Citizens Bank Review: Checking, Savings and CDs
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- Banking experience
- Overdraft fees
Overall institution rating
Citizens Bank is a large regional bank in the Northeast, Midwest and in Florida with a network of free 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 dozen states within the bank's coverage area. Best for: Those who are unlikely to overdraft and want free ATM and branch access in the Northeast, Midwest and Florida for basic checking.
- Easy to avoid monthly fees on basic checking and savings.
- Convenient brick-and-mortar bank in the Northeast, Midwest and Florida.
- Solid online and mobile banking experience.
- Low savings and CD rates.
- Overdraft fees are high and can add up.
3.5/5 NerdWallet rating
Rates on the basic One Deposit Savings, which was the account we rated, and premium accounts are below the national average of 0.40%.
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 fees are automatically waived for people under 25 or over 65. 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 10-month, 14-month and 25-month options. Rates are low; you can earn more interest and find a wider range of terms with other banks.
» Interested in comparison shopping? Check out the best CD rates
3.5/5 NerdWallet rating
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 2,700 free ATMs in the states it serves in the Northeast, Midwest and Florida. 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 — $25,000 and $200,000 — to waive monthly fees.
Citizens Bank has more than 1,100 branches across 12 states in the Northeast, Midwest and in Florida. The bank rounds off its customer support with extended call center hours 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 good ratings on iOS and Android apps.
Citizens Bank charges high overdraft fees: $37 per occurrence and up to five fees per day. This brings the daily maximum to $185, 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. If you overdraft your account but are able to bring your account balance to $0 or higher by 10 p.m. ET on the following business day, your overdraft fee will be rebated the next day.
There are a couple other ways to avoid overdrafts, but they’ll cost you. 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. (See how this compares with overdraft fees at other banks.)
How does Citizens Bank compare?
SoFi Checking and Savings
CIT Bank Platinum Savings
Citizens Online Savings Account
With $0 min. balance for APY
With $5,000 min. balance for APY
With $0.01 min. balance for APY
Earn up to $250 with direct deposit. Terms apply.
at CIT Bank
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.