First Choice Bank continues to have competitive short-term CD rates. One nice thing that has changed since my last post on this bank in 2009 is that they now list their CD rates on their website. The best deal is their CD with terms of 288 to 365 days (9.4 months to 1 year) which has a 1.60% APY for a $50K minimum. For a $5K minimum the rate is 1.55% APY. Also competitive are the 6-month (183-day) CD with a 1.35% APY and a 12-month (366-day) CD with a 1.75% APY. These rates are listed in the bank's rates page as of 8/05/2010.
When I contacted the bank last year, I was told that a branch visit is required for new customers. Branches are located in the suburbs of Los Angeles, in the cities of Cerritos and Alhambra.
The bank's ratings for safety and soundness are a little weak: 2 stars (below peer group) at Bankrate.com, 3 stars (adequate) at BauerFinancial and an overall health score of 3 out of 5 at DepositAccounts.com (see our First Choice Bank review). These ratings are based on 3/31/10 financial data. The bank has been a FDIC member since 2005 (FDIC Certificate # 57966).