Dedicated to Deposits: Deals, Data, and Discussion
Featured Savings Rates
Featured Accounts

First Financial Bank Offers (3%, $15K) Kasasa Cash Checking

Friday, January 25, 2013 - 4:51 PMFirst Financial Bank (AR) - Details
They also have a Kasasa Saver Savings Account with (1%, up to $50K).  No direct-deposit/ACH requirement, either.

 https://www.ffb1.com/

It seems to be nation-wide (can be opened online), credit due to Lorymills1 at FWF.

I am sure that this will not last long (if nationally available), so hurry up.
11
51hh51hh1,476 posts since
Jan 16, 2010
Rep Points: 6,427
1. Friday, January 25, 2013 - 5:03 PM
Thanks for the info.

Coincidentally, I sent them an email early this morning asking about availability. Here's the reply I received:
Thank you for your interest in our products.  You are able to apply for these accounts online.  Please complete the online application and they will notify you by email.

I was hoping for a more direct confirmation of its nationwide availability. Like you said, the nationwide availability may not last long.
5
Ken TuminKen Tumin5,472 posts since
Nov 29, 2009
Rep Points: 125,708
2. Friday, January 25, 2013 - 5:06 PM
Ken,

My phone call to CSR confirmed that (that they take out-of-state applicants), too.  It is a relatively large bank ($812M), thus hopefully they can take more out-of-state applicants before they impose the residence limitation.

BR,

51
4
51hh51hh1,476 posts since
Jan 16, 2010
Rep Points: 6,427
3. Friday, January 25, 2013 - 5:14 PM
51hh, thanks much for sharing this find - 8 minutes to complete application start-to-finish.
6
pearlbrownpearlbrown1,485 posts since
Nov 2, 2010
Rep Points: 6,450
4. Friday, January 25, 2013 - 6:31 PM
51hh, Big Thumbsup!
3
MikeMike327 posts since
Feb 22, 2010
Rep Points: 876
5. Saturday, January 26, 2013 - 9:08 AM
What should be the status of the completed application: approved or pending?
3
perrymperrym3 posts since
Jan 26, 2013
Rep Points: 14
6. Saturday, January 26, 2013 - 9:42 AM
Perrym, here is the message I received at the end of the application:

"Application successful

Confirmation Number: XXXXXXXXXXX

Pending final approval and account funding, we will contact you with your account number and other account details.

You will be contacted by a First Financial Bank representative to verify your application shortly."

Since it was after hours when I completed the application, I would be surprised to hear from them before Monday.
7
pearlbrownpearlbrown1,485 posts since
Nov 2, 2010
Rep Points: 6,450
7. Saturday, January 26, 2013 - 9:47 AM
Thank you. I got the same message.
3
perrymperrym3 posts since
Jan 26, 2013
Rep Points: 14
8. Saturday, January 26, 2013 - 11:58 AM
Something tells me they're going to arrive at work Monday morning and be shocked to have received a $#itload of applications over the weekend. And who knows? If past performance is any indication, they will pull the online application soon thereafter. Or limit applications to a small number of adjacent states.
2
dunkerdunker136 posts since
Jun 11, 2010
Rep Points: 414
9. Saturday, January 26, 2013 - 12:03 PM
Something tells me they're going to arrive at work Monday morning and be shocked to have received a $#itload of applications over the weekend. And who knows? If past performance is any indication, they will pull the online application soon thereafter. Or limit applications to a small number of adjacent states.

Yeah, that happened to Randolph Bank and many others in the past.  Sorry that I broadcast it here; but for the record, I did not apply for it:D

3
51hh51hh1,476 posts since
Jan 16, 2010
Rep Points: 6,427
10. Saturday, January 26, 2013 - 12:47 PM
Let's hope that if they decide to limit the number of apps they'll do it in application date and time order - FIFO of course. 
1
pearlbrownpearlbrown1,485 posts since
Nov 2, 2010
Rep Points: 6,450
11. Monday, January 28, 2013 - 9:35 AM
Anyone know what does this mean? Hard or soft credit pull? Chex pull? Both?

"I/We certify the accuracy of the above information and authorize First Financial Bank (the "Financial Institution") to access our credit file(s) to authenticate our identity(s) and facilitate the processing of this application for this First Financial Bank account only. I/We understand that we may be asked questions based on the information in our credit file(s) as part of this process. I/We also understand that the Financial Institution may review our credit history and past banking relationships before accepting this application."
1
nlonlo1 posts since
Jan 28, 2013
Rep Points: 1
12. Monday, January 28, 2013 - 11:10 AM
For what it's worth, there has been no activity on my credit file since Friday other than routine reporting.  I did, however, receive a fairly standard Email about an hour ago:
Thank you for your interest in Kasasa Cash. We are currently in the process of reviewing your application. Once your application has been reviewed we will contact you to let you know if your application has been approved or if we will require additional information. This process may take 1-2 business days.   Once your account has been opened and funded we will contact you with your account number and other account details. If you have any questions during this time please feel free to email me at:  XXXXXXXXXX
7
pearlbrownpearlbrown1,485 posts since
Nov 2, 2010
Rep Points: 6,450
13. Monday, January 28, 2013 - 2:19 PM
Same confirmation email here - we'll see...
3
darkdreamer4udarkdreamer4u178 posts since
Jun 11, 2010
Rep Points: 638
14. Tuesday, January 29, 2013 - 4:47 PM
Just got an email from them confirming that my application was accepted and outlining the next steps (they send a welcome packet, etc.).
5
darkdreamer4udarkdreamer4u178 posts since
Jun 11, 2010
Rep Points: 638
15. Tuesday, January 29, 2013 - 9:51 PM
Yay! I'm in too.  As a data point, I completed the app Fri 1/25 around 1710.  My welcome Email arrived early this afternoon.  

51hh, thanks again for sharing the deal. 
3
pearlbrownpearlbrown1,485 posts since
Nov 2, 2010
Rep Points: 6,450
16. Thursday, January 31, 2013 - 7:00 PM
An in-bank and the electronic banking csr both said they use ChexSystems - no hard pull - which seems verified by the applicants here. She also said they may not need id documents faxed or mailed (depends on the app); often just the signature card returned. 

Apparently the qualifying cycle ends the 4th Wed. of every month.  The csr said it sounds unusual, but can't be changed due to how it was set up. (I guess they got requests.) 
3
ekatekat75 posts since
Jan 22, 2010
Rep Points: 246
17. Thursday, January 31, 2013 - 7:09 PM
Ah shoot - another one of those accounts with a retarded cycle! :-(

 

Well, the initial deposit was transferred from my checking acct. today, so it's moving along:-)
2
darkdreamer4udarkdreamer4u178 posts since
Jun 11, 2010
Rep Points: 638
18. Thursday, January 31, 2013 - 9:51 PM
Hope the first month auto qualifies like most RCAs.
2
ninissniniss60 posts since
Sep 22, 2010
Rep Points: 154
19. Thursday, January 31, 2013 - 9:59 PM
Yes, the e-banking csr said the first month qualifications are waived.
2
ekatekat75 posts since
Jan 22, 2010
Rep Points: 246
20. Thursday, January 31, 2013 - 10:37 PM
Yes, the e-banking csr said the first month qualifications are waived.
Great,  thanks!
2
ninissniniss60 posts since
Sep 22, 2010
Rep Points: 154
21. Friday, February 1, 2013 - 11:23 AM
Are they considering January the first month?
1
MikeMike327 posts since
Feb 22, 2010
Rep Points: 876
22. Friday, February 1, 2013 - 11:40 AM
Are they considering January the first month?

It is the first month when one's application is approved; e.g., January requirments are waived if application is approved/opened on 1/14/13.  The purpose is usually to allow debit card to be sent and ACH to be set up (no ACH requirement in this case).

4
51hh51hh1,476 posts since
Jan 16, 2010
Rep Points: 6,427
23. Friday, February 1, 2013 - 11:47 AM
Are they considering January the first month?

It is the first month when one's application is approved; e.g., January requirments are waived if application is approved/opened on 1/14/13.  The purpose is usually to allow debit card to be sent and ACH to be set up (no ACH requirement in this case).

Yes.  I opened last week of January.  So, I'm figuring I have to meet qualifications in Feb.  But, have no cards or even account number, yet.  I should have waited to Feb1st..  oh well.
2
MikeMike327 posts since
Feb 22, 2010
Rep Points: 876
24. Friday, February 1, 2013 - 1:58 PM
Mike,

Many banks will allow another month if one does not receive the debit card toward the end of the second month (in this case late February).  But in your case, you will receiver the debit card in mid or late February; it will be a close call whether they will make an exception.

BR,

51
4
51hh51hh1,476 posts since
Jan 16, 2010
Rep Points: 6,427
25. Friday, February 1, 2013 - 2:07 PM
As a rule, never transfer large amounts to a new RCA (for above reasons). You want to check it out first for a month or so with a small deposit at stake, see how it works, what doesn't work, etc.
3
darkdreamer4udarkdreamer4u178 posts since
Jun 11, 2010
Rep Points: 638
26. Friday, February 1, 2013 - 2:51 PM
Good points from both of you. Thanks guys. Mike
2
MikeMike327 posts since
Feb 22, 2010
Rep Points: 876
27. Saturday, February 2, 2013 - 4:30 AM
I got a different message via their website upon completing my application, as follows:

"Application In-Review

Confirmation Number: XXXXXXXXXXXX

Thank you! We have received your new account application and it is currently under review. Once we verify the information you have provided, a representative will contact you via email shortly to finalize the next steps so you can begin using your new account."

As part of the online application, the website asked the standard 4 question set profile of various things from my past credit record, which I completed, and then the app progressed to providing the source funding account info.

Just lost one of my 3% local RCAs, so the timing of this one is very good. Hope it works out.
2
moneysavermoneysaver29 posts since
Jan 8, 2011
Rep Points: 258
28. Saturday, February 2, 2013 - 4:51 AM
BTW, maybe someone can correct the title of this thread to say First FINANCIAL Bank, instead of the current First National Bank.

There is a different First National Bank with a nice Kasasa checking account.
2
moneysavermoneysaver29 posts since
Jan 8, 2011
Rep Points: 258
29. Monday, February 4, 2013 - 7:10 PM

Apparently the qualifying cycle ends the 4th Wed. of every month.  The csr said it sounds unusual, but can't be changed due to how it was set up. (I guess they got requests.) 

I received my welcome packet today. While the statement period end the 4th Weds of every month, the last day of qualification is actually the preceding Tues. Weds is the first day of the next qualification period.
3
dunkerdunker136 posts since
Jun 11, 2010
Rep Points: 414
30. Monday, February 4, 2013 - 7:26 PM
BTW, maybe someone can correct the title of this thread to say First FINANCIAL Bank, instead of the current First National Bank.

There is a different First National Bank with a nice Kasasa checking account.

Thanks, MS, appreciate for the correction.  I will ask Ken to make the correction.

2
51hh51hh1,476 posts since
Jan 16, 2010
Rep Points: 6,427
31. Tuesday, February 5, 2013 - 1:00 PM
Thanks for the correction and clarification on the qualifying and statement cycle, especially given their unusual closing dates.
3
ekatekat75 posts since
Jan 22, 2010
Rep Points: 246
32. Wednesday, February 6, 2013 - 2:11 PM
Ekat, my welcome packet included a calendar with the statement close and qualification dates marked.    In case yours did not, here are the qualification cut-off dates (ie:  dates by which all transactions must have posted in order to qualify for the high rate) for the remainder of 2013: 

2/26  3/26  4/23  5/21  6/25  7/23  8/27  9/24  10/22  11/26  12/23

Hope that helps.

Edited @ 1420 to add:  12/23 is a Monday.  The qualification date apparently shifts because Wednesday 12/25 is a holiday. 
8
pearlbrownpearlbrown1,485 posts since
Nov 2, 2010
Rep Points: 6,450
33. Tuesday, February 12, 2013 - 5:58 PM
My debit card and PIN arrived today. 
3
pearlbrownpearlbrown1,485 posts since
Nov 2, 2010
Rep Points: 6,450
34. Friday, February 15, 2013 - 6:09 PM
I am surprised I don't see a way to directly link to external accounts, being that this is a bank.  Am I missing something, or is that to be expected due to reward checking status?
2
MikeMike327 posts since
Feb 22, 2010
Rep Points: 876
35. Friday, February 15, 2013 - 6:59 PM
I am surprised I don't see a way to directly link to external accounts, being that this is a bank.  Am I missing something, or is that to be expected due to reward checking status?

Reward Checking Accounts are mostly offered by smaller community backs and only a very few offer ACH transfers to other banks or credit unions. The only bank that I personally know about that offers both RCAs and ACH transfers is Coulee Bank in WI.
2
dunkerdunker136 posts since
Jun 11, 2010
Rep Points: 414
36. Friday, February 15, 2013 - 7:43 PM
This is a general comment re the post above, not specifically in relation to FFB...

There are other bank RCAs that offer their own ACH transfer functions, though I agree it isn't common. Another one that has its own ACH function through online banking is First Arkansas Bank and Trust's Kasasa rewards account. Free next business day inbound transfers from any external linked accounts, which is great. Unfortunately, they do charge $5 for any external ACH transfers initiated thru their system.

Another thing folks can consider is to look at whether their RCA account has an online billpay function. I have another RCA account that has online billpay, no charge to use, and it allows me to designate my own accounts at other banks/financial institutions as the payee. So instead of doing an external ACH, I can do a free billpay to send money from my one RCA to any of my other bank accounts, once I've set them up in bill pay. Bill pay, of course, only works for external transfers. The delivery time for that billpay system seems to be about three business days, normally.

 
3
moneysavermoneysaver29 posts since
Jan 8, 2011
Rep Points: 258
37. Friday, February 15, 2013 - 11:05 PM
dunker and moneysaver,

thanks for the great feedback.
1
MikeMike327 posts since
Feb 22, 2010
Rep Points: 876
38. Saturday, February 16, 2013 - 1:17 PM
Did anyone get the kasasa saver with the kasasa cash?  I expected it to be automatically attached, but it isn't.
1
MikeMike327 posts since
Feb 22, 2010
Rep Points: 876
39. Wednesday, February 20, 2013 - 1:19 PM
To add Kasasa Saver requires applying online again through its link. The same Welcome Packet is sent (like Kasasa Cash). What confused me is the cover letter referenced it as "Kasasa Checking (saver)" and included temp checks (& deposit slips).  However, it called "Kasasa Saver" on the signature card.

I called for clarification, and apparently "Saver" is another checking account.  It is linked to the "Cash" account, and the interest from "Cash" will automatically deposit to "Saver", just like other rca/rsa related accounts. However, it is not classified as a "savings" account, so it is not subject to Regulation D - meaning no 6-withdrawal restriction at least. On the other hand, it is set up to "act" like a savings account, since that's where money in excess of the 15k max @3% would/should be "saved" to earn 1% (to 50k) instead of only .25% >15k in the "Cash" account.

To satisfy the e-statement requirements, each account must be enrolled.  In the e-statement tab, each account must be checked off for receiviing e-statements, since it's defaulted to paper. You don't have to actually view the statement each month to qualify, but you must at least log into your account each month.

CSR noted there is no external transfer feature for pulling funds from another source. However, bill pay can be used to push to an outside account (as moneysaver posted).  

A unique bank with the unusual cycle, no bill pay or ach requirement, and this somewhat hybrid saver (v. savings) account. Their csr have all been very pleasant and helpful.
4
ekatekat75 posts since
Jan 22, 2010
Rep Points: 246
40. Sunday, February 24, 2013 - 7:17 AM
"CSR noted there is no external transfer feature for pulling funds from another source. However, bill pay can be used to push to an outside account (as moneysaver posted). "

Thanks for posting about that... As discussed above, RCA's with their own ACH transfer function are pretty much the exception rather than the rule. So FFB's status with that is pretty much like most of the rest.

It's great to hear, though, that their bill pay will allow external transfers to the account holder's accounts at other financial institutions. That's quite a neat little trick that many people may not be aware of. In fact, I think it's kind of amusing: I have another RCA Kasasa account that charges $5 for any external ACH, but they allow free bill payments to my accounts at other institutitons. And I've done individual $5K to $10K transfers using that means and yet to run into a payment limit problem.... DUH!!!!  Of course, each institution may have their own individual policies, so YMMV.

As for the Kasasa Saver accounts, quite a few of the banks that have been offering Kasasa RCA accounts also were offering companion savings-type accounts. I've never opened one, but I've probably had 3 or 4 different institutions with RCAs where I could have added one if I wanted.

But I've always chosen to keep ALL my cash funds in various RCAs, and not siphon off any into the lower-interest earning Kasasa saver accounts.
1
moneysavermoneysaver29 posts since
Jan 8, 2011
Rep Points: 258
41. Friday, March 1, 2013 - 9:39 PM
I applied from Washington today.  Hope out of state is still ok.  Anyone else have other nationally available account at 2.75% or better?
1
WashingtonianWashingtonian2 posts since
Mar 1, 2013
Rep Points: 13
42. Friday, March 1, 2013 - 10:48 PM
Just a bit of an update here re FFB's online transfers and online bill pay.

Re online transfers, indeed, now that I've completed my account setup and online banking registration, FFB does NOT seem to offer any ability thru their online banking setup to pull money into their account or push money out of their account to other financial institutions.

As for their bill pay, once you've opted into that, it's a bit misleading. The opening screen in bill pay is a group of categories of pre-configured payees like credit cards, utilities, etc etc... And you can set those up from that menu.

But, if you click past that (using the link at the very bottom of the webpage) to the Payments Center main page, you'll find they do offer the ability to pay money to any other individual or company located in the U.S. That's the good news. The bad news is, from reading their help info, it appears that payments to payees outside their pre-configured groups likely would be sent as printed/mailed paper checks to the payees....

As a prior poster indicated, there is no place in their payee setup to add another bank's ABA routing number and account number. They're only asking for name, address and phone number.

However, like any checking account, their Kasasa accounts do show FFB's ABA number and the user's account number (those are printed on your temporary checks and deposit slips they send at account setup). So presumably you can use those two to setup an ACH link at an outside financial institution that allows you to send ACH funds transfer to other accounts after having linked them via trial deposits verification.

I should also add, at least for me, their Bill Pay web page wouldn't load at all in my Firefox browser. I had to switch to IE in order to get the Bill Pay tab to load properly... I've had that problem with several other banks' bill pay sites as well, although their regular online banking sites load fine in FF. Not sure if that's something about my PC setup or their websites.
1
moneysavermoneysaver29 posts since
Jan 8, 2011
Rep Points: 258
43. Friday, March 1, 2013 - 10:52 PM
BTW, did anyone receive any info from the bank, or have any conversation with them, explaining what the daily ATM withdrawal and POS limits are on their VISA debit card associated with the Kasasa account???
1
moneysavermoneysaver29 posts since
Jan 8, 2011
Rep Points: 258
44. Friday, March 1, 2013 - 11:13 PM
BTW 2....

For new account holders, be aware that one of their requirements for receiving the full interest credit is enrolling/receiving E-statements for the account. And like some other banks, with FFB, you don't seem to be automatically enrolled through your basic account and online banking setup.

Once I was into their online banking, when I clicked E-Statements for the first time, it prompted me to register an email address, accept a disclosures document and then choose whether I wanted E-Statements or paper statements -- all of that before I could look at my first E-Statement.

Had I not gone thru that manual process, presumably, the bank would have not considered me enrolled for E-Statements and thus I would have failed, at least initially, to meet one of their qualifying criteria.

They do, meanwhile, seem to treat your account as qualifying (for interest rate purposes) for the first month qualifying cycle during which your account is initially funded and set up. However, that date could fall early or late in the qualifying cycle. And then there's still the time involved in mailing and receiving their debit card and PIN number. So that initial month is pretty useless, unless you happened (in my view a bad idea) to have done a very large initial/funding deposit.

They do require 12 POS per qualifying cycle. But at least, they don't require any monthly ACHs or bill pays. Just POS, sign into online banking and receive E-Statements.
1
moneysavermoneysaver29 posts since
Jan 8, 2011
Rep Points: 258
45. Tuesday, March 5, 2013 - 9:11 AM
Just a quick follow-up...

Over the past few days, I was able to successfully complete a link between one of my external accounts, which offers free in and outbound ACH transfers, and my new FFB Kasasa checking account.

The two trial deposit amounts from my external account showed up in my FFB account a couple of days after I had initiated them, and I was able to confirm those in my external account's online banking. So at this point, presumably, I'll be able to send funds into my FFB account or pull funds out using the ACH functions of my linked external account.
1
moneysavermoneysaver29 posts since
Jan 8, 2011
Rep Points: 258
46. Sunday, March 17, 2013 - 12:20 PM
In the recent post entitled "Need Help choosing RCA available to TX residents with Good Rates" the quick summary box says "This post applies to the following states: AR,MS." The poster says that his application to FFB was recently rejected. Ken, has the bank dropped its national availability?
1
dunkerdunker136 posts since
Jun 11, 2010
Rep Points: 414
Reply