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Citizens Bank Review 2022

Published January 2022 by Matthew Goldberg

AT A GLANCE
3.2

Bankrate Score

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24/7 Customer Service

Citizens is a good option for consumers living in the 11 states where it has branches. Those outside of Citizens Bank’s footprint might consider Citizens Access, Citizens Bank’s online division that began offering accounts in July 2018.

  • Savings
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    2.4
  • Checking
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    3.6
  • CDs
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    2.8
  • MMAs
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    2.3
  • MORE HIGH-YIELD OPTIONS
    MORE HIGH-YIELD OPTIONS
    CIT Bank

    Member FDIC

    Savings account

    1.35 % APY

    $ 0

    Min. balance for APY

    CIBC Bank USA

    Member FDIC

    Savings account

    1.27 % APY

    $ 1

    Min. balance for APY

    LendingClub

    Member FDIC

    Savings account

    1.26 % APY

    $ 0

    Min. balance for APY

    Overall

    3.2

    Bankrate Score

    Citizens Bank could be a good fit for those looking for a bank in the 11 states in the Eastern U.S. where it has branches.

    What we like

    • No fee is charged on overdrafts of $5 or less.

    • Citizens has about 1,000 branches and 2,900 ATMs.

    What we don't

    • ATM fees are waived only with higher status accounts; otherwise, a $3 fee for out-of-network ATM withdrawals applies.

    • Yields for savers are low.

    Savings accounts

    2.4

    Bankrate Score

    OTHER SAVINGS OFFERS YOU MAY LIKE
    CIT Bank

    Member FDIC

    Savings account

    1.35 % APY

    $ 0

    Min. balance for APY

    Citizens Bank’s One Deposit Savings account can be opened without a deposit, though a $200 minimum balance is needed to avoid the $4.99 monthly maintenance fee. For customers under age 25 or 65 and older, the account is fee free.

    The One Deposit Savings account has an APY below the national average. Those looking for higher rates may wish to consider an online bank, like Citizens Access, the online-only division of Citizens Bank.

    Citizens Bank offers a unique savings account called the CollegeSaver, which gives kids a $1,000 bonus when they turn 18. To qualify, an account must be opened before the child’s 12th birthday, and a minimum amount is required to be saved each month: $25 if the child is under 6 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

    • The One Deposit Savings account can be opened with any deposit amount.

    • The $200 minimum balance requirement is low compared with other brick-and-mortar banks.

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

    What we don't

    • Other banks offer much higher APYs.

    • With the CollegeSaver, customers are permitted to miss only one monthly deposit each year to still qualify for the $1,000 bonus.

    • CollegeSaver accounts earn below the national average APY on all balances.

    Checking accounts

    3.6

    Bankrate Score

    OTHER CHECKING OFFERS YOU MAY LIKE
    Quontic Bank

    Member FDIC

    Checking account

    1.10 % APY

    $ 100

    To open

    $ 0

    To avoid fees

    The One Deposit Checking can be opened with any amount of money, and the $9.99 monthly service fee can be avoided by making at least one deposit into the account each statement cycle.

    The account comes with a debit card, which can be linked to your smartphone’s digital wallet, and Zelle is available for peer-to-peer transactions. The mobile app receives high marks in the Google Play Store and Apple’s App Store.

    Citizens Bank charges $35 per item paid on overdrawn accounts, which is a little above the national average of $33.58, according to Bankrate’s 2021 checking account and ATM fee study.

    What we like

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

    • No minimum is required to open an account.

    What we don't

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

    CD rates

    2.8

    Bankrate Score

    OTHER CD OFFERS YOU MAY LIKE
    Capital One

    Member FDIC

    CD

    2.50 % APY

    18mo

    Term

    $ 0

    Min. deposit

    Citizens Bank offers CD terms ranging from one month to 10 years. The minimum deposit to open an account — $1,000 — is on the lower end, though the accounts pay much less competitive yields. Early withdrawal penalties range from 90 days’ interest on the amount withdrawn for CDs with terms of less than one year to 180 days’ interest for one-year or longer CDs. In addition, a $50 transaction fee applies to early withdrawals.

    Interest earned on CD accounts can be withdrawn before maturity without a penalty, but only on accounts with a minimum $5,000 deposit. Platinum Checking and Platinum Plus checking customers earn higher yields on CDs.

    Citizens Bank also offers a Breakable CD, with terms ranging from three months to five years, that allow for a one-time withdrawal of principal without an early withdrawal penalty.

    What we like

    • The minimum deposit required is accessible to many savers.

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

    • Breakable CDs, which permit a one-time withdrawal of principal, are available.

    What we don't

    • Yields are very low except for Platinum or Platinum Plus checking account customers.

    • Few CD terms are available on the Citizens Bank website.

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

    Money market accounts

    2.3

    Bankrate Score

    The Personal Money Market account earns a low yield. It doesn’t have a minimum opening deposit requirement, but a $10 monthly service fee applies for accounts with balances that fall below $2,500. The Personal Money Market account does offer customer check-writing privileges. It also offers a standalone ATM card and/or it can be linked to a checking account debit card.

    What we like

    • The Personal Money Market Account has no minimum opening deposit requirement.

    • Check-writing privileges are offered.

    What we don't

    • A $2,500 minimum balance is required to avoid the monthly service fee.

    • The monthly service fee is $10 on accounts that don’t meet the requirements to have it waived.

    Bank experience

    Citizens Bank customers have access to 1,150 1,000 branches and 2,900 3,000 ATMs in 11 states.

    The bank’s highly rated mobile app can be used to send money with Zelle, deposit checks and more. Citizens Bank offers 24/7 phone banking through its “contact centers,” through which customers can verify recent payments, deposits, and withdrawals, check account balances and more. It also offers calculators to help customers manage their budgets.

    About Citizens Bank

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

    In July 2021, it agreed to acquire Investors Bancorp, which operates 154 Investors Bank branches in New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. The deal is expected to close in the first half of 2022.

    Those locations are in addition to the 80 branches Citizens Bank agreed to acquire from HSBC on the East Coast and in South Florida in May. The HSBC acquisition is expected to close in February 2022, when HSBC accounts are due to become Citizens accounts.

    Citizens Bank customers have access to 3,000 ATMs.

    Matthew Goldberg Twitter Created with Sketch. @MATTATBANKRATE

    Matthew Goldberg Twitter Created with Sketch. @MATTATBANKRATE

    Matthew Goldberg is a consumer banking reporter at Bankrate. He uses his banking and financial services experience to help readers with personal finance. Nearly his entire career has either been as a reporter or working in financial services, in banking and insurance. He’s been in financial services for more than a decade. His banking career includes being a banker in New York City. His reporting career includes working as a staff reporter at two daily newspapers. He earned his first newspaper bylines in 1998. His writing has been honored by both the Illinois Associated Press Editors Association and the Illinois Press Association. His writing has also been featured online on MSN, the Miami Herald, the Houston Chronicle, the Omaha World-Herald, The Kansas City Star, the Arizona Daily Star, and appeared in Sports Illustrated On Campus, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, The Buffalo News and other publications. Matthew’s radio experience includes being a weekly panelist on the SportsWriter’s show on WGEM AM ESPN 1440 in Quincy, Illinois. He was also an occasional co-host and call-in guest on WGEM SportsCenter. He’s also been a guest on other stations throughout the country. Matthew is currently a member of the Board of Governors at the Society for Advancing Business Editing and Writing (SABEW), which is the world's largest and oldest organization of business and financial journalists. He chairs the organization's training committee and is on the finance committee. He has previously served on conference planning committees and has been a Best in Business contest judge for the organization. Matthew earned a bachelor’s degree at Illinois State University and an MBA at William Paterson University. Media mentions CNBC CNBC Acorns + CNBC WGN Radio 720 in Chicago 1080 KRLD Dallas-Fort Worth