Health & Fitness

Citizens Bank Review – Forbes Advisor

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Citizens Bank is the 15th largest banking institution in the U.S., based on assets, according to data from the Federal Reserve. Founded in 1828, It’s also one of the nation’s oldest banks. Citizens Bank operates primarily along the East Coast, with branches also in the Midwest. The bank offers a full assortment of bank accounts and services and is one of the country’s largest lenders for student loans.

Some Citizens Bank product details, rate and fee information may vary by location. We used the bank’s headquarters in Providence, Rhode Island, for the purposes of this review.

This review focuses on Citizen Bank’s personal banking services. Account details and annual percentage yields (APYs) are accurate as of Oct. 6, 2021.

Account Basics

Checking

Citizens Bank offers four checking accounts to meet various customer needs.

One Deposit Checking

One Deposit Checking is a simple checking account with check-writing privileges and a complimentary debit card. The account features a $9.99 monthly maintenance fee, waived with one deposit (of any amount) during the statement period. There are no minimum balance requirements with One Deposit Checking.

Citizens Quest Checking

This interest-bearing checking account currently earns 0.02% APY on all account balances. The account is geared toward customers with linked investment accounts through Citizens Bank. It also comes with relationship benefits, like no fees for out-of-network ATM use (although the ATM owner may still charge a fee) and no fees for personal checks, stop payments, money orders, wire transfers and more.

Citizens Quest Checking carries a $25 monthly fee, waived with either $5,000 total in deposits each statement period or a $25,000 monthly combined deposit and investment balance across linked Citizens Bank accounts.

Citizens Wealth Checking

Citizens Wealth Checking is a premium checking account for individuals who want exclusive banking perks and access to a team of financial professionals. The account has no monthly maintenance fee, but account holders must maintain $200,000 in combined monthly deposit and investment balances to be eligible for Wealth Checking. The primary perks of Citizens Wealth Checking are access to financial planning services and preferred rates on deposit accounts and lending products, in addition to the same perks included with Quest Checking. Currently, Citizens Wealth Checking earns 0.02% APY on all balances.

Student Checking

For customers under 25 years of age, there’s Student Checking. This checking account carries no monthly maintenance fee. You can also use out-of-network ATMs without getting charged fees by Citizens Bank (although the ATM owner may still charge a fee). Another perk included with Student Checking accounts is that there are never any overdraft fees and no fees for available overdraft protection plans.

Savings

Similar to checking, Citizens Bank also offers several savings accounts.

One Deposit Savings

This is Citizen Bank’s basic savings account. One Deposit Savings only requires one deposit (of any amount) per statement period to avoid the $4.99 monthly maintenance fee. There’s no monthly fee for account holders under 25 or over 65 years of age.

Unfortunately, the account only earns 0.01% APY, which is on par with most local and regional banks, but much less than you can find with the top online savings accounts.

Citizens Quest Savings

This savings account carries no fee because of its pairing with a Citizens Quest Checking account. This account earns 0.02% APY, so you won’t make much keeping your money with Citizens Bank.

Citizens Wealth Savings

Citizens Wealth Savings accounts pair with Citizens Wealth Checking accounts and carry no monthly fee. As with the checking account, you’ll earn 0.02% APY on all account balances. One other perk you’ll enjoy as a Citizens Wealth customer is up to $10 in refunds for out-of-network ATM fees charged by ATM owners.

Money Market

Citizens Bank offers three money market accounts.

Personal Money Market

Personal Money Market accounts earn 0.01% APY on all balances. The account carries a $10 monthly maintenance fee, which can be waived by keeping a minimum daily balance of at least $2,500. The account comes with a debit card and check-writing privileges.

Citizens Quest Money Market

This is another interest-bearing account you can pair with a Citizens Quest Checking account. There’s no monthly maintenance fee and it enjoys the same benefits as a Citizens Quest customer. The account features a slightly higher interest rate than Citizens’ other deposit accounts at 0.03% APY on all balances. Customers who open a new Citizens Quest Money Market account and fund it with $25,000 in new money from a linked external account earn a preferred rate of 0.05% APY on balances of $25,000 or more.

Citizens Wealth Money Market

This money market account is only available for Citizens Wealth customers and has access to the same perks as other Wealth accounts. The Citizens Wealth Money Market account earns 0.04% APY on all balances. By funding the account with new money not already held in a Citizens Bank account, there is an option to earn a preferred rate of 0.05% APY on balances of $25,000 or more.

CDs

Citizens Bank is home to standard certificates of deposit (CDs) available in three terms: 10 months, 14 months and 25 months. According to the bank’s Personal Deposit Account Fees and Features Guide, other CD terms are available, but it’s unclear if this requires applying in person at a local branch. None of its terms offer competitive CD rates compared to online banks.

The online-only 14-month CD pays the same 0.03% APY on all balances and to all customers. Citizens Quest and Citizens Wealth customers earn relationship rates on CDs, currently 0.03% APY on the 10-month CD (the same as the standard rate) and 0.05% on the 25-month CD.

There’s a $1,000 minimum deposit requirement to open any CD.

The bank also offers two other types of CDs—Breakable CDs and IRA CDs. Breakable CDs are available in terms ranging from three months to 60 months and require a $10,000 minimum deposit. This CD type allows you to make a one-time withdrawal of funds without penalty, so long as you maintain the minimum balance requirement. IRA CDs require a $250 minimum deposit and are subject to IRS tax regulations and penalties. They come in multiple terms, ranging from one month to 120 months.

Other Accounts and Services

Besides its personal deposit accounts, Citizens Bank also offers the following financial products and services:

  • IRAs
  • Credit cards
  • Mortgage loans
  • Mortgage refinancing
  • Home Equity Lines of Credit (HELOCs)
  • Auto loans
  • Private student loans
  • Student loan refinancing
  • Investing and wealth management services

Distinguishing Features

Citizens Checkup is a free service offered to all Citizens Bank customers. This free tool connects you with Citizens bankers and advisors who can assess your needs and help develop a long-term financial plan, including saving for retirement. Citizens Checkup appointments are done in person at a local branch or by phone.

Access on the Go

You can manage your Citizens Bank accounts online or through the bank’s mobile app, available on iOS (where it’s rated 4.6 stars out of 5) or Android (rated 4.2 stars out of 5). Through the app, Citizens Bank customers can:

  • Manage bank accounts
  • Deposit checks
  • Transfer money
  • Pay bills

Current customers can receive support via phone by calling 1-800-922-9999, Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. ET, and Saturday and Sunday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. ET. To open a new account, you can call 1-800-360-2472 during the same business hours. You can also get assistance through live chat on the bank’s website.

For in-person banking, Citizens Bank operates over 1,000 branches and 2,700 ATMs in select areas across the U.S.

Pros

  • Monthly fees for basic savings and checking accounts are easy to waive
  • No overdraft fees on items $5 or less
  • Access to free financial planning services through Citizens Checkup

Cons

  • Low rates on interest-bearing deposit accounts
  • Branch locations in only 12 states
  • Some accounts charge a $3 fee for out-of-network ATM use

How Citizens Bank Stacks Up

Citizens Bank is a solid choice for in-person banking for individuals who live in Rhode Island, Massachusetts or any of the 12 states with bank branches. It’s also a good choice for students 25 years and under or individuals 65 years and older because of the waived monthly fees. The regional bank offers several accounts, although many of them are tied to premium banking services and require keeping larger balances.

Citizens Bank’s interest rates are not competitive. If you’re looking for a place to park your funds to maximize savings, you’re better off looking at one of the best online banks.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is Citizens Bank FDIC insured?

Yes, Citizens Bank is FDIC insured (FDIC# 57957). All Citizens Bank accounts are FDIC insured up to $250,000 per depositor, for each account ownership category, in the event of a bank failure.

Which states have Citizens Bank branches?

Citizens Bank has local branches in 12 states, including Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Vermont.

How do I reach a live person at Citizens Bank?

Citizens Bank phone support is available by calling 1-800-922-9999 (current customers) or 1-800-360-2472 (new customers) during business hours. Current business hours are Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. ET and Saturday and Sunday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. ET.

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