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 1.55% APY on all balances. That’s over 25x the national average and a whopping 135x better than many of the largest national chains they compete with!
Their newly released Money Market account is also impressive with a current interest rate of 1.85% APY on all balances. The minimum to open is just $100, making this option competitive with any other money market accounts you’ll find.
Obviously, it pays to consider moving (at least) some of your money to CIT Bank. Before you do, though, let’s take a closer look at what they have to offer.
Editor’s Note: This review has been updated as of May 24th, 2018 to reflect the most current information available from CIT Bank. All rates, terms, and conditions are subject to change without notice. All items should be verified with CIT Bank prior to taking any action and is the sole responsibility of the reader.
CIT Bank at a Glance
- Founded in 1908
- Traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: CIT)
- More than $30 billion on deposit (September 30, 2017)
- More than $40 Billion in assets (September 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 1.55% APY*
- (New) Money Market Account – 1.85% APY*
- Multiple CD Options – Up to 1.85% APY*
- Small business and home loans available
(*Rates current as of May 24th, 2018)
CIT Bank: Pros and Cons
|CIT Bank: Best Features||CIT Bank: Where They Fall Short|
|Excellent interest rate on money market and 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 September 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
Do you think CIT Bank may be for you? Let’s take a closer look at their different savings options, including their high yield savings account, money market account, and CD rates.
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 1.55% APY interest rate on all balances. That’s 25x the national average and an incredible 135x the rate on savings accounts at popular national chains like Chase, Bank of America, and Wells Fargo. 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 04/26/18|
|Premier High Yield Savings (balance<$250,000)||1.55%||To Open: $100|
|Premier High Yield Savings (balance>$250,000)||1.55%||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.
Money Market Account
CIT Bank recently added a money market account that is extremely competitive with the other money market products out there.
This account offers a rate of 1.85% APY and only requires a $100 deposit to open. There are no opening or monthly service fees, and interest compounds daily so you can make the most on your money. It is also insured by the FDIC up to the standard $250,000.
Like most money market accounts, you are limited in the number of monthly transacations you can make. In this case, you’re allowed to make up to 6 transfers or withdrawls during a statement cycle.
While you wouldn’t want to use this as an account for your regular bill pay, CIT Bank’s money market account is a perfect spot to keep your emergency fund or travel savings.
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 of the more traditional CD products won’t 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. What you wouldn’t expect is that it also offers the highest interest rate of the bunch (up to 1.85% APY)
With the No-Penalty CD, you can 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 two 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 maintenance fees, and interest is compounded daily. Personally, I think the No-Penalty CD is easily the best option, but I’ve listed the current rates in the table below to help you decide.
|Product||Rates*||Term||Minimum Opening Deposit||Description|
|*Current as of 04/26/18|
|Term CDs||Up to 1.75% APY*||Up to 5 Years||$1,000||Low minimum balance, various term lengths|
|No-Penalty CD||Up to 1.85% 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 1.55% APY on all balances. This is over 25x the national average and 135x better than rates at some of CIT Bank’s more well-known national competitors.
- New Money Market Account – The new money market account is also something to consider. At 1.85% APY, this is a great spot to stash your long-term savings.
- Low Minimum Deposit Requirements – At CIT Bank, you can open a money market or 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
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.
While I’m not huge on CDs right now, the No-Penalty CD is an interesting option. The recent interest rate increase of up to 1.85% APY could definitely be a motivator, especially since there is no penalty to withdraw your money (including interest) after 7 days.
When it comes to the rest of the CD rates, however, they aren’t anything to get overly excited about. 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.
Is CIT Bank Right for You?
Online banking is more popular than ever, with the some estimates stating that over 60% of all banking is now done via a computer or mobile device. Regardless of the exact number, it’s clear that consumers are moving more and more toward banking online rather than visiting brick and mortar branch locations. That’s a huge change from even just a few years ago, but it goes to show you that the times have changed.
As interest rates plummeted at traditional banking establishments, online banks have picked up the slack. And while brick and mortar banks have slowly increased their interest rates over the last several years, in many cases, the best savings and CD rates can still be found at online banks like CIT Bank.
If you need a place to store your emergency fund while still earning a decent interest rate, CIT Bank seems to be a good option. Likewise, stashing your cash with CIT Bank is a good idea for things like a travel fund or other savings goals.
At 1.55% APY on all savings account balances and 1.85% APY for money market accounts, it’s going to be hard to find another bank that can beat that rate. So, if you’re looking for a place where you can still make a little bit of money off of your savings, CIT Bank may be it.
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 driver’s license and Social Security number handy. Here’s how to get started:
- Open a high yield savings account, money market account, or 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.
The Premier High Yield Savings Account at CIT Bank is one of the best savings accounts on the market. Boasting an impressive 1.55% APY, 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.
CIT Bank’s Money Market Account is another great spot for storing your efund or travel fund. Again, the account offers a rate of 1.85% APY and requires just $100 to open. Sure, transactions are limited, but – when used for long-term savings – that really shouldn’t matter.
With the exception of the extremely flexible No-Penalty CD, I still find the CD rates 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.
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.