TL;DR: CIT Bank offers some excellent savings and money market accounts, but most accounts have a minimum deposit and the bank does not have any physical branches. However, if you like purely online banking, the CIT Banks is an excellent choice.
If you are sick of paying exorbitant fees for banking services or are tired of getting low interest on your accounts, then listen up. CIT Bank is an online-only banking service designed to explicitly deal with those problems. CIT Bank has made a name for itself due to its low banking fees and high-interest savings accounts.
So today we are going to take a look at this online only banking service. We will cover CIT Bank’s features, cost, pros, cons, and more. We will then give our verdict on whether the service is worth it or not.
CIT Bank: Overview
First off, just to clear up some confusion, CIT Bank is not the same as Citibank. CIT Bank stands for “Commercial investment Trust” and is not related in any way to Citigroup.
CIT was originally founded in 1908 in St. Louis by Henry Ittleson. CIT originally got its start through financing local businesses and quickly spread to other areas of the nations and even Canada. During the mid-20th century, the company began offering traditional banking services to the general public.
In 2011, CIT formed CIT Bank and pivoted its banking services to an entirely online platform. As such CIT Bank current does not have any physical branches; everything is handled online.
CIT Bank offers the whole gamut of traditional banking services, including checking accounts, savings accounts, CD accounts, home loans and more. CIT Bank is also known for its excellent money market savings accounts and high-interest savings accounts (more on those later). CIT Bank offers both personal and business checking accounts.
CIT Bank also ohave no-fee checking and savings accounts. Even checking accounts pay a little bit of interest on your deposits.
CIT Bank Features
As we said, CIT Bank has several traditional banking features and services.
One of CIT’s unique features is its interest-bearing checking accounts. E-checking accounts have a $100 minimum deposit and are compatible with a wide range of payment apps like Zelle, Apple Pay, and Samsung Pay. There is no monthly fee to have an account.
CIT Bank e-checking accounts offer 0.10% APY for balances under $25,000 and 0.25% APY for balances over $25,000. So even if you do not have $25,000 stashed away, you can still get a very decent APY.
CIT Bank checking accounts also come with a debit card with EMV technology. They do not charge ATM fees and will reimburse you up to $30 per month for other bank’s ATM fees. Lastly, the CIT Bank mobile app allows you to deposit checks and manage your account right from your smartphone.
CIT Bank’s savings accounts offer the highest APY at 0.55%. There are two ways you can get the highest APY. Either keep your balance over $25,000 or make $100 monthly deposits every month. The last option is an extremely easy way to get the highest APY rate. Interest compounds daily so you get maximum returns on your savings. Even if you don’t have a $25,000 balance you can still get a respectable 0.33% APY.
CIT Bank savings accounts have a $100 minimum deposit but they don’t charge monthly fees. You can also use the remote deposits for check and make transfers using the CIT Bank mobile app. The one downside is that savings accounts are limited to 6 transactions per statement cycle. So basically you can only withdraw/deposit 6 times in one month. Given that it is a savings account and you probably won’t touch it too frequently, this limit is not that big of a deal.
Money Market accounts
CIT Bank also offers some excellent money market accounts with high interest. CIT Bank[s money market accounts earn 7 times the national average and have an extremely high 0.60% APY. There are no monthly service fees and all funds are FDIC insured up to $250,000. Interest compounds daily and is paid out monthly.
Like CIT Bank’s savings accounts, you can manage Money Market accounts directly from the mobile app and it will connect to payment apps like Zelle and Apple Pay.
There are a few downsides though. Money Market accounts have a 6 transaction monthly limit and charge $10 per transaction after that. The Money Market accounts also charge a $25 overdraft fee, but as long as you are making semi-regular deposits you should not have to worry about that too much. One last thing is that wire transfers cost $10 for accounts with a balance under $25,000, but are free for balances over $25,000.
CIT Bank has several different types of CD accounts including standard CDs, jumbo CDs, and no-penalty CDs. All of them boast high growth rates and locked-in interest rates but there are some differences between the three.
Standard CD: Standard CD accounts havea $1,000 minimum deposit and are available for 6 months to 5 year terms. APY rates start at 0.35% and go all the way up to 0.50% APY. There is an early withdrawal penalty for this CD option. For example, for CDs with a term of 1 year or less, the penalty is equal to 90 days of simple interest. For a 3-year term CD, the penalty is 180 days of simple interest.
Jumbo CD: Jumbo CDs are basically like the standard CD but have a $100,000 minimum deposit rather than $1,000. Jumbo CDs are available for 2-5 year periods and have APY rates between 0.40%-0.50%. Jumbo CDS do not have any account maintenance fees and they are FDIC insured.
No-penalty CD: This CD account has a $1,000 minimum opening deposit and offers a 0.35% APY for 11 months. The no-penalty CD option is different from the others because there is no penalty if you access your funds before maturity.
CIT Bank also offers what they call RampUp CDs, but these are not currently available for new customers.
Overall though, CIT Bank has some excellent CD options. The No-penalty CD is especially interesting as there are no penalties for accessing fees before the maturation date of the account.
CIT Bank provides home loans both for purchasing and refinancing purposes. When you close a home loan with CIT Bank, you will get a $525 cashback bonus into your account. You can also reduce your mortgage rate either by 0.10% with 10% of the loan amount in new deposits or by 0.20% with 25% of the loan amount in deposits.
CIT Bank also offers portfolio interest for 5/1, 7/1, and 10/1 loans.
How Can I Fund My Account?
CIT Bank allows you to fund you account via 3 methods
- Electronic fund transfer
- Checks mailed to CIT Bank’s home office
- Wire transfers
Electronic transfer funds take about 5 business days to hit your account, whereas mailed checks take about 10 days. Once you create an account, you can set up direct deposits through various payment apps and deposit checks using the mobile app.
Is My Money Safe With CIT Bank?
Yes, your money is completely safe with CIT Bank; or at least, it is as safe as it would be at any other traditional brick-and-mortar banking branch. CIT Bank takes security seriously and is outfitted with all the security protections that a modern bank should have. Some notable features of their security apparatus include antivirus protection on all computers, 128-bit encryption (which is standard for most internet transactions) and automatic signout of accounts when you are idle for too long.
Additionally, all accounts at CIT bank are FDIC insured for up to $250,000. So if there ever is a problem then your money will be safe.
CIT Bank Pros & Cons
- Excellent savings accounts; CIT Bank has savings and money market accounts with very high APY rates. Even if you don’t hit the minimum requirements for the highest APY rates, you can still get a decent rate.
- Checking accounts accrue interest: Most of the time, checking accounts stay static. CIT Bank offers 0.10%-0.25% APY on even their checking accounts, which is not a common feature at traditional brick-and-mortar banks.
- Reimburse ATM fees: CIT Bank does not own any ATMs and are not part of any network, but they will reimburse you up to $30 a month in ATM fees. If you don’t use cash very often this is as good as no ATM fees at all.
- No fees: CIT Bank does not charge account or maintenance fees on any accounts.
- Great CD selection: CIT banks also offer some strong CD accounts, including ones that have no penalties for withdrawals before the maturation date.
- No IRA options: CIT Bank currently does not offer any kind of retirement accounts.
- Account minimums: All CIT Bank accounts have some sort of minimum deposit amount.
- No physical branches: CIT Banks is entirely online so you cannot go to a physical branch. Thankfully, they have 24/7 customer support.
CIT Bank FAQ
Here are some of the more common questions that people ask about CIT Bank.
Does CIT Bank have any ATMs?
No, CIT bank does not have any physical ATM machines and does not participate in ATM networks. However, they will reimburse you up to $30 in ATM fees every month so if you use ATMs sparingly, then it is basically like there are no ATM fees.
Is my money insured with CIT Bank?
Yes, all CIT Bank accounts are FDIC insured through the federal government. CIT Bank shares their FDIC certificate with OneWest Bank. If you are curious and want to learn more, their FDIC Certificate number is #58978.
Can I get a loan with CIT Bank?
CIT Bank recently started offering home loans and mortgages but they currently do not offer any other kind of loans such as auto loans. They also do not offer personal loans as of September 2020.
Does CIT offer traditional banking services?
Yes, CIT Bank offers a wide range of banking services and products such as checking accounts, savings account, CD accounts, and money market products. They are especially well-known for their high-yield savings and money market accounts.
Do I have to pay to open an account with CIT Bank?
All of CIT Bank’s account products have a $100 minimum deposit fee, except for the CD accounts which have a $1,000 (standard) and $100,000 (jumbo) minimum deposit. There are no monthly maintenance fees, although they do charge overdraft fees on most accounts.
What is the APY on CIT Bank accounts?
CIT accounts offer APY rates ranging from 0.10% to 0.60%. Even checking accounts will accrue interest.
So, is CIT Bank worth it? We say yes. If you are a fan of online banking and are looking for high-yield savings accounts, then CIT Bank is an excellent choice. They offer a good range of traditional banking products and do not charge a lot of fees that brick-and-mortar banking branches do. The only downsides are the lack of ATMs and the fact that all accounts have a minimum deposit. Otherwise though, CIT Bank is an excellent online banking option.