Citizens Bank Review: CDs, Checking, Savings, Money Market, and IRA Accounts

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Updated on Tuesday, September 1, 2020

Citizens Bank CD Rates

Citizens Bank offers limited options for CDs and low rates unless you also have an existing premium account at the bank.
 

Online-Only 14-Month CD

11-Month CD

24-Month CD

Standard APY0.20%0.05%0.05%
APY with Platinum Checking1.00%0.05%0.05%
APY with Platinum Plus Checking1.00%0.20%
0.25%
  • Minimum opening deposit: $1,000
  • Compounding of interest: Interest is calculated based on your daily balance, then tallied up and deposited into your account monthly.
  • Early withdrawal penalty (if the bank agrees):
    • $50 transaction penalty
    • Short-term CDs of less than one year: 90 days’ interest or half of the remaining interest to be earned, whichever is greater
    • Long-term CDs of more than one year: 180 days’ interest or half of the remaining interest to be earned, whichever is greater
  • Grace period: Your CD will automatically roll over to another CD with the same term. However, you have a 10-day grace period to withdraw or add funds without paying an early withdrawal penalty.

14-month CD — online only

This CD can only be opened online. It has the same minimum deposit requirement as Citizens Bank’s other CDs. However, the APY isn’t as high as the current leading CD rates.

11-month CD

This CD is an accessible choice for many savers, but the APYs are quite low. If you have Citizens Bank’s Platinum Plus Checking account, it would make more sense to check out its 24-month CD offering.

24-month CD

This CD is interesting if you have a Platinum Plus checking account, which gives you access to the bank’s highest CD APY. However, the bank’s rate still falls well short of the best 24-month CDs available on the market today.

How to get a Citizens Bank CD

If you decide a Citizens Bank CD is right for you, good news: It only takes about 10 minutes to apply for an account, and you can apply online or in a local branch. All you’ll need is basic personal information, a government-issued photo ID and a way to fund your account.

You can fund it with from an existing account or with a debit card. If you go the card route, you can only make a minimum opening deposit of $1,000.

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How Citizens Bank CD rates compare

Citizens Bank offers higher loyalty rates — it clearly wants you to be a Platinum Plus Checking Account holder, and these CDs generally only make sense if you are one. However, even at their best the bank’s rates are low when compared to those at leading competitors.

Citizens Bank checking account options

The checking accounts at Citizens Bank offer few benefits in exchange for high fees and requirements — however, they may be useful if earning higher rates on another of the bank’s product is your endgame.

Student Checking

  • Minimum opening deposit: Any amount.
  • Interest rate: None.
  • Monthly maintenance fee: $0 when you’re under 25, then $3.99.
  • Monthly maintenance fee waived if you meet one of these conditions: Citizens Bank will waive the fee if you’re under 25.
  • ATM fees: None for Citizens Bank ATMs. $3 for using non-Citizens Bank ATMs, plus whatever surcharge fees the ATM’s owner charges.
  • ATM fee refunds: None.
  • Overdraft fee: $35 per item (up to seven per day).

The Student Checking account requires you to be under 25 when you open the account. It earns no interest and has $0 ATM fees when you use Citizens Bank ATMs. If you’re under 25, this account might work for a while. But it’s pretty barebones other than the benefit of no monthly maintenance fee for younger clients.

One Deposit Checking from Citizens Bank®

  • Minimum opening deposit: Any amount.
  • Interest rate: None.
  • Monthly maintenance fee: $9.99
  • Monthly maintenance fee waived if you meet this condition: Citizens Bank will waive the fee if you have at least one deposit posted to your account each statement period.
  • ATM fees: None for Citizens Bank ATMs. $3 for using non-Citizens Bank ATMs, plus whatever surcharge fees the ATM’s owner charges.
  • ATM fee refunds: None.
  • Overdraft fee: $35 per item (up to seven per day).

Even though this is Citizens Bank’s most basic-level checking account, it isn’t one you can leave on autopilot. You’ll need to make at least one deposit into the account each statement period in order to avoid the $9.99 monthly fee. This seems like a way to generate income for the bank, and since no interest in offered on this account, it becomes hard to see how this benefits the client.

Not only that, but it will cost you to use this account anyway — at least indirectly. Checks do not come free with this account, and there are other fees. You’ll need to pay at least $9.99 for an order of checks, $5 for a money order, $10 for an official bank check, etc. The account may be free, but almost everything you do at the bank will cost you.

Citizens Bank Platinum Checking™

  • Minimum opening deposit: Any amount.
  • APY:0.02% for any amount in your account.
  • Monthly maintenance fee: $25
  • Monthly maintenance fee waived if you meet this condition: Keep at least $25,000 across all of your Citizens Bank investment and deposit accounts.
  • ATM fees: None for Citizens Bank ATMs. $3 for using non-Citizens Bank ATMs, plus whatever surcharge fees the ATM’s owner charges.
  • ATM fee refunds: Your first four non-Citizens Bank ATM charges will be waived each statement period (not including surcharges).
  • Overdraft fee: No fee for overdraft transfers or overdraft lines of credit but $35 otherwise, with a total of seven charges a day.

This is Citizens Bank’s lowest premium-level checking account. If you have this account, you may qualify for higher rates on CDs, savings accounts and money market accounts, a 0.125% discount on a mortgage, and waived fees for things like paper statements or stop check orders. You’ll get free Platinum design checks. The account technically earns interest, but you would expect a bank to offer a higher rate for someone who might invest thousands of dollars.

Citizens Bank Platinum Plus Checking™

Amount$0-$24,999$25,000-$249,999$250,000+
APY0.02%0.02%0.02%
  • Minimum opening deposit: Any amount.
  • Monthly maintenance fee: $25.
  • Monthly maintenance fee waived if you meet these conditions: You’ll need to keep at least $25,000 in linked deposit or investment accounts, plus meet one of the following two requirements: Deposit at least $5,000 per month into your account or keep at least $10,000 in your account.
  • ATM fees: None for Citizens Bank ATMs. $3 for using non-Citizens Bank ATMs, plus whatever surcharge fees the ATM’s owner charges.
  • ATM fee refunds: Your first four non-Citizens Bank ATM charges will be waived each statement period (not including surcharges).
  • Overdraft fee: No fee for overdraft transfers or overdraft lines of credit but $35 otherwise, with a total of 7 charges a day.

This is basically the same account as the lower-level Citizens Bank Platinum Checking account with one extra bonus: a slightly higher interest rate, but one that’s still quite low compared with others. You will receive free checks, and there is no charge for any kind of statement, but clients usually expect more when they are banking at a premier level.

How to get a Citizens Bank checking account

If you decide a Citizens Bank Checking Account is right for you, the good news is that it only takes about 10 minutes to apply for an account, and you can apply online or in a local branch. All you’ll need is basic personal information (including your social security number), a government-issued photo ID, and some way to fund your account.

You can fund it with a check or a credit or debit card, but again, if you go the card route, you can only make the minimum opening deposit of $1,000 — you can’t deposit anything more than that.

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How Citizens Bank checking accounts compare

Most checking accounts at large national banks set the bar fairly high to waive their outrageous monthly fees in return for low interest rates. Citizens Bank is no exception. Rather than using this account for its low interest rate, it can be tailored to earn some decent rates on CDs if you hold one of the Platinum or Platinum Plus checking accounts.

If you can meet the requirements on these checking accounts, want to earn higher rates on CDs, and if Citizens Bank is convenient for you to work with, then this bank seems like a reasonable competitor.

Citizens Bank savings account options

Citizens Bank does offer savings accounts with some neat features, but they appear to be weighed down by low interest rates and potentially high fees.

One Deposit Savings®

  • Minimum opening deposit: Any amount.
  • APY:0.01% for any amount in your account.
  • Monthly maintenance fee: $4.99
  • Monthly maintenance fee waived if you meet one of these conditions: Make at least one deposit of any amount per statement period or maintain a $200 minimum daily balance.
  • ATM fees: None for Citizens Bank ATMs. $3 for using non-Citizens Bank ATMs, plus whatever surcharge fees the ATM’s owner charges.
  • ATM fee refunds: None.
  • Excessive transaction fee: Federal law mandates certain types of telephone and electronic withdrawals, including transfers from savings accounts up to 6 per statement cycle, per Regulation D. After that, you’ll be charged $15 per transaction by the bank.

Citizens Bank’s One Deposit Savings account is its most basic savings account. It’s also the bank’s only savings account to charge a monthly fee, which you can avoid as long as you make at least one deposit of any amount per monthly statement period or maintain a $200 minimum daily balance. Like other Citizens Bank accounts, money orders, bank checks and other services all carry a fee.

As is with all savings accounts, Regulation D applies, which mandates certain types of telephone and electronic withdrawals, including transfers from savings accounts up to 6 per statement cycle. However, if you violate the bank terms three times or more during any 12-month period, Citizens Bank will roll over your account to a savings account that doesn’t pay interest. However, with the lowest APY possible, it would be hard to see the difference.

Citizens Bank Platinum Savings™

  • Minimum opening deposit: Any amount.
  • Interest rate:0.02% for any amount in your account.
  • Monthly maintenance fee: None.
  • ATM fees: None for Citizens Bank ATMs. $3 for using non-Citizens Bank ATMs, plus whatever surcharge fees the ATM’s owner charges.
  • ATM fee refunds: Fees on the first four transactions per statement period when using another bank’s ATMs (not including surcharges) are refunded.
  • Excessive transaction fee: Federal Law mandates certain types of telephone and electronic withdrawals, including transfers from savings accounts up to 6 per statement cycle. After that, you’ll be charged $15 per transaction by the bank.

This Platinum Savings account comes standard with Citizens Bank’s Platinum Checking account. Although this savings account doesn’t have a monthly maintenance fee, the checking account does: $25, unless you qualify to have the fee waived.

Like for the other savings accounts offered, violating bank terms regarding certain withdrawals or transfers more the three times in a calendar year can lead to a rollover of your account into a non-interest-bearing savings account.

The benefits of this savings account are not that much greater than the ones for Green Savings, which you can open without an attached checking account. Therefore, we only recommend this account if you’re interested in the Platinum Checking account.

Citizens Bank Platinum Plus Savings
Amount$0-$24,999$25,000-$249,999$250,000+
APY

0.02%0.02%0.02%
  • Minimum opening deposit: Any amount.
  • Monthly maintenance fee: None.
  • ATM fees: None for Citizens Bank ATMs. $3 for using non-Citizens Bank ATMs, plus whatever surcharge fees the ATM’s owner charges.
  • ATM fee refunds: The first four charges per statement period are refunded when using another bank’s ATMs (not including surcharges).
  • Excessive transaction fee: Federal law mandates certain types of telephone and electronic withdrawals, including transfers from savings accounts up to 6 per statement cycle. After that, you’ll be charged $15 per transaction by the bank.

This is Citizens Bank’s most premium-level savings account. It also comes with a Platinum Checking account. In return, you get slightly higher savings account rates as well as higher rates on products like CDs and money market accounts. This seems to be the bank’s most robust savings offering, and also the only one worth considering if you want to see any real return on your savings.

CollegeSaver®

  • Minimum opening deposit: $25 if your child is under 6 years old. $500 if your child is 6 to 12 years old.
  • APY:0.01% for any amount in your account.
  • Monthly maintenance fee: None.
  • Minimum monthly deposit: If your child is under 6 years old, you’ll need to deposit $25 per month until their 18th birthday. If your child is between 6 to 12 years old, you’ll need to deposit $50 per month until their 18th birthday.
  • Excessive transaction fee: Federal law mandates certain types of telephone and electronic withdrawals, including transfers from savings accounts up to 6 per statement cycle. After that, you’ll be charged $15 per transaction by the bank.

If you’re looking to save up some extra cash for your kid’s college bill, the CollegeSaver account might be able to help. Be warned, though: It does have some steep requirements. If you can manage these, you’ll get a nice bonus: When your child turns 18, Citizens Bank will deposit $1,000 (plus interest) into your savings account.

This is a nice idea, but unfortunately this account doesn’t earn much interest. There appears to be no real advantage to using this account over, say, a 529 plan or a Coverdell Education Savings Account (ESA).

GoalTrack Savings® program

GoalTrack Savings is a savings reward program in which you can enroll with any savings account except for the CollegeSaver account. If you enroll in this program, you have to make a pledge: I will save X dollars each month for X months.

If you fail to meet your pledge for two consecutive months, you may be at risk of losing your bonus eligibility. You will still have saved the money, but the incentive may be lost. Depending on your underlying account, that money also may not have earned any interest.

However, if you reach your goal, Citizens Bank will reward you with a gift card for certain merchants, whose full list you can find here. The amount of the gift card may be as follows:

Months

$25-$49

$50-$99

$100-$199

$200-$399

$400+

8-11

Discount at a merchant

$5

$5

$10

$20

12-17

$5

$5

$10

$20

$40

18-23

$5

$10

$20

$40

$75

24-35

$10

$20

$40

$75

$100

36+

$20

$40

$75

$100

$250

How to get a Citizens Bank savings account

If you decide a Citizens Bank savings account is right for you, good news: It only takes about 10 minutes to apply for an account, and you can apply online or in a local branch. All you’ll need is basic personal information (including your social security number), a government-issued photo ID and some way to fund your account.

You can fund it with a check or a credit or debit card. But once again, if you go the card route, you can only make the minimum opening deposit of $1,000 — you can’t deposit anything more than that.

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How Citizens Bank savings accounts compare

While there are some positives that lure people into the savings accounts that Citizens Bank offers, there are too many fees and too low interest rates to really consider them as top choices in the savings account world. Furthermore, the savings accounts either come with unnecessarily high fees, or are linked to checking accounts that do have high fees.

Unless there’s something really tying you to Citizens Bank, we think that you can earn a lot more and pay a lot less with other online savings accounts.

Citizens Bank money market account options

The APY you can earn on these money market accounts are generally rock-bottom, unless you can qualify for the promotional rates offered on the premium-level accounts.

Personal Money Market

  • Minimum opening deposit: Any amount.
  • APY:0.01% for any amount in your account.
  • Monthly maintenance fee: $10
  • Monthly maintenance fee waived if you meet this condition: Keep a minimum of $2,500 in your account.
  • ATM fees: None for Citizens Bank ATMs. $3 for using non-Citizens Bank ATMs, plus whatever surcharge fees the ATM’s owner charges.
  • ATM fee refunds: None.
  • Excessive transaction fee: Federal law mandates certain types of telephone and electronic withdrawals, including transfers from savings accounts up to 6 per statement cycle. After that, you’ll be charged $15 per transaction by the bank.

This account comes with checks but be aware that you can only use the checks up to three times per month without incurring an excessive transaction fee. Like in the case of savings accounts, you’ll also be limited to certain types of telephone and electronic withdrawals, including transfers from savings accounts up to 6 per statement cycle according to federal Regulation D. If you go over, you’ll have to pay a $15 transaction fee from the bank.

If you end up paying this fee more than three times in a year, your account may be automatically downgraded into a non-interest-bearing checking account.

Citizens Bank Platinum Money Market™

  • Minimum opening deposit: Any amount.
  • APY:0.04% for any amount in your account.
  • Monthly maintenance fee: None, but this account is only available with a Platinum Checking account.
  • ATM fees: None for Citizens Bank ATMs. $3 for using non-Citizens Bank ATMs, plus whatever surcharge fees the ATM’s owner charges.
  • ATM fee refunds: Your first four non-Citizens Bank ATM charges will be waived each statement period (but not the ATM surcharge, however).
  • Excessive transaction fee: Federal law mandates certain types of telephone and electronic withdrawals, including transfers from savings accounts up to 6 per statement cycle (including three checks). After that, you’ll be charged $15 per transaction or check from the bank.

You are eligible to open this account only if you have a Platinum Checking account. Like the other premium-level savings accounts, this account has no monthly maintenance fee of its own, but the aforementioned and already linked Platinum Checking account does. Consider this before moving on what seem to already be fairly low returns.

Citizens Bank Platinum Plus Money Market™

Platinum Plus Money Market APY Tiers
Balance$0 - $2,499$2,500 - $9,999$10k - $24,999$25k - $49,999$50k - $74,999$75k - $249,999$250k - $999,999$1 million - $2,999,999$3 million and above

APY

0.04%
0.04%
0.04%
0.04%0.05%0.05%0.05%0.05%0.05%
  • Minimum opening deposit: Any amount.
  • APY: Varies based on balance.
  • Monthly maintenance fee: None.
  • ATM fees: None for Citizens Bank ATMs. $3 for using non-Citizens Bank ATMs, plus whatever surcharge fees the ATM’s owner charges.
  • ATM fee refunds: Your first four non-Citizens Bank ATM charges will be waived each statement period (not including surcharges).
  • Excessive transaction fee: Federal law mandates certain types of telephone and electronic withdrawals, including transfers from savings accounts up to 6 per statement cycle. After that, you’ll be charged $15 per transaction or check from the bank.

If you have a Citizens Bank Platinum Plus checking account, you’re eligible to open this corresponding money market account. The APYs on this account are better than on some of the bank’s savings accounts. But if you have a significant amount of capital, you’d be better off with a high-yield account at another bank.

How to get a Citizens Bank money market account

If you decide a Citizens Bank money market account is right for you, it only takes about 10 minutes to apply for an account, and you can apply online or in a local branch. All you’ll need is basic personal information (including your social security number), a government-issued photo ID, and some way to fund your account.

You can fund it with a check or a credit or debit card, but if you go the card route, you can only make the minimum opening deposit of $1,000 — you can’t deposit anything more than that.

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How Citizens Bank’s money market accounts compare

If there are promotional rates offered on the Platinum or Platinum Plus Money Market accounts, you can actually earn pretty decent rates. Otherwise, you may do better with a different type of account or a different bank altogether.

If you’re looking to maximize the interest rates you receive on a money market account, you can find better rates with these money market accounts instead.

Citizens Bank IRA options

These retirement savings vessels are light on information — make sure you do your research before choosing to open an account.

IRA Savings

Citizens Bank offers an IRA Savings account, however its offers just about as much information about it as with its IRA CDs (very little). The IRA Savings account is available as a traditional or Roth IRA. They are insured up to the legal limit through FDIC, and carry no bank penalty for early withdrawal, but there might be federal tax penalties.

You can open an IRA Savings account with any amount. Your first four months with this account are free, but after that you’ll need to pay a $4.99 monthly maintenance fee if you don’t keep at least $200 in your account.

How to get a Citizens Bank IRA Savings account

If you’re interested in this account, you’ll need to either call Citizens Bank or visit a branch to get the information you need to make an informed decision. Specifically, you’ll need to inquire about the interest rate being offered and whether there are any fees associated with the account.

IRA CDs

Citizens Bank offers some less-touted IRA CD options, including with terms ranging from 1 to 120 months. You can get started with one of its IRA CDs with a deposit as small as $250, and there is no monthly account maintenance fee. They are FDIC-insured up to the legal limit. Unlike the IRA Savings account, the IRA CD account carries a fee for early withdrawal, which is also subject to IRS tax regulations and penalties.

However, the interest rates on these IRA CDs are not available on the bank’s website, so you’ll need to contact the bank directly either by calling or visiting a branch if you’d like to open an IRA CD.

How to get a Citizens Bank IRA CD

If you’re interested in getting a Citizens Bank IRA CD, make sure you do your homework first by calling the bank or visiting in person to verify the rates and term options for the different CDs.

If you’re looking for a good benchmark to compare the rates, check out other IRA CD options.

Overall review of Citizens Bank

Citizens Bank does offer some niceties with its accounts. In particular, we like the monetary bonuses they throw in for the CollegeSaver account, in addition to their GoalTrack gift card bonuses. These rewards may provide just enough incentive if you’re looking to stick to your savings goals, but the accounts won’t grow your capital in a way many other accounts could.

There is not much to be excited about regarding the rates that they offer and the amount of fee baggage that comes along. In this day and age, it’s easy to find a bank that doesn’t hang you high and dry with fees, especially if you use our comparison tools to find the best checking, savings and CD accounts.

The only reason we can see recommending Citizens Bank is if you want to use an in-person branch exclusively and if Citizens is the closest bank to you. Otherwise, we’d skip past this one in favor of something better, and there are many better options.

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