Meridian Bank Texas is having an interesting CD promotion called the Gridiron CD. It's a 1-year special CD with a base rate of 1.00% and a possible rate of up to 2.35%. The promotion is listed on the bank's home page and in this Gridiron CD details page as of 7/26/2011. Hat tip to reader pearlbrown who did a detailed review of this promotion in this forum thread. Below is an excerpt of pearlbrown's review:
Meridian Bank Texas has an unadvertised one-year CD special, available through its home page. Initial rate on the Gridiron CD is 1%. Depending on the performance of the football team you select (either Texas Christian University (TCU) or University of North Texas (UNT)), and which your CD follows, it can be as high as 2.35%. Minimum balance to open the CD is $1,000, maximum balance of $100,000 per account. Limit of two accounts per household or business.
There are 12 games scheduled. For each TCU or UNT regular season game win, the interest rate on the CD is increased by 10 basis points. The total interest rate increase for these wins will be effective by December 13, 2011 through the initial term of the CD. For a TCU or UNT bowl game win, the interest rate on the CD will earn an additional 15 bps, effective January 17, 2012 through the initial term of the CD.
A companion account is required, defined as an Interest Checking or Relationship Checking account for a consumer, and as a checking or money market account for a business. Be sure to note the balance requirements on these to avoid maintenance fees.
The one-year Gridiron CD AND the companion account must be opened between July 1, 2011 and August 31, 2011 but of course the offer may be withdrawn at any time
A branch visit is required to open an account. Meridian Bank Texas branches are located in Fort Worth and Denton.
The bank has an overall health score at DepositAccounts.com of 4 stars (out of 5) with a Texas Ratio of 29.36% (average) based on March 2011 data. Please refer to our financial overview of Meridian Bank Texas for more details. The bank has been a FDIC member since 1934 (FDIC Certificate # 11895).
Good Deal or Gimmick?
I've reported on similar CD specials at other banks and credit unions. The last one was a March Madness CD from Countryside Federal Credit Union. In this CD poll I asked about what readers thought of these types of promotions, and 71% considered this type of CD as an unwanted gimmick.
I usually evaluate these promotions based on the base rate and the yield that would be reasonable to expect. You're guaranteed the base rate, so if that's too low, that hurts the deal. The 1.00% for a 1-year CD is a little low. However, it seems reasonable to expect at least 5 wins from TCU which was undefeated last year. That would result in a rate of 1.50% which is a very competitive rate for a 1-year CD.
Searching for the Best CD Rates
To search for nationwide CD rates and CD rates in your state, please refer to the best CD rates section of DepositAccounts.com.