Updated February 1, 2024

CIT Bank Review

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CIT Bank offers a high interest rate. But how reliable is this online bank? Read this review to find out if what you heard is true.

5-point scale (the higher, the better)

Pros and Cons

  • High savings APY
  • No monthly fees
  • Low opening deposits
  • No check writing

Bottom Line

Solid online bank with excellent rates and no monthly fees

If you're looking for high interest on your savings, CIT Bank is worth a look. CIT's savings accounts and CDs offer some of the highest interest rates on the market. And they all have no monthly fees.

As an online bank, it has fewer overhead costs. In return, it passes along the savings to customers in the form of higher APYs.

Though it's a digital bank, CIT Bank is totally safe. Your savings are protected by FDIC insurance just like traditional banks.

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

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

About CIT Bank

 

Who is CIT Bank owned by?

CIT Bank is a division of First Citizens Bank. Headquartered in North Carolina, First Citizens has over 550 branches in 23 states. It's the largest family-controlled bank in the US with over $200 billion in total assets.

Though First Citizens is a brick-and-mortar bank, CIT Bank is online-only. But CIT Bank customers can now enjoy greater banking convenience from any First Citizens Bank location, through digital banking, by ATM, and by telephone. You can also access products and services offered by First Citizens.

CIT Bank is fully FDIC insured[1] up to $250,000. This is for a combined deposits held between First Citizens Bank and CIT Bank.

Is CIT Bank the same as Citibank? CIT Bank and Citibank are completely separate institutions. CIT Bank is owned by First Citizens and Citibank is owned by Citi group. Both parent companies are listed on public exchanges. First Citizens has the stock symbol FCNCA on NASDAQ. Citigroup has the stock symbol C on the NYSE.

What CIT Offers

CIT Bank offers a variety of accounts to cover your basic banking needs. It's popular for its high yield savings products with better rates than many other online banks. It also offers an eChecking account with interest.

Take a look at their account types to find the right one for you.

Platinum Savings

CIT Bank's Platinum Savings account is the newest and highest-interest savings product from CIT Bank and there's no monthly fee.

You earn 5.05% APY with a balance of $5,000 or more. The minimum to open is only $100 but in order to receive top-tier APY, you need to maintain a $5,000 daily balance.

Platinum Savings account is best if you can keep at least $5,000 in your savings. If your daily balance is less than $5,000, your account will still earn APY but it will drop to 0.25%.

How much do you save a month?

Savings Connect

CIT Bank's Savings Connect account offers a competitive rate with fewer restrictions and you won't have to worry about keeping a certain balance to get the highest APY.

You earn 4.65% APY on your entire balance. The minimum to open is only $100 and there's no balance requirement after that.

This is one of the highest savings interest rates currently being offered in the nation. It's a great place to park your emergency fund and increase your savings. There's no downside since there's no monthly fee or minimums.

Use this calculator to see how much interest you can earn with 4.65% APY.

Savings Calculator

Savings Builder

CIT Savings Builder account is meant to encourage active saving. You get rewarded with a higher APY by either actively saving or keeping a high balance.

You can earn 1.00% APY if you do one of the following:

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

If you don't meet the requirements, you'll still earn their base tier APY that month. Once you meet the requirements again, your rate will go back up to 1.00%.[2]

As with any savings account, you're limited to 6 withdrawals per month per federal restrictions.

The Savings Builder doesn't come with an ATM card. You can withdraw money by electronic transfers, wire transfers, and mailed checks.

Compare Savings Accounts

Money Market

The CIT Bank Money Market account offers the same interest rate for every balance. You'll earn 1.55% APY no matter how much you have in your account. You will need a minimum of $100 to open the account.

Once the account is open, there are no monthly service fees. Like the Savings Builder, you're limited to 6 withdrawals per month. If you can't commit to saving a certain amount each month, this could be a great option.

Certificates of Deposit (CDs)

CIT Bank also offers competitive rates on their term CDs. The minimum deposit for all term CDs is $1,000. And there are no account fees.

Terms are available from six months to five years. Your rate is locked in for the entire duration. Even if interest rates go down later, you'll still earn the high interest until end of your term.

CDs auto-renew for the same term once they mature, except for 13-month and 18-month CDs. 13-month CDs renew as 1-year CDs and 18-month CDs become 2-year CDs.

CDs require you to lock your savings for a set period of time. Typically, withdrawing money from a CD before maturity will incur a withdrawal penalty.

What is the penalty for early withdrawals from CDs?[3]
It depends on the term of your CD. Here are CIT Bank's early withdrawal penalties:
  • 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 IRA or trust accounts. However, they are available as custodial accounts.

No-Penalty CD

If you're nervous about committing your money for a period of time, CIT Bank offer a unique No-Penalty CD.

If something comes up and you suddenly need your money, you can withdraw your full balance with no penalty (starting from 7 days after account funding).

This gives you flexibility and peace of mind knowing your money is still available if you need it. At the same time, you can enjoy the higher locked-in interest rate.

This no-penalty CD product has one fixed term of 11 months. The minimum deposit is also only $1,000.

Compare CD Rates

eChecking

CIT Bank's eChecking account only needs $100 minimum to open. And, like their savings accounts, there are no maintenance fees.

If you need to withdraw money, you can use any other bank's ATM. CIT doesn't have a network of free ATMs. But they will reimburse up to $30 per month in ATM fees.

It offers convenient, 24/7 access to your account online and through the app. But this online account unfortunately doesn't come with any paper checks. CIT lets you make payments through Zelle®, Apple Pay, and Samsung Pay. You can also use their Bill Pay feature for electronic payments.

How can I deposit funds with CIT Bank? You can place money into CIT by electronic transfer, mobile check deposits, mailing a check, or incoming wire.

Compare Checking Accounts

CIT Bank Services

In addition to banking products, CIT provides some other services, including:

Home Loans
CIT offers both mortgages and refinance loans at fixed and adjustable rates. It also has a Low Down Payment Program that allows borrowers to qualify for a house loan with as little as a 3% down payment.

If you have a CIT bank account, you can get a lower mortgage rate with relationship pricing.

Business Loans
While CIT is best known for their personal banking solutions, you can also find solutions for your business. It offers business loans up to $250,000 from 6-24 months.[4][5]

Equipment Financing
Businesses can get equipment financing up to $500,000 without financials, or up to $1 million with financials from 6-72 months.[6]

Pros & Cons of CIT

Pros:

  • Higher interest rates than traditional banks
  • No monthly fees on any accounts
  • Low opening deposits ($100 for checking & savings accounts and $1,000 for CDs)
  • Minimal one-time fees
  • Up to $30 monthly in ATM fee reimbursements
  • Remote check deposits
  • 24/7 mobile banking on iOS and Android

ForAccount
Saving money for emergencies & short term goalsSavings Connect
Earning interest on money for everyday expenseseChecking
Growing money you might need in the futureOther CDs
Earning high interest and can maintain $5kPlatinum Savings

Cons:

  • No check writing from the checking account
  • May experience long wait times on phone calls
  • Can't build credit since no credit cards are offered

If you need access to lots of physical locations, we recommend a Chase checking account. Chase has more than 4,700 branches and more than 15,000 ATMs nationwide.

Fees and Charges

There are no monthly fees with a CIT savings account. CIT waives many common banking fees you might run into at a traditional bank. All deposit accounts have no:

  • Fee to open account
  • Maintenance fees
  • Account closing fee
  • Fees for incoming wire transfer
  • Mailed check fees
  • No online transfer fees

That said, it's not entirely fee-free. Here are some fees you might encounter:[7]

  • $10 outgoing wire transfer fee ($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

You can access your account on the online platform or through its mobile app on Google Play and App Store.

Is CIT Bank trustworthy?

Yes, CIT Bank is a legitimate bank with the same rules and regulations as traditional banks. CIT is owned by First Citizens Bank, which has over 120 years of history. Your funds are FDIC insured (FDIC# 11063) up to $250,000 per depositor, per ownership category in the event that CIT Bank fails.

CIT also uses layers of security to make sure your personal information is safe. It has anti-virus protection, firewalls, 128-bit Secure Socket Layer encryption, and more.

CIT and First Citizens Bank are technically the same financial institution. Therefore, money held in both banks would count jointly toward the $250,000 federal insurance limit.

Is Online Banking Right for You?

Do you already do everything online? Or do you prefer to deal with your money in person? If you're part of the first group, online banking has some great perks:

  • Higher interest rates than traditional banks
  • No or low monthly fees and balance requirements
  • Convenient 24/7 online account management
  • Easy to open an account online

However, you have to be comfortable with doing everything purely online. Some downsides 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

You can't please everyone, especially if you're a bank. Here are some common complaints from CIT Bank customers.

Customer Service
You can only reach customer support by phone call or email. Customers report long wait times when they phone in with issues.

If in-person customer support is a must-have for you, a traditional bank like Chase is a better choice. Plus, you can often get bonus promotions when you open a new account.

Hold Times on Incoming Funds
An ACH transfer may be held for up to 5 business days. Checks deposited to your account may be held for 7 business days.[8]

Electronic Transfers May Take a Few Days
If you need to transfer funds to an external account, it won't be available immediately. Make sure you give yourself plenty of time to initiate the transfer.

CIT Bank customer service is available by phone at 855-462-2652 during these hours:
  • 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)

Or, you can access your account online and by Automated Telephone Banking 24/7.

How to Open a CIT Bank Account

All CIT accounts must be opened online. Here's how to use its online system.

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

    • 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 with one of these methods:

    • Transfer funds electronically from an external checking or savings account. CIT's Routing/Transit number is 124084834.

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

    • Wire funds to your new account

  3. Verify your micro-deposits. CIT will make two "test" micro-deposits to your funding account. Within 3 business days, you'll get an email asking you to verify the amounts. As soon as you have verified, your transaction will be processed.

CIT Bank Mobile App

CIT offers a mobile app for both iOS and Android, so you can bank on-the-go from anywhere.

On the mobile app, you can:

  • Log-in via fingerprint or password
  • Transfer funds between CIT accounts and other banks
  • Deposit checks by taking a photo
  • Set up one-time or recurring bill payments
  • Check balances and transaction history
  • Send and receive money through Zelle®
  • Make secure payments with Apple Pay and Samsung Pay
  • Manage debit card preferences

In addition to the mobile app, you can also enroll in text banking. This allows you to check your account balance and recent transactions by texting a simple command.

How CIT Bank Compares

Which is better Ally or CIT Bank?

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

Ally Bank charges no account fees for any of its accounts.

What is the difference between CIT Bank and Citi Bank?

Though their names are similar, CIT Bank and Citibank are two different financial institutions.

Citibank is one of the largest banks in the world. It has over 700 locations in the US (mostly in California and New York) and 1,800 branches overseas. You may consider it if you travel abroad often and still want access to branches and ATMs.

Citibank offers checking and savings packages. Like most traditional banks, the accounts have a monthly service fee that can be waived with certain direct deposit or balance requirements.

In comparison, CIT Bank is online only but because of CIT's merger with First Citizens Bank, you can now also bank at any First Citizens Bank location. All of CIT's deposit accounts are free with no monthly fees. It's a good choice if you want higher savings rates and hate banking fees.

CIT vs Synchrony

CIT vs Discover® Bank

In addition to credit cards, Discover® Bank also offers a full range of online banking services, including checking and high yield online savings.

CIT vs Capital One 360

What the Experts Say

It's not easy finding the right bank. As part of our series on banking and saving, CreditDonkey asked a panel of industry experts to answer some of our readers' most pressing questions:

Bottom Line: Is CIT Good?

CIT is a safe online bank with good deposit products, including eChecking account and savings options. It offers interest rates higher than many other competitor online banks and credit unions.

The Savings Connect is a premier high yield savings account with relatively low deposit requirements. But if you can maintain a balance of at least $5,000, then go with Platinum Savings to grow your money even more and save more.

Even if you only have $100, you can still earn competitive interest in their money market account.

Or if you have at least $1,000 set aside and aren't concerned about liquidity, you can take advantage of higher yields with an 18-month CD.

References

  1. ^ FDIC. First-Citizens Bank & Trust Company, Retrieved 01/29/24
  2. ^ CIT Bank. CIT Bank Savings Builder, Retrieved 01/29/24
  3. ^ CIT Bank. FAQs: What are the penalties for Term, Jumbo, Ramp-Up and Ramp-Up Plus CDs?, Retrieved 01/29/2024
  4. ^ CIT Bank. Small Business Finance, Retrieved 01/29/2024
  5. ^ CIT Bank. Working Capital Business Loans, Retrieved 01/29/2024
  6. ^ CIT Bank. Business Equipment Financing, Retrieved 01/29/2024
  7. ^ CIT Bank. CIT Bank Schedule of Fees, Retrieved 01/29/2024
  8. ^ CIT Bank. CIT Bank Agreement for Personal Accounts, Retrieved 01/29/2024
CIT Bank
Member FDIC

CIT Bank Platinum Savings - 5.05% APY

  • 5.05% APY with a balance of $5,000 or more
  • 0.25% APY with a balance of less than $5,000
  • $100 minimum opening deposit
  • No monthly maintenance fee
  • Member FDIC
Discover Bank
Member FDIC

Online Savings Account - Earn 4.25% APY

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

Chase Total Checking® - $300 Bonus

Expires 7/24/2024
  • New Chase checking customers enjoy a $300 bonus when you open a Chase Total Checking® account with qualifying activities
  • Access to more than 15,000 Chase ATMs and more than 4,700 branches
  • Chase Mobile® app - Manage your accounts, deposit checks, transfer money and more -- all from your device.
  • JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. Member FDIC
  • Open your account online now
  • Available online nationwide except in Alaska, Hawaii and Puerto Rico. For branch locations, visit locator.chase.com.
  • Chase Overdraft Assist℠ - no overdraft fees if you're overdrawn by $50 or less at the end of the business day or if you're overdrawn by more than $50 and bring your account balance to overdrawn by $50 or less at the end of the next business day*
Bank of America
Member FDIC

Bank of America Advantage Banking - $200 Bonus Offer

Expires 5/31/2024
  • The $200 bonus offer is an online only offer and must be opened through the Bank of America promotional page.
  • The offer is for new checking customers only.
  • Offer expires 5/31/2024.
  • To qualify, open a Bank of America Advantage Banking account through the promotional page and set up and receive qualifying direct deposits totaling $2,000 or more into that new account within 90 days of opening.
  • Bank of America will attempt to pay bonus within 60 days.
  • Additional terms and conditions apply. See offer page for more details.
  • Bank of America, N.A. Member FDIC.
Bluevine

Free Business Checking - Up to 2.0% APY

  • 2.0% APY on your balance up to $250,000 for customers that meet monthly eligibility requirements
  • $0 minimum opening deposit
  • $0 monthly service fee
Banking services provided by Coastal Community Bank, Member FDIC

Donna Tang is a content associate at CreditDonkey, a bank comparison and reviews website. Write to Donna Tang at donna.tang@creditdonkey.com. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook for our latest posts.

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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About CIT Bank Promotions

CIT Bank offers some of the highest interest rates on the market. It is an online bank that offers a variety of savings products. Because of CIT's merger with First Citizens Bank, you can also access products and services offered by First Citizens.

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