Finder is committed to editorial independence. While we receive compensation when you click links to partners, they do not influence our content.

Explore First Citizens Bank’s accounts

This bank offers decent accounts, but APYs are low and locations are limited.

First Citizens Bank
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.

What banking products does First Citizens Bank offer?

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.

Checking accounts

  • 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.

Savings accounts

  • 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.

Other products

  • 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.

How does First Citizens Bank compare to other banks?

There’s a lot to like about First Citizens Bank, but keeping your money with this institution has its drawbacks as well.

Checking accounts

Pros

  • 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.

Cons

  • 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.

Savings accounts

Pros

  • No minimum balance. None of this bank’s savings accounts require a minimum balance to maintain, and there’s no tiered rates.

Cons

  • 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.

CDs

Pros

  • 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.

Cons

  • 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.

Overall banking

Pros

  • 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.

Cons

  • 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.

Compare First Citizens Bank with other leading bank accounts

Name Product APY Minimum deposit to open ATMs Out-of-network ATM fee
Axos Bank Rewards Checking
Finder Rating: 5 / 5: ★★★★★
Axos Bank Rewards Checking
1.25%
$50
ATM fees reimbursed at any ATM nationwide
$0
Earn up to 1.25% APY while enjoying a suite of digital tools for smarter money management.
Axos Bank Essential Checking
Finder Rating: 5 / 5: ★★★★★
Axos Bank Essential Checking
N/A
$0
ATM fees reimbursed at any ATM nationwide
No fees. Unlimited domestic ATM fee reimbursements.
Axos Bank Business Interest Checking
Finder Rating: 3.5 / 5: ★★★★★
Axos Bank Business Interest Checking
Up to 0.81%
$100
ATM fees reimbursed at any ATM nationwide
Earn up to 0.81% APY and pay no monthly maintenance fee with an average daily balance of at least $5,000.
Axos Bank CashBack Checking
Finder Rating: 4.5 / 5: ★★★★★
Axos Bank CashBack Checking
N/A
$50
91,000 free ATMs across the country
Earn up to 1.00% cash back on all transactions that require a signature.
Axos Bank First Checking
Finder Rating: 5 / 5: ★★★★★
Axos Bank First Checking
0.10%
$50
Made for teens ages 13 to 17, this account earns 0.1% APY and has no monthly fees.
Axos Bank Golden Checking
Finder Rating: 5 / 5: ★★★★★
Axos Bank Golden Checking
0.10%
$50
91,000 free ATMs across the country
An interest-bearing checking account designed for customers aged 55 and older.
Axos Bank Basic Business Checking
Finder Rating: 4.5 / 5: ★★★★★
Axos Bank Basic Business Checking
N/A
$1,000
ATM fees reimbursed at any ATM nationwide
No monthly maintenance fees, a low minimum deposit requirement, unlimited domestic ATM fee reimbursements and $100 bonus
loading

Compare up to 4 providers

Name Product Annual percentage yield (APY) Fee Minimum deposit to open
Axos Bank High Yield Money Market account
Finder Rating: 4.1 / 5: ★★★★★
Axos Bank High Yield Money Market account
0.25%
$0
$1,000
Offers the security of traditional savings with the advantage of high interest rates and limited transactions.
Axos Bank High Yield Savings
Finder Rating: 4 / 5: ★★★★★
Axos Bank High Yield Savings

0.61% on $0 to $24,999
0.25% on $25,000 to $99,999
0.15% on $100,000+
$0
$250
No monthly maintenance fees. No minimum balance requirements. Interest compounded daily.
Axos Bank Business Savings
Finder Rating: 3.7 / 5: ★★★★★
Axos Bank Business Savings
0.20%
$5 per month
(can be waived)
$1,000
A business savings account with a low minimum deposit.
Axos Bank Business Money Market
Finder Rating: 3.6 / 5: ★★★★★
Axos Bank Business Money Market
0.20%
$10 per month
(can be waived)
$1,000
This money market savings account comes with the added benefit of check writing privileges.
Axos Bank Business Premium Savings
Finder Rating: 3 / 5: ★★★★★
Axos Bank Business Premium Savings
0.20%
$0
$25,000
This digital savings account includes no monthly maintenance or average daily balance fee.
loading

Compare up to 4 providers

First Citizens Bank reviews and complaints

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.

First Citizens Bank customer service

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.

Bottom line

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.

Frequently asked questions

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.

More guides on Finder

Ask an Expert

You are about to post a question on finder.com:

  • Do not enter personal information (eg. surname, phone number, bank details) as your question will be made public
  • finder.com is a financial comparison and information service, not a bank or product provider
  • We cannot provide you with personal advice or recommendations
  • Your answer might already be waiting – check previous questions below to see if yours has already been asked

Finder.com provides guides and information on a range of products and services. Because our content is not financial advice, we suggest talking with a professional before you make any decision.

By submitting your comment or question, you agree to our Privacy and Cookies Policy and finder.com Terms of Use.

Questions and responses on finder.com are not provided, paid for or otherwise endorsed by any bank or brand. These banks and brands are not responsible for ensuring that comments are answered or accurate.
Go to site