CIT Savings Builder Review
Commit to saving at least $100 per month and you could earn the highest interest rate from this CIT bank account. It’s a brand new savings opportunity built to boost your money quickly. Here’s what you need to know about the CIT Savings Builder account.
- Competitive rates
- No fees
- Easy to use
There are many reasons that you might be saving money each month, outside of preparing for retirement. It’s wise for every adult to have a sufficient emergency fund, in case of unexpected expenses that pop up. Or you may also want to put money away for the down payment on a new car or home, or save for a family vacation.
But if you’re just keeping that money in your checking account or any old savings account, you could be losing out on serious interest. Thankfully, there’s the new CIT Savings Builder.
This tiered savings account promises to offer competitive rates without charging fees, making the process of saving money more enjoyable. Not only that, they will actually encourage you to save each month by offering even higher interest rates when you do.
Let’s take a look at everything that the new Savings Builder account has to offer, and why it might a great place to put your cash.
About CIT Bank
If you only use brick-and-mortar banks, you may not even know about CIT Bank. You most likely haven’t seen a local branch in your neighborhood… but that doesn’t mean that this online bank isn’t an excellent choice for many customers.
Founded in 1908, CIT Bank is based out of southern California. It is FDIC insured and offers a variety of financial products, including CDs, money market accounts, home loans, and–you guessed it–high-yield savings accounts. If you’re a small business owner, CIT Bank also offers business loans.
The bank does have a number of brick-and-mortar branches scattered throughout California. However, if you are in another state, they will be just like any other online bank to you. Transactions, account management, and even deposits and withdrawals are done exclusively online, over the phone, or through their mobile app.
A lack of nationwide physical branches doesn’t mean that this bank is lacking, though. In fact, with the new Savings Builder account, they’re making themselves even more competitive than ever.
What is CIT Savings Builder?
Savings Builder is a brand new, high-yield savings account option that was just introduced. It aims to not only reward savers with well-beyond-average interest rates, but also encourage them to continue saving each month.
This online savings account works just like any other high-yield account. You can deposit money at any time via ACH transfer, incoming wire, or by mailing a check to CIT Bank directly.
You can also access your funds at any time if you need to withdraw the money. Withdrawals are available through the same methods: ACH transfer, outgoing wire transfer, or a mailed check. If you utilize an electronic transfer, you’ll be bound to the federal limit of six withdrawals per statement cycle. However, if you request a withdrawal by mail, or call and ask for a check to be mailed to you, these won’t count against your limit.
Features and Benefits
The great thing about the Savings Builder account is that it offers an interest rate on your savings that is extremely competitive. And depending on your savings goals, their tiered interest structure can be even more lucrative.
CIT Bank is offering a base interest rate of 1.10% APY on the Savings Builder account. For the upper tier, this rate jumps to 0.75% APY. However, the current introductory offer automatically earns each new account holder the top tier interest rate, regardless of the balance carried or the amount saved every month.
Following the introductory period, Savings Builder accounts will be reevaluated to see if you still qualify for the upper tier rate, or if you will bump back down to the (still competitive) base level. The tiers will then be as follows:
|Tier||Balance Requirement||APY||Interest Rate|
|Upper||<$25,000 but with a monthly deposit of $100 or more||0.75%||1.686%|
As you can see, all accounts qualify for the base rate of 1.10% APY. This is regardless of the balance you carry each month or whether you make any additional deposits into the account.
However, once you hit the $25,000 balance mark, you’ll snag a higher rate. Or, you can take advantage of Tier Booster: if you are below $25,000 but still make at least $100 in deposits each month, you will still qualify for the upper tier rate. Upper tier accounts earn a much-higher rate of 0.75% APY, making the Savings Builder account even more enticing.
All accounts will be reviewed each month on what CIT Bank calls “evaluation day.” This day, which is the fourth business day prior to the end of the month, is when your interest rate for that next month will be determined.
If you haven’t reached a $25,000 balance by evaluation day, or haven’t made an additional $100 in deposits that month (your initial opening deposit doesn’t count, by the way), you’ll be bumped to the base tier for the next month. And vice versa.
CIT Savings Builder Pros and Cons
- Competitive rates
- No fees
- Easy to use
- Need $25,000 in savings or commit to saving $100 each month
- Online based bank
- Base tier interest rate is less competitive
Is Savings Builder for You?
There are only a few slight compromises you’ll make when saving with CIT Bank, though they are likely worthwhile when you consider the rate earned.
First is the fact that CIT Bank is online-based. These are excellent options for most people (even my checking account is with an online bank… and I love it!), but some folks really want to have a brick-and-mortar branch close by. If that’s the case for you, you’ll probably find any online bank a bit frustrating. If you live in California, there may be a CIT branch nearby; otherwise, you’ll probably need to settle for the lower interest rates offered by your local banks.
There’s also the issue of rate changes. If your account will toe that $25,000 balance line, or if you’re not sure how much you can commit to saving each month, you don’t actually know how much money you’ll be earning on your savings.
Next, while the upper tier interest rate is one of the highest available today, the base tier is somewhat less competitive. If you know that a $100 monthly deposit commitment is too much and you don’t have $25,000 to tuck away, you might want to consider another bank. That way, you’ll earn consistent interest all month, every month.
You should also note that in your first month, your minimum opening deposit doesn’t count toward your monthly deposit requirement for Tier Booster. So that might mean that you’ll need to save twice as much in your first month, over two separate deposits.
There are no everyday fees for the Savings Builder account, which is another great reason that it might beat out your local bank’s offerings.
You will never pay a monthly maintenance fee for holding one of these competitive savings accounts. You also won’t pay to open the account, transfer money into the account electronically, or even receive incoming wires.
The only time you could encounter a fee with the Savings Builder account is if you need to make an outgoing wire transfer. In that case, there is a $10 fee if you have less than $25,000 in the account at the time.
You can contact CIT Bank any time if you have questions or concerns about your account, need to request a transfer over the phone, or anything else.
Simply login to your online account and send a secure message to customer service 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You may also access your mobile banking there, if you need to make changes or utilize services for your account.
If you want to talk to a human being, you can call their helpful customer service center. Hours are as follows:
- Monday – Friday, 8am to 9pm ET
- Saturday, 9am to 5pm ET
- Sunday, 11am to 4pm ET
Opening an Account
Opening a Savings Builder account through CIT Bank is easy. Simply click any link within this post and you’ll be directed to an easy to fill out application page.
You will need to provide some basic information for the account, including your name, address, phone number, email address, driver’s license number, and funding source (unless you plan to mail in a check). So, be sure to have all of that ready and available.
The minimum deposit required for the Savings Builder account is $100. Keep in mind, though, that while you’ll earn the Tier Boost for the first month’s introductory period, you’ll need to make an additional $100 deposit in order to keep that higher APY for the following month… at least, if you have less than $25,000 in the account.
Then, simply make your initial deposit and set up recurring monthly transfers (if you want to automatically save each month). That’s it!
Who It’s Best For
The new CIT Bank Savings Builder account is great for folks who want to earn a much-higher-than-average interest rate on their funds, and don’t have any issues with online banks.
If you can carry a $25,000 balance in your savings account, you’ll automatically earn the top tier rate each month. This rate is extremely competitive, making Savings Builder a great choice for parking your funds.
If you don’t have $25,000 squirreled away but can commit to saving at least $100 a month, every month, you can still earn that upper tier rate with Tier Boost. This means that even if you only have $1,000 in your emergency fund, you will still be able to earn top-tier interest on your money.
Whether you’re putting money away for emergencies, a down payment on a house or a car, a family vacation, or simply a rainy day, having savings is the important part. Beyond that, continuing to add to those savings–whilst earning as high of an interest rate as possible–is imperative.
The new Savings Booster account from CIT Bank serves to help you with all of the above. Not only do they offer interest rates that are well above average, but they actually encourage you to save every month.
If you have more than $25,000 in savings, or can commit to at least tucking away $100 each month, you’ll earn market-topping interest on your funds. Plus, you’ll do it with no account fees and a low minimum deposit.
To learn more about Savings Builder, or to open an account of your own, visit the CIT Bank website here.