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Citizens Access Bank Review

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Citizens Access Online Savings Account
2.35% APY

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 earns according to balance tiers, with the higher tier earning the more favorable rate. You’ll need a pretty substantial deposit ($5,000 or more) to snag that higher rate. Each of the seven CD terms, however, has its own great interest rate, allowing you to save towards both long- and short-term goals.

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 stomache the high deposit minimums and you prioritize high interest rates, you may do well to consider Citizens Access.

Products Offered

Product Key Details
Savings Account
  • Earns interest according to balance tiers
  • $5,000 minimum deposit 
  • No monthly fee
Certificates of Deposit
  • $5,000 minimum deposit 
  • Seven terms available

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

Key Features Details
Minimum Deposit $5,000
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
  • Account balances below $5,000: 0.25% APY
  • Account balances of $5,000 and over: 2.35% APY

The Citizens Access Online Savings account earns interest according to two balance tiers. Since you’ll need at least $5,000 to open the account, you can earn at the higher savings rate of 2.35% APY if you can maintain that balance. Should your balance fall below that amount, due to withdrawals or transfers, your balance will earn at the much lower rate of 0.25% APY. 

Again, 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

Key Features Details
Minimum Deposit $5,000
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
  • 6 Month: 2.35% APY
  • 12 Month: 2.85% APY
  • 18 Month: 2.70% APY
  • 2 Year: 2.80% APY
  • 3 Year: 2.90% APY
  • 4 Year: 2.95% APY
  • 5 Year: 3.00% APY

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' seven CDs each offer a great interest rate. Even the short-term accounts, which typically offer lower rates, earn well over 1.00%. 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 top financial advisors in your area based on your answers to a short personal finance questionnaire. If you’re ready to be paired with local 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.

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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. 

Bottom Line

Citizens Access stands out for its high interest rates. Both its Online Savings and Online CD accounts can really 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.

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