Welcome to our detailed CIT Bank review on why it is our favorite bank for earning higher interest. CIT Bank is an online-only bank, meaning it does not have physical branch locations. All transactions and account management are done online.
Another name for an online-only banks is a direct bank. These banks offer the highest savings rates because they have lower overhead costs.
Instead of spending money on rent, online-only banks can pass on part of their cost savings to you with higher interest rates. And our favorite products where CIT does that are CDs (certificate of deposit) and high yield money market accounts.
The Importance Of Maximizing Your Savings Rate
Aggressive saving is a fundamental pillar to good personal finance. The more you can save and invest, the sooner you can reach financial freedom. And one of the easiest ways to save more money passively on your cash is through higher interest rates.
CIT Bank is one of the premier online focused banks today. In this comprehensive CIT Bank review you'll learn a brief history of the bank and see what they have to offer. It seems like there's always uncertainty in the world and volatility in the stock market.
Hence, it's a great idea to focus on building your savings account or opening a CD account. CIT enables you do to easily and securely put your cash to work in a low-risk manner.
It's also a good idea to diversify your banking relationships so you can always access your liquidity and get the best rates.
CIT Bank's high interest savings accounts and CDs help prevent your cash from losing value over time due to inflation.
CIT Bank Review: A Quick Overview
Originally founded in 1908 and based in Pasadena, California, CIT Bank offers online and mobile banking, mortgage loans, and business financing for small businesses.
CIT Bank is now a division of First Citizens Bank, the largest family-controlled bank in the US. The two banks merged in January 2022, and combined are now a top 20 US bank with $111 billion in total assets and $90 billion in total deposits.
Before the 2022 merger, you could get FDIC insurance of up to $250,000 per depositor, per FDIC-insured bank, per ownership category. Now, if you have accounts at both CIT Bank and First Citizens Bank, be aware that deposits held under each name are combined as part of the same FDIC-insured institution.
CIT Bank Review: Deposit Products
Today, CIT Bank still offers very competitive high yield money market and savings accounts, and several high-yield CD products. Each of these products are available for custodial accounts, but not for IRA accounts. Interest on all deposit products is paid daily, and credited monthly.
Our favorite deposit product is currently the 5.05% APY Platinum Savings account for balances of $5k and up. The Savings Connect account is next in line with an impressive 4.65% APY with only a $100 minimum opening deposit (as of 3Q2023, rates subject to change).
More on Platinum Savings and Savings Connect below. First let's start with their basic money market savings account.
Money Market Accounts
If you want an easy way to keep your cash safe and secure while also earning a higher interest rate, choose a money market account. You can conveniently access your cash when you need it, and interest accrues automatically.
Quickly access your money with Zelle and Bill Pay. And relax knowing there are zero monthly service fees on CIT money market accounts.
As of 2024, CIT is paying a high interest rate of 5% APY on all balances (rate subject to change). Compare that to a measly 1% at a traditional bank like Chase. Click here to open a CIT Money Market Account in minutes.
A newer savings account offering by CIT Bank is the Savings Connect account. There’s only a low $100 minimum opening deposit requirement and no monthly service fees to worry about. In addition, you can get easy access to your funds, deposit checks remotely, and can quickly make transfers using their mobile app.
Accounts are FDIC-insured and you can earn many times more interest than the national average. That’s worth getting excited about. It’s hands down one of the easiest, low-risk ways to earn passive income.
Similar to Savings Connect, there is only a $100 minimum opening deposit requirement for the Platinum Savings Account. However, if you do not have a $5,000 or greater balance, you won't be able to earn the very attractive 5.05% APY. The rate drops down significantly. If you don't have enough liquidity to maintain at least a $5,000 balance, Savings Connect is a better choice.
And it only takes 3 simple steps to open a CIT Bank Savings Connect account.
Savings Builder Accounts
CIT Bank also offers another type of savings account called Savings Builder. It's very similar to their money market account offering. However, Savings Builder requires a minimum balance of $25,000 or $100 monthly deposit, and a $100 minimum opening deposit.
In addition, at the time of writing, the interest rate is lower than their money market account at 1.0%. However, rates and promotions do change, so it's always a good idea to compare the three savings product types when you're ready to open an account.
The other deposit product offering CIT has is eChecking. You can open an eChecking account with as little as $100 without any monthly or overdraft fees. There are also no fees to for mailing checks, online transfers, or incoming wire transfers.
Some of the features that come with CIT Bank's eChecking account include a debit card with EMV chip technology, and no ATM fees from CIT and get $30 reimbursed a month in other bank's ATM fees. It also comes with Zelle, Bill Pay, Samsung Pay, and Apple Pay.
Related reading: banks with the highest online savings rates.
CIT Bank Review: CDs
CDs stand for Certificate of Deposit. Simply decide how long you want to tuck away a certain amount of cash, and automatically earn interest on it. CIT Bank offers several different types of CDs: Term, No-Penalty, RampUp, and Jumbo.
Requires a minimum initial deposit of $1,000 with terms running from six months to five years.
Rates are tiered, based on the term of the certificate:
- 6-month CD
- 1-year CD
- 13-month CD
- 18-month CD
- 2-year CD
- 3-year CD
- 4-year CD
- 5-year CD
As of 3Q 2023, the best term CD rate CIT is offering is currently on their 6-month CD at 5.0% APY (rates subject to change). We haven't seen rates this high in years! Take advantage and an open an account today.
The major feature of this 11-month CD is that you can withdraw funds penalty free, any time after the first six days after the start of the certificate. That includes both partial and total withdrawals. There is a $1,000 minimum opening deposit required. However, there are no account opening fees or maintenance fees.
At the time of writing, CIT Bank is offering a competitive 4.9% APY on their 11-month no-penalty CD accounts. That's a much higher interest rate than we've seen elsewhere on this type of CD. Click to learn more and open an account.
RampUP CDs give you the option to adjust your rate once during the term of the CD, if rates go up.
This CD is available in two terms:
3-year: with a minimum deposit of $25,000
4-year: with a minimum deposit of $50,000
RampUP Plus CDs.
This version offers the same features as the RampUP CDs, but adds the ability to increase your deposit during the term of the CD at the original interest rate. That applies even if prevailing rates drop. The minimum initial deposit is $25,000. There are two terms, one year and two years.
These CDs require a minimum investment of $100,000, an offer tiered rates, based on four terms:
Sometimes the Jumbo CD rates aren't much higher than non-jumbo CDs or can even be the same. Therefore, if you don't have at least $100,000 to invest, don't sweat it. It's a good idea to compare all of their CD rates across the different types before you make your final selection to check for promotional rates.
If you are looking to diversify further, be sure to take a thorough read through my Treasury bonds buying guide.
CIT Bank Is One Of The Best Online Banks
So far in this CIT Bank review, we've covered a brief history of the bank and their main product offerings. They are our favorite bank to use for CDs and high yield savings. And in this digital age, it's easier than ever to have accounts with an online-only bank.
Curious about how impactful savings can be on your financial health? Here's a chart that shows how much you need to save to retire.
Ideally, you want to save at least 20% of your income. If you can save 50% or more of your gross income, you will get to retirement in just 17 years.
CIT Bank pays some of the highest interest rates available, even compared to most online banks. They pay those interest rates along with no fee banking. They also provide innovative, high yield CDs.
These include the No-Penalty CD, which allows penalty-free withdrawals after just six days, and the RampUP CD that allows you to make a one-time upward rate adjustment, if rates increase after you open the certificate.
If you're looking for a bank that offers traditional checking, credit cards, and auto loans, CIT Bank is not for you. But that's fine, because you should use online banks like CIT Bank strictly for getting the maximum interest on your savings accounts and CDs. Find a traditional bricks and mortgages bank for your credit card and other day-to-day needs.
Earn Higher Interest With CIT Bank
Take advantage of higher savings rates now that The Fed has been aggressively raising rates. Don't let your cash sit idle in a traditional checking or savings account that pays less than 0.1%. Put it to work in a high yield savings account, CD, or Treasury bonds.
Don't let inflation hurt your buying power. Take advantage of inflation buy taking advantage of higher interest rates.
CIT Bank's Savings Connect account is one of the highest rates on the market today. And CIT Bank's CD products offer higher interest than the competition. Take advantage of higher rates and open an account today.
About the Author:
Sam worked in investment banking for 13 years at GS and CS. He received his undergraduate degree in Economics from The College of William & Mary and got his MBA from UC Berkeley.
In 2012, Sam was able to retire at the age of 34 largely due to his investments that now generate multiple six-figures a year in passive income boosted by his investments in real estate crowdfunding.
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