BancVue has a new promotion that's part of its new Kasasa campaign. As I described in early August, BancVue started this campaign to spread awareness of Kasasa, its national brand of free checking and savings accounts. This new promotion should grab the attention of many people who may not pay much attention to checking accounts.
The promotion is called the Kasasa Great Gas Giveaway, and it takes place in 20 cities in several states on August 15-16, 2012. They're giving away $20 of free gas for the first 200 cars at each participating gas station. It starts at 9:00am and lasts until 11:00am on the 15th and 16th. Full details including a map showing all the locations are listed in this Facebook page. To see the address of a participating gas station, click on the marker in the map. This might be an easy $20. There are no requirements to open the account to get the free gas.
That Facebook promotion page lists the gas giveaway sponsors. These are apparently the banks and credit unions that are Kasasa providers (or plan to be). I've noticed a few new ones including Credit Union of Atlanta which has a "Kasasa coming soon" note on its home page. If you see any other new banks or credit unions, please leave a comment.
This American Banker article provides some insights into this campaign. According to the article:
BancVue is covering the entire cost of the campaign, including $80,000 worth of gas, public relations and police at each station. Community bankers say that they would not have been able to afford such a large marketing campaign on their own.
In addition to promoting Kasasa to consumers, BancVue appears to be using this campaign to promote Kasasa to banks and credit unions. BancVue describes one of the benefits of Kasasa to the banks, non-interest income. The article quoted the following statistic:
There were more than 300,000 Kasasa depositors generating $56 million in non-interest income to participating banks by mid-July, according to BancVue.
As I described in my last Kasasa blog post, this non-interest income is likely to be primarily from debit card interchange fees that merchants pay when consumers use their debit cards. One risk for Kasasa and all reward checking accounts is a reduction in interchange fees. That almost happened in 2011 when the Federal Reserve implemented new regulation that capped interchange fees. Fortunately, that has not impacted community banks and credit unions. However, there are worries that regulations and court decisions will eventually lower interchange fees even for small banks. Those worries may be why Kasasa is still missing from many states. As you can see in the promotion Facebook page, several states apparently don't have Kasasa providers or have providers that don't want to participate in this promotion.
For consumers, the promotion should not only raise awareness of Kasasa, but also the fact that Kasasa accounts are free. As one of the titles in the promotion page states "Free gas today, free Kasasa rewards always." Even if you don't meet the monthly requirements for the high rate or the free ATMs, you won't have to worry about a monthly service charge. That's not the case for all high-yield reward checking accounts. Some banks and credit unions developed their own reward checking accounts without BancVue. Some of these accounts have potential monthly fees.
To find Kasasa Cash accounts and other reward checking accounts in your area, please refer to our reward checking rate table. This can also be used to find accounts available nationwide. If you're new to these tables, my rate table guide should be useful.
If you're new to reward checking, my blog post, 10 Common Traits of High-Yield Reward Checking, should be useful.