CIT Bank Savings Builder $300 Deposit Bonus

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Update: This offer is now expired and no longer available.

Expired information:

CIT Bank still has their Savings Builder Account deposit bonus. The bonus has increased to up to a $300 cash bonus depending on deposit amount, and it is open to both new and existing customers. The bonus is on top of the interest rate, currently 1.70% APY (as of 4/9/20) at their top tier for qualifying accounts. Unfortunately, if you did an earlier bonus, you are not eligible for this one:

PLEASE NOTE: Existing Customers enrolled in a Savings Builder bonus promotion prior to January 17, 2020, are not eligible for this promotion.

New deposit bonus details. For new customers, you must first open a new account with at least $100 and promo code Spring20 at this link. If you already had an existing account as of 2/19/20, you need to first officially enroll in this offer via the “Let’s get started” button at this link for existing customers. After doing that:

  • A new deposit of $25,000 to $49,999 within 15 calendar days of your open/enrollment date will get you a $150 cash bonus.
  • A new deposit of $50,000+ within 15 calendar days of your open/enrollment date will get you a $300 cash bonus.

New accounts will have to maintain this balance for 90 calendar days following the end of the 15-day Funding Period. However, existing accounts will only have to maintain this balance for 30 calendar days following the end of the 15-day Funding Period. The shorter holding period for existing customers is nice, but remember it has to be additional money new to CIT Bank. This is their definition of “starting balance” when measuring new deposits for existing customers:

The balances of all the customer’s individual Savings Builder accounts, any joint Savings Builder accounts in which the customer has ownership, if not already enrolled in the bonus promotion by another joint owner as of February 18, 2020.

They will deposit your bonus within 1 to 5 business days after the Funding Period, but it will be on hold (can’t withdraw) until 7 days after your minimum holding period of 30/90 days to make sure you satisfy the requirements.

Effective APY. Here are the effective interest rates you could get as either a new or existing customer:

  • For a new customer earning either the $150 bonus on $25,000 or $300 bonus on $50,000, which also qualifies you for the 1.70% APY rate, that works out to a total 4.10% APY for 90 days (2.4 + 1.70).
  • For an existing customer earning either the $150 bonus on $25,000 or $300 bonus on $50,000, which also qualifies you for the 1.70% APY rate, that works out to a total 8.90% APY for 30 days (7.2 + 1.70).

Note this is somewhat optimistic as you will probably add a several days of holding time unless your deposit lands at the very end of the 15-day funding period. Still, it’s always nice to stack a cash bonus on top of an already competitive interest rate. There are no minimum balance fees, no monthly service fees, no inactivity fee.

Savings Builder high interest qualifications reminder. This a unique savings account with two ways to qualify for their highest interest rate tier. You need ONE of the following in each Evaluation Period:

  • Maintain at least one single monthly deposit of $100+, OR
  • Maintain a balance of $25,000+.

Everyone earns the top tier rate for the first monthly “Evaluation Period”. Then, if you meet one of the requirements listed above during the first Evaluation Period, you’ll earn the top rate for the next monthly Evaluation Period. If you don’t meet a least one of the requirements, you will receive the base interest rate during the next Evaluation Period. They have an indicator in your online account that confirms that you have qualified. Now, if you’re going for this bonus, you’ll already have $25,000 in there so you will qualify for the higher interest rate.

One option that I did is to set up an automatic monthly transfer from my checking account to this account for $100 and satisfy the requirement on auto-pilot. (I can always transfer additional funds in or out as needed.) More details in my previous full review.

Bottom line. CIT Bank has refreshed their Savings Builder Account deposit bonus with a bigger bonus. You can get up to a $300 cash bonus depending on deposit amount, and it is open to both new and existing customers. Unfortunately, if you’ve done a Savings Builder bonus already, you are not eligible for another one. The bonus is on top of the interest rate, currently 1.70% APY (as of 4/9/20) at their top tier for qualifying accounts. These types of bonuses help me earn higher interest rates even when rates are dropping.

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Comments

  1. DirtyLilRat says

    Is there any way to become an existing customer and then go for the promo so that you can take advantage of the shorter time requirement?

  2. Thanks for the post – an additional $50K headed to CIT right now. 🙂

    One question – and I’m sure I’m missing something obvious, but why is the effect interest rate higher for an existing customer vs a new one given that the bonuses are exactly the same?

    • If you held both for 90 days, the effective APY would be the same for both new and existing customers.

      The effective APY is higher for existing customers because you only need to keep the new money there for 30 days. You get a higher effective APY over 30 days, at which point theoretically you can move your money out to the next opportunity.

      I’m basically moving my money from the previous Marcus $500 bonus to this new CIT Bank $300 bonus.

  3. I’m an existing customer, but their rate was 2.45% when I started a year ago. Disappointed to see it drop down to 1.85%. I’m going to have to look at some other options, perhaps including some non-cash options like bonds or some stable dividend producing stocks.. at least for part of my savings.

    My Savings Builder account now shows:
    Interest rate: 1.83%
    Last statement APY earned: 2.10%

    • The rates have definitely dropped, but to be fair they have dropped across the board due to Fed rate cuts. My Ally savings is only at 1.70% APY now, 4-week T-Bills only offer about 1.56% APY, and other bond rates have fallen as well. I think that online banks are having trouble maintaining a significantly higher rate than everyone else, so they are turning to these cash bonuses to try and motivate some movement in deposits. That’s good for folks that are paying attention and willing to take action 🙂

  4. Good find Jonathan!
    but do you know if they run a hard or soft credit inquiry?

  5. If we’re going to deposit that much money, why not go for the Chase 1k bonus offer if you deposit 75k and hold for 90s?

    • This one starts at only $25k in deposits, there definitely seems to be a trend of these types of deposit bonuses. I write about them as they come up and I’ve already done bonuses for Simple, Chase, Marcus, and others that have expired. As for the Chase offer specifically, I should note that it works out to only about 4% annualized for 90 days because they don’t pay any base interest rate on the 75k.

  6. Not a good sign: got this message:
    We’ve received your application, but need some additional information to confirm your identity. A CIT Bank representative will be in touch by email or phone within the next 3-5 business days. Thank you for your patience.

    and when I try to log in with my username it asks for One-Time Security Code and the phone numbers aren’t mine. so looks like they I used the same ID as some existing customer, but instead of letting me chose another one before submitting app. they’re going to need me to wait to verify.

  7. nevermind, that’s not the case.
    if you put in any junk username, it’ll give the One-Time Security Code and some “random” phone number

  8. Thanks, Jonathan! Appreciate you passing on these deals which continue to add up…

  9. Fifth third bank gives 500 if you have $20000. The bonus is more important than the interest rate for these amounts

  10. Thanks for the heads up, Jonathan. It takes a little sting out of their recent drop from 2.10% to 1.85%.

    I do have a question about “They will send you an e-mail reminder if you haven’t made the $100 deposit requirement by mid-month.”

    I have never received such an e-mail. Last month I had two accounts which I did not do the $100 deposit until Oct 23, surely past “mid-month”.

    • Thanks for your comment, I checked my old e-mails and I did get a reminder but it was at the end of the month. The subject was “Savings Builder Monthly Summary” and came from the e-mail address “CITBank@alerts.citbank.com”. I’m afraid I don’t remember where I got the mid-month thing from, will edit the post.

  11. This is much better than the cash bonus CIT offered a couple years ago. At that time a $25K deposit would only get you $100 bonus (+1.05% APY), or in order to get a $250 bonus (same APY) you had to deposit $100K.

  12. Ariel Polanco says

    Hey Jonathan,

    Love your blog and thank you for sharing these opportunities with us. I have taken advantage of many of these bonuses.

    What do you with the accounts once you move your money to the next opportunity? Do I leave them open or close them?

    Thank you,

    Ariel

  13. For existing Savings Builder account holders, the minimum balance to maintain is either $25K or $50K PLUS THE BALANCE THAT WAS ALREADY IN THE SAVINGS BUILDER ACCOUNT. I didn’t see that clearly described elsewhere. So, a consideration for those of us who use the savings builder account to cover our checking account cash flow.

  14. Jonathan,

    TBH, I think the “Effective APY” you quote is a little misleading because that rate is only for 3 months, ASSUMING the interest rates don’t fall during that time. This looks very attractive to those who don’t crunch the numbers themselves. Also the 9.05% Effective APY you quote is only guaranteed for 1 month, which works out to 0.75% for one month, without any guarantee that you will actually get 9.02% at the end of the year.

    So, for $50k, you would earn 2.45% APY, ASSUMING the interest rate does not drop further. You would be better off putting your money in a 13 mo CD which locally earns about 2.30% APY without going through all the hassle. Plus it’s a guaranteed rate for 13 months.

    B

    • I don’t feel that it is misleading to use APY as it is annualized percentage yield, allowing you to compare across different time periods. 9% APY for 30 days is just as accurate/misleading as a CD earning 5% APY for 5 years. If you wish, you could earn your 9% APY for 30 days and take your money elsewhere after that if you find a better option.
      APY provides context of the bonus vs. deposit size. That’s why I list APY and the absolute dollar value of the bonus.

  15. Did the offer really end on April 10? The website says the promotion runs from Feb. 19 to May 30, 2020.

    Info. is in the FAQs below, specifically “How long will the Savings Builder bonus promotion be available?”

  16. What is the cheapest ( 0$) method to transfer money from one bank ( Chase/Wellsfargo) to this bank without actually sending a paper check.

  17. Chip Alexander says

    As I have mentioned before, I find your column very useful and have long followed it for great tips even though I don’t follow other blogs. However, this one was a bit disappointing to me as you left out a very important detail — the sort of detail I count on you to have uncovered for us so we don’t get disappointed in what we actually receive. In that sense I agree with B. Peters above, not so much about the APY being misleading but just about key details being left off.

    The offer seems to be extended and so I could sign up now. But in checking those details I see the 1.7% is just for about one month (the evaluation period). After that, it drops to just under 1%. You have to hold it for 3-4 months at least to get the bonus. So relative to the 1.7% – 1.75% other banks, you are losing some of that reward every month after that first month. In less than a year, you are losing more in interest than the bonus paid for (and potentially much sooner if you put in more than the minimum $50K).

    So this only works if you make sure to pull your money right back out at the right time, likely with a calendar reminder. That big interest rate drop after about one month is a gotcha that might be good to include in the future. Then people can decide if it still makes sense for them, and make sure they know they need to move their money out on time.

    • I’m not sure I understand. Did you read the entire section of “Savings Builder high interest qualifications reminder”? As long as you keep either $25k in the account, or transfer in $100 per month, you keep the 1.7% APY (or whatever the top rate is currently).

      In fact, if you are going for either of these bonuses, you’ll already have $25k in there, and thus keep the 1.7% rate ongoing and there is no interest rate drop after the first month.

      • Chip Alexander says

        You’re absolutely right Jonathan. I saw “Interest Rate is 1.686% during the Introductory Period and 0.995% thereafter” and didn’t realize it was just for <$25K. Comment totally withdrawn (feel free to delete it if you like in fact, unless it is a helpful clarification for others). Thanks!

  18. This made me think of a Citizens Bank offer I was recently sent in the mail, but which you can also find online. If you open a checking and savings account, direct deposit $500 to checking, and $15k to savings for 3 months, then you get a combination bonus that totals $600. Have to be careful about picking the type of checking and savings accounts; any type with them works, but they have different tiers with different hoops to keep the accounts free. The “one deposit” variety for both accounts is what I went with.

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