Competitive rates on a tiered savings account are being offered at Centennial Bank a nationwide level. While the account can be opened regardless of where you’re located in the United States, don’t expect the same level of services that you expect from a nationally available internet bank. You can open an account with a minimum of $500, but any balance under $500 will not earn interest. There are no monthly fees. If you open the account with $100,000 or more, you’ll earn as much as 3.30% APY. The tiered rates are as follows, based on the information from Centennial Bank’s savings account page: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%
Tiered savings accounts at Centennial Bank have a limit of 4 withdrawals per month. Withdrawals made beyond four will be charged a $5 fee. You can’t make more than 6 withdrawals in a month. Interest is compounded daily and credited monthly. When you close an account, you’ll receive the accrued interest the same day you close it.
You can open a tiered savings account with Centennial Bank no matter what state you live in – but you have to mail the application as they do not have any internet access to your account. You can fund the account via a wire transfer or by check. It’s an account that is meant to help you save, so don’t expect immediate access to your funds. For some people, this will be an advantage because it’s more difficult to get their savings out. For other people, this will be a turn-off as they don’t want to jump through hoops to withdraw their money when they need it.
Withdrawal requests need to be made in writing, via the mail or fax, and there is no ACH capabilities. If you want to wire transfer a withdrawal, there is a $35 fee.
So while Centennial Bank is open on a nationwide basis, it’s a small one-office bank in California. They don’t make it overly easy for out of area people to bank with them, however they have a history of competitive interest rates. For long term savings that you don’t plan to access regularly, it may be worth the hassle of not having internet access to your account.
Centennial Bank has been FDIC insured since 1989. Bankrate.com and BauerFinancial give the bank 4 stars (excellent and sound) for it’s level of safety and soundness based on September 2008 financial data.