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

Online Savings: 0.80% To 0.60% Effective Friday, September 25, 2020. - 9/24/2020

We're writing to proactively inform you of changes that will impact your account(s) with Citizens Access. The Annual Percentage Yield (APY) on Online Savings will change from 0.80% to 0.60% effective Friday, September 25, 2020. As always, we remain committed to providing open, honest, and direct communications with all of our valued customers. In August, the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) published a Statement on Longer-Run Goals and Monetary Policy Strategy indicating changes to their strategy that impacts interest rates. Additionally, in their September meeting the FOMC revealed their target rate will likely remain near zero until 2023. You may be wondering what all of this means for you and your interest rates. In general, the revisions to their strategy are expected to keep rates lower for longer. Following these announcements, banks across the industry have generally lowered their savings and CD rates as a result. While this isn't great news for savers, the intent of the FO

Citizens Access Waiving Early Withdrawal Penalties On All CD Products - 7/31/2020

Received email from Citizens Access on 7.31.20 which states: We wanted to let you know that Citizens Access will be waiving early withdrawal penalties on all of our CD products until further notice. Please note if you choose to close a CD account through online self-service the early withdrawal penalty is automatically applied. Not to worry - we'll put through a rebate to credit back the penalty amount within 7 to 10 days and will give you a call to let you know we're working on your account. You can also call our Customer Service team for assistance with closing a CD at 1-888-201-6505.

Rate Reduced From %1.15 To %1.00 Starting 7/1 - 6/30/2020

Not a surprise as saving rates continue their descent

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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??

The Worst Experience Ever!

Posted by: |

First of all. this online bank did a bait and switch on the interest rate. Two days after I deposited a large sum of money, they lowered the interest rate from 1.70% down to 1.30% which made absolutely no sense at all since the feds had lowered the interest rates 3 month prior. Next, transferring money into the account and made "available" to transfer out of took almost ONE WEEK. The slowest process ever! Then I funded a brokerage account that I tied to the Access account, the Access system could not do an immediate verification so I needed to wait a few days for "test deposits". I verified the test deposits and then transferred out a fairly large amount of money to fund the brokerage account. One weeks later I get a call from Access telling me the account was not set up correct and I needed to change a few things on the Access side which meant deleting the the brokerage account to do since they don't allow editing. So I deleted my brokerage account and input all the information that I was told to do, I got error messages stating I had too many linked accounts. So I called Access back up and then they tell me that they need to delete accounts on their side. So even Access's own customer service doesn't know what they are doing. All this happened within the first month of signing up with them. Hence I am pulling the money out of access and moving it to a competitor with a higher interest rate and better customer reviews. i DO NOT recommend Citizens Access.



Data as of Q2 2020

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 - YTD0.32%
Return on Equity - YTD2.57%
Annual Interest Income$2.83B
Assets and Liabilities
AssetsQ2 2020vs Q2 2019$179.8B$163B
LoansQ2 2020vs Q2 2019$128.8B$117.7B
DepositsQ2 2020vs Q2 2019$146.5B$125.8B
Equity CapitalQ2 2020vs Q2 2019$22.13B$21.45B
Loan Loss AllowanceQ2 2020vs Q2 2019$2.45B$1.23B
Unbacked Noncurrent LoansQ2 2020vs Q2 2019$994.9MM$717.4MM
Real Estate OwnedQ2 2020vs Q2 2019$29.8MM$26.5MM
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* The APY shown varies based on the deposit amount. Expand the listing to see APYs for other deposit amounts.

Citizens Access Savings Account Rates

0.60%*$5k*-Online Savings Account
OTHER TIERS: 0.25% Up to $5k

Citizens Access CD Rates

0.75%$5k-Online 5 Year CD
0.70%$5k-Online 4 Year CD
0.65%$5k-Online 3 Year CD
0.60%$5k-Online 1 Year CD
0.60%$5k-Online 2 Year CD
0.50%$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.