1st Mariner Bank continues to offer a Hybrid Savings/CD Account. The yield has dropped since I last reported on this in July 2008, but it's still very competitive. The current rate is 3.75% APY for a term of 10 months. Minimum initial deposit is $100, and the maximum is $50,000. It requires a checking account, and it requires that you set up automatic monthly transfers from the checking into the Hybrid CD. The transfers must be at least $25, but cannot be more than $500. The rate is listed at the bank's rate table as of 2/04/09.
The monthly automatic transfers are what makes this a hybrid of a CD and savings account. All other features are the same as a fixed-rate CD including the early withdrawal penalty (90 days of interest). In my July 2008 post, the maximum initial deposit was only $25,000. I did an online chat this morning with a banking rep, and I was told that the maximum is now $50,000 which makes this CD much more appealing for those with large savings. Some other features I was told today include:
- Account can be opened online from any state. Signature cards will be mailed.
- Online application accepts electronic ACH funding (up to $50K). You'll need your bank's routing and account number.
- Rates are subject to change every Thursday
- Rate locks at the time of the application
- Their Absolutely Free Checking Qualifies
- No hard credit inquiry is performed (just a soft credit hit for ID verification)
First Mariner Bank is based in Baltimore, Maryland. The bank is moderate in size with 26 branches in Maryland and Pennslyvania and with $1.2 billion in assets.
The bank's rating for safety and soundness are weak: 2 stars (problematic) at BauerFinancial and 1 star (lowest) at Bankrate.com. Both ratings are based on 9/30/08 financial data. As I recommend with any bank, it's best to stay below the FDIC limits. The bank has been FDIC insured since 1962 (FDIC Certificate # 31286).
Thanks to the reader who commented on this new rate in the Daily News & Deals post.