Opening New Savings Account - Citi (2.36%) vs CIT (2.30%)?

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Defiance
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Opening New Savings Account - Citi (2.36%) vs CIT (2.30%)?

Post by Defiance » Wed Aug 28, 2019 9:33 pm

Hi all,

I wish to open a new savings account because the one I have right now has a very low interest rate. Two banks that seem to have decent reviews caught my eye: Citibank at 2.36% and CIT at 2.30%. Does anyone have any experience with one or both of these banks? I have a couple questions that I couldn't quite find online:

-With Citi, are there any disadvantages in opening an Accelerate Savings account compared to just a normal one? Why wouldn't everyone who bank with a Citi savings account have the Accelerate option?

-What are the trends for the savings rates for both of these banks? I can't find exact values, though I've read that CIT has an upward trend. This concern raises my next question: should I worry about Citi being unstable in the years to come? I don't want to open an account only for it to decide not to continue with the Accelerate Savings option.

-Does CIT really have a problem with not automatically increasing existing users' interest rates? I don't want to have to go through the hassle of closing/reopening my account just to get the higher rate that's already advertised.

Thank you for your time!

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Defiance
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Re: Opening New Savings Account - Citi (2.36%) vs CIT (2.30%)?

Post by Defiance » Fri Aug 30, 2019 5:39 pm

Also, is there a website or some sort of tool somewhere I could use to look into the APY history of banks? I tried looking at CIT, for example, so see if the APY rate has an upward trend or not, but I couldn't not find any useful info. The reason I ask is because I obviously don't want to sign up for a bank with a high interest rate if it is known to be volatile or if it had just opened.

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Re: Opening New Savings Account - Citi (2.36%) vs CIT (2.30%)?

Post by ICF » Fri Aug 30, 2019 5:59 pm

The Citi Accelerate Savings account is the only one that pays the 2.36% interest. Their regular savings accounts don't usually pay much interest and any promo rates usually end in less than a year. You can only open one if they do not have physical branches in your state, which fortunately was true for me because they pulled out of Massachusetts.

It's nice to have, but Citi can be difficult to deal with if anything goes wrong. I have found Capital One, Ally, and Pure Point to be easier to deal with remotely.

Good luck!

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Re: Opening New Savings Account - Citi (2.36%) vs CIT (2.30%)?

Post by indexfundfan » Fri Aug 30, 2019 7:01 pm

Defiance wrote:
Fri Aug 30, 2019 5:39 pm
Also, is there a website or some sort of tool somewhere I could use to look into the APY history of banks? I tried looking at CIT, for example, so see if the APY rate has an upward trend or not, but I couldn't not find any useful info. The reason I ask is because I obviously don't want to sign up for a bank with a high interest rate if it is known to be volatile or if it had just opened.
You can see the APY history of many accounts at depositaccounts.com
My signature has been deleted.

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Re: Opening New Savings Account - Citi (2.36%) vs CIT (2.30%)?

Post by student » Sat Aug 31, 2019 6:37 am

I read somewhere that CIT changes product frequently so that the new (good) rate does not apply to existing customers. I suggest you doing more research on this to see whether this is true. https://www.depositaccounts.com/banks/cit-bank/offers/

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Re: Opening New Savings Account - Citi (2.36%) vs CIT (2.30%)?

Post by Hockey10 » Sat Aug 31, 2019 8:58 am

I have had an account at CIT for several years. Their rates are very good. However, about once a year or so, in order to get the best rate, you have to open a new type of account with them. The process is not difficult and you can fund the new account by moving your money from the old account on the CIT website. I suspect they do this so that less informed customers keep their money in the old account that pays a lower rate.

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Re: Opening New Savings Account - Citi (2.36%) vs CIT (2.30%)?

Post by patrick » Sat Aug 31, 2019 10:11 am

You can get even higher -- see https://www.doctorofcredit.com/high-int ... gs-to-get/ for a list of the current best interest rates.

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Re: Opening New Savings Account - Citi (2.36%) vs CIT (2.30%)?

Post by whodidntante » Sat Aug 31, 2019 10:15 am

student wrote:
Sat Aug 31, 2019 6:37 am
I read somewhere that CIT changes product frequently so that the new (good) rate does not apply to existing customers. I suggest you doing more research on this to see whether this is true. https://www.depositaccounts.com/banks/cit-bank/offers/
It's true and the worst kind of true; the kind that happened to me. But since I opened the account exclusively for a bonus, I didn't mind.

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Defiance
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Re: Opening New Savings Account - Citi (2.36%) vs CIT (2.30%)?

Post by Defiance » Mon Sep 02, 2019 8:28 pm

Thanks for all the info! Now I am deciding between CIT and Vio Bank, which currently has a savings APY of 2.52%. Has anyone gotten experience from Vio? Based on APY alone, I feel like I should go with it, but I have read bad reviews. Most of the bad reviews, however, seem to just be on the fact that people were denied access while trying to open an account. So, I thought I would ask here to see if there are any other thoughts.

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Re: Opening New Savings Account - Citi (2.36%) vs CIT (2.30%)?

Post by anon_investor » Tue Sep 03, 2019 1:33 pm

Defiance wrote:
Mon Sep 02, 2019 8:28 pm
Thanks for all the info! Now I am deciding between CIT and Vio Bank, which currently has a savings APY of 2.52%. Has anyone gotten experience from Vio? Based on APY alone, I feel like I should go with it, but I have read bad reviews. Most of the bad reviews, however, seem to just be on the fact that people were denied access while trying to open an account. So, I thought I would ask here to see if there are any other thoughts.
No experience with Vio Bank, but I read somewhere they have daily/monthly ($5,000/$25,000) withdrawal limits that are much lower than most other online banks. It may not impact your use case, but just something to considered.

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Re: Opening New Savings Account - Citi (2.36%) vs CIT (2.30%)?

Post by batpot » Tue Sep 03, 2019 2:31 pm

student wrote:
Sat Aug 31, 2019 6:37 am
I read somewhere that CIT changes product frequently so that the new (good) rate does not apply to existing customers. I suggest you doing more research on this to see whether this is true. https://www.depositaccounts.com/banks/cit-bank/offers/
+1
Been with Popular Direct for quite a while now. They were one of the first to break the 2% barrier, and they've been at or near the top ever since.
EDIT...my rate had gone up to 2.36% with them, but just checked and it DROPPED to 2.27, not increased to 2.5%.

Looks like they're now playing similar games to CIT; bummer.

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Re: Opening New Savings Account - Citi (2.36%) vs CIT (2.30%)?

Post by Defiance » Sat Sep 14, 2019 4:15 pm

indexfundfan wrote:
Fri Aug 30, 2019 7:01 pm
Defiance wrote:
Fri Aug 30, 2019 5:39 pm
Also, is there a website or some sort of tool somewhere I could use to look into the APY history of banks? I tried looking at CIT, for example, so see if the APY rate has an upward trend or not, but I couldn't not find any useful info. The reason I ask is because I obviously don't want to sign up for a bank with a high interest rate if it is known to be volatile or if it had just opened.
You can see the APY history of many accounts at depositaccounts.com
I've gone on this website, but I do not see any APY history with any banks. Is there a link I am missing? I only bring this up because the mentioned banks' APYs have gone down -- which is what I've feared -- and I still don't know of a way to track how a bank typically changes this parameter over, say, several years.

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Defiance
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Re: Opening New Savings Account - Citi (2.36%) vs CIT (2.30%)?

Post by Defiance » Thu Sep 19, 2019 1:40 pm

Also, does anyone have a general idea of how often banks change their interest rate? I've read that the Fed meets twice a year to decide if it will change its rate, but I'm not sure if that means banks will only do that twice a year as well, or if it's different for online banks, or just general details.

Thanks again,

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Re: Opening New Savings Account - Citi (2.36%) vs CIT (2.30%)?

Post by sperry8 » Thu Sep 19, 2019 1:51 pm

Defiance wrote:
Thu Sep 19, 2019 1:40 pm
Also, does anyone have a general idea of how often banks change their interest rate? I've read that the Fed meets twice a year to decide if it will change its rate, but I'm not sure if that means banks will only do that twice a year as well, or if it's different for online banks, or just general details.

Thanks again,
Generally speaking you're going to find banks change their interest rates based on prevailing rates. What you want to do is find some that keep their rates near the top but not at the very top. Those at the very top simply don't stay there long.

Ally bank is an excellent bank with an excellent website and great CS. They stay near the top. They are a great choice and I highly recommend them. They also have checking accounts should that need arise in the future.

Citi (as with most large brick & mortar banks) will not stay at the top or even near it long. They used to offer bupkus (and I mean bupkus) for years. Do not trust they will stay high.

Other online banks play games (think Emigrant Direct). They offer these at the top rates for a while and then drop those rates so low as to be useless.

Other online banks who I can suggest for savings that remain somewhat near the top are Pure Point Financial, CIT Bank (as you already discovered), SFGI Direct, and Synchrony Bank. None are the very top (like Vio) but Vio is new and most banks that play at the top do not stay there. I have opened dozens of accounts and rate chase so I have a lot of experience in this area.

DepositAccounts.com is also filled with others who rate chase and you can peruse that site in detail to get a good view of which banks offer these "teaser" rates and which stay more constant (but don't offer high rates only to drop to very low ones later). To see that you have to look within each banks page and read the comments by the posters there. You'll get a feel for each bank one by one.
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Re: Opening New Savings Account - Citi (2.36%) vs CIT (2.30%)?

Post by greg24 » Thu Sep 19, 2019 1:55 pm

Vanguard Prime Money Market Fund is yielding 2.06% and once you're in, you can stop playing the rate-chasing game.

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Re: Opening New Savings Account - Citi (2.36%) vs CIT (2.30%)?

Post by sperry8 » Thu Sep 19, 2019 2:08 pm

greg24 wrote:
Thu Sep 19, 2019 1:55 pm
Vanguard Prime Money Market Fund is yielding 2.06% and once you're in, you can stop playing the rate-chasing game.
When rates got very low (at 0%) Prime also paid almost nothing. Yet the online banks still paid ~.85%. So today, I'd agree Prime MM (or better yet Fed MM which pays almost the same with no risk), are good choices. But if rates drop to 0 (not an impossibility) you'd be better off in an online bank. Further, if you have any needs like checking, etc - you'd definitely be better in an online bank.
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Defiance
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Re: Opening New Savings Account - Citi (2.36%) vs CIT (2.30%)?

Post by Defiance » Fri Sep 20, 2019 11:00 am

sperry8 wrote:
Thu Sep 19, 2019 1:51 pm
Defiance wrote:
Thu Sep 19, 2019 1:40 pm
Also, does anyone have a general idea of how often banks change their interest rate? I've read that the Fed meets twice a year to decide if it will change its rate, but I'm not sure if that means banks will only do that twice a year as well, or if it's different for online banks, or just general details.

Thanks again,
Generally speaking you're going to find banks change their interest rates based on prevailing rates. What you want to do is find some that keep their rates near the top but not at the very top. Those at the very top simply don't stay there long.

Ally bank is an excellent bank with an excellent website and great CS. They stay near the top. They are a great choice and I highly recommend them. They also have checking accounts should that need arise in the future.

Citi (as with most large brick & mortar banks) will not stay at the top or even near it long. They used to offer bupkus (and I mean bupkus) for years. Do not trust they will stay high.

Other online banks play games (think Emigrant Direct). They offer these at the top rates for a while and then drop those rates so low as to be useless.

Other online banks who I can suggest for savings that remain somewhat near the top are Pure Point Financial, CIT Bank (as you already discovered), SFGI Direct, and Synchrony Bank. None are the very top (like Vio) but Vio is new and most banks that play at the top do not stay there. I have opened dozens of accounts and rate chase so I have a lot of experience in this area.

DepositAccounts.com is also filled with others who rate chase and you can peruse that site in detail to get a good view of which banks offer these "teaser" rates and which stay more constant (but don't offer high rates only to drop to very low ones later). To see that you have to look within each banks page and read the comments by the posters there. You'll get a feel for each bank one by one.
I see what you mean. I actually ended up going with Vio, and it literally just dropped its APY by 0.1% in the past 24 hr... Oh well, I suppose I could open CIT if it gets much worse, haha.

I appreciate the info (from you and others as well).

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Re: Opening New Savings Account - Citi (2.36%) vs CIT (2.30%)?

Post by cowdogman » Fri Sep 20, 2019 11:02 am

Don't think it is mentioned above but Citi dropped their rate to 2.21% a few weeks ago.

I opened a Citi savings account several months ago. It was an admin nightmare for the first few months. First, I made a credit card payment out the account and it bounced ("Sorry, we forget to unfreeze your account after it was opened."). Second, Citi started changing me a $25(!!) monthly service fee ("Sorry, we signed you up for the wrong account."). Third, when I would make a transfer into the account it wouldn't show up for several days (even as "pending"). There was some other stuff too.

I ended up staying with my Sallie Mae Money Market Account--currently at 2.15% and allows me to write checks. I've has this account for several years. The rate doesn't fluctuate as much as other banks.

I'd avoid Citi.

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Re: Opening New Savings Account - Citi (2.36%) vs CIT (2.30%)?

Post by snowman » Fri Sep 20, 2019 11:21 am

I would avoid both. Here is what I do with my money where interest is important (I have less than $20K in cash):

1. MMF. Mine is at Fidelity currently earning about 2%, but it's also free checking account, free ATMs, etc. Obviously, Vanguard prime MMF is a solid choice for pure savings.

2. High yield checking account. There are several options, mine is at LMCU and I am very happy with it. I use it purely as savings account. 3% interest on deposits up to $15K/account. You have to meet certain conditions which take about 2 minutes per month to accomplish, and can be fully automated to take even less time.

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Re: Opening New Savings Account - Citi (2.36%) vs CIT (2.30%)?

Post by anon_investor » Fri Sep 20, 2019 11:47 am

Defiance wrote:
Fri Sep 20, 2019 11:00 am
I see what you mean. I actually ended up going with Vio, and it literally just dropped its APY by 0.1% in the past 24 hr... Oh well, I suppose I could open CIT if it gets much worse, haha.

I appreciate the info (from you and others as well).
How was the process of signing up with Vio Bank? Are you able to transfer money in and out easily?

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Defiance
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Re: Opening New Savings Account - Citi (2.36%) vs CIT (2.30%)?

Post by Defiance » Fri Sep 20, 2019 1:17 pm

Yeah, it was pretty straight forward. It takes about a week to do an ACH transfer and gain access to your funds, but it still collects interest in the meantime.

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Re: Opening New Savings Account - Citi (2.36%) vs CIT (2.30%)?

Post by Clarice » Fri Sep 20, 2019 11:26 pm

Defiance wrote:
Wed Aug 28, 2019 9:33 pm
Hi all,

I wish to open a new savings account because the one I have right now has a very low interest rate. Two banks that seem to have decent reviews caught my eye: Citibank at 2.36% and CIT at 2.30%. Does anyone have any experience with one or both of these banks? I have a couple questions that I couldn't quite find online:

-With Citi, are there any disadvantages in opening an Accelerate Savings account compared to just a normal one? Why wouldn't everyone who bank with a Citi savings account have the Accelerate option?

-What are the trends for the savings rates for both of these banks? I can't find exact values, though I've read that CIT has an upward trend. This concern raises my next question: should I worry about Citi being unstable in the years to come? I don't want to open an account only for it to decide not to continue with the Accelerate Savings option.

-Does CIT really have a problem with not automatically increasing existing users' interest rates? I don't want to have to go through the hassle of closing/reopening my account just to get the higher rate that's already advertised.

Thank you for your time!
Dude, .06% difference at $1,000 is 60 cents.

Topic Author
Defiance
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Re: Opening New Savings Account - Citi (2.36%) vs CIT (2.30%)?

Post by Defiance » Mon Sep 23, 2019 12:38 pm

Clarice wrote:
Fri Sep 20, 2019 11:26 pm
Defiance wrote:
Wed Aug 28, 2019 9:33 pm
Hi all,

I wish to open a new savings account because the one I have right now has a very low interest rate. Two banks that seem to have decent reviews caught my eye: Citibank at 2.36% and CIT at 2.30%. Does anyone have any experience with one or both of these banks? I have a couple questions that I couldn't quite find online:

-With Citi, are there any disadvantages in opening an Accelerate Savings account compared to just a normal one? Why wouldn't everyone who bank with a Citi savings account have the Accelerate option?

-What are the trends for the savings rates for both of these banks? I can't find exact values, though I've read that CIT has an upward trend. This concern raises my next question: should I worry about Citi being unstable in the years to come? I don't want to open an account only for it to decide not to continue with the Accelerate Savings option.

-Does CIT really have a problem with not automatically increasing existing users' interest rates? I don't want to have to go through the hassle of closing/reopening my account just to get the higher rate that's already advertised.

Thank you for your time!
Dude, .06% difference at $1,000 is 60 cents.
Very true-- I was concerned more about the trend of the interest rates, rather than the differences between these two banks in particular. I only brought them up because CIT seems to be more popular as a high-interest rate account, but Citi not much so. In fact, when I look up the disadvantages of choosing Citi, one of them was that its interest rate is low, which puzzles me. So, I mention their interest rates more as a way of seeing if there is something I'm missing about the trends of online banking (for example, will Citi simply cancel its high-interest rate in a year?).

I guess it isn't that important to me so much right now anymore because I've gone with Vio Bank which, although it has dropped its APY in the past few weeks, seems to still be near the top.

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Re: Opening New Savings Account - Citi (2.36%) vs CIT (2.30%)?

Post by Nyarlathotep » Mon Sep 23, 2019 2:03 pm

Defiance wrote:
Mon Sep 23, 2019 12:38 pm
So, I mention their interest rates more as a way of seeing if there is something I'm missing about the trends of online banking (for example, will Citi simply cancel its high-interest rate in a year?).
Given the vagaries of interest rates and one-upmanship played by the online banks, I wouldn't base my decision on which bank happens to be offering the highest IR at any given moment. Especially when said bank is one I've never heard of and has very little track record compared to the big players like Ally, Citibank, Capital One, HSBC, etc. For example, you'd end up making only about $60 more over an entire year of keeping $10,000 at Vio Bank instead of a rock-solid, tried-and-true bank like Ally. My advice would be to choose a bank that has the broadest range of services (e.g. checking account with free checks and ATM access/reimbursements, no hidden fees or activity requirements, etc.) and has a proven track record of good performance and good customer service. You can always make up for that $60, or $100, or $200 (or more) of lost interest by getting occasional credit sign-up bonuses, or by opening and funding a new brokerage account to get a sign-up bonus.

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Re: Opening New Savings Account - Citi (2.36%) vs CIT (2.30%)?

Post by anon_investor » Mon Sep 23, 2019 2:24 pm

Defiance wrote:
Fri Sep 20, 2019 1:17 pm
Yeah, it was pretty straight forward. It takes about a week to do an ACH transfer and gain access to your funds, but it still collects interest in the meantime.
Interesting, I will have to keep my eye on Vio Bank then, if their rate stays up, it might be an option for an account store money for taxes that I do not need quick access too.

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Re: Opening New Savings Account - Citi (2.36%) vs CIT (2.30%)?

Post by JackoC » Tue Sep 24, 2019 10:53 am

greg24 wrote:
Thu Sep 19, 2019 1:55 pm
Vanguard Prime Money Market Fund is yielding 2.06% and once you're in, you can stop playing the rate-chasing game.
CIT Savings Builder shows today on depositaccounts.com as 2.20%. That's 1.38% after tax at my marginal rate.
VMFXX at 2.01% is 1.36% after tax (~78% non state taxable), VUSXX at 1.96%/1.36% (100% non state taxable), and a tiny smidgen less risk: those two are where we keep cash reserves right now.
VMMXX you mention is 2.05% today, that's 1.32% after tax for us, less return for a smidgen more risk. Depends on tax rate obviously.

Right now I don't view the rate chase game as worthwhile. It made sense when the Fed Funds rate was nearly zero, Vang MM fund rates were also, but best bank rates were 1%+. And that could happen again.

I agree as others said that if you do rate chase, some banks (including CIT, Ally was mentioned too) have tended to stay fairly near the top of the rate pile. Also as others said I would not have confidence in the big retail banks to do that (Citi, or Chase or BOA if they ever had a decent savings rate to begin with :happy ).

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