Overview / Commentary
888-201-6505
One Citizens Plaza
Providence, RI 02903

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

Citizens Access (New Online Bank) Offers Savings Account - 7/10/2018

Citizens Access, the new online division of Citizens Bank (RI) has an Online Savings Account, which earn 2.00% APY on balances of $5k+. Competitive CDs also available.

Reviews (6)

Great Experience

Posted by: swamp56854 | Sep 6, 2018

I've been with many online banks and I did my homework on these guys. They checked out and so far so good. Easy to set up, easy transfers, good customer service, good website, great interest rate, no fees. They credit transfer balances right away. The transfers do take around a week, but I haven't found that to be unusual, though some banks are quicker. I moved my money from Purepoint, also a very good bank, and I would say they are comparable experiences. Only issue I've had is the slight inconvenience of having to call customer service to add a beneficiary since there is no self-service option for that on their website yet, but at least they acknowledged that issue during my call. Hopefully they keep up with rates over time. For now, as a new customer, I'd recommend them without hesitation.

So Far So Good

Posted by: gpagpa01 | Jul 12, 2018

I opened account 7-11-18 around 8pmEST and set up initial deposit with Marcus. Easy to open, asked 4 questions to verify ID. On 7-12-18 shocked to see trial deposits @ Marcus already, I verified account deposits. I got an error message when trying to set up a $1 transfer pull into the account and I called cs, which by the way the hold time was close to 30 minutes, but the rep mentioned that since the balance was $0, it would not allow any scheduled transfers since the minimum $5k deposit had not yet posted. I tested that theory with a $5001.00 scheduled transfer and it took and was scheduled and appeared immediately in the account as account balance, but clearly was not available. This means that it will earn interest as per rep. This is a good data point to note that ACH pulls are earning interest (again as per rep) when funds are not yet in the account. This helps when transfering bigger amount and not losing the float over the weekend. Also, as per rep, ACH pulls with ABA and Ac# are allowed up to the 6 per month, but then again they won't charge penalty if over 6, but will close account if done 3xs in a 12 month period. The pending initial deposit was scheduled to post today, which is extremely fast since I just verified the trial deposits. Overall, the initial experience has been promising, only time will tell going forward. One thing I did notice when linking another checking account, it added Huntington Bank without logging in or trial deposits.

45 Days To Opt Out Of Arbitration Agreement

I recently opened a Citizens Access Deposit Account. I took my time entering my info, but I had to re-enter the info 3 times before my info was accepted. There was no indication of a "time-out" or a "time-out" message. The account application then failed to complete, referring me, in an email, to their customer service phone number. This was in the early am on a Sunday morning. I called a helpful representative later that Sunday morning, with no wait time, and the application was completed without further complication. It took 2 days to verify the link between my local savings account and the Citizens Access online savings account by sending 2 small test transfers from Citizens Access to my local account. It then took less than 2 days more to transfer the amount to fully fund my new Citizens Access savings account. Everything now is good, so far.

If you open a Citizens Access Deposit Account, make sure you carefully read the Citizens Access Deposit Account Agreement. See: https://www.citizensaccess.com/important-documents/overview.html

Pay especially close attention to the Arbitration Agreement. Unless you opt out within 45 days of opening your deposit account, the Arbitration Agreement severely limits your legal rights and bars you from participation in a class action lawsuit or joining in a claim with others to lower or eliminate your legal costs in any possible legal dispute. If most account owners fail to opt out of the Arbitration Agreement, then Citizens Access has effectively blocked and shut down class action lawsuits as a means of resolving any disputes and potential harm caused by negligent Citizens Access activities. Exercise your legal rights!!!

Note: Citizens Access business records, NOT your records, determine if you opted out. Send your opt out request via Certified US Mail with Return Receipt to verify and prove Citizens Access received your opt out request!!!

Arbitration Agreement

"If you do not opt out, for a dispute subject to arbitration, neither you nor we will have the right, subject to the limited exceptions set forth below, to: (1) have a court or a jury decide the dispute; (2) engage in information-gathering (i.e., discovery) to the same extent as in court; (3) participate in a class action in court or in arbitration; or (4) join or consolidate a claim with claims of any other persons."

Right to Cancel or Opt Out of This Arbitration Agreement

"You may opt out of this Arbitration Agreement to resolve any claim or dispute by arbitration. To opt out of this Arbitration Agreement, you must send us written notice of your decision within forty-five (45) days of the opening of your account. Such notice must clearly state that you wish to cancel or opt out of the Arbitration Agreement section of this Account Agreement. It also must include your name, address, account name, account number and your signature and must be mailed to Citizens Access, PO Box 2005, Cranberry TWP., PA 16066."

"This is the sole and only method by which you can opt out of this Arbitration Agreement. Your exercise of the right to opt-out will not affect any remaining terms of this Account Agreement and will not result in any adverse consequence to you or your account. You agree that our business records will be final and conclusive evidence with respect to whether you cancelled or opted out of this arbitration agreement in a timely and proper fashion."

Hopefully, there will never be a need for any legal action with Citizens Access.

Update 9/5/2018: Citizens Access phoned me to confirm that they received the opt-out request about 3 weeks after receiving my opt-out request and signing for the Certified US Mail .

Having Second Thoughts

Posted by: edinperk | Jul 18, 2018

Opening and funding an account went smooth, although the ACH transfer took 4 business days. Today an email was received with an update to their policy stating: As of July 17, 2018, funds deposited to your account from an external bank as a result of a transfer that you have initiated with Citizens Access will now be held until the 5th business day. Hopefully that will be reduced over time, like my Ally account which started at 3 days and is down to just 1 day now. 5 days is excessive.
Update 7-20-2018: Thanks gpagpa01! Confirmed today, pushing to Citizens Access only took 1 day so I'll do that in the future. Increased rating.

NOT GOOD - VERY SLOW

Posted by: RandRose | Jul 25, 2018

I deposited $5,000 to my account 5 days ago, Friday @ 2pm, my account still has not been credited as of Wednesday @ 11:35am.

Update 7-27-2018:
I was finally credited in my account for my $5000 initial deposit. This took 7 days. (5 business days)

Initially Impressed But No Longer - Closing Account ASAP

Posted by: pwj7050 | Jul 18, 2018

I just opened an online savings account, the account with the 2.00% APY. It took only 5 minutes! Fantastic!

Update on 8/17/18, I plan on closing my account once my funds clear their 5 day hold. I initiated an ACH debit into my Citizens savings account on 8/14/18 but the funds have not cleared the funding bank and Citizens cannot tell me why the funds haven’t cleared.

They have told me on two occasions, 8/16 and today to call back the next day so they can research the issue. Each time I call but they can’t tell me anything.

I’m fed up with them. There are plenty of other options, so I’m never going to deal with this racket again!



Health

Health Grade Components

Overall
FDIC Certificate #57957
Year Established2005
Employees14851
Primary RegulatorOCC
Profit Margin
Return on Assets - YTD1.08%
Return on Equity - YTD7.89%
Annual Interest Income$2.22B
Assets and Liabilities
AssetsQ2 2018vs Q2 2017$123.9B$120.1B
LoansQ2 2018vs Q2 2017$94.38B$88.73B
DepositsQ2 2018vs Q2 2017$90.56B$88.49B
Equity CapitalQ2 2018vs Q2 2017$16.68B$16.60B
Loan Loss AllowanceQ2 2018vs Q2 2017$1.05B$996.2MM
Unbacked Noncurrent LoansQ2 2018vs Q2 2017$688.4MM$798.5MM
Real Estate OwnedQ2 2018vs Q2 2017$18.6MM$27.0MM
Rates
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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

APYMINMAXACCOUNT NAMEVIEW DETAILS
2.00%*$5k*-Online Savings Account
OTHER TIERS: 0.25% Up to $5k

Citizens Access CD Rates

APYMINMAXACCOUNT NAMEVIEW DETAILS
3.10%$5k-Online 5 Year CD
3.05%$5k-Online 4 Year CD
3.00%$5k-Online 3 Year CD
2.75%$5k-Online 2 Year CD
2.60%$5k-Online 18 Month CD
2.50%$5k-Online 12 Month CD
2.05%$5k-Online 6 Month CD
Locations

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 feedback@depositaccounts.com 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.