Backed by Citizens Bank, an institution that’s been around for 190 years, Citizens Access is an online-only bank whose mission is to help consumers have a more seamless banking experience.
Considering many traditional banks pay a very low interest rate on savings accounts — we’re talking a national average of 0.39% (as of May 9, 2023), so mere pennies — the Citizens Access Online Savings Account looks pretty attractive, considering its high APY (annual percentage yield) and low-fee structure.
But is opening this online savings account in line with your personal finance goals? You’re in luck because we’ve done the homework for you — keep reading this Citizens Access review to learn about account features and the pros and cons before you decide whether this online bank account is right for you.
Featured Savings Accounts
for individual accounts and high APY
- Citizens Access Online Savings Account basics
- What we like about the Citizens Access Online Savings Account
- What the Citizens Access Online Savings Account could improve
- Compare earnings with the Citizens Access Online Savings Account vs. a traditional savings account
- How to open a Citizens Access Online Savings Account
- How to withdraw money from a Citizens Access Online Savings Account
- Other Citizens Access Online Savings Account fees
- Citizens Access Online Savings Account customer service
- FAQs about the Citizens Access Online Savings Account
- Bottom line
Citizens Access Online Savings Account basics
|APY||4.50% (as of May 9, 2023)|
|Minimum balance for APY||$5,000|
|Minimum deposit to open account||$5,000|
|Monthly maintenance fees||None|
|Transactions per month||Up to six withdrawals per month per federal regulation|
What we like about the Citizens Access Online Savings Account
- High APY: You can earn an APY of 4.50% (as of May 9, 2023). That’s far above the national average and means this product qualifies to be called a high-yield savings account.
- No fees: Yup, you read that right. Citizens Access claims that customers won’t be charged fees for its online savings account.
- FDIC insured: Your deposit could be insured for up to $250,000 by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. FDIC insurance lets you rest assured knowing your funds are safe.
- Ease of use: According to the Citizens Access website, you can open an account in as little as five minutes. This online savings account works in a straightforward and simple way to deposit and withdraw money.
- Mobile banking: Citizens Access offers customers mobile deposit when you log into your account online using the mobile app on your smartphone. Once you’re in, follow the on-screen prompts to do so.
What the Citizens Access Online Savings Account could improve
- No ATM access: The only way to make deposits and withdrawals is through online transfers (or by mailing in a check or making a mobile deposit). In other words, if you need fast access to your cash, you’re out of luck.
- Can’t deposit cash: The only way to add money to your online savings account is to transfer funds from an external linked account or deposit a check. If you regularly need to make cash deposits, you’ll have to first deposit it into a secondary account, then transfer the funds to Citizens Access online.
- Limited account options: If you’re the kind of person who wants to do all your banking in one place, Citizens Access may not be for you. That’s because Citizens Access only offers savings accounts and certificates of deposit (CD accounts) — no checking accounts as of yet. However, its CD rates are also higher rates than what other banks offer.
- High balance requirements: Opening a bank account with an initial deposit of $5,000 might be out of reach for some. And if your daily balance falls below that threshold, you’ll earn a lower interest rate. If your balance is less than $5,000 for an extended period of time, Citizens Access could even close your account.
Compare earnings with the Citizens Access Online Savings Account vs. a traditional savings account
A Citizens Access Online Savings Account can nab you more interest you’d earn with a traditional savings account, and that can quickly add up to a pretty big difference.
Let’s take a look at what that rate looks like in the real world. For example, say you make a $5,000 deposit, and you don’t make any additional deposits afterward. You can earn a 4.50% (as of May 9, 2023) APY from Citizens Access, or a 0.39% (as of May 9, 2023) APY from a traditional bank. As Citizens Access compounds interest daily for its Online Savings Account, we used daily compound interest to arrive at this comparison:
|Traditional savings account
0.39% (as of May 9, 2023)
|Citizens Access online savings account
4.50% (as of May 9, 2023)
|After one year||$5,019.50||$5,225|
|After three years||$5,058.73||$5,705.83|
|After 10 years||$5,198.46||$7,764.85|
How to open a Citizens Access Online Savings Account
To open a Citizens Access Online savings account, start by heading to its online application form.
First, select which type of account you want and the amount you want to deposit. After entering your personal details — such as your name, address, and Social Security number — you’ll need to accept the account terms. Then finalize your login information by creating a username and password.
At this point, you can fund your account. To do so, you can make an online funds transfer from an account with another U.S. financial institution, deposit a check using Citizens Access’ mobile website, or mail a check to the correct address. Citizens Access also has the ability to set up direct deposit if you want to have your paycheck automatically deposited to this account. There are no wire transfers available.
How to withdraw money from a Citizens Access Online Savings Account
You can withdraw funds by conducting an online transfer. Once you log into your account, head to the transfer funds option, select the amount you want transferred, and confirm the details. It can take up to three business days for the funds to arrive in your external account.
Alternately, you can call customer service at 1-888-201-6505 to ask for a check to be mailed to you.
There are no wire transfers available.
Other Citizens Access Online Savings Account fees
|Stop payment fee||N/A|
Citizens Access Online Savings Account customer service
Since this is an online-only bank, you can’t go to a physical branch to speak to customer service or get help.
However, you can contact Citizens Access by calling 1-888-201-6505. Customer service is available Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. ET, Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. ET, and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. ET.
You can also contact Citizens Access by sending a secure message once you’re logged into your account. You should receive a reply within 24 to 48 business hours.
FAQs about the Citizens Access Online Savings Account
Is the Citizens Access Online Savings Account safe?
Citizens Access has taken proactive measures to ensure the security of its website and your private information. It offers the same protections you’d see with a traditional bank account. For example, the Citizens Access website sends and receives information with Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) encryption and offers two-factor authentication to protect your passwords.
It also provides 24/7 fraud monitoring — it could freeze your account or alert you of suspicious activity if Citizens Access thinks there’s any irregular, illegal, or fraudulent activities going on. Your deposits are also FDIC insured (see below), so there’s little risk you’ll lose your funds.
Can I open a Citizens Bank savings account online?
Yes, you can open a Citizens Access account online. Citizen Access is a division of Citizens Bank and claims it makes the process simple and fast and that you can complete the application process in as little as five minutes. All you do is select the product you want, enter your personal information, agree to the terms and conditions, create an online account, and fund your new savings account.
Is there a minimum balance?
Yes, there is a minimum opening deposit and balance you’ll need for a Citizens Access Online Savings Account. You will need to start with a minimum of $5,000.
Is Citizens Access FDIC-insured?
Of course! Citizens Access accounts are FDIC-insured up to $250,000, as required by law. Something to keep in mind is that both Citizens Bank and Citizens Access count as the same entity when it comes to calculating FDIC insurance deposits and insurance. That means if you already have an account at Citizens Bank, you’ll want to make sure how much you’ll be insured with Citizens Access when you open an account.
The Citizens Access Online Savings Account offers a lot of perks — namely, no fees and a high APY. If you’re looking to boost your savings rate or need a low-fee online savings account, this is a great choice if you enjoy online banking. Since Citizens Access is an online-only bank, you can make deposits and withdrawals 24/7 from the convenience of your own home. Citizens Access also offers CD ladders with high rates of interest if you want to expand your savings portfolio.
However, the high minimum deposits and lack of ATM access might be off-putting to some. If that's the case, then you might want to continue comparison shopping.
Start by checking out our list of the best savings accounts of 2023 and if you're also after other financial products, be sure to check out our list of the best banks as well.
Disclaimer: All rates and fees are accurate as of May 9, 2023.
Western Alliance Bank Benefits
- 5.05% APY high-yield savings account
- Interest is compounded daily and posted to your account monthly
- Trusted, award-winning financial institution with experienced bankers who put you first
- FDIC insured, no fees, $1 minimum deposit