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CIT Bank

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Are you sick and tired of paying high fees for banking services? How about receiving next-to-no interest on your online savings accounts? CIT Bank is an online banking solution designed to address these complaints. It offers some of the highest-paying interest rates on both savings accounts and certificates of deposit (CDs) available on the web. And what’s more, there are no account maintenance fees for CIT Bank’s banking products.

What Is CIT Bank?

Now, first things first. CIT Bank is not Citibank. (Yes, it is a bit confusing.) It’s not related to Citigroup at all. Rather, CIT stands for “Commercial Investment Trust” and has its roots in a company founded in 1908.

Based in Pasadena, Calif., CIT Bank’s parent company, CIT, has more than $50 billion in assets, and CIT Bank itself has over $40 billion in assets and $30 billion in deposits. In addition to online banking, CIT Bank also offers business services for small businesses, as well as a wide range of home mortgage products.

How CIT Bank Works

CIT Bank offers two high-yield savings accounts — the Premier High Yield Savings account and the Savings Builder account — and several different CD products, some of them incredibly innovative. It also offers custodial accounts.

But CIT Bank does not offer checking accounts, auto loans, credit cards or IRAs. So CIT Bank functions basically as an online savings bank.

Online Banking

CIT Bank provides real-time access. You can manage your accounts online. You can view and download statements and make transfers from other banks, as well as between other accounts you have with CIT Bank.

Mobile Banking

If you prefer, you can manage your accounts with a mobile app. You can check your account balances and transaction history, transfer money and deposit checks. The app is available on Google Play and the App Store.

CIT Bank Signup

You can open an account on CIT Bank’s website. You will be asked to provide your Social Security number, your current bank routing and account numbers (as the source account for funding your CIT Bank account), and the name and ID numbers for any joint account holders or beneficiaries of the account.

Funding Your Account(s)

This can be accomplished by one of three methods:

  • Electronic funds transfer
  • By check mailed to CIT Bank’s home office
  • Wire transfers

Funds made by electronic transfer are available in five business days, whereas if you mail in a check, it will take 10 days.

Transaction Limits

There are no limits on the number of payments made directly to you or transfers to other accounts, if the transfer or withdrawal is initiated by mail.

Withdrawals by phone are also unlimited, but only if you are requesting that a check be mailed to you. All other types of transfers or withdrawals initiated by phone are limited to six per statement cycle. To withdraw funds from CIT Bank, you need to contact customer service by either phone or mail, rather than initiating a withdrawal or transfer online.

Interest Compounding

Interest on all banking products is compounded daily and credited to your account monthly.

Customer Service

Available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, for both Online Banking and Mobile Banking. The bank can be contacted by email or by automated telephone banking. However, in this day and age, it’s worth noting that CIT Bank doesn’t have much of a social media presence. So you can’t expect to send a message via Facebook to solve any customer service-related issues you may have.

CIT Bank Calculators

The bank offers several different calculators to help you save money, prepare for retirement and even manage debt. Calculators are offered for CD laddering, mortgage payoff, emergency savings, college savings, retirement planning, traditional and Roth IRAs and several others.

Account Protection

All account balances are FDIC insured for up to $250,000 per depositor.

Bank Fees

This is the really good part. CIT Bank charges no account fees of any sort, and many of the fees typically associated with banking don’t even exist here. The only fee the bank charges is a $10 per wire transfer fee on outgoing wire transfers, and then only for accounts that have an average daily balance of less than $25,000.

CIT Bank Savings Account

 

Premier High Yield Savings

CIT Bank offers this high-yield savings account with no fees and a low required deposit minimum. Note that CIT Bank does not currently offer IRAs.

Available For Taxable, Custodial
Account Fees None
Savings Rates
  • Minimum Deposit $100
    — 1.55% APY

 

Savings Builder High Yield Savings

With a Savings Builder High Yield Savings account, clients who meet one of two conditions can receive a boosted APY of 2.10%:

  1. Maintain an account balance of $25,000 or more
  2. Make at least one deposit of $100 or more per month

If you don’t meet one of these criteria in any given month, you’ll receive an APY of 1.26%. However, it’s easy to boost your rate: Deposit $100 or more and you’ll return to the higher APY the next month.

As an additional bonus, everyone who signs up for the account will receive the 2.30% APY for the first full month, no matter how much they deposit.

Available For Taxable
Account Fees None
Savings Rates
  • Minimum Deposit $0
    — 1.26% APY
  • Minimum Deposit $100
    — 2.10% APY

CIT Bank Money Market Account

 

Money Market Account

With a CIT Bank Money Market Account, you can earn a competitive interest rate and access your money easily. It’s an ideal online account for building an emergency fund or saving for a large purchase.

Available For Taxable
Account Fees None
Savings Rates
  • Minimum Deposit $100
    — 1.85% APY

CIT Bank CD Rates

Term CDs

These CDs are available for regular and custodial accounts (but not IRAs).

Term Minimum Deposit APY More Info
6 months $1,000 0.72% Open An Account
1 years $1,000 2.00% Open An Account
13 months $1,000 2.05% Open An Account
18 months $1,000 2.10% Open An Account
2 years $1,000 1.40% Open An Account
3 years $1,000 1.30% Open An Account
4 years $1,000 1.50% Open An Account
5 years $1,000 1.70% Open An Account

No-Penalty CDs

Special feature of this CD: Early withdrawal advantage. You can access your funds early with this CD, subject to certain limitations. No withdrawals are permitted during the first six days after receipt of funds by the bank. But you can withdraw the total balance, including interest earned, without penalty, beginning seven days after the funds have been received.

Available for: Regular and custodial accounts (but not IRAs)

Term Minimum Deposit APY More Info
11 months $1,000 2.05% Open An Account

RampUp CDs

Flexible long-term CD designed to protect against market fluctuations.

Special feature of this CD: RampUp CD rate advantage. You have the option to adjust your rate once during the term of the CD, if rates increase. If they fall, you can stay with the original APY.

Available for: Regular and custodial accounts (but not IRAs)

Term Minimum Deposit APY More Info
3 years $25,000 1.20% Open An Account
4 years $50,000 1.38% Open An Account

RampUp Plus CDs

Special feature of this CD: CD rate advantage. You have the option to adjust your rate once during the term of the CD should rates increase. But it also gives you the option to increase the size of your deposit during the term of your CD. Even if rates go down, you can still add to your deposit with interest at the higher initial rate.

Available for: Regular and custodial accounts (but not IRAs)

Term Minimum Deposit APY More Info
1 years $25,000 1.26% Open An Account
2 years $25,000 1.27% Open An Account

Jumbo CDs

Available for: Regular and custodial accounts (but not IRAs)

Term Minimum Deposit APY More Info
2 years $100,000 1.45% Open An Account
3 years $100,000 1.40% Open An Account
4 years $100,000 1.60% Open An Account
5 years $100,000 1.75% Open An Account

There are limits on the interest rate adjustment on both the RampUP and RampUP Plus CDs, as follows:

If the new APY is: Initial APY New Published APY New Adjusted APY for the remainder of term
Less than twice the initial APY and rate cap 2.00% 3.75% 3.95%
Less than twice the initial APY and higher than the rate cap 2.00% 3.98% 3.95%
Equal to twice the initial APY 2.00% 4.00% 3.95%
Greater than twice the initial APY 2.00% 4.20% 3.95%

 

CIT Bank Early Withdrawal Penalties on CDs

All banks assess early withdrawal penalties on CDs, and that includes CIT Bank. The early withdrawal penalty policy is as follows:

  • Terms up to one year — three months’ interest on the amount withdrawn
  • Terms more than one year up to three years — six months’ interest on the amount withdrawn
  • Terms more than three years — 12 months’ interest on the amount withdrawn

CIT Bank Custodial Accounts

You can set up a custodial account, which will be held in the minor’s name, with you as the account custodian. You can remain on the account until the minor turns 18 (or as old as 25 in some jurisdictions), at which time the former minor takes control of the account.

Any of CIT Bank’s products can be used in a custodial account.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • High-Paying Interest — CIT Bank pays some of the highest interest rates available and certainly higher than what you can get at most local banks.
  • No-Fee Banking — Not only does CIT Bank not charge account maintenance fees, but it also skips many of the other fees typical in banking.
  • Flexible CDs — The No-Penalty CD allows penalty-free withdrawals after just seven days. And the RampUP CD allows you to make a one-time upward rate adjustment if rates increase after you open the certificate.

Cons

  • No Checking Account — No checking account is offered, although this is not unusual among online banks.
  • No Loans or Cards — No auto loans, credit cards or debit cards are available.
  • No IRA Options — No IRA accounts are offered.

Summary

If you like high-interest rates on your savings and hate banking fees, then CIT Bank is a great choice. It’s even better if you are a small depositor looking for high rates, since you can earn as much as 2.30% APY through the Savings Builder account with the booster.

But CIT Bank is not a full-service bank. It doesn’t offer checking accounts, credit or debit cards, auto loans or IRAs. For the average investor, CIT Bank will be strictly a high-yield savings bank. Most other banking functions will have to be handled through another banking platform such as Ally Bank or Capital One 360.

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