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CIT Bank Review – Online Savings Account and CDs

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Reviewed by:
Rating:
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On May 17, 2013
Last modified:May 17, 2013

Summary:

CIT Bank is among the industry leaders for highest interest rates and offers an easy to use savings account.

In today’s era of online banking and competitive interest rates, online banking has almost become a commodity. There are only a few things that separate banks from each other: brand recognition & trust, technology and features, high interest rates, and low or no fees. CIT Bank is a leader in several of these aspects.

If you are looking for a new online savings account, then take a look at CIT Bank. They offer excellent interest rates and easy online account access. To top it off, they have low minimums, and virtually no fees when compared to some of the mega banks.

CIT Bank Interest Rates – Among the Best in the Nation

CIT Bank is among the leaders among national banks when it comes to interest rates, with their base interest rate higher than most other online banks. They also offer a higher interest rate for customers who maintain a daily balance over $25,000. Current rates are 0.90% for regular accounts, and 1.05% for accounts with a minimum daily balance of $25,000 or more.

CIT Savings Accounts and Certificates of Deposit

CIT Bank - Online Savings AccountCIT Bank offers their customers several account options:

  • CIT Savings Accounts: Their are two savings tiers at CIT Bank – the standard tier, which requires a minim m deposit of $100 to open an account, and features a 0.90% interest rate, which is currently among the best you will find. The Preferred Status rate is 1.05% if you maintain a minimum daily balance of $25,000, and it is compounded daily.
  • 1-Year Achiever CD: This account has a minimum deposit of $25,000, and gives you the opportunity to increase your rate of return one time during the term of your CD if rates rise. This CD is compounded daily, giving you a slight increase to your total returns. You will also have the option to add funds one time during the term of this CD.
  • Term CD: These are standard certificates of deposit, with terms ranging from six months to five years. The minimum deposit for opening a Term CD is $1,000.
  • Jumbo CD: These CDs have a minimum deposit requirement of $100,000. You can choose either two, three or five year terms. Rates vary by term.
  • Click to find current interest rates for Savings Accounts
  • Click to find current interest rates for CDs

Each of the CD options offer daily compounding, and feature automatic renewal at the conclusion of the term unless you opt to withdraw the funds.

Freedom – as in No Fees

With many banks raising their fees, it’s refreshing to see a bank offer so many free services, including:

  • Monthly Maintenance Fee – Free
  • Online Transfer Fee – Free
  • Mail Check Fee – Free
  • Incoming Wire Transfer Fee – Free
  • Outgoing Wire Transfer Fee – Free (with a daily balance over $25,000, otherwise $10 each)
  • Account Closure Fee – Free

Some banks are now offering free ATM withdrawals at non-network ATMs, usually in the form of a reimbursement of fees each month (up to a limit). I haven’t seen anything like this with CIT Bank, but careful planning can minimize your ATM fees or help you avoid them altogether.

Key Features

CIT Bank has a lot of great features that make it a competitive option for your banking needs. Like all good banks, their funds are FDIC insured, so you can rest easy knowing your money is backed by the US government. In addition to a variety of account options and excellent interest rates, CIT bank features strong security and excellent customer service. Customer support is available Mon – Fri from 8am – 9pm EST, Sat from 9am – 5pm EST, and Sun from 11am – 4pm EST.

The Importance of High Interest Rates

Many people gloss over interest rates for their savings accounts, but I think this is the wrong thing to do. Take a look at this savings calculator to get a feel for how much more interest you could earn on your savings by moving to a bank with higher interest rates.

Financial Calculator...

Opening an Account with CIT Bank

Opening an account is quick and easy, and can be accomplished in about 10 minutes. You will need the standard information, including your SSN, drivers license, the account information of the bank you wish to link to your CIT account, and similar information. You will need to make a deposit when you open your account. The minimum for a savings account is $100. The minimum deposit for CDs is $1,000 and up, depending on which CD you open.

Like many online banks and financial institutions, CIT bank will make two small test deposits to your account. You must then verify the deposit amounts before you can officially link your account. Once this has been accomplished, you can transfer money between accounts.

What I would like to see from CIT Bank

As mentioned above, technology and features are fast becoming an important trend in online banking. Only a year ago, all a bank needed to remain competitive was security (basically a commodity among the best online banks), and the ability to sync your accounts with Quicken, Mint.com, and other money management tools.

Now, however, banks need more features to be competitive. Smartphone apps, the ability to make remote deposits from your phone or tablet, and similar features are becoming more common among the larger banks, and with that, they are almost becoming a requirement among customers. CIT Bank meets the security test, but lacks some of the other technology features that set other banks apart.

Additionally, CIT Bank doesn’t offer checking accounts or investment services (outside of CDs). So this account is better geared toward someone looking to stash some cash at a high interest rate.

Who This Account is For

Overall, I would put CIT Bank among the industry leaders in online banking, and recommend this as a great place to stash your cash if you are looking for a solid return on your savings and don’t mind a lack of a smartphone app or remote deposit via your cell phone. If you need a better mobile experience, I would recommend banks such as USAA, Ally Bank, or Capital One 360. If you are primarily interested in the interest rate and easy access to your money, the CIT Bank will do just fine.

To learn more or to open an account, visit CIT Bank.


Published or updated May 17, 2013.
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