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Only you know how much money you have available to spend. Remember to consider the outstanding items listed above in making your spending decisions.
You can find your Available Balance online from a computer, mobile device, ATM, phone or by visiting a branch.
Check your Account History in Online Banking to see your Available Balance. You can also find your Available Balance at the ATM, by phone, on your mobile device or by visiting a branch.
Your Available Balance does not reflect checks you've written that have not yet been cashed, Online Bill Payments you have scheduled that have not yet been made or pending pre-authorized debits (e.g. health club dues automatically debited from your account at a certain time each month). You can find your Available Balance online from a computer, mobile device, an ATM, phone or by visiting a branch.
How and when your Available Balance is affected by Online Bill Payment transactions depends on the bill payment method used. There are two possible methods that may be used to make your payment.
The bill payment service automatically determines which method to use to send funds on your behalf to your payee to pay your bills. The service sends funds to arrive as close as reasonably possible to the payment date you select. In some instances, if the payment is sent by Laser Draft, the payment may be received by the payee and subtracted from your account prior to the payment date selected. Regardless of your selected payment date, you must always have the required Available Balance in your account on the night the bill payment posts to cover this transaction, and any other transactions that post that night, to avoid overdrawing your account.
Sue makes a $490 deposit with a bank teller on Monday morning. Here's a breakdown of her deposit's availability:
Funds Availability is when money from a deposit into your account becomes available for your use. Different types of deposits—cash, direct deposit, checks—become available at different times.
Available for same day withdrawals
Available to pay checks and purchases that post to your account that night (and next day withdrawals)
Available for next business day withdrawals, and to pay checks and purchases that post to your account the next night
1Cash deposited at our ATM is available for immediate withdrawal.
Business Day: A business day is any day other than a Saturday, Sunday or legal holiday (if the holiday falls on a weekend, the holiday is considered to be the following Monday).
You can find your deposit availability in the Account History section in Online Banking. Transaction History displays the full amount of your deposit immediately. However, the full amount of your deposit may not be included in your Available Balance. If part of that deposit is unavailable due to our Funds Availability Policy you will see it in the "Outstanding Authorizations and Funds on Hold" section. The funds will be added to your Available Balance based on the Funds Availability schedule noted above.
Our Funds Availability Policy governs the time between when you make a deposit and when you may use the funds.
Cash deposits made at our ATM are available for immediate withdrawal. Cash deposits and some check deposits made before 10:00 PM local time are available to pay checks and purchases that post to your account that night. These checks include Citizens Bank checks and Federal Government checks. Non-Citizens Bank checks are available the next business day. All cash and checks deposited at our ATMs after 10:00 PM local time are considered deposited on the next business day.
For example: Ted deposits a non-Citizens Bank check at an ATM on Monday at 10:30 PM. The deposit is considered made on Tuesday and is available on Wednesday.
A Citizens Bank check is a check written from the account of a Citizens Bank customer. A non-Citizens Bank check is a check written from the account of a customer at another bank.
Direct deposits will initially display on the Account History page of Online Banking when they come in to your account during the day. That evening, once the transaction is posted to your account the name is updated to show the respective payer of the transaction (for example: Acme Co. Payroll).
At Citizens you can bank every day of the week; however certain activities, like deposits, are only processed on business days. A business day is any day other than a Saturday, Sunday or legal holiday (if the holiday falls on a weekend, the holiday is considered to be the following Monday).
For example: Maria makes a deposit on Saturday. The deposit is considered made on the next business day, which is Monday. If Monday is a legal holiday (such as Memorial Day) then the deposit is considered made on Tuesday. Maria's funds will be available based on our Funds Availability Policy from the business day the deposit is considered made.
When you use your debit card and enter your PIN, the exact amount of the purchase is immediately removed from your Available Balance. You can see this "POS Debit" transaction in Online Banking.
Regardless of when you make your purchase, you must always have the required Available Balance in your account on the night the debit card transaction posts to cover this transaction and any other transactions that post that night, to avoid overdrawing your account.
When you use your debit card without your PIN:
Exception: Debit card authorization holds for pay-at-the-pump gas stations are released within 2 hours rather than up to three business days.
During the time between the transaction and the final settlement request or hold expiration, you will see the debit card authorization hold in the "Outstanding Authorizations and Funds on Hold" section of the Account History page of Online Banking.
On Monday, Carlos has a $100 Available Balance and uses his debit card and enters his PIN to buy groceries at noon for $30.
His Available Balance will be immediately reduced by $30, resulting in an Available Balance of $70. Citizens will pay the merchant and will subtract the final transaction for $30 from Carlos' account that night.
If Carlos made his purchase after 7:30 PM Eastern Time, his Available Balance would still be reduced immediately but he would not see the final transaction post until Tuesday night. This is because transactions made after 7:30 PM Eastern Time are considered made on the next Business Day.
On Monday, Diana has a $100 Available Balance and uses her debit card without her PIN to buy groceries for $30.
The merchant requests authorization for the $30 purchase from the bank. Once approved, her Available Balance will be immediately reduced by a $30 debit card authorization hold. The merchant sends the final settlement request on Wednesday. During Wednesday night's processing, Citizens will pay the merchant, release the debit card authorization hold, and subtract the purchase from Diana's account.
View information on debit card authorization holds during the weekend.
Diana can see the status of the purchases in the "Outstanding Authorizations and Funds on Hold" section in her Account History in Online Banking.
At certain merchants (e.g., hotels, restaurants, gas stations, car rental agencies), the amount of your purchase is not always known in advance. In these cases, the merchant estimates the authorization amount, which results in a hold that may be less or greater than the exact amount of your final purchase. Once the merchant settles the final amount of the transaction, the hold is released from your account and is replaced by the actual purchase amount.
On Monday, Andrea checks into a hotel, putting her stay on her debit card. She has $575 in her account.
The hotel requests authorization for $250 and that amount is immediately removed from her Available Balance. On Tuesday Andrea checks out of the hotel and pays her bill using her debit card without her PIN. Her final charge is $275.
The hotel settles this transaction Tuesday night. The hold is removed from Andrea's account and the final charge is subtracted, decreasing Andrea's Available Balance further by $25.
On Tuesday, Andrea pumps gas and pays using her debit card without her PIN. She has a $300 Available Balance in her account.
The gas station submits its standard amount for authorization (ranging from $1 to $100 depending on the station). In Andrea's case the station submits a $100 authorization request. This $100 authorization is immediately removed from Andrea's Available Balance with a debit card authorization hold. Andrea pumps $40 worth of gas.
The $100 hold will be released within two hours of the gas purchase and Andrea's Available Balance may appear larger than she might otherwise expect until the $40 transaction is subtracted—she should consider this money spent. The final $40 amount will be subtracted from her account after we receive the final settlement request.
Debit card transactions made during the day can be seen in your Account History in Online Banking.
A debit card authorization hold is the amount immediately deducted from your Available Balance while we await the final settlement amount from the merchant. See Using your debit card without your PIN.
Citizens uses the same process to apply or maintain debit card authorization holds over a weekend as during the week. However, because Citizens does not post transactions on Saturday, Sunday or holidays (i.e. not business days), holds will not be removed until the next business day. For example: On Thursday, Diana has $70 Available Balance and uses her debit card at 12:00PM to buy a shirt for $40. Diana signs a receipt for her purchase.The merchant requests authorization for the $40 from the bank. Once approved, her Available Balance will be immediately reduced by a $40 debit card authorization hold. Because Citizens does not post transactions on Saturday or Sunday (i.e., not business days), Citizens maintains the debit card authorization hold on Diana's account until Monday evening (i.e, up to three business days) or until the merchant sends the final authorization request - whichever comes first.
If we release an expired hold, your Available Balance will be increased by the amount of the hold. At this point your debit card transaction becomes similar to an outstanding check that you have written and you should consider this money spent. Your Available Balance may appear larger than you might otherwise expect until the transaction comes in from the merchant and is subtracted from your account balance.
A debit card authorization hold could result in an overdraft if you do not have the required Available Balance to cover both the hold and any transactions, including checks, subtracted from your account.
This customer did not have enough money to cover all of his withdrawals that were subtracted from his account during Monday’s nightly processing. His debit card purchases and largest check were posted first using up his Available Balance, so his pre-authorized debit overdrew his account which will result in an Overdraft Fee.
The following describes the order in which we post transactions to your account, which is known as our "Posting Order." At the end of each business day, Citizens processes the transactions on your account. The chart below describes the order in which we post transactions to your account and affect your Available Balance. For example, we will post your available deposits before your withdrawals. So you may be able to avoid overdraft fees if a deposit becomes available that night to cover ATM withdrawals or purchases that brought your account below zero that day.
When does Posting Order matter to you? If the Available Balance in your account does not fall below zero, Posting Order really doesn't matter to you. However, if the Available Balance in your account falls below zero, Posting Order determines which items may overdraw your account and/or be returned unpaid.
Here's how the Posting Order works: We "post" (i.e., credit/add or debit/subtract) your transactions to your account during our nightly processing each business day. As a result, items do not always post in the order in which the transactions occurred. Rather, we group your transactions into certain categories and post transactions within those categories as described below:
Set up Online Banking email or text alerts to let you know if your balance gets too low and to monitor specific transactions.
Know your balance before making withdrawals, purchases or payments. Log in to Online Banking or Mobile Banking daily for your Available Balance and account activity. Remember to consider any outstanding checks or scheduled payments that have not yet been made.
Have your paycheck automatically deposited into your account to be sure your money is there when you need it. It's faster than waiting for a check to clear and saves a trip to the bank.
Keep track of your activity. Each purchase is automatically recorded in your Online Banking account and includes details like merchant name, location and amount of purchase. And remember, purchases made with your debit card are immediately removed from your Available Balance.
Use Online Bill Pay to ensure bills get paid on time and when you know you'll have enough money in your account. Sign up for Payment Reminder alerts in Online Banking to help ensure that you will never have another late or missed payment.
Record all withdrawals and deposits. Don't wait for your monthly statement to arrive before checking the activity in your account. This is particularly useful if you don't have regular access to Online Banking or Mobile Banking.
Use the Budget Planner to find out where your money is going every month. Pay your bills and manage your spending while growing your savings.
© Copyright 2014 Citizens Financial Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
Citizens Bank is a brand name of Citizens Bank, N.A. (NMLS ID# 433960) and Citizens Bank of Pennsylvania (NMLS ID# 522615).
Citizens Bank is a brand name of Citizens Bank, N.A. (NMLS ID# 433960) and Citizens Bank of Pennsylvania (NMLS ID# 522615). Citizens Bank, N.A. and Citizens Bank of Pennsylvania are affiliates. Deposit accounts held at RBS Citizens, N.A. and Citizens Bank of Pennsylvania are separately insured.