Citizens Bank 2019

Citizens Bank Logo

3.2/5

Citizens Bank offers one of the easiest ways to sidestep a monthly fee: deposit money at least once a month.

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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. Its’ roots date back to 1828. In 1988, the Royal Bank of Scotland acquired the institution and built the community bank up to a large national player over the next couple of decades. RBS was bailed out by the British government following the global banking crisis of 2008 and in the years that followed sold off its stake in the U.S. to refocus its efforts in the U.K.

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.

 Pros

  • The bank does not charge an overdraft fee on any item $5 or less.
  • Citizens has 1,150 branches and 2,900 ATMs.

 Cons

  • 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.
  • Operates only in New England, Mid-Atlantic and Midwest regions.

Citizens Bank Services

CDs Rating

2.8/5

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 Early withdrawal penalties range from 90 days’ interest on the amount withdrawn for CDs with terms of 11 months or fewer to 180 days’ interest for 1-year CDs and long-term CDs.

 Pros

  • The minimum deposit makes the account accessible to many savers.
  • Interest can be paid out on a monthly basis before the CD matures.

 Cons

  • Interest is compounded monthly rather than daily.
  • 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.

CDs available from other banks

Goldman Sachs Bank USA Logo
2.75% APY
$500 MINIMUM DEPOSIT
Capital One Logo
2.70% APY
$0 MINIMUM DEPOSIT
American Express National Bank Logo
2.80% APY
$0 MINIMUM DEPOSIT
Savings Rating

1.9/5

The Citizens Bank Platinum Plus Savings account has an APY lower than the national average on balances between $250,000 and $999,999.99. 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.

 Pros

  • Citizens Bank has a unique CollegeSaver program which will give your child a $1,000 bonus when they turn 18 and meet the program requirements.
  • The Citizens Bank Platinum Plus Savings account is only a couple basis points above the national average savings APY.
  • 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.

 Cons

  • There are much higher APYs out there to grow your child’s money and show them the power of compounding interest.
  • 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.

Savings accounts available from other banks

Goldman Sachs Bank USA Logo
2.25% APY
$1 MINIMUM DEPOSIT
American Express National Bank Logo
2.10% APY
$1 MINIMUM DEPOSIT
Checking Rating

3.0/5

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.

 Pros

  • Customers can earn interest on all balances with tiered rates.
  • Any amount can open the account.

 Cons

  • Conditions to waive monthly fee are high.
  • Interest rates are lower than those offered by other financial institutions.
MMAs Rating

2.7/5

The Citizens Bank Platinum Plus Money Market account had a promotional offer to get more than seven times the national average APY on balances between $25,000 and $3 million. The introductory APY was guaranteed through Dec. 31, 2019. To get the relationship money market, you needed to have the Platinum Checking, which requires $25,000 in combined monthly balances at Citizens Bank. Once this ends, the Platinum Plus Standard Money Market account goes down to a few basis points more than the savings national average APY.

 Pros

  • Promotional APY is decent for a brick-and-mortar bank.
  • No fee for checks.
  • The account has check-writing privileges.

 Cons

  • 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

MMAs available from other banks

Capital One Logo
2.00% APY
$10,000 MINIMUM DEPOSIT
Bank Experience Rating

3.9/5

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.

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