We are still in a low interest environment in the US. Great for borrowers, not so nice for savers. Want to have your money to work for you, without risking market loss? Good luck! CD rates STINK, and your savings account earns an average of a half of one percent! With inflation, your money is losing value in these accounts.
But around the country, some credit unions and local banks are trying to help savers like you. There’s a weirdly named interest rate program called Kasasa, and with it your savings can get a big JUMP in interest rates.
What a Kasasa account will do for you is give you a great interest rate on your checking account and sometimes on your savings, in return for some things you have to do.
With a Kasasa account, you will have to have a certain number of debit card transactions per month. In addition, the credit union or bank with likely require you to have e-statements and online banking. Some also require you to log into online banking once per month.
Hoops? Guess so, but no hard ones to meet, unless you are debit card averse. My credit union provides their members a 3% interest on my checking and .75% savings account rate in their Kasasa program! There are upper limits to what balance to pay this interest upon; these credit unions and small banks don’t want millionaires, they want to help the smaller account holders!
Kasasa works for the these financial institutions because of the interchange fee. Everytime you use a debit or credit card, a small fee goes from the merchant to the bank or credit union. Through Kasasa, they are able to share that fee with their members or customers through these fantastic interest rates.
If a large checking account balance concerns you, consider carving out a large chunk of it as a buffer, or your emergency fund. And you don’t even see it in your operating budget. Imagine, an emergency fund, federally insured, that earns 3%. Wow!
So it might be time to quit looking at the online ads and banks offering “a rate ten times what you’re getting now”, and take a closer look at your local credit union or small bank’s website and find out if they provide Kasasa accounts for you.
Alternatively, head over to www.kasasa.com for a directory of member institutions!
Also please be aware that some credit unions have restricted membership, if you don’t belong to one of their “selected” groups, you may not be eligible for membership.
There are indications that rates are finally rising. But until they do rise for liquid, non-investment savings accounts, look to Kasasa your money!