What Is CIT Bank

By David Krug David Krug is the CEO & President of Bankovia. He's a lifelong expat who has lived in the Philippines, Mexico, Thailand, and Colombia. When he's not reading about cryptocurrencies, he's researching the latest personal finance software. 8 minute read

The top bank account promotions often include CIT Bank, and for good reason. Financial services provider CIT Group has been in business for almost a century, and its online banking division, CIT Bank, has been serving customers online since 1996. 

When it comes to online banks, CIT Bank is one of the oldest and has been around since the year 2000. Deposits at CIT Bank are insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) for up to $250,000 per customer, just as those at the vast majority of other online banks in the United States.

At CIT Bank, you can choose from a wide variety of high-yield products, including a checking account with a competitive interest rate and a variety of savings, CD, money market, and credit card options with competitive interest rates. 

Instead, it focuses on savings accounts with great account starting bonuses and CDs, two of the most common types of savings products, among other flexible and attractive options.

In addition to a wide selection of mortgage loans for both first-time and current homeowners, CIT Bank provides custodial accounts for minors and young adults under the age of 21.

The bank accounts offered by CIT Bank aren’t practical for everyday use, but they do offer above-average interest rates for savers. Account holders can rest easy knowing that the bank won’t be nibbling away at their savings through administration fees because there are none. 

Furthermore, the No-Penalty CDs from CIT provide its holders with an unprecedented degree of freedom by permitting them to make early withdrawals of their money without being penalized.

However, not everyone will be able to take advantage of CIT’s products due to the high minimum deposit requirements of various accounts.

Characteristics of CIT Bank

CIT’s best banking services and products are highlighted here.

Financial Connect

If you open a Savings Connect account and meet these simple requirements, you’ll earn a competitive yield (currently 2.10% APY).

  • Open a Savings Connect account with a minimum opening deposit of $100
  • Make a $200 electronic payment (deposit) into your Savings Connect account each month to earn the top Savings Connect APY

No maintenance fees are charged regularly, and up to $30 per month can be recovered for some ATM fees assessed by other financial institutions.

Unpunishable CD

Competitive amongst its peers, CIT Bank’s 11-month No-Penalty CD now yields a 2.15% APY annual percentage yield, which may increase or decrease depending on market conditions.

If you require access to your money before the CD matures, the CIT No-Penalty CD has no penalties for early withdrawal. An initial deposit of $1,000 is required, but there are no ongoing costs.

Savings Account Builder

A savings account with a good yield is called Savings Builder. Account holders who can accomplish one of the following are eligible for the highest APY, which is presently 0.85% APY:

  • Maintain a minimum balance of $25,000 or more
  • Make at least one monthly deposit of $100 or more into the account

There will be no monthly or annual charges to keep your account open.

Cash Management Account

There are no account maintenance fees or service charges on a monthly basis for the CIT Bank Money Market account, which offers a competitive yield on all balances (currently 1.40% APY). All that’s required is a $100 initial investment, but after that, there are no minimums.

Term CDs

There are eight different terms (conventional) CDs available from CIT Bank, with terms ranging from six months to sixty. The 18-month CD yield is particularly high, although they are all reasonable. CIT Bank reserves the right to adjust all yields based on market conditions and internal policy.

In order to open a term CD with CIT, you’ll need to deposit $1,000. For terms of less than 12 months, the penalty for withdrawing funds early is 90 days’ interest, for terms of 12 to 36 months, it’s 180 days’ interest, and for terms greater than 36 months, it’s 360 days’ interest. 

Most CIT Jumbo CDs are subject to these fees as well. The good news is that there are no up-front or ongoing expenses associated with CIT CDs (or any of the other variants listed below).

Jumbo CDs

The returns on CIT Bank’s Jumbo CDs are just a tad higher than those on regular CDs. A starting balance of $100,000 is necessary for all of them.

Checking Account

If you open a checking account with CIT Bank, all you need is $100 to get started. The rate on balances over $25,000 is particularly enticing, though it’s still respectable on lesser levels. There are no ongoing costs and the bank even offers to cover up to $30 monthly in ATM fees from other institutions if they qualify.

CD Ladders

In order to save for the future and prepare for unexpected expenses, CIT Bank makes it simple to set up a CD ladder. One typical setup has three tiers of equal-sized 12-month, 24-month, and 36-month Term CDs. 

Withdraw what you need for immediate costs and reinvest the remainder into a new CD with a maturity of 36 months when your 12-month CD matures. When your 24-month CD matures, repeat the process the following year, and you’ll end up with three 36-month CDs that automatically renew after 12 months.

IRA Options

Except for the 6-month CD, all other accounts at CIT Bank can be set up in the form of a regular or Roth IRA. Minimum opening amounts and other account requirements are the same for IRAs as they are for non-IRA accounts.

Discretionary Accounts

It is possible to set up a custodial account with CIT Bank for every type of account, with the exception of IRA products. Custodial accounts are held in the name of the kid and the adult custodian until the child turns 21, at which point the account is transferred to the child.

Home purchase loans with fixed rates

CIT Bank has several options for homebuyers looking for fixed-rate mortgages. The length of the term might be anywhere between 10 and 30 years. Fixed-rate jumbo loans can be obtained for 15 or 30 years. Borrowers who are extremely creditworthy might choose an interest-only payment schedule on 30-year loans.

Home purchase loans with adjustable rates

Mortgages with 5/1, 7/1, and 10/1 ARM terms are available from CIT Bank. Any of the three setups can be paid off entirely with interest payments.

Mortgage customer relationship pricing

When existing customers of CIT Bank’s lending division apply for new house loans, they are eligible for special pricing based on the bank’s commitment to the relationship. All homebuyers are eligible for a $525 refund upon a successful closing. 

CIT Bank customers with large deposit balances receive preferential lending pricing:

  • 0.10% discount with 10% of the loan amount in new deposits
  • 0.20% discount with 25% of the loan amount in new deposits

A borrower who puts down 10% of the loan amount can reduce an interest rate from 5% to 4.99%.

Mobile Banking

CIT Bank offers downloadable mobile apps for both Android and iOS. All the primary capabilities of the full website are available in these mobile apps. However, the CIT desktop website is responsive and easy to use on mobile devices, so you may not even need the mobile app.

Customer Support

CIT Bank has a toll-free number where you can talk to a real person and an online form where you may submit a question and get a response within one business day. The phone center is available during regular business hours Monday through Friday and during some weekend hours.

Benefits of CIT Bank

Positives for CIT Bank are numerous. The aforementioned are the most compelling arguments in favor of opening an account here.

  • Strong returns on CDs. When it comes to internet banks, CIT Bank offers some of the highest CD returns available. CIT should be considered as a potential investment vehicle for the medium to long term.
  • With a CD that doesn’t charge any fees, you have more freedom. If you think you might need access to your savings before the term ends on your No-Penalty CD, you can withdraw the money without penalty. No matter how much money you have on deposit or how soon you want to get it out, there will be no fees associated with doing so.
  • Increased Returns on Your Savings Compared to the Market Average. Both the Savings Builder and Savings Connect accounts offered by CIT Bank provide above-average rates on all balances, albeit certain requirements must be met before the entire interest is credited to the account. Check out CIT Bank if you’re interested in earning above-average returns without making a long-term commitment to a certificate of deposit.
  • Successful interest rates on checking accounts. The eChecking account from CIT Bank earns more than the average yield for a free online checking account, making it a smart location to keep the money you won’t need right away.
  • First-rate accessibility to support staff is always a plus for customers. CIT Bank’s customer care isn’t open all the time, but they do have a sizable window during business hours every day of the week. That outperforms the vast majority of smaller, internet banks.
  • Created with Mobile Users In Mind. CIT Bank’s primary website strikes the ideal balance between mobile responsiveness and desktop friendliness with large text, smooth scrolling, and a clear color scheme that looks nice on screens of any size. Accessing your CIT accounts on the go couldn’t be easier, regardless of whether you have the mobile app or not.

Drawbacks of CIT Bank

There are various drawbacks to banking with CIT Bank. You should give some thought to these issues before deciding to create an account here.

  • There are no corporate accounts available. Since CIT Bank does not offer commercial accounts or lines of credit, it is not a good choice for entrepreneurs. Some of the major online financial institutions do indeed offer commercial finance and deposit accounts.
  • Lack of Available Borrowing Options. CIT Bank does not offer many different types of loans to its customers. First Internet Bank is an option if you’d want to borrow from the same bank where you maintain your money. They provide a variety of loans, including credit cards, mortgages, auto loans, personal loans, and goods for businesses.
  • It’s not easy to track down the information that’s legally required. Banks in the United States are obligated by law to inform their customers of certain details regarding account fees and other terms. Links labeled “Disclosures” or “Fees and Disclosures” are typically found at the bottom of each page, or on account-specific pages, on online banking websites. There is no obvious place on the website to find CITs. Each account has a fee schedule, but it’s quite brief and doesn’t even cover the basics, such as overdraft fees.

Bottom Line

When banking online, I constantly look for a place that will provide my money with a better return. That’s exactly what I was looking for, and I found it in CIT Bank, where the returns on savings and certificates of deposit are far higher than those offered by other financial institutions. 

Financial institutions that offer above-average returns always catch my eye. If CIT Bank doesn’t start offering checking accounts soon, I’ll have to switch to another online bank for my regular transactions. It’s a relief that there are so many of them available today. If you’re looking for a free checking account, we’ve compiled the best ones.

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