Sovereign Bank recently increased the rates on its CD specials. The rates are not the best, but they're competitive: 4.00% APY for a 9-month term and 4.25% APY for a 12-month term. The minimum deposit is $500, and the maximum is $499,999. There's also a money market account special with a 3.75% APY for a minimum balance of $75,000. I don't see any rate guarantee on this money market special so you would be better off with the many online banks which are offering 3.75% APY or higher.
I just called Sovereign Bank's number at 877-768-2265, and according to the CSR, these CDs can be opened from any state. You can apply online or by phone. The phone looks like a better option since they'll still need information by phone after you apply online. They can fund the CD with an ACH transfer which requires your current bank account, routing and check number. If you apply by phone with electronic funding, the CSR said they'll lock in the rate at the time of the application. If you mail in a check, it won't lock until they receive the check. According to the CSR, they don't do a hard credit inquiry. They use both ChexSystem and Lexus-Nexus.
In addition to the CD special, Sovereign Bank extended its $150 checking account bonus to 11/07/2008. Refer to my checking bonus review for more details. This may require a branch visit.
Branches are located in the Northeast in the states of Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island. The bank is FDIC insured (Certificate # 29950).
Thanks to the reader who emailed me news of this new CD special.