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California First National Bank CD Review

How does your bank stack up?

  • Financial Rates: 3.0 Star Icon
  • Customer Service: 3.5 Star Icon
  • Variety of Terms: 4.0 Star Icon
  • Opening Required Amount: 3.0 Star Icon


  • Can apply for CD accounts online
  • Shorter CD terms offer competitive rates
  • Can choose how to receive interest
  • Can withdraw interest without a fee


  • High opening required amounts
  • Limited CD terms available
  • Low-interest rates on CD accounts
  • Early withdrawal fee does not vary

What You Need to Know

You can open all CalFirst CDs terms online. You can complete the entire application through the CalFirst website. There is also the option to apply by calling customer service or mailing in an application.

The shorter-term CDs offer more competitive rates than long-term CDs. The rates are more competitive with online CDs than long-term CDs. The short-term CDs include a three month and six-month term.

Customers can choose how to receive interest payments. You can have the money credited to your CD or another CalFirst account. You can have the money transferred into another bank account, or have the interest mailed to you in a check. Interest will credit to your account monthly.

Customers can choose how to receive interest payments. You can have the money credited to your CD or another CalFirst account. You can have the money transferred into another bank account, or have the interest mailed to you in a check. Interest will credit to your account monthly.

The initial amount required to open CalFirst CDs is high. Each of the standard CD terms requires $5,000 to open. You must keep that amount in the CD to earn interest. To open IRA CDs and earn interest requires a balance of $2,000.

There is a limited amount of CD terms offered through CalFirst. There are five CD terms available. Those terms range from three months to three years. CalFirst provides CD terms as standard CDs or IRA CDs. All terms can be opened online.

CalFirst CD interest rates are low. They are not competitive with online CD rates. These rates are competitive with typical bank rates. CalFirst rates are not tiered. Any balance over the opening amounts earns the rates listed on the website.

There are only two early withdrawal fees for CalFirst CDs. For terms less than one year, the fee is 90-days of interest. For CD terms 12-months or longer, the fee is 180-days of interest. If you withdraw money early, you must pay that amount of interest even if you have not earned it.


CalFirst Bank is an online-only bank. They offer personal accounts and lending options. They offer competitive loans to small and mid-sized companies. They also provide lending options for non-profit organizations and educational institutions.

CalFirst has loans for city and government needs. These have included financing fire trucks, police cars, and ambulances. They have financed school buses, and school technology and hardware. They help public and private schools with financing.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is CalFirst FDIC insured?

Yes. CalFirst is FDIC insured. The FDIC is an agency of the United States government that protects funds deposited in banks, up to $250,000 per customer, per bank. The money deposited in FDIC insured banks means money is backed by the full faith and credit of the United States government.

How many different terms does CalFirst offer?

They offer five CD terms. The terms range from three-months to three-years.

What is the required amount to open a CD with CalFirst?

The standard CDs require $5,000 to open and earn interest. The IRA accounts require $2,000 to open and earn interest.

How do I deposit money into CalFirst CDs?

You can have money directly deposited into CalFirst CDs, or you can mail in a check. CalFirst will even provide the postage-paid envelopes. You can also wire money into your CalFirst accounts.

How do I access my money?

Through electronic transfers or by having customer service mail you a check. ATM transactions at Plus ATMs are free for CalFirst customers. There is a fee if you withdraw money before the CD matures.

Do I have to open other CalFirst accounts before I can open a CD?

No. You can open a CD without opening another CalFirst account.

Do CalFirst CDs offer competitive interest rates?

The interest rates are not competitive with other online CD rates. They are competitive with the typical bank rates.

Can I choose how to receive my interest payments from CalFirst CDs?

Yes. You can have the money added to the CD or another CalFirst account. You can have the interest transferred electronically to another bank or have a check mailed to you. The interest credits each month.

What percentage am I charged if I withdraw money before the maturity date?

For CD terms less than one year, the fee is 90-days of interest. For CD terms one year or longer, the penalty is 180-days of interest.

How do I make changes during the grace period?

The CD will automatically renew unless you contact customer service.

How will I know my CalFirst CD is nearing maturity?

Contact customer service.

How long is the grace period between renewal?

The grace period is ten days from the day the CD reaches maturity.

Are CalFirst CD rates guaranteed for the entire term?

Yes. The standard and IRA CDs offer fixed interest rates. The interest rate when you open the CD is the rate you will receive for the life of the CD.

Does CalFirst offer mobile banking?

No specific app is listed on the website, but everything for your account is online. You can access your CalFirst accounts on a smartphone through the CalFirst website.

Is CalFirst a good bank?

CalFirst Bank offers five CD terms, and all CDs can be opened online. The shorter-term interest rates are more competitive than long-term CDs. CalFirst CD rates are lower than other online CD terms. You can choose how to receive interest and can withdraw the interest anytime during the CD term. The opening required amounts are $5,000 for the standard CDs.

Is CalFirst secure online?

CalFirst commits to keeping customer information private. They work to keep transaction history private as well.

What is the shortest CalFirst CD term offered?

The shortest CD term is a three-month term.

What is the longest CalFirst CD term offered?

The longest CD term is a three-year CD.

Does CalFirst offer accounts other than CDs?

Yes. They offer a personal money market, savings, and checking accounts, along with lending options.

Can I use CalFirst CDs for my business accounts?

No. CalFirst offers personal accounts.

How do I reach customer service?

By phone, email, or mail. Customer service has specific hours. Those hours are Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. PST.

Bank Contact Information

CalFirst Bank
P.O. Box 2509
Santa Ana, CA 92707-0509

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