Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It may not have been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any of our network partners.
Citizens Bank was established in 1871 by High Street Bank. It has grown since then into a $187-billion behemoth, but even so, it’s still mostly based on the East Coast with a small footprint in the Midwest. It offers a range of products for business and personal banking. Unlike many banks, you can access your accounts online, but you’ll still need to live in its service area in order to open an account.
Because a zip code is required to confirm rates online, all APYs are for customers in Providence, R.I., the home of Citizens Bank’s headquarters.
Citizens Bank has a healthy offering of six different types of savings accounts.
Citizens Bank’s highest-yielding savings account won’t exactly blow you away with its APY. However, you might want to open this account if Citizens Bank is conveniently located near you and that’s something you value, or if there’s another product at the bank you’re more tempted to use. You’ll need to keep a Citizens Quest™ Checking account open with this account — on the bright side, though, there are no minimum balance requirements you’ll need to meet, and the account is free.
This is Citizens Bank’s most basic-level savings account, and it also pays out almost nothing. You can have the monthly fee waived, however, by making at least one deposit per month — of any size — into the account (you can also have it waived with a $200 daily minimum balance). One nice benefit of this account is that Citizens Bank won’t charge you ATM fees for using out-of-network machines, which is handy since its ATM network is relatively small. On the other hand, you may still be charged fees by the ATM’s owner.
This account is for wealthy customers (you’ll need $200,000 to keep open a Wealth Checking account, which you need to have for access to this account). If you’re able do that, though, Citizens Bank won’t charge you any out-of-network ATM fees. You’ll also get $10 in rebates per statement cycle for the ATM fees that the out-of-network ATM owners charge.
If you’re interested in being able to write checks from your savings account, but not in opening any of Citizens Bank’s checking accounts, this is the only money market account you’ll be able to open. You will need to pay for checks, and you’ll also need to pay a $10 monthly fee unless you keep your account stocked with at least $2,500. Otherwise, there are no minimum balance requirements.
This account pays slightly more, but in order to open it, you’ll need to also use a Citizens Quest™ Checking account. That one itself comes with a high bar for maintenance: a deposit of at least $5,000, keeping a $25,000 balance in the account or paying a $25 monthly fee. But if you are able to do so (and thus get this account for free too), you won’t pay any fees to have checks made, and Citizens Bank won’t charge you out-of-network ATM fees. You may need to pay third-party ATM fees, though.
If you set up a Citizens Quest™ Money Market account with at least $25,000 not already on deposit with Citizens Bank, you’re able to get a slightly better APY on balances of $25,000 or above in this account: 0.05%.
This account is also reserved mostly for wealthy people, as you’ll need at least $200,000 in a linked Wealth Checking account in order to open this one. But like the savings account, you also won’t pay Citizens Bank ATM fees, and you’ll get $10 in statement credits each month against third-party ATM fees. You also won’t have to pay for checks.
Compare Citizens Bank’s savings accounts to the highest savings rates available today.
Citizens Bank also offers a range of different checking accounts that’ll suit numerous types of consumers, from students to wealthy private banking clients.
This is Citizens Bank’s mid-level checking account. It’s the only one that offers interest for non-wealthy people, but you will need to put in some work to get it. You’ll have to keep at least $25,000 in your account or deposit at least $5,000 per month — otherwise, you’ll get slapped with a $25 monthly fee. But on the bright side, at least Citizens Bank won’t charge you a fee for using out-of-network ATMs (although the ATM machine’s owner might). Citizens Bank will also waive one overdraft fee per year.
If you’re not able to meet all the requirements for the Citizens Quest™ Checking account, consider this one instead. You’ll still need to dodge a fee each month — $9.99 — but it’s a much easier bar to get a waiver for it. All you need to do is make one deposit of any amount each month, and you won’t have to pay a fee. However, you won’t earn any interest, and you’ll be stuck with using ATMs from Citizens Bank unless you want to pay additional fees.
Having money comes with privileges, and if you can keep at least $200,000 with Citizens Bank, you’ll be able to open this account. In return, you’ll get access to “special rates” on other savings accounts (heads-up: they’re still not that high), $10 in third-party ATM fees per month and one waived overdraft fee per year. You’ll also get priority customer service from the bank.
This account is available to anyone under age 25. It doesn’t offer interest, but it does have some nice features. You won’t be charged overdraft fees with this account — instead, if you don’t have enough money to cover a charge, it’ll be declined or returned unpaid. Once you turn 25, this account is converted into a One Deposit Checking from Citizens® account.
Compare Citizens Bank’s checking accounts to the best checking accounts you can open today.
Citizens Bank does not offer very many CDs.
|Term||APY||Minimum opening deposit to earn APY|
|10 months||0.03% (0.03% if you have a Citizens Quest™ Checking account)||$1,000|
|14 months (online-only)||0.03%||$1,000|
|25 months||0.03% (0.05% if you have a Citizens Quest™ Checking account)||$1,000|
Citizens Bank is pretty lackluster when it comes to its CDs — so if high-yield CDs are what you’re after, we’d recommend another bank. There are only three term lengths offered, and none of them are for particularly long terms. One of these CDs (14 months) can only be opened online. Citizens Bank doesn’t offer any jumbo CDs or no penalty CDs as a way to boost your earnings or get more frequent access to your money.
Looking for more options? Here are the best CDs out there right now.
Citizens Bank may be large, but it also has a narrow regional focus. It operates 1,000 branches in 11 states — across the Northeastern U.S., as well as in Michigan and Ohio — and only has around 3,000 ATMs in its network. (Wells Fargo, by contrast, offers 7,200 branches and 13,000 ATMs nationwide.)
Citizens Bank does offer mobile and online banking, but it doesn’t always have the greatest reputation for customer service. Citizens Bank has only been rated with an average of two out of five stars by customers on DepositAccounts.com, another LendingTree website. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau also opened a lawsuit against Citizens Bank in 2020, alleging violations of lending and banking laws that protect its customers.