If you want to earn a more impactful return on your savings, look beyond traditional bank savings accounts that pay very little interest. CIT Bank is tempting and you can find other savings options that offer higher returns in this article.
CIT Bank offers a checking account and savings products at higher interest rates and no monthly fees. But it has no physical locations.
Now, first things first. CIT Bank is not Citibank. (Yes, it is a bit confusing.) It’s not related to Citigroup at all. Rather, CIT stands for “Commercial Investment Trust” and has its roots in a company founded in 1908.
Based in Pasadena, Calif., CIT Bank’s parent company, CIT, has more than $50 billion in assets, and CIT Bank itself has over $40 billion in assets and $30 billion in deposits.
In addition to online banking, CIT Bank also offers business services for small businesses, as well as a wide range of home mortgage products.
What CIT Offers
CIT Bank recently launched a new checking account with tiered interest. You need $100 to open. There are no monthly maintenance fees. Account features include:
Free MasterCard debit card with EMV chip technology
No ATM fees charged by CIT. Up to $15 in other banks’ ATM fees reimbursed per month.
24/7 mobile banking, including mobile check deposits and online bill pay
Overdraft protection when you link up a CIT Savings or Money Market account. There is no fee to have money transferred to cover the transaction.
Make purchases and transfer money via Samsung Pay, Apple Pay, and Zelle. There is no charge to use Zelle.
Set up travel alerts and stop/restrict debit card use
Savings Builder account offers one of the highest savings APYs currently on the market. It rewards active savers or high balance savers with a higher interest rate.
Here’s how it works:
You can earn 1.75% APY if you do ONE of the following:
Keep a balance of $25,000+, OR
Open an account with a $100 minimum, and deposit at least $100 per month
If you fail to meet the requirements, your APY will drop to 1.16% that month. If you do meet the requirements next month, it will go back up to 1.75%.
As a welcome offer, CIT Bank will reward you with the 1.75% APY during an Introductory Period. There are no fees to open or have a bank account.
Money Market Account
CIT’s Money MarketAccount offers a high rate without the balance requirements. So this account is a good option if you can’t commit to saving a certain amount each month. You get this APY no matter what your balance is.
The opening minimum is $100. After account opening, there are no balance requirements.
Some features of the money market account include:
Remote check deposits
(Online bill pay coming soon)
Certificate Of Deposit (CD)
CIT Bank offers a few CD options to fit different needs. All CDs have no account opening or bank fees.
Term CDs: Term CDs are available starting from 6 months all the way to 5 years. Your rate is locked in for the entire term. The minimum to open is $1,000.
CIT offers the highest rate on their 18-month Term CD. The 1-year and 13-month CDs are pretty good as well. For any other duration, you’re better off with the CIT money market account or savings products.
No Penalty CDs: This CD product has one fixed term of 11 months. It gives you the flexibility to withdraw your full balance with no penalty (starting from 7 days after account funding). This is good if you suddenly need your money. The minimum to open is $1,000.
Jumbo CDs: Jumbo CDs award slightly higher APYs for keeping a higher balance. Duration is available from 2-year to 5-year. You need at least $100,000 to open a Jumbo CD account. However, if you have that much to save, then the Savings Builder account offers a higher APY.
CDs require you to lock your savings for a set period of time. Typically, withdrawing funds from a CD before the term ends will incur a penalty charge.
Custodial Accounts (UTMA)
Any CIT account can be set up as a custodial account for a minor. This means the account is in the child’s name, but you control it until the child reaches 18. You can also designate up to age 25 if you wish.
You can contribute as much as you can to it. But note that there are gift tax rules. For 2019, the annual exclusion is up to $15,000 per year, without being taxed.
There are also some tax advantages. A portion of the interest earned istax-free.
Even though CIT is anonline-only bank, you can trust it to keep your money safe. CIT follows the same rules and legal regulations as traditional banks.
CIT Bank savings accounts are FDIC insured. This means that if CIT Bank defaults, the federal government will pay back what you had, up to $250,000.
Pros & Cons of Banking With CIT Bank
Higher interest rates than traditional banks
No monthly fees on any CIT bank account
Low opening deposits ($100 for checking & savings accounts and $1,000 for CDs)
Minimal banking fees
Up to $15 monthly in ATM fee reimbursements
Remote check deposits
No physical bank locations
No check writing from the checking account
CD rates not as high as other online banks
May experience long wait times on the phone
1. Is CIT Bank Safe?
Yes, CIT Bank uses layers of security to make sure your personal information is safe. It has anti-virus protection, firewalls, and 128-bit Secure Socket Layer encryption.
2. Should I Open a CD Or Savings Account?
Everyone has different investment goals. The decision comes down to:
The amount you’re looking to set aside
How much risk you are willing to assume
How much you’ll need to access your savings.
If you can avoid touching your savings for at least 1 year, you may be able to earn a higher interest rate with a CD versus a savings account.
3. What Else Does CIT Bank Offer?
Besides bank accounts, CIT Bank offers some other services, including:
Home loans. CIT Bank offers both purchase loans and refinances loans at both fixed rates and adjustable rates. There is also a Low Down Payment Program that allows borrowers to qualify for a loan with as little as a 3% down payment.
Business loans. You can get a business loan up to $150,000 from 6-18 months.
Business equipment financing. Need equipment to get your business started? You can get equipment financing up to $250,000 without financials, or up to $1 million with financials from 12-72 months.
If you like high interest rates on your savings and hate banking fees, then CIT Bank is a great choice. It’s even better if you are a small depositor looking for high rates since you can earn as much as 2.30% APY through the Savings Builder account with the booster.
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