Citizens

Deposits held and insured by Citizens Bank (RI)

Overview / Commentary
888-201-6505
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

Citizens Access Increased APY From 4.25% To 4.50% - 5/2/2023

Citizens Access has raised their APY for their savings accounts from 4.25% to 4.50% as of May 02, 2023, no minimum balance currently required to earn this savings rate. Source: https://www.secure.citizensaccess.com/Citizens/disclosure-hub/rate-sheet.page

Citizens Access Increased To 4.25% APY - 3/14/2023

Citizens Access increased to 4.25% APY

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Citizens Is The Marcus Account Replacement

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

2 Accounts With Citizens Access And No Issues

I am in awe of the negative reviews for Citizens Access. I have two accounts. My only complaint is that the savings account has not risen as I would have hoped compared to other on line banks. It has been at 4.5%APY since May 2023. Am I surprised they haven't bumped it up, certainly, do I then keep a lot of $$ in this account, no, but it still is a decent online savings account with an easy app to check on your funds et all.

I was happy when they offered a 12 mo CD @5.52%APY. It was a piece of cake to transfer the $$ from my savings to the CD. When the CD matures I'll see if they have any great deals, if not, I'll move it back to my home bank, USAA, and then move it to one of my other on line savings account that sit over 5%APY or open a new CD at over 5%APY. End of story...

Beneficiary Problems

Citizen Access offers competitive rates. Their customer service representatives are helpful and knowledgeable. The website is AWFUL! There are frequent errors, one of which is the inability to verify beneficiaries on each account. To establish beneficiaries, you must call and give the information verbally to a representative after which there is no way to verify (in writing) that the beneficiary data has in fact been added correctly to your accounts, other than to call Customer Service and have them read it to you. Citizens Access refuses to verify beneficiary designation in writing, refusing to confirm either through e-mail or USPS mail that beneficiaries have been established!

Go Somewhere Else

Posted by: |

Below this review, you will see numerous reviews citing major issues with this online bank and experiences that parallel mine. Believe them. I had a sizable amount of money on deposit with Citizens Access, attracted by their competitive interest rate, but couldn’t get it out. I didn’t check reviews because of the reputation of Citizens Bank. It is sad that this poorly run entity is trading on its “Citizens” brand name. I would have defaulted on the purchase of a home had I waited for them to initiate an ACH transfer. They don’t do wires. An ACH transfer can take from 1-3 business days, once initiated. It can also be done on a same-day basis. Despite my urgent need for the money to close on the purchase of a home, Citizens Access personnel said they couldn’t expedite the transfer, repeatedly referring to their “process” as the reason. They said the several days’ delay in even initiating the ACH transfer was due to internal approvals needed to close the account and to approve the transfer. I don’t believe they would have begun the process, even after 4 days’ wait except I managed to find the corporate parent, “Citizens Financial, Inc.” and, through an internet locator service, the emails for the officers of Citizens Financial. I sent emails to two officers explaining the urgency of my need. Within hours, I heard back from an officer and received a same-day ACH transfer of the full amount in my account. When you try to get information from the Citizens Access agents who answer the phone, you will get inconsistent and/or erroneous information. Citizens will not honor the commitments made by their “agents.” You will hear sweet-voiced agents tell you they don’t know, they can’t expedite, there’s no information, etc. You can go no higher than the supervisor of the contact center, another sweet-voiced deliverer of the same robotic message, “I’m sorry but that’s our process.” This is the stuff of old movies, only it’s actually happening today. Citizens Access is the antithesis of the George Bailey character in “It’s a Wonderful Life,” who freely gave money back to his bank’s depositors. Once they have your money, it’s very difficult to get it back. Hang on to your money…then put it in a different bank.

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Health
B+

Data as of Q3 2023

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

Health Grade Components

Overall
FDIC Certificate #57957
Year Established2005
Employees17841
Primary RegulatorOCC
Profit Margin
Return on Assets - YTD0.9%
Return on Equity - YTD8.7%
Annual Interest Income$7.53B
Assets and Liabilities
AssetsQ3 2023vs Q3 2022$225B$224.5B
LoansQ3 2023vs Q3 2022$148.8B$156.2B
DepositsQ3 2023vs Q3 2022$181.5B$180.9B
Equity CapitalQ3 2023vs Q3 2022$21.9B$23.2B
Loan Loss AllowanceQ3 2023vs Q3 2022$2.08B$1.98B
Unbacked Noncurrent LoansQ3 2023vs Q3 2022$1.33B$869.8MM
Real Estate OwnedQ3 2023vs Q3 2022$11.1MM$13.8MM
Rates
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* The APY shown varies based on the deposit amount. Expand the listing to see APYs for other deposit amounts.

Citizens Savings Account Rates

APYMINMAXACCOUNT NAMEVIEW DETAILS
4.50%--Citizens Access Savings

Citizens CD Rates

APYMINMAXACCOUNT NAMEVIEW DETAILS
5.00%$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
Locations

Citizens 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.