CIT Bank Review: Earn Up to 5.00% APY

CIT Bank offers all the modern conveniences (and impressive savings rates) of an online bank but has the history of a traditional bank behind it. Backed by First Citizens Bank and its 125 years of experience, CIT Bank offers a unique combination of traditional standards and experience and modern banking features.

That being said, before you apply to open an account, you need to be aware of the pros and cons associated with CIT Bank, what types of products they offer, and how much you can potentially earn on deposits. 

CIT Bank quick facts

  • No ATM, overdraft, or monthly fees
  • Can deposit checks with the CIT Bank mobile app
  • 24/7 online account access
  • Checking and saving products
  • No physical branch locations
  • Backed by First Citizens Bank
  • FDIC-insured

Pros and cons of CIT Bank

Like any bank, it has a unique set of advantages and disadvantages worth considering before you open an account. 

Pros

  • No overdraft fees 
  • No monthly fees
  • ATM fee rebates
  • Small minimum deposit requirements
  • Competitive rates on select savings accounts
  • Checking account earns interest
  • Home loans

Cons

  • No cash deposit option
  • High balance requirement for best checking APY
  • No IRAs, credit cards, or auto loans
  • Low rates on select CDs
  • No checkbooks for eChecking accounts
  • No physical bank branches

Overview of CIT Bank

A division of First Citizens Bank — a top 20 U.S. financial institution with more than $200 billion in assets — it offers customers stability and experience. While First Citizens Bank has more than 550 branches across 23 different states, CIT Bank is an online-only bank. Their online banking tools are substantial enough for you to manage your account entirely online, but if you prefer in-person banking, you’ll need to go with a more traditional choice like First Citizens Bank. 

Products CIT Bank offers

Consumers who want to be able to handle a variety of their financial needs in one place will appreciate the wide variety of checking and savings products. Here is a breakdown of all of their products and their current APYs, as of October 2023. 

Platinum Savings

The account has an impressive 5.00% APY on balances of $5,000 or more. If you have less than $5,000 in the account you'll receive 0.25% APY.

There are no monthly fees, but there is a $100 minimum opening deposit.

Savings accounts are a basic financial product that all consumers need access to if they want to keep their savings safe and help them grow. 

Savings Connect

The Savings Connect account pays 4.65% APY on all balances. So if you don't have the full $5,000 to take advantage of the higher APY of the Platinum Savings this is a great option.

Again, there are no monthly fees, and a $100 minimum deposit is required to open the account.

Savings Builder

The Savings Builder pays 1.00% APY, which is quite a bit less than their other savings accounts. You also have to either have a regular $100 monthly deposit into the account or maintain a balance of $25,000. If you don't meet either of these requirements you'll earn a 0.40% APY instead.

There is a $100 minimum opening deposit and no monthly fees.

If you are considering CIT Bank, you're better off starting with the Savings Builder account and skipping over this one.

AccountAPYMinimum opening depositFees
Platinum Savings5.00% with a minimum balance of $5,000 or 0.25% under $5,000$100No maintenance or opening fees 
Savings Connect4.65%$100No maintenance or opening fees
Savings Builder1.00% with minimum balance of $25,000 OR a monthly deposit of $100+ (otherwise 0.40%)$100No maintenance or opening fees 

Money Market

Typically, money market accounts earn higher rates of interest than traditional savings accounts, but this isn’t necessarily the case with CIT Bank. While their money market product does offer a decent APY, their Savings Connect and Platinum Savings products offer much higher rates. 

AccountAPYMinimum opening depositFees
Money Market1.55%$100No maintenance or opening fees 

eChecking

If you’re looking for a daily spending account with all the modern features of an online bank account and the storied experience of a traditional bank, then the CIT Bank eChecking account may be perfect for you.

It offers a little bit of interest which is rare among checking accounts and there are no monthly fees.

AccountAPYMinimum opening depositFees
Money Market0.25% with a minimum balance of $25,000; 0.10% on balances below $25,000$100No opening fees, maintenance fees, ATM fees, overdraft fees, check fees, or transfer fees.

Term CDs

A certificate of deposit (CD) can be a great way to earn a guaranteed amount of interest on your savings, without having to take on any risk like you would with investments. The tricky part is you have to agree to keep your money in the CD for a set amount of time. If you remove your money early, you generally run into a penalty fee, so you need to choose a CD term that aligns with your financial needs.

CIT Bank charges three months of simple interest if you break a CD with terms of up to one year. For CDs between one and three years, the penalty is 6 months of simple interest. If the term is over three years, there is a charge of 12 months simple interest.

The good news about CIT Bank CDs is you can choose between a variety of CD terms ranging from six months to five years. There is a $1,000 minimum deposit to open an account.

TermAPYMinimum opening deposit
6 months5.00%$1,000
12 months0.30%$1,000
13 month4.65%$1,000
18 months4.60%$1,000
24 months0.40%$1,000
36 months0.40%$1,000
48 months0.50%$1,000
60 months0.50%$1,000

No-Penalty CDs

Remember those annoying CD penalties we mentioned earlier? The only way to avoid them is if you open a no-penalty CD. While these CDs are harder to find than traditional CDs, CIT Bank actually offers this product. This gives you a lot of flexibility when working to meet short-term savings goals. 

TermAPYMinimum deposit opening
11 months4.90%$1,000

Jumbo CDs

If you have a lot of money you want to keep in a CD, you need to secure a Jumbo CD.

TermAPYMinimum opening deposit
24 months0.40%$100,000
36 months0.40%$100,000 
48 months0.50%$100,000 
60 months0.50%$100,000 

Home Loans

The only lending product offered by CIT Bank is home loans. They offer loans for both purchasing or refinancing a home. That home can be your primary residence or a vacation home.

CIT Bank offers a variety of fixed-rate home loan terms, ranging from 10 to 30-year terms. They recommend picking a shorter loan term to save the most on interest and to pay off your loan faster. You’ll need to contact a loan consultant to get started.

Alternatives to CIT Bank

When looking for a new bank, it’s important to do your research and compare several options. You want to see which bank charges the least fees, pays the highest rate on deposits, offers the features you value, and has a reputation for strong customer service. Let’s look at a few popular bank options that may work well for you. 

CIT Bank vs. First Citizens Bank

First Citizens Bank has hundreds of in-person branch locations you can visit in 23 different states. If CIT Bank appeals to you, but you really value in-person banking services, you may prefer to go with the traditional bank that backs CIT Bank.

First Citizens Bank has more physical branch locations in the Eastern US (so make sure you confirm if they have a location near you) and has a handy fee-free ATM network. The tradeoff for these conveniences is lower earning rates on deposits.

Online-only banks like CIT Bank take the money they save from running expensive physical branches and offer their customers lower fees and higher interest earnings. So while CIT Bank doesn’t charge that many fees, First Citizens Bank charges out-of-network ATM fees and steep overdraft fees. 

First Citizens Bank does offer a much more impressive array of financial products. From credit cards to loans to insurance to retirement and investing accounts, you can basically manage any financial product you are likely to need in one place.

CIT Bank, on the other hand, only offers home loans and checking and savings products. 

Learn more about First Citizens Bank.

CIT Bank vs. Marcus by Goldman Sachs

If you like online banking, then Marcus by Goldman Sachs is another interesting option to consider.  With no fees and no minimum deposit requirements, Marcus is a very accessible option for consumers. The main issue with Marcus is they don’t offer a checking account product as CIT Bank does, so while it offers generous interest on savings accounts, it isn’t ideal for everyday expenses.  

Marcus by Goldman Sachs is home to full-service online banking, with the notable exception of a checking account. Meanwhile, CIT Bank offers checking, savings, and mortgages. Marcus has a variety of investing and credit card products available, as well as personal loans, which CIT Bank doesn’t provide.

Learn more about Marcus Goldman Sachs.

CIT Bank vs. Ally

Another online-only bank worth considering is Ally. Like CIT Bank and Marcus, you'll need to manage all of your banking online. However, Ally offers a much more robust selection of financial products than CIT Bank, which can make it easier to streamline your financial life.

They have a variety of savings products and a checking account. They offer credit cards, investment products, and a few different types of loans (auto, mortgage, and personal). 

You don’t have to worry about monthly maintenance fees or minimum deposit requirements with Ally, which are always nice perks to have on hand. You will also have access to 24/7 support and FDIC insurance. When it comes to the basics — Ally has you covered. 

Learn more about Ally Bank.

CIT Bank vs. SoFi

While SoFi is best known for its student loan consolidation, in recent years, it expanded to offer a variety of financial services, loans, and checking and savings products. A standout element of SoFi’s banking products is you get up to $2 million in FDIC insurance since they work with partner banks. 

With SoFi, you don’t have to worry about monthly fees or overdraft fees. And if you set up direct deposit, you can receive your paycheck up to two days early. An impressive APY makes growing your savings easy, and you can use their free tool SoFi Insights, to set financial goals, create a budget, track spending, and keep an eye on your credit score. All of which makes managing your money a lot easier. 

Where CIT Bank stands out compared to SoFi is with their CD and money market account options. SoFi only offers a savings account and no additional options for saving and growing your money. 

Learn more about SoFi.

Happy couple with laptop. A CIT bank review.

FAQs

Is CIT Bank FDIC insured?

Yes. CIT Bank is a member of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). Deposit accounts have up to $250,000 worth of insurance per depositor and for each account ownership category.

Is CIT Bank owned by Citibank?

Although the names are similar, CIT Bank is not affiliated with Citibank. CIT Bank is owned by First Citizens Bank, which is the largest family-controlled bank in the United States. 

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I'm an award-winning lawyer and personal finance expert featured in Inc. Magazine, CNBC, the Today Show, Business Insider and more. My mission is to make personal finance accessible for everyone. As the largest financial influencer in the world, I'm connected to a community of over 20 million followers across TikTok, Instagram, YouTube, Facebook and Twitter. I'm also the host of the podcast Erika Taught Me. You might recognize me from my viral tagline, "I read the fine print so you don't have to!"

I'm a graduate of Georgetown Law, where I founded the Georgetown Law Entrepreneurship Club, and the University of Notre Dame. I discovered my passion for personal finance after realizing I was drowning in over $200,000 of student debt and needed to take action-ultimately paying off my student loans in under 2 years. I then spent years as a corporate lawyer representing Fortune 500 companies, but I quit because I realized I wanted to have an impact; I wanted to help real people and teach them that you can create a financial future for yourself.

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Our aim is to help you make financial decisions with confidence through our objective article content and reviews. Erika.com is part of an affiliate sales network and receives compensation for sending traffic to partner sites, such as MileValue.com. This compensation may impact how and where links appear on this site. This site does not include all financial companies or all available financial offers. This in no way affects our recommendations or article content.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our aim is to help you make financial decisions with confidence through our objective article content and reviews. Erika.com is part of an affiliate sales network and receives compensation for sending traffic to partner sites, such as MileValue.com. This compensation may impact how and where links appear on this site. This site does not include all financial companies or all available financial offers. This in no way affects our recommendations or article content.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our aim is to help you make financial decisions with confidence through our objective article content and reviews. Erika.com is part of an affiliate sales network and receives compensation for sending traffic to partner sites, such as MileValue.com. This compensation may impact how and where links appear on this site. This site does not include all financial companies or all available financial offers. This in no way affects our recommendations or article content.