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Citizens Bank Review

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by Lauren Perez Updated
Citizens Bank

Like many other big banks we review, Citizens Bank doesn’t offer the highest interest rates in the industry. Your best bet at earning the highest rates with the bank is opening a 14-month or 48-month CD with a paired checking account. Citizens Bank reserves its higher rates for high account balances and linked accounts. If you cannot meet those requirements, you’ll earn at some pretty low rates. You could also check out Citizens Access, a new online bank with much more favorable interest rates. 

A perk of banking with Citizens is that it does have a wide variety of banking offerings. You also don’t have to live in a certain state to have access to these products. You can choose from five savings accounts, three money market accounts, two IRAs and more. The bank also offers student loans and mortgages, allowing you to keep your money and assets with one institution.

 

Products Offered

Product Key Details
Savings Accounts
  • Five account options, including a College Savings account
  • No or low monthly fees (also waivable)
  • Features to help make savings easier 
Certificates of Deposit
  • Term lengths available as 12 months, 14 months or 48 months
  • Minimum deposit requirements 
  • Rate boosts available with account relationships 
Money Market Accounts
  • Three account options
  • Two accounts can only be opened with corresponding checking accounts 
  • Rate boosts available 
Checking Accounts
  • Three account options, two interest-earning accounts
  • Waivable monthly maintenance fees 
  • Overdraft protection options available 
IRAs
  • Two accounts, IRA Savings and IRA CDs
  • Must be opened at a branch or over the phone

Citizens Bank Interest Rate Comparison

Citizens Bank Overview

Citizens Bank began as Citizens Savings Bank in 1871. In 1988, the bank was acquisitioned by RBS Group, which has led to its expansion from its beginnings in Rhode Island. While still headquartered in Providence, the bank now operates with over 1,000 branches in 11 states in the New England, Mid-Atlantic and Midwest regions. These states are Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Vermont. 

The bank is confident in its ability to help customers manage their money to the fullest potential. This is done through a variety of banking products and features and simply listening to customers. 

Citizens Bank Account Features

In addition to mortgages, student loans and investment options, Citizens Bank offers a few different banking accounts. From a simple savings account to retirement savings accounts to interest-earning checking accounts, Citizens Bank allows you to bank in one place. When you open an banking account here, you’ll have easy access to your money, features like Steady Save® to help you save, mobile and online banking and 24/7 help. 

Citizens Bank Savings Account: Green Savings® Account

Key Features Details
Minimum Deposit None
Access to Your Savings Account Online, mobile, over the phone and physical branches. 
Security FDIC insurance up to the maximum amount allowed by law. 
Fees $4.99 monthly fee, waivable with minimum daily balance of $200
Current Terms and Rates 0.01% APY

The Citizens Bank Green Savings® account is the bank’s simplest savings account. It earns at the lowest APY, so you shouldn’t expect immediate and significant savings. You will also have to pay a small monthly fee to own the account. The bank will waive the fee for the first months of account ownership. After that, you can waive the fee by maintaining a minimum daily balance of $200. 

Like all other Citizens Bank savings accounts, you’ll have access to a few features that can help you reach your financial goals. The GoalTrack Savings® and the Steady Save® programs enable automatic transfers, activity tracking and even rewards when you meet your set savings goals. Plus, you can prevent checking account overdrafts by using your savings account funds. 

Citizens Bank Savings Accounts: Citizens Bank Platinum Savings® and Citizens Bank Platinum Plus Savings® Accounts

Key Features Details
Minimum Deposit None
Access to Your Savings Account Online, mobile, over the phone and physical branches.
Security FDIC insurance up to the maximum amount allowed by law. 
Fees None when paired with Platinum Checking
Current Terms and Rates
  • Platinum Savings®: 0.02% APY
  • Platinum Plus Savings®
    • Account balances of $0 - $24,999: 0.03% APY
    • Account balances of $25,000 - $249,999: 0.05% APY
    • Account balances of $250,000 and over: 0.07% APY

To get the next level of savings account features, you can check out the Citizens Bank Platinum Savings® account. This account comes linked with a Platinum Checking account to make it a relationship savings account. You’ll have all the same features as the previous account. However, you won’t have to pay a fee for Savings Overdraft Transfers. You’ll also gain access to the best rates on other accounts like checking and CDs, preferred service at Citizens Platinum Services and personalized banking advice. 

The second relationship savings account is the Platinum Plus Savings® which pairs with a Platinum Plus Checking account. You’ll have access to all the same features and products as the Platinum Savings®, just with better rates. This account earns at a higher interest rate for higher account balances. 

Citizens Bank Savings Account: CollegeSaver® Account

Key Features Details
Minimum Deposit
  • $25 if your child is under 6 years old
  • $500 if your child is between 6 and 12 years of age
Access to Your Savings Account Online, mobile, over the phone and physical branches.
Security FDIC insurance up to the maximum amount allowed by law.
Fees None
Current Terms and Rates 0.05% APY

The Citizens Bank CollegeSaver® account is designed to help you get started on your child’s college savings fund. You can open this account at any time before the child’s 12th birthday. Your child’s age will determine the monthly fee you have to pay, if at all. 

You’ll need to deposit at least $25 each month if your child is under 6 years old when you open the account. That amount becomes $50 if your child was between the age of 6 and 12 at account opening. You can meet this requirement through the Steady Save® feature which sets up automatic and recurring payments or monthly payment reminders. Once the child turns 18, you’ll receive a $1,000 bonus to get you even closer to your savings goal.

Citizens Bank does note that this account is meant to help you get your savings started rather than being your only college savings account. 

Citizens Bank Savings Account: Citizens Bank HomeBuyer Savings®

Key Features Details
Minimum Deposit $100
Access to Your Savings Account Online, mobile, over the phone and physical branches.
Security FDIC insurance up to the maximum amount allowed by law.
Fees None
Current Terms and Rates 0.05% APY

Update: Citizens Bank does not offer this product at this time. 

Just as the CollegeSaver® account helps you save for your child’s college expenses, the Citizens Bank HomeBuyer Savings® can help you save to make a down payment on a home. This account can only help you save toward a Citizens Bank mortgage. It does not guarantee you a mortgage with the bank, though.

You can contact the bank in person or over the phone to help you find the right mortgage. Bank experts can also help you learn how to check your credit while you save. That way, both your credit and funds will be ready to go when it’s time to close on the home.

To keep this account open and active, you’ll need to deposit at least $100 each month for 36 months. This means that by the end of 36 months, your account should have at least $3,600. Plus, if you save at least $100 each month, you’ll most likely qualify for another perk. This perk is a $1,000 credit toward the closing costs you’ll have to pay. 

As a savings account, you’re limited to six outgoing transactions per statement cycle. This does not include transactions you make at a branch. Any transactions you make over this limit, will incur a fee of $15 each. However, since you’re saving for a down payment and you probably want that $1,000 credit, you shouldn’t withdraw or transfer any funds until you’re making your down payment. 

Citizens Bank Certificates of Deposit (CDs): 13-Month Online-Only CD, 14-Month CD, 48-Month CD and 12-Month Breakable CD

Key Features Details
Minimum Deposit
  • 12-Month Breakable CD: $10,000
  • All other CD accountS: $1,000
Access to Your Savings Account Online, mobile, over the phone and physical branches.
Security FDIC insurance up to the maximum amount allowed by law.
Fees None
Current Terms and Rates
  • 13 Month Online-Only: 1.00%
  • 14 Month
    • 0.03% APY
    • 0.04% APY with Platinum Checking account
    • 0.05% APY with Platinum Plus Checking account
  • 36 Month
    • 0.10% APY
    • 1.80% APY with Platinum Checking account
    • 2.50% APY with Platinum Plus Checking account

Citizens Bank offers four certificates of deposit (CDs) with three different term lengths available. The first is the Online-Only 13-Month CD. As the name suggests, this account is only available online. You're guaranteed the same rate at opening throughout the whole term. Then there is the 14-month CD. It earns at a relatively low interest rate, although you can boost the rate by linking the account with a Platinum Checking or Platinum Plus Checking account. The same goes for the 48-month CD. Both of these accounts will carry the same, fixed rate for the term’s entirety. It’s important to note that you cannot make any deposits or withdrawals from these accounts until they reach maturity, or the end of the term length. 

Citizens Bank Money Market Accounts: Personal Money Market, Citizens Bank Platinum Money Market® and Citizens Bank Platinum Plus Money Market® Accounts 

Key Features Details
Minimum Deposit None
Access to Your Savings Account Online, mobile, over the phone and physical branches.
Security FDIC insurance up to the maximum amount allowed by law.
Fees
  • Personal Money Market: $10, waivable with a minimum daily balance of $2,500
  • Citizens Bank Platinum Money Market®: $0 with Platinum Checking account
  • Citizens Bank Platinum Plus Money Market®: $0 with Platinum Plus Checking account
Current Terms and Rates: Personal Money Market 0.01% APY
Current Terms and Rates: Citizens Bank Platinum Money Market®
  • Standard: 0.03% APY
  • Promotional 
    • Account balances of $0 - $24,999: 0.03% APY
    • Account balances of $25,000 - $2,999,999: 1.25% APY
    • Account balances of $3,000,000 and over: 0.03% APY
Current Terms and Rates: Citizens Bank Platinum Plus Money Market®
  • Standard
    • Account balances of $0 - $24,999: 0.05% APY
    • Account balances of $25,000 - $249,999: 0.10% APY
    • Account balances of $250,000 and over: 0.12% APY
  • Promotional
    • Account balances of $0 - $24,999: 0.05% APY
    • Account balances of $25,000 - $2,999,999: 1.50% APY
    • Account balances of $3,000,000 and over: 0.25% APY

Citizens Bank offers three different money market accounts. Money market accounts are like savings accounts, except these offer the ability to write checks. The first account, the Personal Money Market, offers a simple way to save. It does come at a low monthly cost and you have to pay for the checks you order. 

The other two accounts, Citizens Bank Platinum Money Market® and Citizens Bank Platinum Plus Money Market® Accounts, are available as relationship accounts. So you can only open a Citizens Bank Platinum Money Market® account when you have a Platinum Checking account. In the same way, you can only open a Citizens Bank Platinum Plus Money Market® account when you already have a Platinum Plus Checking account. These relationships between accounts will also unlock better rates and waive monthly maintenance fees. 

Citizens Bank Checking Accounts: One Deposit Checking from Citizens Bank®, Citizens Bank Platinum Checking® and Citizens Bank Platinum Plus Checking® Accounts

Key Features Details
Minimum Deposit None
Access to Your Savings Account Online, mobile, over the phone and physical branches.
Security FDIC insurance up to the maximum amount allowed by law.
Fees
  • One Deposit Checking from Citizens Bank®: $9.99, waivable with one deposit each statement cycle 
  • Citizens Bank Platinum Checking®: $25, waivable with at least $25,000 in combined monthly balances across all deposit/investment accounts
  • Citizens Bank Platinum Plus Checking®: $25, waivable with the following
    • At least $25,000 in combined monthly balances across all deposit/investment accounts AND
    • Either $5,000 total deposits posted to the primary checking account before the end of your statement period OR an average daily checking balance of at least $10,000
Current Terms and Rates
  • Citizens Bank Platinum Checking®: 0.02% APY
  • Citizens Bank Platinum Plus Checking® 
    • Account balances of $0 - $24,999: 0.03% APY
    • Account balances of $25,000 - $249,999: 0.05% APY
    • Account balances of $250,000 and over: 0.07% APY

Citizens Bank gives you three checking account options, One Deposit Checking from Citizens Bank®, Citizens Bank Platinum Checking® and Citizens Bank Platinum Plus Checking®. One Deposit Checking from Citizens Bank® is the simplest account. Just as the name indicates, you only need one deposit each statement cycle to waive the monthly fee. This account comes with a debit card, direct deposit abilities and some Overdraft Choices®. Overdraft Choices® allows you to decide how you want the bank to handle transactions that can overdraw your account. Plus, you’re granted an Overdraft Pass® for overdraft fees on transactions of $5 or less. 

Owning a Citizens Bank Platinum Checking® account can earn you interest on your balance, albeit at a low interest rate. However, you do snag other great perks like better rates and waived fees on other Platinum accounts, Platinum checks, paper statements, stop payments, money orders, official bank checks and foreign currency. Plus, you’ll gain access to personalized advice from bankers to help you manage and understand your finances.

You’ll get many of the same perks with the third option, the Citizens Bank Platinum Plus Checking® account. However, this account has the opportunity to earn at higher interest rates, depending on your account balance.

Citizens Bank IRAs: IRA Savings and IRA CDs

Key Features Details
Minimum Deposit
  • IRA Savings: None
  • IRA CDs: $250
Access to Your Savings Account Online, mobile, over the phone and physical branches.
Security FDIC insurance up to the maximum amount allowed by law.
Fees IRA Savings: $4.99 monthly fee, waivable with $200 minimum daily balance
Current Terms and Rates Visit a branch or call 1-800-948-7200 to find out IRA rates.

You have the option of flexibility when it comes to opening a Citizens Bank IRA. You can choose between an IRA Savings account, which mirrors a basic savings account, or an IRA CD account. For starters, the IRA Savings account comes with a variable interest rate. You can open this account as either a traditional or a Roth IRA. There is a small monthly fee, but you can easily waive that with a $200 minimum daily balance. Your first four months of account ownership are also fee-free. The bank makes saving even easier with Steady Save®, a feature that allows you to set an amount and frequency for automatic deposits.

You can also choose to open an IRA CD from one month to 120 months. Unlike the IRA Savings account, there is a minimum deposit requirement. However, this is in your best interests since you can’t make additional deposits until the account term is up. Just like a regular CD, the longer the term, the higher the interest rate.

Where Can I Find Citizens Bank?

You can find the bank online, on mobile, over the phone or at a physical branch. The bank has over 1,000 branches in 11 states in the New England, Mid-Atlantic and Midwest regions: Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Vermont. You can also find more than 3,000 ATMs across the country. If you’re not near a location, you can easily visit the website to find the information you need or to use the Live Chat feature. 

What Can You Do Online With Citizens Bank?

There’s a lot you can do online with Citizens Bank. You can apply for accounts, learn more about their products, live chat with a customer service representative and more. If you’re not one to pick up the phone, the live chat feature is a perfect way to ask questions about the banks offerings before you apply.

Once you have your own account, you’ll have access to Online Banking through your username and password. There, you can manage your accounts like make transfers, change your direct deposit settings and more. You can perform these actions on the mobile app as well. 

How Do I Access My Money?

You can access your money easily online, on mobile, over the phone, at an ATM or at a physical branch. Since the bank’s branches are limited across the country, you may not have one near you. Unless you’d much rather bank in person, you’ll be OK with the easily navigable website and the bank’s mobile app. You’ll also have access to more ATMs than branches.

How Can I Save More Money With a Citizens Bank Account?

Citizens Bank doesn’t offer the most competitive interest rates. However, you can earn at the highest rates the bank offers by meeting a few requirements. For one, you can do this by linking Platinum accounts together. Some accounts can earn higher rates on higher account balances, too. 

What’s the Process for Opening an Account With Citizens Bank?

You have a few options when you want to apply for an account. If you want to apply online, which you can do for most accounts, you simply have to click an “Apply Now” button. Then you’ll be led through a few steps where you’ll provide personal and banking information. This information will include your Social Security number, driver’s license, home address, phone number and any account information necessary to fund your new Citizens Bank account. 

The process will typically take 10 minutes to complete. You’ll receive an instant decision on your application, too, so you don’t have to wait on a response. 

You can also apply for a new account over the phone or at a branch. You’ll need to do either of these to open an IRA.

What’s the Catch? 

Despite the bank’s many features and perks, you won’t earn much savings here. The bank’s rates fall on the lower end of the spectrum. However, there are still banks who offer even lower rates. To earn the highest rates Citizens Bank can offer, you’ll have to jump through a few hoops like opening and linking other accounts whereas other banks can offer high rates right off the bat. 

You can also check out the bank's latest venture, Citizens Access. This is an entirely online bank that offers an Online Savings account and seven Online CD accounts. These accounts require high balances but earn at incredibly competitive interest rates. 

Bottom Line

Citizens Bank offers a ton of different banking products, allowing you to find an account that really fits with your savings goals. These accounts often come with further products and perks to make saving more automatic and convenient. However, if you are looking for the highest-earning interest rates out there, this bank isn’t the one for you. You can snag some rate boosts, but those require qualifying actions while many competitors offer higher rates from the start.

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Best Places to Save

SmartAsset’s interactive map highlights the places in the country where people have the opportunity to save money. Zoom between states and the national map to see the best places to save.

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Rank County Median Household Income Cost of Living Purchasing Power Estimated Tax Rate

Methodology Where you live can have a big impact on how easy it is to save money based on several regional factors. Our study aims to find the most suitable places for people to save based on median household income, average living expenses and income tax burden.

First, we calculated the average cost of living in each county for a household with two adults (one working). We then created a purchasing power index for each county. This reflects the counties with the highest ratio of household income to cost of living.

To better compare income tax burdens across counties, we applied relevant deductions and exemptions before calculating federal, state and local income taxes for a family making $50,000 annual income in each location. Next, we created an effective tax rate index for each county, which reflects the counties with the lowest ratio of income taxes to the assumed $50,000 annual income.

Finally, we calculated the weighted average of the indices to yield an overall best places to save score. We used a three-fourths weighting for purchasing power and a one-fourth weighting for tax rates. We indexed the final number so higher values reflect places that are better to save.

Sources: US Census Bureau 2016 5-Year American Community Survey, MIT Living Wage Study