Citizens Bank Review: Checking, Savings and CDs

Citizens Bank has a strong regional reach but lackluster rates.

Spencer TierneyAugust 21, 2019

Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us. This may influence which products we write about and where and how the product appears on a page. However, this does not influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own.

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 with an extensive network of ATMs and branches. Its rates on savings account and CD rates 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 Green Savings

Citizens Bank Green Savings

3.0

NerdWallet rating 
APY

0.01%

With $0 minimum balance

Rates on the basic Green Savings, which was the account we rated, and premium accounts are below the national average of 0.06%.

But the Green Savings account only requires a minimum daily balance of $200 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 One Deposit Checking

Citizens Bank One Deposit Checking

4.0

NerdWallet rating 
Monthly Fee

$9.99

True to its name, Citizen Bank's One Deposit Checking only requires 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, mostly Northeast and a select few in the Midwest. If you use an ATM out of Citizen Bank's network, the bank charges $3.

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

Banking experience

4.5

NerdWallet rating 

Citizens Bank has more than 1,100 branches across 11 states, mainly in the Northeast and Midwest. The bank rounds off its customer support with a 24/7 call center, online chat and an active Twitter account.

The online experience includes a savings goal program and the ability to compare different product offerings. The mobile app receives average to above average ratings on iOS and Android apps.

Overdraft fees

2.0

NerdWallet rating 

Citizens Bank charges high overdraft fees: $35 per occurrence and up to seven fees per day. This brings the daily maximum to $245, 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 Green Savings

Citizens Bank Green Savings

3.0

NerdWallet rating 
APY

0.01%

With $0 minimum balance

Rates on the basic Green Savings, which was the account we rated, and premium accounts are below the national average of 0.06%.

But the Green Savings account only requires a minimum daily balance of $200 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?

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.