When I wrote about Liberty First Credit Union’s (LFCU) Kasasa Cash account last summer, it offered 3.00% APY on qualifying balances up to $40k. The 3.00% APY was in effect for about 11 months before it dropped to 2.00% APY last March. While it’s disappointing to see such a large rate decrease, the $40k balance cap keeps the Kasasa Cash account very competitive. Qualifying balances over $40k earn 0.15% APY, with non-qualifying balances earning 0.05% APY.
The qualifying requirements have remained the same since the Kasasa Cash account was introduced in 2014:
- Have at least 12 check card purchases
- Have at least one net direct deposit or ACH transaction
- Be enrolled in and log into Online Access
- Be enrolled in and receive e-Statements
Liberty First’s Kasasa Cash has no monthly service fees or minimum balance requirement, but does require a $50 minimum opening deposit. Unlimited check writing is available and a free Mastercard debit card will be issued following account opening. Nationwide ATM fees will be reimbursed up to $15 per month, if all qualifying requirements are met. Individual ATM fees of $5 or higher require a receipt for reimbursement. There is a limit of one account per Social Security number, and it may not be used as a commercial account.
Purpose and Expected Use of the Kasasa Cash Account
The Choose Your Checking Rewards page includes the following standard warning:
This account is intended to be the accountholder's primary share draft account in which payroll transactions and day-to-day spending activities including but not limited to grocery, gasoline, apparel, shopping, dining, sporting and entertainment transactions are posted and settled.
Commensurate with the spending activities identified above, we expect the account's debit card to be used frequently throughout each month and for transaction amounts to reflect a wide dollar range. Small debit card transactions conducted on the same day at a single merchant and/or multiple transactions made during a condensed time period particularly near the end of a Monthly Qualification Cycle are not considered normal, day-to-day spending behavior. These types of transactions appear to be conducted with the sole purpose of qualifying for the account's rewards and thus will be deemed inappropriate transactions and will not count toward earning the account's rewards.
LFCU’s Kasasa Saver currently earns 0.75% APY on qualifying balances up to $100k; qualifying balances over $100k earn 0.15% APY, with non-qualifying balances earning 0.05% APY.
The Kasasa Saver is a companion account to the Kasasa Cash account and can be opened with a $5 minimum deposit. Kasasa Cash earned rewards are automatically transferred to the linked Kasasa Saver account each month. There is a limit of one Kasasa Saver account per Social Security number, and it may not be used as a commercial account.
Annual Earnings of Combined Kasasa Cash/Saver Accounts
The maximum potential combined annual earnings of the Kasasa Checking (2.00% APY/$40k) and the Kasasa Saver (0.75% APY/$100k) is approximately $1,550 (1.107% APY/$140k), which is an usually high APY on a large balance for a rewards checking account.
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 Lincoln, Nebraska, Liberty First Credit Union’s field of membership (FOM) has changed since my July 2020 blog post and now includes an option for all Nebraska residents. Joining the Down Syndrome Association for Families of Nebraska (DSAF) now qualifies for LFCU membership. While there is no membership fee to join DSAF, any donation “to help offset the costs of member events and programming” is appreciated.
Individuals who live, work, worship, or attend school in Lancaster or Seward Counties are also eligible to join.
Individuals who live outside of Lancaster and Seward Counties can join if they are related by blood, marriage, or adoption to current members or membership-eligible individuals.
The FOM also includes 18 SEGs whose employees/members qualify for membership. The largest of these SEGs is the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway and its subsidiaries.
To establish membership, a share savings account with a balance
of least $5 must be opened. This represents one share of LFCU.
In addition to participating in the CO-OP Share Branch and ATM networks, LFCU is also a member of the MoneyPass ATM network.
Liberty First Credit Union has an overall health grade of "A+" at DepositAccounts.com, with a Texas Ratio of 3.17% (excellent) based on March 31, 2021 data. In the past year, LFCU has increased its total non-brokered deposits by $63.9 million, an excellent annual growth rate of 27.81%. Please refer to our financial overview of Liberty First Credit Union (NCUA Charter # 63757) for more details.
Liberty First Credit Union was originally founded in 1935 as the Burlington Employees Cooperative Credit Association, for the benefit of the employees of the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad. Less than 10 years later, the Credit Union converted from a credit association to a credit union. Liberty First Credit Union is currently the fourth largest credit union in Nebraska, with more than 31,000 members and assets in excess of $372 million.
How the Kasasa Cash Compares
As you can imagine, there are few High Yield Reward Checking Accounts that have maximum qualifying balances of at least $40k and are available to Nebraska residents. When compared to that small pool of RCAs tracked by DepositAccounts.com, Liberty First Credit Union’s Kasasa Cash APY currently ranks first.
The above rates are accurate as of 6/10/2021.
Interested in opening a Reward Checking Account? Please refer to our High Yield Reward Checking Account Rates Table page for both nationwide and state-specific accounts.