bank rates

Wow! California Deal: 30-Month, 2% CD

flipping through a stack of $100 billsLuther Burbank Savings recently launched a promotion offering a 30-month CD with a 2% APY.

That rate far exceeds both the top 24-month offer of 1.26% APY and top 36-month offer of 1.45% APY shown on our CD Rates Leaderboard.

As was the case with the bank’s previous 2%, 36-month CD offering, which I took advantage of in October 2013, this particular promotion is being conducted below the radar of many CD investors.

So far, the offer doesn’t appear on Luther Burbank’s website (www.lutherburbanksavings.com) and, based on the bank’s past practices, it never will.

Rather, Luther Burbank seems to limit promotional offers to discretely placed newspaper ads, small signage in branch windows and word-of-mouth.

This much is clear, however. To open a CD, you’ll need the $1,000 minimum deposit, two forms of ID showing California residence and transportation to a local branch that is offering the CD.

Sorry, I’m told there is no online, telephone or mail application process.

Headquartered in Santa Rosa, Luther Burbank is a federal savings association operating through eight branches, four in Southern California (Beverly Hills, Encino, Pasadena and Toluca Lake) and four in Northern California (Los Altos, San Jose, San Rafael and Santa Rosa).

The bank has about $3.1 billion in deposits and carries a 5-Star Bankrate Safe & Sound rating.

I’m told the promotion is being offered at all eight branches. Readers in Northern California should check with a branch in their vicinity to ensure availability. (Last’s fall’s 36-month CD promotion was not available at all bank branches.)

I just opened one of these CDs myself, which required a 260-mile round-trip drive between my California desert home and the Pasadena branch.

But, to my mind, and taking gasoline costs into account, the trip was well worth it.

A word of caution, however:

The bank ended last fall’s promotion less than a week after it first received widespread attention on the Internet.

Perhaps fast action will be required to take advantage of this promotion as well.

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