September 3, 2019

CIT Bank Savings Builder Review

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If you can save just $100 per month, you can earn a high APY with CIT Bank's Savings Builder. Find out if this bank is good for you.

Is CIT Safe? CIT Bank is FDIC insured, so your deposits are safe up to $250,000. CIT Savings Builder offers one of the highest interest rates and the ability to withdraw money quickly with no penalty. But you might not be able to earn the high interest rate if you can't meet certain requirements. Read on to learn how the account really works.

About CIT Bank

CIT Bank is owned as a subsidiary of CIT Group, a financial holding company. It is not related to Citibank, which is owned by Citigroup.

Because CIT bank is online only, it can save on operating costs and offer customers higher interest rates and fewer fees. There are no monthly service fees on any of its accounts.

CIT Bank offers checking, savings, and CDs. In this review, we're looking at the Savings Builder Account, CIT's savings account with the highest APY.

Before you decide to put your savings with CIT, let's take a look at the pros and cons of banking with CIT.

CIT Bank Pros:

  • High interest rates
  • No monthly service fees
  • Minimal banking fees

CIT Bank Cons:

  • No physical locations
  • No ATM card with the savings account

How Savings Builder Works

CIT Bank's Savings Builder account offers one of the highest savings APYs currently on the market. The minimum to open is $100.

It encourages you to save money each month by rewarding active savers with a higher interest rate. The other way to get the higher rate is to maintain a high balance.

Here's how it works:

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

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

If you fail to meet one of the requirements above, your APY will drop to 1.17% the next month. If you do meet the requirements the next month, it will go back up to 1.85%.

As a welcome offer, CIT Bank will reward you with the 1.85% APY during an Introductory Period. Read more in the next section to learn how that works.

How Your APY Is Determined

CIT will evaluate your account at the end of each month to determine your APY tier for the following month. This is how it works:

  • Evaluation Days are 4 business days before the end of each month.

  • You have until Evaluation Day to either make a $100 deposit OR have $25,000 in the account.

  • If you've done so, you'll receive the higher 1.85% APY the next month.

  • If you didn't, your APY will drop down to 1.17% the next month.

  • This cycle repeats every month.

It could take a few days for a deposit to go through by online electronic transfer. Remember to give yourself enough time for transfers to post before the Evaluation Days.

When you first open your account, you get an Introductory Period to enjoy the higher APY. You don't have to meet the deposit/balance requirement right away.

You get a "grace period" from account opening day until the next month's Evaluation Day. Then your first Evaluation Period starts. During this period, you'll need to make the required deposits in order to determine your next month's APY after the intro period.

So for example:

  • You open an account on 8/15.
  • Your grace period is from account opening to the end of Sept (9/26). You don't need to do anything during this time.
  • Your First Evaluation Period will be from 9/26–10/28. This will determine November's APY.
  • Your entire Introductory Period is from 8/15–10/28.

That's over 2 months you will receive the higher APY. You can find CIT Bank's evaluation schedule here.

Account Fees

CIT Bank really means it when they say banking with less fees. Here are the fees associated with the Savings Builder account:

  • $100 minimum opening deposit
  • $0 account opening fees
  • $0 monthly service fees
  • $0 minimum balance requirement
  • $0 account closing fee
  • $0 for incoming wires
  • $10 for outgoing wires ($0 for accounts $25,000+)

Account Features

The Savings Builder is a pretty barebones savings account. It offers these features:

  • Free 24/7 online and mobile banking

  • Mobile check deposits from anywhere

  • Online transfers to other bank accounts or between CIT accounts

  • Daily compounding interest

  • FDIC insured up to $250,000

CIT Bank does not offer an ATM card for the savings account. And there are no physical branches.

CIT Bank Customer Service:
CIT's customer service phone line is 855-462-2652 (within the U.S.) and 626-535-8965 (outside the U.S.)

You can reach representatives at these hours:

  • Monday to Friday: 8:00 am–9:00 pm (ET)
  • Saturday: 9:00 am–5:00 pm (ET)
  • Sunday: 11:00 am–4:00 pm (ET)

Is CIT Savings Builder Good?

CIT Bank's high interest rates and low fees make it a good choice for most savers. The bank's Savings Builder account offers up to a 1.85% APY with a minimal regular monthly deposit of $100.

Savings Builder is meant to reward active savers. The APY is competitive with other online savings accounts. But we like that this account has an encouragement factor. It "forces" you to actively save if you want the higher rate.

The $100 opening deposit is low. And the $100 deposit per month is very reasonable. If you can stick to it, you'll build a nice little savings fund in no time.

Tip: You only have to deposit $100 each month to get the higher 1.85% APY. But there is no rule saying it has to stay there. Theoretically, you could just withdraw it again after depositing, and you'll still receive the higher APY.

On the other hand, if you have $25,000 to leave on deposit, see if any of these savings accounts are better for you instead. Many of these accounts offer the same high rates, but without having to tie up your funds.

Overall, the CIT Savings Builder is a nice place to safely grow your money. It's good for beginner savers who need a little motivation to put away money each month.

Just note that there are some inconveniences. For example, it doesn't come with an ATM card, so you will not be able to withdraw funds fast. Transfers will take a few days to process.

How to Open an Account

To open a Savings Builder account, you must be at least 18 years old and a U.S. citizen or permanent resident. The process takes just minutes online.

  1. Sign up
    Start by filling out the application.

  2. Provide basic info
    Provide your name, address, phone, email, and Social Security number (or other taxpayer ID).

  3. Fund account
    Fund your account with a minimum of $100. You can do so by linking another bank account and performing an electronic transfer, bank wire, or mail in a check.

CIT Bank will first make two "test" micro deposits to your funding account (must be a bank checking or savings account). They'll then offset the test deposits with a single withdrawal.

Within 3 business days, you'll get an email with instructions on how to verify the micro deposits. As soon as you have verified them, CIT Bank will process the transaction to fund your new account.

CIT Bank will conduct a soft pull on your credit when they review your application. This will not affect your credit score.

Depositing Money

You can make unlimited deposits into your Savings Builder account. Deposits can be made in these ways:

  • Electronic Online Transfer
    This is the easiest way. Just link up another bank account to your CIT Savings Builder account. Note that it could take up to 5 business days to complete the transfer.

  • Bank Wire
    CIT Bank doesn't charge a fee for incoming wires. Include CIT's routing number, your name, and your account number.

    CIT's routing number is 124084834.

  • Mail in Check
    You can send a check by snail mail. Checks can be mailed to:

    CIT Bank, N.A.
    Attn: Deposit Services
    P.O. Box 7056
    Pasadena, CA 91109-9699

Withdrawing Money

You can access and withdraw funds in these ways:

  • Electronic Online Transfer
    Directly transfer funds to a linked banking account. Federal regulations limit you to 6 electronic transfers and withdrawals per month for savings accounts.

  • Outgoing Wire
    There is a $10 fee for outgoing wire transfers for accounts with less than $25,000. Wires are also subject to the 6/month limitation.

  • Mailed Check
    You can write to or phone CIT bank and request a check to be mailed to you. There is no limit to withdrawals via check.

How It Compares

    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 1.78% 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

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 September 3, 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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