Velocity Credit Union and iGObanking: A tale of two CD rates promotions

Glass piggy bank with coins

My relentless year-end quest for good 3-year CD rates led me to two promotions last week, one at Austin-based Velocity Credit Union, the other at iGObanking, the online arm of Flushing Savings Bank in New York.

I was ready for one but not the other. It made a big difference.

The Velocity Credit Union promotion (which included a 2.12% APY 36-month CD) illustrated the operation of the Extended Murphy’s Law: "If a series of events can go wrong, it will do so in the worst possible sequence."

Having no existing accounts, I wasn’t prepared to navigate the many obstacles Velocity placed before me during the online application process.

These included:
* An application form permitting me to check a box to select a regular CD (1.71% APY) but not a promotional certificate.
* A system that either forgot it had sent trial deposits to my funding account or failed to recall their amounts.
* An online banking registration process that told me I could sign onto my new account well before I actually could.

Needless to say, joining Velocity and establishing my first certificate of deposit was a hassle, involving multiple phone calls and emails.

But the customer service representatives were helpful, and that eased the pain.

And I did manage to get the CD rates I was looking for -- finally.

Also, once I’d learned the ropes, I opened additional certificates without incident, and I’ll probably open more now that the promotion has been extended to Nov. 30.

(I suggest, however, that new customers call in advance to talk through the procedure and ask questions.)

The promotion at iGObanking -- including a 1.70% APY 3-year CD -- went more smoothly.

The bank has a habit of engaging in sort of "flash" CD offerings (it doesn’t identify them as "promotions"), with yields substantially above national averages.

They end almost as quickly and abruptly as they begin (this one lasted all of four days), so you have to move expeditiously.

I could do so because I already had two "iGOcds." I know iGO, and iGO knows me.

Of particular importance, I didn’t bear the full brunt of the bank’s often burdensome and irritating identity check procedures (although I had to again furnish proof of address).

I established my desired CD promptly.

These episodes confirmed to me the advisability, whenever possible, of setting up small accounts, in advance, at institutions I suspect may do promotions.

It helps grease the wheels.

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