If you’re fed up with traditional banks and their almost-nonexistent interest rates on savings accounts, then perhaps it’s time for a switch. CIT Bank is a practical alternative known for its sizeable returns on investments for their certificates of deposit (CDs) and high-yield savings accounts. Check out this CIT Bank review to determine if their personal banking services, home loans, and high-interest rate money market accounts can help you manage your finances and earn more money!
About CIT Bank
First and foremost, CIT Bank utilizes a number of security mechanisms to ensure maximum security for its online customers’ information. The bank uses 128-bit SSL encryption to see that your information (including your social security number) is safely guarded at all times.
When it comes to products, CIT likes to keep it simple. Rather than offer a plethora of banking services, CIT Bank has a short menu, with different kinds of CDs and a savings account option. Each of these can stand on their own or become a part of your traditional or Roth individual retirement account (IRA).
Applying for an account is pretty straightforward: using CIT’s secure, online application form, all you need is your social security number, valid photo identification, and a check or outside bank account number so that you can transfer money into your new CIT account(s).
You also must provide basic contact information and determine how much you wish to electronically transfer from your existing bank account to the CIT account. Because CIT Bank is primarily online, they will not send you paper statements or other account information in the mail; you can however, choose to print out paper copies for your own records.
You can learn more about bank accounts and services with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
Certificates of Deposit
If you decide to go with the CD option, CIT Bank has quite a selection for you. There are three main types of CDs: RampUp Plus, Term, Jumbo. There are no account opening fees or monthly maintenance fees, which coincides with CIT’s dedication to helping their customers save as much as possible. These accounts are also convenient in that each one can be automatically renewed after maturity.
Those who opt for the CIT Bank RampUp Plus CDs will need a minimum $25,000 upfront. They come in one or two year terms, with annual percentage yields (APYs) of about 1.30%. Better yet, these CDs grant you greater flexibility by allowing additional funds to be added before they reach maturity.
If you’d rather have a shorter waiting time for your CD to reach maturity (not to mention a significantly lower minimum deposit), then CIT Bank’s Term CD would be a good fit for you. With terms ranging from 6 months to 5 years and interest compounded daily at APYs between 0.75% (for the six month term) and 2.0% (for the five year term), CIT Bank’s Term CD is perfect for individuals with short term savings goals. Best of all, the minimum amount required to get started is only $1,000.
For the super savers, CIT Bank offers its Jumbo CD. Don’t let the $100,000 minimum to open daunt you: the benefits of holding a Jumbo CD are aplenty. There are three term options; two, three, and five years at 1.45%, 1.40%, and 1.75%, respectively. Interest is compounded daily, and this account is ideal for long-term laddering strategies (take advantage of high rates, while retaining some flexibility in fund accessibility along the way).
If a CD isn’t the right investment for you, then why not a regular savings account CIT Bank steps it up a notch by offering excellent savings rates of 1.55% for those with the minimum balance of $100 and above. The application process is quick and painless and transferring funds between your preexisting accounts at other banks is a breeze. You can easily view and access your funds online, too!
Fees and Withdrawal Penalties
As previously stated, there are no account opening fees nor monthly maintenance fees, but the withdrawal penalties can be brutal. As CIT Bank points out on its website, the actual fee amount for early withdrawal on a CD is contingent upon the original maturity of your CD and the overall amount you withdraw. But let’s be honest, it’s better to pay a small penalty than to shop around for payday loans online because you can’t pay your bills this month.
If your account had an original maturity of one year or less, you forfeit three months’ interest on the amount withdrawn. If your account had an original maturity between one and three years, the early withdrawal fee is 6 months’ interest on the amount withdrawn.
And, if your account had an original maturity of more than three years, you will forfeit a fee equal to 12 months’ interest on the amount withdrawn. On a comparative scale, these fees are higher than some other banks’, but the interest to be gained and straightforwardness of CIT Bank generally outweighs the downsides.
Also note that a 10% early withdrawal penalty applies if you withdraw from your IRA prior to age 59½.
CIT Bank certainly has an edge over its competitors where customer service is concerned. CIT is easily reachable through email or over the phone. If you call customer service at 855-462-2652, CIT representatives are available Monday through Friday, from 8am to 9pm (EST), Saturdays from 9am to 5pm (EST), and on Sundays from 11am to 4pm (EST).
Just press ‘2’ and you will be directed to a human representative (rather than endless series of robotic menus that many other traditional banks direct you to when you drop them a line). Their representatives are professional and knowledgeable; as a CIT customer, be sure to take advantage of this to ensure you’re getting the most out of your CIT experience.
CIT Bank Reviews
If you’re looking for a bank with reasonable offerings in both savings accounts and CD options, CIT Bank is worth your while. The interest rates are significantly higher than traditional banks, and the electronic processes make it more efficient to manage your funds. Although the withdrawal fees present a disadvantage, the APY on CIT Bank’s CDs and favorability of the savings account makes up for its fees.