National City is also offering a special 4.50% APY on their money market account guaranteed for 180 days for balances of $25,000 or more. For balances under $25,000, the current rate is only 1.50% APY. This also requires an interest checking account. Offer expires 1/31/08. Although this 180-day guarantee may come in handy if the Fed continues to cut rates, the 4.50% APY and the high balance requirements make this less of a deal than the CD in my opinion.
I had first reported on a very similar special last month. I had heard this had ended, but a reader sent me a recent newspaper ad with the above info. I called for additional information, and the service rep confirmed that it's scheduled to last until 1/19/08. She gave me a tip about the checking requirement. Once you have the CD opened with the interest checking, you can change this to their free checking. You're free to close this after 6 months without a fee. But the free checking may be useful at maturity. You can request them to close the CD and transfer funds to the checking. Without a checking, the CSR said you must make a written and signed request, and they will mail you a check.
According to the CSR, there's no hard credit inquiry for applying for either the checking or CD. Only a ChexSystem is done. Note, CSRs are often incorrect on this issue.
Some other details of the CD include: 12-month interest early withdrawal penalty on amount withdrawn and a 10 calendar day grace period at maturity.
I was told that this CD special is available in all states where they have branches. This includes Florida, Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, Ohio and Pennsylvania. You can apply by phone (800 622-4036).
When I called the above number, I had very little wait before a friendly and knowledgeable CSR answered. However, some readers haven't had a good experience with the National City special that I reported on last month. The last CD special required customers to open a money market account. To receive a decent rate on the money market account, the interest checking was required. The reader reported that the CSR didn't explain these details, and the bank was slow in opening the special CD before the end-date which caused a lower rate to take effect.
National City Bank is FDIC insured (Certificate # 6557). The bank has a 2 out of 5 star rating (below peer group) at Bankrate.com based on 9/30/07 data.