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CapitalOne No Regrets Certificate of Deposit

Contributed by mm | July 18, 2004 6:44 AM PST

Today I come across a novel product from CapitalOne: No Regrets Certificate of Deposit. It is like a traditional CD in which you agree to put the money for a predefined period of time for interest, but if rate rises, CapitalOne allows you to bump up the rate once in the lifetime of the CD without restarting the term. The No Regrets CD is available for terms from 6 to 60 months with a minimal deposit of $5,000. Early withdrawal penalty of one to six months' of interest applies.

CapitalOne also offers traditional CD, which allows me to make a quick comparison between the traditional CD rate and the No Regrets CD rate:

Term: Traditional CD APY/No Regrets CD APY

6 months: 1.91%/1.73%
12 months: 2.60%/2.21%
18 months: 3.00%/2.43%
24 months: 3.40%/2.93%
30 months: 3.55%/3.11%
36 months: 3.75%/3.30%
48 months: 4.36%/3.84%
60 months: 4.81%/4.33%

According to the comparison, No Regrets CD customers are temporarily sacrificing 0.18% to 0.57% APY for the short term in exchange for the flexibility of bumping up rate once. Between these two products, it does not make much sense to choose No Regrets for the 6 months or 12 months term, but above that, I will probably choose No Regrets CD between the two: after all, you only need to get 1.00% higher rate in the midpoint of your term to come ahead. (Another interesting observation: the gap between the rates of the two products maximizes at 18- and 24-month terms, not the 60-month terms. It may reflect the fact that the short-term rates are artifically low thanks to the "behind-the-curve" Fed, and long-term rates already factor in most of the upcoming wave of rate increases.)

To put it in comparison with competition, it should be noted that CapitalOne offers superior saving rates, as BankRate always put CapitalOne among the first of best CD rates. Even CapitalOne's No Regrets CD rate is much higher than traditional CD rates offered by most banks. Therefore, the No Regrets CD is definitely a product to consider if one needs certain guaranteed return but also wants to keep options open for higher returns.

(This post is part of PFBlog Product Review series. Check out more reviews here.)

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