City National Bank Review: Plenty of Account Options and a User-Friendly Website

GOBankingRates Score

4.5
Our take: City National Bank is a full-service financial institution with branch locations primarily in California, Nevada and in the Eastern United States. Although fees can be high and rates are less competitive than competing banks', those who prefer to work with a community bank are likely to have a positive experience with City National.
  • Breadth of Products
    4.3
  • Ease of Use
    4.8
  • Range of Services
    4.5
  • Banking Experience
    4.5
How did we calculate this?

Pros

  • Highly transparent website that makes it easy to find account information, rates and fees
  • Comprehensive range of banking and loan products
  • IRA CDs available

Cons

  • High fees that are difficult to have waived
  • Low rates

About City National Bank

City National Bank is a full-service, community-focused financial institution headquartered in Los Angeles. The bank manages $75 billion in assets and operates 80 offices, including 19 regional service centers. The financial institution is primarily a California bank, and most of its branches are located there. But Nevada and New York have several each — New York’s offices serve residents of New Jersey, Connecticut and Pennsylvania — and a handful of additional offices are located in select markets in Minnesota, Tennessee and along the Eastern Seaboard.

Sponsors of

In addition to its personal banking products and services, City National Bank offers private and business banking. It merged with Royal Bank of Canada in 2015.

City National Bank Products

City National Bank’s personal banking products include the usual suspects — checking, savings, money market and certificates of deposit — plus credit cards and loans.

Type Best For
Checking Accounts
  • Relationship perks when combined with savings or money market accounts
  • No City National Bank fee for non-network ATMs
  • Check-free spending account with no overdraft fees
Savings Accounts
  • Low, easy-to-waive monthly maintenance fee
  • Relationship account with preferred rate
Money Market Accounts
  • Tiered interest rates
  • $2,500 opening deposit on Personal Money Market account
CDs
  • Terms of seven days to five years
  • Automatic renewals
  • IRA CDs
Credit Cards
  • Three rewards cards offering up to three points per dollar spent
  • Cash-back card that pays 1.5%
Loans
  • Mortgage loans for purchase or refinance
  • Home-equity lines of credit
  • Personal loans and lines of credit
Personal Banking
  • For customers with $250,000 balance across City National Bank deposit, wealth management and loan accounts
  • Education, insurance and retirement planning
  • Wealth management
  • Online brokerage through City National Securities
Sponsors of

City National Bank Checking Accounts

City National Bank offers several checking accounts, plus a check-free spending account that automatically declines debit and ATM transactions that would overdraw the account. What you won’t find at City National is free checking. All the accounts have monthly fees, and even the basic account, which earns no interest, requires a $3,000 minimum average balance to have the $20 fee waived.

Features

  • Premium Checking earns interest, currently 0.01% APY
  • No City National Bank fees for out-of-network ATMs with some accounts
  • Rebates for fees charged by out-of-network ATMs with some accounts
  • Relationship perks with Personal Checking Plus and Premium Checking
  • Minimum deposits of $1,000 ($25 for Safe Check spending account)

Pros

  • Fees waived on one savings/money market account with Personal Checking Plus or three savings/money market accounts with Premium Checking
  • Free or reimbursed ATM use
  • Free cashier’s checks with Premium Checking
  • Useful spending account for those who don’t qualify for or don’t need a checking account

Cons

  • High monthly service fees ranging from $20 for basic Personal Checking to $35 for Premium Checking ($5 for Safe Check)
  • Just one interest-earning account — Premium Checking — that pays a very low 0.01% APY
  • High balances required to waive fees: $3,000 for Personal Checking, $7,500 for Personal Checking Plus, $50,000 for Premium Checking
Sponsors of

City National Bank Savings Accounts

City National’s savings accounts provide better value than the checking accounts do. The Personal Savings account has a low opening deposit requirement, low fee and easy-to-meet requirements for waiving the fee. City National Green Savings is an online-only account for checking account customers. It pays higher interest and comes with a few perks.

Features

  • Basic Personal Savings account has $50 minimum opening deposit and requires $100 average daily balance to waive $5 monthly fee
  • City National Green has $500 minimum opening deposit and requires $50 in auto saves per month or a $1,000 average daily balance to avoid $4 monthly fee
  • $20 in out-of-network ATM fees rebated per month with City National Green account
  • 0.02% APY on City National Green balances

Pros

  • Optional auto saving feature
  • ATM fee rebates
  • Can combine with Premium Checking account to avoid fees

Cons

  • Low 0.01% APY on Personal Savings account
  • Relatively high $500 opening deposit for City National Green account

City National Bank Money Market Accounts

Although City National Bank offers two money market accounts, rates are the same for both accounts. The Ladder Personal Money Market has a higher fee than the Personal Money Market, and its minimum opening deposits and balance required to waive the monthly fee are also higher.

Sponsors of

Features

  • Tiered rates ranging from 0.05% to 0.15% APY, depending on the balance
  • Ladder Personal Money Market has $10,000 minimum opening deposit and $10,000 minimum average balance to avoid $25 fee
  • Personal Money Market has $2,500 minimum opening deposit and $2,500 minimum average balance to avoid $20 fee
  • Up to six withdrawals per month allowed

Pros

  • Better rates than savings accounts
  • City National Bank checking account fees waived with qualifying balance on money market account
  • Online application

Cons

  • High minimum opening deposits and balances to avoid fees
  • No apparent benefit with Ladder Personal Money Market despite more stringent requirements compared to Personal Money Market

City National Bank CD Accounts

If you want a longer-term savings option that can pay better rates than a savings account, a CD might be a good choice. City National Bank CDs also are available as individual retirement accounts.

Features

  • Minimum opening deposit depends on term and whether you open the account online or in-branch:
    • Less than one year: $2,500 online, $10,000 in branch
    • More than one year: $2,500 online or in branch
  • Terms of seven days to five years
  • Rates range from 0.10% to 0.40% APY, depending on term
  • Automatic renewal
Sponsors of

Pros

  • Competitive 0.25% term on five-month Liquid CD
  • Good choice of terms
  • IRA CD available

Cons

  • Low rates
  • Some accounts must be opened in-branch

Banking Experience

City National Bank provides a positive banking experience overall, especially for those who live near enough to a branch that they can take care of some banking needs in-branch.

Customer Service

You have several ways to reach out to City National Bank. Customer service is available by phone at 800-773-7100. Secure email is available through the bank’s website, and secure messaging is available via mobile banking.

Branch Availability

California residents have 59 branches to choose from, and Nevada residents and folks who live in the New York metropolitan area have seven and six branches, respectively. There’s just one branch in each of the other locations: Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Tennessee, Virginia and Washington, D.C., which also serves Maryland residents.

Mobile and Digital Experience

City National Online makes it easy to manage your accounts, review 18 months’ worth of statements, pay bills and get customer service assistance. Mobile banking offers the same services, plus check deposits and Zelle money transfers. The mobile app is available from the App Store, where it’s rated 3.5 out of 5 stars, and Google Play, where it’s rated 2.7 stars.

Sponsors of

Quicken users can integrate Quicken with their City National Bank accounts for $9.95 per month. The fee includes unlimited bill pay.

Convenience

The concentration of offices in California makes visiting branches more convenient there than in the other locations where the bank operates. Online banking expands City National’s reach, but some accounts must be opened in-branch.

How To Open a City National Bank Account

You can open most accounts in person if you live near a branch office, but it takes just a few minutes to apply online. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Social Security number
  • Driver’s license or state ID
  • Valid home address
  • Information from an existing bank account if that’s how you’ll fund your City National account

Key Information

Customer service number: 800-773-7100

Routing number: See routing numbers by state

City National Bank Fees

Most City National Bank accounts have monthly service fees, but you can usually avoid them by meeting balance and transaction requirements. Here are some other bank fees to watch for:

  • Monthly maintenance fees: $5-$35, depending on account
  • Savings/money market excessive transactions: $15 each after six
  • Overdraft and non-sufficient funds: $37 each, up to $185 per day
  • Out-of-network ATMs: $2.50 (rebated for some accounts)
  • Wire transfers: $12-$55, depending on incoming vs. outgoing and whether transfer is initiated online
  • Inactivity fee: $4.95 per month

City National Bank vs. Competitors

City National isn’t the only bank competing for your business. Take a look at this comparison between City National and a few similar banks.

Bank Best For
City National Bank Overall product variety
East West Bank No-fee accounts
Signature Bank Great customer service
People’s United Bank New-account bonus

City National Bank vs. East West Bank

East West Bank and City National Bank serve similar markets, but East West has a better selection of checking accounts, including student and senior checking with no monthly fees. But City National has a broader range of products overall, offering personal loans and lines of credit that aren’t available through East West.

City National Bank vs. Signature Bank

Signature Bank has 24/7 support, and the support number and telecommunications relay service numbers are displayed prominently on the homepage of the bank’s website. However, City National wins hands down in terms of convenience because Signature’s website has no online account applications, and the interface for its internet banking services is rather clumsy.

City National Bank vs. People’s United Bank

People’s United Bank is currently offering several sign-on and referral bonuses. City National isn’t offering sign-up bonuses right now, but it makes up for it with a well-designed website that makes important account information, such as fees and rates, easy to find.

Final Take

City National Bank is a solid choice for customers who either live near one of the 80 branch locations or bank online and are comfortable with the slightly limited account selection available that way. Detailed account information and easy-to-find data on rates and fees make the bank’s website very user friendly — an important benefit, considering the large number of accounts available for prospective customers to review.

Editor’s Favorite

One of City National Bank’s best features is its website. Details such as account features, rates and fees are readily accessible, giving you the information you need to make an informed decision about whether City National will meet your needs.

City National Bank FAQ

Here are the answers to some commonly asked questions about City National Bank.
  • Is City National Bank FDIC-insured?
    • Yes. Your deposit accounts are FDIC-insured up to the current $250,000 limit.
  • How do I check my balance with City National Bank?
    • You can check your account balance by logging in to City National Online using your computer or mobile device, or by calling 800-773-7100 and selecting the first menu option.
  • Can I use the City National Bank app to deposit checks?
    • Yes, mobile check deposit is available via the City National Bank app.
  • Does City National Bank offer free money for signing up for an account?

Rates are subject to change. Information on accounts is accurate as of Feb. 4, 2021.

This content is not provided by City National 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 City National Bank.

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About the Author

Daria Uhlig is a personal finance, real estate and travel writer and editor with over 25 years of editorial experience. Her work has been featured on The Motley Fool, MSN, AOL, Yahoo! Finance, CNBC and USA Today. Daria studied journalism at the County College of Morris and earned a degree in communications at Centenary University, both in New Jersey.

City National Bank Review: Plenty of Account Options and a User-Friendly Website
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