Build Your Emergency Fund by $100 a Month, Get 2.45% Interest: CIT Savings Builder Review

If you want to avoid spending your entire life worrying about money, having an emergency fund is a must. With some savings tucked away for a rainy day or a surprise bill, you’ll have the means to stay afloat financially if you face financial hardship or simply want to splurge without capsizing your budget.

A fully funded emergency fund will also be your best friend if you lose your job or otherwise face a sudden loss in income. With some money set aside, you can buy yourself some time to get a new job, pick up a side hustle, or find a way to get by.

While having an emergency fund is an absolute no-brainer, many people struggle with where to keep their savings. Since the average savings account features a paltry 0.1% APY, you’re basically losing money due to inflation each year.

Now, onto the good news. With the new CIT Bank Savings Builder account, you can secure 2.45% APY no matter the size of your savings. This account also comes free of most fees and with a ton of features you can utilize to track your progress and oversee your account.

CIT Bank Savings Builder Account: Key Takeaways

  • Earn 2.45% APY on your savings with a $25,000 minimum balance or $100 monthly deposit.
  • FDIC-insured up to $250,000 per depositor.
  • Minimum of $100 to open an account.
  • Interest compounds daily.
  • No account opening or monthly maintenance fees.

Earn 2.45% APY With Ease and No Fees

Many savings accounts offer their highest interest rates for consumers who can keep $25,000 or $50,000 (or more) on deposit all year long, but there are very few that make it easy for the average Joe to earn such a high rate of return. We love the CIT Bank Savings Builder account because it lets you earn its highest interest tier in two ways: You can keep $25,000 on deposit at a minimum, or you can open an account with at least $100 and transfer at least $100 in new money to your account each month.

While keeping $25,000 in a savings account may not be doable for a lot of us, the second option is pretty realistic for most people. Saving up $100 to open an account isn’t impossible — even if it takes some time. Finding another $100 in savings to transfer to your account each month may take some practice and some sacrifice, but it’s a great way to build an emergency fund if you don’t have one yet. You may find $100 per month in easy savings if you were to, say, cut your cable TV subscription, reduce food spending, or stop dining out.

Another big benefit of the CIT Bank Savings Builder account is the fact it doesn’t charge any recurring fees. There’s no fee to open an account and you won’t have to pay any monthly maintenance fees, either. This account also comes free of fees for ACH transfers, which makes it easy for you to fund your account each month without racking up charges.

Finally, CIT Bank offers a wide range of online tools that can make tracking your savings easy. You can sign up and open an account online and from the comfort of your home, and they make it easy to connect another bank account for easy ACH transfers. Also note that CIT Bank offers other products with higher returns than many of their competitors. Examples include their money market accounts and certificate of deposits (CDs). Side note: Right now, CIT Bank offers an 18-month CD with 2.5% APY with a minimum $1,000 deposit.

CIT Bank Savings Builder Account: Potential Downsides

The CIT Bank Savings Builder account offers one of the highest returns of all online savings accounts offered today, but it’s not perfect and it may not work for everyone. There are some potential pitfalls and disadvantages to be aware of, including:

  • CIT Bank is online only. While CIT Bank does offer some of the best rates in the business, they don’t have any brick and mortar locations you can visit. If you want your banking to have a personal touch, this is not the bank for you.
  • If you don’t meet minimum requirements, your APY will be 0.995%. If you can’t keep $25,000 in this account all the time, you have the option of transferring $100 per month to your account instead. If you fail to meet either of these requirements, your APY will revert to 0.995%. That’s still higher than the average APY on most savings accounts, but it’s far from the 2.45% APY you’ll get otherwise.
  • Wire transfers aren’t free. Also note that wire transfers aren’t free with this account. You’ll have to pay $10 each time you wire money, but remember that ACH transfers are free.

How to Use a CIT Bank Savings Builder Account to Your Advantage

Since you’ll score the bank’s highest interest tier of 2.45% APY if you meet one of two requirements CIT Bank specifies, we absolutely suggest you do. Either deposit $25,000 in your new account and maintain this minimum balance all year long, or open your account with at least $100 and set up an automatic savings transfer of at least $100 per month.

Doing so will help you earn more than 20 times the national average on your savings, which will help you keep up with inflation over time. Since this account is free to open and maintain, there’s no reason not to sign up. But of course, you should also check out our full list of the best high-interest savings accounts to see if any CIT Bank competitors offer features or rates that would leave you better off.

In addition to using this account to earn more interest over time, you can also use it to reinforce your savings habits. Having to set aside $100 per month in savings to earn 2.45% APY can become a powerful incentive to cut your spending and save regularly. It may be difficult to become inspired to save more when you’re earning .01% APY, but 2.45% APY is nothing to shake a stick at.

Holly Johnson is an award-winning personal finance writer and the author of Zero Down Your Debt. Johnson shares her obsession with frugality, budgeting, and travel at ClubThrifty.com.

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