CIT Bank has grown to become one of the best-known digital banks. It offers checking, savings, money market accounts, and certificates of deposit (CDs) with attractive features and rates. It can be a good choice to park excess savings to earn high interest.
Is it the type of online institution that will enable you to end your relationship with your local, traditional bank? We’ll try to answer that question for you.
Who is CIT Bank for?
CIT Bank is a good choice for anyone who is completely comfortable with an all-digital banking experience and does not require access to local branches. The bank offers competitive checking, savings, money market accounts, and CDs. It has one of the best high-yield savings accounts available, as well as some attractive shorter-term CDs.
Still, prospective customers need to be aware that CIT Bank does not offer paper checks with its checking accounts, and it limits loan products to home loans. It also does not provide any business banking services.
Review of CIT Bank products
CIT Bank checking
0.25% with a balance of $25,000 or more; 0.10% with a balance of under $25,000
- Pays interest on all balances.
- No monthly maintenance, overdraft, or incoming wire fees.
- Unlimited withdrawals and disbursements.
- $100 is required to open an account.
- No paper checks are available with the account.
CIT Bank eChecking pays 0.10% annual percentage yield (APY) on balances below $25,000, and 0.25% on balances equal or above. There are no monthly service fees, no overdraft fees, and no fees for incoming wire transfers. CIT Bank eChecking does not charge ATM fees, and you can be reimbursed for up to $30 per month for ATM fees charged by other banks. A minimum of $100 is required to open an account.
CIT Bank eChecking comes with the ability to make transfers, payments, and purchases using Zelle, Bill Pay, Samsung Pay, and Apple Pay. You can make mobile check deposits and enjoy unlimited withdrawals and disbursements.
Why we recommend it. CIT eChecking isn’t the top checking account for earning interest, but it’s otherwise a good all-around online checking account. It pays interest on all balances and has none of the standard checking account fees.
CIT Bank checking alternatives
CIT Bank savings accounts
CIT Bank Savings
Min. balance to earn APY
- Two of the accounts pay among the highest interest rates on balances above $5,000.
- No monthly maintenance fees.
- Requires at least $100 to open an account.
CIT Bank offers three different savings account options:
- Savings Builder. Savings Builder pays 0.40% APY on balances below $25,000, and 1.00% APY on equal or higher balances. No minimum deposit is required to open an account, and there are no monthly maintenance fees.
Why we recommend it. Platinum Savings is an excellent savings choice if you have at least $5,000. The current rate of 5.05% APY paid on balances of $5,000 or more is one of the highest in the industry, especially when combined with the absence of monthly service fees. If you have less than $5,000, the better choice will be Savings Connect.
CIT Bank Savings alternatives
CIT Bank money market account
CIT Bank MMA
Min. balance to earn APY
- Decent rate paid on all account balances.
- No monthly service fees.
- Not the highest rate available on money market accounts.
The CIT Bank money market account is currently paying 1.55% APY on all balances. There is a $100 minimum opening deposit, but no monthly service charges.
Why we recommend it. We’re somewhat neutral on this account. We like the fact that it pays a reasonable rate on all account balances and has no monthly service fees. However, if you are looking for the highest rate on money market accounts, you should go elsewhere.
CIT Bank MMA alternatives
CIT Bank CDs
- Term CDs pay very attractive rates on six-month, 13-month, and 18-month terms.
- The No-Penalty CD pays an attractive rate on all balances and has no early withdrawal penalty.
- Low rates are paid on Term CDs with terms greater than 18 months.
- $1,000 minimum investment is required.
- Jumbo CDs pay poor rates on high-balance certificates.
CIT Bank offers three CD types (its RampUp and RampUp Plus CDs are currently unavailable).
- Term CDs. These pay the highest rates, including 5.00% APY on a six-month certificate (see comparison table below for rates paid on all terms). Term CDs can be purchased in minimum denominations of $1,000 and have no opening or maintenance fees. They are available in terms ranging from six months to five years.
- No-Penalty CD. This currently pays 4.90 % on all balances and is offered in a single term of 11 months. Like the Term CD, the minimum investment is $1,000, and there are no opening or maintenance fees. As the name implies, there is no penalty if you need to withdraw funds early.
- Jumbo CDs. These require a minimum initial investment of $100,000 and are available in terms of two, three, four, and five years. The two- and three-year terms pay 0.40% APY, while the four- and five-year terms pay 0.50% APY. There are no account opening or maintenance fees for Jumbo CDs.
Why we recommend it. We like the No-Penalty CD with its very high APY and the absence of an early withdrawal penalty. Term CDs of 18 months or less are also attractive. Where CIT Bank misses the mark is that it pays low rates on longer-term CDs.
CIT Bank CDs alternatives
Other CIT Bank products
Review of CIT Bank features
CIT Bank provides a debit Mastercard with an eChecking account, but the bank does not provide an ATM network. You can use your debit card at any ATM, and CIT will reimburse you up to $30 each month for any fees charged by ATM owners.
Overall, CIT Bank is very light on fees, including charging $0 for overdraft and insufficient funds, and for incoming wire transfers. The only applicable fees are as follows:
- Outgoing wire transfers: $10, but free for account balances of $25,000 or more.
- Return deposited item: $10 per item.
- Bill Pay, stop payment: $30.
- International point-of-sale/ATM withdrawal: 1% of the transaction amount.
Early withdrawal penalties on CDs are as follows:
- Terms up to one year: three months’ interest.
- More than one year through three years: six months’ interest.
- Terms greater than three years: 12 months’ interest.
CIT Bank provides a secure messaging portal with communications encryption, ongoing transaction and activity monitoring, layered security to limit access to information, antivirus protection, firewalls, 128-bit secure socket layer (SSL) encryption to create a secure browser connection, and automatic sign-out of your account after a period of inactivity. Deposits are protected by Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) insurance for up to $250,000 per depositor.
Customer service is available by toll-free phone at 855-462-2652, 24 hours a day, seven days per week. You can also contact the bank through its online platform or mobile app, using email in either case.
CIT Bank customers can take advantage of both online and mobile banking. The mobile banking app is available for both Android and iOS devices and can be used to check account balances, monitor transactions, transfer funds between accounts, and pay bills. You can also use Zelle, Bill Pay, Samsung Pay, and Apple Pay to make payments, purchases, and transfers.
More about CIT Bank
Who owns CIT Bank?
CIT Bank is a division of First Citizens Bank, which describes itself as “one of the largest family controlled banks in the country.” However, the parent company of First Citizens Bank is First Citizens BancShares, Inc., a publicly held company trading on the NASDAQ exchange under the ticker FCNCA. First Citizens BancShares has more than $100 billion in assets, while First Citizens Bank operates more than 600 branches in 22 states.
History and reputation
CIT Bank was founded in St. Louis in 1908. Though the bank started as a traditional local brick-and-mortar institution, it eventually evolved into the digital banking platform it is today. It became a part of First Citizens in 2022.
CIT Bank has an A- rating with the Better Business Bureau, though it is not accredited through the BBB. Trustpilot rates CIT at 2.2 out of five stars (poor), based on 391 reviews as of Sept. 18, 2023.
As of Sept. 18, 2023, Android users give the mobile app a rating of 2.8 out of five stars, based on reviews of more than 2,900 users on Google Play. Its app scores from Mac users are a more impressive 4.6 out of five stars by approximately 11,400 iOS users on the App Store.
CIT Bank is a digital banking platform available through online and mobile banking. The bank does not have physical bank branches, nor does it participate in an ATM network.
How does CIT Bank compare?
CIT Bank Savings pays the highest interest on savings up to $5,000 among the banks listed below. The money market account pays much less than Discover® Bank on all balances, and well below U.S. Bank on balances below $25,000. With CDs, CIT is the star performer among six-month terms, and it is competitive with other terms. Among checking accounts, CIT trails only Nationwide. Overall, CIT is highly competitive on the rate front, though it is not the leader in every category.
TIME Stamp: CIT Bank is in the ballpark with most of its products and best for its No-Penalty CD and Savings Connect accounts.
CIT Bank offers a reasonable product lineup, including checking, savings, money market, and select CDs. Most of the accounts have practical value, at least when compared with typical brick-and-mortar bank offerings, though none of those products necessarily stand out.
It’s also important to know that CIT Bank is not a full-service bank. Its checking accounts don’t offer paper checks, and the bank does not provide common banking services such as credit cards and loans.
The two stand-out products in the CIT Bank quiver are its No-Penalty CD, with its very high rate and no early withdrawal penalty, and its Savings Connect account, paying 4.65% APY on all account balances with no monthly fees.
It would be well worth your time to open either account with CIT Bank.
Frequently asked questions (FAQs)
How do you close a CIT Bank account?
CIT Bank does not provide guidance on its website as to how to close an account, but as it is a fully digital bank, you’ll need to contact a representative to initiate an account closure.
How safe is CIT Bank?
Like most online banks, CIT Bank maintains a network of security to minimize the possibility of account or identity theft. That includes encryption of data transmission, storing personal information behind firewalls, and implementing various procedures to limit access to individual accounts.
Is CIT Bank insured by the FDIC?
Yes. CIT Bank is insured by the FDIC for up to $250,000 per depositor.