With CD rates so low these days, no one wants to be stuck in a low-rate CD when interest rates eventually rise. But if you stick with a savings account, you may end up watching the interest rate fall month after month. A good alternative to these two options is a liquid CD. However, liquid CDs are rare, and those that exist often have very low rates. That's not the case with the promotional liquid CD at Alma Bank. Its offering a 1-year liquid CD with a 1.35% APY. Minimum deposit is $10,000, and the maximum balance is $100,000. The liquid feature allows one withdrawal and one deposit per month. This special requires money new to the bank, and it requires an active checking account. The 1.35% APY and these details were advertised in the 5/8/11 edition of the NY Daily News. The ad is available online here. According to the ad, the offer is scheduled to last until 9/30/2011.
It appears that a branch visit is required to open an account. Alma Bank branches are located in Astoria, Brooklyn, Bronx, Manhattan and Bayside, New York. There's also one branch in New Jersey in the city of Tenafly.
The bank has an overall health score at DepositAccounts.com of 5 stars (out of 5) with a Texas Ratio of 5.15% (excellent) based on December 2010 data. Please refer to our financial overview of Alma Bank for more details. The bank has been a FDIC member since 2007 (FDIC Certificate # 58424).
Thanks to the reader who mentioned this promotion in the comments.
How It Compares
Even without the liquid features, this CD compares favorably to the best nationally available 1-year CDs. As of 5/8/2011, the best 1-year CD rate available nationally is 1.75% APY at Connexus Credit Union, but this requires an active checking account. The best 1-year CD rate without a checking requirement is 1.41% APY at Melrose Credit Union. Neither of these CDs have any liquid features.
The only way to get a yield above 2.00% is to take a longer term. Ally Bank's 5-year CD has a 2.40% APY (as of 5/8/2011), and due to its small early withdrawal penalty, the effective yield if closed after one year would be 2.00% (see post).
To search for the best CD rates nationwide and in your state, please refer to our CD rates table.