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Ken Tumin founded the Bank Deals Blog in 2005 and has been passionately covering the best deposit deals ever since. He is frequently referenced by The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and other publications as a top expert, but he is first and foremost a fellow deal seeker and member of the wonderful community of savers that frequents DepositAccounts.

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Another Nationally Available 3.00% 5-Year CD - Kaiser Federal Bank in California


Kaiser Federal Bank did something rare yesterday. It raised its special 5-year CD rate from 2.75% to 3.00% APY. Minimum deposit is $10,000. This is listed in the bank's CD rate table as of 2/17/2011.

Some of the important features of this CD as described in the bank's account disclosure include:

  • Early Withdrawal Penalty: If the qualifying period is greater than one year, the customer shall forfeit an amount equal to one hundred and eighty (180) days interest whether earned or not (this may reduce principal and result in account closure).
  • Paid interest may be withdrawn at anytime without penalty.
  • Grace period at maturity is 7 days after the maturity date

For more info, I called the bank this morning using their toll-free number (800-524-2274), and I was quickly connected with a CSR. The info that I was told matched what I've been told in previous years. Some important points include:

  • CDs are available nationwide. IRAs are only available in California.
  • They will mail you the application after you apply online or by phone (phone may be easier)
  • You have to mail back the signed application, your check to fund the CD and a copy of driver's license.
  • CD rate won't lock until they receive the application and check. You can include a note instructing them not to open CD if the rate drops.
  • If you want to close the CD at maturity, you have to fax or mail them letter with the instructions.
  • At maturity, in addition to mailing you a check, they can do a wire transfer ($25 fee). They require a form to be filled out before they'll do the transfer.

How Kaiser Federal's CD Special Compares with Others?

I only have two other institutions offering 3.00% APY on a nationally available 5-year CD. Sovereign Bank is one of them. Last week I reviewed this Sovereign CD special. The downside with Sovereign's CD is a 1-year early withdrawal penalty if you open online. However, a reader noted that if you open the CD in New England, the penalty is only 6 months of interest.

The other institution offering a 3.00% APY is Connexus Credit Union which has long been offering this rate. As I described in my Connexus CD review, this also has the downside of a harsh early withdrawal penalty of 1-year of interest. In addition, they require you to maintain an active checking account.

Bank Overview

Kaiser Federal 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 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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Comment #1 by No Stocks (anonymous) posted on
No Stocks
I think this is low, the CPI actually showed some life today, I think they know there will be a slow tic up on rates.

I did end up having to take a 1.55% rate on a 26 mo CD yesterday, but won't go out much further.

If inflation gets calculated right by the BLS at some point my money may be worth less but at least I can stay even with higher rates on this "worthless" paper.

Comment #2 by Anonymous posted on
Yesterday I got an Incredible Bank 12 month at  1.45% so nothing great out there but this site has sure helped me  find whatever little crumbs there are.

Comment #3 by Scott (anonymous) posted on
Would still rather take 5 year 3% CDs over what's mentioned above. Figure even if keep my Sovereign for two years will be 2.25% with 6 month penalty

Comment #4 by Bozo posted on
For those of us with a long ladder, this is an encouraging sign. As I mentioned in another thread, with the 7 year Treasury bouncing around 3% (up around 125 basis points in less than three months), I was wondering how long it would take for banks and credit unions to move up.

Comment #7 by Anonymous posted on
One thing to note about Kaiser Bank: they do NOT allow you to make contributions to your IRA during the term of your CD like most other institutions do. In other words, say you open a 5-year IRA CD. Most (but not all) institutions -- even on fixed time-deposits like CDs -- will let you make your yearly contribution to your IRA. However not Kaiser. It's right in their rules. So say you open an IRA CD here for 5 years at $20,000. Each year you're allowed to contribute $5000 to your IRA. Most institutions will let you make your yearly contributions to your time-deposit CD (as long as it's an IRA and as long as you don't go over the maximum of $5000 a year). But Kaiser does not. You must wait until it matures. So if you open a 5-year CD at Kaiser Bank, you won't be able to make your 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, or 2015 IRA contributions to it. It's completely frozen. You'll have to open an account elsewhere to make the contributions in upcoming years. Kaiser completely locks the account -- even for IRA CDs. Just be aware of this, because most institutions will let you add your yearly IRA contribution maximum even to CDs, but Kaiser will not.

Comment #8 by Anonymous posted on
Kaiser cd rate chart shows 1.19% for 3-5 years