Three years ago, Mississippi-based Keesler Federal Credit Union (KFCU) began offering Kasasa brand products, including a competitive Kasasa Cash account. The Kasasa Cash's inaugural 3.00% APY on qualifying balances up to $25k was raised last week to 5.00% APY. Qualifying balances over $25k earn 0.50% APY (an unusually high rate for a second-tier APY), with non-qualifying balances earning 0.05% APY.
As I noted in the Keystone Bank blog post this week, reward checking accounts (RCA) rates have generally lagged behind online savings and money market rates, even as the Fed continued to raise interest rates. It’s nice to see an RCA rate which is within striking distance of the highest online savings account rate. For savers primarily concerned with yield, that can make fulfilling the RCA monthly requirements worthwhile.
|5.00*%||-||$25k||Keesler Federal Credit Union||Kasasa Cash|
|OTHER TIERS: 0.50% → $25k+|
The qualification requirements include,
- At least 12 debit card transactions
- At least one direct deposit, ACH credit, or ACH payment transaction
- eStatements required
The Kasasa Cash account has no minimum balance requirement, no monthly service fee, but does require a $25 minimum opening deposit. Nationwide ATM fees will be reimbursed up to $25 per month, if qualifying requirements are met. Unlimited checking writing is available and a free debit card will be issued following account opening. There is a limit of one account per Social Security number and a Kasasa Cash account may not be used as a commercial account. If the Kasasa Cash account is closed, any rewards that have not been credited to your account will be forfeited. A Kasasa Cash is required to have a linked Kasasa Saver account.
Kasasa Saver Account
KFCU also offers a Kasasa Saver account, as a companion account to Kasasa Cash and Kasasa Cash Back accounts. Earned rewards and ATM fee reimbursements automatically sweep to this account each month. Unfortunately, the Kasasa Saver account rate has not been increased and continues to earn 1.00% APY on qualifying balances up to $150k; qualifying balances over $150k earn 0.40% APY, with non-qualifying balances earning 0.05% APY.
|1.00*%||-||$150k||Keesler Federal Credit Union||Kasasa Saver|
|OTHER TIERS: 0.40% → $150k+|
Like the Kasasa Cash account, the Kasasa Saver has no monthly service charge or minimum balance requirement, and can be opened with a $25 minimum deposit. There is a limit of one Kasasa Saver account per Social Security number and it may not be used for commercial purposes. If a Kasasa Saver account is closed, any rewards that have not been credited to your account will be forfeited.
Annual Earnings of Combined Kasasa Cash/Kasasa Saver Accounts
The potential combined annual earnings of a Kasasa Cash account (5.00% APY/$25k) and a Kasasa Saver account (1.00% APY/$150k) is approximately $2,750 (1.57% APY/$175k). The Kasasa Saver 1.00% APY is so uncompetitive, it doesn’t make any sense to deposit any funds other than the automatic sweep of earned rewards and ATM fee reimbursements.
Kasasa Cash Back
The KFCU Kasasa Cash Back account earns 3.00% cash back on up to $300 in monthly debit card purchases. If you are planning on maintaining a balance of less than $2,100, the Kasasa Cash Back account would probably be a better deal than the Kasasa Cash Checking account, as the maximum annual earnings for the Kasasa Cash Back account is $108 ($9 per month).
The Kasasa Brand
Kasasa accounts reward you for using your debit card … and a bunch of other things you’re probably already doing.
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 Biloxi, Mississippi, Keesler Federal Credit Union’s field of membership (FOM) has changed four times since 2017, with its easy membership requirement (EMR) vacillating between limited availability and nationwide coverage. The EMR through the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) is currently available only to residents of Alabama, Louisiana, and Mississippi.
Limited Easy Membership – The fifth option on the KFCU online membership application reads “I am a member of the following association.” The first association listed is ACSCAN, a “nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy affiliate of the American Cancer Society.”
According to CSR, if you want to join ACSCAN, you can submit the application with the ACSCAN option selected and KFCU will send you an ACSCAN membership form.
Residency – Individuals who live, work, worship, or attend school in the Mississippi counties of Forrest, Pearl River, Harrison, Hancock, Copiah, Holmes, Lincoln, Madison, Rankin, Simpson, Warren, or Yazoo are eligible to join. Also qualifying for membership are those who live, work, worship, or attend school in select census tracts in Hinds or Jackson Counties (MS), Mobile County (AL), or Jefferson, Orleans, Plaquemines, St. Bernard, St. Charles, St. James, St. John the Baptist, or St. Tammany Parishes (LA).
Employment – Employee and/or members of more than 300 SEGs are eligible for membership.
Military Relationship – Active or retired military who can use the services at Keesler Air Force Base or at the 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.
The “Join the Family” page also states,
If you’re not sure you’re eligible, contact us and we’ll help you with additional options for qualifying for membership.
Joining Keesler Federal Credit Union and/or opening a Kasasa Cash, Kasasa Cash Back, or Kasasa Saver account(s) can be done online, or at any of the 29 Mississippi, six Louisiana, or two Alabama branch locations.
A minimum deposit of $5.00 in a Primary Share account is required to establish a KFCU membership.
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 "B+" at DepositAccounts.com, with a Texas Ratio of 4.13% (excellent) based on December 31, 2022 data. KFCU has an excellent capitalization level (11.17%), the result of holding assets of $4.19 billion with $467.73 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 76th year of operation, KFCU is the largest credit union in Mississippi and the 95th largest credit union in the nation, with nearly 310,000 members and assets in excess of $4.1 billion.
How the Kasasa Cash Compares
Given KFCU’s multi-state FOM, a comparison to nationally available RCAs is appropriate. When compared to the High Yield Rewards Checking Accounts tracked by DepositAccounts.com that are available nationally available and have maximum qualifying balances of at least $25k, Keesler Federal Credit Union’s Kansas Cash APY currently ranks first.
The above rates are accurate as of 5/9/2023.
To search for the best Reward Checking Account rates, both nationwide and state specific, please refer to our High Yield Reward Checking Account Rates Table page.