Citizens Bank Review

This regional bank makes it relatively easy to get monthly charges waived

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Citizens Bank

Citizens Bank is a regional bank with almost 1,100 branches across the New England, Mid-Atlantic, and Midwest regions. Headquartered in Providence, R.I., it is one of the nation's oldest and largest financial institutions and offers a wide variety of banking products. The bank also offers online-only savings accounts and certificates of deposit (CDs) through its subsidiary, Citizens Access.

  • Pros & Cons
  • Company Overview
Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Large regional bank that offers an array of products

  • Online-only accounts with no monthly fees

  • Liquid CD provides guaranteed rates with no penalty for early withdrawals

Cons
  • Branches only available in 11 states

  • Checking accounts have monthly fees unless you meet requirements

  • Limited fee refund for using another bank's ATM

Company Overview
  • Year Founded 1828
  • Official Website www.citizensbank.com
  • Banking Products Offered Savings, checking, CDs, MMA, credit cards
  • Customer Service Live support and secure messaging responses: Monday–Friday, 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. (EST); Saturday–Sunday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. (EST): 1-800-922-9999. Account access online or via app 24/7

Pros Explained

  • Large regional bank that offers an array of products: Citizens Bank is the 13th largest bank in the U.S. with more than $165 billion in assets. It serves 11 states across the New England, Mid-Atlantic, and Midwest regions. The bank offers a wide array of products for consumers and businesses.
  • Online-only accounts with no monthly fees: The bank also offers online-only savings accounts and CDs with attractive interest rates. Online accounts don't charge any monthly fees. 
  • Liquid CD provides guaranteed rates with no penalty for early withdrawals: Traditional CDs charge a penalty if you need to access your money before the CD matures. The Citizens Access Liquid CD allows customers to withdraw the entire balance without a penalty.

Cons Explained

  • Checking accounts have monthly fees unless you meet requirements: To waive the monthly service charge on a checking account, you must meet certain requirements. Some accounts have modest requirements, while others require combined balances of $25,000 or more.
  • Branches only available in 11 states: Although Citizens Bank has branches across the New England, Mid-Atlantic, and Midwest regions, customers outside these areas have limited access to its products and services. If you are traveling outside its footprint, you may have to use another bank's ATM.
  • The 11 states which Citizens Bank has branches in are Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Vermont.
  • Limited fee refund for using another bank's ATM: When using another bank's ATM, Citizens Bank charges customers $3 per transaction. If you have a premium checking account, the bank will refund other bank ATM fees up to four times per statement period.

Who Is Citizens Bank Best For?

Citizens Bank is best for customers that live in one of the 11 states where it has branches and ATMs. It is best suited for someone who:

  • Lives in the New England, Mid-Atlantic or Midwest region
  • Is able to perform required activities to waive checking fees
  • Wants preferred interest rates based on banking relationship
  • Wants to open a savings account with no minimum balance requirement

Its online bank, Citizens Access, is a good option for anyone in the U.S. Its savings accounts have no monthly service charges but require a $5,000 minimum opening deposit. Citizens Access is worth considering for those who:

  • Want competitive interest rates on savings account and CDs
  • Have at least $5,000 to open an account
  • Do not want to pay monthly service charges

What Does Citizens Bank Offer?

As a large regional bank, Citizens Bank offers an extensive array of deposit accounts and related services. It serves customers with 1,100 branches and 2,700 ATMs across the regions in which it operates. Additionally, it offers an online savings account through its subsidiary, Citizens Access. It provides:

Checking Accounts

Citizens Bank offers three checking accounts, as well as one dedicated to students:

  • One Deposit Checking from Citizens Bank
  • Citizens Bank Platinum Checking
  • Citizens Bank Platinum Plus Checking
  • Student Checking

Each has a monthly service charge that can be waived by meeting certain requirements. Making one deposit a month will have the fees waived on the One Deposit Checking account. The Platinum and Platinum Plus checking accounts earn interest on checking balances and waive many types of bank service fees. Students under the age of 25 automatically have their monthly service charges waived.

Savings Accounts

Customers have three savings account options with Citizens Bank. None require a minimum opening balance. Each savings account is designed to pair with its corresponding checking accounts:

  • One Deposit Savings from Citizens Bank
  • Citizens Bank Platinum Savings
  • Citizens Bank Platinum Plus Savings
  • CollegeSaver

Monthly service charges for One Deposit Savings accounts are waived with at least one deposit each month. The Platinum Savings and Platinum Plus Savings do not have a monthly service charge.

The CollegeSaver savings account is for parents of children who are under 17. For children under 12, if you make monthly deposits every month until your child turns 18, they will receive a $1,000 bonus on their 18th birthday.

Citizens Access also offers an online savings account. It offers competitive interest rates with no monthly fees, but there is a minimum deposit requirement of $5,000 to open an account.

Money Market Accounts

Citizens Bank offers three money market accounts. All three accounts have no minimum deposit requirements. The three money market options offered are:

  • Personal Money Market
  • Platinum Money Market
  • Platinum Plus Money Market

The Personal Money Market is available to all customers. However, the Platinum Money Market and Platinum Plus Money Market are only available to customers with the corresponding checking accounts.

The Personal Money Market requires a minimum daily balance of $2,500 to avoid a $10 monthly service charge. There are no monthly service charges for the Platinum or Platinum Plus Money Market accounts.

CDs

CDs require a minimum balance of $1,000. Terms available are 11, 14, and 24 months. Some of its CDs offer higher interest rates if you also have a premium checking account.

There is a flat fee of $50 plus waived interest for early withdrawals. CDs of less than one year forfeit the greater of 90 days of interest or half of the interest that would have been earned through the remainder of the term. CDs with a term greater than one year forfeit the greater of 180 days of interest or half of the interest to be earned over the remaining term.

Additional CD options are available from Citizens Access. These CDs require a minimum opening deposit of $5,000 each. Terms range from one to five years.

Citizens Access also provides an 11-month Liquid CD which offers a guaranteed interest rate throughout the term. It allows withdrawals without a penalty.

Citizens Bank CD Rates
  Standard Rate with Platinum Checking with Platinum Plus Checking
Term APY APY APY
11 Months 0.05% 0.15% 0.25%
14 Months (online only) 0.50% 0.50% 0.50%
24 Months 0.05% 0.20% 0.30%
As of August 7, 2020
Citizens Access CD Rates
Term APY
11 Month Liquid CD 0.50%
1 Year 0.60%
2 Years 0.60%
3 Years 0.65%
4 Years 0.70%
5 Years 0.75%
As of September 25, 2020

Credit Cards

The bank offers two simple credit cards. One is a cash back credit card and the other is a balance transfer credit card:

  • Cash Back Plus World Mastercard
  • Clear Value Mastercard

The Cash Back Plus World Mastercard offers unlimited 1.8% cash back on every purchase that you make. There are no rotating categories to remember and you do not have to activate the offer. It has no annual fee, no foreign transaction fees, and no penalty annual percentage rate (APR) for late payments. There's also a 15 billing cycle introductory APR for eligible balance transfers.

Those looking for extra time to pay off their balance transfer should consider the Clear Value Mastercard. It offers a longer introductory period for balance transfers and also has no annual fee.

Other Financial Products Offered by Citizens Bank

Citizens Bank also offers a wide range of banking and investment services for its customers including:

Citizens Bank Customer Service

Customer service is available Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. (EST). Live agents are also available Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. (EST) at 1-800-922-9999. You can also send a secure message through online banking to receive a response during regular business hours. In addition, you can access accounts online or through the bank's mobile app.

Online accounts at Citizens Access have a separate phone number for customer service and the hours are different. Live customer service is available Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. (EST), Saturday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. (EST), and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. (EST).

How to Bank With Citizens Bank

To open an account with Citizens Bank, you can apply online, over the phone, or by visiting a branch. Citizens Access online-only savings accounts and CDs are available on its website.

Verdict

Citizens Bank and its online-only subsidiary, Citizens Access, offer a wide variety of banking products and services. People who live in the 11 states that it serves should consider it as a good option. The monthly service charges can be waived with straightforward requirements, and the bank offers relationship pricing across products. Customers with premium checking accounts receive higher interest rates on savings accounts, money market accounts, and CDs. Plus, Citizens Bank provides a 0.125% discount on your mortgage with automatic payment from one of its checking accounts.

Methodology

Investopedia is dedicated to providing consumers with unbiased, comprehensive reviews of banks. We collected over 20 data points across more than 80 banks including products available, interest rates, fees, and accessibility to ensure that our content helps users make the right decision for their savings and banking needs.

Article Sources

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  2. Citizens Bank. “Online & Mobile Banking.” Accessed April 13, 2020.

  3. Citizens Access. “Liquid CD.” Accessed April 13, 2020.

  4. Citizens Bank. “Checking Accounts.” Accessed April 13, 2020.

  5. Citizens Bank. “Branch Locations” Accessed April 16, 2020.

  6. Citizens Bank. “ATM Fee for Using Non-Citizens Bank ATM?” Accessed April 13, 2020.

  7. Citizens Bank. “Banking and Credit Cards.” Accessed April 13, 2020.

  8. Citizens Access. “Online Savings Account.” Accessed April 13, 2020.

  9. Citizens Bank. “Savings Accounts.” Accessed April 13, 2020.

  10. Citizens Bank. “Money Market Accounts.” Accessed April 13, 2020.

  11. Citizens Bank. “Certificates of Deposit (CDs).” Accessed April 13, 2020.

  12. Citizens Access. “CD Accounts You'll Count On.” Accessed April 13, 2020.

  13. Citizens Bank. “Credit Cards.” Accessed April 13, 2020.

  14. Citizens Bank. “Citizens Bank.” Accessed April 13, 2020.