Citizens Access

Deposits held and insured by Citizens Bank (RI)

Overview / Commentary
One Citizens Plaza
Providence, RI 02903
Deposits held and insured by Citizens Bank (RI)

Citizens Access is an online-only banking platform which debuted in May of 2018. It provides individuals with an opportunity to take advantage of high-yield savings products.

The new online banking platform is the latest venture of Rhode Island-based Citizens Financial Group, Inc., the 13th-largest retail bank in the country by assets. The parent bank serves nearly every market sector including individuals, small businesses and corporations.

Savings and CD offerings from Citizens Access

Citizens Access offers two products: Savings accounts and certificates of deposit (CDs).

The APY offered on the savings accounts is one of the highest you’ll find on the market, whether you’re looking at brick-and-mortar or online-only financial institutions. However, you have to have a substantial, $5,000 initial deposit to open an account. If you can meet that minimum, though, you’ll be rewarded with some of the best rates around. Just make sure you keep at least $5,000 in your account as time wears on; if you don’t, your APY will go down dramatically.

The CDs offered by Citizens Access have some of the best rates around. While there are financial institutions offering the same rates with a lower minimum deposit, many others are offering identical or lower rates but with a higher minimum deposit. Depending on how much you are looking to put into your CD, Citizens Access could be a very good option.

CD rules

Bear in mind that when you open a CD, you’re committing to keeping your money in there for the full length of the CD term. If you make any withdrawals prior to the CD’s maturation date, you will be charged a penalty and the account will be closed. When this penalty is applied, it will be 90 days’ worth of interest for CDs with terms of one year or less. For CDs with terms of more than one year, the early withdrawal penalty will be 180 days’ worth of interest. The bottom line is that you cannot make partial withdrawals and let the remaining balance continue to earn interest.

That CD withdrawal penalty aside, Citizens Access is attractive because it charges almost zero fees. That means no maintenance fees and no account opening fees (or anything like them). There’s also no ATM fees, but that is because the savings account is not accessible via an ATM. You also won’t have access to check writing capabilities. Instead, you need to make an electronic transfer from your Citizens Access savings account into one of your accounts at another financial institution. Alternatively, you can request a written check to you by phone. Such accessibility restrictions are not unusual for online-only financial institutions.

Also, be aware that, per Federal Reserve regulation, you will only be able to make six withdrawals per month from your savings account. Should you make more than six withdrawals in three months of any 12-month period, Citizens Access will shut down your savings account.

Setting up an account with Citizens Access

Setting up an account with Citizens Access is incredibly quick and simple thanks to its easily navigable website. You will need to provide a funding source for your new account — such as an existing checking or savings account — along with personal information like your name, address, birth date, phone number, Social Security number and email address.

You can also fund your account by depositing checks directly via the remote deposit capture feature on Citizens Access’ mobile-responsive website. (That is, the website automatically changes to fit the device you're reading it on, such as your phone or tablet.) If you’re not comfortable using remote deposit capture, you can also mail in your check for deposit via snail mail. At the current time, there is no app which can be used with these accounts.

Regulatory Events

While Citizens Access products offer high rates, it should be noted that Citizens Financial Group has had a spotted history at points. Operating under the Royal Bank of Scotland since 1988, it was one of many financial organizations which received government bailouts following the financial crisis of 2008 after participating in some of the practices that led to said crisis.

This did not sit well with the British public, as it was their tax dollars which funded the bailout, and popular opinion led the Royal Bank of Scotland to take Citizens Financial Group public by selling off its shares in the company in 2014. It used the $3 billion in profit from the initial public offering to pay down a part of its £45 billion (then about $73 billion) debt to the British government.

In 2015, the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) came down on Citizens for errors on consumer deposits. The agency found that for five years, if there was an error on a deposit slip, Citizens would not correct it unless the discrepancy was greater than $50. That resulted in some consumers being rewarded with more money than they had actually deposited, but more worryingly, it meant that many consumers did not see their full funds deposited into their accounts. Citizens kept the money for itself to the tune of $11 million. The CFPB mandated that they return the money to consumers, and socked Citizens with a $7.5 million fine.

All of these controversies occurred before the creation of Citizens Access, and applied to either the parent or sister companies of the new online platform.

Related Posts

Review of Citizens Access’ Savings Accounts and CD Rates - 3/24/2020

Citizens Access offers the full spectrum of financial products, but this review will focus on its U.S. online deposits business, which provides online savings accounts and CDs.

Citizens Access Lowers Savings Rate To 1.70% APY - 2/28/2020

Effective Thursday, February 28th 2020, the savings rate dropped from 1.85% APY to 1.70% on balances of $5000 and higher.

Citizen's Access Savings APY Drops To 1.85% On 11/1/19 - 10/31/2019

Email from Citizen's Access late last night announces a decline in the APY on their Savings account from 2.00% to 1.85%. Similar to what I said about SoFi Money, at least the decline was not immediately the entire 0.25% by which the FED rate range fell.

View all posts from:

Beneficiary Information Is Now Self-Service.

Posted by: |

Apparently in response to customer input and effective this past week, beneficiary information for Citizen's Access accounts can be done via online entry.

Citizen Access Beneficiary

Posted by: |

Per phone response from Citizen, cannot add beneficiary online or via mail. Only by giving person answering phone, name + social security number + address. In my experience with several phone calls over 2 months, I do not feel comfortable giving that information via phone re a 3rd party to anyone I have spoken with. The people I have spoken to are very courteous but not very knowledgeable - seems like an outsourced service. May be wrong and just not well trained yet. Citizens needs to at least be able to have information mailed in even if software not able to handle this addition.

Adding A Beneficiary Is Not Self-Service. Why?

Posted by: |

Its a hassle to have to call customer service to add beneficiaries. Online banks are supposed to be efficient. Why not Citizens Access??

Bait And Switch

Posted by: |

Since opening an account 4 months ago, their interest rates have dropped 4 times. Started at 2.35% and now today it's dropped to 1.85%

VIO Bank is 2.27% today. Time to shop around for a new bank...



Data as of Q4 2019

Data displayed below is for insuring bank: Citizens Bank (RI)
Learn why bank health matters

Health Grade Components

FDIC Certificate #57957
Year Established2005
Primary RegulatorOCC
Profit Margin
Return on Assets - YTD1.11%
Return on Equity - YTD8.49%
Annual Interest Income$6.20B
Assets and Liabilities
AssetsQ4 2019vs Q4 2018$165.7B$129.4B
LoansQ4 2019vs Q4 2018$121B$98.70B
DepositsQ4 2019vs Q4 2018$127.2B$93.89B
Equity CapitalQ4 2019vs Q4 2018$21.97B$16.89B
Loan Loss AllowanceQ4 2019vs Q4 2018$1.25B$1.06B
Unbacked Noncurrent LoansQ4 2019vs Q4 2018$697.9MM$613.4MM
Real Estate OwnedQ4 2019vs Q4 2018$38.1MM$23.3MM
  User-submitted Promotions & Notices

This section lists recent deals, promotions and rate changes submitted by our community within the past 90 days. Always verify official rates and promotions with the bank or credit union.

Citizens Access Lowers Savings Rate To 1.70% APY

Effective Thursday, February 28th 2020, the savings rate dropped from 1.85% APY to 1.70% on balances of $5000 and higher.

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Always verify rates and promotions with the bank or credit union. We are not Citizens Access; we are a rate comparison website and cannot provide official rates or promotions.

* The APY shown varies based on the deposit amount. Expand the listing to see APYs for other deposit amounts.

Citizens Access Savings Account Rates

1.70%*$5k*-Online Savings Account
OTHER TIERS: 0.25% Up to $5k

Citizens Access CD Rates

1.65%$5k-Online 5 Year CD
1.60%$5k-Online 4 Year CD
1.55%$5k-Online 3 Year CD
1.50%$5k-Online 1 Year CD
1.50%$5k-Online 2 Year CD
1.35%$5k-11 Month Liquid CD

Citizens Access is an Internet only bank and does not have branch locations. Its headquarters is located at One Citizens Plaza - Providence, RI 02903

The financial institution, product, and APY (Annual Percentage Yield) data displayed on this website is gathered from various sources and may not reflect all of the offers available in your region. Although we strive to provide the most accurate data possible, we cannot guarantee its accuracy. The content displayed is for general information purposes only; always verify account details and availability with the financial institution before opening an account. Contact [email protected] to report inaccurate info or to request offers be included in this website. We are not affiliated with the financial institutions included in this website.