CDARS Provides Up to $50,000,000 of FDIC Insurance on Certificates of Deposit (CD)

CDARS Provides Up to $50,000,000 of FDIC Insurance on Certificates of Deposit (CD)

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The Certificate of Deposit Account Registry Service (CDARS) provides up $50,000,000 of FDIC insurance for depositors via its system of banks.  It's worth looking into if you have a lot of money and are seeking the return and safety of certificates of deposit. 

The registry, which is owned and operated by a private company called Promontory Interfinancial Network operates by helping banks distribute deposits to other participating banks that also provide FDIC insurance.  Here's how it operates:

You find a bank that participates in the program.

Let's say for this example you have $5,000,000 you want to deposit.

  1. You deposit this into the bank and sign the CDARS documents.
  2. Your $5,000,000 deposit is broken into smaller amounts that are below FDIC limits and then sent to other CDARS participating banks.  In this case, it might be broken into $90,000 chunks and sent to 50 banks.  The fifty-first bank might receive $50,000.  The amount is below the FDIC limit of $100,000 to allow for the growth in interest.  Because the amount is below FDIC insurance limits ($250,000 if the CD expires before December 31, 2009, or $100,000 if it expires after), the full amount will be covered.
  3. You'll receive one statement and one interest rate (the rate initially given by the original bank).  The other banks agree to honor this rate when they take the deposit money.
  4. At the end of the term, you'll go to the original bank where you can withdraw the full amount, renew a CD, or do something else with the money.  Up to $50,000,000 can be insured this way.

I spoke with John Labarre, the CFO of Family Federal Savings in Fitchburg, MA and a member of CDARS.  He told me that banks might charge a slightly lower rate on a Certificate of Deposit offered via CDARS to make up for the transaction fee that Promontory Interfinancial charges to use the network.  Depending on the customer and their relationship with the bank they  might waive the fee or take it out of the yield.  He also told me that using CDARS is about convenience.  Customers who want FDIC protection on a larger amount of money don't have to open accounts at multiple banks, all providing different rates and statements every month.  CDARS consolidates all of this.  He also told me that they have seen an increase in interest in CDARS in the past couple of months.

Sol Nasisi
Sol Nasisi: Sol Nasisi is the co-founder and a past president of BestCashCow, an online resource for comprehensive bank rate information. In this capacity, he closely followed rate trends for all savings-related and loan products and the impact of rate fluctuations on the economy. He specifically focused on how rates impact consumers' ability to borrow and save. He also has authored a wee

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Today's Highest Online CD Rates

Bank Product Term Interest Rate (APY)
Navy Federal Credit Union 1-Year 0.85% APY with $100,000 minimum
Primary Bank 1-Year 0.80% APY with $1,000 minimum
Gateway First Bank 1-Year 0.75% APY with $25,000 minimum
Primary Bank 3-Year 1.00% APY with $1,000 minimum
USAA Federal Savings Bank 3-Year 0.91% APY with $175,000 minimum
Comenity Direct 3-Year 0.85% APY with $1,500 minimum
Primary Bank 5-Year 1.30% APY with $1,000 minimum
Navy Federal Credit Union 5-Year 1.25% APY with $100,000 minimum
USAA Federal Savings Bank 5-Year 1.11% APY with $175,000 minimum

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