Based in North Carolina, First Citizens Bank has been in operation since 1898 and now has more than 1,000 branches but only in 19 states. It offers several types of checking and savings accounts, among other financial products and services.First Citizens Bank offers many of the same financial products you’ll find at other brick-and-mortar banks, but none of the accounts are especially competitive. The free checking account has no perks, and the savings account earns an insignificant APY.
- Free Checking. Requires a minimum opening deposit of $50, and there’s no monthly fee when you sign up for paperless statements.
- Premier Checking. An interest-bearing account that requires a minimum initial deposit of $100 has a monthly fee of $18. But you can avoid it by maintaining a combined balance of $5,000, receiving at least $4,000 in direct deposits each month, or having a $10,000 consumer loan or a $25,000 home equity line with the bank.
- Prestige Checking. Offers the bank’s best rates on EquityLines and CDs and allows you to use out-of-network ATMs without penalty. There’s a $25 monthly fee, but you can avoid it by maintaining a combined balance of $25,000, receiving at least $6,500 in direct deposits each month, or having a $25,000 consumer loan or a $100,000 home equity line with the bank.
- Online savings. Requires $25 to open, but there’s no minimum balance requirement to earn its 0.03% APY.
- Money market. This tiered-rate savings account earns up to 0.03% APY and requires a minimum opening deposit of $500 but allows for unlimited withdrawals and transfers via tellers or ATMs.
- Certificates of deposit. First Citizens Bank‘s flexible-term CDs require a minimum opening deposit of $500 and offer interest rates ranging from 0.01% to 0.15% APY.
- Credit cards. First Citizens Bank offers five credit cards, each with its advantages.
- Loans. This bank offers auto loans, personal loans, home equity loans and more.
- Insurance. Get coverage for your vehicle, property, pet or even your life.
- Mortgages. Offers different types of mortgages and accepts refinance applications.
- Retirement. You can open a Traditional IRA or a Roth IRA through First Citizens Bank.
- 529 College Savings Plan. This flexible, tax-free plan lets anyone contribute funds to a child’s education regardless of where the student plans to attend school.
- Coverdell Education Savings Account. This FDIC-insured account lets you contribute up to $2,000 per child per year and allows you to withdraw funds for education expenses without incurring tax penalties.
There’s a lot to like about First Citizens Bank, but keeping your money with this institution has its drawbacks as well.
- Free checking option. Some banks don’t offer a free checking account, but First Citizens Bank does.
- Free out-of-network ATM withdrawals. First Citizens Bank‘s Prestige checking account lets you use out-of-network ATMs without paying a fee.
- Some high fees. First Citizens Bank charges $36 for overdrafts and insufficient funds, which is above average compared to other banks.
- Expensive wire transfers. Chase charges $16 for inbound domestic wire transfers, which are free from banks like Ally and Discover. Outgoing wire transfers cost $30, while TD Bank and Citibank charge nothing for this service.
- No minimum balance. None of this bank’s savings accounts require a minimum balance to maintain, and there’s no tiered rates.
- Transfer fees. Your first two withdrawals or transfers from your savings account are free, but additional transfers cost $3 each.
- Low APY. First Citizens Bank‘s savings accounts are at 0.03% APY. You’ll find higher rates with high-yield savings accounts.
- Minimum opening deposit. Nearly all of First Citizens Bank‘s CDs require a minimum opening deposit of $500, which is lower than what many other banks require. For instance, Discover and Wells Fargo require opening deposits of at least $2,500.
- Rates aren’t competitive. Six- and 12-month CDs only earn 0.01% APY, and the highest APY you can earn is 0.15% with a five-year CD.
- Online and mobile experience. First Citizens Bank’s website is clean, fluid and features an intuitive interface. Plus, like many other banks, it offers a mobile app.
- Daily phone support. You can speak with a representative by calling 888-323-4732 seven days a week between 7 a.m. and 11 p.m. ET.
- Limited locations. First Citizens Bank has branches on both coasts, but it’s only in 19 states.
- No chat support. You can’t chat with a support specialist online.
- High fees. First Citizens Bank charges $2.99 to transfer funds to an external bank and $36 for nonsufficient funds penalties, while Chase doesn’t charge either of these fees on its Secure Banking accounts.
First Citizens Bank has numerous troubling reviews on various websites, including ConsumerAffairs and the Better Business Bureau. Many complaints relate to poor customer service, fraudulent transactions and trouble accessing funds. Several customers have also reported that the bank charges unexpected fees and makes it unnecessarily difficult to close an account.
There are three ways to contact First Citizens Bank‘s customer support should you need help with your account.
- Phone. Call 888.323.4732 to speak with a live specialist daily from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. ET.
- Online form. Fill out the support form on the bank’s website, and you can expect to receive a response within two business days.
- Branch support. First Citizens Bank has branches on both coasts and in several states in between, but most locations are in the Southeast.
First Citizens Bank is a full-service bank that offers various checking and savings accounts with more relaxed requirements than many other banks. Most fees with this bank are avoidable, but some penalty fees are above average. But the APYs on CDs and savings accounts are comparatively low, and the high volume of bad reviews is a cause for concern. If you’d rather earn better yields, compare other bank accounts
with better reviews.
What is First Citizens Bank‘s routing number?
First Citizens Bank‘s routing number for wire transfers is 053100300, but the routing number for ACH transfers varies by state. To find your routing number, check your checkbook, log in to your online account or visit the support section of the bank’s website.