CIT Bank (not be confused with Citi Bank) has become one of the larger online-only banks with a multi-year history of competitive rates. They don’t offer a checking account, so their products are mostly designed to be savings products with high interest rates. Here are their most-interesting products, in my opinion:
- Premier High Yield Savings at 1.35% APY on balances up to $250,000. $100 minimum to open, but $0 minimum balance requirement.
- 11-Month No-Penalty CD at 1.45% APY. $1,000 minimum to open. 11-month CD with a fixed rate, but no withdrawal penalty seven days or later after funds have been received.
They also have traditional term CDs as well as fancy CDs that allow add-on deposits and rate-bumps. Unfortunately, none of those rates are high enough even with the fancy features.
Rates are as of 10/16/17. Compare with the Ally Bank 11-month No Penalty CD, which requires $25,000 to open to get the 1.50% APY rate. At balances under $5,000, the Ally rate is only 1.00%.
Opening process overview. I recently opened an account with them, and here’s my review of the opening process.
- The application process was completely online. You provide the usual personal information.
- You must submit to a credit check, but in my experience it was a “soft” pull which did not harm my credit. None of my various credit monitoring services showed it was a hard pull.
- You may fund via (1) electronic ACH transfer, (2) wire transfer, (3) mobile check deposit via CIT Bank mobile app (iOS and Android), and (4) mailing in a paper check. There was no option for credit card funding. I picked online ACH funding and you need to provide routing and account numbers, followed by manual verification via micro-deposits after a day or two. There was no instant linking option via login information.
After deposit verification, then your funding will go through.
You have successfully verified your external account. Please allow up to 5 business days for your funds to appear in your CIT Bank account.
No further action is required for this account. Thank you!
User interface. While the front-facing website is pretty slick, after you login the backend is run by Fidelity National Information Services (subdomain ibanking-services.com). This is a popular backend software system used by many smaller banks who don’t want to create their own software from scratch. It’s functional, but not very pretty. At least it’s familiar to someone like me who has too many bank accounts. Two-factor authentication is available using voice or SMS.
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