Citizens Bank Review: Checking, Savings and CDs

Citizens Bank has a strong regional reach but lackluster rates.

Spencer TierneyAugust 25, 2020

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Overall bank rating

Citizens Bank
  • Savings

    Savings

  • Checking

    Checking

  • Banking experience

    Banking experience

  • Overdraft fees

    Overdraft fees

3.5

NerdWallet rating 

The bottom line: Citizens Bank is a large regional bank in the Northeast and Midwest with an extensive network of ATMs and branches. Its rates on savings and CDs are mostly low, and overdraft fees are high. But the bank can be a convenient, cost-effective choice for basic checking and savings if you live in one of the nearly dozen states within the bank's coverage area.

Pros

  • Easy to avoid monthly fees on basic checking and savings.

  • Convenient brick-and-mortar bank in an area that stretches from Michigan to New Hampshire.

  • Solid online and mobile banking experience.

Cons

  • Low savings and CD rates.

  • Overdraft fees are high and can add up.

Full review

Citizens Bank Citizens Bank One Deposit Savings

Citizens Bank One Deposit Savings

3.0

NerdWallet rating 
APY

0.01%

With $0 minimum balance

Rates on the basic One Deposit Savings, which was the account we rated, and premium accounts are below the national average of 0.05%.

But the One Deposit Savings account only requires a minimum daily balance of $200 or a single deposit each statement period to waive its $4.99 monthly fee, and the first four fees are automatically waived. And there's no opening deposit requirement.

Note: Citizens Bank offers certificates of deposit, but not in the term lengths that we rate. The bank's online CD offerings include 11-month, 14-month and two-year options. Rates are mostly low.

Citizens Bank Citizens Bank One Deposit Checking

Citizens Bank One Deposit Checking

4.0

NerdWallet rating 
Monthly Fee

$9.99

True to its name, Citizens Bank's One Deposit Checking requires only one deposit — of any amount — per month to waive the $9.99 monthly fee. There's no minimum or opening balance required either. The One Deposit Checking doesn't earn interest.

The bank offers about 2,900 free ATMs in the states it serves in the Northeast and Midwest. If you use an ATM out of Citizens Bank's network, the bank charges $3.

Other checking accounts, which weren't factored into the ratings, include a student checking account and two options that require high average balances to waive monthly fees.

Banking experience

4.5

NerdWallet rating 

Citizens Bank has more than 1,100 branches across 11 states in the Northeast and Midwest. The bank rounds off its customer support with extended call center hours, online chat and an active Twitter account.

The online experience includes a savings goal calculator and the ability to compare different product offerings. The mobile experience receives middling ratings on iOS and Android apps.

Overdraft fees

2.0

NerdWallet rating 

Citizens Bank charges high overdraft fees: $37 per occurrence and up to seven fees per day. This brings the daily maximum to $259, which is higher than at other big banks. There’s also a $30 sustained-overdraft fee that gets charged on the fifth, eighth and 11th business day that an account remains overdrawn.

To avoid overdrafts, you can link a savings account or line of credit to your checking account. But the fee is $12 per day a transfer occurs, and the line of credit also charges a flat $30 annual fee plus interest.

Citizens Bank Citizens Bank One Deposit Savings

Citizens Bank One Deposit Savings

3.0

NerdWallet rating 
APY

0.01%

With $0 minimum balance

Rates on the basic One Deposit Savings, which was the account we rated, and premium accounts are below the national average of 0.05%.

But the One Deposit Savings account only requires a minimum daily balance of $200 or a single deposit each statement period to waive its $4.99 monthly fee, and the first four fees are automatically waived. And there's no opening deposit requirement.

Note: Citizens Bank offers certificates of deposit, but not in the term lengths that we rate. The bank's online CD offerings include 11-month, 14-month and two-year options. Rates are mostly low.

How does Citizens Bank compare?

Federally insured by the NCUA

Member FDIC

APY

0.60%

With $0 minimum balance

APY

0.65%

With $100 minimum balance

APY

0.01%

With $0 minimum balance

Bonus

N/A

Bonus

N/A

Bonus

$150

Requirements to qualify

RATING METHODOLOGY

NerdWallet’s overall ratings for banks and credit unions are weighted averages of several categories: checking, savings, certificates of deposit or credit union share certificates, banking experience and overdraft fees. Factors we consider, depending on the category, include rates and fees, ATM and branch access, account features and limits, user-facing technology, customer service and innovation. The stars represent ratings from poor (one star) to excellent (five stars). Ratings are rounded to the nearest half-star.