I banked with Citizen Access from March 2019 through to September 2019, and I've got plenty of good things to say about them:
1) They pay out interest based on available account funds AND scheduled deposits from a linked bank account, so you don't have to worry about missing out on interest while you're waiting for your deposits to clear.
2) The first two deposits I made took a long time to clear, but every one after that cleared in about three business days on average.
3) I've only had to call customers service twice in the entire time I banked with them: once to add beneficiaries to my account, and once to close out my account. Both times I was on the phone for less than ten minutes, the representatives were very friendly, and I didn't have to jump through any hoops or hurdles to get what I needed.
4) They've always been very communicative and transparent any time there's been a change in the savings rates or account policies. It's pretty common in the fine print of most banking institutions to say something like "we reserve the right to change rates with or without notification", and it's been my experience that institutions will almost always use that language as leverage to make changes as quietly as possible and not notify you when they cut your rates or change their policies to be less consumer-friendly. Citizen Access has always sent out email notifications whenever they make any of these kinds of changes. I check my accounts for any rate or policy changes a few times a week out of habit anyways, but I always appreciated the open communication regardless.
The only negative things I could possibly say are that they don't have a dedicated mobile application to access your account on your phone (which seems like it would be pretty important for an online-only bank, but it's not a deal-breaker for me personally), and that their rates aren't competitive enough. Between March and September of this year, they've reduced their saving account rates by 1/3 of a percent, and their CD account rates have fallen by 1/2 of a percent. I realize that most banks are reducing their rates across the board right now, but none seem to be doing it as much as these guys. A shame, really, because if they kept their rates at a more competitive level for the market, I would have gladly stayed.
A decent simple bank that's certainly above average but not by a lot.
They have a nice speedy website and ACH inbound transfer. You need a minimum of $5,0000 for the better APY rate but it's been falling and falling faster than others. Their CDs haven't ever been competitive.
I read quite a few reviews and would seem
the reviewers dont seem to mind the rates dropping. I started my saving account in Jan 2019. Started at 2.25% a month later moved to 2.30% then moved to 2;20% and now dropped to 2.00%..
I am not happy with this. Anyone else?
I just received a "form" e-mail thanking me for adding a secondary telephone number in which I could use to request my security code, except that only one of them was appearing on my computer screen. Their customer service person consulted with others, and said that I could only use one telephone number in which to obtain this code (sometimes I'm at work, while other times I'm at home. I don't use cell phones for a number of reasons.) As a result, I cancelled my enrollment before I was even able to transfer the funds. I'm back to looking for an online bank with high interest rates and a system which allows me to select the telephone number in which I would like to receive my security code.
Citizens Access was very simple and easy compared to other high yield saving account options like Citi and S&T Bank. Easy to open, very high transfer limits, great rate. No mobile app but not an issue, the website is simple. Very pleased. Tried to open and fund a Citi account it was a nightmare.
This is an online bank with TOO many kinks that it has not resolved . After less than a year in operation, I should have waited much longer before opening an account with them 5 months ago .Their web experience was horrible . It would log you off even if you clicked " continue. " If you call their customer service line , you would get an extensive third degree, more strenuous than any other other company , yet leave you with the problem still unresolved . The final straw was trying to transfer funds out and it ask you to insert the code that was to be sent by text , which text NEVER came. I wrote to its " head of marketing & customer experience " to no avail..
After the sudden MACU rate declines following the fed meeting, I pursued the extant offers from Utah First CU.
I joined UFCU on Friday and received route/account details around noon on Monday. I immediately initiated ACH outbound setup from my other institutions, including Citizens Access.
Before my bedtime that night, UFCU already showed my pending test deposits from Citizens Access so I was able to verify them and proceed with ordering a full-on "push" ACH from Citz Acc that same night.
That big deposit cleared/posted to UFCU in the early morning hours of Wednesday! I opened the term deposits/CDs that I wanted before noon Central time.
So, in my case, it took just 48 or so hours to go from knowing my share account number to funding my desired term deposits, ACH setup included!
I almost gave only 4 stars for customer service because they inconveniently called to confirm the sizable transfer. But with more than half of my existing balance being withdrawn, maybe they deserve 6 stars?
Great pair of Financial Institutions during my dealings.
I signed up with Citizens in July 2018, six months later I have found nothing to complain about. Creating a new account was smooth and easy with no hassles or glitches whatsoever. Logging in to my account could not be easier. In the time I have been with them they raused the interest rate automatically without any request by me. Their rate is always competitive. Not the highest rate, but always among the best. I am suspicuous of "no name" banks that suddenly appear on the internet offering the highest rates. They are usually introductory rates only and if you don't pay attention they drop down to a lower rate after the introductory period is over. Citizens doesn't do that. Some people report long transfer times between their Citizen's savings account and outside accounts. In my view, if you need money in a hurry you should have a savings account linked to your existing checking account with one bank. Online savings account with another bank, such as Citizens, necessarily involves a longer transfer time through the ACH process. Having said that, my experience with Citizens is that it only takes four days or so to make a funds transfer with another bank. That seems reasonable to me. Count me as very satisfied with Citizens online savings account.
CitizensAccess was easy to setup and get going with. They've kept rates competitive, or at least they will on their next increase as they've been matched by Marcus for about a week.
Their inbound ACH is instant so you earn interest immediately which is great. What is less great is that the funds are held and do not become available for 6 days or more. In the world of 2019 where we've had next day ACH for a bit this is 3 days past what I'd call excessive.
Set up a Savings account over the summer and have been adding funds on a regular basis. They've raised my interest rate twice since I opened the account. Those are great emails to wake up to! :) Only complaints are that 1.) It takes like 6 days for my transferred funds to become available, which seems very excessive. 2.) There are very unclear instructions regarding mobile deposit. When I log into the website on my mobile phone and click "Deposits", it instructs me to log into my account on a mobile phone and click "Deposits". Basically, it's a runaround and I can never actually get to the mobile deposit feature. I'm assuming that I could access mobile deposits by downloading the app, but alas, I never have enough room on my phone to download an app.
The website is well organized and easy to navigate. I was able to call on Sunday and get questions answered by a courteous and knowledgeable Rep. having English as their primary language. The same for secured messaging via the website and received a reply the next day. I had a small problem with the verification questions where the multiple choice questions asked about a vehicle we no longer own but a quick and easy phone call to Citizen's took care of the problem immediately. Note that when funds are pulled from the source rather than being pushed from the source, there is a five day holding period before your transferred funds are available. This is just part of the ACH verification process and really nothing to worry about.
Addendum July 18, 2019 - Scouring the Citizens Access website, I was not able to find a Button or Link for Wire Transfers. Per their Customer Service Rep., the only way to move funds into or out of the account is via ACH Transfer. To get Wire Transfer functionality, I will have to move funds back to Ally Bank. Ally has excellent ACH as well as Wire Transfer capability readily found on the transfer page.
Addendum July 19, 2019 - 2-Step Authentication. The website boasts having high security with two-step authentication.However using three different browsers, I was able to login with just a user ID and password without any additional verification. To get 2-step authentication to work, I had to contact Citizens Access and request it be turned on. When working properly, the login process sends a voice or text message to your phone. You then enter a 6-digit code on the login page to get access. For added security, users can elect to use VoIP (voice over internet protocol) rather than antiquated twisted pair telephone service. Additionally, you can subscribe to a VPN (virtual private network) where all data is encrypted.
When I called Citizens Access the customer service person was VERY difficult to understand. I had to clarify, numerous times, what he was saying. I was hoping he'd take the hint and put someone on the phone who's USUAL language was English. They should really not have those who speak with a heavy accent doing customer service work over the phone.
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.
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!!!
"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 .
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!
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.
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.