Nokomis Savings Bank Adds Kasasa Brand Products


Update: In June 2021, the Kasasa Cash Checking rate fell to 2.00% APY on qualifying balances up to $25k, and the Kasasa Saver rate fell to 0.50% APY on qualifying balances up to $100k. A reader reported being told by a bank official in October 2021 that Kasasa rates may soon be lowered or the Kasasa accounts may be discontinued.

Deal Summary: Kasasa Cash Checking, 3.00% APY on qualifying balances up to $25k. Kasasa Saver, 1.00% APY on qualifying balances up to $100k.

Availability: Central Illinois (CSR stated accounts are available nationwide)

DA began tracking the Kasasa brand products offered by Nokomis Savings Bank (NSB) quite recently, although the Kasasa brand products have been part of the NSB product line for about a year. The Kasasa Cash’s initial 3.00% APY on qualifying balances up to $25k is still in effect. Qualifying balances greater than $25k earn 0.25% APY, with non-qualifying balances earning 0.05% APY.

The monthly qualification requirements are comprised of,

  • At least 12 debit card purchases
  • At least one ACH credit or ACH payment transaction
  • Be enrolled in and agree to receive eStatements
  • Be enrolled in and log into online banking

The Kasasa Cash account has no minimum balance requirement or monthly service fee, but does require a minimum $100 opening deposit. Unlimited check writing is available and a free Mastercard® debit card will be issued after account opening. Unlimited nationwide ATM fees up to a monthly aggregate of $20 will be reimbursed, if qualifications are met. There is a limit of one account per household and a Kasasa Cash account may not be used for commercial purposes.

Kasasa Saver

The Kasasa Saver account currently earns 1.00% APY on qualifying balances up to $100k. Qualifying balances over $100k earn 0.25% APY, with non-qualifying balances earning 0.05% APY.

Kasasa Cash/Kasasa Cash Back earned rewards are automatically transferred into a linked Kasasa Saver account each statement cycle. The Kasasa Saver account has no minimum balance requirement or monthly service fee, but does require a minimum $100 opening deposit. There is a limited of one Kasasa Saver account per household and a Kasasa Saver may not be used as a commercial account.

Annual Earnings of Combined Kasasa Cash/Kasasa Saver Accounts

The potential combined annual earnings of a Kasasa Cash account (3.00% APY/$25k) and a Kasasa Saver account (1.00% APY/$100k) is approximately $1,750 (1.40% APY/$125k), which is an unusually high rate for such a large balance in a rewards checking/savings account combo. Maintaining a $50k balance in a Kasasa Saver would generate annual earnings of approximately $1,250 (1.67% APY/$75k).

Kasasa Cash Back

The Kasasa Cash Back account offered by NSB currently earns 3.00% cash back on debit card purchases, limited to $300 of monthly purchases. If you are planning on maintaining a balance of less than $3,600, the Kasasa Cash Back account would probably be a better deal than the Kasasa Cash account, as the maximum annual earnings for the Kasasa Cash Back account is $108 ($9 per month).

The Kasasa Brand

For those not familiar with the Kasasa brand, Kasasa Cash is a type of Reward Checking Account (RCA) developed by the Texas company, Kasasa, Ltd. According to the Kasasa website,

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 Nokomis, Illinois, the appropriately-named Nokomis Savings Bank has a brick-and-mortar presence in the central Illinois county of Montgomery. According to CSR, any U.S. citizen/resident alien (“from East Coast to West Coast”) with a valid Social Security number is eligible to open a Kasasa brand product.

While I’m always happy to report on a new nationally available rewards checking account, NSB’s size does give me pause: with only five employees at one branch location, an onslaught of online applications might overwhelm NSB’s capabilities, forcing a change in the availability status. I hope I’m proven wrong!

Opening a Kasasa Cash, Kasasa Cash Back, and/or Kasasa Saver account(s) can be done online, or at the sole Illinois branch, located on State Street in Nokomis. There is no mention of any COVID-related branch restrictions listed on NSB’s website.

Bank Overview

Nokomis Savings Bank has an overall heath grade of "B+" at, with a Texas Ratio of 5.82% (excellent) based on March 31, 2021 data. In the past year, the Bank has increased its total non-brokered deposits by $3.09 million, an excellent annual growth rate of 15.51%. Please refer to our financial overview of Nokomis Savings Bank (FDIC Certificate # 29532) for more details.

The original Nokomis Building Association was formed in 1881, becoming known as the Nokomis Savings & Loan Association in 1956. In 1993, the Association changed its charter to an Illinois state-chartered savings bank and rebranded as Nokomis Savings Bank.

”Nokomis” is one of those words people know they’ve heard, but have no idea what it means. In the Ojibwe traditional stories, Hiawatha’s grandmother was Nokomis, derived from “nookomis,” Ojibwe for “my grandmother.” I remember Nokomis from Longfellow’s poem, The Song of Hiawatha.

    By the shores of Gitche Gumee

    By the shining Big-Sea-Water

    Stood the wigwam of Nokomis

    Daughter of the moon Nokomis

How the Kasasa Cash Compares

When compared to the High Yield Rewards Checking Accounts tracked by that are available within the market area and have maximum qualifying balances of at least $25k, Nokomis Savings Bank’s Kasasa Cash APY currently ranks first.

The above information and rates are accurate as of 6/11/2021.

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.

Related Pages: St. Louis checking accounts, reward checking accounts, nationwide deals

  |     |   Comment #1
Anyone oos tried to apply?
  |     |   Comment #2
I just applied (oos) online. It says a rep will contact me in 1 business day. We'll see what happens.
  |     |   Comment #3
i started the process yesterday and i'm waiting for the contact ... probably next week. they said that they are getting lots of responses!

an interesting possibility emerged as i asked questions. it sounds like a checking account balance over 25k and up to 100k may also be covered by the 1% rate in addition to a linked savings account of up to 100k at 1%. will get more details as this progresses. the website posted numbers seemed not to reflect the quoted rates / conditions clearly and/or i misunderstood the csr which is always possible. the site posting seemed to indicate descending tiers of rates... 3%-0.80% if i remember correctly.  there are some questions re the required ach transaction but it also sounds like this does not have to be a direct payment to/from an institution.
  |     |   Comment #4
I called the bank to verify the rates. The girl was very knowledgeable and she suggested I wait till after the middle of the month to apply because statement cycles are from approximately mid-month to mid-month. The reason for this wait is because the requirements to receive the 3% interest are waived during your first month. Thus you can test which kind of debit card transactions count toward the 12 required. So wait and open the account around June 17th or so. Make sure to open "Kasasa Cash" and not "Kasasa Cash Back" if you plan to park $25K here to earn the 3% interest. I would call this account a 3% no penalty addon CD with a $25K maximum.
  |     |   Comment #5
Very smart. I don't know why i did so quickly last night. Maybe cuz i usually prograsinate and then forget about it completely. Lol
  |     |   Comment #6
"I would call this account a 3% no penalty addon CD with a $25K maximum." ... plus a part time job.

I analyze these things as follows.

Assume you can earn 1% on insured liquid deposits in the current market with no activity requirements.

That means this account pays 2% more than you could earn on an insured account without doing any extra activities.

2% on $25,000 is $500/yr. or $41.67/mo.

So the question you have to answer is whether or not it is worth doing considering the time and effort to do the investigation, the experimentation and managing the monthly transactions for a current premium pretax return of $41.67 a month (this will vary as rates change).

If you have grandkids or like to fish, the answer is probably not. :)
  |     |   Comment #7
Recently I threatened to leave Comcast, my internet provider, for greener fields. To keep my business, they gave me a free upgrade in bandwidth for a year.

So now I'm able to satisfy each required debitcard transaction for my many Rewards Checking accounts, in 6 seconds instead of 10 seconds (on average).

You and I have discussed this general topic before, as I recall.

Ah, summertime! And the livin' is good... Fishin' for dollars, with my mouse in one hand, and a Margarita in the other! (Actually right now it's coffee, but I suspect that'll change later today.)
  |     |   Comment #8
111 yes, I think we have traded opinions on this before. I don't think your conclusion is unreasonable at all. For me the hassle of figuring out what kind of "purchase" works or doesn't work, and possibly finding out that you have to make real purchases so no workaround works at all work and being stuck abandoning the deal is the sticking point. And yes, I know there are some resources available to assist in that research. Just too much hassle for me. But maybe not for some people. That's not unreasonable.

As to Comcast. My cable provider used to do that. If you threatened to leave they would give you discounts. But they stopped doing it a few years ago and just say thanks, it's been nice knowing you. There just isn't enough competition where I live to make it worth their while. They are fat and lazy... which is the reason I bought their stock. ;-)
  |     |   Comment #9
To P_D...." plus a part time job."
I am fully aware of the fact that the requirement of 12 debit card uses per month is annoying. However, I have automated these types of uses. I use my desktop computer to go online and partially pay a monthly bill that allows payments as low as $1. (with no extra fee). Each payment takes less than a minute. So for this Nokomis account, I would spend about 10 minutes to earn the $41.67. Then every month I will pull the interest out (using an external account) which takes another two minutes. I figure this allows me to make a wage of over $200 per hour. I can easily hire someone to do this type of work for $30 per hour. But since I am retired I have decided I will work (part-time) myself if I can make $150 per hour. A couple of examples of the online bill payments that I make for $1 with no fee are ATT (internet bill) and City of Burlingame(utility-water bill).
In both of these examples my debit card information is stored so that with one click I get to choose the payment method, and I only have to type in the amount I want to pay (they have a $1 minimum). Until recently I was making my Advancial Credit Union credit card payments using any Mastercard debit card. But Advancial suddenly and without warning changed the rules so that only 4 debit card payments are now allowed per month.
  |     |   Comment #11
I have also decided that RCAs are worth the ‘effort’. Fishing for money is my hobby.
  |     |   Comment #12
It appears the monthly qualifying cycle begins on the 3rd Friday of each month. Can someone confirm?
  |     |   Comment #13
there's a schedule of cycles included on the site ... and yes it appears so.
  |     |   Comment #15
Could not find the monthly qualifying cycle on the web site.
  |     |   Comment #16
Disregard, found it at the bottom of the page.
  |     |   Comment #14
When you click to apply, the APY states 2%APY, not 3% APY
  |     |   Comment #17
I looked at the site today at 6 am, and they changed the interest rate! It appears it has dropped from 3% to 2%. I will not finish applying for this account now since jumping through the hoops for 2% is not worth the trouble for me. Part of the site quotes 3% and part quotes 2% for the Kasasa Cash Checking up to $25000. If you click on the "compare our checking accounts" link it still says 3%. (as of 6 am on 6/26/2021)
I did not finish the application process because I waited until the 18th to apply. They were so swamped with applications I never got the email to upload my driver's license. So when(if) that happens I will call to see if I will get the 3% for a guaranteed time period.
  |     |   Comment #18
I called up the bank this morning and confirmed with a CSR that was processing my application that the rates have indeed dropped. Not just from 3% to 2% on the Kasasa Cash Checking, but also from 1% to .5% on the Kasasa Saver. That's the one that really hurts as it had a 100K cap. So I told the CSR to pull my app. Man, that was one quick walk back.
  |     |   Comment #20
Looks like this one was “a bridge too far” in some respects. I even live in Illinois (although not within easy driving distance of this tiny bank), and planned to add another Rewards Checking account with a decent rate. I completed the online app. over a week ago, after which I got the above-referenced message “we'll contact you in 1 business day”. Since then Nokomis has never asked me for any follow-up info. by email, phone, etc.

So late this afternoon I recalled that some time had passed vs. the “1 business day” message, and called them. Surprisingly there was someone in the office at nearly 6 PM CT, who said “she was staying late just to deal with the backlog of applications”.

She confirmed the drop from 3% to 2%, and said that “it did not matter” if someone had applied well before this drop had occurred - they were still scr*wed as well. I told her to cancel my app., and send me a certified letter indicating that the personal data I shared on their app. will be deleted (well, I can ask, anyway).

What I'd more-or-less depended on in this scenario was a belief that in mid-2021, even the tiniest banks would have developed some understanding of the impact of the web, of social media - whatever you want to call it - in amplifying info. about any “good offer” that a bank or CU releases. And that perhaps (again, it's 2021 now!) they would have looked ahead and ramped-up for the expected deluge of applications in terms of personnel, institutional competence, etc. It seems I was wrong.
  |     |   Comment #21
Bait and switch! I just moved $25k to be ached to them. Waste my money and time. Calling them to cancel the account now!
  |     |   Comment #22
This bank recently DOWNGRADED its rates:

Kasasa Checking: 2% max
Kasasa Saver: 0.5% max

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