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After achieving our goal of paying off all remaining debt, we are now focusing on strategies to maximize our savings and make some solid investments by making use of compound interest. I love USAA for many reasons and have my auto insurance through them, but the APY on their savings account is a paltry 0.20% so I felt there had to be a more lucrative option. My local credit union is not much better at just 0.29%, so I started searching beyond brick and mortar banks.
To my delight, I found CIT Bank Savings Builder. Nope, that’s not CITI Bank, it’s CIT. This primarily online bank that currently offers a competitive 1.75% APY as of March 2020 (when we opened ours, it was higher at 2.30% APY). I’m usually the type to say “that’s too good to be true”, so I looked into the reviews and found that they have received good ratings, with the exception of their mobile app. It seems people are not crazy about its functionality and ability to perform transactions. For me, that’s not a huge deal since I prefer to handle those types of things on the computer, but just something to keep in mind.
Stipulations to receive the 1.75% APY (from the CIT website)
|Tier||Balance Requirement||APY||Interest Rate|
|Base Tier||< $25,000 Balance Requirement||1.15%*||0.995%**|
|Upper Tier||< $25,000, but with monthly deposit of $100 or more Balance Requirement||1.75%***||1.735%|
|Upper Tier||≥ $25,000 Balance Requirement||1.75%||1.735%|
Other than the minimum required deposit of $100 to open the account, there are no opening, monthly servicing, online transfer or incoming wire fees. I’m looking forward to being able to compound our money while still being able to access it easily if an emergency comes up. So how do you access your money if you need to withdraw it? See below from their website:
You can easily access the funds in your account with:
- Free electronic banking transfers (ACH) between your Savings Builder account and an account at another bank;
- Outgoing wire transfers (there is a $10 fee for accounts with balances under $25,000); and
- By calling us to mail you a check for free.
The Savings Builder account has a limit of six (6) pre-authorized or automatic transfers or withdrawals, electronic banking transfers to other accounts or similar per statement cycle. However, withdrawal and transfer requests submitted by mail do not count toward the limit, nor do withdrawals requested by telephone if the funds are mailed to you in the form of a check.
So Simple: $100 to open, and contribute $100 per month. For us, this is a great fit because we’ve already set up recurring deposits into savings, so we will just switch those over to this account to meet their requirements. If the monthly requirement isn’t something that’s a good fit for you, click here for some other options for banks offering competitive rates.
I hope this inspires you to look at your current savings rate and evaluate if your money could be earning more somewhere else. The application process only took me about 10-15 minutes to open a joint account and transfer funds, so it was quite painless.
P.S. If you’re wanting to start saving/save more but aren’t sure where to start, check out SaverLife. They actually PAY you to save money and also provide free weekly financial coaching. Every little bit helps!
Thanks for reading!
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