CIT Bank Review: High Rates, No Checking

CIT Bank Review: High Rates, No Checking

CIT Bank offers some of the highest interest rates for CDs and savings accounts, but doesn't offer any checking accounts or access to brick-and-mortar services.

Good for

  • High-rate online savings accounts
  • Flexible CD options with competitive rates
  • Free online transfers and account access

Bad for

  • People who need a checking account
  • Consumers who prefer brick-and-mortar banking and ATMs

Editor's Rating

4.0/5.0

CIT Bank's high interest rates make it a top choice for consumers looking for a better yield on their uninvested savings. CIT's online savings account offers 1.26% in interest each year, while its money market account and certificates of deposit (CDs) offer rates of up to 1.75%. While these strong rates put CIT Bank in the top tier of interest-earning options, its lack of checking account services means that it's less ideal if you prefer keeping all your accounts at one bank.

CIT Bank Review: High Interest Rates, No Checking

CIT Bank is best for people who are more interested in strong savings rates than comprehensive banking options. While CIT's mobile app and website make it easy to manage your CDs and savings accounts, the bank doesn't have any checking accounts to go with these interest-earning options. CIT Bank is also online-only, which means you can't access your money via ATMs or branches—all transfers must be done online or by phone.

Despite its lack of checking account products, CIT does provide a variety of high-rate CD products that offer more flexibility to your savings plan. One of the bank's CDs allows for penalty-free early withdrawals, while others let you increase your deposit and interest rate in certain situations. If you're thinking about buying a home or refinancing your mortgage, CIT also offers financing in both areas. Finally, small-business owners have access to loans and equipment financing through CIT Bank's small-business division.

CIT Savings Account Review

The CIT Savings Builder account earns an annual percentage rate (APY) of 1.26%, making it one of the best online savings accounts currently available. You can earn an even stronger rate with the newer CIT Bank Money Market, which earns 1.85% APY. Both accounts also come with zero monthly fees and no minimum balance required to earn the full rate, making CIT ideal for people with lower savings balances. Though this bank doesn't offer any sign-up bonuses, convenient online access makes its accounts a competitive choice.

CIT Savings and Money Market Accounts – Key Figures

CIT Savings BuilderCIT Bank Money Market
APY1.26%1.85%
Minimum Opening Balance$100.00$100.00
Monthly Fee$0.00$0.00

You can manage deposits through CIT Bank's mobile app or website. You can log in with either option to make mobile check deposits and free electronic transfers to accounts at other banks. At CIT Bank, this online transfer feature basically replaces the traditional option of withdrawing cash at an ATM or branch office. While this may prove inconvenient if you use cash frequently, you can get around this issue by linking your CIT Savings Builder balance to a checking account at a more traditional bank.

CIT Bank CD Rates

CIT Bank also offers a diverse set of CD accounts, with features that help you avoid some of the typical disadvantages of a CD. These include No-Penalty CDs, which do away with the usual early withdrawal penalty, and RampUp™ CDs, which allow you to adjust your CD rate if the bank raises its interest rates. While the interest rates on CIT Bank's CD products are strong, there are a few other online banks with better CD rates. However, none of these banks offer features as flexible as those of CIT Bank's CDs.

CIT Bank – CDs
  • APY
  • Term
  • Opening Minimum
Term CDs
  • 0.72% - 1.70%
6-Month to 5-Year
  • $1,000
No-Penalty CD
  • 1.55%
11-Month
  • $1,000
RampUp™ CDs
  • 1.20%
  • 1.38%
  • 4-Year
  • $25,000 to $50,000
RampUp™ Plus CDs
  • 1.26% - 1.27%
  • 1-Year
  • 2-Year
  • $25,000
Jumbo CDs
  • 1.45% - 1.75%
2-Year to 5-Year
  • $100,000

Because CIT Bank is an online-only bank, its lower operating costs allow it to offer CD rates that are several times greater than the national average. These rates aren't comparable to the returns you might find on an investment product, but they give you the benefit of FDIC deposit insurance. FDIC insurance, which is only available for non-investment accounts, protects up to $250,000 of your money at each bank. CIT Bank's high CD rates give you a way to take advantage of this safeguard at an interest rate that's significantly higher than average.

How Does CIT Compare to Other Banks?

In addition to our analysis of CIT Bank's products, we've also compared it to competing banks that offer similar deposit account options.

CIT Bank vs Synchrony

While both Synchrony Bank and CIT Bank are online-only institutions, the Synchrony High Yield Savings Account comes with an ATM card that allows you to withdraw cash from Accel® ATMs and make purchases using a PIN. CIT Bank's savings account rate is higher, but you'll find better CD rates with Synchrony Bank. For instance, Synchrony Bank's 12-month CD offers 1.85% APY for a $2,000 minimum deposit compared to CIT Bank's 1.32% for the same amount.

Savings APY12-Month CDMinimum Deposit for CD
Synchrony Bank2.15%1.85%$2,000
CIT Bank1.26%1.32%$1,000

CIT Bank vs Ally Bank

Ally Bank's major advantage over CIT Bank is its checking account, a fee-free option that also earns a small amount of interest on the balance. This enables Ally Bank customers to manage their checking and savings balances in one online app, resulting in faster transfers and the ability to set up recurring transfers between accounts. Ally Bank's savings account rate falls behind the CIT Savings Builder Account, but its CDs offer better rates and lower minimums than those at CIT Bank.

Savings APY12-Month CDMinimum Deposit for CD
Ally Bank1.90%1.75%$0
CIT Bank1.26%1.32%$1,000

CIT Bank vs Goldman Sachs Bank USA

Through its Marcus deposit and loan division, Goldman Sachs Bank USA offers better CD rates and lower opening requirements than CIT Bank. However, the 2.15% APY on the Marcus Online Savings Account isn't as high as the interest you'll earn with the CIT Bank Money Market. In addition, Goldman Sachs Bank USA currently lacks a mobile app, giving CIT Bank the edge in terms of online banking accessibility. CIT Bank also gives you more options for home financing, but people looking for personal loans may consider Marcus a better fit.

Savings APY12-Month CDMinimum Deposit for CD
Goldman Sachs Bank USA2.15%2.05%$500
CIT Bank1.26%1.32%$1,000

CIT Bank vs Citibank

Comparing CIT Bank to Citibank means choosing between a small online-only bank and one of the world's largest traditional banks. While the interest rates for Citibank's savings accounts and CD options are much lower than those at CIT Bank, Citibank's international service network and comprehensive line of financial services dwarf the limited choices you have at CIT Bank. These advantages come with a price, since institutions like Citibank charge numerous monthly fees and service charges that you avoid with CIT Bank. To get the best of each, consider opening a savings account with CIT Bank and keeping the rest of your finances with Citibank.

Savings APY12-Month CDMinimum Deposit for CD
Citibank0.13%0.15%$500
CIT Bank1.26%1.32%$1,000

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