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Citizens Review

Sunday, October 1st

2023 Online Savings Account Reviews

Citizens Review 2.5 Star Rating


2.5 Star Rating
  • APY of 4.50% for savings accounts
  • Range of APYs between 3.45% to 5% for CDs
  • High-security
  • High-rated mobile app
  • Financial education on site
  • "A+" rating from the BBB

In business for over 150 years, Citizens Bank is a great hybrid option for online banking. With online and in-person options, customers can choose the method of banking that is most appealing to them. In terms of accounts, Citizens offers a Citizens Access Savings account and two options for online CDs: the Online CD and the CD Ladders. Additionally, the bank provides a savings goal calculator and the ability to compare different product offerings through its online banking platform.

Competitive APYs for all accounts

In terms of traditional savings accounts, the Citizens Access Savings is the only option for customers. Like many banks in this review, this savings account has no cost to open and no monthly fees. The APYs for the Access Savings account promise a fixed rate of 4.50%. For the CD accounts, there are two options. The Online CD provides options for two commitment lengths: either 1 year or 5 years with APYs that range from 3.45% to 5%. Additionally, customers can choose to receive monthly interest payments or reinvest them to earn more. For the CD Ladders account, customers can earn a high APY of up to 5% while also having flexible access to the funds in the account.

Top-level security

One of the benefits of banking with Citizens is its approach to security. Citizens ensures that their customers can bank with confidence and peace of mind. They take the security of their customer's personal information and funds seriously and have implemented various measures to keep them safe. The bank continuously monitors for fraudulent activity and provides 24/7 alerts to its customers. They also use SSL encryption to keep customers' private information secure, making sure that their sensitive data is kept private.

High ratings but conflicting comments

In terms of the online user interface, Citizens has a highly-rated mobile app to facilitate mobile payments and account tracking. The Citizens app has a high 4.7-star rating out of 5 on the Apple store as well as a similarly high 4.3-star out of 5 rating on the Google Play store. Customers like the ease of use of the mobile app and mobile deposits. However, it's important to note that some of the 5-star rated comments are also showing complaints about the apps being "buggy" or too complicated with two-factor authentication.

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Education on site

One unique benefit of Citizens is their "Financial Education" portion of the website. If customers are curious about refinancing loans, homeownership, or improving savings, Citizens has a whole section of the website dedicated to teaching customers or even casual visitors more about some of the stickiest points in finance.

Low customer ratings in spite of response

In terms of customer satisfaction, Citizens has high ratings with the BBB with an "A+" rating for customer responses as well as accreditation. Unfortunately, beyond that, Citizens isn't very popular. Across different review sites, Citizens has only earned a 1.8-star average out of 5.

High negative customer feedback

Across the board, consumers don't have many positive things to say about Citizens. Customers complain about hidden fees, especially for overdrafts, that weren't obvious from the site when they first signed up. Clients also expressed concerns about the process of closing their accounts after getting too frustrated with Citizens to continue. There are almost no positive comments for Citizens, which is shocking, and with 92% negative feedback it's hard to recommend Citizens as a savings option at all.

Be careful before you open with Citizens

While Citizens Bank offers competitive APYs, top-level security measures, and a user-friendly mobile app, the conflicting comments and negative reviews from customers about the bank's customer service and hidden fees make it difficult to recommend them as a savings option. The high mobile app ratings are offset by the overwhelmingly negative feedback on other review sites. While it may be a viable option for some customers, it's important to carefully consider the negative feedback before deciding whether to bank with Citizens. Only the "A+" BBB rating and security measures keep this from being among the lowest options in our review of online savings accounts.

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Where is the Best Place to Open an Online Savings Account?

Feeling let down by your current bank and looking to spruce up your finances? Or maybe you're about to open your very first savings account and want to make sure you're getting all the bells and whistles? Deciding who to trust with your savings is a big deal and it's crucial for your financial wellbeing. With so many banks and online institutions, it can be overwhelming to hunt for the best interest options or rewards. Switching banks, or opening a new savings account, can feel like a lot.

But first, some background: a savings account is a type of bank account that is specifically designed for saving money. It's an account that you can deposit money into and earn interest on the balance. Unlike a checking account, which is used for everyday transactions like paying bills or buying groceries, a savings account is intended for long-term saving.

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Online Savings Account FAQ

An online savings account is a type of bank account that is managed entirely online through an institution's website or mobile app. With an online savings account, customers can deposit and withdraw money, check their account balance, view transaction history, and manage their savings goals entirely through an online interface. Online savings accounts typically offer higher interest rates and lower fees than traditional brick-and-mortar banks due to the lower overhead costs associated with online-only banking.
An online savings account offers several benefits over traditional savings accounts. First, online savings accounts typically offer higher interest rates than brick-and-mortar banks. They also usually have no fees - or, at least, lower fees than traditional banks. Finally, online savings accounts are accessible 24/7, providing customers with convenient and flexible access to their funds.
Managing your savings online is generally safe if you take the necessary precautions, such as using strong passwords and regularly monitoring your account. Many online banks are insured by the FDIC, so the funds in your savings account will be insured up to the maximum amount allowed by law, which adds an extra layer of protection. Additionally, online banks use advanced security measures such as encryption to protect your personal information and transactions.
Generally, online savings accounts offer higher APYs compared to traditional brick-and-mortar banks due to lower overhead costs. Some online savings accounts may offer tiered APYs based on the account balance, while others may offer a fixed APY for all account balances. It's important to compare APYs across different online savings accounts to find the one that best suits your needs.
Yes, you can use an online savings account for bill payments and direct deposit in many cases. While savings accounts are typically meant for saving money and not for everyday transactions, most online banks offer features that allow you to easily transfer money between your savings and checking accounts. However, it's important to note that there may be some restrictions or fees associated with using a savings account for these types of transactions, so it's always a good idea to check with your bank to make sure you understand their policies and any potential fees.
Yes, you can deposit checks into an online savings account. Most online banks offer remote deposits through their mobile banking apps. You simply take a photo of the check with your smartphone and submit it through the app. Some banks may also offer other options for depositing checks, such as mailing them in or depositing them at a partner ATM.
While the short answer is usually "yes" , it depends on the online savings account and the bank's policies. Most online banks do not have physical branches or ATMs, so it may not be possible to deposit cash directly into the account. However, you can deposit using a third-party payment service, or depositing cash at a network ATM. It is best to check with your specific online bank to see what options are available for depositing cash.
The minimum balance required for an online savings account varies by bank. Some banks don't require a minimum balance at all, while others require a certain amount to avoid fees or earn higher interest rates.
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Continued from above...

Many people use savings accounts to set aside money for things like a down payment on a house, a new car, or an emergency fund. One of the biggest benefits of a savings account is that it can help you build wealth over time. As you continue to save money, the interest earned on your balance can compound, meaning you earn interest on both the money you deposit and the interest you earn. Over time, this can add up significantly and help you achieve your financial goals. Additionally, savings accounts are generally considered to be low-risk investments, making them a great option for people who are risk-averse or new to investing.

Banks and financial institutions offer various types of savings accounts that cater to different needs and goals. Some common types of savings accounts include a basic savings account, which is a standard account that usually has a low minimum balance requirement and earns interest on the balance. High-yield savings accounts are another option. These typically offer a higher interest rate than basic savings accounts but may require a higher minimum balance in the account.

Money market accounts are similar to savings accounts but often offer higher interest rates and allow you to write a limited number of checks per month. Certificates of deposit (CDs) are time-bound accounts that require you to leave your money in the account for a fixed period in exchange for a higher interest rate. Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) are specialized accounts designed for retirement savings and offering tax benefits.

So, how do you find the best savings account for your needs? There are a lot of factors to consider for account types and which institution can offer you the best service overall. If you're not sure where to start, you can check out this list that should help you narrow down your options:

  • Fees: While many online savings accounts offer accounts for no fees, there are just as many that do require minimums, or at least that customers meet a daily balance minimum to avoid fees. Keep in mind how much you're willing to pay each month (and what you need to do to keep an account free of charge) as you look over savings account options.
  • Customer Service: Customer service is key, especially when your money is involved. Looking at feedback for customer service at different banks may help determine who you want to support your financial security.
  • APYs: One of the biggest differences in savings account options is how much you'll make in APYs. Some APYs are fixed, while others depend on your account balance. Keep an eye on how much you'll be earning for your money when you choose your next savings account.
  • Savings Options: General savings accounts aren't the only options to increase your savings. With CDs and Money Market accounts, many banks offer a variety of places to improve your savings. Knowing what kind of account you want will help you decide where to start banking next. Not all banks offer the same benefits or account types.

To make opening your next savings account as easy as 1, 2, 3, Top Consumer Reviews has evaluated and ranked the most popular options on the market. We hope this will help you decide which financial institution is the best place to keep track of your savings.

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