocurrencies. Also, the robo-advisor comes with a proprietary market correction index, which liquidates part of your portfolio before the market crashes.
The best part is that it's completely hands-off, and you don't have to micromanage your investments to align with your growth plans unless you want to.
Unifimoney offers full-suite banking, which means it offers you everything from a modern hybrid checking/saving account to old-school checkbooks. It also comes with a credit card (that offers flat-rate cashback) and several loan products.
Citigold offers a significantly wider range of products, including 16 different credit cards and business loans. You also have access to CDs, but the rates aren't comparable to Unifimoney’s checking account (0.2% APY), let alone Citigold’s own savings account (0.5% APY).
If you only compare the range of products, Citigold comes out on top. Still, it's important to understand that Unifimoney's relatively smaller range of banking and financial products is in line with its philosophy of making banking easier for its clients.
You need to maintain at least $200,000 in your various Citi accounts to establish and maintain the Citigold status. But even if it's a portion of your total assets (liquidity), the cost is too high for the benefits and additional perks you receive.
Unifimoney, on the other hand, will charge you just $10 a month if you fail to maintain a $35,000 minimum account balance or $6,000 monthly deposits to your account, which is relatively easy for a high-earning professional to maintain if they simply start receiving their salary in the account. All your un-invested funds will earn 0.2% APY, which is a significant benefit compared to the 0.5% APY you get from Citigold but only on the portion that’s tied-up in the savings account.
If you still prefer the old ways of banking, the human touch, and the additional benefits you might receive as a private client (including a financial advisor), and you can maintain a $200,000 balance, then Citigold might be the right fit for you. But even then, the cost far outweighs the benefits, and you might be much better served, and your money will be much more productive with the relatively more straightforward (but still premium) Unifimoney. The chances of growing your wealth at a significantly higher rate with a state-of-the-art robo-advisor are considerably higher.
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The above does NOT constitute an offer, solicitation of an offer, nor advice to buy or sell specific securities. The opinions listed above are not the opinions of Unifimoney Inc. or Unifimoney RIA, Inc. but represent the opinions of independent contributors. These contributors may or may not hold positions in the stocks discussed. Investors should always independently research any stocks listed and form their own opinions, while recognizing that any investments made may lose value, are not bank guaranteed and are not FDIC insured.