Kaiser Federal Bank is offering a competitive rate of 2.40% APY on its 36-month CD and IRA CD. The other terms are not quite as good: 2.75% APY 60-month CD and 1.60% APY 2-year CD. Minimum deposit is $1,000. These rates are listed in the bank's CD rate table as of the 7/25/2010.
When I called the bank last year, and I was told that people in any state can open Kaiser Federal Bank's CDs, savings account and money market accounts. Checking accounts and IRAs are limited to California residents. You can do an initial application online or by phone (1-800-524-CASH). However, the CSR said they're still mail you forms to sign that must be returned with copies of your IDs and with your check. Unfortunately, the CD rates doesn't lock until they receive the check. However, the CSR said you can include a note with the check instructing them not to open the CD if the rate has fallen. The CSR also said they don't accept wire transfers to fund CDs. Wire transfers can be used to add to your savings or money market account.
According to the disclosure, the early withdrawal penalty is 180 days of interest for terms of over one year. There's a 7-day grace period when the CD matures.
The bank used to have some decent rates on its savings and money market accounts. However, rates are now rather low. The money market saver account has a top yield of only 1.05% as of 7/25/2010.
Branches are located in the California cities of Bellflower, Covina, Fontana, Harbor City, Los Angeles, Panorama City, Pasadena and Santa Clara.
The bank's ratings for safety and soundness are mixed: 5 stars (superior) at BauerFinancial, 2 stars (below peer group) at Bankrate.com and an overall health score of 3 out of 5 at DepositAccounts.com (see our financial overview for Kaiser Federal Bank). These ratings are based on 3/31/10 financial data. It's rare to see ratings differ by this much when they're based on the data from the same date. The bank has been a FDIC member since 1999 (FDIC Certificate # 35448).
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