ELGA Credit Union (MI) Offers Top Rate on Kasasa Cash Checking

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Deal Summary: Kasasa Cash, 6.17% APY, up to $15k. Kasasa Saver, 1.51% APY, up to $250k.

Availability: Easy membership requirement in Michigan.

It’s been about three years since I last wrote about the ELGA Credit Union (ELGA) Kasasa brand products. The Kasasa Cash rate more than doubled last summer from 3.04% APY to 6.17% APY on qualifying balances up to $15k. Qualifying balances of $15k+ earn 0.25% APY, with non-qualifying balances earning 0.01% APY.

APYMINMAXINSTITUTIONPRODUCTDETAILS
6.17%-$15kELGA Credit UnionKasasa Cash
Rates as of April 17, 2024.

The monthly qualifying requirements include,

  • Have at least 15 debit or credit card transactions ($5 minimum).
  • Have at least one ACH or Direct Deposit.
  • Receive eStatements.

The Kasasa Cash account has no monthly service fee or minimum balance requirement; in addition, there is no minimum opening deposit requirement. Unlimited check writing is available and a free Visa debit card will be issued following account opening. Nationwide ATM fees will be automatically reimbursed up to $20 ($5 per single transaction) per month, if the qualifying requirements are met. Individual ATM fees of $5.01 or higher require a receipt for reimbursement and submitted within 60 calendar days of the transaction. There is a limit of one Kasasa Cash account per taxpayer ID.

Noteworthy Changes in ELGA’s Kasasa Cash Checking Account

When I compared this current Kasasa Cash account to the one I reviewed three years ago, I noticed a few noteworthy changes in addition to the higher rate. One unfortunate new feature is that the number of required debit card transactions increased from ten to 15 per month. Also, each transaction must now be at least $5. There was no listed minimum three years ago.

The most noteworthy new feature that ELGA added to its Kasasa Cash account is that a credit card can now be used instead of a debit card for the monthly qualifying requirements. This is the first time I’ve seen a Kasasa account provide a credit card option. For those who prefer using credit cards instead of debit cards, this can be a major feature. Credit cards are often considered safer to use than debit cards. Also, credit cards often come with cash back rewards. ELGA offers three VISA credit cards; one offers 1% cash back. It’s certainly not the best cash back percentage, but when you combine it with the Kasasa Cash rewards, it may make this checking account worthwhile for you.

Kasasa Saver

The Kasasa Saver account links to the Kasasa Cash account, with automatic transfer of Kasasa Cash earnings on a monthly basis. Qualifying balances earn 1.51% APY up to $250k, with qualifying balances of $250k+ earning 0.25% APY; non-qualifying balances earn 0.01% APY.

APYMINMAXINSTITUTIONPRODUCTDETAILS
1.51*%-$250kELGA Credit UnionKasasa Saver
OTHER TIERS: 0.25% $250k+
Rates as of April 17, 2024.

Like the Kasasa Cash, the Kasasa Saver has no monthly service, no minimum balance requirement, or minimum opening deposit requirement.

Annual Earnings of Combined Kasasa Cash/Kasasa Saver Accounts

The potential combined annual earnings of the Kasasa Cash (6.17% APY/$15k) and the Kasasa Saver (1.51% APY/$250k) is approximately $4,700 (1.774% APY/$265k). Given the Kasasa Saver’s mediocre APY (as compared to APYs of today's online savings accounts), there is no point in maintaining more than a de minimis balance.

Kasasa Cash Back

ELGA offers a Kasasa Cash Back account that earns 5.00% cash back on the first $200 in monthly debit and credit card purchases. If you are planning on maintaining a balance of less than $2,000, the Kasasa Cash Back account would probably be a better deal than the Kasasa Cash account, as the maximum annual earnings for the Kasasa Cash Back account is $120 ($10 per month).

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. Founded in 2003, Kasasa’s sought to develop and market software products for Central Texas community bank. The first account, REWARDChecking®, played a pivotal role in shaping the future of the company.

According to an April 2022 Kasasa blog post,

Kasasa Cash offers a high annual percentage yield (the amount of money you get back in interest, in other words). If you want some extra cash every month to make life a little easier, to treat yourself to something special, or just watch your account balance grow, this is the account for you.

When you spend money with your credit or debit card, it benefits the provider. They make money with every swipe. Why shouldn’t you get a piece of that for choosing to use your bank or credit union’s debit card? It helps them, and it helps you

Availability

Headquartered in Burton, Michigan, ELGA Credit Union’s field of membership (FOM) expanded a few years ago to include all U.S. citizens and resident aliens (18-years or older with a valid Social Security number) who live, work, worship, volunteer, or attend school anywhere in Michigan.

Employee, members, and retirees of the building trades (AFL/CIO) or Consumers Energy also qualify for membership.

Saginaw Valley State University faculty, staff, students, and alumni are eligible for membership.

Immediate family members of current ELGA members are also welcome to apply.

Complete membership details are available on the Join the ELGA Family page.

Account Opening

Joining ELGA and/or opening a Kasasa brand account can be done online or in person at any of 12 full-service Michigan branches, located in Burton, Clio, Davison, Fenton, Flint (2), Flushing, Goodrich, Grand Blanc, Lapeer (2), and Saginaw.

Opening a Membership Share account with a $5 minimum deposit establishes an ELGA membership. A minimum balance of $200 is required to earn dividends.

ELGA participates in the CO-OP Shared Branching and ATM Networks. ELGA members can,

Use the Co-Op ATM Finder page to find a Fee-Free ATM or Shared Branch close to you. Nearly 30,000 ATMs and 5,000 Shared Branches Nationwide.

Credit Overview

ELGA Credit Union has an overall health grade of "B" at DepositAccounts.com, with a Texas Ratio of 12.64% (above average), based on September 30, 2023 data. In the past year, ELGA’s total non-brokered deposits decreased by -$35.58 million, a below average annual growth rate of -3.33%. Please refer to our financial overview of ELGA Credit Union (NCUA Charter # 61797) for more details.

ELGA Credit Union was founded in 1951 as the Flint Division Consumers Power Company Federal Credit Union for the benefit of Consumers Energy employees. (Consumers Energy currently provides natural gas and electricity to 67% of Michigan residents.) The ELGA name, which incorporates the first two letters of “ELectric” and “GAs,” was selected in 1959 following a contest to rename the Credit Union. Currently Michigan’s 17th largest credit union, ELGA has nearly 95,000 members and assets in excess of $1.4 billion.

How the Kasasa Cash Compares

When compared to High Yield Reward Checking Accounts tracked by DepositAccounts.com, which are available to all Michigan residents and have maximum qualifying balances of at least $15k, the ELGA Credit Union Kasasa Cash APY currently ranks first.

The above information and rates are accurate as of 2/8/2024.

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: Detroit checking accounts, Flint checking accounts, reward checking accounts

Comments
ELGA Credit Union (MI) Now Offers Kasasa Products Statewide
Deal Summary: Kasasa Cash, 3.04% APY, up to $15k; Kasasa Saver, 0.55% APY, up to $250k.

Availability: Michigan

In the last year, ELGA Credit Union (ELGA) raised the rate on its Kasasa Cash account from 2.02% APY to 3.04% APY on qualifying balances up to $15k. Qualifying balances of $15k+ earn 0.25% APY, with non-qualifying balances earning 0.01% APY.

The monthly qualifying requirements remain unchanged and include,

  • Have at least ten debit card purchases.
  • Have at least one ACH or Direct Deposit.
  • Enroll in and receive eStatements.
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ELGA Credit Union’s (ELGA) Kasasa Cash account currently earns 2.02% 3.04% APY on qualifying balances up to $15k. Qualifying balances of $15k+ earn 0.25% APY, with non-qualifying balances earning 0.05% APY.

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