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CIT Bank Savings Builder Account 2021 Review: Can It Help Grow Your Savings Faster?

When you're saving diligently, it is disheartening to see your money earn next to no interest on the balance. CIT Bank's Savings Builder account rewards people who put away money every month or ar...
(4 out of 5) MyBankTracker Editor's Rating

When you're saving diligently, it is disheartening to see your money earn next to no interest on the balance.

CIT Bank's Savings Builder account rewards people who put away money every month or are able to leave a large sum of their cash untouched:

By offering one of the highest savings rates you can find.

To sweeten the deal:

There are no account maintenance fees.

So, just focus on saving and watch your money grow faster than everyone else's.

Learn everything you need to know through this review of the CIT Bank Savings Builder account, including what you need to do to earn that market-leading rate.

Interest Rates

Look:

When you're searching for a new savings account, the interest rate should be a major deciding factor.

On that front, this account is highly convincing.

The Savings Builder account offers two interest rate tiers.

The best savings rate is available to customers who meet any of these two requirements:

  • Maintain a balance of $25,000 or more
  • Post one monthly deposit of $100 or more into the account

Otherwise, you'll earn a lower interest rate.

This lower rate tier is not quite a big drop from the higher rate tier as you might think -- it will still beat out any big-bank savings rate by a significant margin.

When you’re opening a savings account, you typically have two reasons for doing so. One is to keep your extra money in a safe place. The other is to help your savings grow by earning interest.

Savings accounts also offer interest on the money that you deposit. This helps your balance grow over time.

Many banks pay different rates based on how much money you deposit. These are called interest rate tiers.

CIT Bank offers two interest rate tiers. The first tier applies to accounts with a balance under $25,000. As an online bank, CIT is able to offer much higher interest rates than brick and mortar banks. However, its standard rate falls below the rates offered by other banks.

If you are able to keep more than $25,000 in your account, you’ll move into the higher rate tier. This rate is not quite double the standard rate and is higher than the rates offered by most other banks. That makes the CIT Bank Savings Builder Account a great way to grow your savings.

Another Way to Earn an Elevated Rate

If you can’t commit $25,000 to your savings account, CIT Bank offers a second way to earn the elevated interest rate.

The fine print on the CIT Bank website describes the process. The fourth business day prior to the end of a month is the “Evaluation Day.” The period between any two Evaluation Days is the “Evaluation Period.”

When you first open your account, you’ll earn the elevated rate until the first Evaluation Day after your account opening date. From then on, you’ll earn the elevated rate in any Evaluation Period during which you received a $100 direct deposit or for which you had a $25,000 balance on ending Evaluation Day.

This all sounds complicated, but it can be simplified a fair bit.

You’ll earn the elevated rate by signing up for direct deposit to your savings account from your employer. So long as you put at least $100 in your savings each paycheck, and you are paid at least monthly, you’ll earn the elevated rate.

You’ll also earn the elevated rate if you never let your balance fall below $25,000.

The best thing to do is to sign up for $10 direct deposits. This ensures that you earn the elevated rate and is a great way to automate your savings. You’ll be surprised at how quickly you can build your savings with regular additions.

Monthly Fee

Many Banks have started charging monthly fees for their most basic savings and checking accounts. Banks charge these fees for a couple of reasons.

The most obvious is that charging a monthly fee is a new source of revenue for the bank. Managing your bank accounts isn’t free. The bank has to maintain the systems that are used to store your account information. They also have to pay the employees you interact with. Monthly fees help offset these expenses.

Banks also use these fees to influence their customers' behavior. Banks make money when you deposit more money to your accounts. They can use the money you deposit to finance other activities, such as offering loans.

Banks also like when existing customers use their other services, so they try to encourage customers to do all their banking in one place. By offering fee waivers for making large deposits or opening multiple accounts, banks can encourage customers to give them more business.

The good news for CIT Bank’s customers is that there is no monthly fee to keep the CIT Bank Savings Builder Account open. Once you’ve made the $100 opening deposit, you don’t need to do anything or pay any fees to keep the account open.

Other Fees

Monthly fees are the most common type of savings account fee, but they aren’t the only fees that you might face. Though most of these fees are uncommon, it’s good to be familiar with the fees that you might be charged.

Service
Fee
Incoming wire transfer
$0
Outgoing wire transfer (accounts with balance over $25,000)
$0
Outgoing wire transfer (accounts with balance under $25,000)
$10
Excessive transaction (more than six in a statement)
$10

FDIC Insurance

Like nearly every bank in the United States, CIT Bank is insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. The FDIC was formed after the Great Depression to help restore confidence in the American banking system. It accomplished this goal by offering insurance on money deposited at American banks.

Today, the FDIC continues to offer this insurance, protection up to $250,000, per account type, per depositor, at American banks.

If you make a deposit to CIT Bank and the bank later goes bankrupt, the FDIC will return all of the money that you lost. So long as you don’t let your account’s balance exceed $250,000, you can’t lose money by depositing it at CIT Bank.

In short, this means that the CIT Bank Savings Builder Account is as safe as it possibly can be. If the FDIC is unable to return your money to you, there’s likely to be larger problems to worry about.

Keep in mind that FDIC insurance applies per account type and per bank. You can get additional insurance by opening a CIT Bank checking account.

If you need even more insurance, you can open additional accounts at other banks.

How It Compares

Nearly every bank in the United States offers at least one type of savings accounts. Many offer multiple different accounts, each with its own rates, features, and fees. To make things more complicated, banks often use their savings accounts to compete for customers. That means they’re constantly shifting interest rates, adding and removing features, and otherwise changing their accounts.

Given the sheer number of accounts on the market, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by all of the different savings accounts you could open. Still, you should try to take the time to find the right one. Finding a good savings account can make it much easier to save money and avoid monthly fees.

In fact, the fee structure is the first thing you should look at when you’re considering a savings account. You never want to pay a bank fee if you can avoid it and there are so many fee-free savings accounts out there that opening an account that does charge a monthly fee is unnecessary.
If you do decide to go with an account that charges a fee, perhaps because of some features it offers, make sure you can meet the fee waiver requirements easily.

Once you’ve found a few good, fee-free savings accounts, compare the accounts’ interest rates. The higher the interest rate, the faster your savings will grow. You should opt for the account with the higher rate wherever possible. Settling for a lower interest rate is a lot like passing up on free money.

Finally, consider the special features that each account offers. Some, like the CIT Bank Savings Builder Account, give you a great interest rate if you can meet a few requirements. Others might give you discounts, ATM access to your money, or rewards for meeting your savings goals.

Regardless of the specific features that each account offers, you’ll have to consider them carefully. Different people value different features differently. If you never overdraft your checking account, a savings account that offers overdraft protection isn’t a big draw for you. If you have trouble keeping track of your money, an account that offers free financial management software could be worth accepting a slightly lower interest rate.

In the end, you need to decide for yourself how to value the unique features offered by each account. This is the most subjective part of choosing a savings account, but also one of the most important.

The Final Verdict

The CIT Bank Savings Builder Account is a great choice for people who can meet the $25,000 balance requirement to earn the elevated rate, or who can commit to making direct deposits to their savings account. Its lack of fees and great interest rate mean that your account’s balance will grow very quickly.

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