When it comes to banking, most of us are just looking for something convenient and free … but it’s that much better when your checking account can actually help you Continue Reading
When it comes to banking, most of us are just looking for something convenient and free … but it’s that much better when your checking account can actually help you earn money, too. For that, CIT Bank is your answer.
If you’re willing to move to an online banking system — that is, one where your account is entirely online and you don’t have access to a brick-and-mortar banking location — CIT Bank offers both checking and savings accounts with no monthly fees and high interest earnings potential. There is a minimum opening deposit of $100, though it’s pretty reasonable given the bank’s high rates.
Although foregoing the in-person franchise can be a little daunting, CIT Bank makes it that much easier by offering up to $30 in third-party ATM fee reimbursement per month, and you’ll never be assessed an ATM fee on their end. However, if you’re looking for a bank that also offers small business accounts, you’ll want to keep looking (try these business checking accounts); CIT doesn’t have business checking or savings accounts available.
Here’s what we love about each of CIT Bank’s online deposit accounts and what we think could use some work.
CIT Bank Checking Account
CIT Bank has one checking account option which has a lot of perks, including no monthly fees and the ability to connect the account with the high-yield savings account. CIT does still charge overdraft fees but they can be avoided if you sign up for the protection plan.
CIT Bank eChecking Account
- Interest earning
- Connects with high-yield savings
- Charges overdraft fees
The checking account requires a minimum opening deposit of $100, and certain fees can be assessed under specific circumstances. For instance, if you make an outgoing wire transfer and carry an average daily balance of less than $25,000, it will cost $10. CIT Bank’s insufficient funds fee is $30, and no daily limits are advertised.
Still, these fees are relatively easy to avoid, especially given CIT Bank’s free overdraft protection option. They also avoid charging their own ATM fees when you withdraw money, and you can receive up to $30 per month in third-party ATM fee reimbursements.
When you sign up, CIT Bank will send you a complimentary debit card with EMV chip technology, but if you’re looking to use physical checks, keep moving. The mobile app allows you to easily deposit checks made out to you, but doesn’t allow you to write a check from this account.
Finally, we love the way the eChecking account connects with CIT Bank’s new high-yield savings account, Savings Connect Account, to maximize your savings. We suggest you take a look at signing up for both simultaneously.
CIT Bank Savings Accounts
CIT Bank provides customers with three savings account options:
- Savings Builder
- Money Market
- Savings Connect
All carry a minimum opening deposit between $100 to $200, but none assess monthly fees.
CIT Bank Savings Builder
- No monthly fee
- Daily compounding interest
- Up to .40% APY
The Savings Builder account is a decent option for a high-yield savings account, boasting rates over 6X the national average. If you jump through the tiered interest hoops, then you can walk away with 0.40% APY, but if you’re looking to just put your money in and sit, you’ll most likely receive the lower-tiered rate of 0.28% APY (unless your balance is more than $25,000).
Basically, if you need motivation to save money monthly for a goal like a house or college, the reward of earning higher interest with a Savings Builder account might be just the trick. In fact, right now, the Savings Builder account offers the higher-tiered interest as a special introductory rate for your first period regardless of balance or savings. So if you’re thinking this is the right savings account for you, you’re at least guaranteed 0.40% for one cycle.
Overall, however, we think CIT Bank’s other savings accounts are worth taking a look at for slightly higher APYs and a little less fuss.
CIT Bank Money Market Account
- No monthly service fee
- Up 0.45% APY
- Scheduled bill pay feature
Coming in at 0.45% APY, CIT Bank’s Money Market account is definitely a strong contender among online banks’ savings options. Unlike the Savings Builder account or Savings Connect account, Money Market has no hoops to jump through. You just put your money in and receive the 0.45% APY. Combined with no monthly fees, we love the ease of earning it offers.
Unlike some other money market accounts, CIT Bank’s Money Market account is limited to electronic transfers only. You can arrange a direct deposit, bill pay, and check cashing on its great mobile app, but there’s no corresponding debit card or checks.
Like the Savings Builder account, the Money Market account is also limited to six transactions a statement cycle with a $10 for each additional excessive transaction. But we think for most, these little inconveniences are worth the high annual percentage yield.
CIT Bank’s Savings Connect account has no monthly fees and a solid APY. You have to open a Savings Connect account and an eChecking account and CIT Bank will link them. If you already have an eChecking account, then CIT Bank will link them automatically.
CIT Bank Savings Connect Account
- No monthly service fee
- Up 0.50% APY
- Linked to eChecking account
From there, to earn the highest tiered APY, you simply have to set up an automatic deposit of $200 or more into your linked checking account from your Savings Connect account. This monthly deposit locks in 0.50% APY for the cycle. If you don’t meet this requirement, you’ll still bring home 0.42% APY for simply having the linked accounts, which is a more than respectable APY.
Besides a good APY, a linked Savings Connect account gets you access to a debit card and overdraft protection. For the debit card, the same rules apply as before with no CIT Bank ATM fees and other ATM fee reimbursements up to $30 a month.
Some people might find opening two accounts a bit annoying, but the high APY makes it a great option for most who are looking for a fully online banking experience.
Other CIT Bank Products
While we mostly come to CIT Bank for the savings and checking accounts, it doesn’t stop there. Check out the other services available from CIT Bank that might fit your needs below.
Certificates of Deposit (CDs)
CIT Bank offers three different CDs for new customers seeking to hit their savings goals:
- Term CDs
- No Penalty, 11 Month CDs
- Jumbo CDs
CIT Bank’s CDs work pretty much like other standard CDs with varying rates and lengths. The Term CDs offer between 0.30% to 0.50% APYs depending on the CDs term. There’s no maintenance or opening fee, but it does have a $1000 minimum.
The No Penalty 11 Month CDs also have a $1,000 minimum but can be accessed early with no penalty—that flexibility, however, costs you a little APY with rates of 0.30% APY.
With a $100,000 minimum, the Jumbo CDs are definitely channeling a specific type of customer. These term lengths are longer—between 2 to 5 years—and have 0.40% – 0.50% APYs depending on the length.
It is worth just mentioning that previous customers do continue to have access to their RampUp CDs, but they’re not offered to new customers.
So do we believe CIT Bank CDs are worth it? CIT Bank’s CDs are a solid option for CDs; however, there are CDs on the market with better rates and lower minimums, so we’ll probably stick to CIT Bank’s savings and checking accounts.
Check out our current list of bank promotions for a chance to gain a monetary bonus when signing up for a new bank account.
CIT Bank offers home loans with relationship pricing options:
- .10% with 10% of the loan amount in new deposits
- .20% with 25% of the loan amount in new deposits.
Plus, you can get $525 cash back deposited into your CIT Bank account after you close on your new home loan with CIT Bank.
CIT Bank Custodial Accounts
If you’re looking to grow wealth for a minor, CIT Bank can help you open a Custodial Account. You can set up most of the savings accounts in the minor’s name for them to gain control of at 18. With some federal tax benefits and no maximum limit, it makes a great place to save for the future.
Small Business Banking
CIT Bank focuses on personal accounts and doesn’t offer small business checking and savings accounts. They do have some small business financing options, specifically focusing on Equipment, Working Capital, or Franchise financing. The terms vary in length and rates, but all can be funded in as fast as 1 day.
CIT Bank Mobile App
Like most online banking options, CIT Bank’s mobile app provides digital solutions to help its members access and manage their funds from the convenience of their smartphones. Its mobile apps are well received, with ratings of 4.2 stars on Google Play and 4.6 stars on the Apple App Store.
The apps allow users to make transfers between their own accounts (and to others using third-party platforms like Zelle and Samsung or Apple Pay), as well as to make mobile check deposits using the onboard smartphone camera.
Pros and Cons of CIT Bank
So what’s the breakdown of CIT Bank overall? Below, we’ve laid out the pros and cons of CIT Bank to help you streamline your decision.
- Free eChecking account earns interest at a rate higher than the average savings account.
- No monthly fees on any of its deposit accounts.
- Free overdraft protection.
- Competitive APYs.
- Low minimum deposit requirements.
- Refunds ATM fees up to a certain amount.
- Insufficient funds fee of $30 per transaction item.
- No physical locations and no ATMs for the actual service.
- No small business banking option.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About CIT Bank
Still have a few questions? Below we’ve tracked down the answer to the most common questions people ask about CIT Bank.
Jamie Cattanach and Whitney Hansen are contributors to The Penny Hoarder. Both are experienced writers in personal finance, banking and investing.
This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.