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Top 1-Year CD Rate with Liquid Features at Alma Bank in New York - Local Only


Alma Bank

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 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.

  Tags: Alma Bank, New York, New Jersey, CD rates

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Comment #3 by Anonymous posted on
Alma says checking account must be opened and maintained with minimum $500 balance & requires that 3 or more checks be written each month. There is no break for senior citizens.

Comment #4 by NYCDoug posted on
Good news: the 1.35% Liquiud CD rate has just been extended to the end of this year [12/31/11]. Minimum balance to open and recieve the bonus rate is $10K AND you must also open a checking account (no fees, yet) of $100 -- with 3 "transactions" per month (deposits/withdrawls, checks/ACH, in person/online, bill pay, etc). The promotional rate is only available at a few branches [including Manhattan] when you open your account, though banking can be conducted at any branch (or online). The limitd number of transactions are not per month, per se [1 deposit/ 1 withdrawal] but can be spread out and conducted any time over the duration of the liquid CD [not to exceed 12 of each per year].

Comment #5 by NYCDoug (anonymous) posted on
New information on this promotional product received when I opened Alma's 1.35% APY Liquid CD today, beating their year-end deadline. Different information from what I had been told before, some of which came as an unwelcome surpise.

1) The accompanying chekcing account previously had a $100 minimum balance to avoid fees, but come January it will automatically be changed to another product, one which has a $500 minimum to avoid fees. But these fees can be waived if you set up Direct Deposit, with no minimum balance then required.

2) To obtain the 1.35% APY rate you must mainatin a minum balance of $10K in your CD (maxium $100K) AND have 3 withdrawals/month in the associated checking account (via atm, ach, cash, debit card, bill pay, etc). The CD is limited to one withdrawal and one deposit per calendar month.

3) Interest is compounded daily, but only posted to the account at the end of the 12 months [!] with a 6-month interest penalty  [!!!] for early withdrawls. Customer service personnel could not initially tell me how I would know how much interest accrued each month; it appears that it will show at the end of each month on Alma's online account information at their website -- which is already up and running, proving more reliable than the ill-informed reps.

Alma seems a new small bank staffed by inexperienced amateurs, but there's still time to take advantage of  their generous 1.35% rate. Your $10K is locked in for 12 months, so you're guaranteed a whopping $135. It's hardly worth opening, unless you anticipate greater cash flow -- without breaking the %100K ceilng --  into your CD account [tax refund? maturing CD?) next year, and are looking for a comparitively "decent" rate (which this will likely be throughtout 2012, sad to say).

Branch visit required; promotion not at all branches . . . I went to the 6th Avenue branch in Manhattan.

Comment #6 by KenBDG posted on
@NYCDoug, thanks for the information!

Comment #7 by Anonymous posted on


I opened 2 Year @ 1.75% anticipating that the rates will be sluggish for the next few years.  I also went to the 6th Avenue branch.  Alma's promotions is only for the 6th Avenue branch because it is new.  I opened the basic checking account with $100.  The non-liquid CDs only require $2500.  Actually, I was looking at my statement this morning from Alma, the rate hikes go into effect on 2/1/12. I prompting sent an e-mail over to get a sense of what each Checking account requires so that I can make the appropriate changes.  When I was opening the account, I heard something about they reimburse up to 6 foreign transactions a month.  I have to confirm this.

Comment #8 by Anonymous posted on
I am the person who posted message #7.  I received the Truth-In-Savings Disclosure this morning.  It is as follows for each of the checking accounts:

Basic Checking: Minimium Balance to Open: $10, Monthly Maintenance Fee: $3, Balance to avoid Monthly Maintenance Fee: N/A, Per Item Fee: $0.25 (Note for this account the Monthly Items Limit is 10 items, for the other two items, Unlimited)

Premier Checking: Minimium Balance to Open: $100, Monthly Maintenance Fee: $10, Balance to avoid Montlhly Fee: $500, Per Item Fee: N/A (Monthly Maintenance Fee is waived with direct deposit to this account)

Premier Plus Checking (Interest Checking): Minimum Balance to Open: $1,000, Monthly Maintenance Fee: $10, Per Item Fee: N/A