CIT Bank Review: Best Online Savings Account
If you know me at all, you know I talk incessantly about high-yield savings accounts. Your typical savings account earns you just 0.01% at your local bank — literal pennies. A high-yield savings account, on the other hand, can earn you over 10 times more. The longer you wait to open up a high-yield savings account, the more money you lose. I opened up a CIT Bank Savings Builder Account last year and I’m a die hard fan.
What are high yield savings accounts?
High yield savings accounts are savings accounts but have interest rates that match up to longer term accounts, such as CDs. High yield savings accounts come with more flexibility such as how soon you can withdraw funds without an early withdrawal penalty.
That’s why high yield savings accounts are perfect for emergency funds if you need to liquidate cash in a pinch. High yield savings accounts are most likely online banks which means they have less overhead cost than a traditional brick and mortar and give some of their savings back to the customer.
What rate does CIT bank offer on their High Yield Savings Account?
Before the economy declined due to COVID, CIT bank offered 1.50% APY on their famous Savings Builder Account. This was one of the HIGHEST rates on the market with very low minimum requirements. To get the best rate you need to auto-deposit $100 every month into your account or maintain a monthly balance of $25,000.
I’ve noticed that CIT’s current rates have declined due to the current state of the economy, but once the economy is back on its feet, these rates should rise again. The national average APY is 0.09%, so anything above that is still a lot better. CIT’s current rate is up to 0.50% APY. In the current state of the world, it’s better to stick with a bank you trust than to try to find the highest APY.
Even if you can’t afford to put $100 in savings a month you were still are eligible for 0.548% APY on your savings account. That’s still over 5x above the average for savings accounts! However, you may want to consider some of their other products if you’re willing to set your money aside for several months to years.
CIT Bank Certificate of Deposit Products
If you have a chunk of money that you’re looking to put aside for a short amount of time (less than 10 years is short in investing terms), a CIT Bank Certificate of Deposit (CDs) might be the right choice for you. Certificate of Deposits are termed savings accounts, meaning that you promise a bank that you’ll keep your money with them for a period of 3-60 months without making any withdrawals.
This leads to the bank offering you higher interest rates as your money sits with them for the duration of your contract. CIT currently has CD rate offerings up to 0.50% APY, which is predicted to rise once the economy regains its ground.
Be careful when opening a CD and make sure that you’re prepared to have that money tucked away for the term. Any early withdrawals may result in loss of interest and worst case, the original deposit amount.
The Pros: Banking with CIT Bank
Opening up an account is easy
Opening up an account with CIT Bank is extremely simple. You sign up on their website, give some personal identification information, and link the account you’re transferring your initial funds into your high yield savings account
Online savings accounts keep have high steady rates
While Fed interest rates are fluctuating, online banks like CIT are almost always going to have the top rates in the industry. Because they don’t have brick-and-mortar locations, they are able to pass along those savings to customers.
CIT Bank offers simple banking
CIT offers very simple banking, which means no fees and no minimum balance requirements to open up an account.
They strictly offer savings accounts and CDs, which make it an entirely savings-focused bank. Their CD rates are also extremely competitive ranging from what used to be 0.72%-1.72% APY (now 0.35%-0.50% due to COVID and economic decline) depending on how long you want your money tucked away. I love it because it means my money is set aside and out of sight, meaning I’m less likely to spend it. And the longer you let your nest egg sit, the more interest it earns.
CIT Bank has amazing customer service
CIT Bank’s customer service is always friendly, and privacy and security is taken very seriously. Each time I’ve called into CIT, the representative has been outgoing and asked me for at least three forms of identification over the phone. This shows that the company takes my security seriously.
My money is safe and federally backed
CIT is FDIC-insured, which gives me peace of mind that my money is guaranteed up to $250,000.
What you should consider before signing up with CIT Bank
There are a few things about CIT Bank that someone should consider to make sure it’s right for them.
Slow and clunky back-end technology
First of all, its website and backend technology have some kinks: It can be a little slow and clunky, but once you have the initial account set up, it becomes smoother to use.
The website design is non-intuitive
The website design is also non-intuitive and takes some getting used to. I’ve had to reset my password a couple of times because the website was tripping me up. You’ll need patience when you first get set up.
Should you go with CIT Bank?
CIT bank has been reliable for me and my financial goals. While there are plenty of other banks that offer over 1% interest rates, CIT has continually maintained being in the top tier of high-interest online savings accounts. .
I am an affiliate of CIT Bank but as always, all my opinions are my own. I will never partner with a brand/organization I personally do not use/believe in.