Update 10/10/09: The 12-month Time Deposit rate has increased to 2.10% APY! Refer to the bottom of the post for the rate history.
Amboy Direct is offering a new add-on CD called the eSavings Time Deposit. Below is a summary of the rates and features as of 3/25/09:
- 2.50% APY for $10,000 and up
- 1.00% APY for $100 to under $10,000
- $100 minimum opening deposit
- 12 month term
- Add to it anytime during the term Now only allowed during first 6 months (maximum balance is $100,000)
- Rates guaranteed through the term
According to the Amboy Direct rep, they just started testing the market with this new product. You can apply online from their CD page. Existing Amboy Direct customers will still need to go through the full application. The initial deposit and add-on deposits can only be done via an electronic transfer (ACH) from a checking account at another bank. The external account is verified using the trial deposit method. According to the rep, the rate generally locks at the time the application is submitted.
At maturity, the CD will be converted into an eSavings account unless you contact them and ask to renew.
The penalty for early withdrawal is 3 months of interest. Partial withdrawals are not allowed. The entire balance is subject to the penalty.
Refer to the "Details" tab of the Amboy Direct CD page for more information.
One nice feature of this CD is that you can open it with just $100. Later during the term, you can add to it and bring the balance above $10,000. The rate will then increase from 1% to 2.50% APY. I confirmed this with the rep. The 2.50% APY isn't that great for a 1-year CD, but it can be a useful hedge against further rate cuts. You can always fall back on this 2.50% CD for at least $100,000. If rates go up, you don't have to add to it. You'll just be earning 1% on $100, which isn't much of a loss.
Amboy Direct is part of Amboy Bank which has been FDIC insured since 1934 (FDIC Certificate # 6423). Its financial ratings for soundness are mixed: 2 stars (problematic) at BauerFinancial (based on 12/31/08 data) and 4 stars (sound) at Bankrate.com (based on 9/30/08 data). Update 5/30/09: Amboy's financial rating at Bankrate.com has fallen considerably. It's now 1 star (lowest) as of 12/31/08 data. Update 10/10/09: Amboy's ratings for safety and soundness remain low: 1 star (lowest) at Bankrate.com and 2 stars (problematic) at BauerFinancial. Both ratings are based on 6/30/09 data.
The Add-On Guarantee?
Update 3/26/09: Amboy's Add-On Guarantee: I received a reply from the Amboy rep regarding the add-on guarantee. According to the rep, they are committed to the add-on feature. America's CU Policy Change: Several readers have reported that they've received confirmation from the credit union that they will honor additional deposits up to $100K maximum balance for members who had opened the Super Bump Flex CD before the policy changes. For past cases of other credit unions cancelling CD add-on features, refer to this post.
One thing I forgot to ask the Amboy rep is if the add-on feature is really a rock-solid guarantee. There have been several cases of other banks and credit unions reneging on the add-on feature for existing CDs. The latest case is at America's Credit Union (see 3/26 update above). Readers have reported that the credit union has changed the policy on their Super Bump Flex CD. According to the readers, those with existing CDs are now restricted to adding no more than twice their original deposits. Originally, add-ons were allowed up to $100,000.
Rate and Account History:
10/10/09: 2.10% APY 12mo
07/24/09: 2.00% APY 12mo
05/30/09: 2.35% APY 12mo, Add on only during first 6mo
05/02/09: 2.10% APY 12mo
03/25/09: 2.50% APY 12mo, Add on any time