Beacon Federal is offering some competitive mid- and long-term CD rates. The best deals are its bump-up CD specials with a 2.45% APY for 24 months and 2.25% APY for 18 months. Minimum deposit is $2,500. These rates are listed in the bank's rate sheet as of 7/23/09. The rate sheet can be accessed from the bank's Investment Savings Account page.
They don't list many details of their accounts. I just called their toll-free number (888-256-3800) for more details. The bump-up feature allows a one-time increase in the rate during the CD term. It would be increased to the current rate of the standard 18- or 24-month CD. The maturity date will remain the same. These bump-up features often are not too useful since it's easy for the bank to keep the corresponding regular rates low.
According to the CSR, they allow people from any state to open accounts by mail. You'll need to fill out the membership account agreement and include copies of two forms of ID. Make sure to call for the full details.
There's always the worry that the CD rate will fall between the time you mail in the forms to when they open the CD. According to the CSR, they'll call you before they open the CD if rates have fallen from the time you mailed in the forms. So be sure to note the APY that you expect to receive on the form. In addition to mailing a check, they also accept a wire transfer, but they charge for incoming wires ($25).
At maturity of the CD, they can do a wire transfer in addition to mailing a check. The wire out transfer cost is $25. They do require written instructions with a copy of your ID when you request CD closure.
The member account agreement allows joint, trust and UTMA account types. CDs are also available in IRAs.
The bank's resource center has a link to the CD disclosure document. Some features described in the disclosure include:
- Interest compounded and credited to account monthly
- Early withdrawal penalty for terms over one year and 2-years or less is 180 days of interest
- Grace period at maturity is 10 calendar days
- No interest will be paid during the grace period if you withdraw the funds
In addition to mail, you can open the accounts at a branch. Branches are located in Central New York, in Central Tennessee, in Chelmsford, Massachusetts, and in Tyler, Texas.
The bank's ratings for safety and soundness are mixed: 4 stars (excellent) at BauerFinancial and 2 stars (below peer group) at Bankrate.com. Both ratings are based on 3/31/09 financial data. The bank has been a FDIC member since 1999 (FDIC Certificate # 35329).
Other High Certificate of Deposit Rates
The best nationwide deal for a 2-year CD had been at Broadway Federal Bank with a 3.05% APY. However, they just cut the rate to 2.53% APY (see post). The best 2-year nationwide CD deal now is at Melrose Credit Union with a 2.83% APY (see post). For other CD deals, refer to the following: