Dedicated to Deposits: Deals, Data, and Discussion

Top CD Rates Continue at First Choice Bank in Southern California - Local Only


First Choice Bank

When I last reported on First Choice Bank, I focused on its short-term and mid-term CD rates. As long-term rates have fallen at other banks, First Choice Bank now has competitive long-term rates also. The rates have fallen some since my previous posts, but the rates continue to be 10 to 25 basis points higher than what the best internet banks offer today. The best rates require a $50K minimum deposit. The rates are 5 to 10 basis points lower for a $5K minimum. The best rates ($50K min) as listed in the bank's deposit rates page as of 11/05/2010 include:

  • 1.45% APY for 288 to 365 days (288 days is between 9 and 10 months)
  • 1.55% APY for 366 to 540 days
  • 1.80% APY for 541 to 730 days (541 days is about 18 months)
  • 2.10% APY for 3 years
  • 2.60% APY for 5 years

As a comparison to internet banks, the best 9-month CD rate is 1.21% APY at Virtual Bank, the best 12-month CD rate is 1.50% APY at CNB Bank Direct and the best 5-year CD rate is 2.65% APY at First Internet Bank. These rates are accurate as of the morning of 11/05/2010.

When I contacted First Choice 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 overall health score is 3 out of 5 at with a Texas Ratio of 26.86% (above average) based on 6/30/2010 data. Please refer to our financial overview of First Choice Bank for more details. The bank has been a FDIC member since 2005 (FDIC Certificate # 57966).

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  Tags: California, First Choice Bank, CD rates

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Comment #1 by LBH (anonymous) posted on
I opened a 541-day CD in mid-October.  The branch visit was pleasant, the process was expedient, and the staff was professional.  The EWP is 90 days of interest for any term account 365 days or longer.  The bank is not able to perform and ACH transfer when the CD matures - instead, a paper check will be issued (EFT would be possible with the opening of a First Choice checking account).  By the time my CD matures, the bank expects to open one, possibly two more branches - most likely in the East SGV area (I drove seven miles to make the branch visit).