CIT Bank Review: An Online Savings Account That Really Pays

GOBankingRates Score

4.5
Quick Take: It pays to save at CIT Bank. This online-only bank offers above-average interest rates on its selection of deposit accounts and certificates of deposit. When you commit to saving and make it a habit, you get access to the bank's best rates.
  • Rates
    5.0
  • Fees
    5.0
  • Opening Deposit Requirements
    5.0
  • Accessibility
    3.0
How did we calculate this?

Pros

  • Annual percentage yields well above the national average
  • No monthly maintenance fees
  • Higher APY available to customers who make regular deposits to savings account

Cons

  • No physical branches for direct bank
  • No check writing option with checking account

About CIT Bank 

CIT is a division of First Citizens Bank, following a merger in January 2022. First Citizens Bank is the largest family-controlled bank in the United States. Parent company First Citizens has more than $100 billion in assets, with a network of more than 600 branches in 22 states.

GOBankingRates named CIT as one of the Best Online Banks for 2022. It also made GOBankingRates’ lists for Best CD AccountsBest Money Market Accounts and Best Savings Accounts (Online Savings). 

Checking Account 

CIT has one checking account, called eChecking. Unlike traditional checking accounts, this account doesn’t come with actual checks. You can use a debit card, your online account or the mobile app to make transactions.  

eChecking is an interest-bearing account that pays very competitive rates, with an annual percentage yield (APY) of 0.10% on balances under $25,000 and 0.25% for balances of $25,000 or more. The minimum opening balance is $100 and there are no monthly maintenance fees. CIT Bank doesn’t charge ATM fees either, and customers can get up to $30 in other banks’ ATM fees reimbursed per month.  

Although there are no checks with this account, customers get unlimited withdrawals through the mobile app. 

Savings Account 

CIT Bank’s Savings Builder was named to GOBankingRates’ Best Savings Accounts list. The idea behind the Savings Builder is that if you can commit to regular ongoing deposits — thus, building your savings — you’ll be rewarded with the bank’s highest interest rate. To earn the highest rates, you must either make a monthly deposit of at least $100 or maintain a balance of $25,000 or more.

Just as with the eChecking account, there is a $100 minimum opening deposit with the savings account. Savings Builder pays an APY of 0.34% for Base Tier balances (less than $25,000 and without monthly deposits of $100 or more). The APY is 0% for all other account holders. Both rates are much higher than the national average. All accounts earn the highest interest rate during the first month after opening.  

There are no monthly maintenance fees with the Savings Builder account, and interest compounds daily. 

Money Market Account 

CIT Bank’s Money Market account pays .00% APY. It requires a $100 minimum deposit but charges no monthly service fees. GOBankingRates has ranked it as one of the Best Money Market Accounts of 2022.

Money Market customers are limited to six transactions per statement cycle. You can access the account through the mobile app.

CD Accounts

CIT Bank offers three types of CDs: Term CDs, Jumbo CDs and No-Penalty 11-Month CDs. None charge monthly maintenance fees, and some can be set up for automatic renewal. GOBankingRates has ranked it as one of the Best CD Accounts of 2022.

Term CDs come in terms of six months to five years and pay an APY of 0.30% to 0.50%. The No-Penalty 11-Month CD has an APY of 0% and charges no penalty if you access your funds before maturity. Jumbo CDs come in terms of two to five years, with an APY that ranges from 0.40% to 0.50%.

How CIT Earned Its Scores

Rates

CIT Bank offers a very competitive APY of 0.10% on checking account balances under $25,000 and 0.25% for balances of  $25,000 or more. You can also get an APY up to 0% on your savings account, depending on the balance.

Fees

There are no monthly maintenance or service fees on CIT Bank’s checking, savings, money market or CD accounts. It also charges comparatively low fees for wire transfers and returned deposit items.

Opening Deposit Requirements

CIT Bank doesn’t charge any account opening fees, though it does have a $100 minimum opening deposit for its checking and savings accounts. That’s not a huge amount of money, but many banks have no minimum deposit requirements.

Accessibility

CIT’s direct bank does not have branches, so the best way to access their accounts is with the mobile app. The CIT Bank app has a 4.6 rating out of 5 at the Apple Store and a 4.0 on Google Play.

Editor’s Favorite

If you want to build your savings, keeping your money in a CIT Bank Savings Builder account offers several advantages. You might find higher interest rates at other online banks, but CIT still gives you above-average rates with no monthly service fees. Even better, you have to commit to savings to get the bank’s best terms. Establishing a savings habit now can pay off later.

CIT Bank vs. Competitors

As part of any CIT Bank review, it helps to compare the bank’s products and services with other banks. Here’s an overview:

Bank Best For
CIT Bank Customers who are comfortable with an online-only experience and want low-cost banking with higher returns
Citibank Customers who want access to physical branch locations and customer service outside regular business hours
Ally Bank Customers who want an online bank that offers a full range of banking products and investing options
Capital One 360 Customers who want to earn top interest rates without minimum balance requirements

CIT Bank vs. Citibank

Both CIT Bank and Citibank offer low minimum deposit requirements, though CIT has the edge when it comes to paying higher interest rates. Customers who need 24-hour access to a live customer service representative should consider Citibank.

CIT Bank vs. Ally Bank

CIT and Ally are both online-only banks that offer excellent rates. CIT emphasizes savings products, and its Savings Builder account is a good choice for customers who want to make saving money a habit. Ally is a better option for those who want to do one-stop banking across many different products and services.

CIT Bank vs. Capital One 360

CIT Bank and Capital One 360 accounts both come with competitive APYs for savings and checking accounts. Customers who use ATMs can take advantage of CIT’s generous ATM rebate. Capital One 360 customers enjoy above-average rates no matter how much money they keep in the bank.

Final Take

CIT Bank has plenty of enticing features, but you have to be comfortable with digital banking before opening an account there. The yield available on the Savings Builder Account makes it a good choice, even among competitors with online savings accounts.

CIT Bank FAQ

Here are the answers to some commonly asked questions about CIT Bank.
  • Is CIT Bank part of Citibank?
    • CIT is part of CIT Group.
  • What does CIT Bank stand for?
    • CIT stands for Commercial Investment Trust.
  • How long has CIT Bank been in business?
    • CIT started doing business in 1908 by offering financing for businesses in St. Louis.
  • How long do CIT Bank transfers take?
    • It can take up to two business days to complete fund transfers. You can transfer funds from other CIT accounts or external accounts at other banks.
  • How do I withdraw money from CIT Bank?
    • You can transfer your money to a different account using an electronic funds transfer or a wire transfer. Or, you can request a check from the bank.
  • Does CIT Bank offer free money for signing up for an account?
    • CIT Bank does not currently offer free money to customers who sign up for new accounts. However, the bank offers other ways to save money that can add up to bigger savings over time. Checking customers enjoy discounts on mortgages and can get $525 cash back when they close on a CIT Bank home loan.

Vance Cariaga contributed to the reporting for this article.

Rates are subject to change; unless otherwise noted, rates are updated periodically. All other information on accounts is accurate as of Apr. 21, 2022.

Editorial note: This content is not provided by CIT Bank. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author alone and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by CIT Bank.

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About the Author

After earning a B.A. in English with a Specialization in Business from UCLA, John Csiszar worked in the financial services industry as a registered representative for 18 years. Along the way, Csiszar earned both Certified Financial Planner and Registered Investment Adviser designations, in addition to being licensed as a life agent, while working for both a major Wall Street wirehouse and for his own investment advisory firm. During his time as an advisor, Csiszar managed over $100 million in client assets while providing individualized investment plans for hundreds of clients.

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