1st Mariner Bank is offering a special 2.00% APY 18-month CD and IRA CD. Minimum deposit is $500. This is listed on the bank's front page and in the bank's promotions page as of 10/7/2010.
I used the bank's online chat service to get more info on this special. According to the CSR, the CD can be opened by phone even if you don't live in their market area. The CD can be funded by an ACH transfer from your existing bank. The CD rate should lock at the time the account is opened.
If you live near a branch, you might want to open the CD at the branch so you can receive a free Joe Flacco coffee mug. Perhaps it's a hot deal if you're a Ravens fan...
1st Mariner Bank's branches are located in several Maryland cities including Baltimore, Annapolis, Westminster, Bel Air, Columbia and Easton. There's also a branch in Shrewsbury, PA.
One thing to note about 1st Mariner Bank is that they have been operating under a FDIC Cease and Desist Order since September 2009 in which they're required to increase capital levels. Also, the order prevents them from accepting brokered deposits. Without brokered deposits, they may be in need of deposits which could explain this CD special that's available nationwide.
The bank's health ratings are weak, but it doesn't appear to be in dire straits. Bankrate's safe and sound rating is 2 out of 5 stars (below peer group) based on 3/31/10 data. At DepositAccounts.com, we gave it an overall health score of 3 out of 5 with a Texas Ratio of 69.77% (below average) based on 6/30/10 data. Any bank with a Texas Ratio near or greater than 100% is considered at risk. The bank has been a FDIC member since 1962 (FDIC Certificate # 31286).