Citizens Bank, a subsidiary of RBS Citizens Financial, has replaced its basic checking account, Green Checking, with a new checking account that has a different fee-waiver requirement. Additionally, the bank launched another checking account that offered extra features, but it comes with a low, unavoidable monthly fee.
According to a Citizens Bank customer service representative, the Green Checking account is no longer being offered to new customers, but existing customers are grandfathered into the account.
The Green Checking has a $9.99 monthly fee that is waived when customers make five payment transactions per month or maintain an average daily balance of $1,500.
The two new checking accounts are One Deposit Checking and Value Checking.
At a price point similar to the Green Checking account, the One Deposit Checking Account has a $9.99 monthly fee that can be waived with a single deposit of any amount per month. Qualifying deposits include direct deposits, cash deposits, check deposits and incoming external bank transfers, said the Citizens Bank rep.
The fee-waiver policy of the One Deposit Checking account appears more attractive than the Green Checking account policy because even a very small deposit or an incoming transfer from another bank account will be enough to avoid the monthly fee.
Customers can set up automatic transfers to ensure that the monthly fee is always waived.
The Value Checking account has a fixed $3.99 monthly fee and customers get free Citizens Bank-design checks, free paper statements (normally $2 to $3) and one non-Citizens ATM fee waived per month (normally $3, ATM operator may still impose a surcharge).
Although many consumers may dread the idea of paying a monthly fee for a checking account, the perks of the Value Checking account can make up for it. For instance, those who often write paper checks, prefer paper statements and tend to use out-of-network ATMs will recoup the cost of the $3.99 and possibly end up saving money on fees.
The above changes also apply to the checking account lineup of Charter One Bank, also a subsidiary of RBS Citizens.
The new checking accounts are part of a “Bank Better” initiative by RBS Citizens to provide simplicity, transparency and enhancements to its consumer banking business.
In November 2013, RBS Citizens stopped charging overdraft fees on transactions of $5 or less, simplified the posting order of transactions, and decluttered fee schedules and account agreements.
An RBS Citizens spokesperson did not reply to a request for comment.