Citizens Bank Review 2021

Published January 2021 by Matthew Goldberg

AT A GLANCE
3.2

Bankrate Score

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24/7 Customer Service

Citizens is a good option for people 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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    2.5
  • MMAs
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    2.3
  • MORE HIGH-YIELD OPTIONS
    MORE HIGH-YIELD OPTIONS
    Goldman Sachs Bank USA

    Member FDIC

    Savings account

    0.50 % APY

    $ 0

    Min. balance for APY

    Goldman Sachs Bank USA

    Member FDIC

    CD

    0.55 % APY

    1yr

    Term

    $ 500

    Min. deposit

    Goldman Sachs Bank USA

    Member FDIC

    CD

    0.55 % APY

    1yr

    Term

    $ 500

    Min. deposit

    Overall

    3.2

    Bankrate Score

    Citizens Bank might be a good fit for those looking for a bank in the Massachusetts or Rhode Island area.

    What we like

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

    • Citizens has around 1,000 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

    2.4

    Bankrate Score

    OTHER SAVINGS OFFERS YOU MAY LIKE
    Goldman Sachs Bank USA

    Member FDIC

    Savings account

    0.50 % APY

    $ 0

    Min. balance for APY

    Citizens Bank’s One Deposit Savings account allows you to open the account with any deposit amount. You might be able to open the account with any amount, but you’ll need to keep at least $200 in it in order to avoid the $4.99 monthly maintenance fee.

    The One Deposit Savings account has an APY below the national average. So you might want to consider a savings account at an online bank for a higher yield. Those not in Citizens Bank’s market may want to consider Citizens Access. But that bank is ideal for those with more than $5,000 to put in a savings account.

    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

    • 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

    • There are much higher APYs at other banks.

    • 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

    3.6

    Bankrate Score

    OTHER CHECKING OFFERS YOU MAY LIKE
    Quontic Bank

    Member FDIC

    Checking account

    1.01 % APY

    $ 100

    To open

    $ 0

    To avoid fees

    The One Deposit Checking account allows you to open the account with any amount of money. You can avoid paying the $9.99 monthly service fee by just making a deposit into the account each statement cycle.

    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. That’s a little above average.

    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

    2.5

    Bankrate Score

    OTHER CD OFFERS YOU MAY LIKE
    Goldman Sachs Bank USA

    Member FDIC

    CD

    0.55 % APY

    1yr

    Term

    $ 500

    Min. deposit

    Citizens Bank offers terms ranging from one month to 82 months long.

    Its 11-month CD doesn’t earn a competitive yield, compared with online banks, and requires $5,000 to open it.

    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.

    Platinum Checking and Platinum Plus checking customers can earn a higher yield on CDs.

    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 on its website.

    • A $50 transaction fee applies automatically 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 you’ll be charged a $10 monthly service fee for not keeping at least $2,500 in the account.

    The Personal Money Market account does offer customer check-writing privileges.

    What we like

    • The Personal Money Market Account has check-writing privileges.

    • The Personal Money Market Account doesn’t have a minimum opening deposit requirement.

    What we don't

    • You’ll need to keep at least $2,500 in the Personal Money Market Account to avoid the monthly service fee.

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

    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.

    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 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. He has been honored by both the Illinois Associated Press Editors Association and the Illinois Press Association. His writing has 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