LA Financial Credit Union has just started to offer three types of Kasasa Checking accounts. The first is a high-yield reward checking account called Kasasa Cash. The second is Kasasa Cash Back which offers cash back on debit card purchases, and the third is Kasasa Tunes which offers refunds on iTunes and Amazon.com purchases.
Residents of the Los Angeles area finally have access to a local reward checking account. There were a few early reward checking accounts in the LA area several years ago. One was from Southland Credit Union which had offered a high-yield reward checking account back in 2007. Rates fell and the account was eventually discontinued.
Below is a summary of the three Kasasa checking accounts based on the credit union’s Kasasa page as of 6/5/2014.
All three accounts are free checking accounts with no minimum balance requirements. The below requirements are only needed to receive the monthly rewards. One common reward for all three accounts is domestic ATM fee reimbursements of up to $20 per statement cycle.
Kasasa Cash rewards if monthly requirements are met:
- 2.00% APY on balances up to $10,000
- 0.05% rate on portion of balance over $10,000
- 0.01% APY on entire balance if requirements are not met
Kasasa Cash Back rewards if monthly requirements are met:
- 3.00% cash back on debit card purchases up to a total cash back of $6.00 per month
Kasasa Tunes rewards if monthly requirements are met:
- Up to $6.00 in refunds of iTunes and/or Amazon.com purchases every month
The Kasasa Tunes also offers a $5 sign up bonus.
All of the above three accounts have the following monthly requirements to qualify for the above rewards:
- 15 debit card purchases
- 1 automatic payment (ACH) and 1 bill pay transaction
Below is some of the important small print listed in the credit union’s Kasasa page:
Limit one account per SSN. Direct Deposit is required. Transfers between accounts do not count as qualifying transactions.
Credit Union Membership Eligibility
The credit union membership is available to everyone who lives, works, worships, volunteers, or attends school in, or businesses or other legal entities in Los Angeles County, California or Lake Havasu, Arizona.
A minimum $5 balance is required in the primary savings account to maintain membership.
The credit union has an online application that can be used to join and to open accounts.
Credit Union Overview
LA Financial Credit Union branches are located in Los Angeles, Pasadena, Norwalk and in Lake Havasu City, Arizona.
The credit union was established in 1937 as the Los Angeles County Court Employees Federal Credit Union. The credit union expanded in size and membership, and in 2003 the name became LA Financial Federal Credit Union.
The credit union has an overall health grade at DepositAccounts.com of a B+ with a Texas ratio of 1.52% (excellent) based on March 2014 data. Please refer to our financial overview of LA Financial Credit Union for more details. The credit union is federally insured by the NCUA (Charter # 2024).
The Economics of High-Yield Reward Checking Accounts
For long-time reward checking account customers, the $10K balance cap is a little disappointing. Unfortunately, that is common now for new reward checking accounts. One interesting thing to note is the amount of the rewards for the Kasasa Cash Back and Kasasa Tunes accounts. Both offer up to $6 per month in rewards. To equal that amount of rewards in the Kasasa Cash account would require a balance of $3,600. If you maintain a $10,000 balance, your monthly interest will equal $16.67. This shows that the credit union expects that most people will maintain a balance around $3,600. For every customer who maintains a $10,000 balance, there are probably many others who maintain a balance under $3,600. That’s one nice thing about high-yield reward checking accounts. Non-savers help subsidize the high interest rate for savers.
How This Reward Checking Account Compares
The best deal for a reward checking account that’s available nationwide is the Ovation Checking at INOVA Federal Credit Union. That account still pays 3.00% APY for balances up to $20,000. This is accurate as of 6/5/2014.
To find the highest reward checking rates in your area, please refer to our reward checking rate table. This can also be used to find accounts available nationwide.
If you're new to reward checking, my blog post, 10 Common Traits of High-Yield Reward Checking, should be useful.