First Citizens Bank Review 2022

Are you looking for a free checking account and/or a free online savings account (with paperless statements to make your life clutter-free)? First Citizens Bank has you covered. Check out my First Citizens Bank review to learn more!

Who is First Citizens Bank?

First Citizens has been helping families and businesses make more of their finances for more than 120 years.

It was founded in North Carolina in 1898 as the Bank of Smithfield with just $10,000 of capital. At that time, they were Johnston County’s sole bank and served primarily agricultural customers.

In the 1970s, First Citizens opened branches across North Carolina. By 1974, their assets surpassed $1 billion.

In 1994, First Citizens began expanding to other states, first in West Virginia.

Today, First Citizens Bank is one of the largest family-controlled banks in the U.S., servicing residents in North Carolina, South Carolina, Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Maryland, Missouri, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia and Wisconsin. Of course, with a national online footprint, they can service more customers and share their expertise beyond their branch network. You don’t have to worry about not being able to access your information if you are out of state.

With the CIT merger planned for the near future, First Citizens will be the 20th largest bank in the country with over 100 billion in assets.

First Citizens Bank review: What products do they offer?

First Citizens offer a full range of banking services, most notably their checking accounts and online savings accounts. Below are short descriptions for each of them:

Free Checking account

Make your life easy with First Citizens’ simplest personal checking account!

This checking account has the following features:

  • No monthly fees when you enrol in paperless statements
  • No minimum balance
  • You can open with as little as $50
  • Free digital and mobile banking with alerts and bill pay
  • Deposit checks on your mobile for free
  • Free use of Zelle® to send and receive money to people you know
  • Use Digital Banking’s free Manage My Money feature to view First Citizens and non-First Citizens accounts in one place, plus you’ll have access to budgeting tools and more.
  • No-fee channel access: The user can manage the account digitally, but also at a branch or ATM at no charge.
  • A free debit card that users can add to their mobile device for Apple, Google or Samsung digital wallet access
  • Link Free Checking account to a First Citizens Savings or Checkline Reserve line of credit for Overdraft Protection

Premier Checking account

You can also upgrade to a Premier Checking account and earn some interest with the money you deposit.

The monthly fee is usually $18, but it can be reduced to $0 if you meet just one of the qualifiers below:

  • $5,000 combined daily balance on select accounts (Premier Checking, Together Card, Regular Savings, Bonus Savings, Online Savings, Tiered Money Market Savings, Premium Tiered Money Market Savings, CDs, IRAs or an Investor Services Account)
  • $4,000 in monthly ACH direct deposits
  • EquityLine of at least $25,000
  • $10,000+ original consumer loan (new or used auto, light or heavy truck, boat, aircraft, unsecured personal loan, or mortgage [excludes mortgages that First Citizens does not retain servicing]).

This account requires a minimum opening deposit of $100. You can enjoy earning interest and preferred rates on EquityLines and CDs.

Prestige checking account

Finally, you can upgrade the account further to a Prestige checking account. This is another interest-bearing personal checking account that offers the best features.

The monthly fee is $25, but it can be waived if you meet any of the four qualifiers:

  • $25,000 combined daily balance on any First Citizens deposit account
  • $6,500 in monthly ACH direct deposits
  • EquityLine of at least $100,000
  • $25,000+ original consumer loan

This account also requires a minimum deposit of $100.

Not sure which account to pick? I recommend that you start with the Free Checking account. You can always upgrade to either a Premier or a Prestige later on. Open a First Citizens Free Checking account today!

Free Online Savings account

In addition to checking accounts, First Citizens Bank also offers savings accounts.

Their simplest account is a basic interest-bearing personal savings account. It gives you convenient access with no conditions. Not to mention it is completely free!

Here are the key features of this account:

  • No monthly fees
  • No minimum balance
  • Open with as little as $50
  • Interest-bearing with daily compounding
  • 2 free withdrawals or transfers per month. $3 for each thereafter.
  • You can link your Online Savings to your First Citizens checking account for overdraft protection
  • Free digital banking with the mobile app so you can monitor your account
  • No-fee channel access: You can access your account digitally, but also at a branch or ATM at no charge.

Money Market & Certificates of Deposit (CDs)

Other than the simple online savings account, First Citizens also offer Money Market & CDs. These accounts offer higher interest rates, but require a minimum deposit of at least $500. If you are looking to build up your savings habits, the free online savings account is your best bet!

The Signup Process

The sign-up process is very straightforward. Here are the steps. I am also going to include some pictures to walk you through the process visually.

If you want to open a Free Checking account:

  1. Head to First Citizens Bank. This link will lead you directly to the sign-up page for the Free Checking account. No need for more googling!
  2. Answer the questions and click on “Get Started”. You will then be re-directed to a new page to enter in your name, email address, Date of Birth, etc.
Free Citizens Bank review free checking account

If you want to open a free Online Savings account:

  1. Head to First Citizens Bank. This link will lead you directly to the sign-up page for the Online Savings account.
  2. Answer the questions and click on “Get Started”. You will then be re-directed to a new page to enter in your name, email address, Date of Birth, etc.
Free Citizens Bank online savings account

Please note that to open an account with First Citizens Bank online, you must be at least 18 years old, a US citizen or US resident alien and reside within a region First Citizens Bank serves (North Carolina, South Carolina, Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Maryland, Missouri, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia and Wisconsin).

First Citizens Bank Review: How do I communicate with the bank if I have any issues?

Being able to communicate with your bank is important. The bank has your money, after all!

You can contact their toll-free number at 1-888-323-4732. Their automated system is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Their customer service reps are available every day from 7 am to 11 pm ET.

If you have questions about new accounts, you can contact them at 1-877-532-2669 Monday to Friday, 8 am to 8 pm ET.

You can head to their contact page for more details.

Of course, you can always go into a branch for an in-person discussion.

First Citizens Bank Review: Why should I bank with First Citizens Bank?

First Citizens Bank is convenient.

With 24/7 online access, you can check your account anytime, anywhere.

Your funds are secure.

First Citizens Bank is a member of FDIC. This means that your funds are eligible for deposit insurance.

Is First Citizens Bank safe? The answer is a resounding “Yes”.

Signing up is super easy.

Just head to First Citizens Bank (for the checking account), or here for the savings account. If you want to open both, either link will work. You can sign up within minutes.

Signing up is completely free for Free Checking account or Online Savings account

No hidden fees. Enough said.

Is First Citizens Bank for me?

Here is a simple FAQ to help you decide if First Citizens is for you:

Do I live in any one of the following states?

As of today, First Citizens offers services in the following states:
North Carolina, South Carolina, Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Maryland, Missouri, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia and Wisconsin.
You have to be a resident of any of the above states to be eligible.

If you live in Canada, I recommend that you check out EQ Bank.

Am I looking for a free, convenient and simple solution for my banking needs?

If you are, the Free Checking account and/or the Online Savings account offered by First Citizens Bank are certainly worth checking out.

Final Words on First Citizens Bank

By simply taking some time and making a few clicks, you can enjoy the convenience and interest that First Citizens Bank has to offer. Not to mention that that offer a free checking account and a free savings account if you sign up for paperless statements! Is First Citizens Bank worth it if you want to give it a try? Definitely. It is a secure place to park your money and to reach your savings goal faster. You can get the most out of your money with no monthly fees and no minimum balances.

Open a First Citizens Free Checking account and/or Online Savings account today!

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