Dedicated to Deposits: Deals, Data, and Discussion

2.85% 12-Month Add-On CD and 2.53% Checking at Nara Bank - CA, NY & NJ Only


Nara Bank continues to offer a good deal on its Mega Promo CD. The rate has fallen since I posted on this CD in March, but it remains very competitive. The CD continues to be advertised on the bank's home page with a link to the promo page (pdf). However, this promo page doesn't list the rate. I called late yesterday (4/28/09), and I was told the rate is 2.85% APY and is subject to change on any day. I believe all the other CD features are the same as before:
  • 12-month term
  • $10,000 minimum deposit
  • Allows unlimited deposits and up to 3 penalty free withdrawals before maturity
  • Additional deposits must be at least $1,000 per deposit
  • 3 early withdrawals will only have the penalties waived if you maintain a balance at least 70% of the initial opening deposit
The rate is down from the 3.10% in March and early April, but it's still a very competitive rate especially when you factor in the add-on and early withdrawal features.

High Yield Checking Account

Nara Bank also offers a checking account with competitive rates. It's called the Choice Now Checking. Unfortunately, the bank doesn't seem to mention this account on their website. I was told yesterday, that the top rate for this account is now 2.53% APY for a minimum balance of $10K (This had been 3.04% in March). It's a tiered account with a 1.75% rate for balances from $500 to $10K and 0.75% for under $500. A minimum balance of $500 must be maintained at all times to avoid a $20 monthly service charge. This fee can also be waived if you have at least five ACH or ATM debits during the statement period.

Installment Savings Account

Nara Bank does continue to list rates for its Happy Cow Kids Installment Savings account (see bank's promo page (pdf). The rates have remained the same since my March post: 5.65% APY for 84 months, 5.13% APY for 60 months and 4.08% APY for 48 months (rates as of 4/29/09). Refer to my March post for more details.

Many readers have commented about their experience with Nara Bank, and several aren't too happy. Two issues that seem prevalent: slow response and poor communication skills.

It appears that these offers require a branch visit. They also have online promos, but those rates are now very low. Branches are located in Los Angeles and several other cities in Southern California. The bank also has branches in Northern California and in New York and New Jersey.

Nara Bank has some decent ratings for safety and soundness: 4 stars (sound) at (based on 12/31/08 data) and 4 stars (excellent) at BauerFinancial (based on 12/31/08 data). The bank has been FDIC insured since 1989 (FDIC Certificate # 27530).

  Tags: New York, California, CD rates, New Jersey, Nara Bank

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