Some banks give away free calendars, toasters and pens to new depositors. In an unprecedented move, a Florida bank is offering a free Mercedes-Benz to its customers who deposit $1 million or more. Meanwhile, Mercedes celebrates its best April sales ever.
Open a CD, drive a Mercedes
The C1 Bank of Florida — formerly known by the innocuous moniker of Community Bank — will give those generous new customers who open a five-year CD with a deposit of $1 million or more a choice of either a Mercedes-Benz SLK350 Roadster, E350 Sedan, E350 Convertible or an ML350 SUV. Furthermore, the new car comes with tags, title, license and taxes pre-paid.
The fine print
Beware of the fine print. There are only two Mercedes giveaways allowed per household. Sorry, you’ll just have to buy that third Mercedes yourself. Happily, it will cost a lot less than an additional $1 million.
Pre-paid interest up front
The car counts as your interest income from the account, pre-paid. So at the end of the five-year term of the CD, you cash out for exactly what you put into it. In essence, you are letting the bank invest your money and collect interest on it for five years in exchange for the car. Not such a bad deal, if you are one of the 1 Percent and can spare a million or two f0r a few years.
Trevor Burgess, the CEO of C1 Bank, explained the concept:
“In this interest rate environment where the five-year CD has an annual percentage yield of 1.20 percent, it is thrilling to change the game with the instant gratification of a spectacular Mercedes-Benz that our client will own including tax, title and license.”
The pre-figured interest works out to be $61,294 at 1.20 percent annual percentage yield for five years. The current manufacturer’s suggested retail price of a Mercedes-Benz SLK350 Roadster, according to Motor Trend, is $54,800, without tax, license and title.
There are probably more lucrative ways to invest a cool million, but not many can argue with the immediate gratification of seeing one of the world’s most coveted dream cars sitting in the driveway.
A good year for Mercedes
Meanwhile, it has been an exceptional year for the automaker. Mercedes-Benz USA reported selling 22,336 units in April. That is up nearly 24 percent from April, 2011, and its highest April sales ever. As of April 30, it has sold 83,849 new vehicles this year, which is a 17.5 percent improvement from the first quarter of 2011.