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 great rate resulted in so many out-of-area inquiries, KFCU expanded its field of membership, making almost all U.S. citizens and resident aliens eligible for membership.
When a hot deal like the 7-month Share Certificate Special pops up, there’s always hope it will lead to more competitive deals, particularly around the time when the original offering matures. At the end of May, KFCU introduced its 30-month Step and Jumbo Step Certificates, with blended APYs of 3.21% ($100k) and 3.10% APY ($1k), respectively.
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 3.21% 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 All dividends for 90 days from the amount withdrawn for certificates with a term of 1 year or less; or all dividends for 180 days on the amount withdrawn for certificates greater than 1 year; or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 All dividends on the amount withdrawn since date of issuance or renewal.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. 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.
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.
DA readers may remember that last year there was some confusion concerning who could use an ACS CAN membership to join KFCU.
In a recent Live Chat, CSR confirmed that any U.S. citizen or resident alien with an ACS CAN membership is eligible to join KFCU, regardless of where they live.
UPDATE 7/18/2019: Different KFCU CSRs and Supervisors have provided different information regarding credit union eligibility for ASC CAN members. It appears that this path to membership may have geographical limits. ASC CAN members outside of the named Mississippi counties and Louisiana parishes (listed below) may not be eligible. If you do want to join via ASC CAN membership, it's advisable to first contact KFCU to confirm your eligibility.
Note: DA reader, willy12, stated in a recent Forum post,
Just an FYI, they want your application NOTARIZED and a copy of your ID and they did a hard pull.
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 Hinds or Jackson Counties 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.
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 15 full-service Mississippi branches, located in Biloxi, Diamondhead, D’Iberville (2), Gautier, Gulfport (2), Keesler AFB, Long Beach, Ocean Springs, Pascagoula, Picayune, Stennis Space Center, Waveland, and Wiggins. KCFU also has five Louisiana branches, located in Covington, Mandeville, New Orleans, and Slidell (2).
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.
Credit Union Overview
Keesler Federal Credit Union has an overall health grade of "A" at DepositAccounts.com, with a Texas Ratio of 2.09% (excellent) based on March 31, 2019 data. In the past year, KFCU has increased its total non-brokered deposits by $10.35 million, an above average annual growth rate of 0.47%. 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 72nd year of operation, KFCU is the largest credit union in Mississippi, with nearly 234,000 members and assets in excess of $2.9 billion.
How the Step Certificate Compares
When compared to 211 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.
The above rates are accurate as of 7/17/2019.
To look for the best CD rates, both nationwide and state specific, please refer to our CD Rates Table page.