United Central Bank has an installment savings accounts called the Super Saver Installment CD. It's an installment savings account in which you make equal monthly deposits during the term rather than one initial deposit like a CD. However, like a CD the rate is fixed during the term.
The Super Saver Installment CD currently has the same rate for all terms: 2.60% APY. Terms range from 12 months to 60 months. The minimum target balance is $1,000. A checking account is required, and it would be used for the automatic monthly transfers into the Installment CD. The rate and terms are listed at the bank's rates page as of 5/11/2010.
Last week I reviewed the installment accounts at Wilshire State Bank. The rates are a little higher at Wilshire. Readers noted in the comments other installment savings accounts at other banks.
Installment Savings Accounts are common at Korean American banks. They all have the same feature of equal monthly deposits, and they're intended to encourage people to save with regular deposits.
In my Wilshire post I described how you can compare the rate of an installment savings account with a regular CD. In a nutshell, you can estimate a CD-equivalent yield of the installments savings account by taking the average of the installment savings account rate with the rate of a liquid account that would hold the money before the monthly transfers occur. If you have a liquid account with a 1.25% APY, the average of this and 2.60% of the installment account would be 1.93%. The actual rate would be a little lower if the money needs to go into a low-yield checking account before the automatic transfers.
United Central Bank used to have some other competitive rates, but rates have fallen quite a bit. The Global Money Market now has rates under 1.00% for all tiers below $300K.
Some of United Central Banks are available online and can be opened by people in any state. However, the Super Saver Installment CD is not one of these, and I was told by the CSR that a branch visit is required.
United Central Bank has quite a few branches in several of the major US cities. Last year they acquired Mutual Bank after Mutual Bank was closed by regulators. So UCB now has branches in the Chicago metro area; in Staten Island, New York; Edison, New Jersey; and Houston, Texas. In addition to the old Mutual Bank branches, UCB has branches in other parts of Texas, in California, Georgia, Maryland and Virginia. Some of the major cities include Los Angeles, Austin and Dallas.
UCB's ratings are a little above average: 3 stars (adequate) at BauerFinancial, 4 stars (sound) at Bankrate.com and an overall health score of 3 out of 5 at DepositAccounts.com (see our United Central Bank rates and reviews page). Ratings are based on 12/31/09 financial data. The bank has been a FDIC member since 1984 (FDIC Certificate # 25330).