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CD and Credit Card Specials at Citizens Bank in Several States

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RBS Citizens, National Association

Citizens Bank is offering a promotion that includes a short-term CD special and a special credit card cash-back deal. It's called the "Get the Value of Five." The promotion is scheduled to end on 9/28/2012. Here's the link to the Citizens Bank promo page. Citizen's Bank branches which are branded as Charter One have this same promo. Here's the link to the Charter One promo page. Hat tip to DA reader Kaight who posted on this deal in this forum thread. More details about this promo is available in this FW thread.

Both the CD special and the credit card promo require that a new customer first open a personal checking account with a minimum opening balance of $500.

CD Special

The following are the details of the CD special as listed at the promo page:

  • 5.00% APY 5-month CD
  • Minimum deposit: $1,000
  • Maximum deposit: $5,000
  • Only one CD can be opened per household
  • CD must be opened in a branch

According to the offer's small print, the new checking account must be kept active. Below are all of the details about what is considered an active checking account:

An active checking account is defined as having 5 qualifying payment transactions that post and clear your account per statement period. Qualifying payments from your account include ATM withdrawals and payments made in our branches, payments made using our Online Banking service, Debit Card purchases, checks paid and automatic electronic payments to a third party. Transfers to your checking, savings, and money market accounts are excluded. Online Banking transfers to Business loans or credit lines do not qualify.

If you deposit $5,000, you'll earn about $104. If you kept that $5,000 in a savings account earning 1%, you'll earn about $83 more in this special CD. Both the low maximum and the short maturity reduces the benefits of the 5% APY. Nevertheless, it's nice to see a 5% APY, but you should see this more as a checking account bonus rather than a competitive CD.

Credit Card Promotion

You may be able to earn more money from the credit card promotion than the CD special. The credit card offer allows you to earn 10% cash back on gas, grocery and drug store purchases with a new CashBack Platinum MasterCard for the first 90 days. You'll earn 1% on all other purchases. If you just open the credit card without the checking account, the cash back is 5% for these categories. After the 90-day promotion period, you will earn 1% cash back on all purchases.

Here's an important part of the small print about when the 90-day promo period begins:

Your 90-day promotional offer will start on the date your account is approved, allowing up to an additional 20 days for you to receive and activate your card. Once you have applied for an account you will be notified of the status within 30 days.

HELOC Offer

The last part of this promotion is 0.51% discount on a Citizens Bank Home equity line of credit (HELOC). Refer to the promo page for those details.

Monthly Fees

The checking account has 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.

Availability

According to the small print, the offer is "available in select markets only." 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.

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 6.58% (excellent) based on June 2012 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.

You can view my latest bank bonus blog posts in this bank bonus page. I and DepositAccounts.com readers often post on bonuses in the checking account deals forum.


  Tags: New York, Vermont, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Illinois, New Hampshire, Michigan, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Ohio, Connecticut, RBS Citizens, National Association

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Comments
6 Comments.
Comment #1 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Boy, I MUST be lazy.

 

I was thinking that on the next nice day I'd walk across town and open up the $5k CD and enjoy a few dollars more next year.  THEN, after seeing the hoops to jump through and landmines to avoid in order to keep those few extra dollars...   Changed my mind.  Thanks anyway.

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Comment #2 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Then I guess that makes me pretty lazy, as well.  This just seems like a whole bunch of work for very little in return.  Maybe if the 5% CD were for a longer term or allowed for a much higher deposit limit I might consider it.

I already jumped through a few hoops with Citizens Bank over a year ago in order to take advantage of one of their bonus promotions.  After finally completing all of the criteria, I had to go a full eighteen rounds with customer service before they escalated my complaint to a manager, who finally agreed that I was owed the extra cash credit to my account.  Once the bonus was posted, I closed the account and haven't looked back since.

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Comment #3 by Kaight posted on
Kaight
I should say first I live in one of the states served by these banks.  That's likely important.

Having said that, I was able quite easily to do this deal without having to visit a branch in person.  I did the deal on the telephone.  If you do not live in a state within their service region, I do not think this will work for you.

The one highly questionable aspect of the deal, one to which I lack the answer, is as follows:

I'm an Alliant member which gives me a high level of ACH power.  I don't know whether my Alliant ACH debits (i.e., pulls) at Citizens will work, or not, to satisfy the requirement of five debits per statement period.  If it works this is an "easy money" deal.  If not, it's a PITA deal.

I don't have this answer because I'm not sufficiently familiar with the level of discernment Citizens is able to bring to ACH debits its system processes.  I'm hoping for the best.  The fact they allow and count ATM withdrawals, though, would seem to me to mitigate favorably in this matter.  Still, it's a bank.  You never know what mischief they will conjure.

 

1
Comment #4 by RICKNY (anonymous) posted on
RICKNY
A few years back I got a letter from Citizens that they upped their minimums for a savings account or pay monthly fees.  I went to the branch was near where I used to live to close it.  They then said I didn't have to have the minimum but I wanted to move it to a bank closer to my house.  They gave me a hard time to close a $200 account.

1
Comment #5 by 51hh posted on
51hh
The monthly requirement is nominal if one does not have too many RCA accounts already (e.g., I have tons of RCAs:D).  Five debit transactions should be a piece of cake (do Serve or Amazon Payment or simply multiple transactions per gas fill-up).  Most likely, any ACH will count,too; they do not have manpower to check the ACH source/destination as long as it is an ACH from an outside source like Ally or Alliant.

For me, I got "a lot" from the last round of 10% offer without a checking account (with my card and two of my son's cards sequentially).  It got to be frustrating with the payment hold (7-10 days) and the daily visit to CVS (for gift card purchases).  Also I currently have the Citi TYP unlimited 5% going on with little energy to spare.  Thus I plan to pass this time.

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Comment #6 by Kaight posted on
Kaight
I have received my first checking account statement and have returned here to report status.  I took a chance on the ACH transfers, as mentioned above.  They worked.  This makes the deal a real piece of cake and a true moneymaker.  I'm glad I took a chance.  This is going well.  And 10% off on gas will be a help in these times of high prices.  Currently I am conducting a small money MCC investigation to be certain of the reward before I try for the big hit.  If the MCC works out as I hope I will be going in for a thousand bucks, at least, possibly more.  Can't jump 'till I know for certain.  Statement closes very soon.

 

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