Updated November 21, 2019 3:25 PM PT

CIT Bank Review: Is It Good?

Read more about CIT Bank
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Want a higher interest rate at a good FDIC insured bank? CIT is tempting, but there are downsides you should not ignore. Read this review before you open an account.

CIT Bank Promo Code
CIT Bank Savings Builder - Up to $300 Bonus

Overall Score

4.5

Savings

4.5

Checking

4.5

Money Market

5.0

Customer Service

4.0

Mobile App

4.5
5-point scale (the higher, the better)

Pros and Cons

  • High APY
  • No monthly service fees
  • Low opening deposits
  • No physical locations
  • No check writing

Bottom Line

Solid online bank with excellent rates and no monthly fees

If you want to earn a more impactful return on your savings, look beyond traditional savings accounts that pay very little interest. You can find other savings options that offer higher returns.

In this review, we will look at how CIT Bank's High Yield Savings Accounts, CD Rates, and Money Market Accounts can help grow your savings fast.

About CIT Bank

CIT Bank offers a checking account and savings products at higher interest rates and no monthly service fees. But it has no physical locations.

CIT Bank is the online bank of CIT Group Inc., a financial holding company with over 100 years in business. It's headquartered in Pasadena, California and has about $30 billion in deposits.

 

Are CIT and Citibank the same? No, they are entirely separate entities, even though their names are similar. CIT Bank is owned by holding company CIT Group. Citibank is owned by CitiGroup.

Read on for our full CIT Bank review.

Is CIT Bank Trustworthy?

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Even though CIT is an online-only bank, it follows the same rules and legal regulations as traditional banks. CIT Bank savings accounts are FDIC insured. This means that if CIT Bank defaults, the federal government will pay back what you had, up to $250,000.

Pros & Cons of Banking With CIT

PROS:

  • Higher interest rates than traditional banks
  • No monthly service fees on any of CIT's accounts
  • Low opening deposits ($100 for checking & savings accounts and $1,000 for CDs)
  • Minimal banking fees
  • Up to $15 monthly in ATM fee reimbursements
  • Remote check deposits

CONS:

  • No physical locations
  • No check writing from the checking account
  • CD rates not as high as other online banks
  • No IRAs
  • May experience long wait times on the phone

What CIT Offers

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CIT Bank is popular for their savings products, offering rates comparable to other online banks. Now, it just introduced their new eChecking account. So you can now do your checking and savings in one place, if you wish.

eChecking Account

CIT Bank recently launched the new eChecking account with tiered interest. The minimum to open is $100 and there are no monthly maintenance fees. Account features include:

  • Free MasterCard debit card with EMV chip technology

  • No ATM fees charged by CIT. Up to $15 in other banks' ATM fees reimbursed per month.

  • 24/7 mobile banking, including mobile check deposits and online bill pay

  • Overdraft protection when you link up a CIT Savings or Money Market account. There is no fee to have money transferred to cover the transaction.

  • Make purchases and transfer money via Samsung Pay, Apple Pay, and Zelle

  • Set up travel alerts and stop/restrict debit card use

Note that this checking account does not allow check writing.

The daily limits are:

  • $500 daily cash withdrawal limit
  • $1,500 daily point-of-sale (POS) limit for purchases

Savings Builder Account

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Savings Builder account offers one of the highest savings APYs currently on the market. It rewards active savers or high balance savers with a higher interest rate.

Here's how it works:

You can earn 1.85% APY if you do ONE of the following:

  • Maintain a balance of $25,000, OR
  • Open an account with $100 minimum deposit, and deposit at least $100 per month

If you fail to meet the balance or deposit requirements, your APY will drop to 1.17% that month. If you do meet the requirements next month, it will go back up to 1.85%.

As a welcome offer, CIT will reward you with the 1.85% APY during an Introductory Period. There are no fees to open or maintain the account.

Read more in detail about how the Savings Builder account works.

As with any savings account, you'll be limited to 6 withdrawals per month. This is a standard, federally-imposed limitation.

You can withdraw money from your CIT savings account by electronic transfers, wire transfers, and mailed checks.

The Savings Builder account doesn't come with an ATM card, so you won't be able to withdraw cash directly from your savings.

Compare Savings Rates

    Discover Bank

    Online Savings Account - Earn 1.70% APY

    • No fees
    • No minimum opening deposit
    • No minimum balance required
    Chase

    Chase Total Checking® + Chase Savings℠

    • Enjoy up to $350 when you open a new Chase Total Checking® account with Direct Deposit and/or open a new Chase Savings℠ account, deposit $10,000 or more in new money and maintain a $10,000 balance for 90 days
    • Enjoy a $200 bonus when you open a new Chase Total Checking® account and set up direct deposit
    • Enjoy a $150 bonus when you open a new Chase Savings℠ account, deposit a total of $10,000 or more in new money within 20 days, and maintain a $10,000 balance for 90 days
    • Access to 16,000 Chase ATMs and nearly 5,000 branches
    • Apply online in minutes. Open your account online now.
    • Chase Mobile® app - Manage your accounts, deposit checks, transfer money and more -- all from your device.
    • Available online nationwide except in Alaska, Hawaii and Puerto Rico. For branch locations, visit locator.chase.com.
    Betterment

    Betterment Everyday - Earn up to 1.85% APY

    • FDIC insurance covering up to $1,000,000 at program banks
    • Access cash in 1-2 business days
    • No minimum balance
    • No fees on balance
    • Unlimited withdrawals

Money Market Account

CIT's Money Market Account offers a high rate without the deposit or balance requirements. So this account is a good option if you can't commit to a certain deposit amount each month. You get this APY no matter what your balance is.

The opening minimum deposit is $100. After account opening, there are no balance requirements.

Some features of the money market account include:

  • Set up direct deposit
  • People Pay account to account or through PayPal
  • Remote check deposits
  • (Online bill pay coming soon)

Keep in mind: There is a limit of six transactions (such as transfers or withdrawals) per monthly statement cycle. This is a federally imposed regulation.

Certificate of Deposit (CD)

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CIT Bank offers a few CD options to fit different needs. All CDs have no account opening or service fees.

There are a few key factors to consider when deciding on a CD:
  • Term length
  • Minimum deposit
  • Annual percentage yield (APY)
  • How interest compounds.

  • Term CDs: Term CDs are available starting from 6 months all the way to 5 years. Your rate is locked in for the entire term. The minimum to open is $1,000.

    CIT offers the highest rate on their 18-month Term CD. The 1-year and 13-month CDs are pretty good as well. For any other terms, you're better off with the CIT money market or savings products.

  • No Penalty CDs: This CD has one fixed term of 11 months. It gives you the flexibility to withdraw your full balance with no penalty (starting from 7 days after account funding). This is good if you suddenly need your money. The minimum to open is $1,000.

  • Jumbo CDs: Jumbo CDs award slightly higher APYs for keeping a higher balance. Terms are available from 2-year to 5-year terms. You need at least $100,000 deposit to open a Jumbo CD account. However, if you have that much to save, then the Savings Builder account offers a higher APY.

CDs require you to deposit your savings for a set period of time. Typically, withdrawing funds from a CD before the term ends will incur a penalty.

What is the penalty for early withdrawals from CDs?
It depends on the term of your CD. Here's how it breaks down:

  • Terms up to 1 year: 3 months' interest on the amount withdrawn
  • Terms from 1-3 years: 6 months' interest on the amount withdrawn
  • Terms over 3 years: 12 months' interest on the amount withdrawn

Note that CDs are not available as IRAs. However, they are available as custodial accounts.

Here are the current CIT Bank CD promotions:

    Term CDs

    • $1,000 Minimum Opening Deposit
    • Up to 1.85% APY
    • No monthly maintenance fee
    • FDIC insured
    • Daily Compounding Interest

    No-Penalty CD

    • 1.80% APY
    • Option to Withdraw Full Balance and Interest After 7 Days of CD Funding Date
    • $1,000 Minimum Opening Deposit
    • 11 Months
    • No monthly maintenance fee
    • FDIC insured
    • Daily Compounding Interest

    Jumbo CDs

    • $100,000 Minimum Opening Deposit
    • Up to 1.75% APY
    • Up to 5 years
    • No monthly maintenance fee
    • FDIC insured
    • Daily Compounding Interest

Tip: CD laddering is a smart savings strategy. This is when you split your investments into different CDs with staggered maturity dates. Using this method, your money isn't all tied up into one account.

As each CD matures, you can re-invest the money into a new CD with the new current rate. This ensures that you're always getting the current rate, as well as regular access to your money. See how it works with CIT's CD ladder calculator.

Custodial Accounts (UTMA)

Any CIT account can be set up as a custodial account for a minor. This means the account is in the child's name, but you control it until the child reaches 18. You can also designate up to age 25 if you wish.

You can contribute as much as you can to it. But note that there are gift tax rules. For 2019, the annual exclusion is up to $15,000 per year, without being taxed.

There are also some tax advantages. A portion of the interest earnings are tax-free.

CIT Bank Fees

CIT Bank waives many common banking fees. All CIT's accounts have:

  • No account opening fees
  • No monthly service fees
  • No account closing fees
  • No fees for incoming wire transfer
  • No mailed check fees
  • No online transfer fees

Some fees you may encounter are:

  • $10 outgoing wire transfer ($0 for accounts $25,000+)
  • $10 excessive transaction (for Money Market Account)
  • $30 bill pay stop payment
  • $30 overdraft fee
  • $10 debit card replacement (1 free card per year)
  • 1% of transaction amount for international ATM withdrawals

CIT Bank Location

CIT is an online-only bank with no physical branches. There is only one physical location at their headquarters in Pasadena:

75 North Fair Oaks Ave
Pasadena, CA 91103

However, this is only their headquarters' office. It's not a place where you can walk in, open accounts, or do banking business.

Customer Service

CIT Bank's customer service number is 855-462-2652. They are available by phone from:

  • Monday - Friday: 8:00 am - 9:00 pm (ET)
  • Saturday: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm (ET)
  • Sunday: 11:00 am - 4:00 pm (ET)
  • Home Loans Division: Monday - Friday, 9:00 am - 8:00 pm (ET)

You can access your account online and by Automated Telephone Banking 24/7.

Is Online Banking Right for you?

Online banks offer a lot of advantages, including:

  • Higher interest rates than traditional banks
  • Often no (or very low) opening deposit
  • Often no monthly service fees or balance requirements
  • Convenience - manage your account 24/7 online
  • Easy to open an account online

However, you will have to be comfortable with doing your banking business purely online. Some downsides of online banks include:

  • No physical branches
  • No personal relationships with your banker
  • Limited services available
  • More hassle to deposit cash
  • More limited withdrawals (for example, you can't withdraw crisp $100 notes)

CIT Bank Common Complaints

Here are some common complaints from customer CIT Bank reviews.

  • Customer Service. One downside of online banking is that there are no physical location to visit. You have to contact them by phone or email. Customers report having to wait on hold when they try to phone in with questions.

  • Hold times on incoming funds. CIT Bank does state in their account agreement that an ACH transaction may be held for up to 5 business days. Checks deposited to your account may be held for 7 business days.

  • Electronic transfers out may take a few days too. Make sure you give yourself plenty of time if you need to use the money. It's best that the accounts are used as truly savings accounts. They're not meant for day-to-day funds and frequent withdrawals.

How to Open a CIT Account

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All CIT accounts must be opened online. It takes just a few minutes.

  1. Start here to open a new account. You must be a U.S. citizen or a permanent resident and provide the following information:

    • Social Security Number
    • Driver's license or other valid state ID
    • Primary home address
    • Valid email address
    • Valid phone number

  2. Fund your new account in one of a few ways:

    • Transferring funds electronically from a bank checking or savings account. CIT Bank's Routing/Transit number is 124084834.

    • Mailing a check to CIT Bank, N.A. Attn: Deposit Services, P.O. Box 7056, Pasadena, CA 91109

    • Wiring funds to your new account

  3. CIT Bank will first make two "test" micro deposits to your funding account. Within 3 business days, you'll get an email asking you to verify the micro deposits. As soon as you have verified, CIT Bank will process the transaction to fund your new account.

How it Compares

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CIT Bank vs Marcus:

Goldman Sachs, the investment giant, also offers an online bank with savings products (no checking). Marcus offers a savings account, CDs, and personal loans. The high-yield savings account has no monthly service fees and requires only $1 to open. However, there is no mobile banking or ATM card.

 

CIT Bank Promo Code

Marcus

 

Benefits and Features

SavingsSavings Builder up to 1.85% APY with $25,000 minimum balance or $100 monthly deposit. $100 minimum opening deposit.1.90% APY. $0 to open; $1 to earn stated APY. No fees to open or maintain account. No minimum daily balance requirement.
CDTerm CDs up to 1.85% APY. $1,000 minimum opening deposit. No monthly maintenance fee.0.60% to 2.35% APY. Terms of 6 months to 6 years. 12-month CD APY of 2.10%. $500 minimum to open. No monthly service fee.
Customer ServiceMonday - Friday: 8:00 am - 9:00 pm (ET)
Saturday: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm (ET)
Sunday: 11:00 am - 4:00 pm (ET)
Monday - Friday: 8:00 am - 10:00 pm (ET)
Saturday - Sunday: 9:00 am - 7:00 pm ET
Mobile App 
None

CIT Bank: Pricing information from published website as of 10/1/2019

Marcus: Information including rates, fees, terms, and benefits was obtained on November 15, 2019 from published websites and is believed to be accurate, but not guaranteed.

CIT Bank vs Citibank:

Citibank has over 700 locations (mostly in California and New York). It also has a wide ATM network, both domestically and internationally.

You must open a checking + savings package. You must meet certain direct deposit or account balance minimums in order to waive monthly service fees. However, it's easy to meet the requirements for the Access Account package. In select markets, a high-interest Citi® Accelerate Savings option is available.

 

CIT Bank Promo Code

Citibank Promotion

 

Benefits and Features

SavingsSavings Builder up to 1.85% APY with $25,000 minimum balance or $100 monthly deposit. $100 minimum opening deposit.0.04% APY. No minimum deposit. $4.50 monthly fee unless you maintain an average monthly balance of $500.
CDTerm CDs up to 1.85% APY. $1,000 minimum opening deposit. No monthly maintenance fee.0.05% - 1.75% APY. Terms ranging from 3 months to 5 years. Minimum opening deposit is $1,000 in CA, and NV, $2,500 in MD, DC, VA, and FL, $500 in all other markets.
Money Market1.85% APY. $100 minimum deposit. No monthly maintenance fee.A.k.a 'Savings Plus' Account. 0.01% - 0.10% APY. Minimum opening deposit $100.
Customer ServiceMonday - Friday: 8:00 am - 9:00 pm (ET)
Saturday: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm (ET)
Sunday: 11:00 am - 4:00 pm (ET)
24/7 Live Customer Service (Telephone)
Locations
Online Only
700 Citibank branches across 13 states (mostly in California and New York)

CIT Bank: Pricing information from published website as of 10/1/2019

Citibank: Pricing information from published website as of 11/15/2019.

CIT Bank vs. Ally Bank:
Ally Bank is also an online-only bank. Ally is a full-service bank with checking, savings, IRAs, and investment services. It has a wide ATM network across the country. Ally is well known for the excellent 24/7 customer service with real human reps.

 

CIT Bank Promo Code

Ally Bank Promotions

 

Benefits and Features

SavingsSavings Builder up to 1.85% APY with $25,000 minimum balance or $100 monthly deposit. $100 minimum opening deposit.1.70% APY. No monthly service fee and no minimum deposit.
CDTerm CDs up to 1.85% APY. $1,000 minimum opening deposit. No monthly maintenance fee.0.75% to 2.25% APY. Terms of 3 months to 5 years. 12-month CD APY of 2.00%. No minimum deposit to open.
CheckingeChecking: 0.25% APY with $25,000 minimum balance and 0.10% APY on balances under $25,0000.10% APY under $15,000; 0.50% APY $15,000 or more. No monthly service fee and no minimum deposit. Ally will refund ATM fees for other banks up to $10 per statement cycle.
Money Market1.85% APY. $100 minimum deposit. No monthly maintenance fee.0.75% APY. No monthly service fee and no minimum deposit.
Customer ServiceMonday - Friday: 8:00 am - 9:00 pm (ET)
Saturday: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm (ET)
Sunday: 11:00 am - 4:00 pm (ET)
24/7

CIT Bank: Pricing information from published website as of 10/1/2019

Ally Bank: Pricing information from published website as of 11/17/2019.

CIT Bank vs. Discover:
Another popular online bank, Discover offers a full range of services, including cashback checking, savings, student loans, and credit cards.

Discover's Online Savings offers a very competitive APY with no opening minimum or service fees. And plus, it often offers cash bonuses for opening a new savings account (see availability here).

 

CIT Bank Promo Code

Discover Bank Bonus

 

Benefits and Features

SavingsSavings Builder up to 1.85% APY with $25,000 minimum balance or $100 monthly deposit. $100 minimum opening deposit.1.70% APY. No fees and no minimum deposit.
CDTerm CDs up to 1.85% APY. $1,000 minimum opening deposit. No monthly maintenance fee.0.35% to 2.20% APY. Terms of 3 months to 10 years. 12-month CD APY of 2.00%. Minimum deposit of $2,500 to open.
CheckingeChecking: 0.25% APY with $25,000 minimum balance and 0.10% APY on balances under $25,000Earn 1% cashback on up to $3,000 in debit card purchases each month. No fees and no minimum deposit.
Money Market1.85% APY. $100 minimum deposit. No monthly maintenance fee.1.55% APY under $100,000; 1.60% APY $100,000 or more. No fees. $2,500 minimum deposit.
Customer ServiceMonday - Friday: 8:00 am - 9:00 pm (ET)
Saturday: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm (ET)
Sunday: 11:00 am - 4:00 pm (ET)
24/7

CIT Bank: Pricing information from published website as of 10/1/2019

Discover Bank: Pricing information from published website as of 10/31/2019

    Discover Bank

    Online Savings Account - Earn 1.70% APY

    • No fees
    • No minimum opening deposit
    • No minimum balance required
    Discover Bank

    Discover Online Savings - $150 Cash Bonus

    To get your $150 or $200 Bonus offer: What to do: Apply for your first Discover Online Savings Account by 12/2/19, 11:59 PM ET, online or by phone. Enter Offer Code CY1119 when applying. Deposit into your account a total of at least $15,000 to earn a $150 Bonus or deposit a total of at least $25,000 to earn a $200 Bonus. Deposit must be posted by 12/16/19, 11:59 PM ET. Maximum bonus eligibility is $200.

    What to know: Offer not valid for existing or prior Discover savings customers or existing or prior customers with savings accounts that are co-branded or affinity accounts provided by Discover. Account must be open when bonus is credited. Bonus will be credited to the account by 12/30/19. Bonus is considered interest and will be reported on IRS Form 1099-INT. Offer may be modified/withdrawn without notice. See advertiser website for full details.

    Expires 12/2/2019
    Discover Bank

    Discover Online Savings - $200 Cash Bonus

    To get your $150 or $200 Bonus offer: What to do: Apply for your first Discover Online Savings Account by 12/2/19, 11:59 PM ET, online or by phone. Enter Offer Code CY1119 when applying. Deposit into your account a total of at least $15,000 to earn a $150 Bonus or deposit a total of at least $25,000 to earn a $200 Bonus. Deposit must be posted by 12/16/19, 11:59 PM ET. Maximum bonus eligibility is $200.

    What to know: Offer not valid for existing or prior Discover savings customers or existing or prior customers with savings accounts that are co-branded or affinity accounts provided by Discover. Account must be open when bonus is credited. Bonus will be credited to the account by 12/30/19. Bonus is considered interest and will be reported on IRS Form 1099-INT. Offer may be modified/withdrawn without notice. See advertiser website for full details.

    Expires 12/2/2019

Common Questions

If you're still interested, you probably have some questions. We'll clear up some of the basics here:

  • Is CIT Bank Safe? Yes, CIT Bank uses layers of security to make sure your information is safe. It has anti-virus protection, firewalls, and 128-bit Secure Socket Layer encryption.

    Though it doesn't have physical locations like traditional banks, CIT Bank follows the same rules and legal regulations. All CIT accounts are FDIC insured up to $250,000 per deposit for each account category. However, CIT, N.A. and OneWest Bank, a division of CIT Bank, N.A. are technically the same institution.

    Therefore, money held between both banks would count jointly toward the $250,000 federal insurance limit. They would not be insured separately in the unlikely event of the banks closing.

  • Should I open a CD or savings account?
    Everyone has different investment goals. The decision comes down to:

    • How much money you're looking to set aside

    • How much risk you are willing to assume

    • How much you'll need to access your savings.

    Contact your financial professional for guidance.

    If you can avoid touching your savings for at least 1 year and can meet the minimum deposit, you may be able to earn a higher interest rate with a CD versus a savings account.

    But if you need liquidity, a savings account allows you to more flexibility to withdraw your savings when needed.

  • How can I deposit funds with CIT Bank?
    You can deposit funds by electronic transfer, mobile check deposit, mailing a check, or incoming wire (no fee).

CIT Bank Other Services

Besides deposit accounts, CIT Bank offers some other services, including:

  • Home loans. CIT Bank offers both purchase loans and refinance loans at both fixed rates and adjustable rates. There is also a Low Down Payment Program that allows borrowers to qualify for a loan with as little as a 3% down payment.

  • Business loans. You can get a business loan up to $150,000. Pick terms from 6-18 months.

  • Business equipment financing. Need equipment to get your business started? You can get equipment financing up to $250,000 without financials, or up to $1 million with financials. Pick terms from 12-72 months.

Bottom Line

CIT is a solid online bank offering a good eChecking account and savings options. CIT offers higher interest rates than many other competitor online banks.

The Savings Builder account offers one of the best rates in the nation for relatively low requirements. And even if you only have $100, you can earn decent interest in their money market or high yield savings account .

Or if you have at least $1,000 set aside and aren't concerned about liquidity, you can earn an even greater return with an 18-month CD.

Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are author's alone. Please support CreditDonkey on our mission to help you make savvy decisions. Our free online service is made possible through financial relationships with some of the products and services mentioned on this site. We may receive compensation if you shop through links in our content.

Disclaimer: This content was first published on December 16, 2017. This content may have been updated on November 21, 2019. Information including rates, fees, terms and benefits may vary, be out of date, or not applicable to you. Information is provided without warranty. Please check the bank's website for updated information.

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