Updated April 27, 2020

CIT Bank Review: Is It Good?

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CIT Bank offers a high interest rate. But is it safe? Read this review to find out if what you heard is true.

CIT Bank Promo Code
CIT Savings Builder - Earn 1.25% APY

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 yield
  • 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 good return on your savings, look beyond traditional bank accounts that pay little interest. You can find online savings accounts that offer higher returns.

But not all online banks are the same.

In this review, you'll learn how CIT Bank's Savings Accounts, CD Rates, and Money Market Accounts can help grow your savings fast.

Shortcut: Most people have a regular savings account with very low interest. That's a big mistake. You could earn a lot more with CIT Bank.

As an online bank, they don't have the expensive overhead that physical banks do. In return, they pass along their savings to customers in the form of higher interest rates.

About CIT Bank

CIT Bank offers checking accounts, money market accounts, and savings products at higher interest rates and no monthly 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?

© CreditDonkey

Even though CIT is an online-only bank, you can trust it to keep your money safe. CIT 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.

Trust is a key factor. People have learned that they can rely on banks with physical locations. Visually, a branch looks solid and reliable. You can walk in and see people. Many people view the digital world with suspicion and this makes it tough for purely digital players.

Tim Calkins, Clinical Professor of Marketing at Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management

Pros & Cons of Banking With CIT

PROS:

  • Higher interest rates than traditional banks
  • No monthly fees on any CIT bank account
  • 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 bank 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

Counterpoint: If you want a bank with physical branches, we recommend a Chase checking account. Chase has nearly 4,900 locations and 16,000 ATMs nationwide.

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.

Daily Compounding Interest: CIT Bank interest compounds daily and is paid out monthly. There are no fees. It's free to open and charges no maintenance fees, so the interest is pure profit.

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 [cit-bank.featureunit+savings+mask=0.00]% APY if you do ONE of the following:

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

If you fail to meet the requirements, your APY will drop to 1.10% that month. If you do meet the requirements next month, it will go back up to [cit-bank.featureunit+savings+mask=0.00]%.

As a welcome offer, CIT Bank will reward you with the [cit-bank.featureunit+savings+mask=0.00]% APY during an Introductory Period. There are no fees to open or have the bank account.

Read our review 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 bank 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 money directly from your savings.

Compare Bank Savings Rates

Money Market Account

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

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

Some features of the money market account include:

  • Remote check deposits
  • (Online bill pay coming soon)

Note: The money market account product is meant for as a personal bank account and cannot be titled in a trust or opened under the name of a business.

There is a limit of six bank transactions (such as transfers or withdrawals) per monthly statement cycle. This is a federally imposed financial 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 bank 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 duration, you're better off with the CIT money market account or high yield savings products.

  • No Penalty CDs: This no-penalty CD product 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. Duration available from 2-year to 5-year. You need at least $100,000 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 lock your savings for a set period of time. Typically, withdrawing funds from a CD before the term ends will incur a penalty charge.

What is the penalty for early withdrawals from CDs?
It depends on the term of your CD. Here's how it breaks down:
  • Up to 1 year: 3 months' interest on the amount withdrawn
  • From 1-3 years: 6 months' interest on the amount withdrawn
  • Over 3 years: 12 months' interest on the amount withdrawn

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

Here are the latest CIT Bank CD promotions:

    CIT Bank Term CDs

    • Up to 1.35% APY
    • $1,000 minimum opening deposit
    • No monthly maintenance fee
    • FDIC insured
    • Daily compounding interest
    TermCD Rates
    6 Month0.72% APY
    1 Year1.30% APY
    13 Month1.30% APY
    18 Month1.30% APY
    2 Year1.30% APY
    3 Year1.30% APY
    4 Year1.35% APY
    5 Year1.30% APY

    CIT Bank No Penalty CD

    • 1.20% 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

    CIT Bank Jumbo CDs

    • Up to 1.45% APY
    • $100,000 minimum opening deposit
    • No monthly maintenance fee
    • FDIC insured
    • Daily compounding interest
    TermCD Rates
    2 Year1.45% APY
    3 Year1.40% APY
    4 Year1.35% APY
    5 Year1.30% APY

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.

eChecking Account

CIT Bank recently launched the new checking account with tiered interest. You need $100 to open. 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. There is no charge to use Zelle.

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

Note that this checking account does not allow paper check writing.

Daily account limits are:

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

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 and Charges

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 bank headquarters' office. It's not a place where you can walk in, open accounts, or do CIT banking in person.

CIT Bank Customer Service

CIT Bank's phone number is 855-462-2652. Here are the hours they are available by phone:

  • Monday - Friday: 9:00 am - 9:00 pm (ET)
  • Saturday: 10:00 am - 6:00 pm (ET)
  • Sunday: Closed
  • Home Loans Division: Monday - Friday, 9:00 am - 8:00 pm (ET)

You can access your bank account online and by Automated Telephone Banking 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Is Online Banking Right for You?

Online banks offer a lot of advantages, including:

  • Higher than average interest rates. Better than traditional banks
  • Often no monthly fees or balance requirements
  • Convenience - manage your account 24/7 online
  • Easy to open an account online

However, in exchange for a high-yield bank product, people will have to be comfortable with doing banking purely online. Some downsides of online banks include:

  • No physical branches
  • No personal relationships with your banker
  • Limited services available
  • More hassle to transfer funds
  • 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 CIT 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: Make sure you give yourself plenty of time if you need to transfer funds. It's best that the bank accounts are used as truly savings accounts. Online banks are not meant for day-to-day funds and frequent withdrawals.

How to Open a CIT Bank 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 bank 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 bank 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 bank account

  3. CIT Bank will first make two "test" micro deposits to your funding account. Within 3 working 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 CIT Bank Compares

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CIT Bank vs Ally Bank

Ally Bank is also an online-only bank. Ally is a full-service financial institution with checking, savings, IRAs, and investment services. It has a wide ATM network across the country. Ally Bank is well known for the excellent 24/7 personal support with real human reps and competitive rates.

 

CIT Bank Promo Code

Ally Bank Promotions

 

Benefits and Features

SavingsSavings Builder up to 1.25% APY with $25,000+ balance or $100 monthly deposit.
1.25% APY
CDTerm CDs up to 1.35% APY. $1,000 minimum opening deposit.0.50% to 1.35% APY. Terms of 3 months to 5 years. 12-month CD APY of 1.25%
CheckingeChecking: 0.25% APY with $25,000+ balance and 0.10% APY on balances under $25,0000.10% APY under $15,000; 0.50% APY $15,000 or more
Money Market
1.30% APY
0.50% APY
Customer ServiceMonday - Friday: 9:00 am - 9:00 pm (ET)
Saturday: 10:00 am - 6:00 pm (ET)
Sunday: Closed
24/7

CIT Bank: Pricing information from published website as of 05/14/2020

Ally Bank: Pricing information from published website as of 05/30/2020.

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. Citibank is a diverse financial institution that also offers popular credit cards.

CIT Bank vs Capital One 360

 

CIT Bank Promo Code

Capital One 360 Promo Code

 

Benefits and Features

SavingsSavings Builder up to 1.25% APY with $25,000+ balance or $100 monthly deposit.
1.30% APY
CDTerm CDs up to 1.35% APY. $1,000 minimum opening deposit.0.50% to 1.30% APY. Terms of 6 months to 5 years. 12-month CD APY of 1.00%
CheckingeChecking: 0.25% APY with $25,000+ balance and 0.10% APY on balances under $25,000
0.10% APY
Customer ServiceMonday - Friday: 9:00 am - 9:00 pm (ET)
Saturday: 10:00 am - 6:00 pm (ET)
Sunday: Closed
Mon-Sun: 8am - 11pm (ET)

CIT Bank: Pricing information from published website as of 05/14/2020

Capital One: Pricing information from published website as of 05/30/2020.

CIT Bank vs Discover

Besides credit cards, Discover is a popular online bank. Discover offers a full range of services, including cashback checking, high yield online savings, student loans, and credit cards.

 

CIT Bank Promo Code

Discover Bank

 

Benefits and Features

SavingsSavings Builder up to 1.25% APY with $25,000+ balance or $100 monthly deposit.
1.15% APY
CDTerm CDs up to 1.35% APY. $1,000 minimum opening deposit.0.35% to 1.25% APY. Terms of 3 months to 10 years. 12-month CD APY of 1.01%. Minimum deposit of $2,500 to open.
CheckingeChecking: 0.25% APY with $25,000+ balance and 0.10% APY on balances under $25,000Earn 1% cashback on up to $3,000 in debit card purchases each month
Money Market
1.30% APY
0.99% APY under $100,000; 1.05% APY $100,000 or more. $2,500 minimum deposit.
Customer ServiceMonday - Friday: 9:00 am - 9:00 pm (ET)
Saturday: 10:00 am - 6:00 pm (ET)
Sunday: Closed
24/7

CIT Bank: Pricing information from published website as of 05/14/2020

Discover Bank: Pricing information from published website as of 5/29/2020

Common Questions

Is CIT Bank safe?

Yes, CIT Bank uses layers of security to make sure your personal 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 depositor for each account category. However, CIT, N.A. and OneWest Bank, a division of CIT Bank, N.A. are technically the same financial 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.

If you can avoid touching your savings for at least 1 year, 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 place money into CIT Bank by electronic transfer, mobile check deposit, mailing a check, or incoming wire.

What Else Does CIT Bank Offer?

Besides bank 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 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 from 12-72 months.

Bottom Line: Is CIT Good?

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.

CIT Savings Builder account offers one of the best high yield bank rates in the nation for relatively low requirements. And even if you only have $100, you can earn competitive 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 a better than average return with an 18-month CD.

Note: This website 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. You do not have to use our links, but you help support CreditDonkey if you do.

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CIT Bank Savings Builder Review

If you can save $100 per month, you can earn a high interest rate with CIT Bank Savings Builder. Find out if this bank is any good.

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