CIT Bank Review – Savings Accounts, Money Markets, and CD’s
This post may contain affiliate links. Click here to read my full disclosure.
You may have heard of an online savings account provider, CIT Bank, and are likely wondering “Are they legit?” As a former banker, I’ll admit I was skeptical at first and had to try them out myself.
So here’s the thing about savings accounts. We all know we need to be saving, and hopefully, you’ve already got a savings account for emergencies. You should also be actively saving for car maintenance and repairs, a replacement car fund, furniture, vacations, etc. because ultimately, the goal is to never charge to a credit card again (especially if you’ve got a problem with compulsive spending). The reality is you need to be prepared for major events and unexpected disasters, but how much do you really need?
There is no one-size-fits-all financial plan. Everyone’s situation is different and what works for one person may not work for another.
Some financial bloggers and experts recommend padding your savings with $1000 while you’re working to pay off debt. Some recommend doing a 52-week money challenge, where you save a specific amount.
I disagree. I think you need a bit more.
While $1000 is a great place to start, it’s not near enough for many real-life emergencies.
Do you own your home? Have kids? If the answer is yes, you need to have $3000-$5000 in an emergency fund just in case the furnace needs replaced, your car transmission needs to be rebuilt, or you have a major medical emergency and have to travel to and from and pay for hotel stays. God forbid these things were to happen, you need to be prepared.
For example, we don’t have health insurance. Instead, my family enjoys membership with Christian Healthcare Ministries. When my son broke his wrist playing football last year, we had over $60,000 in medical bills shared through CHM. But we needed more than $1,000 to cover our portion of the bills. You can read more about medical cost sharing in this review.
When we first opened our savings account (this money market account) with CIT Bank, we wanted to test the waters and deposit $100 just to see how they operate. I’d never had an online bank before, and I was a bit nervous (being a previous banker myself).
After I checked them out and made sure they were legit, I decided to offer their products as an affiliate. You can read my full disclosure here, but the skinny is that when you click some of my links, I earn a small commission at no cost to you. It helps the blog earn some income so I can continue sharing valuable money, blogging, and business tips! I only recommend products and services I know, love, and trust. That’s why I opened a couple of accounts myself prior to writing this post.
Use their online calculator to can calculate what 3-6 months of expenses looks like and how long it will take you to reach your savings goals.
It all starts with that first $100. You can open a savings account at your local bank. It won’t earn you much money, but you’ll have quick and easy accessibility. This is convenient, but I want you to ask yourself if you tend to dip into savings for things that aren’t a true emergency?
The Skinny on CIT Bank
If the answer is yes, you need to open a money market account. My husband and I have a savings account (and our kids’ minor savings accounts) at our local bank. But our emergency fund and our vacation fund are housed in an online savings account at CIT Bank.
We chose CIT because they pay more interest than all of the local banks in my area, and I, personally, need the majority of our funds tucked away.
I know myself all too well, and if the bulk of our money is staring me right in the face, I’ll be tempted to buy something with it.
CIT Bank High Yield Savings Account Features –
NOTE: This account is no longer available at CIT Bank – See Money Market account requirements here.
- You can start your online savings account with just $100.
- No minimum balance requirement.
- No monthly maintenance fee.
- Earn more interest.
- Higher interest means you’re able to build your savings balance faster!
- Open an account with as little as $100!
- Save money with no monthly maintenance or service fees (even if your balance drops to $1!) This means if you do have a true emergency that wipes you out, you won’t have to pay a fee, and you can just replenish the funds as soon as possible.
You might be wondering why their rates are so much better than brick-and-mortar banks. Without having the overhead of a physical location, security equipment, guards, tellers, bankers, etc, they can afford to pay customers quite a bit more.
How to Deposit into an Online Savings
After you enter your information securely online, you’ll download the CIT Bank app. You can write a check from your checking account to yourself and take a photo of it, and it’ll be deposited into your account.
Side Note: On all new accounts, they place a hold for a few days to determine the check isn’t fraudulent. This is standard with all financial institutions, so your $100 won’t be available immediately.
Don’t freak out…They’re just waiting for your check to clear the bank, and after the hold is lifted your money will be available. But remember…the point is to put it there and leave it there and add to it every single payday if possible.
CIT Bank offers several choices from savings builders to money market accounts to certificates of deposit. They’re a great option to grow your emergency fund, the kids’ savings, your vacation fund, or other savings needs. Your money is FDIC insured
Before you know it, you’ll be sitting on a nice nest egg! Let me know if you have any questions!
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