CIT Bank is an online banking platform, that offers some of the highest paying savings accounts and certificates of deposit (CD) available anywhere. They offer both online and mobile banking, and charge no fees. If you’re looking for high interest savings, CIT Bank should be on your short list of potential sources.
About CIT Bank
CIT was founded in 1908, to make financing available in and around St. Louis, Missouri. It is the parent company of CIT Bank, which is based out of Pasadena California. CIT Bank has since grown to where it has more than $30 billion in deposits, and over $40 billion in assets. It operates in Southern California as OneWest Bank.
Nationally, CIT Bank is one of the most prominent online banks in the country. It offers some of the most attractive interest rates available on certificates of deposit, high-yield savings and Custodial accounts.
On the commercial side, it provides financing, leasing and advisory services, mostly to middle-market companies and small businesses. CIT Business Capital also delivers an array of lending, leasing and factoring financing solutions, also to middle-market companies and small businesses. It also provides senior secured commercial real estate loans to owners, developers and investors through its CIT Real Estate Finance Group.
CIT Bank Savings Products and Rates
CIT Bank offers a full range of savings products, including high-yield savings and both regular and Jumbo certificates of deposit (CDs). Here’s a rundown of each product that they offer:
Premier High Yield Savings
The Premier High Yield Savings Account requires a minimum of $100 to open. There are no maintenance fees or account opening fees required. Interest is compounded daily, and the account comes with free online banking. It is available for neither custodial accounts nor for IRA accounts. Interest rates are as follows:
- Balances of $1 to $100,000, 1.35% Annual Percentage Yield (APY)
- Balances of over $100,000, 1.30% APY
The rates are certainly attractive, particularly on a savings account, but there is a downside. If your balance exceeds $100,000, the interest rate on the entire account drops to 1.30%. Of course, that’s because once you reach $100,000, you can get even higher rates by investing in a CIT Bank Jumbo CD.
Savings Builder High Yield Savings
With the Premier High Yield Savings Account, you can take advantage of high APY with an affordable minimum deposit. Here’s a quick rundown:
- 2.15% APY if you make one minimum deposit of $100 monthly or maintain a $25,000 balance.
- If your monthly balance or deposits dip below the minimum, your APY drops to 1.14% APY for the month.
- To get back to the top tier APY, you simply need to meet the minimum again and your APY will increase to 2.15% for the next month’s period.
- You get a 2.15% bonus the first month, then you are expected to make the minimums to maintain it.
You can learn more about the Savings Builder on CIT’s website. Overall, it’s an awesome way to score interest with reasonable minimum deposits.
Jumbo CDs are available with a minimum opening deposit of $100,000. They are offered with tiered pricing, based on the term of the CD. These CDs are available for custodial accounts, but NOT for IRA accounts.
The rates for Jumbo CDs are as follows:
- 2-year CD: 1.45% APY
- 3-year CD: 1.40% APY
- 4-year CD: 1.60% APY
- 5-year CD: 1.75% APY
Term CDs are available with a minimum opening deposit of $1,000. They are available for custodial accounts, but NOT for IRA accounts.
The rates for Term CDs are as follows:
- 6-month CD: 0.72% APY
- 1-year CD: 1.32% APY
- 2-year CD: 1.40% APY
- 3-year CD: 1.30% APY
- 4-year CD: 1.50% APY
- 5-year CD: 1.70% APY
This CD offers high interest rates with both flexibility and access to your funds. It requires a minimum initial deposit of $1,000, there are no account opening or maintenance fees, and interest is compounded daily. The CD is available for custodial accounts, but NOT for IRA accounts.
No-Penalty CD rate: 1.45% APY for an 11-month term.
Early withdrawal advantage. No withdrawals are permitted during the first six days after receipt of funds by the bank. However, you can withdraw the total balance, including interest earned, without penalty, beginning seven days after the funds have been received.
This is a flexible long-term CD that’s designed to protect you against market fluctuations. There are no account opening or maintenance fees. This CD is available for custodial accounts, but NOT for IRA accounts.
The rates for RampUp CDs are as follows:
- 3-year CD: 1.20% APY – Minimum opening deposit – $25,000
- 4-year CD: 1.38% APY – Minimum opening deposit – $50,000
RampUP Plus CDs
This is considered to be CIT Bank’s most flexible CD. Like the RampUP CD, this CD is also designed to protect you against market fluctuations. There are no account opening or maintenance fees, and the account is available for custodial accounts, but NOT for IRA accounts. The minimum deposit on both terms is $25,000, and interest is compounded daily.
RampUP Plus CD rate advantage: Not only will you have the option to adjust your rate once during the term of the CD should rates increase, but you will also have the option to increase the size of your deposit during the term of your CD. Even if rates go down, you can still add to your deposit and with interest at the higher initial rate.
The rates for RampUP Plus CDs are as follows:
- 3-year CD: 1.26% APY
- 4-year CD: 1.27% APY
Custodial Accounts (UTMA)
You can set up any one of the above CD products within a Custodial Account for a minor child. The account is held in the minor’s name, with you acting as custodian. That means that you will control the account until the child reaches 18, or in some cases, 25.
There is no maximum limit as to how much you can contribute to a custodial account, however current tax law allows you to contribute a maximum of $14,000 per year as a gift, without incurring the federal gift tax.
How to Sign-up with CIT Bank
The sign-up process with CIT Bank is fast and easy, and is completed entirely online. That’s done by going to the Open a CIT Bank Account page, and going through the steps.
You’ll be asked to provide the following information:
- Your Social Security number
- Your driver’s license or other valid state identification
- A check, or your bank routing and account numbers, from the account you’ll be using the fund your new CIT Bank account
- Names and personal details (Social Security number, valid ID) of any joint account holders and/or designated beneficiaries
You can fund your account by check, electronic funds transfer or by wire. CIT Bank will make two test micro deposits to your designated funding account. That account must be a bank checking or savings account. Micro deposits will be offset with a single withdrawal from the same account. Within three days, you’ll receive an email with instructions on how to verify the deposit amounts made to your funding account.
This is the method that CIT Bank uses to ensure the safety and security of your funds.
Once that process is complete, your account will be open and ready to go.
CIT Bank Features and Benefits
CIT Bank is a No Fee Bank Platform
The only fee that CIT Bank has is a $10 per wire transfer fee on outgoing wire transfers for accounts with an average daily balance of less than $25,000. Other than that, CIT Bank does not charge account fees, such as monthly maintenance fees, online transfer fees, incoming wire transfer fees, or account closure fees.
And as is the case with all banks, CIT Bank does charge penalties on early withdrawals of its CD products. Early withdrawal penalties on CDs are as follows:
- Terms up to 1 year – 3 months interest on the amount withdrawn
- Terms more than 1 year up to 3 years – 6 months interest on the amount withdrawn
- Terms more than 3 years – 12 months interest on the amount withdrawn
With CIT Bank online banking, you get real-time access to your account. Online banking features include:
- Manage your accounts and account information online
- View and download statements and account activity
- Schedule and make transfers to and from other banks
- Schedule and make transfers between CIT Bank accounts
- Create banking reports
- Open new accounts
- Receive and manage account alerts
- Send secure messages
CIT Bank Premier High Yield Savings, Jumbo CDs, Term CDs, No Penalty CDs, RampUP and RampUPPlus CDs, and Custodial Accounts. See the next section for full details on each of these accounts.
Like many online banks, CIT Bank does not offer checking accounts.
CIT Bank Home Loans
CIT Bank offers home loans at competitive rates. These include fixed rate and adjustable rate mortgages, jumbo loans, cash-out refinances, and interest-only loans. They also have a Low Down Payment Program, which enables you to purchase a home with a down payment as low as 3% of the purchase price
CIT Bank Calculators
CIT Bank offers nine different calculators to help you crunch numbers for savings, retirement and debt management. Some of the calculators they offer include:
- CD Laddering Calculator
- Emergency Savings Calculator
- College Savings Calculator
- Retirement Planner Calculator
- Traditional and Roth IRA Calculators
- Mortgage Payoff Calculator
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CIT Bank Mobile Banking is a free service that enables you to manage your money anytime and anywhere. It’s available for Apple or Android devices, and can be set up simply by clicking the “Get Started” tab under the Mobile Banking tool on the My CIT Bank dashboard. Once you’re signed up for Mobile Banking, you can also enroll in Text Banking, which enables you to check account balances in your transaction history.
Features available with CIT Bank Mobile Banking include:
- Check account balances and transaction history
- Transfer money between CIT Bank accounts
- Deposit checks for High Yield Savings customers
The mobile app is available on Google Play or the App Store.
This is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, through both Online and Mobile Banking, as well as by Automated Telephone Banking. You can also contact the bank by email.
Regular bank hours are Monday through Friday, 8:00 AM to 9:00 PM; Saturdays, from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM; and Sundays 11:00 AM to 4:00 PM. All hours are Eastern Time.
The Home Loans division is available by phone, Monday through Friday, 9:00 AM to 8:00 PM. They are closed weekends and holidays.
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CIT Bank Security
The bank uses a variety of strategies to keep your account and your identity safe. They provide transaction and activity monitoring, as well as layered security to ensure that you are the only person who has access to your account.
The system employs antivirus protection, firewalls, and 128-bit Secure Socket Layer (SSL) encryption. They also offer a secure messaging portal with communications encryption, as well as an automatic sign out of your secure session after a period of inactivity.
FDIC Insurance on all Deposits
As an FDIC participating bank, CIT Bank provides $250,000 coverage per depositor on all savings products.
CIT Bank Pros and Cons
CIT Bank Pros
- High interest rates on savings products. CIT Bank pays interest as high as 1.75% APY, which is one of the highest rates available in the banking world.
- No-fee Banking – CIT Bank charges no fees to maintain an account. That makes the high interest rates offered on your savings products even more attractive.
- The No-Penalty CD offers high rates of interest, with penalty free availability of funds after just seven days. That’s a rare benefit anywhere in the banking world.
- The RampUP CD gives you the ability to take a one- time rate adjustment, if rates increase after you open your CD.
CIT Bank Cons
- No checking account availability. That means that CIT Bank is mainly an online bank for savings purposes. You will need to do your regular banking elsewhere.
- On the Premier High Yield Savings account, you earn slightly less in interest on balances over $100,000. If you’re over by just one dollar, your APY falls from 1.35% to 1.30%.
- At the present time, CIT Bank does not offer IRAs. That’s because they’re upgrading their IRA online application system. While that transition is taking place, the Bank is not accepting new IRA accounts. But it looks to be a temporary problem, as IRA accounts have been offered in the past.
- No ATM cards available with your account.
Should You Use CIT Bank
CIT Bank is an excellent way to get high interest earnings on your savings. The Premier High Yield Savings account and the large number of CD programs available not only come with high interest rates, but also offer flexibility, such as the ability to get a higher rate after you open your CD, or having access to the funds before the certificate matures.
The platform can also be a source of competitive home loan financing for both refinances and purchases.
The downside to this platform, which is common for online banking services that offer unusually high interest, is that you can’t do your regular banking with CIT Bank. Not only do they not offer checking privileges or an ATM card, but they also don’t make common consumer loans available. That means that if you want a credit card, a car loan, or a home equity line of credit, you will have to go to a brick-and-mortar bank, or some other lending source.
But that’s not a major disadvantage. You can park your savings at CIT Bank and let it earn very high interest, and do your other banking through your regular bank.
If you’d like to get more information on CIT Bank, or you’re interested in signing up for the service, you can do that at the CIT Bank website.