bank rates

Lots To Like About Airbanking, But Its Website Still Needs Some Work

I was delighted by’s recent (but all too brief) reappearance on our CD Rates Leaderboard.

I was fussing over where to invest some money from a maturing certificate of deposit when this online division of Virginia-based MainStreet Bank launched a promotion, since completed, for a 1.12% APY 1-year CD.

I’d opened several 3- and 4-year CDs at airbanking in 2011.

Back then, the bank offered good rates and excellent personal service.

It also offered a frustratingly opaque online application process.

Things hadn’t changed.

This time around, the system thwarted my attempt to apply by requiring me to enter the password I’d originally used to open CDs in 2011.

Because airbanking makes depositors regularly change online banking passwords, I had no record of the original version.

I’m not alone, apparently.

Other customers have found themselves similarly stymied.

To get around this, I tried a trick I’ve used at other banks – pretending I was a new customer — but the system discovered my ruse and informed me I was “locked out.”

Fortunately, a sympathetic and capable customer service representative came to my rescue, opening the account over the phone, funded by a mailed-in check.

Then, Hurricane Sandy struck.

First, MainStreet’s offices shut down for the storm’s duration.

Second, an independent company providing bank processing services closed its New Jersey data center and took its time reestablishing service to more than 100 clients (including MainStreet) from a backup facility in Oklahoma.

Airbanking’s operations didn’t fully recover for more than a week.

And, with storm-related mail disruptions, my check took nine days to get from California to Virginia.

Nevertheless, my CD was finally funded, and I was happy.

I was particularly pleased to learn it permits unlimited additions to principal during its term, a feature not mentioned on the website.

All in all, I appreciate airbanking’s personal service and rate promotions.

But I strongly suggest it rework its online application process.

Above all, it would help if it added a page of CD disclosures, such as a Truth in Savings statement or detailed FAQs.

Whether airbanking follows my suggestion or not, however, I’ll return for good CD deals — regardless of prevailing weather conditions.

In any event, neither bad weather nor website issues seem to have discouraged customers from ultimately taking advantage of the promotion.

Airbanking tells me it reached its funding goal in two weeks.

I intend to be fully prepared for its next promotion.

Now, if Mother Nature will only cooperate.

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