Update on Jeff Davis Bank's Reward Checking and Savings Accounts


It has been almost 3 years since I first reviewed the reward checking account at Jeff Davis Bank. Both the rate and the balance cap have gone down since then, but it remains fairly competitive. The account pays 4.01% APY on balances up to $15K as of 1/21/2011. The monthly requirements to qualify for the rate are pretty typical: 1) 10 debit card purchases, 2) one direct deposit or ACH payment, 3) access online banking, 4) receive e-statements. As is common with reward checking, there are no monthly fees regardless of meeting the requirements.

Another change that the bank has made is to convert the account to the Kasasa brand, and the reward checking is now called Kasasa Cash. Another Kasasa product offered by Jeff Davis Bank is Kasasa Tunes for those who prefer iTunes rewards instead of high interest rate. If you're mainly concerned with yield, Jeff Davis Bank's Kasasa Saver is a nice addition to the Kasasa Cash account. It currently pays 2.00% APY on balances up to $25K if you meet the Kasasa Cash monthly requirements. So if you have a $40K balance with $15K in the checking and $25K in the savings account, your average yield would be around 2.75%.

Online Application

Update 1/28/2011: At the bottom of the Kasasa application page, it now states "To open an account at Jeff Davis Bank you must reside within our service area of Southeast Texas and Louisiana."

There's an online application link at the bank's Kasasa Cash page which takes you to Kasasa.com. The first page of the application currently accepts all zip codes so the account is available nationwide. I also confirmed this with the bank. Please note that banks often change the availability of these accounts. So if you see that the application doesn't accept your zip code, they might have changed their policy. After you apply online, I was told you'll be instructed to mail in copies of your driver's license, social security card and a bill that has your address.

Hopefully, we'll see more nationally available reward checking accounts, but with news like we had yesterday, it might be more likely that we'll see fewer. As I mentioned in the discussion forum, Danversbank is being acquired by People's United Bank. It's too early to know what will happen to Danversbank's reward checking account (one of the best reward checking accounts available nationwide), but I'm not optimistic based on People's United's history.

Other High-Yield Reward Checking Accounts

To find reward checking accounts in your state or to find those available nationwide, please refer to the reward checking section of DepositAccounts.com.

Related Pages: JD Bank, Lafayette, Lake Charles, savings account

  |     |   Comment #1
the southern banks will rise again!
  |     |   Comment #2
Per New Accounts rep, they do a hard pull on your credit, also look at Chex inquiries. 
  |     |   Comment #3
According to the New Accounts rep that I spoke to, they do a hard pull only with ChexSystems and NOT with any of the major CRAs.  Also, I was informed that no additional documentation needs to be mailed in, when you apply online.  However, when a person applies at one of their branch locations, they must furnish the documentation mentioned in Ken's article.
  |     |   Comment #4
What meets the requirement for the ACH payment ? Can that be any ACH withdrawl?
  |     |   Comment #5
Was denied last month for 3 inquires on Chex Systems in 6 months.
  |     |   Comment #6
Anyone know their monthly qualifying circle?  Is it in calendar month or something else?  Thanks in advance.
  |     |   Comment #7
Do they offer free electronic bill pay with this account?
  |     |   Comment #8
To #7;

They have electronic bill pay, but it's not free.  From their website:


Bill Pay Fees

The fee for using Bill Pay is $4.00 per month for up to 15 transactions and $0.40 for each additional transaction. Your account will be charged the scheduled fee monthly*.

*The Bill Pay fee will be charged to your account on the last business day of the month. This fee will be charged each month regardless of your bill payment scheduling activity. The Bill Pay fee will continue even if you do not use Bill Pay once you have established the service. If you decide to stop using the service, you must notify us to cancel your bill payment monthly fee via email or see the Communicating With Us and Email section above. The Bill Pay fee is accessed on a per user basis. In regards to joint accounts, each registered Bill Pay user will be charged the monthly fee.

  |     |   Comment #9
I belive their monthly qualifying cycle is every 4th Wednesday of the month.
  |     |   Comment #10
I started to apply for an account today, but it now seems it's only open to residents of Texas and Louisana.

This excerpt was taken from https://www.kasasa.com/jeffdavisbank/cash/provider/jeffdavisbank/open/introduction:

"To open an account at Jeff Davis Bank you must reside within our service area of Texas and Louisiana. Jeff Davis Bank is not required to open accounts outside of our service area."

  |     |   Comment #11
Thanks Anonymous #9.  I opened the account on Jan 23rd, and the funds were drafted from my funding bank on 25th, but i won't have an account number until Jan 28th.  With the weekend and everything else, i won't be able to fully fund this account for a minimum of 10 days.  That's pretty slow.   
  |     |   Comment #12
As OregonNewbie (Post #10) commented on January 25,  Jeff Davis Bank's Kasasa Cash and KasasaSaver accounts are no longer nationally available.  To open an account now at Jeff Davis Bank, you must reside within their service area of Southeast Texas and Louisiana.
  |     |   Comment #13
A friend opened one of these accounts on Fri 1/21.  The initial deposit was drafted from his funding account on Mon 1/24.  Yesterday he received a message that he had been paid interest (.01) for the cycle beginning 01/24/11 and ending 01/25/11, although his account had not qualified.   

A second Email yesterday said that he would receive his debit card and checks in 14 business days (roughly 2/11).  After noticing that the next cycle ends 2/22 (the day before the fourth Wednesday) he emailed the CSR who had opened the account and politely asked if that cycle could be made eligible for the "first cycle courtesy pass".  The reply he received this morning:  "Unfortunately our system is set up to only allow the first cycle, with no criteria met, with the higher interest rate earned. Anytime a new Kasasa Account is opened the first month is automatically pro-rated for the remainder of the month. I apologize for the inconvenience, however all Kasasa Accounts are processed the same."

Some institutions offer to do a "forced qualify" in such cases, but that is apparently not an option. 

Not the most auspicious start.... 


  |     |   Comment #14
Anonymous#9, my friend was told that to be considered for qualification purposes, all transactions had to be posted by the day before the 4th Wednesday of the month. 
  |     |   Comment #15
Pearlbrown - looks like i'm in the same boat as your friend is.  I opened the account on 23rd and was told (in email by the rep) that i won't have my account number until 28th (this friday) as she can't activate the account before then.  But last night I received the statement ready for review notice (showing partial account number), so i emailed the same rep again today asking for the account and bank routing number.  Again, she refused and said she'll email all the information after 24 -48 hrs.  So far, it doesn't give me fuzzy feeling about this bank.   
  |     |   Comment #16
I think that they're just overloaded with all the new accounts that they have to process at the same time as they'tre putting out their monthly statements. Ken posts that they're available nationwide on Friday 1/21.  By the following Tuesday, they're only open to residents of TX and LA.  So over those four days they must have been inundated by people looking to earn 4%, even if it's only on $15K.

The obvious next question is how long do they stay at 4%?
  |     |   Comment #17
I called them last Wednesday and spoke to a nice lady who was convinced they take applications from anywhere in the US, but wanted to double check. She actually called me back about half an hour later and again confirmed there are no geographical restrictions. She said she was passing on the message about the apllication page stating differently and for now just check that box...
  |     |   Comment #18
So I went ahead and filled out the application... only to find an email response this morning stating they do in fact limit applications to South-East Texas and Louisiana :). Just for fun I'll give them another call in the morning.
  |     |   Comment #19
"The obvious next question is how long do they stay at 4%?"

They have had their current rate since feb of 2010.  They may change it tomorrow for all i know, but this doesn't seem to be a teaser rate.  So for those people complaining about not getting paid enough interest because you started the monthly cycle to late, this account has been around for a year.  Don't blame the bank for its policies, like everything, there has to be a hard cut-off for everyone.
  |     |   Comment #21
#19, No one is upset about not getting paid enough interest because they started the monthly cycle too late.  The point is that there is no way to meet the qualification requirements without the account number and debit cards, and in the instances discussed it was going to be 2 weeks before the customer received those.  Most FIs will take that into account - hence the (one-time) courtesy period when one earns the high rate, even though all the requirements may not have been completed.  Jeff Davis offers it (see the 1-cent interest received by one poster for one day participation) but a one-day courtesy period is meaningless and the CSR was unwilling to entertain a reasonable request for an exception.
  |     |   Comment #22
Primerate, any update after your last phone call?  I too went ahead and checked the Texas/Louisiana box and filled out the application yesterday...and also received the email this morning saying I was out of their service area.

Has anyone outside of that area been able to open an account after the restriction was placed?  If so, tell us how! : )
  |     |   Comment #23
Yes, I didn't consider this newsworthy so I hadn't posted this :), but I eventually replied to that email noting that I had called and specifically asked, and was advised to ignore the Texas/Lousiana message. I received another reply apologizing again and saying they had only recently started restricting applications that way and the person I spoke to must not have known of the change yet.

So... unless we want to relocate we're out of luck as far as JD Bank goes... too bad, as they not only seem to be quite large compared to some of the banks on the rewards checking charts, they also seem to be doing pretty well financially.

Oh well. I think I'm going with Lake Michigan Credit Union. Look them up on this site; there's a way to qualify wherever in the country you live.
  |     |   Comment #25
Cap changes announced Tue 2/22, effective with statement cycle beginning 3/24:

"... The interest rates will remain unchanged on both the Kasasa Cash and Saver accounts; however, we must lower the interest earning caps on both of those accounts.  The cap for maximum interest in the Kasasa Cash account will be lowered to $10,000 and the Kasasa Saver cap will be lowered to $15,000.  This change will take effect on your statement cycle beginning March 24, 2011. 

New Kasasa Cash structure

4.01% APY for balances at or below $10,000 that qualify

0.51% APY for balances above $10,000 that qualify

0.10% APY on all balances that do not qualify 

New Kasasa Saver structure

2.00% APY for balances at or below $15,000 that qualify

0.51% APY for balances above $15,000 that qualify

0.10% APY on all balances that do not qualify"

Currently, an accountholder who funded the RCA and Saver accounts fully would receive annual interest of approximately $1100.  Under this new structure, an accountholder who funded the same accounts fully would receive annual interest of approximately $701, a drop of 36%. 
  |     |   Comment #26
Gosh, just opened this account.  can't take it anymore. 
  |     |   Comment #27
#26, I'm not happy about the changes either since, like you, I just opened the account. 

However, I appreciate that they notified accountholders of the change with a fair amount of advance notice.  Recently, other institutions have made changes retroactive (Pelican State CU), or have served notice to accountholders by posting the changes on their website merely a couple of days ahead of the change (Beacon) and that served as the only notification (acceptable according to T&C but hardly cricket). 
  |     |   Comment #28
That I agree, #27.  The part "can't take anymore" was referring to my bank hunting, rate chasing experience - just tired of it. 
  |     |   Comment #29
I understand, #28....  it's becoming more challenging by the day to find worthwhile deals.  
High-Yield Reward Checking Account at a Louisiana Bank (Jeff Davis)

Update 3/24/2011: The balance cap has fallen from $15,000 to $10,000.

Jeff Davis Bank has a reward checking account called Kasasa Cash that pays 4.01% APY on balances up to $10,000 (0.51% for above) and refunds ATM fees if the following monthly requirements are met: 1) 10 MasterMoney Debit Card transactions, 2) one Direct Deposit or one ACH auto debit transaction, and 3) access monthly statements online. If these are not met, the rate falls to 0.25%. There are no minimum balance requirements or monthly service charges.

Update 1/28/2011: The account...

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