Dedicated to Deposits: Deals, Data, and Discussion

3.40% 12-Month CD & 3.30% 6-Month CD With Liquid Features at Center Bank - CA, WA & IL

POSTED ON BY

BBCN Bank
Update 4/20/09: A reader has reported being told by the Garden Grove branch that the 3.30% 6m / 3.40% 12m Flexible CD offer has ended

Center Bank is advertising a special CD called the Center Flexible CD with two very competitive rates: up to 3.40% APY for 12 months and up to 3.30% APY for 6 months. A reader noted that these were advertised in today's (3/31/09) Los Angeles Times. According to the reader, it allows 2 withdrawals during ther term. An ad is also available at the bank's advertisements page. The online ad states "For those who want a high interest CD and the freedom of unlimited deposits and withdrawals at the same time." There aren't any additional details in the online ad. I tried to call one of their branches for more details, but I only got a voice mail message in Korean.

The bank has other ads with some competitive products including one for their Combi MMA and savings accounts. The MMA has a rate up to 3.30% APY and the savings account has a rate up to 3.05% APY. The rates are listed at the bank's advertisement page as of 3/31/09.

It appears a branch visit is required. Branches are located in several Southern California cities including Los Angeles, Orange County and San Diego. It also has two branches in Washington State and one in Chicago, Illinois.

The bank's rating for safety and soundness is fairly strong with a 4-star rating (excellent) at BauerFinancial based on 12/31/08 data (Bankrate's database wasn't working at the time of this post). Center Bank has been FDIC insured since 1986 (FDIC Certificate # 26610).

Thanks to the reader who mentioned this special CD in the Daily News & Deals Post.

Update 3/31/09 4:30pm PDT: I was finally able to speak with a CSR. Below are some of the details I was told. I had a little trouble understanding the CSR, so please leave a comment if you were able to contact them.

For the CD, the minimum deposit is $5,000. Additional deposits are limited to the amount of the initial deposit. So if you open the CD with $5,000, the most you can add during the term is $5,000. Interest must be paid out monthly (i.e. by check). You do not have the option of letting interest get deposited back into the account.

To earn the 3.30% APY on the Combi Money Market Account, it requires a balance of at least $250,000. Balances between $25,000 and $250,000 earn an interest rate of 3.00% (about 3.05% APY). There's a $30 monthly fee for balances under $25,000. Rates are guaranteed to the end of August 2009. Checking account must also be opened with the money market ($100 minimum).

A branch visit is required to open an account.

Other High Certificate of Deposit Rates

For top CD rates nationally available, refer to my weekly rate summary. Many of the best CD deals are only locally available. To find the best deals in your state, refer to the index of state CD and bank deals.

  Tags: California, Washington, Illinois, CD rates, BBCN Bank

Related Posts

Comments
17 Comments.
Comment #1 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
The ad for the MMA account that is paying up to 3.30% does not state what the minimum balance is to get the 3.30% (we need to call; anyone speak Korean?).

This 3.30% MMA is a higher rate than the Nara Bank Checking Account rate of 3.04%, as everyone knows. The difference is with Center's MMA you can only write 3 checks per month and with Nara's account you can write an unlimited amount of checks per month.

With Nara's Checking Account, you need $10,000 minimum balance to get the 3.04%. We don't yet know what the minimum balance is for Center's 3.30% MMA.

1
Comment #2 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
OK. I called.

The language makes it soooo difficult. But I think I got it.

The 3.30% Promotion rate is locked until end of August. The ability to get it in the first place will stay until June (rate might change in the promotion, of course).

You must open both MMA ($25,000 minimum) and checking account ($100 minimum).

At least this is what I think she said.

Comments welcome please.

1
Comment #3 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Can anyone confirm that a bank visit is necessary?

1
Comment #4 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Yes, I was told a bank visit is required when I phoned in.

Sorry.

Are you thinking of doing the CD or the MMA?

1
Comment #5 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
So the rate on the 12-month CD is "up to" 3.40%. Anybody know what the requirements are to get that rate? Really miss the days of the straightforward, no-strings-attached, what-you-see-is-what-you-get CD!

1
Comment #6 by David (anonymous) posted on
David
I spoke to someone in the Chicago branch today, Mar. 31, who told me that a minimum of $10k is required for the 12 month 3.4% rate. He also offered 3.5% for amounts above $100k.

1
Comment #7 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Thanks!

1
Comment #8 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Wow, this bank must really want some big money deposits.

Perhaps the Koreans are wanting to lend out money?

1
Comment #9 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Thank you, Banking Guy, for making this call.

It is very possible that the CSR I spoke with said the minimum balance to get the 3.30% APY on the MMA is a whopping $250,000, but I just couldn't understand everything she was telling me.

$250,000 minimum is such a bad number because that is exactly the FDIC Insurance Maximum for solo accounts, as everyone knows.

The rate is guaranteed for 5 months, of course. So, it's a bout .25% difference for balances $250K and more for those 5 months.

1
Comment #10 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Based on recent activity, I wonder if we're in the midst of a rate war among Korean banks. I live in Chicago and know it's home to a sizable Korean population, many of whom own small businesses. As savers, let's hope the rate wars incite non-Korean banks to get more competitive!

1
Comment #11 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
I signed up for a Combi-MMA account today at Center Bank.

Did you know that this bank does not offer any ACH'ing from your accounts? (No external transfers to outside banks via ACH. Only internal transfers from/to your internal accounts.)

I was told that Center Bank does not block ACH transfers initiated at an external bank, but I do not know yet if this is accurate info.

Center Bank's regular MMA rate is below 2%, so it is expected that come September 1, the 3% Combi-MMA rate will drop. So I'll leave it up to you whether it is worth the extra interest for 5 months.

Since Alliant CU dropped their rate today I did this Combi-MMA account thing.

1
Comment #12 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
I opened a $20K + CD account at their Irvine, CA branch yesterday; entirely as advertised, 3.4%, 1 year & no checking account or any other requirements. The staff people were very nice, a little English challenged but communications weren't bad in person.

1
Comment #13 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
At least at some branches, you cannot fund the CDs via an ACH transfer. Found this out after driving 45 min to a branch in my state (WA) with the plan to fund from an online-only account. Cash or check only, I was told.

1
Comment #14 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Opened a couple of CDs at the Chicago branch with no problems. Slow but meticulous. Funded by personal check.

1
Comment #15 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Just doubled our deposits at 3.4% using the flex option one week after the orig. offer expired. Turned into a good deal for us.

1
Comment #16 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Looks like a Good and reliable bank. Opened an account. English challenged but I don't think thats an issue for me.

1
Comment #17 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Center's web site as of today (June 1) is continuing to show a Combi Savings account paying just over 3% on balances of $10,000 or greater...

Quoting their web site copy:

"For those of you who have been waiting for a checking account that earns high interest without requiring a long-term deposit, we have your account introducing

Combi Savings up to 3.05% APY*

Combi-Savings: $0.01 - $9,999.99: 2.02% APY; $10,000 and more: 3.05% APY. your Interest rate and Annual Percentage Yield (APY) may change. APY is effective as of the publication date. APY is effective as of the publication date. Please refer to the Center Bank Deposit Interest Rate Sheet for details. Interest will be compounded daily and credited to your account every month. You must deposit $10,000 combined in the Combi-Checking Account and Combi-Saving Account to open this account. A monthly service charge of $20.00 plus $0.25 per check or per over the counter withdrawal from your Combi-Checking Account will be imposed to your Combi-Checking Account if the combined minimum daily balance falls below $10,000 during the statement period. We may change the interest rate on your account at our discretion at any time. If you close your account before interest is credited, you will not receive the accrued interest. We will charge a $20.00 service charge if the account is closed within 90 days of the opening date. Transfers from Combi-Savings to another account or to third parties by preauthorized, automatic, telephone, or computer transfer are limited to six per monthly statement cycle with no more than three by check, draft, debit card or similar order to third parties. If you exceed the transaction limitation beyond three (3) monthly statement period during the last 12 months, we may close the account or change its status to a non-interest bearing account. We will notify you before we close or convert your account."

1