In July 2018, Citizens Bank introduced their newest branch: Citizens Access – an online only bank. Although Citizens Access Savings accounts are backed by Citizens Bank, it operates completely separate. Above all, they try to keep costs for consumers as low as possible. If you are looking to make the switch to an online-only saving experience, Citizens Access should certainly be on your list of banks to check out. In this article, we’ll break down all of the pros and cons of Citizens Access to help you decide if it’s the right account for you.
What Is A Citizens Access Online Savings Account ?
Citizens Access is a high-yield, online only savings account available to consumers nationwide. The current annual percentage yield (APY) offered on the account is a staggering 1.00%, keeping them in the race as one of the best places to stash your extra cash and gain a significant return on your investment. Interest on the account is variable – compounded daily and paid monthly. Because there are no physical branches, Citizens Access doesn’t have the associated costs of running brick and mortar locations and advertises that they have “no fees… for anything”.
You’ll just need to initially deposit $5,000 to open an account and receive the advertised 1.00% APY. Any amount under $5,000 will receive the default APY of 0.25%.
How Can I Deposit and Withdraw Money From A Citizens Access Account?
Here are the ways Citizens Access says you can deposit or obtain money from your online savings account:
- Online transfers
- Mobile check deposit
- Send a check via mail
- Online transfers
- Request a check be mailed to you
What Are The Benefits of Citizens Access Accounts?
- Higher than average APY (1.00% as of July 2020)
- No fees to open the account
- No monthly or annual maintenance fees
- No ancillary fees
What Are The Disadvantages of Citizens Access Accounts?
- Minimum opening deposit to receive the advertised 1.00% APY is a hefty $5,000
- They do not have a mobile app, but offer a mobile-optimized website with mobile check deposit and bank transfer features
- No physical branches. Customer Service is only available online or via phone
- No ATM or debit card
- Check deposits made using Mobile Deposit will generally not be available for 4-7 business days
- No overdraft protection. Furthermore, if you go over 6 withdrawals or transfers in a billing cycle, Citizens Access may choose to close your account
While 1.00% APY is exceptionally high for the market today – there are quite a few banks that offer higher or may have better perks.
As of July 2020, here are some rates from competitors that you may want to check out:
- Vio Bank – 1.21% APY
- Citi Accelerate – 1.20% APY
- First Foundation Bank Online Savings – 1.20% APY
- CIBC Bank – 1.15% APY
- Ally Bank – 1.10% APY
- Goldman Sachs – Marcus Account – 1.05% APY
- Synchrony Bank – 1.05% APY
- Discover – 1.01% APY
- HSBC Direct – 1.01% APY
- American Express Personal Savings – 1.00% APY
- Aspiration Bank – 1.00% APY
- Barclays Bank – 1.00% APY
- Capital One 360 Performance Savings – 1.00% APY
- Citizens Access – 1.00% APY
- CIT Bank Savings Builder – 0.95% APY
- TAB Bank – 0.90 % APY
- MySavingsDirect – 0.75% APY
- TIAA Bank – 0.65% APY
Is A Citizens Access Account FDIC-Insured?
Yes. Citizens Bank is a FDIC member. Therefore, any funds deposited into a Citizens Access online savings account are insured up to the maximum allowed by law.
The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) is a United States government corporation providing deposit insurance to depositors in U.S. commercial banks and savings institutions. Furthermore, the FDIC insures deposits according to ownership category (such as individual, joint or accounts with beneficiaries). The current maximum amount is $250,000 per depositor, per insured bank, for each account ownership category.
How Do You Open An Citizens Access Account?
Opening a Citizens Access account online usually takes 5-10 minutes. In other words, it’s a quick and convenient process!
However, you must be a U.S. citizen or resident alien at least 18 years old, as well as have a U.S. address and Social Security number.
How To Access Your Citizens Access Savings Account:
- Bank online with Citizens Access by logging in at CitizensAccess.com
Note: there is no mobile app at this time.
Contact Citizens Bank About your Account:
- You can call Citizens Access directly at 888-201-6505. Representatives are available Monday through Friday 8:00am – 10:00pm, Saturday 9:00am -3:00pm, and Sunday 10:00am – 3:00pm.
- International : Call 1-727-322-4947
- Website Chat:
- Visit citizensaccess.com to speak to a chat representative
- U.S. Mail:
- Citizens Access
PO Box 6801
Carol Stream, IL 60197- 6801
- Citizens Access
In conclusion, if you are looking for a simple online banking experience with high rates, FDIC insurance and no fees, banking with Citizens Access should be a lucrative and stress-free option for you. However, you’ll have to overlook the lack of features such as mobile app access and the inability to access your funds via an ATM. Furthermore, you can rest assured as they are backed by a trustworthy name in the industry – Citizens Bank. Citizens Bank, N.A., has been supporting customers for 190 years with over $150 billion in assets. So even though their online-only division is fairly new, they come from a company with an extensive banking history that will give you a user-friendly and secure place to store your extra funds for whatever you choose.
Banking Health Score
There are many banks and financial institutions to choose from and it is important to be able to distinguish the good from the bad. Our team reviews each bank on a monthly basis to ensure that the information we share is as up to date as possible. Not only is the financial strength of a company important, but also how well their customer service is rated by actual customers like you.
We also believe that in order to determine how well a bank is functioning, that several sources should be utilized to compare one bank to another.
That said, here is a list of scores from trusted sources that you should consider before making your banking decisions.
Citizen’s Access – Bank Health Score
Bank Professor’s Bank Score: ⭐⭐⭐⭐ 4 stars out of 5 stars
- Bankrate’s Safe and Sound Rating: 3.8 out of 5 stars
- BauerFinancial Star Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
- BankTracker Troubled Asset Ratio: 4.37 (Citizen’s Bank, RI)
- FDIC: Actively insured
More about the rating system:
- BankProfessor rates banks monthly on a one-to-five scale based on revenue, net income, total assets, total equity, capital ratio, customer reviews, rating agency scores, profitability, and troubled asset ratio.
- Bankrate.com ranks banks and credit unions quarterly on a one- to five-star system, with one being the lowest rating and five the highest. The rating is given based on regulatory filings about the financial institution’s capital adequacy, asset quality, profitability and level of cash available. It compares those levels with peer and industry norms.
- BauerFinancial offers a similar star rating system as Bankrate (a one- to five-star system, with one being the lowest rating and five the highest).
- BankTracker was created by the Investigative Reporting Workshop of American University and MSNBC.com. They determine a bank’s troubled asset ratio. According to the site, the ratio is “a strong indicator of severe stress inside a bank because it shows the bank’s ability to withstand loan losses”. In other words, the higher the ratio, the more “trouble” they are in.