Citizens Bank Review: A Variety of Accounts and Efficient Money Management

GOBankingRates Score

4.5
Our Take: Citizens Bank offers a wide variety of accounts, many of which have no monthly account fees or easy fee waiver requirements. The relatively few number of states in the bank's service area have numerous branches and ATMs, and online and mobile access extends the bank's reach.
  • Fees
    4.0
  • Mobile App
    4.0
  • Breadth of Products
    5.0
  • Account Minimums
    5.0
How did we calculate this?

Pros

  • Multiple account types
  • Many accounts with no minimum to open
  • Easy to avoid most monthly account fees

Cons

  • Geographical reach and branch support limited to 11 states
  • Low APYs across all accounts

About Citizens Bank

Citizens Bank is one of the nation’s largest financial institutions, with $183 billion in assets at the end of 2020. The bank’s business mix is split roughly 50/50 between consumer and commercial banking, with about 2,700 ATMs and 1,000 branches across 11 states in the Midwest, Mid-Atlantic and New England regions. A wide variety of personal banking accounts are available, from standard checking and savings to money market accounts, certificates of deposit, credit cards, IRAs and loans.

Citizens Bank Banking Products

One of Citizens Bank’s main strengths is its diverse product line.

Product Details
Checking Accounts
  • Four checking account options, including student checking
  • Premium accounts offer higher rates on complementary Citizens Bank accounts
Savings Accounts
  • Multiple savings account options, including a youth savings account
Money Market Accounts
  • Tiered interest rates
  • Three accounts available
  • Current promotional rate on Platinum Plus Money Market
CD Accounts
  • Online and in-branch CD options available
  • Enhanced rates with Platinum or Platinum Plus Checking account
Individual Retirement Accounts
  • Savings and CD accounts available for Traditional and Roth IRAs
Investment Options
  • Comprehensive wealth management from full-service financial advisers
Loans
  • Home, student and auto
Business Accounts
  • Wide range of business accounts and services, from checking and savings to loans, credit cards, cash management, payroll services, investments, merchant services and more

Citizens Bank Checking Accounts

Citizens Bank has three primary checking accounts: One Deposit Checking from Citizens Bank, Citizens Bank Platinum Checking and Citizens Bank Platinum Plus Checking. The bank also offers a Student Checking account.

Features

  • About 1,000 branches and 2,700 ATMs offer lots of flexibility
  • Online and mobile banking offer 24/7 account access
  • Access to funds via debit card, Digital Wallet or Zelle
  • Start with any amount for any account
  • Overdraft protection options
  • Zero liability protection for debit cards

Pros

  • One Deposit Checking lives up to its name, with just one deposit each statement period required to waive $9.99 monthly fee
  • Premium rates on checking and other accounts with Platinum and Platinum Plus Checking
  • Platinum and Platinum Plus Checking offer fee waivers on many basic banking transactions, such as money orders, stop payments, bank checks and four non-Citizens ATM fees monthly
  • No fee for student checking if under age 25

Cons

  • Maintenance fees as high as $25 for Platinum and Platinum Plus Checking
  • High requirement of combined $25,000 monthly balance in deposit and investment accounts to avoid fees on Platinum and Platinum Plus Checking

Citizens Bank Savings Accounts

In addition to its educational account, dubbed College Saver, Citizens Bank offers three traditional savings accounts: One Deposit Savings From Citizens Bank, Citizens Bank Platinum Savings and Citizens Bank Platinum Plus Savings.

Features

  • No minimum balances to open any account
  • All savings accounts bear interest
  • $4.99 monthly fee on One Deposit Savings waived with $200 minimum daily balance or one deposit per month
  • No monthly fees on Platinum and Platinum Plus Savings

Pros

  • Easy to waive the monthly fee on One Deposit Savings
  • Higher interest rates on Platinum and Platinum Plus Savings

Cons

  • Extremely low 0.01% APY and 0.02% APY on One Deposit and Platinum/Platinum Plus Savings, respectively
  • Platinum and Platinum Plus Savings require Platinum or Platinum Plus Checking account, respectively

Citizens Bank Money Market Account

Citizens Bank offers three money market accounts: Personal Money Market, Citizens Bank Platinum Money Market and Citizens Bank Platinum Plus Money Market.

Features

  • Monthly maintenance fee of $10 on Personal Money Market waived with $2,500 minimum daily balance
  • Open account with any deposit amount
  • Check-writing access to accounts

Pros

  • Platinum and Platinum Plus Money Markets have no monthly maintenance fee
  • Three types of accounts to choose from, based on your service needs

Cons

  • Platinum and Platinum Plus Money Markets require Platinum or Platinum Plus Checking, respectively
  • Extremely low 0.01% APY on Personal Money Market account

Citizens Bank 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 14-Month CD, the 10-Month CD, and the 25-month CD.

Features

  • Online terms from 10 months to 25 months
  • $1,000 minimum
  • Penalties for early withdrawal might apply

Pros

  • Better rates potentially available with Platinum or Platinum Plus Checking account

Cons

  • Rates begin at a low 0.03% APY
  • Most terms and rates are not available online

Banking Experience

Citizens Bank serves only 11 states but has a multitude of ATMs and branches, along with robust online and mobile capabilities, all of which make it easy for most customers to bank with them.

Physical Branch Locations

Citizens Bank has approximately 1,000 branches and 2,700 ATMs across an 11-state area spanning New England, the Midwest and the Mid-Atlantic states.

Mobile and Digital Experience

Citizens Bank offers mobile apps for Android and iOS users. User ratings are middling, with reviews of 3.8 stars out of five for the app on Google Play and 4.5 stars on Apple’s App Store. Features available on the mobile apps include the following:

  • Account management
  • Debit card control
  • Remote check deposit
  • Money transfer to non-Citizens account holders via Zelle
  • Bill pay

A highlight of the app is that deposits made as late as 10 p.m. EST get credited the same business day.

How To Open an Account

Most accounts at Citizens Bank can be opened online; U.S. citizens and resident aliens 18 and older can apply. You’ll need the following information to apply:

  • Social security number
  • Driver’s license or state ID number
  • Current contact information (address, phone number, email, etc.)
  • An opening deposit to fund your account via another bank account, debit card or credit card

Customer Service

Citizens Bank has dedicated customer service phone numbers for each of its main product divisions, such as credit cards, checking and savings accounts, home borrowing, personal loans, investments and business accounts. Additional numbers are available within each division depending on your specific needs; for example, there are separate customer service numbers for checking and savings accounts, depending on whether you are opening a new account or have questions about an existing account.

For general customer service inquiries, however, you can reach Citizens Bank at 800-922-9999, or 888-398-7900 for Spanish speakers.

Key Information

Customer Service: 800-922-9999 or 888-398-7900 for Spanish speakers

Routing Number: See Routing Numbers by State

Promotions: See Newest Citizens Bank Promos and Bonuses

Login: Citizens Bank Login Help

Citizens Bank Fees

On an account level, fees at Citizens Bank generally are low or easy to waive. The primary exceptions are the Platinum and Platinum Plus Checking accounts, which require high deposits to avoid high fees. However, those accounts do come with benefits, including enhanced interest rates on other products and free access to the Platinum and Platinum Plus Savings accounts. Considering the size of Citizens Bank, the fact that it can keep its account fees low overall is a plus.

In terms of service fees, many are waived for holders of the Platinum and Platinum Plus Checking account. Standard service fees are as follows:

Type Amount
Overdraft $37
Non-Citizens ATM fee $3
Foreign transaction fees with debit card 3% of the transaction value
Excess transaction fee $15 for each transaction over six monthly for savings and money market accounts
Money order $5
Official bank check $10
Wire transfers Between $10 to $40
Stop payment $35

Some of the service fees at Citizens Bank, such as the $37 overdraft fee, are high, although there is an overdraft option that can reduce that fee to $12.

Citizens Bank vs. Competitors

Citizens Bank has a limited reach nationally but still competes with other banks.

Bank Best For
Citizens Bank Account minimums
M&T Bank Free checking
KeyBank Customer service
Northeast Bank Higher rates

Citizens Bank vs. M&T Bank

M&T Bank operates approximately 690 branches, from New York to Virginia. The bank’s EZChoice Checking account has no monthly maintenance fees and still offers a debit card and services such as Zelle and mobile deposit. The One Deposit Checking account at Citizens is nearly fee-free, but qualifying activities are required.

Citizens Bank has more branches and ATMs than M&T Bank, at about 1,000 and 2,700 vs. 690 and 1,500, respectively. The Citizens Bank overdraft fee also is slightly lower, at $37 vs. $38.50.

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. KeyBank customers can chat with a representative from 7 a.m. to midnight EST Mondays through Fridays, and from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. EST on Saturdays and Sundays.

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 a significant $2,500 deposit to open a CD account.

Citizens Bank vs. Northeast Bank

Northeast Bank takes the cake over Citizens when it comes to most deposit account interest rates. Northeast Bank’s money market accounts pay as much as 0.50% APY, for example, and even its checking account can pay as much as a 0.15% APY on balances of at least $50,000.

Citizens Bank has a broader array of accounts than Northeast Bank, including three savings accounts and three money market accounts vs. one savings account and two money market accounts at Northeast.

Final Take

For a regional bank, Citizens Bank is large and offers several banking options and services to customers that many smaller regional banks can’t compete with. This makes Citizens Bank a good one-stop-shop option for this in its service area. The bank doesn’t win any awards for interest rates, with savings rates stalling out at a 0.02% APY or less, for example. However, the bank does offer some high-level account servicing.

Tools such as online banking and savings programs help to make managing money simpler and more efficient. People who live in the region served might have access to all the banking services they need; however, people living or traveling frequently outside that region might need a bank with a larger, national presence.

Editor’s Favorite

Citizens Bank offers what most customers need in a banking institution — a wide variety of accounts with fees that are either low or relatively easy to waive.

Citizens Bank FAQ

Here are the answers to some commonly asked questions about Citizens Bank.
  • Does Citizens Bank offer Zelle?
    • Yes; customers can transfer money to and from others for free by using Zelle.
  • Does Citizens Bank have free checking?
    • Citizens Bank doesn't have any checking account that is strictly "free." However, the bank's One Deposit Checking requires just one deposit monthly to avoid the $9.99 monthly fee.
  • When are mobile deposits available at Citizens Bank?
    • Remote deposits are credited the same business day if deposited by 10 p.m. EST.
  • What is the daily cash withdrawal limit from ATMs?
    • For most accounts, it's $500. Citizens Bank raises that limit to $1,000 for the Platinum and Platinum Plus Checking accounts.
  • Does Citizens Bank offer free money for signing up for an account?
    • Citizens Bank currently doesn't offer any free money for signing up for an account, but it often runs promotions. For example, if you opened a new checking account before Jan. 21, 2020, you could have earned a $300 deposit with a single direct deposit of at least $500.

Lorina Morton contributed to the reporting of this article.

Rates are subject to change. Information on accounts is accurate as of Feb. 1, 2021.

This content is not provided by Citizens Bank. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author alone and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by Citizens Bank.

About the Author

After earning a B.A. in English with a Specialization in Business from UCLA, John Csiszar worked in the financial services industry as a registered representative for 18 years. Along the way, Csiszar earned both Certified Financial Planner and Registered Investment Adviser designations, in addition to being licensed as a life agent, while working for both a major Wall Street wirehouse and for his own investment advisory firm. During his time as an advisor, Csiszar managed over $100 million in client assets while providing individualized investment plans for hundreds of clients.

Untitled design (1)
Close popup The GBR Closer icon

Sending you timely financial stories that you can bank on.

Sign up for our daily newsletter for the latest financial news and trending topics.

Loading...
Please enter an email.
Please enter a valid email address.
There was an unknown error. Please try again later.

For our full Privacy Policy, click here.