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CIT Bank Review 2018 - Money Market, Savings, and CDs

CIT Bank Review 2018 - Money Market, Savings, and CDs

November 1, 2018

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CIT Bank’s personal banking offerings include a money market account (MMA), a savings builder account, a high yield savings account, and a variety of certificates of deposit (CDs). All CIT Bank products offer attractive features, however CIT’s money market and savings accounts stand out for their excellent combination of high interest rates, low minimum deposit requirements, and no monthly maintenance fees.

It is worth noting that aside from its subsidiary OneWest Bank’s branch locations in Southern California, CIT Bank does not have any physical presence. CIT Bank also does not offer a checking account. For these reasons, CIT Bank is ideally suited for online-oriented consumers who are comfortable keeping their checking account at separate financial institution and linking their CIT personal banking account to their checking account.

Read on for more details about CIT's personal banking offerings.

CIT Bank Money Market Account

Account Features: CIT Bank’s money market account earns an impressive 1.85% annual percentage yield on all balances, with interest compounded daily and paid monthly. There are no account opening fees or monthly service fees associated with CIT’s money market account. You will need at least $100 to open a CIT Bank money market account, but that is a very low requirement relative to most competitive products. Accounts are FDIC insured.

Accessing Your Funds: Your options include electronic funds transfer (for example, linking your CIT money market account to an external checking account), requests via mail, and People Pay, a free person-to-person payment feature that allows you to send money to almost anyone with an email address or mobile phone number. Enrolling in People Pay is done via CIT’s Online Banking “People Pay” tab. People Pay transfers are limited to $50 per transaction and $50 daily. Bill Pay, a free service to make one-time or recurring bill payments, is reported to be coming soon. There are no debit cards or checks associated with the CIT Bank money market account.

Things to Consider: You will incur a $10 fee for each transfer or withdrawal if you make more than 6 transfers or withdrawals in any monthly statement period.

Bottom Line: Money market accounts often come with higher interest rates than savings account rates. However, money market accounts also typically come with higher minimum deposit requirements than savings accounts. Not the case with CIT. The CIT money market account separates itself from most competitive products (MMAs or savings accounts) by offering a combination of an outstanding APY and only a $100 minimum deposit requirement.

CIT Bank Savings Builder

Account Features: CIT Bank’s Savings Builder is a “tiered” interest rate account designed to give savers who make regular monthly deposits a higher APY. This product is great for savers who are capable of making (and plan to make) regular deposits (e.g. via direct deposit) in order to build their balance and maximize interest earned. The Savings Builder account works as follows: savers who either make at least one deposit of $100 or more during an evaluation period OR who have an account balance of at least $25,000 will earn the “upper tier” interest rate during the next evaluation period. Account holders who have a balance of less than $25,000 and who do not make a deposit of $100 or more during an evaluation period will earn the “base tier” interest rate for the next evaluation period. This evaluation process repeats each month for as long as the account is open.

CIT currently offers a 2.15% introductory APY that lasts from the day a Savings Builder account is opened through the first evaluation day. The first evaluation day is the fourth business day prior to the end of the first full month after an account is opened. After this introductory period ends, accounts are evaluated on each subsequent evaluation day (the fourth business day prior to the end of a month) to determine the interest rate to be paid for the next evaluation period. Accounts that meet the monthly deposit requirement or balance requirement will earn the upper tier interest rate of 2.127% (a 2.15% APY), and accounts that do not will earn the base tier interest rate of 0.995% (1.14% APY).

APY Balance Requirement
2.15% $25,000 or have a balance over $100 and make a monthly deposit of at least $100
1.14% $100 - $25,000

Accessing Your Funds: You can use CIT’s online banking system to make free electronic transfers to external accounts. People Pay and Bill Pay are not available for Savings Builder account holders.

Things to Consider: You will need a minimum deposit of $100 to open an account. You are limited to 6 transfers or withdrawals per monthly statement period.

Bottom Line: The Savings Builder offers one of the most attractive interest rates on the market. And the upper tier APY of 2.15% is highly accessible, with only a $100 minimum deposit requirement and a $100 recurring monthly deposit requirement in order to qualify.

CIT Bank Premier High Yield Savings Account

Account Features: CIT Bank’s premier high yield savings account is also a “tiered” interest rate account, meaning annual percentage yields vary depending on your account balance. However, CIT currently offers a 1.55% annual percentage yield to all tiers of account balances. Interest is compounded daily and paid monthly. Like other CIT Bank savings products, there are no account opening fees or monthly service fees associated with the high yield savings account, and funds are FDIC insured.

Accessing Your Funds: You can use CIT’s online banking system to make free electronic transfers to external accounts. People Pay and Bill Pay are not available for high yield savings account holders.

Things to Consider: You will need a minimum deposit of $100 to open an account. Funds are normally available between 5 and 10 business days from the day of deposit. You are limited to 6 transfers or withdrawals per monthly statement period.

Bottom Line: A very competitive APY for an online savings product.

Certificates of Deposit

CIT Bank offers five categories of CDs, described below. For all CIT Bank CDs, interest is compounded daily and credited to your account monthly. A great feature of CIT Bank CDs is you can withdraw the interest earned on your CD, with no penalty, at any time you’d like. This can be done by depositing your CD interest to an existing CIT Bank savings account or setting up electronic funds transfer to deposit your interest to an external checking or savings account. Read on for more details.

Term CDs – CIT Bank offers standard CD options with terms ranging from six months to five years, and rates as high as 2.50% APY. Of note, CIT’s 18-Month CD currently offers a very attractive 2.50% APY. Below is a summary of CIT's current term CD rates.

Term APY Min Deposit
6-Month 0.72% $1,000
1-Year 2.20% $1,000
13-Month 2.25% $1,000
18-Month 2.50% $1,000
2-Year 1.40% $1,000
3-Year 1.30% $1,000
4-Year 1.50% $1,000
5-Year 1.70% $1,000

No Penalty CDs – With CIT Bank’s No-Penalty CD, you can withdraw your total balance, plus interest earned, without penalty seven days or later after funds are received. No withdrawals are permitted during the first six days after receipt of the funds. The No-Penalty CD carries an 11-month term and offers a 2.05% APY.

Ramp Up CDs (Currently Not Available for New Accounts) – CIT Bank’s Ramp Up CDs provide you the option to adjust your rate once during the term of your CD, should CIT Bank rates go up. Note, Ramp Up CDs are subject to a rate cap that limits the optional increase of the initial APY to twice the amount of the initial APY, less 0.05%. Currently available in a three-year term with a 1.20% APY and a $25,000 minimum deposit requirement, or a four-year term with a 1.38% APY and a $50,000 minimum deposit requirement.

Ramp Up Plus CDs (Currently Not Available for New Accounts) – CIT Bank’s Ramp Up Plus CDs allow you to adjust your rate once if CIT Bank rates go up, plus you can add to your deposit once during the term of your CD. Note, Ramp Up Plus CDs are subject to a rate cap that limits the optional increase of the initial APY to twice the amount of the initial APY, less 0.05%. Currently available in one-year term with a 1.26% APY and a $25,000 minimum deposit requirement, and a two-year term, with a 1.27% APY and a $25,000 minimum deposit requirement.

Jumbo CDs – CIT Bank’s Jumbo CDs have terms ranging from two to five years and offer higher rates of interest than standard CDs. Minimum deposit requirement of $100,000.

Things to Consider: If you choose to withdraw funds from your CD prior to its maturity date, you may incur an early withdrawal penalty unless you are enrolled in a No Penalty CD. For terms up to 1 year, the penalty that may be imposed is 3 months’ interest on the amount withdrawn. For terms of more than 1 year up to 3 years, the penalty is 6 months’ interest. For terms of more than 3 years, the penalty is 12 months’ interest.

Bottom Line: CIT scores points for having a wide range of CDs from which to choose. If you are interested in having the ability to adjust your rate, add to your balance, or withdraw your balance at no penalty, there’s an option for you here.

About CIT Bank

CIT Bank, N.A. is the principal bank subsidiary of CIT Group (NYSE: CIT), a financial holding company with approximately $50 billion in assets that was founded in 1908. CIT Bank’s primary offering includes personal banking products, home loans, and small business loans. In addition to the products and services offered to consumers through its internet bank franchise, CIT Bank has a network of approximately 70 retail branches in Southern California, operating as OneWest Bank, a division of CIT Bank, N.A. Between its direct banking operation online and its retail branch network, CIT Bank has approximately $26 billion in consumer deposits. CIT Bank’s name reflects an abbreviation of an early corporate name, Commercial Investment Trust.

Corporate Headquarters: CIT Bank, N.A. 75 North Fair Oaks Ave. Pasadena, CA 91103

Routing Number: 124084834

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