Citizens Bank Review: Variety of Account Options and Money Management Tools

GOBankingRates Score

Citizens Bank RI
4.7
SCORE
GOBankingRates Best Banks 2023 scores and rankings are objectively determined by our research/editorial team. Our scoring formula weighs several factors that differ from category to category depending on what consumers want from varying products and banks.
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Quick Take: Citizens Bank offers a wide variety of accounts, many of which have no monthly account fees or an easy way to avoid them. There are branches throughout the Midwest, Northeast and Florida for convenient in-person banking. The 11 states in the bank's service area have numerous locations and ATMs, and online and mobile access extend the bank's reach.
  • Checking Accounts
    4.8
  • Savings Accounts
    4.5
  • CD Accounts
    4.6
  • Banking Experience
    4.9
How did we calculate this?

Pros

  • Multiple account options
  • Easy-to-avoid monthly fees
  • No required minimum to open most accounts

Cons

  • High overdraft fees
  • In-person banking only available regionally
  • Low savings and CD rates

Citizens Bank Overview

Founded in 1921, Citizens Bank is one of the nation’s oldest and largest financial institutions. It also has the distinction of being one of the largest Black-owned institutions in the nation. The Providence, Rhode Island-based bank’s business mix is split roughly 50/50 between consumer and commercial customers, and it boasts about 3,000 ATMs and 1,093 branches across 11 states in the Midwest, Mid-Atlantic and New England regions.

Customers have access to a wide variety of personal accounts, from standard checking and savings to money market accounts, certificates of deposit, credit cards, IRAs and loans. GOBankingRates named Citizens Bank as having one of the Best Premium Checking Accounts of 2024.

Citizens Bank Review: Key Features

Here’s a look at the different types of accounts and the banking experience Citizens offers.

Checking Accounts

Citizens Bank has five checking account options.

One Deposit Checking From Citizens

One Deposit Checking From Citizens was among the winners for Best Premium Checking Account 2024. It has no minimum deposit requirement. Additionally, it’s easy to waive the monthly maintenance fee of $9.99. All you have to do is make one deposit of any amount to the account per statement period. The account also features other benefits, such as Citizens Peace of Mind, which allows you extra time to cover overdrafts and receive a rebate of the overdraft fee, and Citizens Paid Early, which allows you to receive your paycheck two days early. This account is a great for people who want a checking solution that makes it easy to avoid the maintenance fee and offers some additional benefits.

Citizens Quest Checking

The Citizens Quest Checking account earns interest and has no minimum deposit requirement; the APY is set across all balance tiers. This account also has no fee for the included additional services, personalized guidance and CitizensPlus benefits it offers. It does have a higher monthly maintenance fee of $25, which requires at least $5,000 in deposits per statement period or a $25,000 monthly combined deposit and investment balances across your linked accounts to be waived. This account is better for someone who receives larger monthly deposits of at least $5,000 or has at least $25,000 on deposit at all times.

Citizens EverValue Checking

If you’re looking for a no-frills checking account, with no minimum balance requirement and no overdraft fees, Citizens EverValue Checking could be a good option. The account does have a monthly maintenance fee of $5, which can’t be waived. But if you want to avoid overdraft fees and minimum balances, this account might make the monthly maintenance fee worth it.

Citizens Private Client Checking

The interest-bearing Citizens Private Client Checking does not have a monthly service fee but you must maintain $200,000 in combined monthly deposit and investment balances. As an account holder, you’ll also be eligible for exclusive benefits and rewards.

Citizens Student Checking

Citizens Student Checking is for customers under 25 and has no fee and no minimum deposit requirement. Other benefits are no overdraft fees and no ATM fees from Citizens when using other bank’s ATM machines. This account also eligible for Citizens Paid Early, which allows you to receive your paycheck up to two days earlier.

Savings Accounts

There is no minimum deposit to open a savings account at Citizens Bank. Here’s information about its three savings accounts.

One Deposit Savings

No monthly fee to customers under 25 and over 65. Otherwise, the fee is $4.99, but it can be waived when you make one deposit of any amount during each monthly maintenance fee period. This account pays a nominal APY no matter the balance tier.

Citizens Quest Savings

This savings option is also an interest-bearing account. It has no monthly fee if you also have a Citizens Quest Checking account. It also features unlimited out-of-network ATM use with no fee from Citizens.

Citizens Wealth Savings

Although this account has no monthly service fee, it’s reserved for Citizens Private Client Checking account holders. It also features unlimited out-of-network ATM use with no fee from Citizens, and Citizens will also refund an unlimited amount of ATM fees charged by other banks.

CD Accounts

Citizens Bank offers a variety of CD terms and rates, but they vary by location. To get a complete list of the CD options in your area, you’ll have to visit a branch. Only three CD options are offered on the bank’s website: the Online-Only 10-Month CD and 14-Month CD. The minimum deposit for the 10-Month CD is $25,000 and $1,000 for the 14-Month CD. 

Money Market Accounts

Citizens Bank offers three money market accounts. You can open all accounts with any deposit amount and all offer check-writing access.

Personal Money Market

The fee for the Personal Money Market account is $10, but it can be waived with a minimum daily balance of $2,500. The APY on the Personal Money Market account is a rock-bottom for all balance tiers. Standard check fees apply to this account.

Citizens Quest Money Market

There is no monthly service fee with Citizens Quest if you open its corresponding checking account, Citizens Quest Checking. This account offers both standard and preferred rates, which are somewhat higher than the rates offered by the Personal Money Market account.

Citizens Private Client Money Market

Like Citizens Quest Money Market, there is no monthly service fee if you have a Private Client Checking account. This account offers both standard and preferred APYs, which are the highest rates offered for money market accounts by Citizens.

Banking Experience

Citizens Bank offers what most customers need in a banking institution. It has a wide variety of accounts with fees that are either low or relatively easy to waive. One of Citizens Bank’s main strengths is its diverse product line. Customers have access to standard bank accounts like checking, savings, money market and CDs, along with IRAs, investment options, loans, credit cards and business accounts.

Citizens Bank offers mobile apps for Android and iOS users. User ratings are very solid.

Features available on the mobile apps include account management, remote check deposit, money transfer and bill pay.

Citizens Bank vs. Competitors

Citizens Bank has a limited reach nationally but still competes with other banks. Here’s how it compares with some of them.

Citizens Bank vs. M&T Bank

M&T Bank’s EZChoice Checking account has no monthly maintenance fee, which gives it a very slight edge over Citizen Bank’s One Deposit Checking account, which has a $9.99 monthly fee that can be waived by making one deposit per statement period. Citizens Bank has a little wider reach, with about 1,000 branches and 3,000 ATMs vs. about 900 branches and 2,000 ATMs at M&T.

Citizens Bank vs. KeyBank

Although Citizens Bank has an impressive roster of customer service numbers, KeyBank offers extensive live-chat hours in addition to 24/7 telephone service. If you’re a smaller CD investor, you might give Citizens Bank the nod because it requires only $1,000 to invest in a CD. KeyBank requires at least a $2,500 deposit to open their Short-Term and Tiered CD accounts.

Final Take

Even though Citizens is a regional bank, it offers a full suite of products and services, which cater to those with different financial goals. This is something that you usually only find at large national banks and makes Citizens Bank a good one-stop-shop option for those in its service area.

Compare to Other Banks

Citizens Bank FAQ

  • Is Citizens Bank a legit bank?
    • Yes, Citizens Bank is a legit bank and GOBankingRates has ranked it among the Best Premium Checking Accounts of 2024.
  • Is Citizens Bank a Black-owned bank?
    • Citizens Bank was founded in 1921 by five Black businessmen, and today Citizens Trust Bank is a federally certified CDFI and one of the largest Black-owned financial institutions in the nation.
  • Why should I choose Citizens Bank?
    • Citizens Bank is best for those looking for a wide variety of accounts with fees that are either low or relatively easy to waive. Customers have access to standard bank accounts like checking, savings, money market and CDs, along with IRAs, investment options, loans, credit cards and business accounts.
  • Is Citizens Bank a good bank?
    • Citizens Bank has many account options for customers and is consistently well-rated.

Vance Cariaga and Caitlyn Moorhead contributed to the reporting for this article.

Rates are subject to change; unless otherwise noted, rates are updated periodically. All other information on accounts is accurate as of Dec. 19, 2023.

Editorial Note: This content is not provided by any entity covered in this article. Any opinions, analyses, reviews, ratings or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author alone and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any entity named in this article.

To determine rankings for the Best Premium Checking Accounts, GOBankingRates looked at the following factors from the most premier/costly checking product from the top 25 banks (in terms of total assets): (1) total assets as sourced from the FDIC; (2) minimum deposit to open an account; (3) monthly checking fee ratio (percentage based on the minimum to avoid the fee compared to the monthly fee itself); (4) APY on the checking account; and (5) associated and advertised benefits/perks from these premium products. All factors were then scored and combined, with the lowest score being the best. Factors (1) and (2) were weighted 0.5 times, and factor (5) was weighted 3 times.

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