Citizens Access Bank Review: An Overview of Citizens Access Services & Locations

FT Contributor  | 

Citizens Bank specializes in providing savings accounts with no fees and higher-than-average interest rates. Here’s a closer look at what Citizens Bank has to offer.

Citizens Access Services and Features

Citizens Access Bank, the online bank division of Rhode Island-based Citizens Bank, is committed to providing its customers with “the best savings experience.” The online bank specializes in high-yield savings. Here’s a closer look at the accounts they offer:

Savings Accounts

Citizens Access provides a savings account with an interest rate of 1.15% APY on your deposits. The account comes with no fees and requires you to maintain a minimum balance requirement of $3,000. There are three ways to fund the savings account:

  • Set up direct deposits to receive all or a portion of your paychecks or benefits directly into your savings account;
  • Link an external bank account from another financial institution to make electronic funds transfers (EFTs);
  • Create a mobile check deposit by using the online portal and a smartphone or tablet to take a screenshot of the check and upload it;
  • Mail endorsed checks for deposit to:

Citizens Access
PO Box 6801
Carol Stream, IL 60197- 6801.

CD Accounts

Citizens Access offers three types of certificates of deposit (CDs):

  • Standard CDs: Available in term lengths of two, three, four, and five years, with rates between 1.00% and 1.15% APY, requiring a minimum deposit of $5,000.
  • Liquid CDs: Lock in a rate of 0.85% APY for 11 months and have access to your funds without any withdrawal penalties.
  • CD ladder accounts: Flexible CDs for a long-term investment strategy with lower risk. Instead of locking your money in for 10 years, you deposit an amount and designate portions of the balance to mature at different, shorter terms. Once the staggered terms are up, choose whether to reinvest them for a longer period of time.

Citizens Access Branch Locations

Citizens Access is an online-only bank with no branch locations or ATMs. To access your money, you’ll need to link an external bank account to send and receive free electronic transfers, or call Citizens Access customer service at 1-888-201-6505 during the business hours of:

  • Monday to Friday: 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. EST;
  • Saturdays: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. EST;
  • Sundays: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. EST.

Citizens Access Online Options

You can access your Citizens Access accounts through the online banking portal or by calling 1-888-201-6505. The bank does not have a mobile banking app at this time.

Pros and Cons of Citizens Access

If you’re trying to decide on how to choose the right bank, weigh the benefits and drawbacks of trusting your savings to Citizens Access.

Pros

  • Higher interest than a traditional brick-and-mortar bank;
  • No fees;
  • Flexible CD options;
  • User-friendly online banking platform;
  • You’re not geographically limited to the area the Citizens Access parent bank covers — since the bank is online, it’s available to customers nationwide.
  • Phone banking available.

Cons

  • No mobile banking app;
  • No branches or ATMs;
  • No checking or money market accounts available;
  • High minimum balance requirements.

Is Citizens Access Bank Right for You?

Citizens Access Bank is best for individuals who are comfortable with online banking and are looking for a simple, no-frills experience with no fees. The lack of physical branches and bank account types may fall short for customers who would prefer to do all their banking in one place or enjoy building face-to-face relationships with their local banker. Customers who receive cash often or need to cash checks on occasion may also need to look elsewhere.

If you have at least $5,000 in savings available, you can earn a high-yield interest rate. Although the bank doesn’t provide other types of accounts, it may be a blessing in disguise — it will be harder to access your savings for impulse buys or to cover bills.

How to Open an Account With Citizens Access

If you’re ready to switch banks or set up an account with a new one, opening and funding a Citizens Access savings account or certificate of deposit can be done in as little as five minutes. To open an account, follow six simple steps:

  1. Navigate to the online portal to sign up for an account;
  2. Select the type of account and amount you plan on funding it with;
  3. Enter your personal information, such as name, email address, and Social Security number;
  4. Read and accept the Citizens Access account terms;
  5. Setup an account login by creating a username and password;
  6. Fund the account by scheduling an electronic transfer from an external bank account.

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