CIT Bank Review

FT Contributor  | 

CIT has offered financing to businesses for over 100 years, but the financial institution is embracing the future by offering online banking services. The name may sound similar to Citibank, but the two banks are not related. Here’s more about this top 50 banking institution:

What Is CIT Bank?

CIT stands for Commercial Investment Trust. The financial services provider expanded into consumer banking in 2008 after acquiring the Southern California based OneWest Bank. CIT Bank was created to provide online banking services to customers nationwide.

How Does CIT Bank Work?

CIT Bank doesn’t have traditional walk-in branches, so you’ll have to familiarize yourself with how the bank works. CIT Bank offers online checking, savings, certificate of deposit (CD), and money market accounts. To open an account, follow these steps:

  • Choose from the types of accounts available;
  • Click on “Open an account”;
  • Enter your personal information including your driver’s license or state ID details and Social Security number within 30 days of starting the application process;
  • Fund the account by setting up an electronic funds transfer (EFT), wire transfer, or check;
  • Wait for an account activation email with your login information;
  • Receive your documents, debit card, and other banking supplies in the mail;
  • Download the mobile banking app.

You can use the mobile banking app or login to customize your online bank account and perform tasks such as viewing your statements, linking external bank accounts, and setting up bill pay.

To deposit money to your online account:

  • Transfer funds (automated clearing house) using the CIT Bank Routing number 124084834 and your bank account number;
  • Make a mobile deposit through the mobile app;
  • Receive incoming wire transfers for no fees;
  • Set up direct deposit;
  • Mail a check to CIT Bank, Attn: Deposit Services, P.O. Box 7056, Pasadena, CA 91109-9699.

CIT Bank Services

CIT Bank may not be a traditional brick-and-mortar bank, but the online bank follows many of the same rules and regulations of other banks. Here’s more on how CIT Banks works:

24/7 Customer Service

CIT customer service is available 24/7 by calling (855) 462-2652 or by sending an email through your mobile banking app or online banking page.

Business and Commercial Banking

CIT started in 1908 by providing services to businesses. They continue providing leasing and financing services to businesses of all sizes.

Fees

CIT offers consumers several types of accounts. Here is a list of the bank fees by account type.

CIT Bank eChecking, savings, and money market fees:

  • Monthly service fee: None;
  • Online transfer/ACH fees: None;
  • Domestic wire transfers: $10 each or free for accounts with a $25,000 daily balance or higher;
  • Incoming wire transfers: Free;
  • Returned deposit fee: $10 each.

CIT Bank additional eChecking fees:

  • Debit card replacement: $10;
  • Bill stop payment: $30 per check;
  • Overdraft fees: $30 per item for eChecking accounts and $25 per item for money market accounts;
  • International debits and ATM withdrawals: 1% of the amount.

Interest Compounding

CIT accounts earn interest that compounds daily. The bank uses the daily balance method to calculate the amount. Although the interest compounds daily, you’ll only see the earnings credited to your account once per month.

Mobile Banking

CIT Bank offers customers a free mobile banking app for Android or Apple. The mobile app enables users to:

  • Check account balances;
  • View the account’s transaction history;
  • Make check deposits by taking a photo of the check;
  • Transfer funds between external and/or CIT Bank accounts;
  • Set up one-time or recurring bill pay using your eChecking account;
  • Use Zelle to quickly send, receive, or request money from family and friends using a mobile number or email address.

You can also use text messaging to receive information about your account. Text 49794 with the following codes to receive the information you need:

  • Account balance: B;
  • Help: HE;
  • History of recent transactions: H;
  • List of available text commands: C;
  • Login URL request: L;
  • Recover the activation code: R;
  • Stop all texts from CIT: S.

Money Market

You can open a money market account with CIT Bank. This type of savings account is popular because you’ll earn higher interest rates but have more flexible terms and conditions. The current money market account annual percentage yield (APY) is 1.80%, with a minimum deposit amount of $100.

A CIT Money Market account is more flexible than a savings account. Unlike a savings account, you can pay bills, as well as set up Zelle and PayPal. It’s a hybrid —  you’ll earn a high interest rate normally reserved for CDs and high-yield savings accounts while having access to some checking account features.

All banks are required to limit savings accounts to six withdrawals per month. But CIT Bank makes exceptions (albeit expensive) for money market accounts. If you withdraw more than six times per month, CIT Bank will charge you an excess activity fee of $10 per transaction, with a maximum charge of $50 per month.

Who Benefits From Opening a CIT Bank Account?

There are many bank account options available, making choosing the right bank a challenge. Evaluate the benefits and drawbacks of banking with CIT to decide.

Pros of CIT Bank

The top reasons a CIT bank account may be the best choice for you include:

  • Earn a high interest rate on your savings;
  • Low to no bank fees;
  • Your money is insured and protected (up to $250,000) by the government’s Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) program;
  • You can bank from anywhere at any time by logging in online or using the mobile banking app.

Cons of CIT Bank

Some individuals may want to look at other bank account offers, especially if they make ATM withdrawals regularly. CIT Bank is one of the few online-only banks that doesn’t provide customers with an ATM network for free withdrawals. They do reimburse customers up to $15 per month in ATM fees, but depending on how often you visit the ATM, this amount may not cover all your withdrawals.

Besides the lack of ATM network, customers should watch out for overdraft charges, which are $25 to $30 per transaction (depending on the account) without daily maximums.


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