Kaiser Federal Bank just started offering a 5-year CD special with a 2.75% APY. Minimum deposit is $10,000, and it's also available in an IRA. This is listed in the bank's CD rate table as of 1/14/2011.
The bank's standard 3-year CD and IRA CD rate is also fairly competitive at 1.75% APY. However, it's down quite a bit from October when the yield was 2.15%.
As compared to the best 5-year CD rates available nationwide as of 1/14/2011, you can get 3.00% APY at Connexus Credit Union (requires active checking) and 2.75% APY at Salem Five Direct.
When I called Kaiser Federal in 2009, I was told that people in any state can open its 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 rate 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 24.99% (above average) based on September 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).
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