Kaiser Federal Bank continues to offer a competitive 3-year CD and IRA CD rate of 2.15% APY. The bank also has a fair 5-year rate of 2.50% APY. Minimum deposit is $1,000 ($10K for IRA). These rates are listed in the bank's CD rate table as of the morning of 10/20/2010.
This 3-year CD rate is the best rate for banks with nationwide CDs. The next best is Bank of Internet USA which offers a 2.08% APY on its 3-year CD. You can still get a little better 3-year rate at a few credit unions. Alliant Credit Union still offers 2.35% 2.10% APY on a $25K minimum deposit. [Update: Alliant CU's rates just went down a couple hours after this post was published.]
When I called the bank last year, I was told that people in any state can open Kaiser Federal Bank's CDs (checking accounts and IRA CDs are only for CA residents). However, it looks like the CD opening process is much easier if you open a CD at one of the bank's branches. You can do an initial application online or by phone (1-800-524-CASH). However, the CSR said they will 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 bank's disclosure, the early withdrawal penalty for terms greater than one year is 180 days of interest whether earned or not (may eat into the principal). There's a 7-day grace period when the CD matures.
Branches are located in the California cities of Bellflower, Covina, Fontana, Harbor City, Los Angeles, Panorama City, Pasadena and Santa Clara.
The bank has an overall health score at DepositAccounts.com of 3 out of 5 with a Texas Ratio of 29.75% (above average) based on 6/30/2010 data. Please refer to our financial overview of Kaiser Federal Bank for more details. The bank has been a FDIC member since 1999 (FDIC Certificate # 35448).
Searching for the Best CD and IRA CD Rates
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