Citizens Access Review 2019

Published October 2019 by Amanda Dixon

AT A GLANCE
3.5
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Bankrate Score

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High APYs

No monthly fees

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Top CD rates

Citizens Access is ideal for customers comfortable banking entirely online. If you want to visit branches from time to time or you’re in need of a new checking account, you’re better off banking elsewhere.

  • Savings
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    4.3
  • CDs
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    4.5
  • Bank Experience
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    2.1
  • MORE HIGH-YIELD OPTIONS
    MORE HIGH-YIELD OPTIONS
    BMO Harris Bank

    Member FDIC

    MMA

    2.05 % APY

    $ 5,000

    Min. balance for APY

    Goldman Sachs Bank USA

    Member FDIC

    Savings account

    1.70 % APY

    $ 0

    Min. balance for APY

    BMO Harris Bank

    Member FDIC

    CD

    2.10 % APY

    1 yr

    Term

    $ 5,000

    Min. deposit

    Overall

    3.5

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    Bankrate Score

    Citizens Access is a direct bank offerings savings products and the new online division of Citizens Bank.

    What we like

    • Citizens Access has some of the highest savings and CD yields.

    • Customer service is available by phone 7 days a week.

    • Citizens Access has a “No fees, for anything,” policy.

    What we don't

    • Citizens Access doesn’t have a mobile banking app.

    • Customer service hours are limited, especially over the weekend.

    • There is no physical branch access.

    • The bank doesn’t offer a checking account.

    Savings accounts

    4.3

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    Bankrate Score

    OTHER SAVINGS OFFERS YOU MAY LIKE
    Goldman Sachs Bank USA

    Member FDIC

    Savings account

    1.70 % APY

    $ 0

    Min. balance for APY

    Citizens Access offers one of the highest APYs around. Citizens Access has a higher minimum balance than some of its competitors ($5,000), but it has consistently offered a top-tier APY since its launch in July 2018. If you go below $5,000, you’re going to earn a much lower APY and the bank reserves the right to close your account if you’re below $5,000 for 90 days or more.

    What we like

    • Citizens Access offers savers one of the most competitive APYs nationwide.

    • Citizens Access doesn't charge any fees.

    • Since it debuted, Citizens Access has consistently raised its APY.

    What we don't

    • Other online savings accounts have lower minimum balance requirements.

    • Citizens Access doesn’t have an ATM card available for withdrawals.

    • There aren’t many, but there are a few banks that have higher APYs tied to their savings accounts.

    CD rates

    4.5

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    OTHER CD OFFERS YOU MAY LIKE
    BMO Harris Bank

    Member FDIC

    CD

    2.10 % APY

    1 yr

    Term

    $ 5,000

    Min. deposit

    Citizens Access offers different CD terms ranging from 6 months to 5 years. Yields are competitive.

    Penalties apply for withdrawing part of your principal balance before maturity. For CDs with terms of 12 months or less, the penalty for an early exit is 90 days of interest. For CDs with longer terms, the early withdrawal penalty is 180 days of interest.

    What we like

    • Interest is compounded daily and paid monthly.

    • Interest can be paid and transferred to another linked account.

    What we don't

    • The minimum deposit is higher than what’s offered by some online banks.

    • Some online banks pay higher yields.

    • Not all standard CD terms are available.

    Bank experience

    2.1

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    Bankrate Score

    Citizens Access has customer service representatives available seven days a week over the phone. Phone customer service is available from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. (EST) on weekdays and on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. (EST) and on Sunday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. (EST). Citizens Access also has an international phone number available and claims that it will answer secure messages sent via its website within 24 to 48 business hours.

    While Citizens Access has no mobile app, its website is mobile responsive so that you can easily use online banking functionality on your smartphone — including to deposit a check.

    About Citizens Access

    Citizens Access officially made its debut in July 2018. Ever since its launch, the digital-first bank has consistently offered some of the nation’s highest savings account yields. Citizens Access provides nationally available products, including CDs and savings accounts. Customers enjoy fee-free accounts and access to savings calculators.

    Amanda Dixon Twitter Created with Sketch. @AMANDAADIXON

    Amanda Dixon Twitter Created with Sketch. @AMANDAADIXON

    Amanda Dixon is a senior reporter covering banking. Prior to joining Bankrate, she served as a writer and editor for SmartAsset, a New York-based fintech startup. Originally from the metro Atlanta area, she's a University of Georgia alum. She enjoys providing an inside look into what banks and credit unions are up to and offering tips and tricks to help consumers save money and build wealth at every stage of their financial lives. Follow her on Twitter: @amandaadixon.