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Updated on Thursday, October 1, 2020
Citizens Access online savings account
|APY||Minimum Balance to Earn APY|
|0.25%||$0.01 to $4,999.99|
- Minimum opening deposit: $5,000
- Minimum balance to earn APY: $0.01
- Monthly account maintenance fee: $0
- Overdraft fee: No overdraft protection comes with this account.
If all you want is a savings account that earns a super-high interest rate, this is definitely one to consider. There are a few things you need to know before opening an account here, however.
First, you’ll need at least $5,000 to open and establish your account. You can’t deposit cash at this bank, either — you’ll need to find another method, such as depositing the cash into your checking account and transferring it digitally to Citizens Access. Once your account is open, you can let your balance drop as low as you want, but you’ll earn a much smaller interest rate if it dips below $5,000.
This account doesn’t come with ATM access, meaning your only way to access your funds is via online transfer or calling up the bank to request a check. You’re also limited to making just six transfers out of the account per month, due to federal regulation. If you regularly go over this limit, the online bank might choose to close your account.
How to get the Citizens Access Online Savings Account
You can open this account online in about five minutes. You must be a U.S. citizen or resident alien at least 18 years old, and have a U.S. address and Social Security number.
How the Citizens Access savings account compares
You might find a savings account that offers higher interest rates, but they are few and far between. And due to the account’s simple structure, you’ll pay no fees at all.
The high minimum opening deposit, though, might exclude a lot of people who don’t have that kind of money saved from taking advantage of this great offer. That said, some banks and credit unions that are offering the same interest rate or higher have smaller minimum opening deposit requirements. If you can swing the opening deposit requirement, however, this account is definitely one worth opening due to its high interest rate and lack of fees.
Citizens Access online CD
- Minimum opening deposit: $5,000
- Minimum balance to earn APY: $5,000
- Early withdrawal penalty: For the 6-month and 12-month CDs, you’ll pay 90 days’ worth of interest. For all other CDs, you’ll pay 180 days’ worth of interest.
Like the Citizens Access savings account, its CDs also have a high minimum deposit requirement of $5,000. You can opt for your interest, which is compounded daily, to go back into the CD account each month of have it deposited into your Citizens Access savings account or another linked account. If you choose the latter, however, you won’t earn the full APY.
One of the downsides of these CDs is that you can’t make any partial principal withdrawals. If you need the money for some reason, you have to withdraw the whole shebang and close the CD entirely — and pay the early withdrawal penalty on the full amount. This could potentially eat up a lot of your deposit.
Like most other CDs, when this one matures, it will automatically renew for another term. If you want to withdraw the money or make any other changes to the CD, you can do it at the end of its term or anytime during a 10-day grace period after it renews.
You also have the option of opening up a CD ladder with Citizens Access. You’ll need at least $25,000 to split among five separate CDs, and each time a CD matures — regardless of its starting term length — it will automatically renew for a five-year term.
How to get a Citizens Access Online CD
You can open a Citizens Access CD online in about five minutes, as long as you’re at least 18 years old and a U.S. citizen or resident alien. You’ll need to provide your Social Security number to complete the application.
How Citizens Access CD rates compare
Citizens Access blew it out of the water with its online savings account, but its CDs? Meh. The CD rates aren’t bad; in fact, they’re quite good. But the rates on its CDs doesn’t put Citizens Access at the top of its pack of CD competitors like its savings account rate does.
The high minimum deposit amount that is required for CD accounts is a definite con. Too many people can’t come up with that much money so they won’t be able to afford one.
Furthermore, you can’t make a partial withdrawal on these CDs, which is unusual. Most banks will let you withdraw a portion of the money if you need it and still keep the remainder in the CD. But if life happens and you need your money from this CD, you’ll have to close the account and pay a hefty penalty on the entire thing, which means you’ll have even less money to deal with whatever emergency life threw your way.
Overall review of Citizens Access’s banking products
It’s great that more banks like Citizens Access are competing in the online space. This competition drives up interest rates, which means more money in your bank account at the end of the day.
Citizens Access caters to the high-balance saver, and it does it well — at least for its savings account. It’s one of the top-yielding savings accounts currently on the market. You might want to pass, however, on the CDs. You can find much higher rates elsewhere, without the heavy-handed, early-withdrawal penalties.