I am curious to see what advice anyone can give you. Sadly, I think you are probably stuck with Citi.
Banking has changed since I moved to China 10 years ago, and unfortunately it seems to be more expensive and less useful today.
Back then, I had refinanced my place in Taipei and through that process opened an HSBC Premier account. HSBC Premier offers a service called something like Global Connect (I forget its exact name, but a quick look on their website turned up this description: Instantaneous, fee-free international fund transfers between your HSBC accounts) – which I did not use as often as I thought I would, but it was nice to know I had access to.
I do not recommend HSBC Premier - for every feature that seems useful, I have actual experiences that remind me what a headache and waste of time it is to deal with them. At one point, I had Premier accounts opened in 4 countries and dealt with various personnel in branches, online, over the phone – the great majority of the time I found myself complaining loudly about their speed and competence. Many times (30%?) the person would say, “I am sorry, I do not know what to do” – it is amazing how bad they were. And my impression is that they are even worse today. Recently, I agreed to help a friend deal with her HSBC Premier accounts in HK and Taiwan. Over a 2 week stretch, I ended up talking to several people in both HK and Taiwan, in phone banking, and in 2 branches - their helplessness and inability to think like a client was as bad as ever; the only difference was that they no longer offer a toll-free number, so we have to pay for the calls ourselves.
StanChart isn’t any better
A former neighbor of mine used to work at Standard Chartered Bank. And he told that to expect the same or worse there than HSBC.
I can also confirm how difficult it is to open bank accounts in HK nowadays. Or anywhere for that matter, but HK is much more complicated than it used to be.
Bitcoin, yes, bitcoin - at least learn more about it
I would seriously look into Bitcoin, the majority of which is traded in China. Although you say you are only talking about small money amounts, it may still be useful to be a little knowledgeable about the ways you can move and trade amounts that are larger than the daily or annual bank transfer limits.