Alternatives Federal Credit Union (NY) Adds Kasasa Cash Checking


Deal Summary: Kasasa Cash, 3.00% APY on qualifying balances up to $20k. Kasasa Saver, 1.50% APY on qualifying balances up to $100k.

Availability: Residents of seven New York Finger Lake region counties.

Alternatives Federal Credit Union (Alternatives) is another institution that offers both Kasasa Cash and Kasasa Saver accounts that when combined allow members to earn a high rate (higher than online savings account rates) on a relatively large balance. Alternatives’ Kasasa Cash account currently earns 3.00% APY on qualifying balances up to $20k. Qualifying balances over $20k earn 0.10% APY, with non-qualifying balances earning 0.05% APY.

3.00*%-$20kAlternatives Federal Credit UnionFree Kasasa Cash Checking
OTHER TIERS: 0.10% $20k+
Rates as of February 28, 2024.

The Monthly Qualification Requirements include,

  • At least 13 debit card purchases ($5 minimum)
  • At least one ACH, BillPay Access transaction, or Direct Deposit
  • Be enrolled in and agree to receive eStatements

The Kasasa Cash has no monthly maintenance fees or minimum balance requirements. Existing Alternatives members can open a Kasasa Cash account with no required minimum deposit, but new members must deposit at least $7. Unlimited nationwide ATM fees will be automatically reimbursed up to $25 per monthly cycle, if the qualifying requirements are met. There is a limit of one Kasasa Cash account per applicant.

The fine print on the Kasasa Cash Checking page includes cautionary language that's being seen more frequently.

We expect the account's debit card to be used frequently throughout each month and for transaction amounts to reflect a reasonable dollar range. Small debit card transactions conducted on the same day at a single merchant and/or multiple transactions made during a condensed time period particularly near the end of a Monthly Qualification Cycle are not considered normal, day-to-day spending behavior. These types of transactions will not count toward earning the account's rewards.

Kasasa Saver Account

Alternatives’ Kasasa Saver account earns 1.50% APY on qualifying balances up to $100k. Qualifying balances over $100k earn 0.10% APY, with non-qualifying balances earning 0.05% APY.

1.50*%-$100kAlternatives Federal Credit UnionFree Kasasa Saver
OTHER TIERS: 0.10% $100k+
Rates as of February 28, 2024.

Earned rewards from the Kasasa Cash account and ATM fee reimbursements are automatically transferred to the Kasasa Saver each month. Like the Kasasa Cash account, the Kasasa Saver has no monthly maintenance fee, no minimum balance requirement, and no minimum deposit.

Annual Earnings of Combined Kasasa Cash/Kasasa Saver Accounts

The potential combined annual earnings of the Kasasa Cash (3.00% APY/$20k) and the Kasasa Saver (1.50% APY/$100k) is approximately $2,100 (1.75% APY/$120k).

The Kasasa Brand

For those not familiar with the Kasasa brand, Kasasa Cash is a type of Reward Checking Account (RCA) developed by the Texas company, Kasasa, Ltd. According to the Kasasa website,

Kasasa: the free checking account that rewards each month for doing things you already do.

By performing certain actions valuable to your bank or credit union, like using your debit card or online banking, your institution makes more money, which they share with you in the form of rewards.

In case you were wondering, “Kasasa” is just a made-up word.

In a world where real-life people are too often taken for granted as account numbers,
we didn’t want to be the next [INSERT GENERIC NAME] checking account.


Headquartered in Ithaca, New York, Alternatives Federal Credit Union’s field of membership (FOM) is residency-based, with U.S. citizens and resident aliens who live in the New York Finger Lake counties of Cayuga, Chemung, Cortland, Schuyler, Seneca, Tioga, or Tompkins eligible to join.

Joining Alternatives and/or opening a Kasasa Cash account can be done online. The sole New York branch located on N. Fulton Street in Ithaca has limited the access to its lobby.

For those who cannot complete transactions in the Drive-thru or Walk-up Teller, we have limited lobby hours for transactional services:

  • Monday-Friday, 2:00pm to 5:00pm.

If you are unable to complete the following services online, you may Contact Us to make an appointment. On-site appointments include

  • New Accounts
  • Loans (Consumer, Business and Mortgage)

Anyone with a confirmed appointment must complete a health screening questionnaire no more than 24 hours before the appointment.

Joining Alternatives is simple. A one-time $2 fee can cover your Alternatives membership and enroll you in the Alternatives Fund of Ithaca, Inc., the credit union’s not for profit field of membership association. Deposit $5 into your savings to become a shareholding owner-member of Alternatives Federal Credit Union.

Alternatives participates in the CO-OP Shared Branch network, giving members access to 5,500 shared branch locations across the country.

Credit Union Overview

Alternatives Federal Credit Union has an overall health grade of "B" at, with a Texas Ratio of 21.63% (above average), based on June 30, 2020 data. In the past year, Alternatives increased its total non-brokered deposit by $24.96 million, an excellent annual growth rate of 25.32%. Please refer to our financial overview of Alternatives Federal Credit Union (NCUA Charter # 23283) for more details.

Founded in 1978, Alternatives Federal Credit Union is currently the 64th largest credit union headquartered in New York, with more than 11,000 members and assets in excess of $138 million.

Alternatives is a Regional Community Development Credit Union (CDCU). A CDCU is a credit union with a mission of serving low and moderate-income people and communities. CDCUs are committed to providing access to safe financial services and education for underserved people. Our Community Programs include Free Tax Preparation, Student Credit Union, Financial Wellness, and Business CENTS.

How the Kasasa Cash Compares

When compared to the High Yield Reward Checking Accounts tracked by that are available within the FOM and have maximum qualifying balances of at least $20k, Alternatives Federal Credit Union’s Kasasa Cash APY currently ranks second.

The above rates are accurate as of 10/7/2020.

To look for the best Reward Checking Account rates, both nationwide and state specific, please refer to our High Yield Reward Checking Account Rates Table page.

Related Pages: Syracuse checking accounts, reward checking accounts


The financial institution, product, and APY (Annual Percentage Yield) data displayed on this website is gathered from various sources and may not reflect all of the offers available in your region. Although we strive to provide the most accurate data possible, we cannot guarantee its accuracy. The content displayed is for general information purposes only; always verify account details and availability with the financial institution before opening an account. Contact [email protected] to report inaccurate info or to request offers be included in this website. We are not affiliated with the financial institutions included in this website.