In this CIT Bank review, we will discuss the various products the bank offers, consider how to best use these accounts, and determine whether opening an account with CIT Bank is right for you. Enjoy!
CIT Bank is a publicly-traded, FDIC insured financial institution offering a high yield savings account and other online banking services throughout the United States. The bank also has several “brick and mortar” locations scattered throughout Southern California which operate under the name OneWest Bank.
Most impressively, CIT Bank’s high yield savings account currently boasts an interest rate of 1.35% APY on balances under $100,000. (You’ll earn 1.30% on balances above $100K.) That’s over 22x the national average and a whopping 135x better than many of the largest national chains they compete with!
Obviously, it pays to consider moving (at least) some of your money to CIT Bank. Before you do, let’s take a closer look at what they have to offer.
CIT Bank at a Glance
- Founded in 1908
- Traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: CIT)
- More than $30 billion on deposit (June 30, 2017)
- More than $40 Billion in assets (June 30, 2017)
- Internet banking available throughout U.S.
- Branches located throughout Southern California (operating as OneWest Bank)
CIT Bank Products
- Premier High Yield Savings Account – Up to 1.35% APY*
- Multiple CD Options – Up to 1.75% APY*
- Small business and home loans available
(*Rates current as of September 5, 2017)
CIT Bank: Pros and Cons
|CIT Bank: Best Features||CIT Bank: Where They Fall Short|
|Excellent interest rate on savings accounts||Checking accounts NOT available|
|Small minimum deposit requirements||CD rates are just average|
|No monthly fees||Name recognition is relatively low|
|CD options are flexible|
Who Is CIT Bank?
Although the name CIT Bank may not ring a bell, they’ve definitely been around the block. The company was founded in 1908 and currently trades publicly on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: CIT). CIT Bank operates online banking services throughout the United States, but it also has several brick and mortar locations. Residents of Southern California may recognize the name OneWest Bank, which is a subsidiary of its parent company CIT Bank, N.A.
As of June 2017, CIT Bank claims financial assets of over $40 billion. The bank has over $30 billion dollars on deposit, and has the backing of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC).
This CIT Bank review focuses primarily on the company’s online personal banking options – specifically the different savings vehicles they have available. With that said, they can also meet other banking needs customers may have. CIT Banks offers a host of loans for homeowners and small businesses, so they can fulfill your needs there as well.
CIT Bank Review: Savings Products
CIT Bank Premier High Yield Savings Account
Over the past few years, making money on your bank deposits has become increasingly frustrating. The decent returns of the past seem like a distant memory, and good savings accounts have become increasingly rare. CIT Bank is looking to change that.
The CIT Bank Premier High Yield Savings Account is truly the star of this show.
Here’s the nitty gritty: This account offers a 1.35% APY interest rate on balances under $100,000. That’s 22x the national average and an incredible 135x the rate on savings accounts at popular national chains like Chase, Bank of America, and Wells Fargo. Once you reach the 100 grand mark, you’ll still earn 1.30% APY on your money. Interest on all accounts is compounded on a daily basis and paid out monthly.
In addition to the great rates, online banking with CIT Bank is completely free. There are zero fees to open and maintain your account, and deposits are insured by the FDIC to the usual $250,000 limit. A minimum opening deposit of $100 is required, however there is just a $1 minimum daily balance going forward.
Here’s another look at the current rates and conditions for CIT Bank’s high yield savings account:
|Account Type||APY*||Minimum Balance*|
|*Current as of 08/08/17|
|Premier High Yield Savings (balance<$100,000)||1.35%||To Open: $100
|Premier High Yield Savings (balance>$100K)||1.30%||To Open: $100
How to Use a High Yield Savings Account
Are you wondering why you might want to use a high yield savings account? Here are a few ideas on how to use it:
Travel Fund / Savings Goals – Keeping a separate savings account to meet specific savings goals – like travel, a new car, etc. – is always a good idea. A special account keeps this money separate from your general funds, helping you to avoid spending it on items it was never meant for.
Emergency Fund – An emergency fund is one of the main pillars of financial health. A fully-furnished emergency fund should hold 3 to 6 months’ worth of expenses that can – and should only – be used in case of a financial emergency. Like saving for a goal, an online high yield savings account is a great way to keep your e-fund safe and separate from your general accounts.
Savings Protection – Spreading your money around to a few different banks is never a bad idea. This is especially true if you keep more than $250,000 in savings. By keeping accounts at multiple banks, more of your money is insured by the FDIC in the event that one (or multiple) banks go under.
CIT Bank Certificates of Deposit (CDs)
CIT Bank offers a handful of CD options, each with their own pros and cons. While the interest rates aren’t going to blow your socks off, the flexible nature of their CD offerings may. I’m particularly impressed with their “No-Penalty CD” and the “RampUp™ CD” options.
The No-Penalty CD from CIT Bank is exactly what you’d expect. This CD allows you to withdraw your original deposit – plus interest – before the maturation date without facing any early withdrawal penalties. As far as I can tell, the only stipulation is that you can not withdraw your funds within 7 days of funding. After that, you’re golden. Of course, you’ll pay for this privilege in the form of a lower interest rate, but the flexibility is rather appealing.
CIT Bank’s RampUp™ CD options provide a different kind of flexibility. Instead of allowing penalty-free withdrawals, these CDs offer the chance to readjust your interest rates one time during the CD term. So, if rates go up, you can ask to earn the higher rate. You can also make a one-time addition of funds to your CD before it matures. If the current rate is lower than the original, the money you add will earn interest at the higher rate.
The RampUp™ CDs come in twp different options: RampUp™ and RampUp™ Plus. Minimum deposits range from $25,000 to $50,000, depending on the option you choose. Terms range from 1 to 4 years, again dependent upon your CD selection.
Like the high yield savings account, all CDs are FDIC insured. There are no account opening or maintainence fees, and interest is compounded daily. Current rates are listed in the table below.
|Product||Rates*||Term||Minimum Opening Deposit||Description|
|*Current as of 08/08/17|
|Term CDs||Up to 1.70% APY*||Up to 5 Years||$1,000||Low minimum balance, various term lengths|
|No-Penalty CD||Up to 1.55% APY*||11 Months||$1,000||No penalties on early withdrawals (7 days after funding)|
|RampUp Plus CD||Up to 1.27% APY*||1 & 2 Year||$25,000||Flexible rate and deposit options|
|RampUp CDs||Up to 1.38% APY*||3 & 4 Year||$25,000 - 3 Year CD|
$50,000 - 4 Year CD
|Flexible rate and deposit options|
|Jumbo CDs||Up to 1.75% APY*||Up to 5 Years||$100,000||For large deposits|
Benefits of Using CIT Bank
- Excellent Savings Account Rates – As we’ve discussed, the Premier High Yield Savings account offers a superb 1.35% APY on balances below $100,000. This is over 22x the national average and 135x better than rates at some of CIT Bank’s more well known national competitors.
- Low Minimum Deposit Requirements – At CIT Bank, you can open a high yield savings account with as little as $100. Minimum deposits on CDs start at just $1,000.
- No Fees – Online Banking with CIT Bank is free. There are no account opening or management fees and just a $1 minimum balance requirement on the high yield savings accounts. (Penalties may apply for withdrawing funds early on certain CD products.)
- Flexible CD Options – While the interest rates are about average, CIT Bank offers a variety of flexible CD options. The No-Penalty CD and RampUp™ CD line may be worth a look.
- FDIC Insured – All deposits with CIT Bank are FDIC insured to the usual $250,000.
Where CIT Bank Falls Short
While I believe their high yield savings account is one of the best you’ll find, there are still a few things to be desired. The biggest issue I have is that CIT Bank does not offer an online checking account. This seems like it would be fairly standard practice, and I’m a bit surprised that they make this option available to customers.
For as flexible as their CDs are, the interest rates aren’t anything to get overly excited about. The No-Penalty CD is an interesting option, but the 1.45% APY doesn’t motivate me to open a new certificate of deposit. If you look closely, you’ll also notice that the current 1.27% APY offered on the RampUp™ Plus CD is actually lower than that of the high yield savings account. So, as intriguing as the RampUp™ Plus seems, I’d definitely opt for the savings account at this time.
Finally, I can see where some people may be scared off by the fact that CIT Bank isn’t necessarily a recognizable name in banking. Keep in mind, though, that the bank has been around since 1908. If you’re worried about the financial stability of the bank, you may wish to keep your deposit totals below the $250,000 that are insured by the FDIC.
How to Open a CIT Bank Account
Opening an account at CIT Bank is super simple and takes roughly 10 minutes. Be sure to have your drivers license and Social Security number handy. Here’s how to get started:
- Open a high yield savings account or open a new CD here.
- Complete the application.
- Fund your new account.
To fund your account, you’ll also need to provide information for the financial institution from which you are transferring the funds. You can fund your new account in one of three ways:
- Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) – free of charge
- Personal Check – free of charge
- Wire Transfer – free of charge
CIT Bank Review: The Bottom Line
Overall, I think CIT Bank is a very good option for online banking customers.
Although I find the flexibility of their CDs interesting, the rates are still somewhat underwhelming. Personally, I plan to avoid CDs completely for the forseeable future… unless I just run into a bundle of money that needs to be stashed somewhere.
On the other hand, the Premier High Yield Savings Account at CIT Bank is one of the best savings accounts on the market. Boasting an impressive 1.35% APY on balances below $100,000, this savings account is hard to beat. Offering the opportunity to keep your money separate yet accessible, this account is a great option for storing your emergency fund, travel fund, and other specialty savings goals.
If you’ve made it this far, thanks so much for reading our CIT Bank review! Please leave your thoughts in the comments section below.