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By Roy Rasmussen Updated on January 18, 2022

Our Citizens Bank Review: Business Services, Pros and Cons

Is Citizens Bank a good fit for your small business needs? We’ll help you explore your options in this Citizens Bank review. 

First, we’ll provide an overview of Citizens Bank and its pros and cons. Then we’ll go into more detail on their business services. We’ll cover their checking and savings account options, credit card and loan products, point of sale financing service, investment and benefits resources and cash-flow management tools. Use this information to help you decide whether Citizens Bank is the right choice for your business.

Citizens bank review: business services, pros and cons.

Citizens Bank: An Overview

Based in Providence, R.I. with roots dating back to 1828, Citizens Bank is a brand of Citizens Financial Group, a major regional bank. They operate mainly in New England and the Mid-Atlantic states, with a growing presence in the Midwest. They have over 1,000 branches, including locations in:

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

They’re most active in Massachusetts and Pennsylvania, where they have more locations than any other bank. They rank in or near the top 10 banks in Ohio, Michigan and New York. Nationally, in terms of assets, they ranked sixteenth among U.S. banks in 2021. Their small business services include:

  • Checking, savings and investment accounts
  • Business credit cards and loans
  • Point-of-sale financing services
  • Investment and benefits resources
  • Cash-flow management tools

Their site includes educational resources on small business topics and tools for calculating loans, leases and working capital.

Pros and Cons ✔ Physical presence ✔ Extensive services ✔ Point-of-sale financing ✔ Benefits programs ✔ Insurance offerings X Branch locations limited to specific locales X Interest rates not exceptional X Subpar customer service Alt-Text: The pros and cons of citizens Bank for business.

Citizens Bank Pros and Cons

Citizens Bank’s presence in certain states makes it accessible to business owners located in these areas who prefer doing their banking in person. They provide essential business banking services, including checking and savings accounts, credit cards and loans and lines of credit. They also include some specialized business banking services not typical of all banks, such as point-of-sale financing support, benefits programs and business insurance.

On the con side, Citizens Bank’s physical accessibility is limited to certain states. The interest rates on their savings, credit card and loan products aren’t particularly exceptional compared to online competitors. Citizens Bank reviews on sites such as the Better Business Bureau include a number of complaints. Most of these revolve around customer service issues, such as long phone wait times. We recommend that with Citizens Bank or any other bank, you should develop a relationship with a contact at a local branch who can assist you directly.

Citizens Bank Small Business Account Options

Citizens Bank business account services include:

  • Business checking account services, including accounts allowing up to 200 transactions per month with no maintenance fees and accounts with up to 500 transactions per month for a $25 Citizens Bank checking account fee
  • Business savings accounts
  • Business money market accounts
  • Business certificate of deposit (CD) accounts

The details for savings, money market and CD services vary by branch location.

Citizens Bank Business Credit Cards

Citizens Bank offers business credit card options:

  • Everyday Points Business Mastercard: 0% introductory annual percentage rate (APR) for first 6 months, followed by 11.24% to 21.24%, with 2 points for every $1 in purchases, up to 3.5% back in rewards when you spend $5,000 in your first 90 days and 1% back thereafter, with options of redeeming for travel, cash back and other choices
  • Business Platinum Mastercard: 0% introductory APR for first 6 months, followed by 8.24% to 19.24%

The Everyday Points Business Mastercard is for businesses that prioritize rewards points, while the Business Platinum Mastercard has a lower rate for companies that need to carry a balance each month. Neither card has an annual fee.

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Citizens Bank Loan Options

Citizens Bank offers a variety of small business financing products, including:

  • Business lines of credit starting up to $250,000, with $150 in annual fees for lines of $50,000 to $100,000 and 0.3% annual fees for higher amounts
  • Business flex loans of $10,000 to $150,000, with 6 months to draw from a line of credit before it becomes a fixed-rate term loan
  • Equipment flex loans of $150,000 to $500,000, with 12 months to draw from a line of credit before it becomes a fixed-rate term loan
  • Term loans of up to $250,000, with fixed-rate and variable-rate options and terms up to 7 years (84 months)
  • Business mortgages with fixed APRs, terms of 5 to 10 years, amortization from 5 to 25 years and fixed monthly payments of principal plus interest or flexible monthly payments

Term loan decisions are rendered within 2 to 3 days — loans up to $150,000 qualify for expedited processing.

Citizens Bank Point-of-Sale Financing Services

Citizens Bank’s Citizens Pay service provides point-of-sale financing, allowing customers to buy now and pay later through layaway purchases. Citizens Pay supports omnichannel integration to make technical development easier and give customers a variety of payment options.

Citizens Bank Investment and Benefits Resources

Citizens Bank supports small businesses with investment and benefits programs for business owners, companies and employees. For investment, Citizens Bank offers both individual wealth management services and cash investment options.

The employee benefits Citizens Bank offers, include:

  • Retirement plan options
  • Free-on-site workshops with banking experts
  • Personal financial reviews
  • Preferred rates, cash bonuses and rewards

Citizens Bank also provides insurance products for both companies and employees, including:

  • Key business insurance
  • Life insurance for key personnel
  • Long-term care insurance
  • Business overhead protection to cover expenses if a business owner becomes disabled
  • Buy/sell funding to provide for smooth ownership transfer in case of a disruptive event such as the death of a business partner

Signing up for these services requires requesting an appointment with an adviser.

Citizens Bank Cash-Flow Management Tools

Citizens Bank provides small business customers with a number of resources to improve cash flow management. These include:

  • Electronic deposit services to save time making deposits
  • Disbursement services for paying employees and vendors
  • Collection services
  • Information services to see an overview of your account data
  • Investment services to help maintain optimal liquidity
  • International banking and foreign exchange support

These services are designed to help businesses sustain cash flow for the smooth running of daily operations.

How Does Citizens Bank Stack Up?

Citizens Bank has a strong presence in New England, the Mid-Atlantic states and the Midwest. For businesses located in those areas, they can be a provider of basic business banking services, as well as certain advanced services such as point-of-sale financing support and benefits support. However, their interest rates aren’t especially competitive, and their online customer service may be subject to slow wait times and other issues.

If your business is located near one of their branches, you might consider trying their services, but if you’re looking for places to invest and grow your money, if you’re trying to find high-reward credit cards or if you’re seeking competitive loan products, you might wish to check out other options.

Roy is a respected, published author on topics including business coaching, small business management and business automation as well as an expert business plan writer and strategist.
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