Atlantic Federal Credit Union (NJ) Has New Kasasa Cash Checking
About three months ago, Atlantic Federal Credit Union (Atlantic FCU) began offering several Kasasa brand products. The newly added Kasasa Cash Checking account currently earns 3.00% APY on qualifying balances up to $25k. Qualifying balances over $25k earn 0.50% APY, with non-qualifying balances earning 0.05% APY.
The qualification cycle requirements include,
- At least 12 debit card purchases.
- At least one ACH debit or credit transaction.
- Be enrolled in and agree to receive e-Statements.
The Kasasa Cash Checking account has no minimum balance requirement, no monthly service fee, and no minimum opening deposit amount. Nationwide ATM fees will be reimbursed up to $20 (maximum $4.99 withdrawal fee per transaction), if qualifications are met. There is a limit of one account per Social Security number. A free VISA® debit card is issued when the account is opened.
Kasasa Saver Account
A Kasasa Saver account is offered as a companion account to the Kasasa Cash account. Earned cash checking rewards are automatically transferred to the Kasasa Saver account every month. Like the Kasasa Cash Checking account, the Kasasa Saver has no minimum opening deposit requirement. The Kasasa Saver account earns 1.50% APY on qualifying balances up to $50k; qualifying balances over $50k earn 0.50% APY, with non-qualifying balances earning 0.05% APY.
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,
On an everyday level, Kasasa is free checking that rewards you each month for doing simple things you might already do. "Simple" as in banking basics that actually save you time. Like choosing e-statements over paper statements, or swiping your debit card at checkout instead of writing a check.
Ever wondered what the word “Kasasa” means? It’s not Greek. It’s not Latin.
Put simply, we made it up.
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.
Excess Share Insurance
Deposits at Atlantic FCU are fully insured up to $500,000: at least $250,000 by the NCUA and $250,000 by Excess Share Insurance, the nation’s largest provider of excess share insurance since 1993.
Members' individual Savings and Share Certificate accounts are insured up to $500,000. IRA accounts are separately insured for $500,000. And for joint accounts, each account holder's interest is added together and insured up to another $500,000.
Headquartered in Kenilworth, New Jersey, Atlantic Federal Credit Union’s field of membership (FOM) is residency-based, with individuals who live, work, worship, attend school, or regularly do business in Essex or Union County (NJ) eligible to join.
Regardless of where they live, immediate family members (spouse, child, sibling, parent, grandparent, grandchildren, step- and adoptive relations) of current Atlantic FCU members also qualify for membership.
Joining Atlantic FCU and/or opening a Kasasa Cash Checking account can be done online. The lobbies of both New Jersey branches in Kenilworth and West Orange are temporarily closed. The West Orange branch has drive-thru service Monday through Saturday, while the Kenilworth branch can only be contacted by phone (800.222.1329).
Opening and maintaining a Savings Account with $1 minimum balance is required to establish an Atlantic FCU membership.
While listed as participating in both the CO-OP Shared Branch and ATM networks on the CO-OP website, a January 2018 CO-OP press release states,
Effective March 15, 2018 teller services for Shared Branching guests at Atlantic Federal Credit Union will no longer be available. Guest members may continue to use the Kenilworth self-service ATM for transactions.
Credit Union Overview
Atlantic Federal Credit Union has an overall health grade of "A" at DepositAccounts.com, with a Texas Ratio of 5.84% (excellent) based on December 31, 2019 data. In the past year, Atlantic FCU increased its total non-brokered deposits by $8.54 million, and excellent annual growth rate of 4.62%. Please refer to our financial overview of Atlantic Federal Credit Union (NCUA Charter # 477) for more details.
Atlantic Federal Credit Union is currently New Jersey’s eleventh largest credit union, with more than 18,500 members and assets in excess of $231 million. Established in 1935 by AT&T Western Electric employees, the Credit Union was designed as “a not-for-profit financial cooperative to meet their savings and borrowing needs – an especially formidable task in that depression era.” (FYI - Western Electric supplied equipment to AT&T's long distance and local telephone companies for more than a century.) Atlantic FCU has evolved from a one-company credit union to a financial institution serving the third and seventh largest New Jersey counties (by population).
How the Kasasa Cash Checking Compares
When compared to the High Yield Rewards Checking Accounts tracked by DepositAccounts.com that are available within the FOM and have maximum qualifying balances of at least $25k, Atlantic Federal Credit Union’s Kansas Cash Checking APY* currently shares the top spot The Bank of Denver's Kasasa Cash Checking APY.
The above rates are accurate as of 6/1/2020.
To search for the best Reward Checking Account rates, both nationwide and state specific, please refer to our High Yield Reward Checking Account Rates Table page.
*We continue to work to keep our rates up-to-date, but there have been just too many rate cuts for us to process quickly. For the time being, please be aware that the rates listed at DepositAccounts.com may not reflect the latest rates published by the banks and credit unions.
In general I think an FI would rather have 10 customers with $25k on deposit than one customer with $250k on deposit because that means more potential customers who they can sell their products to. Remember, as a depositor, you are not really a “customer,” you are the supplier of the FIs inventory. The inventory is the cash that they rent or lease to their customers. Their customers take out loans under mortgages, credit cards, etc. and rent or lease that cash paying monthly rent in the form of interest to the FI. The FI in turn pays you the depositor a portion of that interest to compensate you for providing them inventory for their store. They don’t make money on the inventory, they make money by lending it to customers. So depositors are not the customers, borrowers are (they have other non-loan products too, but most of their profit comes from lending money). And anything the FI can do to attract potential borrowers is a marketing opportunity. RCAs are a marketing tool.
As I wrote in my last post about this I think the base analysis for RCA accounts is to compare the amount earned for the extra work involved in fulfilling the requirements for the RCA with the same amount deposited in a liquid savings account which requires no extra work and to determine if the compensation for that extra work is worthwhile for you.
So say you have two options, a liquid savings account that pays 1.50% and a typical RCA that pays 3.0% but requires a monthly direct deposit and 12 debit card charges per month and is capped at $25k.
The premium that you earn in the RCA for the extra work versus the savings account is not 3.0%, it is only 1.50%. So the premium on $25k is $375.00 for a year or $31.25 per month. It’s the spread between the RCA and a liquid account without the RCA requirements that is relevant, not the rate paid by the RCA because the spread is the amount of compensation you receive for the extra work.
So the question in the current market boils down to is it worth it for you to do 12 debit card transactions and a direct deposit every month for $31.25.
And the answer is an individual choice based on factors such as, how much time and effort does it take to complete those requirements. How much is your time worth to you. Are the debit charges something you would do anyway even without the RCA. And related questions...
Let’s say you could push a button and complete the requirements each month earning $31.25 for your effort. Assuming 1 second to push the button that’s an hourly rate of $112,500. Not bad from that perspective. ?
On the other end of the spectrum let’s say you have to go out in your car for 12 extra trips every month to make the 12 individual charges. It’s very likely just the auto expenses alone will eat up the $31.25 each month and you will actually be losing money with the RCA. Not a very hard decision to make in this case.
I think most people fall somewhere in between these two extremes with respect to the time and effort involved. So it’s an individual choice. Is it worth it to you?
In my case I am already earning 2.30% on my liquid cash, so for me, at the moment, the premium would only be $14.58 a month. I’m not struggling with that decision.
But I think that is a good analysis for most.
As a final caveat you could argue that the RCA rate should be compared to a standard checking account rather than a savings account and therefore the spread might be greater since checking accounts tend to pay lower rates. I’m assuming that the checking account features are not worth anything extra because they aren’t to me. For some maybe they are. So if you want to add a little to that $31.25 a month premium it could be argued that’s a fair analysis. But in general I think the savings account comparison is more realistic because most people don’t keep much of a balance in their checking accounts and it does not change the analysis very much...especially if you do more than one RCA because how many checking accounts do you need?
Borrow $90 million to open 3,600 RCA accounts and perform the 46,800 transactions they require each month with 3,600 one second each button presses in a single hour every month.
That way you will earn $112,500 per month extra every month for a year for only one hour’s work. Then you can retire to an uncharted private island in the Caribbean (which you would have to do since you wouldn’t earn near enough to pay back the interest on the $90 million loan).
Yes, I agree... I need to get out of this self quarantine thing. :(
Good fun to read everyone's bombastic and irrelevant putdowns of RCA's, but in all honesty they demand no more than the establishment of a few simple new habits that quickly become almost unconscious, like so much other of one's monthly financial business. The payoff may be modest, but still sufficient in my case to justify what by now requires little special thought and effort to accomplish. P_D's analytical breakdown is interesting in a way, but you might think breathing is difficult and maybe not worth the trouble if he took five paragraphs to describe that in similar fashion.
Bank bonuses typically have their own "hoops", and if you fail on even one of them, it's not just the reward for a single month you lose, but the entire amount that was expected. Much higher stakes for messing up, aren't there?
If one feels the reward is worth the time then go ahead. If one wants to do the 0% credit card game that is their choice.
As for bank or CU bonuses I have never had a problem getting the reward. I have gotten bonuses from Ally, Marcus and CIT bank with no problem and spending 5 minutes to open an account. I do avoid checking bonuses that require direct deposits.
Rate will change on daily basis without notice, the chores are tedious and irritating to others, FI are losing big money on this year after year (sad)...
These are just mindless comments, one wonders what the purpose of is.
With all this "misleading" negativity on RCAs (some of those posts got five votes:D), we can hopefully keep our RCA rate/limit for a long while. The fewer the subscribers, the better chance for credit unions/banks to keep their good rate/limit.
Love "Gone with the Wind."