State Bank of India is a foreign bank, but it has U.S. branches with FDIC insurance in New York and Chicago. I first reported on the New York branch in 2005. They have long offered competitive CD rates, and they can open CDs by mail for people in any state. Currently, the best deal is the 5-year CD which has a 2.02% APY. Minimum deposit is $5,000. Early withdrawal penalty is 270 days of interest. This rate and a description of the CD features are listed in the bank's CD accounts page as of 2/09/2012. According to this page, rates should remain effective through February 14.
The Chicago branch can also open CDs by mail. Its short-term CD rates are currently higher than the New York branch. The best ones include a 1.16% APY 1-year CD and a 1.51% APY 3-year CD. These require a minimum deposit of $95K. For a $2,500 minimum deposit, the rates are 10 basis points lower. These rates are listed at the rate sheet at the SBI Chicago deposit department page as of 2/9/2012. According to the rate sheet, these rates are effective through February 14.
In the past when I called the New York branch, I experienced delays in reaching customer service. I did not have any delay today. For the New York branch, I called (212) 521-3282, and I was immediately connected with a knowledgeable customer service representative. For the Chicago branch, I called their toll-free number at 800-724-5780. I had to go through an automated answering service, but I was able to connect with a CSR without much wait.
The main downside with the New York branch is the lack of online banking. I was told they will mail you a document of the CD after you mail in the application and check. The rate will lock at the time they receive the application. Also, they require you to have one of the forms notarized. At maturity, they require you to mail or fax a letter instruction. They can either mail you a check or do a wire transfer.
The instructions at the Chicago branch were similar to what I was told by the New York branch. One exception is that the Chicago branch rep said they do offer online banking in which you can check on your CD balance.
There's also a branch in California that's called State Bank of India (California), but its CD rates are currently not as competitive as the NYC or Chicago branches.
The New York, Chicago and California branches all have separate FDIC charters. However, for the New York and Chicago branches, the FDIC states the following:
State Bank of India, New York, NY (FDIC Cert# 33682) and State Bank of India, Chicago, IL (FDIC Cert# 33664) are branches of the same banking institution. Therefore, deposits held in these two branches do NOT receive separate FDIC insurance coverage. Deposits held in the same capacity at each office would be added together prior to applying the insurance limit for that ownership type.
Refer to the FDIC page for the State Bank of India, New York and the FDIC page for State Bank of India, Chicago for more details. According to Wikipedia, State Bank of India is the largest bank in India.
How These CD Rates Compare
The 5-year CD rate at State Bank of India, New York is currently the best 5-year CD rate that's available nationwide at a bank. The next best is 2.00% APY for a 59-month special CD at US Bank.
Higher rates are available at all-access credit unions. The best 5-year CD rate that's nationally available is 2.60% APY at Digital Credit Union. This requires a $25K minimum deposit and Relationship Checking. Without this relationship, the rate is 2.35% APY for a $25K minimum and 2.25% APY for a $500 minimum deposit.
For a 1-year CD, the best rate is 1.16% APY at Pentagon Federal Credit Union.
These rates are accurate as of 2/9/2012.
Searching for the Best CD Rates
To search for the best nationwide CD rates and the best CD rates in your state, please refer to the CD rates section of DepositAccounts.com.