Dedicated to Deposits: Deals, Data, and Discussion

4.20% 6-Month CD and Other High Rates at Hanmi Bank in California

POSTED ON BY

Hanmi Bank
Update 1/24/09: The 6-month Freedom CD rate has fallen to 3.43% APY.

Hanmi Bank is offering a 4.20% APY 6-month CD. It's called Freedom CD Plus. It allows up to 3 partial withdrawals during the term without penalty. It also allows unlimited deposits through the term in increments of $1,000. Minimum deposit is $10,000. Maximum deposit is $1 million. The rate is listed at the bank's Freedom CD Plus Page as of 1/07/09. It's also being advertised on the bank's home page.

I just called the bank, and I was told that the Freedom CD Plus requires a branch visit. However, the bank is also offering internet CDs with an APY of 4.08% for terms of 3, 6 and 9 months, and a 4.18% APY for a 12-month term. These rates are listed in the bank's internet CD rate table as of 1/07/09. According to the CSR, these rates are still available.

In addition to these internet CDs, the bank is offering a 3.56% APY internet savings account and a 3.50% APY reward checking account for balances up to $25K (2.50% for above). These rates are listed in this Hanmi Bank page as of 1/07/09. There's an online application via the Andera service that allows ACH funding, but you must be a California State resident to qualify.

My last post on Hanmi Bank was in November 2008 when I first reported on these 4.08% and 4.18% internet CDs and the 3.56% savings account. They were also offering the Freedom CD, but it had terms of 12 and 24 months. With the falling interest rate environment, I doubt these rates will last much longer. I first mentioned Hanmi's reward checking account in March. They've maintained the same rate since then. The 3.50% is getting more competitive in today's rate environment.

Branches are located in several California cities including Los Angeles, Irvine, San Diego, Rancho Cucamonga, San Francisco and Santa Clara.

Hanmi Bank's rating for financial soundness is now only 1-star (lowest) at Bankrate. This is based on 9/30/08 data and is down from 2 stars when I posted on this bank in August. BauerFinancial gives the bank a 3-star rating (adequate) based on 9/30/08 data. As I recommend with any bank, it's best to stay under the FDIC limits. The bank has been FDIC insured since 1982 (Certificate # 24170).

Thanks to the reader who emailed me news of this Freedom Plus CD.

Related Pages: California, CD rates, Hanmi Bank

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Comments
22 Comments.
Comment #1 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
this looks like a pretty good rate! thanks for the great website!

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Comment #2 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
I got following note when I went to the site on your website. You attempted to reach www.hanmibank.com, but instead you actually reached a server identifying itself as www.hanmi.com. This may be caused by a misconfiguration on the server or by something more serious. An attacker on your network could be trying to get you to visit a fake (and potentially harmful) version of www.hanmibank.com. You should not proceed.

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Comment #3 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
according to their web site you must be a resident of CA to get these internet rates.

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Comment #4 by Banking Guy (anonymous) posted on
Banking Guy
I had the URL www.hanmibank.com which is the same URL listed at the FDIC site www2.fdic.gov/idasp/externalConfirmation.asp?inCert1=24170.

However, I had https instead of http. Both seem to direct you to www.hanmi.com, however, some browsers seem to do extra checks for https since it's for secure transactions.

I changed my top URL to http to exactly match what the FDIC has. If you're in doubt regarding a bank, check the URL listed at their FDIC page. That's one reason I list the FDIC link in each post at the bottom (FDIC certificate #).

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Comment #5 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
I want to jump on this but their FDIC is showing that max $100K insured only.. why not $250 now? (gotta call them).
Also their reward checking A/c dont need these x # of check card transactions etc.. I guess..
Lets see

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Comment #6 by Sam Cass (anonymous) posted on
Sam Cass
I tried to contact somewhere using the Contact Us number to verify the rates and was told the number had been disconnected. Also, based on what I see the rates are current as of 9/7/2008. I was looking mainly at 3,6,12 month CDs.

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Comment #7 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
I have a CD at Hanmi. The website I log into is https://www.hanmi.com

Although the CD I signed up for, like the Freedom CD, is supposed to let me withdraw part of my principal without penalty, the conditions on the paper CD I received do not allow withdrawals.

I have yet to find a way to ACH money into or out of my checking account.

As of March 1, 2009 they will begin charging $5.00 per month fee on inactive Bonus and Free Checking accounts.

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Comment #8 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Hi All,
I opened at the branch in Northridge, CA. No probles. They are up to $250K insured and the Freedom CD also offers another feature. You can add to the amount anytime within the 6 month term.
Hope this helps.
Have a great day.

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Comment #9 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
I just opened an Freedom CD Plus. I feel luckly because there is a branch nearby. The rate is great.

I like the term and they allow 3 withdraws without penalty, and I also love that they allow me to add more money to the CD in the term.

This is pefect for me because I am planning to purchase my first house in 3 to 6 months. I'll make more deposits as some of CDs mature, and will use the money as my down payment. Thank banking guy for the information.

Be aware: I think the condition of the bank is pretty bad. So, don't go over the limit, and you should be safe.

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Comment #10 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Opened several Freedom CD Plus accounts at the Northridge CA branch today. At my request, and politely, they modified their boilerplate from their normal CD terms to allow for additions and the three penalty free withdrawals. Also, they eliminated language in their CD boilerplate allowing them to change the terms of the CD during its term.

One big surprise--they only allow the withdrawals during a bank visit. They were very clear that a signed letter asking them to transfer principal withdrawals to even a Hamni Bank checking account would not be accepted, unless the letter was personally delivered to a branch.

Additions to a Freedom CD Plus can be made by mail, by branch visit, and perhaps other ways.

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Comment #11 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
I am not a CA resident, but will be in CA next week. I called to ask about opening a Freedom CD Plus during a branch visit, and was told that you must be a CA resident (i.e. a CA driver's license). I know CU's have membership restrictions, but can banks make these restrictions even for a branch visit?

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Comment #12 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
You should know by now: Banks Write Their Own Rules.
Hec, they do not even have to answer to the Feds as to what they did with all the Bail Out money
(our tax money) that was given to them.

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Comment #13 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Just visited a branch to open a CD, it was smooth experience.
Penalty is one month interest. If you close the entire CD within one month, you will lose the amount from the principle, at the end of one month, you will not lose.
Also there is one internet Savings account for 3.56% APY, which you need to open online but can do unlimited number of transactions at branch(told by the person at the bank), which I will open shortly.
Thanks Banking guy..

1
Comment #14 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
1 star rating must be the reason for their higher savings rates. That is the only way to get more deposits. If you don't offer the honey, bears are not going to come looking.

1
Comment #15 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
A Simple doubt, when we are maintaining the balance below the FDIC limits, why do we need to worry(but I know we gotta care) about the Bank Rating? (may be a lame question, but I am thinking about this for a while)

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Comment #16 by Banking Guy (anonymous) posted on
Banking Guy
Yes, there's no major risk if you stay below the FDIC limits. There is a slight risk for CDs in that the new bank that takes over the deposits of a failed bank may choose not to honor the CD rate to the original maturity. They wouldn't charge any early withdrawal penalty, but you may have trouble trying to find a CD rate close to what you had.

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Comment #17 by Sree (anonymous) posted on
Sree
Thanks Ban-KING guy ..This is what was my understanding as well(my principle is... no matter what ever is the financial institution, it must be FDIC covered, we MUST maintain the below FDIC limits at any point of time.) Also I always add my spouse as joint and my kids as POD for EVERY account.
I appreciate your kind service for folks like me, have been benefited from your site for years..
Happy New Year!!!

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Comment #18 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
opened an account today for the 6mo CD offer.... service was super friendly and professional and they even gave me a calendar and keychain! you have 7 days when the CD matures to withdrawl and was told I must do this in the branch. Thanks for the tip Banking Guy!

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Comment #19 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Opened two Freedom CDs on 1/10, at the GG branch. Friendly and easy.
Didn't get a calendar or key chain :-(

Opened the Online Savings account on 1/13. Could not open the account as an existing customer, but could open it as a new customer. Some trouble with the verification question(s) from the credit reporting agency, but was successful on 2nd try.

Sent e-mail to online support and got a response in minutes! Received a follow-up call today (1/15).

They are about 1000 times more friendly, helpful and responsive then FNBO!

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Comment #20 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Opened one CD in the first week and a couple more in the second week at a branch. Service was so welcoming.
Also opened their bonus checking and internet savings A/cs online. Went to branch to update something to those online opened accounts. I can do transactions either IN-Branch OR Online for those accounts(high interest like WaMu)

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Comment #21 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
the nearest branch to me is like 6 miles and the rate for the cd is way better than my wamu online savings which is why i will open a cd tomorrow and move my money from wamu...or chase wateva..:P

VC

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Comment #22 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
I was in a Hanmi branch today (Friday 1/23) and I learned that today is the last day for all their special rates. They will change on Saturday. I think you could open the CD tonight (Friday night) and still get the rate.

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