Sunshine Savings Bank has two very competitive CD specials: 3.95% APY 13-month CD and a 3.75% APY 7-month CD. Minimum deposit is $1,000. These rates are listed on the bank's home page and in this savings rates page as of 1/20/2009.
For a previous CD deal in December 2007, I contacted the bank, and I was told the CDs can be opened by mail from any state. I called again today, and I was told the same thing. However, the CD rate doesn't lock until they receive the application and your check in the mail. I was told you can't do a wire transfer until you open an account, such as a savings account which would still have to be opened by mail. According to the CSR, you could include a note with the CD application and check to instruct them not to open the CD if the rate falls. So even though it's a nationwide deal, it's not going to be easy to open for those who can make it into one of their branches. The CSR said the rates could change on any day. Considering our current rate environment, I doubt these rates will last long.
In addition to the risk of the CD rate changing, mailing the application involves some hassles. They require you to send in notarized copies of you driver's license and social security card with the application. A reader last year informed me that they can fax you the application. The bank's phone number is 800-468-3993.
Branches are located in the Florida cities of Tallahassee and Pembroke Pines which is located between Miami and Ft. Lauderdale.
The bank has some decent ratings for soundness: 4 stars (excellent) at BauerFinancial and 3 stars (performing) at Bankrate.com. Both ratings are based on 9/30/08 financial data.
This is one of the rare banks that used to be a credit union. It changed to an FDIC insured bank in July 2007 (Certificate # 58452).
Thanks to the reader who emailed me news of these CD specials.