Flagstar Bank continues to offer some competitive promotions on its S.M.A.R.T. products. I last reported on these deals in May, and the rates have stayed the same. In addition, another CD special has been added. The following deals are listed at Flagstar's front page as of 8/08/2010:
- $100 bonus to open the Express Checking Account. According to the small print, "Customer must open and maintain a new primary checking relationship at Flagstar Bank with a $50 minimum balance to receive the $100 bonus. $100 bonus will be deposited into the account within 30 days of meeting primary checking relationship requirements." I was told in May by a Flagstar CSR that a primary checking relationship requires a monthly direct deposit of at least $250. A reader who reported to have signed up in Texas commented that an ACH push can qualify, and the bonus will be deposited 30 days after first direct deposit hits the account. The account must remain open for six months to keep the bonus.
- 1.50% APY savings account with the rate guaranteed for 4 months. After promo period, the rate reverts back to the standard Express Savings Account. No minimum balance requirement.
- 1.50% APY 12-month CD with a partial no-penalty feature. In this SMART Choice CD you're allowed one penalty-free withdrawal during the term, however, it's limited to half the initial balance. Minimum deposit is $500.
- 1.76% APY 24-month Rising Rate CD with no-penalty feature In this SMART Choice CD you're allowed penalty-free withdrawals at the end of each 6-month period. The gotcha is that the interest rate starts off as 1% for the first six months and goes up 50 basis points after each 6-month period. So your money won't earn much until the last year. It's a stealth type of early withdrawal penalty.
To see the promo pages, you have to enter your zip code. In the past, Flagstar promos were limited to their market area (MI, GA & IN). However, this does not seem to be the case for these current promos. Any zip code appears to show the same promos. In May I was told by the CSR that any zip code can qualify. I also asked the CSR if they do a hard credit inquiry in the application process. According to the CSR, it's a "soft pull to just view banking history."
Flagstar also offers CDs, money market accounts and checking accounts at Flagstar Direct which continues to offer two competitive short-term CD deals: 1.25% APY 6-month CD and 1.55% APY 12-month CD (as of 8/08/2010). The advantage of the SMART Choice 12-month CD is the partial early withdrawal penalty. Even though it's only a partial early withdrawal penalty, it seems to be worth 5 basis points. Please refer to my Flagstar Direct review for more details.
Flagstar Bank currently operates around 165 branches in Michigan, Indiana and Georgia. The bank has been hit hard by mortgage problems that started during the financial crisis. It has made some improvements this year with an increase in its Tier 1 Capital Ratio. More details about Flagstar's financial health are available at our financial overview of Flagstar Bank. The bank has been a FDIC member since 1987 (FDIC Certificate # 32541).
Best CD Rates and Bank Bonuses
To search for the best nationwide CD rates and the best CD rates in your state, please refer to the CD rates section of DepositAccounts.com. To find other bonus deals at other banks, please refer to my bank bonus page which has all of my recent bank bonus blog posts.