Citizens Access High Yield Savings Account Review 2024

Learn about the Citizens Access Savings Account in our review of the account's fees and interest rates. Compare it to other online savings accounts.
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Editor's Rating
4.1
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Written by Shannon Lee
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Managing Editor
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Those looking for an online bank with few bells and whistles but a competitive rate and a proven track record will want to know more about Citizens Access.

The options are limited with the high-yield savings account offered through a division of Citizens Bank, but the rates might be enough to draw you in.

Here’s what you need to know about Citizens Access, which came onto the scene in 2018.

Citizens Access High Yield Savings Account At-a-Glance

If you're choosing a Citizens Access account, here's what you can expect:

Overall Impression

Citizens Access offers a savings account that stands out among the competition for its highly competitive rates.

This fully online bank offers its fee-free service virtually, with no branches or ATMs, but there is a robust customer service line.

There are no restrictions on location; the bank is available in all 50 states.

Which Banks Have the Best Savings Account Rates?

Savings rates are higher than they’ve been in over 10 years, but if you’re using a traditional, big-name bank to stash your savings, you’re probably missing out on these rates.

Here are our top picks for consumers who want to earn a competitive APY on their savings.

Pros & Cons

It’s nice to have the pros and cons spelled out so that you can determine at a glance if a particular bank is right for you. Here’s what to expect from Citizens Access.

Pros

  • The interest rates are competitive.
  • Customer service is available every day of the week, either by phone or via chat on the bank’s website.
  • It’s possible to open a savings account with only one cent.
  • There is no monthly service fee.
  • There are options for student loans and mortgages through Citizens Access.

Cons

  • As a fully online bank, there are no branches and no ATM access.
  • Savings accounts and CDs are available, but checking accounts are not.
  • Customer service wait times can be lengthy.

Compare to Other Savings Accounts

How does Citizens Access stack up against the other banks vying for your business?

It’s right there in the middle of the pack, bringing perks that are comparable to that of other banks.

Here’s a brief comparison.

Capital One

Capital One 360 Performance Savings offers a competitive interest rate, no minimum balance, and several other banking products, including credit cards.

The mobile app and website are robust, leaning on years of experience with an established bank, just as Citizens Access does with Citizens Bank.

There is no ATM access for savings accounts, and though there are branches, there are only a few hundred scattered across the country. Automated options make savings easier.

Citi

The Citi Accelerate Savings Account is great for those who love online banking but want the option of using Citibank branches to speak to a banker in person.

Though there are monthly service fees, it can be easy to avoid them with a few simple steps. The competitive rate puts Citi on par with places like Citizens Access.

You can combine the savings account with your checking account to serve as overdraft protection.

Barclays

The Barclays Online Savings Account is home to competitive APRs, no minimum deposit and no maintenance fees, a savings assistant to help you manage your money, and the ability for mobile deposit, direct deposit, and easy bank transfers.

There are fees for extra services, such as getting paper statements. There is a cap on what you can deposit each day (checks of up to $5,000 and total deposits of up to $10,000).

American Express®, Member FDIC

Just as with most online banks, American Express® High Yield Savings Account doesn’t come with an ATM card.

There are no minimum balances or deposits required.

Though there aren’t many bells and whistles with this account, there is a competitive savings rate and the option to link up to three external accounts for the best possible management of your cash.

The robust mobile app and website are an expected result of the long history of American Express credit cards.

Who Is Citizens Access High Yield Savings Account For?

This online bank is excellent for those who are comfortable with virtual banking and don’t need ATM access or branches.

If you need to deposit cash frequently or want to link your savings account with other options, such as a checking account, this bank isn’t the one for you. However, Citizens Access offers a no-frills option if you can easily transfer money into the account from other sources and want to earn a competitive interest rate.

Rating the Features

Understanding the features of any bank product can allow you to dig deep into the offerings and decide if it’s right for you. For instance, if mobile banking matters a great deal to you, you’ll need to look for a bank with a robust app. If fees matter, look for a bank that has none.

Here’s what you get through Citizens Access.

Mobile Banking

Citizens Access is an offshoot of parent company Citizens Bank. That means that the website access was already quite impressive before Citizens Access came on the scene.

The mobile app is highly rated and allows easy moving of money and deposits. However, the mobile app lacks budgeting tools, virtual assistants, or other bells and whistles that make most banking apps fun to use.

You also can’t use the app to open an account or dispute transactions; that must be done on the website.

Customer Service and Experience

Though this is an online bank with no branches, there is a strong web presence as well as the option to access customer service via phone. Live representatives are available during weekdays, 6 a.m. to 12 a.m., 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday. (All times are Eastern.)

A chat option is also available during those hours. Keep in mind that you can only use that chat option on the website; it is not available on the app. Any disputes must also be handled through the website.

Fees

Citizens Access requires no monthly fees. It is a fee-free savings account with no surprise fees in the fine print.

Rates

The rates offered by the savings account for Citizens Access are competitive with other banks offering the same products. This is true of both the savings account and the CDs.

Tools and Extras

Citizens Access offers a financial education section of its website, where customers can access a variety of articles on financial literacy. This includes saving and budgeting, student loans and mortgages, and other issues of personal finance.

Access

There are no branches and no ATMs available for Citizens Access customers. You can access your money through online transfers, and you can easily move it from one account to another.

Access through the app or website is 24/7, as is the case with other online banks, though some mobile deposits might not show up until the next business day.

If you can’t transfer your money to an external account, you can request a check be mailed to you.

Safety and Security

Deposits are insured to the FDIC insurance limit of $250,000 per account per depositor. Round-the-clock fraud monitoring and SSL encryption are standard services with these accounts.

Minimum Deposit or Balance Requirement

There is no balance requirement for the savings account, and you can open the account with a minimum of one penny.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is the difference between Citizens Access and Citizens Bank?

Citizens Access is the online division of Citizens Bank. Because the bank uses both names, it’s important to remember to keep your total funds at both banks under the FDIC limit of $250,000 per depositor.

How do I add my spouse to my account?

When you open the account, it must be opened under one name only. This is to help ensure you get your account in place quickly. After the account is open, you can add one joint account holder. Though the primary account holder opens the account, both the primary and the joint account holder can access all money and services.

Are there restrictions on who can open an account?

To open an account, you must be a U.S. citizen aged 18 or older. You can open only a personal savings account; business accounts are not available through Citizens Access but are available through Citizens Bank.

About Author
Shannon Lee
Shannon Lee, a versatile contributor to MoneyRates, is a freelance writer with a passion that spans over two decades. Her extensive writing portfolio encompasses a myriad of topics, ranging from personal finance and home improvement to education, relationships, and medical and health subjects. In addition to her prolific freelance career, Shannon is also a novelist. Shannon’s dedication to providing insightful and informative content makes her a valued voice in the world of personal finance.
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