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CIT Bank Savings Connect vs. Savings Builder: Which Savings Account Should You Open?

Cit Bank offers two great savings account options, but which one is best for you depends on interest rates and the savings you have.

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CIT Bank offers two savings accounts that could be a fit for your needs, Savings Connect and Savings Builder.

Each works a little differently with different target audiences. Depending on how you save and your long-term goals, either could be a good fit for your needs.

Here’s a closer look at how the CIT Bank Savings Connect and Savings Builder accounts work to help you decide which account is the best fit for your hard-earned cash.

Secure application on issuer’s website.


CIT Bank Savings Connect
APY: 3.60% APY
Monthly Fees: None
Minimum Opening Balance: $100
Features:
APY is 15x the national average
Daily compounding interest
FDIC insured

Offer Details

Secure application on issuer’s website.

CIT Bank Savings Builder
APY: Up to 1.00% APY
Monthly Fees: None
Minimum Opening Balance: $100
Features:
Daily compounding interest
No account opening or maintenance fees
FDIC insured

Overview: What is CIT Bank Savings Connect?

Overview: A high-yield savings account with competitive rates

Savings Connect is a high-yield savings account. While rates are constantly in flux, as of this writing, the rate was 3.60% APY, which means CIT says is 15x the national average. Many big banks pay a paltry 0.01% APY, making CIT over 350x better for interest rates. The account has no monthly recurring fees.

CIT Savings Connect Requirements

In order to open a CIT Bank Savings Connect account, you’ll need to have at least $100 to cover the minimum opening deposit. Once your account is open, you won’t have to worry about meeting any specific requirements to avoid monthly fees, or to earn the highest interest rate.

Overview: What is CIT Bank Savings Builder?

Overview: A high-yield savings account with requirements to get the best rates

The Savings Builder account is a savings account that rewards you as you save more. It pays up to 1.00% APY as of this writing. To qualify for the best rate, you’ll need to make a monthly deposit into the account of $100 or more or maintain a $25,000 balance or higher. CIT Bank Savings Builder has no monthly recurring fees.

CIT Savings Builder Requirements

Like the CIT Savings Connect account, the CIT Savings Builder account requires a $100 minimum opening deposit, and does not require any special actions to avoid monthly maintenance fees. However, the CIT Savings Builder account does require you to maintain an account balance of at least $25,000 or receive at least $100 in monthly deposits to qualify for its highest interest rate of 1.00% APY.

CIT Savings Connect vs. Savings Builder: Head-to-Head

Both are savings accounts from the same bank, so how do they stack up if you’re picking the best CIT Bank savings account? Here are the most important features to know about and how they compare.

Saving Connect vs. Savings Builder Features

Winner: Tie

The accounts are identical for online banking, branch access, FDIC insurance, customer service, and nearly everything else. For features, the only big difference is the name, how interest is calculated, and interest rates.

In both cases, you can manage your account using the CIT Bank website or CIT Bank mobile app.

Saving Connect vs. Savings Builder Interest Rates

Winner: Savings Connect

Interest rates can change at any time without notice or warning. If the Federal Reserve raises or lowers its target interest rate, chances are CIT Bank will follow.

CIT Savings Connect Interest Rate

As of this writing, CIT Savings Connect offers 3.60% APY. That rate applies to all balances. This is a very competitive rate and is a big reason to choose CIT Bank for your savings. This interest rate makes Savings Connect a better account if deciding between the two.

At 3.60% APY, you would earn about $35 per year in interest for every $1,000 saved. While that’s not enough to make you rich, it’s way better than nothing and much more than you would get at the biggest nationwide banks.

CIT Savings Builder Interest Rate

Savings Builder offers a lower 0.40% APY by default. While that’s still well above the national average interest rates and notably better than what you get with the biggest banks in the U.S., it’s also far below the rate you get from Savings Connect. With a minimum $100 monthly deposit or $25,000 account balance, you’ll qualify for the higher 1.00% APY interest rate tier.

While the $100 deposit per month is a neat feature to motivate you to save, the lower rate compared to CIT’s own Savings Connect account makes this account inferior to Savings Connect.

Savings Connect vs. Savings Builder Minimum Balance Requirements

Winner: Tie

Both accounts have a $100 opening balance requirement and no minimum balance requirement. You can open an account with the $100 and maintain a lower balance going forward without paying fees or risking an account closure.

Savings Connect vs. Savings Builder Fees and Charges

Most people can use the CIT Savings Connect or Savings Builder account without paying fees. No CIT Bank accounts have any monthly service fees, online transfer fees, overdraft/NSF fees, or incoming wire transfer fees.

The only fees are for less common activities, such as returned deposits, stop payment requests and foreign transactions. Using your CIT Bank debit card at an ATM or for purchases outside the United States incurs a 1% fee. You won’t have to worry about paying anything for most savings account activities.

Who Is CIT Bank?

First Citizens Bank
First Citizens Bank

CIT Bank is a national bank owned by First Citizens Bank. The combined company of First Citizens Bank and all subsidiaries holds $90 billion in customer deposits and $111 billion in assets, making it a top-20 bank in the U.S. CIT has branches in Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Kansas, Nebraska, Nevada and Texas. You can open an account from anywhere in the United States online.

CIT Bank previously merged with OneWest Bank. Past OneWest Bank accounts have transitioned to First Citizens Bank. Other CIT Bank services will remain under the CIT brand going forward.

CIT Bank traces its roots to 1908 in St. Louis, Missouri by founder Henry Ittleson. CIT acquired its network of retail branches through the acquisition of OneWest Bank in 2008. The growing company bought Mutual of Omaha Bank in 2020, further growing its national footprint.

It’s important to note that CIT Bank is different from Citi, one of the largest multinational banks in the world. While the names are similar and a little confusing, they are unrelated companies.

General CIT Bank Benefits

mobile banking
iStock

CIT Bank does a lot more than just these two savings accounts. It’s a full-service bank with additional checking, savings, and home lending products. If you want, you could certainly handle all of your banking with one login at CIT Bank.

Checking, Savings, and Home Loans

CIT Bank offers a suite of checking and savings accounts to choose from. We’re not going to go into details about the accounts that are not the best CIT offers.

Other checking accounts are Basic Checking, Classic Checking, Investment Checking, Advantage Checking and Platinum Checking. Additional savings accounts include Certificates of Deposit (CDs) and health savings accounts (HSAs).

eChecking

The premier checking account from CIT Bank is called eChecking. It includes free ATM access, up to $30 in monthly reimbursements for other ATMs, a debit card, integration with Zelle and popular mobile wallets, and useful online banking features through the CIT Bank app.

This account currently offers 0.10% APY on balances up to $25,000 and 0.25% on balances of $25,000 or above. These rates are less than the savings accounts but better than you see from the typical checking account. There’s a $100 minimum to open but no ongoing minimum balance requirement.

eChecking has no regular fees for typical banking needs outside of the few fees listed above, which are common across all CIT Bank accounts. There’s a fee for outgoing wire transfers in some cases, but otherwise, you shouldn’t expect to pay fees for typical needs.

Other checking accounts are available too, but this one is widely available and the best option for most customers.

Money Market Account

Offer Details

Secure application on issuer’s website.

CIT Bank Money Market
APY:
1.55% APY
Monthly Fees: None
Minimum Opening Balance: $100
Features:
Access your money easily with Zelle® and Bill Pay
Daily compounding interest
FDIC insured

Another type of account to consider when banking with CIT is the CIT Money Market Account. While not as strong as some of CIT’s other offerings, the Money Market Account’s APY is still noteworthy compared to similar MMAs.

Interest Rate: 1.55%
Compounding Period: Daily
Fees: No monthly services fees or minimum balance requirements
ATM Access: No
Can you bank in person? No. CIT does not have brick-and-mortar banks.
Can you bank online? Yes.

CIT Savings Connect Vs Money Market

In many ways CIT Bank’s Money Market Account is similar to its Savings Connect Account. Both accounts require a $100 minimum opening deposit and feature stronger interest rates than the CIT Savings Builder Account.

If you want to use your CIT account to pay bills, or you plan on sending and receiving money regularly, the CIT Money Market Account could be a good option. You’ll earn a higher interest rate than a typical checking account, and its Zelle® and Bill Pay integration will help facilitate your day-to-day needs.

If earning a high interest rate is your main concern, you’re much better off with the CIT Savings Connect Account, as its rates are over two times greater than what you’d get with the CIT MMA.

Home Loans

CIT Bank offers competitive mortgage rates with various loan types available. These include 30-year fixed, ARM loans, and interest-only loans. (Tip: Avoid interest-only home loans at any bank. They’re usually a bad long-term financial decision.)

Insurance and Protections

FDIC insurance covers account holders for up to $250,000 per account holder per institution. That means if CIT Bank goes out of business, the FDIC will reimburse you even if the bank doesn’t have enough money. For joint accounts, you can qualify for up to $500,000 in total FDIC coverage per financial institution.

Online Banking

Personal online banking features are on-par with major competitors around the nation. Features include online account management, access to statements and recent transactions, online transfers, scheduled transfers, account alerts, online bill pay and other useful features.

Bottom Line: Is CIT Bank Savings Connect or Savings Builder Better?

While it may not be a household name in your region, CIT Bank is well known in Southern California and offers a top-notch national online banking setup. The CIT Bank Savings Connect account can go head-to-head with nearly any other savings account in the U.S. and is worth comparing when shopping around for a new high-yield savings account.

In many account comparisons, there’s no clear winner. But in this case, The CIT Bank Savings Connect account is clearly better than Savings Builder. That’s mostly due to the higher interest rate without jumping through hoops or meeting any requirements to qualify. Together, eChecking and Savings Connect are a great choice to meet anyone’s banking needs.

Does CIT Bank have a minimum balance requirement?

No minimum balance requirements or monthly service fees are associated with CIT Savings Connect accounts. CIT Bank requires a $100 minimum deposit to open a Savings Connect account. None of CIT Bank’s accounts carry monthly services fees or require a minimum balance to avoid fees. CIT Savings Builder accounts require you to keep a $25,000 minimum or $100 monthly deposit to earn its highest interest tier.

What is CIT Bank Savings Connect?

CIT Bank Savings Connect is a high-yield online savings account available through CIT Bank (a division of First-Citizens Bank). The savings account features competitive APY on all account balances and no monthly service fees. A $100 minimum deposit is required to open a Savings Connect account. Accountholders can access their savings account online or through the bank’s mobile app. Savings Connect accounts are FDIC- insured up to the legal limits.

 Is CIT a legitimate bank?

Yes, CIT Bank is an online banking division of First-Citizens Bank & Trust Company, a member of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). CIT Bank deposits are insured up to $250,000 per depositor, for each account ownership category. First Citizens Bank completed its merger with CIT Group Inc. in January 2022, making it the largest family-controlled bank in the U.S, with more than $100 billion in assets.

Does CIT Bank offer a sign-on bonus?

CIT Bank offers one sign-on bonus currently. Customers that open a money market account through the bank receive a free year of Amazon Prime. To receive the bonus, you must open a Money Market account using the promo code AMZN22. Also, you must fund the account with at least $15,000 within 15 days and keep a minimum balance of $15,000 for 60 days following the initial 15-day funding period. Following a 30-day review period, accountholders will receive a code for a free Amazon Prime membership via email.

While we work hard on our research, we do not always provide a complete listing of all available offers from credit-card companies and banks. And because offers can change, we cannot guarantee that our information will always be up to date, so we encourage you to verify all the terms and conditions of any financial product before you apply.

Eric Rosenberg
Eric Rosenberg
Eric Rosenberg is a finance, travel, and technology writer in Ventura, California. He is a former bank manager and corporate finance and accounting professional who left his day job in 2016 to take his online side hustle full-time. He has in depth experience writing about banking, credit cards, investing, business, and other financial topics. When away from the keyboard, Eric enjoys exploring the world and spending time with his wife and little girls. You can connect with him at Personal Profitability or EricRosenberg.com.

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