Citizens Bank has a new-account promotion in which you can earn up to $225. To get the full $225 requires opening a new personal checking account and a money market account or CD. It's important to note that both the checking and money market accounts have potential monthly fees. So keep that in mind when considering the bonus.
To qualify for the promotion, complete the form at this Citizens Bank promotions page to get a coupon that you can print and take to your local branch. Accounts must be opened by 6/2/2012 to qualify for the bonuses.
For the first $125 bonus:
- Open your first personal checking account
- Deposit at least $250
- Make at least 20 payment transactions (of any amount). Transactions include any combination of Debit Card, Online Bill Pay, or automatic debit withdrawals that clear your account by 7/28/12.
For an extra $100 bonus:
- Open a Money Market account or certificate of deposit with $10,000 or more
According to the small print:
If you meet these conditions, your new checking account will be paid up to a $225 "Balance Builder Bonus" by 10/31/12. Your account must be open and in good standing. One bonus per customer.
Here are some additional important details from the small print:
Offer available in select markets only. Offer may be withdrawn without notice and cannot be combined with any other checking offer. Primary account holder may not be or have been a primary or secondary signer on any personal account within the previous six months. Student Money Bundle™ accounts are not eligible. Bonuses will be reported to the IRS.
Credit for this find goes to iBankDesign member shybenny who posted the deal in this iBankDesign thread.
According to the small print, the offer is "available in select markets only." You may want to call your local branch before visiting with the coupon to ensure they will honor it. Citizens Bank branches are located in Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Vermont.
Past Citizens Bank Bonuses
In a $240 promotion that Citizens Bank was offering last year, a few readers reported having problems receiving the full bonus. There were also a few readers who reported success in receiving everything that was promised. Since this new promotion requires a branch visit, make sure to have the banker provide confirmation of your participation in the promotion.
The checking and money market accounts have potential monthly fees. This Citizens checking page shows the fees and how to have the fees waived for all of the checking accounts. The Green Checking appears to be the best one. The monthly fee is $9.99 unless you maintain a $1,500 average daily balance or have 5 qualifying payment transactions per month. This monthly fee used to be only $4.99 last year.
This Citizens savings account page shows the fees and how to have the fees waived for the savings and money market accounts. The Personal Money Market account appears to be the best one. It requires a $2,500 minimum daily balance to avoid a $10 monthly fee.
A $10,000 deposit in a CD can also be used to qualify for the $100 bonus. CDs don't have fees, but the interest rates are low. So you may be better off opening the MMA instead of the CD.
Green Checking Cash Back Program Changes
Citizens Bank used to offer the Green$ense program with its Green Checking account. This allowed customers to earn up to $120 per year for making debit card purchases, online bill payments or automatic payments. For each of these non-paper transactions, Citizens Bank paid customers 10 cents.
Last year I thought the new interchange regulation may affect this program, and that seems to be the case. The only way I can find to earn up to $120 in cash back rewards is through the Value Plan which can be added to a checking account for a $6.99 monthly fee.
The only mention of the Green$ense program that I can find is the Green$ense Platinum MasterCard. This is a credit card that offers cash back for each purchase. The rewards are either 25 or 50 cents per credit card purchase for up to $240 per year. If you make a lot of small purchases, this may be a better deal than cash back credit cards that offer between 1% and 5% cash back on the total purchase amounts. Refer to the Citizens Green$ense Platinum MasterCard page for the full details.
Citizens Bank Overview
Citizens Bank is part of the $130 billion bank holding company, Citizens Financial Group, which is headquartered in Providence, Rhode Island. Its two bank subsidiaries are RBS Citizens, N.A. and Citizens Bank of Pennsylvania. These banks operate a 12-state branch network under the Citizens Bank brand in the Northeast and the Charter One brand in Illinois, Michigan and Ohio.
RBS Citizens, N.A. has an overall health score at DepositAccounts.com of 5 stars (out of 5) with a Texas Ratio of 7.15% (excellent) based on December 2011 data. Please refer to our financial overview of Citizens Bank for more details.
Other Bank Bonuses
We have a bank promotions page with a table of all of the active bank and credit union promotions. You can filter the table based on the type of promotion and based on your state. I have more details about how to use this page in this blog post.