Citizens Bank GreenSense Rewards

It’s Easy Being Green with Citizens Bank Green$ense

The color green and banking have a time honored tradition of partnership, like peanut butter and jelly or Oreos and milk. Green is, after all, the dominant color of dollar bills. So as environmentally conscious consumers have started demanding more options, it's no wonder Citizens Bank has sought to color the world a little greener, too.

The "Green Sense" account from Citizens Bank aims to encourage environmentally responsible banking for customers by awarding ten cents for each paperless transaction.

Receiving your bank statements online saves trees, and it also saves the bank thousands of dollars in postage a year. Not to mention the costs involved with production and labor to produce paper transactions. Citizens Bank has wisely chosen not to underestimate consumer awareness and instead has created a more mutually beneficial arrangement. By completing transactions online instead of using a paper option, Citizens can pass along a portion of the savings in overhead costs through the "Green Sense" program.

How Being Green Pays

Green$ense awards up to $120 cash per year for "greenness". Using your debit card counts each time you swipe and sign. So does paying a bill online or enrolling in automatic payments. Citizens awards a dime per transaction. Considering the way most consumers use their debit cards, going green may end up being profitable in more ways than one. A few extra features include throwing in a card made of recycled plastic and calculating the estimated square feet of trees saved by opting for online options over paper.

Sure, most debit cards are made of recycled plastic anyway (it's cheaper), but it's the thought that counts.

In view of the fact that many people prefer receiving statements electronically anyway, Green$ense may be one to try if you're in the market for a checking account. Read account descriptions carefully and ignore the cheesy puns on "cents" and "sense." Online statements are probably something you prefer already.

There's less for you to file, less cost to the bank, and less damage to the environment.

Reading the Fine (Green) Print

While Green$ense probably isn't a reason to switch over banks completely, it could be a nice option for people already thinking of banking with Citizens. Detailed account disclosures found at the bottom of each bank account summary help break down potential banking fees, so make a note of any specific charges you could be liable for.

Several account options at Citizens pack on hefty fees for failure to maintain a minimum balance, so net out the ten cent rewards versus the monthly account charges. The "free checking" at Citizens Bank does have the Green$ense option and no minimum balance, but checks are not free. For accounts that do offer free checks, the lowest monthly maintenance fee is $10 or a $1,000 minimum account balance. Green$ense rewards occur after 10 eligible transactions a month, with a $10 a month minimum. That means 100 eligible transactions a month to earn the full $120. Citizens gets great marks for the environmental ad campaign, but consumers who open accounts with fees may end up with the bottom line for rewards looking more red than green.

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