CIT Savings Connect Review 2021

CIT's Savings Connect is an FDIC-insured digital account that links to a no-fee eChecking account. The result is a higher APY and convenience.
By Gina Pogol

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The CIT Savings Connect account allows you to earn up to 0.50% annual percentage yield (APY) when you make regular deposits. With no maintenance or ATM fees and numerous conveniences, CIT Bank's Savings Connect account could be an excellent banking solution for many depositors.

What Is a CIT Savings Connect Account?

The CIT Savings Connect account is actually two bundled accounts -- an FDIC-insured digital savings account and an eChecking account. The accounts are linked to provide maximum convenience with minimum investment.

When you open a Savings Connect account, you automatically earn the top-tier interest rate, which is currently 0.50% APY. You only need $100 to open up your accounts. CIT Bank requires you to open your CIT Connect and eChecking accounts simultaneously. You'll immediately start earning the highest tier interest rate. To keep earning it, however, you'll have to make a qualifying deposit of $200 or more from another institution every month.

The eChecking account also pays interest. Interest rates do fluctuate in general, but as of August 2021, CIT eChecking currently offers 0.25% APY on balances of at least $25,000 and 0.10% APY on balances under $25,000.

The account has no setup fees and no monthly service charges. The eChecking includes a debit card with ATM access, and CIT Bank charges no ATM fees. In addition, CIT Bank will reimburse up to $30 per month to offset the ATM fees other banks might charge you. CIT Bank has no ATM network of its own.

You conveniently bank with both accounts using CIT's mobile app. With the app, you can deposit checks digitally to the eChecking account and transfer money or pay bills by using Zelle and Bill Pay. You can make purchases from your eChecking account using Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, or with your debit card.

CIT Savings Connect might be right for:

  • People who are trying to establish a savings habit.
  • Consumers looking for an account with no fees and a high yield.
  • Savers comfortable with online banking.
  • People who do not deal in lots of cash.
  • Consumers who desire an account that's FDIC-insured.
  • Savers looking to meet short or mid-range goals (not retirement savings).

The CIT Savings Connect account has a lot going for it and offers advantages that most savers can appreciate.

Types of Accounts CIT Bank Offers

Savings Connect is not the only savings option that CIT Bank offers. Here are the others:

Interest rates on all accounts are generally higher than those of traditional brick-and-mortar institutions.

Pros of CIT Savings Connect

CIT Savings Connect offers some unique advantages:

  • It provides an incentive to save by bumping up the interest rate when you make regular qualifying deposits in your account.
  • The minimum balance is low. You can earn the top rate by opening your account with a $100 deposit and making a $200 deposit every month.
  • The eChecking account that's attached to your Savings Connect account includes a debit card. CIT Bank reimburses ATM fees of up to $30 per month.
  • You earn interest on balances in your checking as well as your savings account.

The eChecking account also offers 24/7 account access online and mobile and an automated telephone system. You can reach a human customer service representative by dialing 855-462-2652 within the U.S. and pressing zero.

Cons of CIT Savings Connect

There aren't many drawbacks to the CIT Savings Connect account, but the account isn't perfect for everyone.

  • There are no branches for in-person banking.
  • You cannot use ATMs to deposit cash into your account.
  • You don't get paper checks.

As long as you are comfortable making monthly qualifying deposits via mobile check deposit, mailing a check, funds transfer from another bank (AHC), or incoming wire transfer, the account is a good fit. Qualifying deposits must be received and processed (which can take up to three days) by the fourth business day before the end of the month.

How CIT Savings Connect Works

CIT's Savings Connect is a pair of linked accounts -- the digital savings account and an eChecking account. You can open the accounts with just $100 and there is no minimum account balance to maintain.

However, to get the higher interest rate tier, you must deposit at least $200 every month, transferred from an external account or via Direct Deposit from your employer.

The idea is to reward account holders who save regularly by bumping up their interest rate every month in which they make a qualifying deposit.

How to Shop for Online Savings Accounts

You probably understand the main benefits of online or digital savings accounts -- convenience, higher interest yields, and low-to-no maintenance fees. But when shopping for an online savings account, you should evaluate additional elements.

  • Cost: CIT Savings Connect with eChecking is a "mostly fee-free" account. But not all online accounts are, and you don't want to experience a surprise charge. Check out any bank's fee schedule to make sure it's right for you. If you use wire transfers a lot, for instance, know their cost (or required minimum balance to get them for free) before opening an account.
  • Features and benefits: What does this account offer that others do not? Will you use those features? Look for things like minimum balance requirements, debit card cashback, interest rates, ATM access, debit cards, bill paying, wire transfers, cash handling, and FDIC insurance.
  • Customer service and support: What kind of support does the depository offer? Can you speak to a human? All the time or just during business hours? Is online chat an option? Remember that most online banks provide limited human contact. That makes their customer service offerings especially important.
  • Other tools: What other resources are available? Budgeting or savings tools? Calculators? Forums, blogs, or articles?
  • Online and mobile access: Digital banking is all online, all the time. Make sure that the mobile app is secure and intuitive and the website is functional and easy to use.

You may have other criteria that are very specific to your needs. List them before you look for an online savings account and make sure the account you choose offers what's most important to you.

How CIT Savings Connect Compares

CIT Savings Connect is a nearly fee-free account. That's hard to beat. And its interest rates are among the highest. CIT Bank made the MoneyRates list of Top Savings Accounts for August 2021 because of its high interest, low fees, and low minimum balance.

CIT's customer service was available and responsive to questions when interviewed for this article. You can get a human on the line during business hours and email support is also available.

Whether you're establishing a savings habit or looking for a high-yielding savings and checking combination, CIT Bank's Savings Connect account is a powerful tool that works well for a large percentage of savers.

Getting Started With CIT Savings Connect

It's easy to open a CIT Savings Connect account. You'll need your name, home address, email address, telephone number, and Social Security number to get signed up. It takes five minutes to apply and the instructions are easy to follow.

When you're finished, CIT Banks sends you an email with links to access and manage your information and to fund your account. You'll need to transfer at least $100 and make monthly deposits of at least $200 into the eChecking account to earn the highest tier interest rate.

Note that your regular monthly deposit can be a direct deposit from your employer or a transfer from an external account. To make sure your qualifying deposit gets in on time each month, CIT Bank recommends that you transfer funds at least seven days before month-end. You can make it easier by establishing a direct deposit or a regular, automatic transfer from another account.

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