No-fee digital accounts with best-in-class APYs that require a hefty deposit.Citizens Access is a younger digital offshoot of brick-and-mortar heavyweight Citizens Financial. Its accounts are free to set up and maintain, though a hefty initial deposit is required and must be maintained to earn competitive interest.
What banking products does Citizens Access offer?
- Online savings. Expect an APY of at least 2.35%, and rest assured that your deposits are insured by the FDIC.
- Online CDs. Term lengths range from six month to five years, with APYs of 2.20% to 3.00%. Choose whether to receive interest payments directly or add them to the principal.
- CD ladders. Invest your cash across multiple CDs with staggered term lengths. When one CD ends, your money is reinvested into another with a longer term and higher interest rate. Regular opportunities to reinvest your cash means less risk of getting stuck with a weak rate.
How does Citizens Access compare to other banks or services?Citizens Access doesn’t support ATMs or branch locations, unlike industry giants you’re used to seeing in your neighborhood. It doesn’t offer debit cards or checks, because it’s designed to help you meet your savings goals, not spend cash.. While most banks curate a suite of banking products, from checking to loans to investments, Citizens Access homes in on just digital savings.
The bank launched in 2018, so it’s relatively new. Parent company Citizens Bank, however, ranks 21st on the FDIC’s list of the top 50 commercial banks and savings institutions and has been around for almost 150 years.
Why should I open an account at Citizens Access?Citizens Access is focused on savings without the overhead of more traditional banks, offering a range of benefits that include:
- Competitive APYs. Accrued interest in a top priority, with the bank’s 2.35% APY on savings beating bigger online banks like Marcus by Goldman Sachs and Ally.
- No fees. Grow your savings without monthly maintenance or additional costs.
- Slick online experience. Customers rave about the clean and easy-to-navigate website — though it doesn’t offer an app.
- Weekend support. Live customer service extends beyond the typical workweek, making for convenient support if you work a typical office job.
What should I look out for?
Though Citizens Access feels new and shiny, it isn’t the best fit for everyone. Consider potential drawbacks like:
- No branches. If you have a question, you can’t visit a local branch for a meeting with a banker.
- Savings and CDs only. If you’re hoping to seamlessly link savings, checking and other accounts under one roof, you’ll have to look at other banks.
- No cash withdrawals or deposits. Citizens Access doesn’t offer debit cards, ATM cards or checks, which means waiting days for a transfer with an outside account.
- Hefty account minimum. You need to open it with $5,000 and maintain a balance of at least that much to earn the 2.35% APY. Anything less earns a low 0.25% APY.
Citizens Access reviews and complaints
Founded in 2018, Citizens Access is too young to have cemented a reputation among the industry. But research indicates its supported by a good family.
It’s a subsidiary of Citizens Financial Group, which is accredited by the BBB, earning an A+ based on the BBB’s internal criteria. It’s stayed out of trouble with the government since its founding in 2018, and it has a good reputation for responding to customer complaints through the site.
Citizens Access customer service
Help is limited to calling toll-free or logging in to your online account:
- Phone. Call 888-201-6505 weekdays from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. ET, Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. ET and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. ET.
- Online message. Send a secure note through your online account.
The savings-focused Citizens Access offers competitive rates and a sleek website without the bells and whistles you might expect, like an ATM card or checks.
For a more broad suite of products, compare bank accounts designed to help you save and manage your overall spending.