As an online bank, Citizens Access gets to avoid the costs that come with brick-and-mortar locations. That means the bank can pass on those savings to its customers by offering some of the best interest rates out there.
Its savings account technically offers balance tiers, with the higher tier usually earning a more favorable rate. However, as now, the account features a 1.75% APY regardless of what balance tier you reside in.
Each of Citizens Access' seven CD terms, however, has its own great interest rate. This allows you to save towards both long- and short-term goals with the bank's CDs.
Keep in mind that Citizens Access, unlike Citizens Bank, is entirely online. So to manage your Citizens Access accounts, you’ll need to head to its website and use your online login.
You will not receive an ATM card, a debit card or checks for your Citizens Access accounts. But if you can stomach the high deposit minimums and you prioritize high-interest rates, you may do well to consider Citizens Access.
Read on below to explore Citizens Access many offerings.
|Savings Account|| |
|Certificates of Deposit|| |
Citizens Access Interest Rate Comparison
Citizens Access Overview
Backed by Citizens Bank, N.A., Citizens Access bills itself as “100% committed to providing the best savings experience.” Unlike its parent company, Citizens Access is entirely online. This means that you can only access your Citizens Access accounts online, not at a Citizens Bank branch.
Citizens Access seeks to provide just that, access to more customers who can better benefit from the lack of physical branches. This difference allows the bank to offer its high rates for great savings across the board.
Citizens Access Account Features
Citizens Access accounts’ best features are their high interest rates. The savings account and the certificates of deposit (CDs) don’t charge a monthly fee, either, so your savings get to grow uninterrupted. The bank compounds interest daily and pays it out monthly.
Compare Citizens Access to Other Competitive Offers
Citizens Access Online Savings Account
|Access to Your Savings Account||Online, mobile and over the phone|
|Security||FDIC insurance up to the maximum amount allowed by law.|
|Fees||No monthly fee|
|Current Terms and Rates||1.75% APY|
The Citizens Access Online Savings account usually earns interest according to two balance tiers. However, both balance tiers are currently offering the same 1.75% APY, which is one of the higher savings rates on the market. At some point, Citizens Access may decide to resume providing customers in the $5,000+ balance tier with a higher APY, but for now, all balances earn at the same rate.
This account requires a large deposit to open at $5,000. You’ll want to make sure you can safely stash this amount away before opening the account. Luckily, there is no monthly fee to worry about.
Citizens Access Online CD
|Access to Your CD Account||Online, mobile and over the phone|
|Security||FDIC insurance up to the maximum amount allowed by law.|
|Fees||No monthly fee, but early withdrawal penalties may apply.|
|Current Terms and Rates|| |
CDs, or certificates of deposit, offer a much stricter approach to savings than savings accounts. Once you open a CD account and make your deposit, which has to be at least $5,000 at Citizens Access, the account is closed to any more deposits or withdrawals. You’ll have to wait for the account’s term to end to make those transactions or any changes to the account. This also means that the account’s rate remains the same throughout its term and can only change when you renew the account.
Citizens Access' five CDs each offer a competitive interest rate. You can choose for the interest earned to be either paid back into the account or into a different linked account.
With its variety of available terms, Citizens Access also offers an easy way to create a CD ladder with its CD accounts. This allows you to open multiple CD accounts at the same time without having to open each one individually. To build a Citizens Access CD ladder, you’ll distribute your initial total investment across multiple CDs, each with a different maturity term. For example, to open five Citizens Access CDs, you’ll need $25,000 to fund each with $5,000. Then you’ll be able to receive a payout at the end of each CD, providing a semi-steady stream of income to help with your liquidity needs and also give you robust growth on the longer-term CDs.
If you're interested in building your own CD ladder, or you have questions about CDs in general, a financial advisor could be a valuable asset. SmartAsset’s free tool can match you with up to three financial advisors that serve your area. If you’re ready to be paired with advisors that can help you achieve your financial goals, get started now.
Where Can I Find Citizens Access?
You can find Citizens Access online at their website. Keep in mind, this bank is separate from Citizens Bank so it is cashless, paperless and does not have any branches of its own.
What Can You Do Online With Citizens Access?
You can do anything you need to do online with Citizens Access. Because it’s all online, all the bank’s functions and services operate there without any in-person features. This means you can make deposits and transfers of money, make changes to your accounts, set up your preferences and more online.
How Do I Access My Money?
You can access your money entirely online. You’ll need to log into your accounts with your personal account information to be able to make transfers, withdrawals, and deposits. You can fund your accounts with either an online funds transfer or by depositing a check either on your mobile device via mail to the bank’s postal address.
How Can I Save More Money With a Citizens Access Account?
For starters, you’ll want to make sure you can safely deposit at least $5,000 into a new Citizens Access account. This is the amount required to even open an account. This is also the amount that will earn you the highest interest rate on the Online Savings account so you’ll save more by maintaining that balance.
With CDs, you can save more money in the long run by creating a CD ladder. That will ensure payouts for years to come. Again, just make sure you can afford the minimum deposits and that you’re not stretching your funds just to meet these minimums.
What’s the Process for Opening an Account With Citizens Access?
To open an account with Citizens Access, you can visit the bank’s website and find the account you’d like to open. Then click the “open account” button on the page to start the process. You’ll need to enter your exact deposit amount, some personal information, accept the account terms, create a username and password and actually fund your account. The process should not take more than five minutes.
What’s the Catch?
There are two main catches to banking with Citizens Access. First, the minimum deposit amounts are substantially high, especially for simple savings and CD accounts. It’s important you don’t harm your finances just to try to meet these minimums. Only meet them if you can.
Secondly, the bank is entirely online. You have to open, fund and manage your accounts on the bank’s website whether on a desktop or mobile device. You can call the bank to speak with customer service or to close accounts, but there are no physical branches to visit.
Citizens Access stands out for its high interest rates. Both its Online Savings and Online CD accounts can help boost your savings big time no matter whether you’re saving for the long or short term. Again, just be careful of the high minimum deposits. If you can meet and maintain those balances, you’ll be set, especially since there are no monthly fees to worry about.