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CIT Bank is an online bank that offers no monthly fee checking accounts, high yield savings accounts, CD's, and money marketing accounts.
High Rated Online Bank
CIT BANK REVIEW AT A GLANCE
- High APY savings account options
- No monthly fees for checking or savings account
- Low minimum deposit
- Won countless rewards from leading financial websites.
B- BBB Rating
Rated the best saving account by NerdWallet
Pros & Cons
During the coronavirus pandemic, the Federal Reserve slashed interest rates to near-zero. While this was good if you were looking to borrow money, it was bad if you wanted to save.
Although Federal Reserve rates are expected to climb through 2022 and 2023, this fluctuations have led many people to look for alternative, more stable places to save.
The reason is simple, banks that used to have rates around 2% cut those rates in half — which means people's money wasn't growing as fast as it once was.
So, if you’re looking for an institution that’s consistently offering competitive APYs across all its accounts, look no further than CIT Bank.
What Is CIT Bank?
Until recently, CIT Bank was an online national bank headquartered in Pasadena, California. It ranked as the 41st largest bank in the US - but ascended to new heights when it was taken over by First Citizens Bank in January 2022.
First Citizens Bank is the largest family-controlled bank in the U.S. with more than $100 billion in assets and 600 branches throughout 22 states.
Despite the takeover, CIT remains 100% online, so you won’t find any branch locations nearby and you'd can't use First Citizens Bank branches.
The upside is that low overhead allows CIT Bank to offer higher interest rates and lower fees than traditional banks. It's mission is to “empower personal savers with the financial agility to navigate their goals.”
They achieve this mission through their straightforward bank accounts that feature high APYs and low fees. CIT Bank has won countless awards from Bankrate, Nerdwallet, GoBankingRates, and the Ascent for its bank accounts.
It even won the Human Rights Campaign’s Best Places to Work award for LGBTQ+ Equality.
What Services Do They Offer?
You won’t find any business checking or savings account options at CIT Bank, but you will find a whole slew of options for personal use.
Here’s a brief overview of the features, pros, and cons of each account.
CIT Bank eChecking Accounts
CIT Bank used to only offer savings accounts and CDs, but it launched its very first checking account in November 2019.
If you’re the type of person who likes to keep your checking and savings accounts under one roof, now you can do that with CIT Bank.
This checking account is a triple-threat.
It’s free to open and maintain, it comes with $15 in non-network ATM fee reimbursements and it earns interest.
You’ll earn 0.1% on balances under $25,000 and 0.25% on balances of $25,000 or more.
0.1% to 0.25%
Get up to $15 in ATM rebates a month
Where it falls short:
The $100 opening deposit requirement is higher than other online banks. Although not the end of the world, it’s something to look out for.
Also, CIT Bank doesn’t have an ATM network. While it reimburses up to $15 in operator fees each month, this may not be enough if you withdraw cash often.
CIT Bank Savings Connect
CIT Bank offers two savings accounts and one money market account.
Let's take a look at each.
This free account helps you build your savings fast with a high rate (hence the name).
It uses a tiered interest system, so the more you save, the more you’ll earn.
Here’s now the interest breaks down:
- Earn 1.15% on balances under $25,000;
- Earn 1.75% on balances under $25,000 when you make at least $100 in monthly direct deposits; or
- Earn 1.75% on balances of $25,000 or more
Tiered interest rates reward you for saving
Where it falls short:
The only drawback is that you can’t make more than six outgoing transactions a month.
But this is due to federal regulation and applies to all savings account options at every bank.
CIT Bank Savings Builder
This straightforward savings account doesn’t make you work for your money; you’ll earn 1.55% APY regardless of how much you keep in the account.
Plus, there are no monthly fees or minimum daily balance requirements.
No monthly fees
No minimum balance requirements
Where it falls short:
As with all savings account options, you can’t make more than six outgoing transactions a month. If you do, you’ll pay a $10 fee, charged up to five times a month.
Money Market Account
Chip away at your savings goals with the CIT Bank Money Market Account.
It earns an impressive 1.8% APY, has a low $100 opening deposit requirement, and is free of monthly fees.
Comes with Bill Pay
Supports person-to-person payments through People Pay and PayPal
Where it falls short:
Unlike most money market accounts, this one doesn’t come with a debit card or checks. You’re limited to electronic transfers, phone transfers, and wire transfers only.
Although you can send up to $2 million a day in ACH transfers, you can’t send more than $50 a day to friends and family using PayPal or People Pay.
CIT Bank offers three types of CDs: term CDs, no-penalty CDs, and jumbo CDs.
Usually banks reward you with a higher interest rate when you choose a longer term, but that’s not the case with CIT Bank. You’ll actually earn the highest rate when you lock your money away for one year.
Here’s how the APYs break down:
- 1-Year CD: 0.30%
- 3-Year CD: 0.40%
- 5-Year CD: 0.50%
0.30% to 0.50%
1-year to 5-years
Early withdrawal penalty:
90 days’ interest for terms up to 12 months
180 days’ interest for terms of 13 to 36 months
365 days’ interest for terms of 37+ months
Where it falls short:
Our only qualm is that the 6-month CD has a rate below 1%. In this case, you’d earn a better rate if you opened one of CIT Bank’s high-yield savings accounts.
If you want to save for your child’s future, consider opening a CIT Bank custodial account.
As of March 2020, any CIT Bank account can be set up as a Uniform Transfers to Minors Act (UTMA) — except for the Savings Builder Account and the Premier High Yield Savings Account.
In addition to its lengthy list of bank accounts, CIT Bank also offers fixed-rate home loans for consumers. These mortgages come in 10-, 15-, 20-, 25-, and 30-year terms.
Current CIT Bank customers may qualify for special relationship pricing and a one-time $525 cash back bonus when they close on their home loan.
Make the smart choice for your savings
Let CIT Bank help you reach your goals faster.
CIT Bank Fees
CIT Bank doesn’t charge monthly or ATM fees for any of its accounts. (Can I get an amen?!) But there are still a few fees you should be aware of if you plan on opening an account.
Debit card replacement
$10 (1 free card a year)
Expedited ATM or debit card
Daily overdraft fee
Excessive transaction fee (applies to savings and money market accounts only)
$10 (capped at $50 a month)
Stop payment request
Incoming wire transfer
Outgoing wire transfer (domestic only)
Free for accounts with at least $25,000
$10 for accounts with accounts with less than $25,000
Take note of these fees now, and you’ll know what to expect if you need any of these services down the road.
Who Is CIT Bank Best For?
CIT Bank is known for its high-yield accounts. Pair these high rates with low fees, and this financial institution has a competitive edge above the rest.
You may want to consider CIT Bank if you’re in the market for any of these perks:
What We Love About CIT Bank
CIT Bank has all the common features you’d find at any trustworthy institution — FDIC-insured deposits and a user-friendly mobile app that allows you to manage transactions, e-deposit checks, and control your debit card.
But here are a few more reasons why we think CIT Bank stands out from the pack:
Most traditional banks make you carve out time in your hectic schedule to open an account in-person. Sure, you may be able to open a couple of basic accounts online. But good luck trying to open a CD without having to visit a local branch.
But that won’t ever happen with CIT Bank. Not only can you open every single one of its bank accounts online, but you can do it in less than 10 minutes. Does it get any better than that?
You won’t find a single bank account at CIT Bank that doesn’t earn you money.
Whether you’re looking for a checking, savings, money market, or CD, you can have peace of mind knowing your money is growing faster than it would at a traditional bank.
Sure, some banks may have a small handful of free accounts. Others may waive monthly fees when you meet certain direct deposit or account balance requirements.
But CIT Bank doesn’t charge monthly fees for any of its accounts.
That means you’ll have even more money to put toward your financial goals each month because you won’t have to worry about setting aside a portion of your hard-earned dollars for the bank.
What Could Be Improved
CIT Bank is chockful of attractive features that make it a great banking option for a range of customers.
But here are a few minor things that could be improved:
On the bright side, CIT Bank doesn’t charge any ATM fees.
You can use any ATM in the world without worrying about racking up charges from your bank. But that doesn’t mean the ATM owner won’t charge you.
CIT Bank reimburses up to $15 in ATM operator fees a month, but this may not be enough if you find yourself withdrawing cash on the regular.
Let’s get one thing straight — a $100 minimum deposit for a money market account is almost unheard of.
Most banks require you to have at least $500 to open one of these accounts, so this is a good deal.
But a $100 opening deposit for a checking or savings account isn’t quite as good considering other online banks let you get started with as little as $0. I know, I know.
$100 isn’t a deal-breaker. But it could be a large chunk of change depending on your financial situation.
Many online banks tout several ways to get in touch — email, phone, live chat, social media.
But CIT Bank only has two customer service options: phone and social media.
To make this solid bank even better, we’d like to see CIT Bank add a few more support options for its customers — especially since you can’t visit a local branch.
How Do I Get Started With CIT Bank?
You can open any CIT Bank account online in five to ten minutes. Here’s how:
Select whether you’re a new or existing customer and click Next.
Use the dropdown menus to select the account type (personal or custodial) and the product type (checking, savings, CD, and so on) and click Next.
Enter your basic information, including your name, date of birth, Social Security number, citizenship, and your mother’s maiden name. Click Next.
Follow the prompts to e-sign your documents, make your deposit, and fund your account.
CIT Bank Review: Final Verdict
CIT Bank is a competitive online bank with a slew of bank account options.
Whether you’re looking for a checking account, savings account, or CD, this financial institution has the high rates and low fees you’re looking for.
The best part? It only takes five to ten minutes to open an account online.
That means you can get started while you chill on the couch watching your favorite Netflix series — without ever having to pop by a local branch. Easy-peasy.
Just keep in mind that you need at least $100 to open checking and savings accounts and $1,000 to open CDs.
If you can swing that deposit and you’re comfortable banking online, give CIT Bank a try and let us know what you think.
Have questions about CIT Bank we didn’t answer? Drop them in the comments below.
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