Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post that is a collaboration with Kasasa. All opinions are my own. I would not recommend products or services unless I have personally vetted them.
In the world of personal finance, it is often times noted how credit unions and local banks are good options for banking. They are usually local, they have lower interest rates when you borrow money, and they tend to have higher interest rates on CDs and savings accounts. The customer service is also known for being much better and you typically have less fees to deal with.
There are just a few downsides. First, you have to be eligible to join a credit union. Second, the rewards are usually lower. And third, often times credit unions and local banks haven’t caught up with technology.
As a millennial, rewards and easy access to our money are a big deal. We want to get more bang for our buck and we want to be able to easily access our accounts from anywhere.
That’s where Kasasa comes in.
Kasasa is a kind of bank account that is now being offered at over 400 credit unions and local banks throughout the country. They are helping credit unions and local banks cater to a millennial market while also helping millennials with better banking options.
If you’re fed up with your big bank (been there) and would still like some of the benefits that comes with a bank having a physical branch, this could be a good option for you.
The Main Difference Between a Big Bank And a Credit Union
Before getting into what Kasasa is and how it’s helping credit unions, local banks, and millennials, it’s first important to understand the main difference between a bank and a credit union.
A big bank is a for-profit organization. Their goal is to make money for stakeholders. As a result, you are seen as a customer. Even online banks are typically for-profit. While I haven’t had any issues with my online bank yet, they were bought out by a big bank so you can bet I’m keeping a close eye on any changing policies and fees.
Local banks are also for-profit but they tend to cater more to the local community. According to the Harvard Business Review, community banks provide more than half of all small business loans. They also have much lower overhead which translates to better rates and lower fees.
With a credit union, you’re seen as a member. Credit unions are not-for-profit, so the money generated is meant to benefit members of their organization. This is one of the reasons why you’ll see cheaper fees and better interest rates with credit unions.
We already mentioned some of the upsides as well as downsides of using credit unions and local banks, now it’s time to address how Kasasa is helping banks with their challenges as it pertains to millennials.
How Kasasa Is Helping To Improve Credit Unions and Local Banks for Millennials
Essentially, they offer their Kasasa Cash checking account to the credit union or local bank. The product, which is easily accessible online and comes with good rewards, helps credit unions cater to millennials. As for how Kasasa helps millennials, it helps attract them to credit unions and local banks which are a much better option for their wallet.
Kasasa is basically combining the best of both worlds. You get the benefits of a credit union or local bank (better customer service and better rates), while also getting some of the features you would get with a big bank (online banking and convenient ATM locations.)
Some of The Benefits That Come with a Kasasa Cash Account
Kasasa has quite a few benefits that are very millennial-friendly. In this section, I’m going to address each of them individually.
- No fees and no minimum balance on a Kasasa checking account. Can you say “Yes, please”? It’s no secret that customers at big banks have been getting pummeled by fees for years.
- Local ATM transactions are reimbursed. According to a report by CNN Money, the three biggest banks in the U.S. earned over 6 billion dollars from ATM and overdraft fees in 2015. With Kasasa, your ATM fees are reimbursed nationwide.
- Better interest rates. The rates on a Kasasa account depend on the financial institution, however, as we’ve already established, credit unions and community banks have better interest rates than big banks. Kasasa Cash offers interest rates as high as 3 percent! Not even my online bank comes close!
- You are eligible for credit union member benefits. This means you’re eligible for car loans or credit cards that have much lower interest rates than what you would see at a big bank.
- Sweet rewards. One of the reasons millennials may be a little more averse to credit unions is because their rewards programs aren’t that good. Kasasa offers different types of accounts, each tailored for your spending behavior and what rewards matter to you most. They also offer Kasasa Tunes which are rewards you can cash in for music on Amazon, iTunes or Google Play. Essentially, you can get rewards without having to get a credit card and potentially find yourself in debt. This is great news for a generation that has already shown to be a little hesitant about using credit cards.
- You help the local economy. By banking with local credit unions and community banks, you’re helping to keep the money circulating in your community.
- Better customer service. Customer service in local banks and credit unions far exceed that of a big bank. Seriously, have you ever tried calling a big bank to get a problem resolved? I once got transferred to 12 different departments and my issue still wasn’t resolved! Poor customer service was one of the reasons I left my big bank in the first place.
What’s the catch?
I know what you’re thinking. What’s the catch? Fortunately, in Kasasa’s case, the catch isn’t a big deal and it’s actually quite obvious.
First, you need to be eligible to be a member of the credit union. You can circumvent this if you find a local bank that offers Kasasa (I, unfortunately, could not in my area). Additionally, sometimes being eligible for a credit union is as easy as living or worshipping in the local area (I have a chance here with a local credit union that offers Kasasa). You can visit DepositAccounts.com to see if you are eligible for a Kasasa account near you.
Second, you need to meet certain criteria each month in order to get rewards. While every institution has different limits, the criteria includes, signing up for direct deposit, opting for e-statements and using your debit card 12 times per month. Truthfully, this is all pretty basic stuff people already do anyway, it’s just that Kasasa rewards you for the good behavior.
Where can I learn more?
To learn more about Kasasa and what they offer head on over to their website. You can also check them out on social media – they are very active and ready to answer any questions you may have.