Keesler Federal Credit Union FirstStep CD Is 1-Year Add-On CD


Deal Summary: 1-Year FirstStep Certificate, 1.05% APY, $25 minimum opening deposit, unlimited additional deposits ($10 minimum) throughout the term.

Availability: Easy membership in Alabama, Louisiana, and Mississippi.

In the last two years, I’ve written several blog posts that highlight the various deposit deals at Mississippi-based Keesler Federal Credit Union (KFCU). One product never caught my eye since the rate remained low, but that product has become very competitive as its rate has held while others have fallen. That product is the 1-year FirstStep Certificate (1.05% APY). It’s an add-on CD, which allows unlimited additional deposits ($10 minimum) throughout the term. The FirstStep Certificate can be opened with a very low $25 minimum deposit.

1.05%$25-Keesler Federal Credit Union1 Year FirstStep CD
Rates as of January 27, 2021.

The 1.05% APY currently equals the rates of the top-rate nationally available savings accounts. Think of the FirstStep Certificate as a savings account with a year-long rate guarantee and an extremely limited withdrawal policy.

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 All dividends for 90 days from the amount withdrawn for certificates with a term of 1 year or less; or all dividends for 180 days on the amount withdrawn for certificates greater than 1 year; or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 All dividends on the amount withdrawn since date of issuance or renewal.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 FirstStep 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, 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 FirstStep 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 any beneficiary.

High Interest Money Market Account Plus

I wrote about KFCU’s High Interest Money Market Account Plus (HIMMA Plus) in August. This tiered rate account (1.50% APY, $100k+; 1.45% APY, $50k+; 1.40% APY, $2.5k+) has a six-month rate guarantee and is still available. For complete details about the HIMMA Plus, please refer to the August 20 blog post.

1.45*%$100k-Keesler Federal Credit UnionHigh Interest Money Market Account Plus - New Money
OTHER TIERS: 1.35% $2.5k - $50k | 1.40% $50k - $100k
Rates as of December 7, 2020.


Headquartered in Biloxi, Mississippi, Keesler Federal Credit Union’s field of membership (FOM) has changed four times in the past two years. The easy membership requirement (EMR) through the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network is now available only to residents of Alabama, Louisiana, and Mississippi.

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. Sometime during late spring 2019, KCU placed geographic limitations on the ACS CAN option, effectively wiping out the nationwide availability. When I wrote about KFCU’s competitive Step Certificates in January 2020, the FOM once again included all U.S. citizens or resident aliens, regardless of residency status. The limited EMR went into effective sometime between late January and early May.

Limited 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 (ACS CAN), a “nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy affiliate of the American Cancer Society.”

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.

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 the 26 Mississippi, six Louisiana, or two Alabama branch locations.

All branches are open regular business hours. We strongly encourage members who must visit a branch for all non-teller line or drive-thru business to use our Appointment Scheduling System. This will reserve your spot and reduce wait times.

While opening a FirstStep CD cannot be opened directly online, there is a Contact Us form to start the application progress. Opening a FirstStep CD can be done at any of the above-mentioned branch locations, or by calling the Member Contact Center (888.533.7537).

A minimum deposit of $5.00 in a Primary Share account is required to establish 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 "A+" at, with a Texas Ratio of 1.26% (excellent) based on June 30, 2020 data. In the past year, KFCU has increased its total non-brokered deposits by $510.67 million, an excellent annual growth rate of 23.14%. 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 260,000 members and assets in excess of $3.3 billion.

How the FirstStep Certificate Compares

Keesler Federal Credit Union’s multi-state FOM makes a comparison to nationally available CDs appropriate. When compared to 218 similar length-of-term CDs tracked by, which require a similar minimum deposit and are available nationwide, Keesler Federal Credit Union’s 1-year FirstStep Certificate APY currently ranks second. The low minimum initial deposit and unlimited number of deposits allowed throughout the term makes the 1-year FirstStep Certificate quite competitive.

The above rates are accurate as of 9/25/2020.

To look for the best CD rates, either nationwide or state-specific, please refer to our CD Rates Table page.

Related Pages: New Orleans money market accounts, Mobile money market accounts, Hattiesburg money market accounts, Jackson money market accounts, Biloxi money market accounts, money market accounts, 1-year CD rates

  |     |   Comment #1
Yeah, why not, if one already has an account there? Another one of those just-in-case things. I called in, very short hold time, CSR set it up in 4 minutes with $25. There is no dollar cap on it, and you can add POD beneficiaries now or later to increase FDIC coverage.
  |     |   Comment #2
Meant to say, NCUA coverage.
Ken Tumin
  |     |   Comment #3
Thanks for the info. It does seem like a great "just-in-case" CD, especially for those who are already members.
  |     |   Comment #4
One could open, if permitted, 5 accounts to make up over 5%? lol! Seriously, I'm debating whether to open this one and grin and bear, or a 1.50% 5 year by Service Credit Union (which I noticed had some negative reviews here) and still grin and bear? It seems the extreme low interest will continue for some years, right? I wonder what those who know this subject well would do in this case? :o)
  |     |   Comment #5
Another aspect to consider...what is the difference between options? In my view, the rate differential is minimal unless one has a large balance to deposit with insurance covering bennies...especially for out years. The Fed, in my view, is baiting everyone for Congress to act...”who in their right mind forecasts 4 years of nothing?” No one!
  |     |   Comment #6
Hi Choice, you think it possible the extreme low interests won't last as long as 4 years? Maybe it's better to wait until after elections when one may have a little better feeling of the direction where interests go? Meantime my $25K is getting a little irony where this Customers Bank's "Ascent MM" was opened with 2.25%, shortly after it descended to 1.25%, still shorter after it became 1.10%, and just a week or so after, it went down at 0.80%. I know I'm not alone, just showing how an ascent can very rapidly fly-descent. lol!
  |     |   Comment #7
Personally I think rates will stagnant for concept is don’t merely chase a very small difference in rates but (now) be more concerned about preserving capital, ie I care much more about principal
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