CIT Savings Builder Review

Kailey is an industry specialist covering bank accounts, credit cards, and all things personal finance. Her work has appeared on USA Today, CNN Money, Fox Business, and MSN Money.

We are committed to full transparency in our mission to make the world smarter, happier, & richer. Offers on The Ascent may be from our partners - it's how we make money - and we have not reviewed all available products and offers. That transparency to you is core to our editorial integrity, which isn’t influenced by compensation.

Diligent savers looking to earn a higher yield than most brick-and-mortar-banks offer should consider the CIT Savings Builder account. A user-friendly mobile app and minimal fees help to make up for this online bank's lack of branch locations and ATM access. Those who have large savings balances or can put at least $100 per month toward savings will get the most out of the CIT Savings Builder account, but even people with less well-defined savings strategies can earn far more than the national average yield.

Top perks of the CIT Savings Builder account

High APY: The CIT Savings Builder account offers a base annual percentage yield (APY) of 1.15%, with the option to earn up to 1.75% if you maintain a balance of at least $25,000 or deposit at least $100 per month. This is over 20 times higher than the national average savings account APY. Rates are determined every month, so if you qualify for the higher rate in January, you'll receive that rate in February.

Interest tier Balance requirement APY
Base Less than $25,000 0.995%
Upper Less than $25,000 with monthly deposits of at least $100 1.75%
Upper More than $25,000 1.75%

Up to $300 bonus: New customers earn a $150 bonus for a deposit of $25,000 to $49,999 or $300 for a deposit of $50,000 or more. Just use promo code BONUS20 when applying to qualify.

No monthly fees: CIT Bank doesn't charge its Savings Builder customers a monthly maintenance fee or any other type of fee, other than a $10 outgoing wire transfer fee if your balance is below $25,000. CIT Bank can afford to charge almost no fees because it operates online only and has no physical locations, which keeps its overhead costs low.

No ongoing balance requirements: You need $100 to open your CIT Savings Builder account, but once it's open, there's no minimum balance you must maintain to keep your account active. However, if your account balance drops below $25,000 or you're not depositing at least $100 per month into the account, your APY will drop until you meet one of these requirements again.

Easily transfer funds: CIT Bank has a mobile app for Android and Apple devices that allows you to view your balance, quickly transfer funds between linked accounts, and remotely deposit checks. This can make the transition to an online bank easier for those who are used to making fast deposits and transfers at a brick-and-mortar bank.

Insured up to $250,000: CIT Bank is backed by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), so in the unlikely event that the bank goes under, the FDIC will pay you up to $250,000 per account type.

What could be improved

ATM access: CIT Bank doesn't issue ATM cards to enable you to withdraw money from your Savings Builder account at your neighborhood ATM. This is not an unusual omission for an online bank, but it can make withdrawing your money a little more challenging. You'll have to plan a few days in advance and transfer the money to a bank with a branch near you or request a check from CIT Bank.

How to access your money

CIT Savings Builder offers an array of funding and withdrawal options you'd expect in an online savings account.

Deposit options

You can fund your CIT Savings Builder with a:

  • Mailed check
  • Wire transfer
  • Electronic funds transfer
  • Mobile deposit

CIT Bank doesn't charge any fees for funding your account in any of these ways, but if you perform a wire transfer, the bank you're transferring the money from may charge you a fee.

It can take up to two business days for funds deposited via electronic funds transfer to appear in your account, and mailed checks may take a little longer, depending on how much time they spend in transit to CIT Bank. Plan for this accordingly when funding your account.

Withdrawal options

You can withdraw money from your CIT Savings Builder account via:

  • Electronic funds transfer
  • Requesting a mailed check
  • Wire transfer

If you choose to do a wire transfer, you'll pay a $10 fee if your account's average daily balance is under $25,000. Nearly all banks charge outgoing wire transfer fees, and $10 is pretty low compared to what most banks charge, but if you prefer to avoid these fees, stick to one of the other withdrawal options.

Online savings account comparison

There's a lot to like about the CIT Savings Builder account, but no one savings account is right for everyone. If this one's not a good fit for you, compare it to a couple of our other top picks.

Rates as of Feb. 13, 2020
Offer
CIT Bank Savings Builder
 
Member, FDIC
American Express® Personal Savings
 
Member, FDIC
Marcus by Goldman Sachs Online Savings Account
Goldman Sachs Bank USA
Member, FDIC
Rating
Rating image, 4.5 out of 5 stars.
Rating image, 4.5 out of 5 stars.
Rating image, 4.5 out of 5 stars.
APY

APY: 1.75%

APY: 1.70%

APY: 1.70%

Best For

Best For: Limited time cash sign up bonus & high APY. Use code BONUS20 when applying to qualify

Best For: Low fees

Best For: High APY and no fees

Min. to earn APY

Min. to earn APY: $25k or $100 monthly deposit

Min. to earn APY: $1

Min. to earn APY: $1

Next Steps

The CIT Savings Builder account is right for you if:

The CIT Savings Builder account makes sense if you plan to save regularly and want to earn a higher APY than you'll find at most brick-and-mortar banks. The low fees also make it ideal for those who don't want to get dinged for not maintaining a certain minimum balance or making a certain number of transactions each month.

It's not the best choice if you value being able to interact with real people and access your funds without waiting days for a transfer from another institution. It might also be a poor fit for those who don't plan to deposit at least $100 per month into their account. The CIT Savings Builder's base APY is not low by any means, but there are other online bank accounts that offer comparable or better APYs without monthly deposit or minimum balance requirements.

About the Author