CIT Bank has a long, storied history; CIT Group Inc., of which CIT Bank is a commercial bank subsidiary, was founded more than 100 years ago. Even so, CIT Bank arguably entered the online banking arena somewhat late in the game; the institution began offering online CDs in 2011. A late start has hardly kept the bank from remaining one of the biggest names in finance, though; in the years since, CIT Bank has added a variety of other financial products to accompany its famously high CD rates.
The bank’s trademark certificates of deposit are still an institutional staple. There are a total of three online-exclusive CIT CDs available on the market today:
- Achiever CD
- Jumbo CD
- Term CD
Each is loaded with enough benefits and interest that consumers might have some difficulty deciding which one best suits their individual money management needs.
Any CIT CD review would be hard-pressed to find enough cons to balance out the pros in this trio of smart investment choices. This is good news for budding investors, who can count on any one of these CDs to give them the treasured combo of high returns and low risk.
CIT Bank Achiever CDs
Essentially a two-in-one CD that could just as easily be coined the Super Achiever, it’s the most financially flexible of the CIT Bank CDs.
- Non-fixed APYs: Account holders can temporarily lock into their initial APY, but then choose to take advantage of a higher percentage should it become available. With two versions of the Achiever priced competitively above the current FDIC average (as of this writing, 1.05% for the one-year term, 1.20% for two years), stepping up pays off with better returns, without the need to wait for one CD to close before opening another.
- Rate bumping: CIT customers who choose to invest in this CD over its siblings can add on funds to their share accounts once at any time throughout the term.
CIT Bank Term CDs
The Term CD is the most accessible choice of CIT’s three online certificates of deposit, requiring just a $1,000 opening balance. Interest compounds daily to maximize your earning, and the account, of course, carries FDIC insurance.
It’s a low-maintenance piece of accounting that comes with few downsides and a number of terms ranging from six months (0.45% APY) to five years (2.25% APY).
CIT Bank Jumbo CDs
With small- to medium-sized business owners in mind, the CIT Bank Jumbo CD is aimed at the serious investor, and carries a minimum opening deposit of $100,000. Aside from the six-digit dollar figure, there’s not too much difference between the supersized Jumbo and smaller-scale Term CD — though the larger of the two is at its best when partnered with CDs of other sizes.
- Climbing the CD ladder. The Jumbo is ideal for laddering and works best as the top “rung” when money previously placed into Achiever and Term CDs matures and is ready for re-investment into a larger investment account. The Jumbo comes in two- through five-year options and is likewise federally insured, a definite plus.
CIT Bank CDs: Pros and Cons
There are no residual fees for opening or maintaining one of CIT’s online CDs. But, like most other certificates of deposit through a bank or credit union, there are penalties for early withdrawal of funds:
Three’s Not a Crowd
The Achiever, Term and Jumbo CDs each have their benefits as standalone savings options. By packaging the certificates together, CIT seems to have taken into account the most common needs of its customers — the novice saver, the big-ticket investor and the customer who desires some combination of both. Interest, when rates are at their most robust, are compounded daily and credited monthly, too, so the benefits are tangible.
But the trio really does work best in tandem. It can’t be denied that the capability to ladder from term to term, rate to rate, puts CIT ahead of the CD curve. It wouldn’t be worth the time if the financier offered just two CD options.
As with anything, although CIT provides savings and ladder calculation tools on its website, even the most savvy of consumers who want more choices in the CDs should first consult with a financial adviser before laying down any cash.
Rates are current as of May 27, 2014, and might have changed since this review was posted. Other terms and conditions could apply. Please contact the financial institution for the most recent rate updates and to review CD product terms.