Dedicated to Deposits: Deals, Data, and Discussion

4.35% 12-Month CD at BankUnited

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BankUnited
Update 8/23/08: The special 12-month CD rate has gone up to 4.40% APY. There's also a new special 15-month CD with a yield of 4.60% APY.

BankUnited has started a new CD special with a yield of 4.35% APY for a 12-month term. The minimum deposit is $5,000. New money is required.

This seems to replace the 4% CDs for terms of 9 to 12 months that I reported on two weeks ago.

It appears that you can apply online to open this CD. For an April post, I had called BankUnited, and I was told by the banking rep that these CDs are available to people in any state. Also, the banking rep said that the rate would lock at the time you apply. After you apply, they'll send you the documents to sign. You can then mail in those documents along with your check. You can also do a wire transfer to fund the CD. When the CD is closed, you can instruct them by phone to either send you a check or perform a wire transfer. I wasn't too impressed with the banking rep, so please verify yourself before opening the CD.

BankUnited's Online Savings Account

BankUnited is still offering its high yield online savings account. The account used to be one of the rate leaders, but in the last few months it has fallen way behind. The current yield is 3.00% APY. My last post on this was in January 2007. BankUnited finally added an ACH transfer system to this savings account, but with the low rate and the customer service problems that many readers have noted, it's still not a good deal.

BankUnited's Financial Health

BankUnited has been hit hard by the real estate slump and mortgage problems. BankUnited Financial Corp.'s share price has been on a roller coaster over the last week. On July 15th, the share price fell to 43 cents from the fallout of Indymac's failure and the problems at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. But bank stocks rallied later last week, and BankUnited's share price closed at $2 on Friday. As reported by this Miami Herald article, BankUnited's president tried to ease worries by claiming "We are very well-capitalized. We don't have subprime loans; we don't have raw land exposure; 40 percent of our mortgages have mortgage insurance."

As this news article describes, BankUnited is one of the few banks in the nation that banking analyst Dick Bove considers to be in a danger zone. The financial rating services generally support this although BauerFinancial's rating seems a little soft. Bankrate.com's latest ratings is a 1 star based on 3/31/08 data which is down from 3 stars on 12/31/07 data. BauerFinancial gives it 3 stars (adequate) based on 3/31/08 data.

As I recommend with any bank, make sure you stay below the FDIC limits. BankUnited has been FDIC insured since it was established in 1984 (FDIC Certificate # 32247). Its main office is in Coral Gables, Florida.

Thanks to the readers who mentioned this latest CD special in the comments and in email.

  Tags: BankUnited, CD rates, Florida

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Comments
4 Comments.
Comment #1 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Last year I had a CD at BankUnited. When CD matured, I called to close it. CSR told me to mail a letter where I have signature and personal info, in order to send me a check. I did that.

I waited to weeks after the check was supposedly mailed and still no check from BankUnited to arrived.
I called again and they told me the check is in the mail and to wait for it.

On the third week the check arrived on Saturday. On Monday I deposited the check at my local Bank and they told me it will be 7 days until the check clears since it is out of state.

On the 32 day, finally the check cleared, but I was at lost, since on $80K amount, not a single cent of interest was earned for 32 days. When you average the 6 month term the CD was in,
I could have done better in my local Bank at 3%.

BankUnited will never get my business again, ever!!!!

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Comment #2 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
With all due respect, 7:44, next time buy a wire. What you did, moving of funds large amount, I do all the time. I cannot recall EVER doing this through use of a check, not even in a local, walk in, situation. The idea of a check through the US Mail is, candidly, just nuts! The problem you had is not the fault of BankUnited. It is your fault for not having chosen to wire your funds out. When moving large sums of money, a wire is not just the best option, often it is the ONLY practical option. When a bank gets a check request for the amount of money you mentioned they know they are dealing with a greenhorn. I honestly wish you better luck next time. But you can make your own "luck" if you do not leave things to chance. Next time buy a wire. It's a no-brainer.

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Comment #3 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Re Bank United's 12-month CD at 4.35% APY for balances over $5,000:

I just talked with a bank representative. I learned that when the CD matures, if you want to close it, whether to have it mailed to you or transfered into another account, such as a checking account, you must either go into a branch (Florida) or you would have to send in a NOTARIZED letter instructing them what to do. You cannot close it any other way, I was told.

Different states are different about notarization, but in my state it will cost you $10 per signature for notarization, no less no more. You no longer get free notarization here with your bank accounts. So besides the trouble of having to get the notarization when the Bank United CD matures, there also is the cost to consider.

Why do so many banks come up with odd and irritating rules like this?!

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Comment #4 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
This bank, i.e., BankUnited, also requires for its application a heck of a lot more personal info for identification that do its competitors, and more than what the Patriot Act requires.

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