First Citizens Bank is offering a special 2.15% APY 18-month CD. Minimum deposit is $1,000, and a checking account is required. There's also a 6-month CD special, but the rate is much less competitive at 1.15% APY. These specials are not listed at the bank's website. A reader mentioned them, and I just called this morning (3/08/2010) for additional details. According to the CSR, these specials could end at any time.
First Citizens Bank has branches in several states. However, not all are operating under the name First Citizens Bank. According to the CSR, these specials may not be available at these other branches. An example are some branches in California that are operating under the name IronStone Bank. Those branches have different promotions. The best one is much less competitive (2.25% APY 36-month CD).
A branch visit is required to open an account. Make sure to contact your local branch to ensure they are offering this promotion. Branches are located throughout North Carolina. It also has branches in Florida, Arizona, Maryland, Tennessee, Washington, California, Virginia and West Virginia.
First Citizens Bank has been expanding in the last few years with much of the expansion coming from the acquisition of failed banks. The latest acquisition was on Friday when it acquired Sun American Bank in South Florida.
First Citizens Bank's ratings for safety and soundness are strong: 5 stars (superior) at BauerFinancial (based on 12/31/09 data) and 4 stars (sound) at Bankrate.com (based on 9/30/09 data). The bank has been a FDIC member since 1934 (FDIC Certificate # 11063).
Yesterday I reviewed First Citizen Bank's FreeMoney debit card reward program.