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WaMu Still Offering In-Branch 5% CDs for Terms of 13 to 17 Months

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Update 9/26/08: WaMu closed. JPMorgan Chase acquires WaMu's banking operations. Please refer to this post for more details.

WaMu may have pulled their 5% Online CDs last Saturday, but they are still offering the 5% APY CDs at their financial centers for terms of 13 to 17 months. This isn't listed at WaMu's website. I just called WaMu, and the banking rep said the 5% CDs are scheduled to last through this Friday (9/19/08). A reader also reported opening the 5% 13-month CD at WaMu in South Florida today.

Update 9/16/08: This 5% CD appears to be not available in many branches. Readers have reported this in Nevada, New Jersey and New York. If you've checked with your local WaMu branch this week, please leave a comment.

If it's like their typical non-online CDs, these may only be available in certain states that have WaMu branches. These include AZ, CA, CO, CT, FL, GA, ID, IL, NV, NJ, NY, OR, TX, UT and WA. You may be able to open the CD by phone in addition to at a branch.

WaMu is still advertising a 4.25% APY 8-month CD and a 4.00% APY money market promotion (see ad). The 4% money market promotion requires a $25,000 minimum balance. Rates go way down for balances under $25K. Unlike previous money market specials, there doesn't seem to be any period of time in which the rate is guaranteed. In my opinion, WaMu's 3.75% Online Savings Account (see post) is a better deal.

In addition to the branch special, WaMu is still listing the 4.25% APY for their 8-month Online CD. The 12 and 13-month Online CD yield dropped on Saturday from 5% to 4% APY (see post).

Latest WaMu News

Here's a recap from Bloomberg of WaMu's stock performance today and speculation about what a government bailout may cost:
Washington Mutual retreated 27 percent to $2, the lowest price since October 1990. The company may cost taxpayers as much as $24 billion in the event of a U.S. government bailout, said Richard Bove, an analyst at Ladenburg Thalmann & Co. The federal government may have to provide that much in mortgage guarantees in order to attract a buyer for the bank, Bove said.

For depositors it seems likely that if WaMu should fail, it would look like IndyMac's failure. The FDIC would manage the bank until it can find a buyer. Customers would continue to have access to their insured deposits. CDs with balances under the insured limits would continue to earn interest at the original rate, but depositors would have a choice to close the CD without an early withdrawal penalty. For FDIC information and links, please refer to this post.

WaMu's FDIC Information

Bank deposits at WaMu are FDIC insured under two banks: Washington Mutual Bank FSB and Washington Mutual Bank. Washington Mutual Bank appears to be the main bank which holds most of the deposits. This WaMu page provides more details of FDIC insurance and WaMu's two FDIC-insured banks. Note, there's no mention about the ability to have deposits under both banks to double your FDIC insurance. I've contacted WaMu by phone and email, and I have not been able to get any details about if you can hold deposits under both FDIC charters. Some readers have reported being able to do this at a WaMu branch. Please leave a comment in this post if you had success with this.

Update: It is possible to have FDIC coverage over $100K using PODs (see post). However, you have to be very careful. A reader emailed me the following about a potential issue:
For amounts over $100K, WaMu said that you have to wait to get the forms in the mail that setup or name beneficiaries as POD or ITF. During the wait all depositors are at risk because the bank could fail and FDIC could declare that you were only insured to the FDIC limit of 100K and that they never got your completed forms. That's why it's crucial to setup the CD at the bank, instantly naming beneficiaries.

To review all of my recent WaMu posts, please refer to this page. WaMu continues to offer Traditional 5% CDs for terms of 48-months and longer (see post).
  Tags: CD rates

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Comments
38 comments.
Comment #1 by Mark L (anonymous) posted on
Mark L
S&P just downgraded WAMU to "junk." And WAMU's credit default swap spread is now around ~15%. So they have to pay 15% per year to insure any debt they take on to capitalize their operations. Their stock is down below $1.80 in after hours trading on 90/15/08. I don't think a "run on the bank" is an unlikely scenario this week with the FDIC taking over. Currently, WAMU can operate but any massive outflow of deposits and it will collapse.

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Comment #2 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
I was told by CSR that when WAMU bought a bank some time ago that had its own FDIC certificate that accounts opened at the purchased bank would remain insured under the purchased bank's old FDIC certificate #, but that all new openings at either the purchased or the purchaser would be insured under the acquirer's certificate #. It is not possible to open new accounts using the acquired bank's certificate # for insurance, even if doing so at branches WAMU purchased (and renamed). If it were possible to do so, all the WAMU CSR's and in-branch reps would know about it, as there is a big demand for increased FDIC coverage from customers.

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Comment #3 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
I just found out that every time you open an online CD at WAMU they do a credit check and it puts a ding on your credit report. I was unable to open an account with Addision Avenue because I had too many inquiries and all I did in the last 3 months was open 2 $5000 CD's at Wamu and 1 CD at Nasa credit union. That's it and I have too many inquiries.

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Comment #4 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
FDIC does not have enough insurance coverage in the event of huge bank collapses.

Therefore I would not put money into WaMU.

Everyone keeps saying the FDIC is safe but the truth is they do not have unlimited funding for insurance.

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Comment #5 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
With Lehman and WaMU failing, there are more bad things to come with the American financial system.

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Comment #6 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
"all the WAMU CSR's and in-branch reps would know about it,"

In today's world of low-wage, little-trained, and barely-caring CSRs (at all companies, not just WAMU), this is a very unrealistic expectation.

For example, Wachovia has a second bank charter (Wachovia of Delaware) at which they *can* open accounts. But if you tell the typical Wachovia rep this, they give you a blank stare and if you are lucky tell you "I'll have to investigate that."

At *so* many businesses nowdays, a regular customer knows more about the business than a typical CSR. And if you talk to two different CSRs, you are sure to get three different answers to any even slightly complicated question. It's just appalling.

Never assume anything just because a CSR tells you so.

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Comment #7 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Bank CSR's are very uneducated individuals. Smart people do not become bank CSR's.

Smart people have bank accounts however.

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Comment #8 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
HSBC and Wachovia had horrible CSR reps.

HSBC has gotten somewhat better. Wachovia rep actually called themselves from T-Mobile mistakenly and gave me wrong information as to how to get online access for a credit card so I had to call back.

I don't expect much from bank customer service unless you are a wealthy depositor at a premier institution with high end accounts such as HSBC or Chase.

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Comment #9 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
To Anonymous @4:46
If the FDIC doesn't have enough money to cover a large bank collapse, then we have much bigger things to worry about. At that point, the government will be "printing money" to cover the gap in insured deposits.

Either way, you money is safe. So, definitely take advantage of the interest rate here with Washington Mutual.

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Comment #10 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Only rate junkies run into a burning building with marshmellows firmly in hand.

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Comment #11 by Sofa King Frustrated (anonymous) posted on
Sofa King Frustrated
The government just cannot keep absorbing this kind of spending, between the war and the bank and mortgage rescues. The US Government will have no choice but to raise taxes to avoid collapse. If the government were to just print more money, the dollar would be so devalued, down to close to worthless. So, get ready for tax increases.

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Comment #12 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Instead of waiting for out of control inflation, why don't we just keep the bank solvent by PUTTING OUR MONEY IN IT. If the bank really needs deposits, we would only be hastening its demise by withholding those. And if the failure of this bank is really going to cause major problems, running away from the burning building, rather than helping to put it out is only going to lead to the building burning down.

If you're scared of a bank failing... but your money in it!

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Comment #13 by Sofa King Frustrated (anonymous) posted on
Sofa King Frustrated
I assure you that many people are indeed putting their money in WaMu to get that great 5%. The problem is is that it might be too late.

Their debt is too high, and their ratio of deposits vs. cash on hand is too low.

Only a fool would deposit more than $100K in WaMu right now (who wants to go through the FDIC delay to verify beneficiaries, etc.?). $100K per person would mean a ton of people...and how many people have $100K to transfer to WaMu just to get an extra percentage?

See what I mean?

I am in WaMu (just under $100K), so I am your side here.

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Comment #14 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Actually, don't put more than $95,000 into WAMU. You don't want your account to grow over $100,000 when interest is added.

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Comment #15 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Interest can be withdrawn penalty free at any time.

Thus if you want to go to the branch every month to withdraw the interest, you could put $100,000 in without worries.

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Comment #16 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
i have opened accounts at wamu ny and called wamu utah and opened accounts with utah -- went into a ny branch and they did the paper work for me so i could deposit money in utah --now i have ny and utah insured over the 100,000.00. each account "is " insured as i checked with fdic
utah branch phone 801 773 5257
PS-- i can aalso withdraw money from my utah branch account by goining into any wamu branch

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Comment #17 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
"Interest can be withdrawn penalty free at any time.

Thus if you want to go to the branch every month to withdraw the interest, you could put $100,000 in without worries."

However, it would be a real bummer if they got shut down one day before the end of the month. You'd lose 29 days of interest.

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Comment #18 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Are the online savings amounts insured along with CD amounts .

Wamu is offering 3.75 which is not bad compared to other banks ..

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Comment #19 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
All accounts held in the same capacity at the same bank are added together and the total is insured up to $100,000.

For example, if you had an individual CD with $80,000 and an individual online savings account with $20,000 and no other individual accounts at WAMU, the total would be $100,000 and it would all be insured.

However, make the same assumptions as above, but the CD has $80,000 and the online savings has $50,000. Your total individual accounts would be $130,000. That means that $30,000 would be uninsured.

If in doubt, go to the FDIC insurance calculator and answer the questions and it will give you an accurate answer (if the information you give it is accurate):
http://www.fdic.gov/edie/

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Comment #20 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
To anon@4:42 AM -

Just to clarify for the readers who may be unclear, what you did works because the NY branch and the UT branch are part of separate banks. The NY branch is Washington Mutual Bank and the UT branch is Washington Mutual FSB. So, it works for you.

But, in general, merely opening accounts at two different branches of the same bank does NOT double your insurance. For example if you opened an account at Washington Mutual Bank in NY and a separate account at Washington Mutual Bank in CA, you would only have $100,000 total insurace. To get the double insurance you have to open the second account at Washington Mutual FSB which only has branches in Utah and Idaho.

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Comment #21 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
WAMU 5% CD rate (13-17 months) is NOT available for IRA CDs...only standard CDs. WAMU-NY

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Comment #22 by Len (anonymous) posted on
Len
5% promo not available in branch today 9/16 in Nevada. They said it ended 9/12, and may come back in the future. Was active 1 week, gone 1 week, active 3rd week thru 9/12, and is gone now.

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Comment #23 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Per CSR at branch, WAMU 5% CD rate (13-17 months) is NOT available in NY (09-16-08)

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Comment #24 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
5% APY for 13-17 months not available (at least at some branches) in NJ

1
Comment #25 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
5% APY for 13-17 months not available in CT anymore.

CD Rates

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Comment #26 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
5% for 13 month CDs available this week in Orange County, CA. They laughed when I asked about 5% 17 month CD.

1
Comment #27 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
5% for 13 month CDs available in Eugene, Oregon today.

1
Comment #28 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
5% APY for 13 to 17 months IS available in southern CT, but required manager approval, which seemed to depend on proposed size of CDs. I suggest calling individual branch to check with rep/manager how to get the 5% APY promo at their branch.

1
Comment #29 by Bozo (anonymous) posted on
Bozo
CNBC just reported that WaMu has just put itself up for sale (about 1:45 pm Pacific time today).

WoooHooo

Bozo

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Comment #30 by Atlanta Wolf (anonymous) posted on
Atlanta Wolf
Only offering 4.25% on the 12/13month in-branch CDs in Atlanta Georgia. Advised to check back Monday but didn't know if 5% would return.

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Comment #31 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
I was in Portland, Oregon's Peninsula branch of WaMu 2 days ago and they said all they had running right now is an 8-mt 4.??? CD and the 13-mt (not up to 17-mt -- only 13-mt without their typical bump rate or add-on feature) for the 5%. I asked her if it went only thru today (Friday) and she said until further notice. My guess is because of all of the speculation on WaMu's stability.

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Comment #32 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
The 5% CDs are still available in Chicago, IL as of this afternoon 9/19. I was told each branch has discretion whether to continue the offer and they plan to continue the offer at their branch into next week.

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Comment #33 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
5% 13 month CD still available at some branches.
I just opened one CD with $20K.

This mornign I called three branches and two of them still give 5% CD for 13 month term. The third one was asking for my acct information so I just hang up.

The banker told me they are still looking for a buyer, but the 5% rate is anyway very good for who get it.

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Comment #34 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Amazingly, this is still going. Ca Bernardo branch in Sunnyvale, CA, and they are still offering this. The person that I talked to expected it to go through Thursday (new rate sheets come out on Fridays).

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Comment #35 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
forgot to mention in my post at 7:53am, the two branches which I called to confirm 5% CD this morning:

SOMERSET FINANCIAL CENTER 940 EASTON AVE
SOMERSET, NJ 08873-1745
(732) 247-6117


PISCATAWAY FINANCIAL CENTER 233 STELTON RD
PISCATAWAY, NJ 08854-3248
(732) 926-8366

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Comment #36 by GoIllini (anonymous) posted on
GoIllini
It looks like WaMu's online 5% 12 and 13 month cd is back.

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Comment #37 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Looks to be true. Is it back in all branches, as well?

1
Comment #38 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
I too see WaMu's online CD 5% APY for
12 and 13 month .

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