Citizens Bank Review

Is Citizens Bank a good bank?

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Citizens Bank 

Citizens Bank is a large banking institution based primarily on the East Coast with additional locations in Ohio and Michigan. It offers full-service banking, including student loans, home and personal lending, and investment services. Founded in 1828, Citizens Bank is one of the nation's oldest banks.

  • Pros and Cons
  • Company Overview
Pros and Cons
Pros
  • Large range of products and services

  • 2,800 ATMs for banking convenience

  • User-friendly online interface and app

Cons
  • Lower interest rates than most online banks

  • Must have deposits of at least $25,000 to get the best interest rates

  • Branch locations only in 11 states

Company Overview
  • Official Website www.citizensbank.com
  • Bank Product Offerings Savings accounts, checking accounts, CDs, money market accounts, credit cards
  • Customer Service Phone: M-F 7 a.m.-10 p.m; Weekends 9 a.m.-6 p.m.; online chat, mobile app
  • Year Founded 1828

Who Is Citizens Bank For?

Citizens Bank should appeal to most banking consumers who want a traditional banking experience. It may be a good option for people who want to:

  • Bank at a traditional brick-and-mortar location
  • Access loan services such as student loans, home loans, or personal loans
  • Access wealth management and investment services
  • Have 24-hour online banking access

What Does Citizens Bank Offer?

Citizens Bank offers the following types of accounts:

Checking Accounts

All of Citizens Bank’s checking accounts carry a fee. And all these fees can be waived if you meet specific requirements. It’s a good idea to understand the fee structure for each account so that you don’t end up getting dinged with maintenance fees. After all, even a maintenance fee of just $3.99 a month can add up to $47.88 a year.

Checking Accounts
Type of Checking Account Monthly Maintenance Fee Terms to Waive Fee APY
Student Checking Account No fee before age 25; $3.99 after age 25 Be under age 25 No APY
One Deposit Checking $9.99 One deposit each statement period No APY
Citizens Bank Platinum Checking $25 $25,000 deposit across all accounts .02% 
Citizens Bank Platinum Plus Checking $25 $25,000 deposit across all accounts and $5,000 deposits in your checking account, or an average balance in your checking account of $10,000 .02% 

Brick and mortar institutions like Citizens Bank have much lower or even nonexistent interest rates compared to their online-only competitors. They also tend to have higher fees. This is because there are a lot of overhead expenses in maintaining the building and staff for brick and mortar banks. 

Savings Accounts

Citizens Bank offers several savings accounts, some of them have monthly maintenance fees while others don’t.

Savings Accounts
Type of Savings Account Monthly Fee Terms to Avoid Fee APY
One Deposit $4.99 4 months waived, then at least one monthly deposit required .01%
Platinum Savings $0 Maintain Platinum Checking account .02% 
Platinum Plus Savings $0 Maintain Platinum Plus Checking account .02% 
CollegeSavers $0 Deposit $25 per month and get a $1,000 bonus on the child's 18th birthday .05%

Out of all these savings accounts, the CollegeSaver account is the best deal as long as you meet the terms. It’s a good idea to set up automatic transfers to the CollegeSaver account so that you are sure to qualify for the $1,000 payout when your child turns 18.

If you are looking for a more competitive rate on your savings account, then you may want to consider putting your money into an online bank instead of a brick-and-mortar branch. Typically, online banks offer higher interest rates on its savings accounts.

Certificates of Deposit

There are three different CDs available at Citizens Bank: an online-only 14-month CD, a 11-month CD, and a 24-month CD.

Certificates of Deposit
CD Type Minimum Balance to Open APY APY With Platinum Checking APY With Platinum Plus Checking
Online-only 14-month $1,000 0.20% N/A N/A
11-Month $1,000 0.05% 0.15% 0.25%
24-Month $1,000 0.05% 0.20% 0.30%

These CDs have rates that could be described as "anemic." If you want to earn more, see our list of the best CD rates and you’ll find many banks (particularly online-only banks) offering better rates.

Credit cards and debit cards can be used to fund your deposit up to a maximum of $1,000. If you want to deposit more than that, then you need to use a check or cash.

Money Market Accounts

Like its other products, Citizens Bank gives the biggest perks to those who have Platinum and Platinum Plus checking accounts. But there is also a Personal Money Market Account which you can open without having a Platinum or Platinum Plus checking account.

Money Market Accounts
Type of Money Market Promotional APY Opening Balance for Promotional Rate Standard APY Type of Account Required
Personal Money Market N/A N/A .01% N/A
Citizens Bank Platinum Money Market 0.15% $25,000 not currently on deposit with Citizens Bank .04% and .05% on balances $50k+ Platinum Checking or $25,000 of new deposits
Citizens Bank Platinum Plus Money Market 0.25% $25,000 not currently on deposit with Citizens Bank .04% and .05% on balances $50k+ Platinum Checking or $25,000 of new deposits

If you open a money market account here, make sure you qualify for one of the promotional APYs on the Platinum or Platinum Plus Money Market accounts.

Credit Cards

Citizen Bank offers two separate cards, one that has a cash-back program and one that has a slightly better interest rate. Neither card charges an annual fee.

  • Citizens Bank Cashback Plus World MasterCard
  • Citizens Bank Clear Value MasterCard

If you are disciplined about paying off your credit cards every month, then the Citizens Bank Cashback Plus World Mastercard has a flat-rate cash-back program that is easy to understand and is competitive with other cash-back cards.

Other Financial Products From Citizens Bank

  • Personal loans
  • Home loans and lines of credit
  • Mortgage refinancing
  • Student loans and refinancing
  • Investing and insurance
  • Retirement planning
  • Wealth management
  • Business banking

Citizens Bank Customer Service

Citizens Bank offers customer service for costumers of its consumer accounts via phone (M-F 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. and weekends 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.), via online chat, and via its mobile app. Customers can also visit one of its brick-and-mortar branches.

In J.D. Power's 2019 customer satisfaction survey of regional banks, Citizens Bank ranked in the middle of the pack, scoring 818 out of 1,000. The regional average was 816.

How to Bank With Citizens Bank

You can open the Citizens Bank account at any branch location or online at any of the specific account pages.

Here’s what you’ll need to open the account:

  • Social Security number
  • Driver’s license or state ID number
  • A way to fund your deposit (check, credit card, or debit card)
Final Verdict

BENEFITS

In our review, we found Citizens Bank to be a great choice for anyone who wants a personal and in-person banking experience. It offers all of the traditional banking services such as checking accounts, savings accounts, and loan services. With dedicated 24/7 customer service and an easy-to-navigate site and app, you’ll be able to find all the information you need easily.

DRAWBACKS

Compared to online-only banks, Citizens Bank’s interest rates are quite low. If you want higher rates of return on your savings and checking accounts—and don't mind sacrificing the in-person service experience—then an online-only bank may be right for you.

Article Sources

The Balance requires writers to use primary sources to support their work. These include white papers, government data, original reporting, and interviews with industry experts. We also reference original research from other reputable publishers where appropriate. You can learn more about the standards we follow in producing accurate, unbiased content in our editorial policy .
  1. Citizens Bank. "About Us." Accessed Aug. 19, 2020.

  2. Citizens Bank. "Checking Accounts." Accessed Aug. 19, 2020.

  3. Citizens Bank. "Savings Accounts." Accessed Aug. 19, 2020.

  4. Citizens Bank. "Certificates of Deposit." Accessed Aug. 19, 2020.

  5. Citizens Bank. "Money Market Accounts." Accessed Aug. 19, 2020.

  6. Citizens Bank. "Credit Cards." Accessed Aug. 19, 2020.

  7. J.D. Power. "Retail Banks Face Major Customer Satisfaction Challenge as World Shifts to Digital-Only Engagement, J.D. Power Finds." Accessed Aug. 19, 2020.