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AloStar VS Citizens Bank

Which bank is better for you?

  • Financial Rates: 4.0 Star Icon
  • Customer Service: 3.5 Star Icon
  • Website Experience: 3.0 Star Icon
  • Bank Fees: 5.0 Star Icon
No Rate Information
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Pros:

  • Competitive interest rates
  • Low required amounts to open CDs
  • Accounts are entirely online
  • Shorter terms offer competitive rates

Cons:

  • Limited personal accounts offered
  • Customer service not available 24/7
  • No checks or debit cards offered
  • Must link to an external bank account
  • Financial Rates: 1.5 Star Icon
  • Customer Service: 4.0 Star Icon
  • Website Experience: 5.0 Star Icon
  • Bank Fees: 3.5 Star Icon
No Rate Information
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Pros:

  • No set amount to open most accounts
  • Good variety of accounts available
  • Overdraft Pass
  • Can open most accounts online

Cons:

  • Products not available everywhere
  • Accounts have monthly fees
  • Limited CD terms offered
  • Low interest rates for accounts
AloStar Review

AloStar CDs offer competitive interest rates. The interest rates are competitive with other online CDs. The rates are much higher than typical brick and mortar bank rates.

The CDs at AloStar have low required opening amounts. Each of the CDs require $1,000 to open. To earn the competitive interest rates, you must keep $1,000 in the account. There is not a fee if your balance falls below $1,000, but you will not earn interest on the balance.

CDs with AloStar are entirely online. You apply for the CDs online. Once you open an account, everything for the account is online. There are no branch locations. You can reach customer service by phone or email.

Usually with CDs, the longer the term the higher the interest rate. But, with AloStar some shorter terms offer more competitive rates. The 12-month, 18-month, and 24-month CD terms offer the most competitive rates.

There are limited accounts offered through AloStar. The only accounts offered are CDs. AloStar does not offer checking, savings, or money market accounts. The CD terms offered range from three-month to five-year terms.

AloStar customer service is not always available. You can contact customer service through email. Their hours are Monday through Friday from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Eastern Time. On Saturday their hours are 8:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

The AloStar CD accounts do not offer debit cards or checks. The only way to access your money is through electronic transfers. You can transfer money during the grace period or after the CD reaches maturity.

To fund your AloStar CDs you must link the accounts to an external bank account. Once the accounts are linked you can make electronic transfers between the accounts. To avoid a fee, make withdrawals or deposits during the grace period or after the CD reaches maturity.

Read the full AloStar review.

Citizens Bank Review

Checking, savings, and money market accounts do not have required opening amounts. However, to earn the best rates, you must be a Platinum member. A Platinum member has at least $25,000 in Citizen Bank accounts. The basic checking and savings accounts do not require you to be a Platinum member.

Citizens Bank offers a variety of accounts. These accounts include:

  • Four personal checking accounts
  • Three personal money market accounts
  • Four personal savings accounts
  • CD terms of 11, 14, and 24-month CDs
  • IRA accounts
  • Personal credit cards, lending, retirement, and investment options
  • Business savings, checking, and money market accounts
  • Business CDs
  • Credit cards, lending, and investment options for businesses

Checking and money market accounts include $5 Overdraft Pass. If you overdraw your account for $5 or less, there will not be a fee. To avoid other overdraft fees, deposit money into your account as soon as possible. There is no limit to how many overdrafts qualify for the pass.

If you live where Citizens Bank account are available, you can open most personal accounts online. The application is entirely online. To open the College Saver savings account, you need to visit a branch location. Business and IRA account must also be opened in a branch.

Accounts are not available everywhere. Citizens Bank currently operates in 11 states. If you do not live in one of these states, you cannot open an account. Those states are:

  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • Ohio
  • Pennsylvania
  • Rhode Island
  • Vermont

Citizen Bank accounts have fees. The fees range from $3.99 to $25 each month. There are ways to waive the fees. Those included making deposits and having set account balances. The balances range from $2,500 to $25,000, depending on the account. You can waive some money market and savings account fees by opening a Platinum checking account.

There are only three standard CD terms offered through Citizens Bank. They offer 11, 14, and 24-month CDs. The 14-month CD is an online-only account. Each term requires $1,000 to open. Business and IRA CDs are also available.

Most Citizens Bank accounts have low rates. The interest rates compare to typical brick-and-mortar bank rates. The CDs offer slightly higher rates if you also open a Citizens Bank checking account. Even those higher rates are not competitive with other online accounts.

Read the full Citizens Bank review.

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