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California First National Bank VS Citizens Bank

Which bank is better for you?

  • Financial Rates: 1.0 Star Icon
  • Customer Service: 3.5 Star Icon
  • Website Experience: 2.5 Star Icon
  • Bank Fees: 3.0 Star Icon
No Rate Information
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Pros:

  • Reimbursement of ATM fees
  • Competitive interest rates on accounts
  • Interest rates are not tiered
  • Free first order of checks with checking

Cons:

  • Not a wide variety of accounts
  • High opening required amounts
  • Accounts have monthly fees
  • Not all CDs offer competitive rates
  • 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
California First National Bank Review

You can withdraw money from any ATMs with the specific “Plus” logo. If you withdraw money from another ATM, you are reimbursed for the fees charged. CalFirst will reimburse up to $6.00 each statement cycle in ATM fees.

Most CalFirst accounts offer competitive interest rates. The interest rates are not tiered, so you earn the highest rates offered on any balance in the account. Interest is paid monthly on the actual daily balance.

The interest rates for CalFirst accounts are not tiered. Any amount you have in their accounts earns the competitive interest rates. You do not have to have a certain amount in the account to earn the most competitive rates.

The first order of checks is free when you open an interest checking account. You get an ATM card when you open an interest checking account. Free online bill pay comes with each CalFirst checking account opened.

CalFirst does not have a wide variety of accounts. No business accounts are available, only personal deposit accounts. One money market account and savings account are available. There is an interest checking and one regular checking account. CalFirst only offers five different CD terms.

CalFirst accounts have high opening amounts. The money market account and CDs require $5,000 to open. The interest checking account requires $2,500 to open. The savings account and regular checking account both require $1,000 to open.

The accounts at CalFirst all have a monthly fee. The fees range from $10 to $20 a month, depending on the account you open. Waive the fee by keeping a set amount in CalFirst accounts. You can also have a combined balance between a variety of CalFirst accounts.

Not all the CD terms offer competitive rates. The most competitive rates are the three-month, six-month, and the one-year terms. The two-year and three-year terms have interest rates much lower than the other terms. Regular CDs require $5,000 to open. The IRA CDs require $2,000 to open. The only fees are if you withdraw the money before the maturity date.

Read the full California First National Bank 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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