Citizens Bank College Saver review
Rewards consistent savers with a $1,000 bonus on their child’s 18th birthday, but the APY is low.
The Citizens Bank College Saver account is best for children 11 years old and younger. It rewards parents who consistently save $25 or $50 monthly with a $1,000 bonus on their child’s 18th birthday. But the account only earns 0.05% APY — so it may not be worth it if you can’t meet the monthly contribution limits. It’s also only open to residents in some Northeast states.
Minimum deposit to open
|Minimum deposit to open||$25|
|Intro or bonus offer||Receive a $1,000 bonus plus interest when your child turns 18. Conditions apply.|
|Monthly transaction limit||6|
|Fee per transaction over the limit||$15|
Cassidy Horton is a writer for Finder, specializing in banking and investments. She has a Bachelor of Science in Public Relations and a Master of Business Administration from Georgia Southern University. Cassidy enjoys educating people about financial services, exploring the Pacific Northwest and watching endless reruns of The Office.
The Citizens Bank College Saver account is best for parents who can consistently save for their child’s college education every month. The account has two sets of minimum requirements depending on your child’s age. If your child is under the age of six, you’ll need $25 to open an account and you’ll need to deposit at least $25 every month. When your child turns six, you’re required to deposit $50 a month and you’ll need at least $500 to open an account.
If you can meet these minimums, your child will be rewarded with a $1,000 savings bonus plus interest on their 18th birthday.
Our take? If you want the $1,000 bonus, only open this account if you think you can comfortably meet and keep track of these minimums every month. Otherwise, your child will only receive 0.05% interest, which is much lower than what they’d earn in another kids’ savings account.
What are the benefits of a Citizens Bank College Saver account?
The Citizens Bank College Saver account is insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), comes with mobile and online banking and has these benefits:
- No monthly fee. With the Citizens Bank College Saver account, you won’t have to worry about monthly maintenance fees.
- Savings bonus. Citizens Bank rewards you with a $1,000 bonus plus interest when your child turns 18 as long as you opened the account before their 12th birthday and made the monthly minimum contribution each year.
- Several enrollment options. Set up the Citizens Bank College Saver account as a joint, trust, Uniform Gift to Minors Act (UGMA) or Uniform Transfer to Minors Act (UTMA) account.
What should I look out for?Citizens Bank College Saver has quite a few benefits, but it also has some drawbacks you can’t ignore:
- Opening deposits vary. If your child is younger than six, you’ll need $25 to get started. Children ages six to 11 need at least $500. You can’t open an account if your child is 12 and older.
- Low APY. You’ll only earn 0.05% APY on your total account balance, which means this account may not be worth it if you can’t meet the savings bonus requirements.
- Minimum monthly contribution limits. You’re required to deposit at least $25 a month into this account if your child is younger than six, or, $50 monthly from ages six to 11.
- Not available nationwide. The Citizens Bank College Saver account is only open to residents in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Delaware and Ohio.
If you live outside of Citizens Bank’s service area or want an account that earns more interest, continue exploring your options.
Compare Citizens Bank College Saver with other savings accounts
Use the table to compare the Citizens Bank College Saver account to the competition. You can sort the table by APY and minimum deposit to open. Or, click Compare next to your favorites for a unique side-by-side view.
How do I open a Citizens Bank College Saver account?
As with most kids’ savings accounts, you can’t open the Citizens Bank College Saver account online. Instead, you must visit a local branch or call 877-360-2472.
You can open a Citizens Bank College Saver account when you meet these requirements:
- At least 18 years old
- Social Security number
- US residential address
- $25 minimum deposit if your child is six and younger
- $500 deposit if your child is between six and 11
Here’s what you’ll need when you apply:
- Full name and date of birth
- Government-issued photo ID
- Social Security number or individual taxpayer ID number (ITIN)
- Child’s date of birth and Social Security number
- Proof of address
- Funding information
How do I deposit or withdraw my money?
The Citizens Bank College Saver account doesn’t come with an ATM card, but there are still a handful of ways to access funds:
- Direct deposit
- Mobile check deposit through the app
- Cash or check deposit at a local branch
- Automatic transfer from another Citizens Bank account
- ACH transfer from an external account
- Withdraw at a local branch
- Transfer to another Citizens Bank account
- ACH transfer to an external account
What other savings options does Citizens Bank offer?
You’ll find a wide variety of savings options at Citizens Bank:
- One Deposit Savings. Use this account to save for a specific goal — such as a car, down payment on a home or emergency fund. But the interest rate is lower than the national average.
- Citizens Bank Platinum Savings. Available to those who have a Citizens Platinum Checking account, this savings account has no monthly fees or minimum balance requirements.
- Citizens Bank Platinum Plus Savings. Get access to a premium APY and no fees for checks, monthly maintenance, stop payments, money orders, overdraft protection and more. But it’s only available to those who have a Platinum Plus Checking account.
- Personal Money Market. Open this account with any amount and avoid the $10 monthly fee when you keep a minimum of $2,500 daily balance.
- Citizens Bank Platinum Money Market. Those with a Platinum Checking account can build their savings quicker with this free money market account. But you must keep at least $25,000 in the account to access premium APYs.
- Citizens Bank Platinum Plus Money Market. Get ATM rebates, free checks and a competitive promotional APY.
- Online Only CD. Open a 14-month CD with as little as $1,000 and earn 0.5% APY.
- Traditional CDs. Open an 11- or 24-month CD and earn up to 0.55% APY.