Keesler Federal Credit Union 30-Month Step CDs Available Nationwide

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Deal Summary: 30-month Step and Jumbo Step Certificates, blended APYs of 3.10% APY ($1k) and 3.20% ($100k).

Availability: Easy membership.

This blog post was prompted by a comment posted by DA reader, alan1, on this week’s CD Rates Summary.

I believe Keesler membership is nationally available
via a donation to the American Cancer Society

Thank you, alan1, you are correct: Keesler Federal Credit Union (KFCU) has again expanded its field of membership (FOM) to include virtually all US citizens/resident aliens. I discuss this recent change in more detail in the "Availability" section below.

At the end of May, KFCU introduced its 30-month Step and Jumbo Step Certificates, featuring blended APYs of 3.20% ($100k) and 3.10% APY ($1k), respectively. While many CD rates have fallen in the past six months, these Certificates have maintained their rates.

APYMINMAXINSTITUTIONPRODUCTDETAILS
3.20%$100k-Keesler Federal Credit Union30 Month Jumbo Step CD
3.20%$100k-Keesler Federal Credit Union30 Month Jumbo Step IRA (Traditional, Roth)
3.10%$1k-Keesler Federal Credit Union30 Month Step CD
3.10%$1k-Keesler Federal Credit Union30 Month Step IRA (Traditional, Roth)
Rates as of January 19, 2020.

The Step and Jumbo Step Certificates are also offered as IRAs (Traditional and Roth), earning the same blended APYs with the same funding requirements.

The “step” refers to specific scheduled rate increases over the life of the Certificate, resulting in a blended APY.

30-Month Jumbo, $100k minimum, blended 3.20% APY

  • First 10 months, 2.10% APR
  • Second 10 months, 3.10% APR
  • Final 10 months, 4.10% APR

30-Month, $1k minimum, blended 3.10% APY

  • First 10 months, 2.00% APR
  • Second 10 months, 3.00% APR
  • Final 10 months, 4.00% APR

As stated in the Truth-in-Savings Disclosure, the Early Withdrawal Penalty reads as follows:

If the withdrawal does not reduce the certificate funds below the required minimum balance for this type of certificate, the member shall forfeit at the certificate rate an amount equal to the lesser of:

1. All dividends for 90 days from the amount withdrawn for certificates with a term of 1 year or less; or all dividends for 180 days on the amount withdrawn for certificates greater than 1 year; or

2. All dividends on the amount withdrawn since date of issuance or renewal.

Funding and Accessing Maturing Funds

Funds must be available in your KFCU account when the Step Certificate is opened. Depositing funds into the account can be completed through ACH transfer, wire transfer, or by mailing a check. KFCU also participates in the CO-OP Shared Branch network.

In a Live Chat yesterday, CSR stated,

Once the account is approved and open and we provide you with your account and routing number, you will have the option of transferring from another bank, mailing a check or going to one of our shared branches, which are credit unions that can service our Keesler members and accept deposits.

When the Step Certificate matures, there is a 10-day grace period before it automatically renews. Maturing funds can be distributed by ACH, wire, cashier’s check, or deposited into your KFCU savings account.

Unlimited beneficiaries, receiving equal shares, can be named. While Social Security numbers are not required, KFCU would “like to have as much information as you can provide” about the beneficiary.

Availability

Headquartered in Biloxi, Mississippi, Keesler Federal Credit Union’s field of membership (FOM) provides a way for almost any US citizen or resident alien to join.

Easy Membership – The fourth option on the Eligibility page of KFCU’s online membership application is “I am a member of the following association.” The first association listed is the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN), a “nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy affiliate of the American Cancer Society” that anyone can join.

I asked in a Live Chat if it was necessary to join ASC CAN first and then apply to KFCU, or was it possible to join both simultaneously. CSR replied,

You can go ahead and select the ACSCAN and submit your application. Once we
receive it, we will send you the [ACSCAN] form that will need to be filled out for that.

This is the second time KFCU changed its FOM to offer its product line on a nationwide basis. In August 2018, KFCU added a 7-month Share Certificate Special earning 5.00% APY. That outstanding rate resulted in so many out-of-area inquiries, KFCU expanded its FOM, making almost all U.S. citizens and resident aliens eligible for membership.

When KFCU began offering the Step Certificates this past July, there was some confusion concerning on who could use the ACS CAN membership to join. KFCU started placing geographic limitations on the ACS CAN option sometime prior to July 2019, effectively wiping out the nationwide availability.

In a Live Chat yesterday, CSR confirmed that all U.S. citizens or resident aliens are eligible to join KFCU through an ACS CAN membership, regardless of where they live. CSR also stated that this FOM change was recent, having taken place in the last few months.

This isn’t the first time we’ve seen credit unions expanding their FOM based on nationwide interest and inquiries on specific products. The most recent example is PSECU, which went from a state-wide easy membership requirement to a nationally available easy membership requirement.

Residency – Individuals who live, work, worship, or attend school in the Mississippi counties of Forrest, Hancock, Harrison, or Pearl River, or select census tracts in the counties of Hinds or Jackson are eligible to join. Also qualifying for membership are those who live, work, worship, or attend school in select census tracts in St. Tammany or Orleans Parishes, Louisiana, or Mobile County, Alabama.

Employment – Employee and/or members of more than 300 SEGs (listed on the online application) are eligible for membership.

Military Relationship – Active or retired military who can use the services at Keesler Air Force Base or at Royal Air Force Bases in the UK qualify for membership.

Family Relationship – Immediate family members (spouse, parent, grandparent, sibling, child, grandchild, significant other) of a current KFCU member are welcome to apply.

Joining Keesler Federal Credit Union can be done online, or at any of 25 full-service Mississippi branches, located in Biloxi, Diamondhead, D’Iberville (2), Flowood, Gautier, Gulfport (3), Hattiesburg (2), Jackson, Keesler AFB, Long Beach, Madison, Ocean Springs (2), Pascagoula, Petal, Picayune, Ridgeland, Stennis Space Center, Vancleave, Waveland, and Wiggins. KCFU also has five Louisiana branches in Covington, Mandeville, New Orleans, Slidell (2), and two Alabama branches, both located in Mobile.

Primary share minimum deposit of $5.00 required to open.

Opening a Step Certificate can be done at any of the above-mentioned branch locations or by phone (888-533-7537). In a Live Chat, CSR stated,

To open a certificate online, we would need to receive a request through
your online message board once logged in to your Keesler Online account.

In addition to participating in the CO-OP Shared Branch network, KFCU also offers its members access to the CO-OP ATM network.

Credit Union Overview

Keesler Federal Credit Union has an overall health grade of "A" at DepositAccounts.com, with a Texas Ratio of 1.85% (excellent) based on September 30, 2019 data. KFCU has an excellent capitalization level (14.74%), the result of holding $2.96 billion in assets with $435.23 million in equity. Please refer to our financial overview of Keesler Federal Credit Union (NCUA Charter # 5561) for more details.

Chartered in 1947, Keesler Federal Credit Union was established by ten civil services employees at Keesler Field, the predecessor of Keesler AFB. At the end of the first year of operations, KFCU had approximately 270 members and $7k in assets. In its 73rd year of operation, KFCU is the largest credit union in Mississippi, with nearly 244,000 members and assets in excess of $2.9 billion.

How the Step Certificate Compares

When compared to 202 similar length-of-term CDs tracked by DepositAccounts.com that are available nationwide, Keesler Federal Credit Union’s 30-Month Step Certificate and Jumbo Certificate blended APYs currently rank first and second, respectively, and regardless of minimum deposit requirements.

Interest RateCD Length of TermCredit Union/Bank
3.20% APY30-Month Step Jumbo Certificate ($100k)Keesler Federal Credit Union
3.10% APY30-Month Step Certificate ($1k)Keesler Federal Credit Union
2.58% APY3-Year Jumbo CD ($50k)Advancial
2.53% APY3-Year Share Certificate ($500)Garden Savings Federal Credit Union

The above rates are accurate as of 1/16/2020.

To look for the best CD rates, both nationwide and state specific, please refer to our CD Rates Table page.

Related Pages: New Orleans CD rates, Biloxi CD rates, 5-year CD rates, nationwide deals

Comments
zz
zz   |     |   Comment #1
The blended percentage doesn't make sense to me. For the Jumbo, it seems getting 2.1%, 3.1%, 4.1% should be the equivalent of getting 3.1%, not the claimed 3.2%, what am I missing?
Month Balance Interest Balance Interest
0       $100.00   2.10%  $100.00  3.10%
1       $102.10   2.10%  $103.10  3.10%
2       $104.24   2.10%  $106.30  3.10%
3       $106.43   2.10%  $109.59  3.10%
4       $108.67   2.10%  $112.99  3.10%
5       $110.95   2.10%  $116.49  3.10%
6       $113.28   2.10%  $120.10  3.10%
7       $115.66   2.10%  $123.83  3.10%
8       $118.09   2.10%  $127.66  3.10%
9       $120.57   2.10%  $131.62  3.10%
10     $123.10   3.10%  $135.70  3.10%
11     $126.92   3.10%  $139.91  3.10%
12     $130.85   3.10%  $144.25  3.10%
13     $134.91   3.10%  $148.72  3.10%
14     $139.09   3.10%  $153.33  3.10%
15     $143.40   3.10%  $158.08  3.10%
16     $147.85   3.10%  $162.98  3.10%
17     $152.43   3.10%  $168.03  3.10%
18     $157.15   3.10%  $173.24  3.10%
19     $162.03   3.10%  $178.61  3.10%
20     $167.05   4.10%  $184.15  3.10%
21     $173.90   4.10%  $189.86  3.10%
22     $181.03   4.10%  $195.74  3.10%
23     $188.45   4.10%  $201.81  3.10%
24     $196.18   4.10%  $208.07  3.10%
25     $204.22   4.10%  $214.52  3.10%
26     $212.59   4.10%  $221.17  3.10%
27     $221.31   4.10%  $228.03  3.10%
28     $230.38   4.10%  $235.09  3.10%
29     $239.83   4.10%  $242.38  3.10%
30     $249.66               $249.90

Of course, 3.1% is still very good.
alan1
alan1   |     |   Comment #2
I've only looked at the first two lines of your table ("Month 0" and "Month 1") and I can already discern that you are missing something. If "Month 0" begins with $100 at an APY of 2.10%, how can you possible have a balance of $102. 10 for "Month 1"? 2.10% is an annual percentage rate. It is not a monthly figure.

I am not going to spend the time to determine whether that error vitiates your point. But your numbers are bonkers. Whether you're earning 2.10% or 3.10% or 3.20% or 4.10%, you're not going to turn $100 into nearly $250 in such a short time frame.
ConfedrcyDunces
ConfedrcyDunces   |     |   Comment #3
To actually answer the question, APR and APY are two different things.
zz
zz   |     |   Comment #5
I should have called it time periods. I divided the interest rate by 12 (eg 2.1% to 2.1%/12) and got the same overall results, this time with both columns (the hybrid and the 3.1%/12) giving $108.05, which makes it look like it should be 3.1% instead of 3.2%. I think ConfedrcyDunces has the right answer in that APR and APY are two different things
#6 - This comment has been removed for violating our comment policy.
P_D
P_D   |     |   Comment #7
#1

It appears you have a number of errors in your model. However, there also appears to be some information needed to correctly reconcile the given numbers that isn't in the post so I think the best you can do is guess. The rate given for each of the 10 month periods is given as an APR. But the compounding period is not stated. I will deal with that later.

With regard to your model.

You are applying the APR to each month without breaking it into a monthly rate. You are using the annual rate each month. For example, in your model after one month your $100 initial deposit grows to $102.10. But that isn’t correct. At 2.10% APR on $100, $2.10 would represent the interest for an entire year, not a single month

I think there are other flaws (or call them probable unintentional assumptions), but I won't go into them since the first flaw will not lead to the correct result even ignoring the others.

Of course a $100 deposit would not qualify for the 3.20% APY as that takes a minimum $100k deposit. But that isn't relevant in calculating the APY so that isn't a problem if that's all we want to do.

Since the yield for each 10 month period is quoted as an APR, in order to calculate the APY, you must know the compounding period. But it is not given (at least I didn't see it, I just skimmed the post).

I tried a number of compounding scenarios to come up with the 3.20% APY.

The first one I tried was assuming that the compounding period was every 10 months. This yielded an APY of 3.18% (which is not equal to the stated 3.20%).

The only compounding period that yielded an APY of 3.20% was semi-annual compounding. If you assume semi-annual compounding you come up with an APY of 3.196% = 3.20% rounded. This may or may not be how they calculate it. There could be other ways. I was forced to make an inference since there is information I don't have.
#8 - This comment has been removed for violating our comment policy.
#9 - This comment has been removed for violating our comment policy.
ASaver
ASaver   |     |   Comment #10
I take "Blended APY" to mean the fixed rate APY giving equivalent yield for the "30 Month Step Jumbo Certificate". The calculations below compute the equivalent fixed rate APR of 3.09999086836% using daily compounded interest. The equivalent fixed rate APY would be 3.14840518938% instead of the 3.2% listed.

If you paste the calculation lines with the trailing '=' sign into Google search you will get the calculated numeric results shown.

The total percentage yield over a period of 30 months can be computed as follows:

Using daily compounded interest, the number of days in each 10 month period are needed beginning with February 1, 2020, which surprisingly are the same:

29+31+30+31+30+31+31+30+31+30=
304
31+31+28+31+30+31+30+31+31+30=
304
31+30+31+31+28+31+30+31+30+31=
304

Number of days for the entire 30 month period is:
304*3=
912

The total percentage for 2.1%, 3.1%, and 4.1% APR steps for three 10 month (304 day) periods each is:
(((1+2.1/36500)*(1+3.1/36500)*(1+4.1/36500))^304-1)*100=
8.05325451813

The equivalent fixed rate APR percentage is therefore given by:
((1+8.05325451813/100)^(1/912)-1)*36500=
3.09999086836

The equivalent fixed rate APR percentage is also given more directly by:
(((1+2.1/36500)*(1+3.1/36500)*(1+4.1/36500))^(1/3)-1)*36500=
3.09999086836

You can check this using:
((1+3.09999086836/36500)^912-1)*100=
8.05325451813

To get equivalent fixed rate APY:
((1+3.09999086836/36500)^365-1)*100=
3.14840518938
P_D
P_D   |     |   Comment #11
I think your calcs are good, and they are precisely the numbers I came up with independently when I calculated this same scenario last night using prescribed FDIC calculations based on regulation. I kept some of the numbers and they match yours exactly.

My feeling after trying several different possible generous interpretations was that the 3.20% APY seems high. But nonetheless all of these calculations still use assumptions about how they arrived at the 3.20% APY that are speculative. I'd really like to see their calculations although it's likely even their back office can't provide them. Yes It is possible it is an error but I don't want to conclude that until I see what they have to say. Curiosity is getting the best of me!

Using your presentation:

The 8.05325451813 would have to be 8.19301994280556

And the 3.09999086836 would have to be 3.15172967268373

To get what you call the "equivalent fixed rate APY" to be ~3.20% instead of 3.14840518938%

With the 3.15172967268373% "equivalent fixed rate APR" I gave above the actual "fixed rate APY" would be 3.20178217681437%

The reason it isn't PRECISELY 3.200000000000% is that I used a generic calculation that takes into account that some 30 month periods will have more days than others because I was too lazy to do my calcs from last night over again to conform to your fixed 912 day example. :)

Suffice it to say, I think your calcs are good although they still use some assumptions that may or may not be right. I would want to see their calcs before investing because it isn't clear how they arrive at their numbers even using a generous interpretation (such as yours which uses daily compounding). So I am skeptical of their numbers but not ready to draw a conclusion that they are wrong.
#12 - This comment has been removed for violating our comment policy.
HZ
HZ   |     |   Comment #4
You have to live in Mississippi to open a business account
Ustaad
Ustaad   |     |   Comment #13
The interest is compounded quarterly for this product. The product code is "0437". Paste the following link in your browser and go to page 7 of the pdf. https://www.kfcu.org/media/disclosures/tis.pdf
Per my calculation the APY is 3.2096%. While the APR changes every 10 months, the interest is credited every 3rd month. See Ken's posting on the same product in 2019. He also pegged the yield at 3.21%
Keesler Federal Credit Union Has 30-Month Step CD, 3.21% APY Blended
UPDATE 7/18/2019: Easy membership requirement has geographical limitations, which is explained in greater detail in the “Availability” section below.

Deal Summary: 30-month Step and Jumbo Step Certificates, blended APYs of 3.10% APY ($1k) and 3.21% ($100k).

Availability: Limited easy membership requirement; residents of six southeast Mississippi counties and two southeast Louisiana parishes; employees/members of more than 300 SEGs.

About a year ago, Keesler Federal Credit Union (KFCU) caused quite a flurry of interest with a 5.00% APY offered on its 7-month Share Certificate Special. That...

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UPDATE 8/17/2018: The easy membership requirement through joining the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network has been expanded to include all U.S. citizens and resident aliens, no matter where they live.

Deal Summary:...
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