I last wrote about the Kasasa Cash offered by Massachusetts-based Lee Bank in early 2018, following a rate increase of 50 bps. At that time, the Kasasa Cash earned 3.00% APY on qualifying balances up to $15k. Both the rate and balance cap decreased a year ago to 2.50% APY and $10k, respectively. Qualifying balances over $10k earn 0.50% APY (an unusually high second-tier rate), with non-qualifying balances earning 0.05% APY.
The Kasasa Cash account has been part of Lee Bank's product line for about seven years. Prior to offering Kasasa brand products, Lee Bank's product line included CACHEChecking and CACHESaver (marketed by BancVue, the predecessor of Kasasa Ltd.). The only difference between the Kasasa account and the CACHE accounts was the name: rates, balance caps, and requirements were the same.
The monthly qualification requirements have not changed and include,
- At least 12 debit card purchases
- At least one direct deposit or one ACH payment
- Be enrolled in and agree to receive eStatements
The Kasasa Cash account has no minimum balance requirement or monthly service fee, but does require a $25 minimum opening deposit. Unlimited check writing is available and a free Mastercard debit card will be issued following account opening. Unlimited nationwide ATM fees will be reimbursed up to $25 each month (max $4.99 per single transaction), if qualification requirements are met. An ATM receipt is required for reimbursement for individual fees of $5 or higher. There is a limit of one Kasasa Cash account per Social Security number per household.
The Kasasa Saver currently earns 1.25% APY on qualifying balances up to $25k. Qualifying balances over $25k earn 0.50% APY, with non-qualify balances earning 0.05% APY.
Kasasa Cash and Kasasa Cash Back earned rewards are automatically transferred to a linked Kasasa Saver account each month. Like the Kasasa Cash account, the Kasasa Saver has no minimum balance requirement or monthly service fee, but only requires a $10 minimum opening deposit. There is a limit of one Kasasa Saver account per Social Security number per household.
Annual Earnings of Combined Kasasa Cash/Kasasa Saver Accounts
The potential combined annual earnings of a Kasasa Cash account (2.50% APY/$10k) and a Kasasa Saver account (1.25% APY/$25k) is approximately $560 (1.60% APY/$35k). The 1.60% APY is one of the highest rates I've seen for combined Kasasa Cash/Saver accounts.
Due to the unusually high second-tier rate, it’s also useful to look at the potential combined annual earnings for large balances. For a $100k balance, the potential combined annual earnings of a Kasasa Cash account (2.50% APY/$10k) and a Kasasa Saver account (1.25% APY/$25k and 0.50% APY/$65k) is approximately $885 (0.89% APY/$100k).
Kasasa Cash Back
Lee Bank's Kasasa Cash Back account earns 4.00% cash back on debit card purchases, limited to the first $200 in monthly debit card purchases. If you are planning on maintaining a balance of less than $3,800, 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 $96 ($8 per month).
The Kasasa Brand
Kasasa: the free checking account that rewards each month for doing things you already do.
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 Lee, Massachusetts (Berkshire County), Lee Bank currently offers its Kasasa brand products to residents of Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island, and Vermont.
Opening a Kasasa Cash, Kasasa Cash Back, or Kasasa Savings account can be done online, or at any of five Massachusetts branches located in Great Barrington, Lee, Lenox, Pittsfield, and Stockbridge. Appointments are available and can be scheduled online.
Lee Bank has an overall health grade of "B+" at DepositAccounts.com, with a Texas Ratio of 7.45% (excellent) based on December 31, 2020 data. In the past year, Lee Bank increased its total non-brokered deposits by $68.38 million, an excellent annual growth rate of 21.06%. Please refer to our financial overview of Lee Bank (FDIC Certificate # 33645) for more details.
Founded in 1852 as The Lee National Bank, Lee Bank is currently Massachusetts’ 81st largest bank, with assets in excess of $454 million. As a community bank, Lee Bank “has always given back to the community, and always will.” According to a March 2021 press release,
Lee Bank is amplifying its longstanding community reinvestment efforts with the creation of the Lee Bank Foundation, after a record year of contributions to the Berkshire nonprofit community.
In 2021, Lee Bank projects distributing $250,000 through the Foundation, a more formal entity for community donations. In 2020, Lee Bank awarded $179,000 to community organizations, following several years of steady growth in funding.
“Lee Bank’s community contributions stretch back to its origins in 1852, but establishing Lee Bank Foundation sharpens our focus even further,” said Chuck Leach, president of Lee Bank. “The Foundation also simplifies the application process for organizations doing meaningful work to support our Berkshire community.”
How the Kasasa Cash Compares
Given the multi-state availability, a comparison using nationally available accounts is appropriate. When compared to the High Yield Reward Checking Accounts tracked by DepositAccounts.com, which are available nationwide and have maximum qualifying balances of at least $10k, Lee Bank’s Kasasa Cash APY currently ranks sixth.
The above information and rates are accurate as of 4/29/2021.
To look for the best Reward Checking Account rates, both nationwide and state specific, please refer to our High Yield Reward Checking Account rates table page.