Update 10/03/09: The savings account is no longer listed on the bank's website.
Update 7/28/09: Effective August 1st, the top rate will fall to 2.02% APY. Rate history is shown at the bottom of the post. Refer to the bank's website for the latest rates.
Centennial Bank is offering competitive rates on its tiered savings account. I was told the account is available nationwide, but they don't offer services that you expect from an internet bank (I describe these details below.) As of 2/23/09, the rates are as high as 3.30% APY for balances of $100K and over. Minimum deposit is $500. There's no monthly fee, but no interest is earned for balances under $500. Below are the rate tiers as listed in the bank's savings account page as of 2/23/09:
Balance Rate APY
$500 - $9,999 2.25% 2.28%
$10,000 - $24,999 2.50% 2.53%
$25,000 - $49,999 2.75% 2.79%
$50,000 - $99,999 3.00% 3.05%
$100,000+ 3.25% 3.30%
There are a few more details listed in the account disclosure (pdf). Some of the important ones include:
- limit of 4 free withdrawals per month, $5 fee for 5th and 6th withdrawal
- Withdrawals are limited to 6 per month (as required by Fed regulations)
- Interest compounded on a daily basis, credited on monthly basis
- When account is closed, you will receive accrued interest to the date you close account
I called their toll-free number (800-251-0705) today, and I was informed of the following features. I highlighted two of the most problematic features.
- Available to people in any state
- Application must be mailed in. Initial funding can be done by check or wire transfer
- Rate can change at any time
- No monthly fees
- No interest is earned for balances under $500
- No internet access
- Can be funded by check or wire transfer
- After it's opened, withdrawal requests must be made in writing (mail or fax)
- No ACH capability
- According to CSR, ACH transfer initiated from another bank is not an option
- Withdrawals can be done by wire transfers ($35 fee)
Centennial is a small, one-office bank based in Fountain Valley, California. From 9/30/08 FDIC data, it has 27 employees, $872.9 million in assets and $708.5 million in deposits.
It has some strong ratings for safety and soundness: 4 stars (excellent) at BauerFinancial and 4 stars (sound) at Bankrate.com. Both ratings are based on 9/30/08 financial data. It has been FDIC insured since 1989 (FDIC Certificate # 32707).
Thanks to the reader who mentioned this account in the Daily News and Deals Post.
Rate History (APY):
08/01/09: 1.01% $500-10K, 1.26% $10K-25K, 1.51% $25K-50K, 1.77% $50K-100K, 2.02% $100K+
07/01/09: 1.26% $500-10K, 1.51% $10K-25K, 1.77% $25K-50K, 2.02% $50K-100K, 2.28% $100K+
05/01/09: 1.77% $500-10K, 2.02% $10K-25K, 2.28% $25K-50K, 2.53% $50K-100K, 2.79% $100K+
02/23/09: 2.28% $500-10K, 2.53% $10K-25K, 2.79% $25K-50K, 3.05% $50K-100K, 3.30% $100K+