- Award-winning customer service
- No minimum daily balance requirements
- Excellent APY on most accounts
- Little to no fees for account holders
- Free and/or inexpensive wire transfers
- No ATMs or physical branches
- No checking accounts or IRAs
- CD accounts have average rates
- Phone support isn’t 24/7
Most banks are good at one thing: taking your money.
After that, expect headaches: from a laundry list of fees and withdrawal delays to useless customer service (if you can get past the robots, that is) and barely any hours of operation. The banking industry can be like the Wild West sometimes.
Although safety and convince are standard–unless you have an FDIC insured piggy bank–that’s usually where the buck stops. That’s why consumers are (rightfully) skeptical when it comes to bank accounts.
CIT Bank isn’t a new bank by any stretch–their parent company was founded 6 years before World War I started (!)–but they did rebrand in late 2018. Part of that rebrand involved the promotion of their savings accounts, money market accounts, CDs and other personal finance tools.
But us consumers have learned the hard way: a long, rich history, fancy branding and slick marketing don’t make a bank legit (did someone say Wells Fargo?) So what gives? Does CIT Bank hold up to any scrutiny? Do they have monsters under the bed like most of the other big banks? Or is CIT Bank legit?
Let’s find out together.
What Is CIT Bank?
CIT Bank is an FDIC insured, online-only bank owned by CIT Group Inc., a publicly-traded financial holding company (NYSE: CIT). They’re a popular alternative to conventional, brick and mortar banks due to their competitive rates. Their most notable product is their Savings Builder account, which can earn you up to 2.45% with just a $100 deposit per month. More on that later.
They also offer a suite of other banking services, including Money Market accounts, No-Penalty CD accounts, fixed rate mortgages and other financial products.
Is CIT Bank legit?
Great question. Any consumer considering a place to park their hard earned money should always ask this. The good news is CIT Bank is legit. Founded in 1908, they reported over $50 billion in assets under management in September of 2018 (and not for nothing, you can earn over 11x the national average with their Money Market account).
Money Magazine ranked them the Best Bank in California for 2016, 2017 and 2018. Other awards include but aren’t limited to: Forbes Best Midsize Employers, a Stevie Award for sales and customer service, a Fintech Breakthrough Award for best small business lending, and a NerdWallet Best Savings Accounts of 2018 award.
CIT Bank Review
Like any bank, CIT Bank is not without flaws. Namely, their lack of ATM or branch locations can be an inconvenience. Also, some folks like to have all their accounts in one place. However, CIT Bank does not offer any checking account service. So, you’re going to have to keep them separated.
Excellent customer service. As mentioned earlier, in the “is CIT Bank legit?” section, CIT Bank is renowned for their helpful customer service. Best in class APY. Your potential APY, or annual percentage yield, will be higher with CIT Bank compared with other banks, both online and brick and mortar. Low to no fees. Unlike a conventional bank account, CIT doesn’t charge monthly service fees or have a minimum daily balance requirement
How To Open a CIT Account
Because CIT Bank is an online-only bank, you have to open it online. Here are the baseline requirements to be eligible for an account with them: you must be a U.S. citizen or a permanent resident, have a Social Security Number, Driver’s license or other government-issued ID, have a primary home address, email address and a phone number.
The application process takes no more than 10 minutes. Once your account is setup, you’ll need to fund it. Funding the account, much like setting it up, is fast and easy. Funding options include: electronic transfer, mail check or wire transfer.
If you’re doing an electronic transfer, CIT Bank–like every bank–will make two micro deposits to the account you’ll be using to fund your CIT Bank account. After you verify your account with the two micro-deposits, whichever funding amount you chose will debit and your account will open.
Should You Open A CIT Bank Account?
Like anything, it depends. First, what are your goals? Are you looking to save? If so, would you prefer an ongoing solution–like a high yield savings account–a short term saving solution–like a 13-month CD–or something more long term, like an 18-month CD?
If you need a checking account or want all of your financial accounts in one place, go elsewhere. However, if you’re searching for a cost effective way to grow your money leveraging a great interest rate, well, then CIT Bank is definitely for you.
CIT Bank FAQ
As an added convenience, here are answers to some of the most popular questions users have about CIT Bank. But don’t worry, their website is surprisingly easy to navigate and their customer service is available around the clock for any other questions you may have.
What is the CIT Bank customer service number?
What is the CIT Bank routing number?
What is the CIT Bank mailing address?
CIT Bank, N.A. Attn: Deposit Services, P.O. Box 7056, Pasadena, CA 91109
What are CIT Bank fees?
Mailing checks, monthly servicing, online transfers, closures and incoming wire transfers are completely free. Outgoing wire transfers are free if you have more than $25,000 in your account. If not, each outgoing wire transfer will result in a $10 per fee.
For comparison, TD Bank charges a $15 fee just to receive a wire transfer, and charges $25 for outgoing ones. Chase charges the same rates, while Wells Fargo charges the same fee for an incoming transfer (and $30 for outgoing). Again, much cheaper.