CIT Bank Review–Now First Citizens Bank (2023)

CIT Bank is an internet bank offering a wide range of financial products. CIT merged with and is now a division of First Citizens Bank. CIT offers competitive interest rates on deposit accounts with low fees. We cover the details in this CIT Bank review.

CIT Bank Review

CIT Bank History

CIT Bank is an online bank that specializes in certificates of deposit. As a matter of fact, they once only offered CDs. But they now offer savings and checking accounts, as well.

CIT Bank is the newest addition to the well-known CIT, a bank lending company, that has been around for years–since 1908 to be exact. CIT is a Fortune 500 company that provides financing and leasing capital to small business and middle-market clients.

CIT Bank acquired OneWest Bank in 2015 and Mutual of Omaha Bank in 2020. CIT Bank merged with First Citizens Bank in 2022 and is FDIC-insured (FDIC # 11063). As of February 2023, CIT’s headquarters are in Raleigh, North Carolina.

Before we get to CIT’s interest rates, let’s touch on the safety and soundness of the institution. The bank is well-capitalized. It has an excellent Texas Ratio, which measures a bank’s capital in relation to its loan portfolio. Its equity-to-asset ratio is 9.04%, which is considered excellent.

CIT Bank Account Types

CIT Bank offers the following types of personal accounts:

  • Savings Accounts: A High Yield Savings account, Savings Connect, and a lower paying Savings Builder account, plus a new Platinum Savings account (see more below).
  • eChecking: Tiered interest-bearing checking account.
  • Money Market: A high-yield savings option
  • Term CDs: Terms range from six months to five years, requiring a minimum deposit of $1,000.
  • Jumbo CDs: Terms ranging from two to five years, requiring a minimum deposit of $100,000.
  • No-Penalty CDs: An 11-month CD that doesn’t charge an early withdrawal penalty.
  • Ramp up CDs: Certificates of deposit ranging from two to four years that enable savers to benefit if rates rise during the CD’s term. These are not currently available for new accounts.

Bonus: Custodial Accounts

This isn’t another account type, but it lets you hold the CD for a minor. Most of CIT’s CD options offer this option.

CIT Platinum Savings

This product was just launched in 2023. The Platinum Savings account requires an initial deposit of $100, but in order to earn the highest rate (currently 5.05%), you need to maintain a balance of $5,000. Otherwise, you’ll earn just 0.25% APY.

CIT Savings Connect

The Savings Connect product is CIT Bank’s second highest-paying savings product. The minimum opening deposit is only $100. The APY for this account is currently at 4.65%.

CIT Savings Builder

The CIT Savings Builder is the newest product installment, offering up to 1.00% APY, which is higher than most traditional banks. In order to receive this APY you must meet one of the two following conditions:

  • Deposit $100 into your account every month
  • Maintain a balance of $25,000 or more.

The idea behind the product is to encourage people to start saving money regularly. Should you not be able to meet either of the conditions above, the APY reverts to a base tier rate. Important to note that your interest rate is evaluated on a month-to-month basis. So if you make a deposit in month #1, your APY for all of month #2 will be 1.00% APY. If you miss the deposit in month #2, your APY for month #2 will be the lower rate.

While I applaud the account’s design to encourage savings, there is one flaw. The account often pays less than CIT’s Money Market Account. And the MMA doesn’t have either requirement. So let’s look at that account now.

CIT MMA

CIT’s Money Market Account currently earns 1.55% APY. There is a $100 minimum opening balance requirement, but that’s it. As such, it’s unclear to me why anybody would choose the CIT Savings Builder account, UNLESS, you needed the motivation it gives you to keep saving.

CIT CD Options

CIT Bank offers three current CD options for new accounts:

  • CIT Bank Term CDs: These are your typical certificates of deposit. The bank offers terms of six months, one year, 13-months, 18-months, two years, three years, four years, and five years. As of now, the rates range from 0.30% APY on the one-year CD up to 5.00%. Each of these accounts has a minimum opening deposit of $1,000.
  • CIT Bank No-Penalty CD: This 11-month CD offers a solid 4.90% APY. It also has a $1,000 minimum deposit. But you can withdraw the total balance and interest earned with no penalty after the account has been open for at least a week. This lets you earn a slightly higher rate than with the high-yield savings account but gives you more flexibility than a traditional CD.
  • CIT Bank Jumbo CDs: Do you want to put a lot of money into a CD? Check out CIT’s Jumbo CD options. They have terms ranging from two to five years, and rates ranging from 0.40% APY to 0.50% APY. The minimum deposit is $100,000.

Rates

Because rates can change daily, check out the current rates directly at CIT’s website. According to our best CD rates chart, CIT’s current CD rates on some accounts are near the top of the list, though longer-term accounts have lower rates.

Where CIT really shines right now is with its Platinum Savings Account at 5.05% APY. It pays one of the highest yields available but you need a $5,000 minimum balance to earn the APY and a minimum deposit of $100 to open an account. CIT’s Platinum Savings rate beats out Ally Bank (4.35% APY), Capital One 360 4.35% APY), and other well-known online banks as of this writing. You can check out the best high-yield savings account rates here.

Unlike most banks, CIT pays interest on its checking account. The amount you’ll earn depends on the balance you maintain. For balances of $25,000 or more, the APY is 0.25%. For lower balances, the APY is 0.10%. In addition, there are no monthly fees and CIT reimburses up to $30 in ATM fees per statement cycle.

What Are The Fees?

With CDs, there are two types of fees to consider. First, you need to be mindful of any fees to open or maintain your account. And second, you need to understand the penalties for taking out your money early. Only the first applies to high-yield online savings accounts.

With regard to the first, CIT does not charge any fees to open or maintain your CD or savings account. There are, however, penalty fees for early withdrawal of your funds from some CD products. These fees vary based on the term of your CD. CDs with a shorter term are subject to a smaller penalty than a CD with a longer term. Here are the penalty fees for taking your money out early:

  • three months’ interest for CD terms of one year and less
  • six months’ interest for CD terms of one to three years
  • 12 months’ interest for terms of more than three years

While you can find no penalty CD options, they tend to pay a little less in interest. So if you know you’re going to keep your money in the CD, CIT is a great option. If you’re not so sure, check out the no penalty CDs, including the one that CIT offers.

How To Open An Account

Opening an account is easy and can be done by completing an online application. All you have to do is choose the product you want, fill out the application, and make a transfer from an existing bank account. The process takes about 10 minutes, and you basically need three pieces of information on hand:

  • Your Social Security Number
  • Your Driver’s License (or State ID, Passport, Military ID, or Permanent Residence Card)
  • Check or Bank Account # to make transfers from

If you start your application but don’t have time to finish it, you can save your application and pick right back up where you left off.

What We Like About CIT Bank

  • Competitive interest rates
  • Low fees
  • Wide range of account types
  • Variety of high yield CDs including a no-penalty CD
  • Easy-to-navigate interface

What CIT Bank Could Improve

Having banked with CIT to take advantage of its rates on savings accounts, the one thing that could improve is the website. While the site does the basics, its design reminds me of websites from the 1990s.

In addition, to get its highest savings rates, you have to jump through a few hoops including a higher-than-average minimum deposit requirement. If you want a no-fee online bank account with the highest rates, UFB High Yield Savings is a better option.

CIT Bank Rating

CIT Bank

Rob Berger

Interest Rates
Fees
Account Types
Website
Mobile App

Summary

CIT Bank is an online bank offering competitive rates on a variety of deposit accounts. Its low fees and high-yield accounts make it ideal for those looking for a savings account.

4.4

Author

  • Rob Berger

    Rob Berger is the founder of Dough Roller and the Dough Roller Money Podcast. A former securities law attorney and Forbes deputy editor, Rob is the author of the book Retire Before Mom and Dad. He educates independent investors on his YouTube channel and at RobBerger.com.