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.
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.
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 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.
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.
What is with the cd rates though? Not competivie for a top tier online bank? The savings rate is much higher than a cd? The CD rates should be higher makes no sense.
Its tough to find online bank accounts at 2 percent or more interest that have A+ rating including high capitalization and at least 60 billion in assets. Citizens ranked very high on all. Marcus account was going stagnant at 1.7% and so dumped all the funds into a new Citizens account. The benefiary set up is okay here even though it is only a phone call submittal because they attach a PDF file to the account providing confirmation of beneficiary. The ACH transfers both to and from are as quick as possible as funds show the next day. Online account could use better descriptions on transfers
Its a hassle to have to call customer service to add beneficiaries. Online banks are supposed to be efficient. Why not Citizens Access??
I opened my account because they were advertising amazing rates for their high yield savings account. However, I definitely should have read their reviews more in depth before opening. First of all, their Citizens Access app doesn’t work. Don’t believe me? Read the reviews on the App Store. Second, they have absolutely 0 customer service. The only way to contact anyone for citizens ACCESS is to call one number and wait on hold. Citizens bank will not answer anything that has to do with a citizens access account, they are separate entities. I waited on hold for well over 4 hours. Third, their website crashes A LOT. Within 1 day of having my account I couldn’t access it because the website was down the whole time and of course I couldn’t get ahold of anyone over the phone. Imagine someone trying to transfer money out of their account in an emergency and not being able to do so because the website is down, the app doesn’t work and when you call no one answers. Very poor customer service/support.
All in all, they have good rates so if you can look past their support and technical issues then by all means go for it. I couldn’t look past all of that, it didn’t make me feel comfortable keeping any amount of money with them and comes off very sketchy.
|FDIC Certificate #||57957|
|Return on Assets - YTD||0.83%|
|Return on Equity - YTD||7.33%|
|Annual Interest Income||$2.84B|
|Assets and Liabilities|
|Assets||Q2 2022vs Q2 2021||$226.5B$185B|
|Loans||Q2 2022vs Q2 2021||$157.7B$124.3B|
|Deposits||Q2 2022vs Q2 2021||$181.7B$153.8B|
|Equity Capital||Q2 2022vs Q2 2021||$24.14B$22.50B|
|Loan Loss Allowance||Q2 2022vs Q2 2021||$1.96B$1.95B|
|Unbacked Noncurrent Loans||Q2 2022vs Q2 2021||$899.1MM$786.9MM|
|Real Estate Owned||Q2 2022vs Q2 2021||$12.7MM$19.5MM|
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.
|APY||MIN||MAX||ACCOUNT NAME||VIEW DETAILS|
|4.25%||-||-||Online Savings Account|
|APY||MIN||MAX||ACCOUNT NAME||VIEW DETAILS|
|4.75%||$5k||-||1 Year Online CD|
|3.45%||$5k||-||5 Year Online CD|
|3.40%||$5k||-||4 Year Online CD|
|3.35%||$5k||-||3 Year Online CD|
|3.30%||$5k||-||2 Year Online CD|
|0.05%||$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