Citizens Access does offer some highly competitive rates, particularly if you’re interested in shorter term CDs and a savings account, but the bank does have limited account options and no checking account. This means it should only be considered a supplementary bank, as you will need to link an external bank account to send and receive transfers. Citizens Access is a division of Citizens Bank.
If you’re interested in moving all of your banking from your current financial institution, the lack of a checking account means that Citizens Access is not a viable option. However, if you are solely interested in savings, CDs and lending products, it is certainly worthy of consideration.
- No Monthly Maintenance Fees
- Competitive Rates
- Decent Transparency
- Solid Customer Support
- No Physical Branches
- High CD Minimums
- No Checking Account
- No ATM Access
Can I open only a CD account?
Yes, you don’t need to open a savings account to be able to open a Citizens Access CD account. You simply need to have at least $5,000 to deposit into your CD.
What are the requirements to open a Citizens Access account?
Citizens Access is an online only bank, so the requirements to open an account are similar to other online banks. You’ll need to provide your personal details including your full name, address, date of birth and Social Security Number. You will also need to verify your identity.
Can I open an account with Citizens Access online?
The only option to open a Citizens Access account is online, since this is an online-only bank.
Table Of Content
Money Market Account
Citizens Access Savings
Citizens Access currently has just one savings account, but it is a high yield account offering over 10 times the national rate. The account has no hidden costs or fees and you can open an account online in less than five minutes with only one penny. The account is able to receive direct deposits and recurring transfers.
The key features of this account include:
- High APY: The account offers a highly competitive rate of 4.50% APY, even when compared to other savings rates of online banks and credit unions
- No ATM Access: Unfortunately this account does not provide ATM access as you cannot request an ATM card. This does mean that withdrawals are limited to transfers out of the account and requesting a check to be mailed to you from Citizens Access.
- Minimal Fees and Charges: The account has no monthly maintenance fee or hidden charges. In fact, Citizens Access advertises that it is transparent and does not rely on promo or teaser rates to entice customers.
Citizens Access CDs
Citizens Access currently only offers its online CD online, but periodically, there are other CD products available. The online CD is available with two terms: one year and five years. The current rate for 12 month CD is 4.50%, while the rate for 5-year CD is 4.50% APY. There is a minimum deposit requirement of $5,000 regardless of CD term.
You can cash out your monthly interest payments or reinvest them into your CD to increase the potential yield. However, if you do need to access some or all of your funds before the maturity date, you will incur an early withdrawal penalty. This is calculated according to the original term of your CD. For terms of one year, the penalty is 90 days of interest, but this is increased to 180 days for longer term CDs.
Citizens Access CD
CD Minimum Deposit
1-Year APY Early Withdrawal Fee
90 days of interest
5-Year APY Early Withdrawal Fee
180 days of interest
At maturity, there is a 10 day grace period. This allows you to make withdrawals, add further funds or close the account with no penalty. After the grace period, the CD will auto-renew for the same term.
Citizens Access will also help customers with CD ladders. This is a low risk investment strategy, which allows you to access the best rates without needing to tie up your funds for the long term. A CD ladder allows you to have a CD regularly maturing, with other CDs continuing to operate. This can be a little confusing, particularly for less experienced investors, so this could be an invaluable service for some customers.
Pros and Cons
As with any financial institution, there are both positives and potential negatives associated with Citizens Access. It is important to be aware of the pros and cons before deciding if a bank is the right choice for you.
No Monthly Maintenance Fees
No Physical Branches
High CD Minimums
No Checking Account
Solid Customer Support
No ATM Access
While it is often possible to have a monthly service fee waived, it does add a layer of complexity to managing your account.
Fortunately, this is not something you need to worry about with Citizens Access as its accounts don’t have this type of fee.
Citizens Access is quite transparent about its lack of fees, so you don’t need to worry about getting hit with a hidden cost. Additionally, the bank does not rely on gimmicks or limited time APY deals.
The Citizens Access customer support team is available seven days a week via the phone helpline or website chat function.
Citizens Access is a fully online bank, so you won’t be able to access in person support if you have any queries or issues.
While the Citizens Access CDs offer competitive rates, the $5,000 minimum deposit requirement may be a barrier to entry for some savers.
Citizens Access does not currently offer a checking account, which means that it is not a viable alternative if you want to move all of your banking from your current financial institution.
Although it is not unusual for a savings account to not have an ATM card, it does make withdrawals from this account a little limited.
If you want to withdraw funds from your Citizens Access account, you will need to initiate a transfer to an external account or request a check to be mailed to you.
Citizens Access Customer Service
Citizens Access may be part of one of the largest banking institutions in the U.S, but it does have a rather limited website and app. The app is a little glitchy and only offers basic account management features such as viewing balances and statements, transferring money and depositing checks.
However, if you do have an issue, you can access the Citizens Access customer service team seven days a week. The phone and chat feature are available 7 am to 10 pm ET Monday through Friday and 9 am to 6 pm ET on weekends. There is also TDD support for deaf customers via the Relay Service, seven days a week.
How to Open a Citizens Access Account
Since Citizens Access is an online only bank, it has made the account opening process quite straightforward and you can open an account in less than five minutes with a few simple steps.
- Navigate to the Product Page: From the Citizens Access official website, you will need to navigate to the appropriate product page. Deposit accounts can be found under the “Savings & CD” heading on the top bar. From here you can click the orange “Open Account” button for the appropriate product.
- Select the Account and Opening Deposit: The first screen you’ll see will ask you to confirm the type of account you wish to open and the amount you want to deposit. Bear in mind that you can open a savings account with only one penny, but CDs have a minimum deposit requirement of $5,000.
- Complete the Application Form: You’ll now need to complete the account application form. This is quite standard and requires you to complete all the mandatory fields including your full name, address, zip code, email address, phone number, date of birth and Social Security Number. There is also an option to create a joint account at this stage.
- Confirm the Legal Disclaimers: The next stage presents all of the legal disclaimers for the account. This includes deposit account agreement, consent for electronic delivery, terms and conditions and a privacy notice. You can click on each of these documents to ensure that you are comfortable before consenting. You will also need to confirm your citizenship status.
- Fund Your Account: The final stage of the application is to fund your new account. This can be done by a transfer from an external account.
About Citizens Access
Citizens Access is an online only financial institution that is part of the Citizens Bank group. While Citizens Access may only have been around since 2018, its parent company has almost 200 years of banking experience and a total of $150 billion plus in assets.
While Citizens Access may not offer the comprehensive product line available through Citizens Bank, it does offer high APYs, particularly for those that don’t require regular access to their money.
Yes, Citizens Access is available in all states. It is an online only bank with no physical branches.
Citizens Access does not have any physical coverage. It has no branch network at all.
Citizens Access does offer FDIC coverage and you can use the EDIE (Electronic Deposit Insurance Estimator) to determine the amount of coverage available to you.
However, it is important to note that for the purposes of federal coverage, Citizens Access and Citizens Bank are considered the same entity.
Unfortunately, Citizens Access does not offer a checking account at this time.