CIT Bank Review - Everything You Need to Know

Online-only bank with impressive high-yield savings accounts and CDs

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CIT Bank offers some of the most impressive rates of any online-only bank but with limited account offerings. You can’t get a checking account here, but if you plan to fund a savings account, CIT Bank should be near the top of your list.

CIT is best known for its high-yield savings account and Certificates of Deposit. As an internet bank, CIT is able to offer higher interest rates because of the money it saves not having to pay the costs associated branch locations.

Who is CIT Bank Best For?

CIT Bank will appeal to customers looking for an online-only bank. It’s perfect for customers who:

  • Don’t need an ATM card
  • Are OK with having accounts at multiple banks
  • Are looking for a high-yield savings account
  • Earn enough to contribute to a savings account monthly

Pros

  • Savings account interest rates are some of the highest you’ll find

  • No fees associated with starting or maintaining an account

  • Account can be opened with as little as $100

Cons

  • No branch locations

  • No checking accounts

  • Customer support could be better

Types of Accounts

CIT Bank offers the following types of accounts:

  • Savings Account
  • Money Market Account
  • Certificate of Deposit

Learn more about each type of account CIT offers below.

Savings Account

CIT offers two savings accounts but function differently based on how you fund the accounts over time. Advantages include:

  • No monthly fees
  • No minimum balance requirement
  • Initial deposit of just $100
  • Interest rates as high as 2.25%
  • Interest compounds daily

The Savings Builder account is CIT's most popular account. With just $100 needed to start the account, the barrier to entry is nearly non-existent. From your very first deposit, you earn interest at 2.25% for the first month. That’s 25 times the national average, according to CIT.

To continue earning that rate, one of two things (or both) has to happen each month:

  • You maintain a balance of $25,000 or higher
  • You make at least one monthly deposit of $100 or more

Each month, you will have an evaluation day (the fourth business day prior to the end of the month), where CIT looks to see if at least one of the two statements above are true. If the answer is “yes,” you continue to earn the high rate. If the answer is “no,” CIT moves you to the base rate of 0.995%. At the base level, you don’t have to make any additional deposits and there is no minimum balance requirement.

You’ll see the base interest rate advertised at 1.14% but the actual APY is 0.995% depending on when you opened the account.

If you want to save yourself the stress of keeping a five-figure monthly balance or depositing at least $100 a month, you can enroll in CIT's Premier High Yield Savings account instead. This account only requires an opening balance of at least $100 and pays a consistent 1.55% interest rate. All of the other features of the account are the same as the Savings Builder account.

Both accounts allow you six withdrawals per month — but don’t blame CIT. This is a federally-imposed limitation that you will find with nearly all savings accounts regardless of the financial institution.

CIT's savings accounts are easy to open. Simply click one of the many “open account” buttons, complete the application, fund the account, and you’re up and running.

You can fund the accounts through automatic funds transfer and if you need to make a withdrawal, you can do it through external transfers, wire transfers, and mailed checks initiated online or through the mobile app.

Money Market Account

Advantages of the Money Market account include:

  • Interest rates higher than the Premier High Yield Savings and some CDs
  • The ability to send money to people via an e-mail address or cell phone number
  • No monthly service fees
  • Bill pay

A money market account is a hybrid of a savings and checking account. Often, it’s an account with a higher interest rate than a checking account but gives the holder check-writing capabilities. CIT's is a little different because you don’t have the ability to write paper checks and the bank’s Savings Builder account offers a higher interest rate than the Money Market account.

Compared to the Premier High Yield Savings account, the Money Market account is a better product from an interest rate standpoint and using its People Pay feature, you can send money to anybody with an email address or cell phone number. Think of it like the Cash App. The only drawback to People Pay is that you can only send $50 per day.

Bill Pay is available with the Money Market account but not any of CIT's savings accounts.

The interest rate of the Money Market Account is higher than some of CIT's CDs. If you can’t commit to a longer term or higher balance CD, it's likely wiser for you to stow your money in a Market Account.

Certificates of Deposit

CIT Bank’s Certificates of Deposit come in many varieties. No matter your term, a CIT CD requires a $1,000 minimum deposit, is FDIC-insured, and compounds interest daily. Below are CIT's current Term CD rates:

Term Certificates of Deposit
Term APY
6-Month 0.72%
1-Year 2.20%
13-Month 2.25%
18-Month 2.50%
2-Year 1.40%
3-Year 1.30%
4-Year 1.50%
5-Year 1.70%

To help determine which term is right for you, or to compare to other CDs inside and outside of CIT, you can use their calculator to estimate your return.

If you’re worried about locking your money down for the term of the CD, check out CIT's 11-month No-Penalty CD. You can withdraw your funds, if necessary, a mere 7 days after CIT receives the money. With an interest rate of 2.50%, it’s a great way to lock in a higher rate than the Savings Builder account without the high balance requirement or monthly deposit requirement. Like the regular Term CDs, you can sign up with as little as $1,000.

On the flip side of the coin, jumbo CDs are for people with at least $100,000 to deposit. CIT's two-year jumbo CD has an APY of 1.45% and reaches as high as 1.75% with a five-year CD.

People with six-figure balances should first speak to a financial advisor about the best ways to put their money to work. Although CDs come with very little risk, their returns won’t keep pace with inflation at current rates. That could change in the future, though.

Finally, a RampUp Plus CD allows you to request a one-time rate increase and a one-time added deposit. The regular RampUp CD allows for a one-time rate increase but not an additional deposit. The minimum opening balance is $25,000 for a three-year CD and $50,000 for a four-year CD. Rates for the RampUp and RampUp Plus CDs are between 1.252% and 1.38% — unremarkable given the amount of money they require and the short length of the term.

All of CIT's CDs are easy to apply for. Simply click the Open Account button, complete the paperwork and fund the account.

Overall Experience

You either like and trust Internet banks or you don’t. If you’re a purist and enjoy interacting with humans face-to-face at a branch location, or you want to do all of your banking with a single bank, you’re probably best with a brick and mortar. These are all limitations of CIT, but also limitations of e-banks in general. For those who are fine with 100% online banking, however, the higher-than-average savings rates and no-fee accounts are significantly better than what you get at a traditional bank.

The lack of a debit card is concerning for many people, but remember that you aren’t going to make frequent withdrawals from your savings account anyway. A debit card should only be important for your checking account which will be at a different institution.

On the downside, you can find better CD rates elsewhere and if you can’t meet the requirements for the top-tier of the Savings Builder account, you might find equal or better rates at other online banks.

Also concerning, app store reviews are a little lower than you might like to see for CIT’s mobile app and the number of negative reviews surrounding its customer service leave room for pause. Of course, customer reviews tend to lean toward the negative because people experiencing quality services are sometimes less motivated to post. Use the questionable reviews as another data point rather than a singular reason to discount the bank.

Customer Service

You can reach a CIT Bank representative by phone Monday through Friday 8:00 am (ET) to 9:00 pm (ET), Saturday 9:00 am (ET) to 5:00 pm (ET), and Sunday 11:00 am (ET) to 4:00 pm (ET). If you are calling within the U.S., the number is 855-462-2652. If you are calling outside the U.S., the number is 626-535-8964. Alternatively, you can reach CIT Bank by email at contactcenter@cit.com or via mail. The address of their corporate headquarters is as listed below:

CIT Bank, N.A.

75 North Fair Oaks Ave

Pasadena, CA 91103

About CIT Bank

CIT Bank is an online-only bank started in 2009. CIT stands for Commercial Investment Trust because it started as a bank that served only businesses but has since expanded to serve retail customers as well. CIT is 42nd among the largest banks in the United States with assets totaling $41 billion.

CIT is FDIC insured, meaning that customers don’t have to worry about losing their funds if the bank were to go out of business. Additionally, the bank uses the most up-to-date encryption standards and cybersecurity practices for keeping your online account safe.

The Bottom Line

BENEFITS

CIT Bank shines with its Savings Builder account. With an APY of 2.25%, that’s about the highest you’re going to find anywhere. They also have a Money Market account that gives you the ability to pay bills and make small payments to individuals.

CIT offers a variety of CDs, some with the ability to add funds and request a rate increase within the term of the CD. You won’t find that at many banks.

DRAWBACKS

The 2.25% interest rate on the Savings Builder account only kicks in if you keep a $25,000 or more balance or you deposit at least $100 each month. That can be prohibitive for some people. If you fall back to the base rate of 0.995% APY or sign up for the Premier High Yield Savings account with a rate of 1.55%, you might find higher interest rates with lower requirements elsewhere.

For those with higher net worth, CIT's jumbo CDs and RampUp CDs pay rates that are largely unimpressive. Same holds true of most of their CD products.

Finally, online-only banks must have top-tier technology to make the user experience seamless. CIT's mobile apps have lower reviews than one might like to see.