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First Citizens Bank

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LAST UPDATED: March 19th, 2021

First Citizens Bank & Trust Company is a state-chartered banking institution established in 1858 and headquartered in Raleigh, North Carolina. The publicly-traded company serves customers with financial products and services in more than 500 branches across 18 states as well as the District of Columbia. Its services include personal and commercial banking, investment services, insurance, and wealth management. The financial services company has more than $31 billion in total assets. First Citizens offers multiple Visa credit card options with various distinct rates and benefits.

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The Good

  • Multiple credit card options
  • Benefits and features
  • Digital banking services

Multiple Credit Card Options

First Citizens offers four types of credit card options for customers to choose from. The First Citizens Rewards option is split into three separate categories based on the particular self-explanatory benefits these three cards provide: Earn Rewards card, Accelerate Your Earnings Card, and a Get Unlimited Cash Back card. The fourth card is called Smart Options and the company claims it offers the lowest APR available in the marketplace. All cards feature the following benefits:
  • Digital banking account access
  • Visa Checkout
  • Guaranteed fraud protection
  • Digital wallet
  • Cell phone protection
  • Zero percent introductory APR for 12 months on balance transfers
  • No annual fee

Benefits and Features

The Earn Rewards card offers one point for every dollar spent on qualified purchases and the Accelerate Your Earnings card offers 1.5 points on every dollar spent. The Get Unlimited Cash Back card provides 1 percent back on every dollar spent. Rewards can be redeemed for cash, statement credit, travel perks, digital merchandise, and gift cards. Multiple cardholders can pool their point earnings together to accelerate reward redemption.

Digital Banking Services

First Citizens offers both online and mobile banking services for cardholders. First Citizens Digital Banking members are able to manage all their financial accounts from any financial institution all in one location. Customers are able to review statement transactions, transfer funds, and set up automatic payments. Account holders can also set up custom account and security alerts to notify them of all transaction activity or remind them of any upcoming bill payments that may be due.

The Bad

  • APRs
  • Additional fees
  • Service limitations


First Citizens does not offer a zero percent introductory APR offer on purchases, which is a feature that is offered by many other credit card companies. APRs for the company's cards can range from 8.24 to 22.24 percent on purchases and balance transfers. Cash advance APRs range from 22.49 to 25.49 percent. These rates are considerably high compared to other marketplace offerings, especially for cardholders with excellent credit histories.

Additional Fees

A $25 late fee will be charged on any late payments ten or more days past due and returned payments will be assessed a $25 charge. Balance transfer and cash advance transaction fees will cost either $5 or three percent per total transaction amount, whichever amount is greater. The financial services company also charges a two percent foreign transaction fee. There is a maximum one dollar fee on balances that are not paid in full each month.

Service Limitations

The company's financial services are only available to consumers in 18 states. Consumers should check the corporate website for service branches located near them before attempting to apply for credit card eligibility. Customers should carefully read all contract terms and conditions which are fully disclosed on the corporate website as well. Unused reward points will expire on select cards within three years and customers need to acquire at least $25 worth of points before they can redeem earned rewards. Customers can select to accelerate point earnings with no expiration date, but they will have to pay a $50 annual fee to obtain this benefit. Customers are only allowed to acquire a maximum of 10,000 points with the Earn Rewards Card in any given month. Additional restrictions may apply to certain rewards.

The Bottom Line

First Citizens Bank offers consumers several Visa credit card options with varying features, benefits, and rates. These cards feature option such as lower interest rates or reward redemption through the accumulation of points acquired through eligible purchases. The cards also feature numerous Visa benefits such as guaranteed fraud protection, Visa Checkout, and cell phone protection. First Citizens offers numerous other financial products and services as well. Cardholders are able to manage their credit card accounts through 24/7 online banking systems. The company's financial products and services are only available in select states. APRs and other interest charges are a bit high compared to some other marketplace offerings. Consumers considering debt consolidation may not find these credit cards suitable for their situation due to more expensive balance transfer fees. There are numerous restrictions and rules regarding reward redemption as well. In order to lift many of these restrictions, the company charges additional fees.
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