Banking » Reviews » Citizens Access Review 2024
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Citizens Access Review 2024

Citizens Access does offer some competitive rates on CDs and a savings account, but its products are limited and there is no checking account
Author: Baruch Mann (Silvermann)
Baruch Mann (Silvermann)

Writer, Contributor

Experience

Baruch Silvermann is a financial expert, experienced analyst, and founder of The Smart Investor.  Silvermann has contributed to Yahoo Finance and cited as an authoritative source in financial outlets like Forbes, Business Insider, CNBC Select, CNET, Bankrate, Fox Business, The Street, and more.
Interest Rates Last Update: June 3, 2024
The banking product interest rates, including savings, CDs, and money market, are accurate as of this date.
Author: Baruch Mann (Silvermann)
Baruch Mann (Silvermann)

Writer, Contributor

Experience

Baruch Silvermann is a financial expert, experienced analyst, and founder of The Smart Investor.  Silvermann has contributed to Yahoo Finance and cited as an authoritative source in financial outlets like Forbes, Business Insider, CNBC Select, CNET, Bankrate, Fox Business, The Street, and more.
Interest Rates Last Update: June 3, 2024

The banking product interest rates, including savings, CDs, and money market, are accurate as of this date.

We earn a commission from our partner links on this page. It doesn't affect the integrity of our unbiased, independent editorial staff. Transparency is a core value for us, read our advertiser disclosure and how we make money.

Citizens Access

citizens-bank-logo
citizens-bank-logo

Citizens Access

Fees

$0

Minimum Deposit

$0

Our Rating

4.2
4.2/5

APY Savings

4.50%

Citizens Access does offer some highly competitive rates, particularly if you’re interested in shorter term CDs and a savings account, but the bank does have limited account options and no checking account. This means it should only be considered a supplementary bank, as you will need to link an external bank account to send and receive transfers. Citizens Access is a division of Citizens Bank.

If you’re interested in moving all of your banking from your current financial institution, the lack of a checking account means that Citizens Access is not a viable option. However, if you are solely interested in savings, CDs and lending products, it is certainly worthy of consideration.

  • No Monthly Maintenance Fees
  • Competitive Rates
  • Decent Transparency
  • Solid Customer Support
  • No Physical Branches
  • High CD Minimums
  • No Checking Account
  • No ATM Access

Can I open only a CD account?

Yes, you don’t need to open a savings account to be able to open a Citizens Access CD account. You simply need to have at least $5,000 to deposit into your CD.

What are the requirements to open a Citizens Access account?

Citizens Access is an online only bank, so the requirements to open an account are similar to other online banks. You’ll need to provide your personal details including your full name, address, date of birth and Social Security Number. You will also need to verify your identity.

Can I open an account with Citizens Access online?

The only option to open a Citizens Access account is online, since this is an online-only bank.

Table Of Content

Banking Services
Credit Options
Savings Accounts
Mortgage
Checking Accounts
Government Mortgage
CDs
Credit Cards
Money Market Account
Debit Card
Investing Capabilities
Personal Loans

Citizens Access Savings

Citizens Access currently has just one savings account, but it is a high yield account offering over 10 times the national rate. The account has no hidden costs or fees and you can open an account online in less than five minutes with only one penny. The account is able to receive direct deposits and recurring transfers.

The key features of this account include:

  • High APY: The account offers a highly competitive rate of 4.50% APY, even when compared to other savings rates of online banks and credit unions
  • No ATM Access: Unfortunately this account does not provide ATM access as you cannot request an ATM card. This does mean that withdrawals are limited to transfers out of the account and requesting a check to be mailed to you from Citizens Access.
  • Minimal Fees and Charges: The account has no monthly maintenance fee or hidden charges. In fact, Citizens Access advertises that it is transparent and does not rely on promo or teaser rates to entice customers.

Citizens Access CDs

Citizens Access currently only offers its online CD online, but periodically, there are other CD products available. The online CD is available with two terms: one year and five years. The current rate for 12 month CD is 5.00%, while the rate for 5-year CD is 3.45% APY. There is a minimum deposit requirement of $5,000 regardless of CD term.

You can cash out your monthly interest payments or reinvest them into your CD to increase the potential yield. However, if you do need to access some or all of your funds before the maturity date, you will incur an early withdrawal penalty. This is calculated according to the original term of your CD. For terms of one year, the penalty is 90 days of interest, but this is increased to 180 days for longer term CDs.

Citizens Access CD
1-Year APY
5.00%
5-Year APY
3.45%
CD Minimum Deposit
$5,000
1-Year APY Early Withdrawal Fee
90 days of interest
5-Year APY Early Withdrawal Fee
180 days of interest

At maturity, there is a 10 day grace period. This allows you to make withdrawals, add further funds or close the account with no penalty. After the grace period, the CD will auto-renew for the same term.

Citizens Access will also help customers with CD ladders. This is a low risk investment strategy, which allows you to access the best rates without needing to tie up your funds for the long term. A CD ladder allows you to have a CD regularly maturing, with other CDs continuing to operate. This can be a little confusing, particularly for less experienced investors, so this could be an invaluable service for some customers.

Pros and Cons

As with any financial institution, there are both positives and potential negatives associated with Citizens Access. It is important to be aware of the pros and cons before deciding if a bank is the right choice for you.

Pros
Cons
No Monthly Maintenance Fees
No Physical Branches
Competitive Rates
High CD Minimums
Decent Transparency
No Checking Account
Solid Customer Support
No ATM Access

While it is often possible to have a monthly service fee waived, it does add a layer of complexity to managing your account.

Fortunately, this is not something you need to worry about with Citizens Access as its accounts don’t have this type of fee.

Unlike Citizens Bank CDs, both Citizens Access savings and CDs offer highly competitive rates which can compare favorably to the best online banks and credit unions.

Citizens Access is quite transparent about its lack of fees, so you don’t need to worry about getting hit with a hidden cost. Additionally, the bank does not rely on gimmicks or limited time APY deals.

The Citizens Access customer support team is available seven days a week via the phone helpline or website chat function.

Citizens Access is a fully online bank, so you won’t be able to access in person support if you have any queries or issues.

While the Citizens Access CDs offer competitive rates, the $5,000 minimum deposit requirement may be a barrier to entry for some savers.

Citizens Access does not currently offer a checking account, which means that it is not a viable alternative if you want to move all of your banking from your current financial institution.

Although it is not unusual for a savings account to not have an ATM card, it does make withdrawals from this account a little limited.

If you want to withdraw funds from your Citizens Access account, you will need to initiate a transfer to an external account or request a check to be mailed to you.

Citizens Access Customer Service

Citizens Access may be part of one of the largest banking institutions in the U.S, but it does have a rather limited website and app. The app is a little glitchy and only offers basic account management features such as viewing balances and statements, transferring money and depositing checks.

However, if you do have an issue, you can access the Citizens Access customer service team seven days a week. The phone and chat feature are available 7 am to 10 pm ET Monday through Friday and 9 am to 6 pm ET on weekends. There is also TDD support for deaf customers via the Relay Service, seven days a week.

How to Open a Citizens Access Account

Since Citizens Access is an online only bank, it has made the account opening process quite straightforward and you can open an account in less than five minutes with a few simple steps.

  1. Navigate to the Product Page: From the Citizens Access official website, you will need to navigate to the appropriate product page. Deposit accounts can be found under the “Savings & CD” heading on the top bar. From here you can click the orange “Open Account” button for the appropriate product.
  2. Select the Account and Opening Deposit: The first screen you’ll see will ask you to confirm the type of account you wish to open and the amount you want to deposit. Bear in mind that you can open a savings account with only one penny, but CDs have a minimum deposit requirement of $5,000.
  3. Complete the Application Form: You’ll now need to complete the account application form. This is quite standard and requires you to complete all the mandatory fields including your full name, address, zip code, email address, phone number, date of birth and Social Security Number. There is also an option to create a joint account at this stage.
  4. Confirm the Legal Disclaimers: The next stage presents all of the legal disclaimers for the account. This includes deposit account agreement, consent for electronic delivery, terms and conditions and a privacy notice. You can click on each of these documents to ensure that you are comfortable before consenting. You will also need to confirm your citizenship status.
  5. Fund Your Account: The final stage of the application is to fund your new account. This can be done by a transfer from an external account.
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The product offers that appear on this site are from companies from which this website receives compensation.

About Citizens Access

Citizens Access is an online only financial institution that is part of the Citizens Bank group. While Citizens Access may only have been around since 2018, its parent company has almost 200 years of banking experience and a total of $150 billion plus in assets.

While Citizens Access may not offer the comprehensive product line available through Citizens Bank, it does offer high APYs, particularly for those that don’t require regular access to their money.

FAQs

Yes, Citizens Access is available in all states. It is an online only bank with no physical branches.

Citizens Access does not have any physical coverage. It has no branch network at all.

Citizens Access does offer FDIC coverage and you can use the EDIE (Electronic Deposit Insurance Estimator) to determine the amount of coverage available to you.

However, it is important to note that for the purposes of federal coverage, Citizens Access and Citizens Bank are considered the same entity.

Unfortunately, Citizens Access does not offer a checking account at this time.

Savings Account Reviews Methodology

The Smart Investor team has conducted an in-depth analysis of savings accounts offered by banks and credit unions tailored to the needs of savers. Our review focused on four key categories, with specific considerations for savers, and here's how we rated them:

  • Savings Rates and Terms (40%): We thoroughly examined the interest rates provided by financial institutions, along with any unique terms and conditions attached to their savings accounts. Higher scores were awarded to banks and credit unions, offering competitive rates, reasonable minimum deposit requirements, and minimal fees, ensuring savers get the best value for their money.
  • Savings Account Features (30%): This category assessed the array of features designed to cater to savers' needs, including fees, minimum deposit requirements, mobile app functionality, ATM access, and withdrawal options. Financial institutions providing a diverse range of features and convenient banking solutions received higher ratings in this category, reflecting their commitment to meeting the specific needs savers.
  • Customer Experience (20%): The ease of account opening, the responsiveness of customer service, the usability of mobile apps (thoroughly tested by our team), and the bank's policies for assisting customers were evaluated in this category. Banks and credit unions offering seamless account opening processes, efficient customer service, and user-friendly digital platforms were rated higher, ensuring a positive banking experience for  savers.
  • Bank Reputation (10%): We considered the reputation of each financial institution, incorporating ratings from trusted sources such as JD Power, TrustPilot, and local Better Business Bureau reviews. Higher scores were awarded to banks and credit unions with positive reputations and satisfied customers, reflecting their reliability and trustworthiness.

By weighing these categories appropriately and focusing on factors relevant to savers, our review provides valuable insights to help residents of the state make informed decisions when selecting a savings account.

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Picture of Baruch Mann (Silvermann)

Baruch Mann (Silvermann)

Baruch Silvermann is a financial expert, experienced analyst, and founder of The Smart Investor.  Silvermann has contributed to Yahoo Finance and cited as an authoritative source in financial outlets like Forbes, Business Insider, CNBC Select, CNET, Bankrate, Fox Business, The Street, and more.
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Fees:
No monthly fees No monthly fees and no overdraft fees. Plus get reimbursed for ATM fees with an active account 
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Up to 2% cash back Up to 2% cash back on common everyday expenses for active accounts with monthly $1,000 direct deposit, and up to 1% cash back for other purchases 

Promotion:
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penfed personal loan

APY on Daily Balances
0.15% APY on daily balances of less than $20,000 or 0.35% APY on daily balances of $20,000 up to $50,000
Get paid up to 2 days early
Set up direct deposits and get your paycheck up to 2 days early

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• Receive a cash bonus of $1,500 when you deposit or invest $100,000 – $199,999.99

• Receive a cash bonus of $2,000 when you deposit or invest $200,000 – $299,999.99

• Receive a cash bonus of $2,500 when you deposit or invest $300,000 – 499,999.99

• Receive a cash bonus of $3,500 when you deposit or invest $500,000+

• Earn an extra $500 when you set up recurring monthly Direct Deposits totaling at least $5,000 for 3 months
Wealth Products & Advice
Get access to wealth products, insights and advice from an HSBC Financial Professional through HSBC Securities (USA) Inc
Advertiser Disclosure
The product offers that appear on this site are from companies from which this website receives compensation.

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