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First Citizens Bank Review: Checking, High-Yield CDs and Savings

Review of First Citizens Bank's free checking, high-yield CD and savings account.

Headquartered in Raleigh, N.C., First Citizens is one of the largest family-controlled banks in the United States with more than 500 branches and offices in 30 states.

Founded in 1898, First Citizens Bank has a long history of helping individuals and businesses with their financial needs.

First Citizens offers a wide array of general banking services including free checking by enrolling in paperless statements, high-yield certificates of deposit (CDs), and a working capital loan for small businesses.

Quick Overview

First Citizens Bank is best for customers who are comfortable with online as well as in-person banking.

First Citizens Bank Branch Locations

Checking, Savings, Certificates of Deposits are available to residents in the following states:
  • Arizona
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Kansas
  • Maryland
  • Missouri
  • Nebraska
  • Nevada
  • New Mexico
  • North Carolina
  • Oklahoma
  • Oregon
  • South Carolina
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Virginia
  • Washington
  • West Virginia
  • Wisconsin

Well-Rated Mobile Banking App

First Citizen's banking app is rated 4.5 out of 5.0 in the Apple Store and 4.7 out of 5.0 Google Play.

The app's intuitive navigation and clean design make banking tasks simple and enjoyable. Customers can easily access account balances, quick transfers, and bill pay options.

iOS app rating: 4.5/5 stars
Android app rating: 4.6/5 stars

First Citizens Bank Review

Enjoy free digital banking, bill pay and 24/7 mobile deposits.


The Free Checking account requires you to enroll in paperless statements to avoid the monthly fee.
No minimum balance Never worry about maintaining a balance on your free checking account.
Minimum opening deposit $50
Get overdraft protection Choose the right level of overdraft protection coverage for your online checking account.
Easily move your money Pay your bills online or from any device, transfer funds to other accounts and send money with Zelle®.
Spot spending trends Use the Manage My Money trends tool to visualize your spending habits.


Earn a fixed 5.00% APY without the long-term commitment. The 11-Month CD is available exclusively online, you cannot go into the branch to apply.
Minimum opening deposit $5,000
Annual Percentage Yield (APY) Earn 5.00% APY
CD Term 11 Months.
FDIC Insured Deposits are insured up to $250,000 per depositor.
Automatically renew CD accounts are set to automatically renew at maturity. However, you'll have a grace period of 10 calendar days to choose your option.


Working capital business loans can be used to purchase inventory, finance equipment or technology, cover short-term debt or facilitate cash flow.
Loan amount Range from $5,000 to $250,000, and terms from 3 to 24 months.
Experience Businesses must be in operation for at least one year.
Credit score Minimum 600+ score required.
Revenue required Annual revenues of at least $200,000
Business location Business must be U.S.-based in good standing.

Does First Citizens work with Zelle?

Yes. First Citizens Bank works with Zelle as well as other digital payment solutions like Apple Pay, Google Pay and Samsung Pay.

What we like about First Citizens Bank

  • Customer focus. First Citizens Bank has built a reputation for being responsive, knowledgeable, and supportive. Whether you have a question about your account or need assistance with a financial decision, their dedicated customer support team is always there to help.
  • Technology-driven. The online banking platform is intuitive and easy to navigate, making it simple for customers to access their accounts and perform transactions.
  • Competitive rates. The high-yield Certificate of Deposit is a game-changer at 5.0% APY.
  • Community involvement. user-friendly online and mobile banking platform. With features such as mobile check deposit, bill pay, and account alerts, managing your finances on the go has never been easier.

What could improve about First Citizens

  • Limited branch network. While First Citizens does have branches in select states, their physical presence may not be as extensive as some other banks. This could be a disadvantage for customers who prefer face-to-face interactions or need access to in-person banking services.
  • Traditional savings account. The 0.03% APY online savings account rate falls short when compared to high-yield online savings accounts.

Tips for getting the most out of your First Citizens Bank account

To maximize the benefits of banking with First Citizens Bank, here are some tips to consider:

1. Take advantage of their digital banking capabilities: Utilize the online and mobile banking platforms to conveniently manage your accounts, make transactions, and stay informed about your finances.

2. Set up account alerts: Stay on top of your finances by setting up account alerts for things like low balances, large transactions, or bill due dates. This will help you avoid fees and keep your financial goals on track.

3. Explore additional services: First Citizens Bank offers a range of additional services, such as wealth management and insurance solutions. Take the time to explore these offerings and see if they align with your financial needs and goals.

Final takeaway

If you're looking for a bank that combines a long-standing reputation with modern digital banking capabilities, First Citizens Bank could be the right choice for you.

While their limited branch network may be a downside for some customers, their user-friendly online and mobile banking platforms make up for it by providing convenient access to accounts and a range of features to simplify financial management.

Learn More at Quontic Bank

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Best online savings rates

The national savings rate is 0.47% APY. This online bank pays way more.

CIT Bank

Platinum Savings
5.05% APY
Minimum $5,000 balance
No maintenance fees
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Deposits are FDIC insured


5.21% APY
Minimum $1,000 balance
No maintenance fees
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Deposits are FDIC insured

Quontic Bank

4.50% APY
Minimum $100 balance
No maintenance fees
Mobile & Online Banking
Deposits are FDIC insured
Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide the most relevant and current information. However, the information is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be personal financial advice.

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