Rating:   4.5-star brokerage firm rating

2019 CIT Savings Builder and Premier High Yield Savings accounts review: annual and monthly maintenance fees, ATM fee, interest rates, required minimum daily balance, pros and cons. Is CIT Bank FDIC insured?

Overview of CIT Bank

It is not as well-known as other banks, but CIT Bank does have a long history. The CIT Group, a financial holding company which owns CIT Bank, was founded in 1908. The ownership of the bank has changed hands a few times and since then they have come back to become considered a strong financial institution. The company is on the list of largest 50 banks in the United States and ranks 550 on the Fortune 1000 list of largest United States Companies.


Are CIT Bank Accounts FDIC Insured?

CIT Bank is FDIC insured with the standard rules: up to $250K per depositor per account type. A recent major overhaul of their web site has made it more modern and user friendly.

In the past three years, CIT Bank has received several “Best Of” awards from online ranking sites due to their high yields and for financial strength.

CIT Bank offers both Commercial and Consumer banking services. On the consumer side, services are limited to a couple of different Savings accounts, a Money Market account and Certificates of Deposits (CDs). Mortgage loans are also available through a partner.


CIT Savings Builder Account Review


CIT Savings Accounts Review

CIT Bank offers two different Savings accounts. The only difference between the two are the requirements and the Annual Percentage Rate (APR). Both CIT Bank Savings accounts have a low opening balance requirement of $100. The more basic account, the CIT Premier High Yield Savings account, currently has an APR of 1.55% with no additional requirements.

The other option is the CIT Savings Builder account. The standard APR for this account is only 1.17%, but the APR is 2.40% if the daily account balance is $25,000 or if there is at least one monthly deposit of $100 or more. This is the best yield in the industry. It is easy to create and maintain both accounts and transfer money to/from the accounts.


CIT Savings Builder Review


The only fee for a savings account is a $10 outgoing domestic wire fee which is waived if a daily balance of $25,000 or more is maintained. Most other “no fee” online Savings Banks charge $25 - $50 for outbound wire transfers. This makes a CIT savings account attractive for most customers especially if the purpose is to save up money for a large purchase such as buying real estate.

Open account: Open a CIT Savings Builder account and get a 2.40% rate.



CIT Bank offers Custodial accounts. The money put into these accounts belongs to the designated minor child but leaves control of the money with the parent or guardian until the child reaches the age of 18. It is possible to designate the age at which the child receives control of the funds anywhere from age 18 up to 25.


CIT Money Market Account Review

The yield on the Money Market account is currently 1.85%, and it has the same $100 opening minimum as the CIT Savings Accounts. Both the Money Market and Savings accounts have a monthly transaction limit of six due to the Federal Reserve Regulation D, but the Money Market account does provide more ways to access funds. There are additional potential fees beyond wire transfers: a $30 stop payment fee, a $25 overdraft fee, and a $10 excessive transactions fee for each transaction beyond the six-transaction monthly limit.

There is no Debit card option, but there are other ways to access funds in a Money Market account:

  1. People Pay is a service that allows up to $50 to be sent to almost any individual with an e-mail address or mobile number. The recipient will receive a link with instructions on how to receive the funds.
  2. Transfer funds to a PayPal account with the same $50 limit.
  3. Account-to-account transfers are possible for other people with CIT Bank accounts.
  4. A Bill Pay option will be available soon. This free service will allow scheduled payments to a third party.

Open account: Open a CIT Bank Money Market account and get a 1.85% APY.


CIT Certificates of Deposit (CDs) Review

CIT offers standard CDs with terms of 6 months up to 5 years with a $1,000 minimum to open. The one year to 18-month CDs have the highest APRs ranging from 2.20% up to 2.50%. Yields of the longer and shorter-term CDs fall off significantly. If the requirements of the higher rate Savings Builder account can be met, there isn’t much sense in considering a standard CD.

Jumbo CDs have a $100,000 minimum to open, and they are available in terms of 2, 3, 4 and 5 years. Jumbo CD yields range from 1.45% to 1.75%, just 0.05% to 0.10% higher than the same duration term CDs. Unless bank yields drop in the next few years, the Savings Builder account or shorter-term CDs would be the better choice.

There is another option that may make CDs more appealing, but it only works with existing CDs. The “Ramp Up CD” option targets older CDs that have a much lower APR than is available today. The maximum boost to the APR is still below rates for new CD, so this option only makes sense for existing CDs with very high balances.

One interesting option is the No-Penalty CD. It has an eleven-month term, a $1,000 minimum deposit to open, and an APR of 2.05%. Funds and any interest earned can be withdrawn from this CD without any penalty after the first seven days. If the minimum deposit can be met, this would be a better choice than the lower rate savings accounts, but still not as good as the higher rate CIT Savings Builder account.

Open account: CIT Bank CDs provide a safe, secure way to grow your savings.



CIT Individual Retirement Account (IRA)

CIT Bank does offer IRAs, but investment options are limited to the account types listed above.


Services

As a basic, no-frills savings account, CIT Bank does not offer many services. Transfers between CIT accounts is simple and happens immediately. Opening additional accounts are done in just a few mouse clicks. External transfers to or from other financial institutions are simple once an external bank is verified. Verification is done through small test deposits, and it can take up to three business days for verification to be completed.

Other banking services require a PDF to be downloaded and filled in and either faxed or scanned to be send by email. The PDFs do have some fields that can be fill in on a computer, but sometimes the data gets scrambled when saved or printed. It is easier to fill them in by hand. Emailed submissions should result in a returned email confirmation. If no email confirmation arrives, call customer support as the request was likely lost.

In the past, wire transfer forms stated that requests received by 1:30PM ET would be processed the same day, but that did not always happen. The form now states that the wire transfer will be processed within one business day.

A full list of banking services requiring forms:

  • ACH Stop Payment Requests
  • One-time check withdrawal
  • Stop payments for checks
  • Automatically transfer interest payments to an external bank
  • Outbound Wire transfers
  • File a claim for unauthorized ACH transfers

CIT Bank has a Mobile App which supports the following functions:

  • Check account balances
  • See recent transactions
  • Transfer money between accounts
  • Deposit check via a Smartphone camera
  • Use the Pay People service
  • The user interface is not very intuitive. Click the green “plus” symbol to deposit checks

Customer support is available via an online web form, an email address, or a toll-free phone number. Call wait times are usually short, and issues are usually resolved by the first representative. The Customer Contact Center is available on Monday through Friday 8AM-9PM ET, Saturday 9AM-5PM ET and Sunday 11AM-4PM ET. The standard response to messages received by email or secure message is 1-2 business days.


CIT Savings Builder Review Conclusion

While CIT Bank only provides basic savings services, they do so with higher rates and lower fees than most other providers. Everyone should set aside funds in a highly liquid instrument such as a savings account for unexpected emergencies. A savings account is also a good place to keep funds that will be needed in the near term for future investments. With their ease of use, high yields and low fees, CIT Bank is a strong option for any Savings Bank needs.


Open CIT Savings Builder Account

Open a CIT Savings Builder account and get a 2.40% rate.



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CIT Savings Builder reviewed by TopRatedFirms.com. Rating: 4.5