CIT Bank Reviews – The Good and the Not So Good


Readers will be disappointed with online CIT Bank reviews that only paint a rosy picture of the bank. However, many of our readers will also be surprised (pleasantly!) that our CIT Bank review sheds light on an institution that’s like the phoenix that has risen from the ashes! That says a lot about an institution where you want to park your money and perhaps use to grow your retirement nest egg.

Image source: Pexels



Let’s Clear the Air (Review of CIT Bank)

Before we do a deep dive into what’s good and not so good (pros and cons) about CIT Bank, let’s clear a common misconception about the bank’s name. CIT Bank is NOT the same as or related to Citibank.

The two are distinct entities; one is owned by CIT Group and trades on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) under the ticker “CIT,” and the other is owned by Citigroup and also trades on the NYSE but under the ticker symbol “C.”

It’s time to look under the hood and see if what’s being said by the bank about its CIT Bank CD rates and CIT savings products hold water.

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Out of the Ashes – CIT Review

If you are searching for CIT Bank reviews online, it may be that you are actively looking for a bank to do business with – either in savings or personal banking. Perhaps you want to open a savings account for day-to-day banking. Or perhaps you have some excess funds available and need a place to stash them so they can grow over time.

If that’s the case, you’re unlikely to find an institution as diverse and well-managed as CIT Bank. From CIT Bank CD offerings to its high yielding savings accounts and even CIT Bank online and mobile banking services – this bank has got it all!

However, things for the parent company (CIT Group Inc.) weren’t all that rosy back in 2009 when it filed for the 5th largest U.S. bankruptcy protection. However, just like the phoenix, a mere 40 days after filing for creditor protection, the group emerged from the ashes as a better and stronger organization.

Something else to be noted is that CIT Bank was not part of the bankruptcy filings of its parent company.

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CIT Bank Reviews – What Does the Bank Offer?

The bank offers a wide range of financial and lending products to its customers:

  • CIT savings accounts
  • IRA accounts
  • CIT Bank CD products of varying terms
  • Custodial accounts
  • …and more

However, in addition to a one-window shopping experience, where everything you need in order to bank and save are available at a single institution, CIT Bank’s rates for its various product offerings aren’t anything to sneeze at!

Given the current uncertainty out there, the bank’s customers should be pretty content that their money is not only safe, but that CIT Bank savings and CD rates will help ensure that their savings grow over time.



CIT Bank Savings Accounts & Rates

From a pros and cons perspective, a key pro is CIT Bank’s high savings rates.

With so many institutions offering subpar rates, the rates that CIT Bank offers on its savings accounts are a breath of fresh air. Higher rates enable savers to power-charge their savings and reach their financial goals quicker.

CIT Bank Savings Accounts

Term/ProductAPY*Minimum balances
High Yield Savings (Tier 1)1.05%
  • Opening: $100
  • Daily: $0
High Yield Savings (Tier 2)1.05%
  • Opening: $100
  • Daily: $25,000

The accounts above can be converted to IRA or Custodial accounts if needed
* APY – annual percentage yield is accurate as of November 16, 2015

Now, for the not so good – CIT Bank cons: Not everyone can access all available savings accounts being offered by CIT Bank. Unlike some of its competitors, CIT’s Tier 2 High Yield Savings accounts require substantially higher daily balances of at least $25,000 – not something an “everyday saver” would have lying around!


CDs/Term Deposits

To be fair, online reviews on CIT Bank need to consider the broadest number of products offered – and that’s exactly what we’ve done when conducting our research and review of the bank.

CIT Bank CD products come in 14 amazing ranges, from 6-month terms to 5-year “jumbo” durations.

CIT Bank CDs – Sorted by Term

Term/Product

APY*

Min Balances

Available as IRA

6-month Term CD

0.45%

$1,000

No

1-year Term CD

1.25%

$1,000

Yes

1-year RampUp Plus CD

1.23%

$25,000

Yes

2-year Term CD

1.43%

$1,000

Yes

2-year RampUp Plus CD

1.41%

$25,000

Yes

2-year Jumbo CD

1.47%

$100,000

Yes

3-year Term CD

1.50%

$1,000

Yes

3-year RampUp CD

1.48%

$25,000

Yes

3-year Jumbo CD

1.60%

$100,000

Yes

4-year Term CD

1.80%

$1,000

Yes

4-year RampUp CD

1.78%

$50,000

Yes

4-year Jumbo CD

1.90%

$100,000

Yes

5-year Term CD

2.20%

$1,000

Yes

5-year Jumbo CD

2.25%

$100,000

Yes

* APY — annual percentage yield is accurate as of November 16, 2015
Each  of the accounts above can be converted to a Custodial account if needed
When doing your own research about CIT Bank online, you’re bound to come across similar-looking products from competitors of the bank, which may seem comparable at first glance. However, a look under the hood may be called for.

For instance, both CIT and Synchrony offer 1-year term deposits at the same rates; however, CIT Bank CD rates come with a minimum balance of only $1,000, while some of its competitors require higher minimum balances (i.e., a $2,000 minimum balance requirement).

CIT’s RampUp CD is also a great vehicle for savers to gradually increase their yields once they open their account with an initial deposit. This enables account holders to, over time, benefit from higher scales of interest rates that the bank offers.

However, there’s a not-so-good aspect to CIT’s CD offerings too, and, should to avoid being accused of bias in this CIT Bank review, readers should note that not every CIT Bank CD product is as competitively positioned. For instance, a 6-month CD at AloStar Bank of Commerce will get you a cool 0.90% APR on minimum balances between $1,000 and $49,999. Now, compare that to CTI CD rates of 0.45%, and you won’t feel all that good!



Fees

In an environment where “FREE” often doesn’t mean “you don’t pay anything,” our CIT Bank review discovered that CIT means exactly that – for the most part!

Image source: Pexels

From using CIT Bank online to transferring your money and receiving money into your account through wire transfers, it’s all FREE. What’s novel about CIT’s savings account fee policy is that it has extended the idea of no-fee banking to new heights. If you request the bank to have a check mailed to you, you’ll still pay no fees!

Now for the not so good: You’ll need to maintain an average daily balance of $25,000+ to qualify for free outgoing wire transfers. That’s not something that the “average” saver will have in his/her account on any given day.


Other Aspects Reviewed

While CIT CD rates and rates for most of its savings accounts are covered by many CIT Bank reviews, we decided to also take a closer look at some non-rate-based aspects of the bank:

  • The bank makes it extremely easy to open, access, and manage your accounts online. As someone who doesn’t really need an in-branch experience, that’s a great feature.
  • You’ll get access to the powerful CIT Mobile Banking App that helps you to securely check balances online, receive transaction alerts, and move funds around within your CIT savings accounts as well as from/to other banks. As someone who banks on-the-go, that is something that anyone with access to a mobile phone or tablet would love.
  • You can even interact with staff and associates via email or telephone to have your banking queries answered. Simply use the Contact Us form on the website to email your question, and you will get a reply via email.
  • The bank has invested heavily in security technology to protect your privacy and your data from unscrupulous elements. The website is full of useful information and tips on how to protect your CIT savings accounts from fraudulent losses. The bank also continually educates its CIT Bank online customers on how to protect their identity when conducting banking over the Internet.
  • In the event that your accounts are compromised – due to no fault of your own – CIT Bank is insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). This insurance protects each of your accounts from losses up to a maximum of $250,000 – which is a substantial amount for an individual to have in a single account.
  • CIT Bank is a Preferred Lender with the Small Business Administration (SBA) – which means that the money in your CIT Bank CD or in your savings accounts is in reliable and trusted hands.

If you are looking for a bank to call your own, then you’ll be interested in hearing that CIT enjoys a 5-star ranking from Bauer Financial. That rating is equal to some of its better-known peers – like GE Capital and Synchrony Bank, which puts CIT in good company.

Now, for the not so good.

If you ever have a question about your CIT Bank CD rates during non-banking hours, or if you want to speak with a representative during non-core hours (usually 7:00 AM to 9:00 PM ET on weekdays, 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM ET on Saturdays, and 11:00 AM to 4:00 PM ET on Sundays), you’re out of luck.

And if you are an ATM junkie, you’ll be disappointed that you can’t access money from your CIT savings account via debit cards or an ATM network. Neither is supported by the bank!

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An Investor’s Perspective – CIT Bank Review

So, we’ve seen what CIT Bank CD rates can do for your savings. We’ve also seen how you can bank online using secure banking and mobile apps. However, what would investors say when doing a CIT Bank review?  With the bank’s portfolio of assets having grown 40% since last year and with nearly $170 million of capital returned to shareholders through dividends and share repurchases in Q3 this year, CIT Bank clearly deserves two thumbs up from reviewers.


The Verdict

After taking into consideration all of the source material we gathered for this CIT Bank review and having analyzed it for our readers, we’d easily give CIT four out of five stars. 

We hope you’ve found this review helpful.



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