Citizens Bank Review 2020

Published April 2020 by Adrian D. Garcia

AT A GLANCE
2.8
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Bankrate Score

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User Profile

24/7 Customer Service

If you live in the 11 states where it has branches, Citizens is a good option if you’re looking for a checking account with an easily avoidable monthly fee. If you live in the other 39 states or if you’re looking for high-yielding deposits, look elsewhere.

  • Savings
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    3.3
  • Checking
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    2.7
  • CDs
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    1.3
  • MMAs
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    2.3
  • MORE HIGH-YIELD OPTIONS
    MORE HIGH-YIELD OPTIONS
    Goldman Sachs Bank USA

    Member FDIC

    Savings account

    1.05 % APY

    $ 0

    Min. balance for APY

    Sallie Mae

    Member FDIC

    MMA

    0.99 % APY

    $ 0

    Min. balance for APY

    Amerant Bank, National Association

    Member FDIC

    CD

    1.01 % APY

    1 yr

    Term

    $ 10,000

    Min. deposit

    Overall

    2.8

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    Bankrate Score

    If you live in the 11 states where it has branches, Citizens is a good option if you’re looking for a checking account with an easily avoidable monthly fee. If you live in the other 39 states or if you’re looking for high-yielding deposits, look elsewhere.

    What we like

    • The bank does not charge an overdraft fee on any item $5 or less.

    • Citizens has 1,150 branches and 2,900 ATMs.

    What we don't

    • Only offers some ATM fee waivers on higher status accounts; otherwise, charges a $3 fee on out-of-network ATM withdrawals.

    • Yields for savers are low.

    Savings accounts

    3.3

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    Bankrate Score

    OTHER SAVINGS OFFERS YOU MAY LIKE
    Goldman Sachs Bank USA

    Member FDIC

    Savings account

    1.05 % APY

    $ 0

    Min. balance for APY

    The Citizens Bank Platinum Plus Savings account has an APY lower than the national average. There is no minimum balance required to earn the top APY.

    Citizens Bank has a unique savings account called the CollegeSaver, which will give your child $1,000 bonus when he or she turns 18 if you open it before your child’s 12th birthday, save the required monthly minimum amount — which is $25 if the child is under six years old at account opening and $50 if the child is 6 or older, but under 12 years old at account opening.

    What we like

    • CollegeSaver program gives your child a $1,000 bonus when they turn 18 and meet the program requirements.

    • An ATM card is available for this account. Or a savings account can be added to a debit card if the checking account is primary on the card.

    • There is no minimum balance to open the Citizens Bank Platinum Plus Savings account.

    What we don't

    • There are much higher APYs elsewhere to grow your child’s money.

    • With the CollegeSaver, you’re only allowed to miss one monthly deposit each year to still be eligible for the $1,000 bonus.

    • CollegeSaver earns below the national average APY on all balances.

    Checking accounts

    2.7

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    OTHER CHECKING OFFERS YOU MAY LIKE
    Simple

    Member FDIC

    Checking account

    1.00 % APY

    $ 0

    To open

    $ 0

    To avoid fees

    Citizens Bank Platinum Plus Checking offers the highest interest rates of Citizen’s checking accounts. The $25 monthly fee is waivable with $25,000 in combined monthly balances and either $5,000 deposits per pay period or an average daily checking balance of $10,000. Any amount can open the account and four transactions outside the Citizen Bank ATM network are free. Citizens charges $35 per item paid on overdrawn accounts.

    Other options include One Deposit Checking, which has a waivable $9.99 monthly maintenance fee but no interest, and the Citizens Bank Platinum Checking with a $25 fee and tiered-interest rates.

    What we like

    • Customers can earn interest on all balances with tiered rates.

    • Any amount can open the account.

    What we don't

    • Conditions to waive monthly fee are high.

    • Interest rates are lower than those offered by other financial institutions.

    CD rates

    1.3

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    OTHER CD OFFERS YOU MAY LIKE
    Amerant Bank, National Association

    Member FDIC

    CD

    1.01 % APY

    1 yr

    Term

    $ 10,000

    Min. deposit

    Citizens Bank offers a handful of CDs for customers interested in locking up their savings for an extended period of time and earning extra interest in return.

    The minimum deposit to open an account is on the lower end of the spectrum ($1,000). Early withdrawal penalties range from 90 days’ interest on the amount withdrawn for CDs with terms of 11 months or fewer to 180 days’ interest for one-year CDs and long-term CDs.

    Customers can choose the terms from three months to 24 months.

    What we like

    • The minimum deposit makes the account accessible to many savers.

    • Interest can be paid out on a monthly basis before the CD matures.

    What we don't

    • Yields are very low unless you’re willing to open a Platinum or Platinum Plus checking account.

    • Few CD terms are available.

    • A $50 transaction fee applies automatically for early withdrawals, in addition to the standard early withdrawal penalty.

    Money market accounts

    2.3

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    Bankrate Score

    To get he Citizens Bank Platinum Plus Money Market account, you needed to have the Platinum Checking, which requires $25,000 in combined monthly balances at Citizens Bank.

    There is no minimum deposit to open the account. Promotional rates are also available for customers with a minimum balance of $25,000.

    What we like

    • Promotional APY is decent for a brick-and-mortar bank.

    • No fee for checks.

    • The account has check-writing privileges.

    What we don't

    • Minimum balance to earn the promotional APY is $25,000.

    • Once promotional offer on the Citizens Bank Platinum Plus Money Market ends, the standard offer is just a few basis points over the national average APY on $250,000 or more.

    • The account only allows you to write three checks per month, which is below Regulation D limitations of six per statement cycle of at least four weeks.

    Bank experience

    At Citizens Bank, you will have access to 1,150 branches and 2,900 ATMs in 11 states.

    You can use the bank’s mobile app to send money to someone with Zelle, deposit your checks and more. You can also reach Citizens Bank 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

    The bank also makes available calculators to help you budget — but you’re entering the data, rather than the technology doing the chore for you.

    Citizens also makes available GoalTrack Savings, a digital tool that lets savings customers track their progress on their savings goals.

    About Citizens Bank

    Based in Providence, Rhode Island, Citizens Banks is a full-service national bank that offers a full suite of retail, small business and commercial banking products.

    Adrian D. Garcia Twitter Created with Sketch. @ADRIANDGARCIA

    Adrian D. Garcia Twitter Created with Sketch. @ADRIANDGARCIA

    Adrian D. Garcia joined Bankrate as a data reporter in 2018. Adrian previously spent four years covering business, trends and other news stories for Denverite.com, the Fort Collins Coloradoan and other news organizations in Colorado. He graduated with a journalism degree from the University of Colorado Boulder in 2014. He participated in ProPublica's inaugural summer data institute in 2016 and the SABEW Goldschmidt Data Immersion Training in 2019.