Another important detail of the CD is that there's no grace period. It'll automatically renew into their 6-month standard CD unless you give written instructions before maturity or if you visit the branch on the day of maturity (or day after if the maturity day is a non-business day).
The checking relationship is called the Pentucket Club Relationship Banking. It requires a combined balance of $7,500 in consumer deposits, an active checking account and a Pentucket Club ATM/Visa check card. As I mentioned, without this checking relationship, a new customer can still get the 8-month CD at 2.99%
A branch visit is required to open an account. Branches are located in the Massachusetts city of Haverhill and in the New Hampshire cities of Hampstead and Salem.
The bank's ratings for safety and soundness are strong: 5 stars (superior) at BauerFinancial (based on 6/30/09 data) and 4 stars (sound) at Bankrate.com (based on 3/31/09 data). The bank was established in 1891 and has been a FDIC member since 1985 (FDIC Certificate # 90208).
Thanks to the reader who emailed me info on this promotion.
Other Competitive Certificate of Deposit Rates