In July, Citizens Bank (RI) introduced its new internet division, Citizens Access. At the time, the Online Savings Account offered a 2.00% APY on balances of $5k and above. That rate was increased to 2.12% APY yesterday, with balances of less than $5k still earning 0.25% APY.
|2.25*%||$5k||-||Citizens Access||Online Savings Account|
|OTHER TIERS: 0.25% → Up to $5k|
The minimum opening deposit is $5k, with Citizens Access reserving the right to close an Online Savings Account if the balance remains “below $5,000 for an extended period of time.”
Unlike most banks, Citizens Access charges zero fees, no account opening
or maintenance fees, no ancillary service fees. No fees for anything.
As I stated in a July blog post, “When a new bank opens its doors, real or virtual, great rates and hot deals are de rigueur, but after a while the competitive edge dulls. Based on the number of times I saw the following sentiment expressed on Citizens Access’ website, perhaps this new online bank plans on being in the forefront for some time.”
We offer market-leading rates, with no promotions or teasers.
Three months of competitive rates is obviously not long enough to declare Citizens Access a rate leader, but it’s not a bad start.
Accessing Your Money
The Online Savings Account has no ATM/debit card and any withdrawal must be done by logging “in to your account, select Transfer Funds from the Move Money menu, and transfer the desired amount to your external bank.” You can also request a check be mailed. The limit for ACH transfers is $250k for each of the six monthly transactions allowed. In keeping with the Bank’s “no fees for anything,” there is no excess transaction fee beyond the monthly six withdrawals, but,
If you exceed these limits 3 or more times during any 12 consecutive monthly
statement cycles on your savings account, we may close your account without prior
notice. We may do this sooner if you significantly exceed these limits in any one month.
The rates on the seven Online CDs have not changed since Citizens Access opened its virtual doors. While the APYs were competitive in July, in the current climate of climbing rates, the Online CDs have lost ground by standing still.
There are no partial withdrawals allowed. As stated in the Deposit Accounts Agreement,
If we permit you to make an early withdrawal, your CD account will be closed and we may assess you an early withdrawal penalty if you close your CD account prior to its scheduled maturity date.
- Short-term CD (one year or less) - 90 days interest on the CD balance.
- Long-term CD (more than one year) - 180 days interest on the CD balance.
Thanks to DA reader, texag, for the Forum post about Online Savings Account rate increase.
In May, Citizens Financial Group, Inc. announced its intention to “launch Citizens Access, a nationwide direct-to-consumer digital platform.” In other words, a new internet bank. One of the country’s oldest and largest financial institution, Citizens Financial Group, Inc. is also the parent company of Rhode Island-based Citizens Bank.
As the name indicates, an Online Savings Account can only be opened online. There are two ways to fund a new Online Savings Account: either through an online funds transfer from a U.S. financial institution or by depositing a check (either electronically or via snail mail) drawn on a U.S. financial institution (no foreign checks are permitted).
Trust accounts are currently not available at Citizens Access, but account beneficiaries are permitted. According to CSR, Social Security numbers are required when naming a beneficiary.
DA Readers Comments
Approximately 40 comments were made on my inaugural blog post on Citizens Access, and they all seemed to be positive or neutral. For example,
throttleplate – just 1 hour ago i set up online savings and cd which was super easy doing and using ach transfer. Just for the heck of it i called csr to change phone number and they answered on first ring.
tommy – I opened an online savings account. Very easy and no hard pull.
gpagpa01 – Update, looks like the reason unable to transfer in was because my opening deposit was not posted yet, $5k. I set up a transfer from Marcus to Citizens for $5001 and was submitted and posted to account as "current balance" so I'm told will earn interest, but not yet available, clearly. It’s a good sign.
As an online division of Citizens Bank, Citizens Access operates under Citizens Bank’s FDIC Certificate and shares its financial history.
Citizens Access/Citizens Bank has an overall health grade of "A" at DepositAccounts.com, with a Texas Ratio of 3.99% (excellent) based of June 30, 2018 data. In the past year, the Bank has increased its total non-brokered deposits by $1.18 billion, an above average annual growth rate of 1.41%. Please refer to our financial overview of Citizens Access/Citizens Bank (FDIC Certificate # 59757) for more details.
According to Citizens Access’ Deposit Account Agreement,
Citizens Access is a division of Citizens Bank, N.A. Deposits of Citizens Access and
Citizens Bank, N.A. are combined and not separately insured for FDIC insurance purposes.
Citizens Bank traces its origins to High Street Bank, which was founded in 1828 in Providence, Rhode Island. In 1871, the Bank established its own savings bank, Citizens Savings Bank. Through more than 30 acquisitions and natural growth, Citizens Bank evolved from the fifth-largest bank in the smallest state in the U.S. into Rhode Island’s largest bank and the 22nd largest bank in the country. The Bank’s expanded footprint, from New England into the Mid-Atlantic and the Midwest, encompasses more than 30 percent of the U.S. population.
How the Online Savings Compares
When compared to the Savings Accounts tracked by DepositAccounts.com that are available nationwide and don’t require a large balance, Citizens Access’ Online Savings APY currently shares ranks second.
The above rates are accurate as of 9/28/2018.
To search for the best Savings Account, both nationwide and state specific, please refer to DepositAccounts.com’s Savings Account Rates page.