1st MidAmerica Credit Union Review

Is 1st MidAmerica Credit Union a good credit union?

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1st MidAmerica Credit Union Logo

1st MidAmerica Credit Union opened in 1934 and is headquartered in Bethalto, Ill., serving Illinois residents in more than a dozen counties, as well as select residents of Missouri. To bank with 1st MidAmerica, you first have to become a member. If you don't live in those areas, you also can become a member if you belong to one of several specialty employer groups.

  • Pros and Cons
  • Company Overview
Pros and Cons
Pros
  • There's no monthly maintenance fee for checking.

  • Earn up to 2.25% APY with interest checking.

  • Earn better rates on youth CDs up to age 23.

Cons
  • Membership eligibility is limited.

  • You have to call or visit a branch to open an account.

  • Branch locations are limited.

Company Overview
  • Official Website www.1stmidamerica.org/
  • Bank Product Offerings Free checking accounts, savings accounts, CDs, money market accounts, credit cards
  • Customer Service Video, drive-through, and in-person banking services by appointment are available due to COVID-19 restrictions. Appointments can be made online or by calling 1-800-345-4216 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Central Time, Monday through Friday. Phone support is also available.
  • Year Founded 1934

Who Is 1st MidAmerica Credit Union Best For?

1st MidAmerica Credit Union could be an excellent choice for people who live in the specified service area or qualify for membership and want to earn rewards on their checking account.

Specifically, membership is currently open to Missouri residents who live or work in Jackson County and their relatives.

Illinois residents and their relatives can join the credit union if they live, work or maintain an address in these counties: Bond, Brown, Calhoun, Cass, Christian, Clinton, DeWitt, Effingham, Fayette, Greene, Jefferson, Jersey, Logan, Macon, Macoupin, Madison, Marion, Menard, Monroe, Montgomery, Morgan, Moultrie, Piatt, Pike, Randolph, St. Clair, Sangamon, Scott, Shelby, and Washington.

Consider this credit union if you want:

  • Online and mobile banking access
  • Shared-branch banking at more than 5,000 branches and 28,000 ATMs nationwide
  • Free credit monitoring

What Does 1st MidAmerica Credit Union Offer?

1st MidAmerica Credit Union offers the following types of accounts:

Checking Accounts

Kasasa Cash Checking

Customers could earn an annual percentage yield (APY) of 2.25%, as of Aug. 14, 2020, for balances up to $10,000 with a Kasasa Cash Checking account for each month that they meet three standards:

  • At least 12 debit or credit card purchases
  • Active enrollment in online banking
  • Active enrollment in receiving online statements instead of paper statements

Those who do not meet the qualifications earn an APY of 0.01% for that month. Balances beyond the first $10,000 earn an APY of 0.25%. Qualifying accounts also receive unlimited refunds on ATM withdrawal fees.

Regardless of whether qualifying standards are met, all checking accounts are free of monthly fees.

Kasasa Cash Back Checking

Instead of dividends determined by a 2.25% APY, the Kasasa Cash Back Checking account pays account holders 3% cash back on debit card purchases, up to $7.50 per month. Otherwise, the account has all the same qualifications and features as the Kasasa Cash Checking option.

To determine which account option is better for you, determine how much you spend with a debit card each month and how much of an average daily balance you expect to carry. To earn the maximum $7.50 monthly in the cash-back account, you'd need to make at least $250 each month in debit card purchases. This is a better deal if you expect to carry an average daily balance of less than $4,000, which would pay the same $7.50 monthly dividend. Carrying a balance greater than that means the cash checking account, with a 2.25% APY, would be a better deal.

Kasasa Tunes

The Kasasa Tunes account has the same basic qualifications and features as the Kasasa Cash and Kasasa Cash Back accounts, but account-holders who meet the three standards instead receive cash back from certain online purchases made with the Kasasa Tunes debit card.

Account-holders can receive up to $10 per month in refunds on online purchases with Amazon, Google Play, or iTunes. For account-holders who make purchases every month through these online outlets, this can be a better deal than the Cash Back checking option, which pays back a maximum of $7.50 per month. Kasasa Cash's 2.25% APY still would be the best deal if maintaining a balance greater than $5,333.33, which would pay out the same $10 per month as Kasasa Tunes.

Basic Savings

1st MidAmerica's basic savings, referred to as a share account, requires a $5 minimum deposit and charges a 25-cent membership fee. Accounts earn a modest 0.05% APY.

In addition to a Basic Savings account, a Christmas Club account also is an option. This earns the same 0.05% APY, but the money cannot be withdrawn until Oct. 31 of each year when it automatically is transferred into the account-holder's Basic Savings account. This is a good option if setting aside money for the end of the year.

Money Market

Those who want to earn a better rate than what the Basic Savings account offers without having to commit their money to a CD for a specific term can choose a money market account. There are no monthly fees for accounts with balances greater than $2,500. Otherwise, there is a $10 monthly fee. As of Aug. 14, 2020, rates ranged from 0.10% to 0.30%, depending on how much money is in the account.

Money Market Rates
Balance APY
$2,500 to $9,999.99 0.10%
$10,000 to $24,999.99 0.15%
$25,000 to $49,999.99 0.20%
$50,000 to $99,999.99 0.25%
$100,000 or more 0.30%

CDs

1st MidAmerica offers CD terms from six months to 60 months. With the exception of a youth CD for account-holders younger than 23, the minimum deposit for all CDs is $1,000. The youth CD requires $300. As of Aug. 14, 2020, rates ranged from 0.15% to 0.90%, depending on the term. 

CD Rates
CD Term APY %
6-month 0.15%
12-month 0.35%
12-month Youth Velocity 0.60%
18-month 0.40%
24-month 0.45%
36-month 0.55%
48-month 0.70%
60-month 0.90%

Credit Cards

1st MidAmerica offers a no-annual-fee Platinum Visa Card for qualifying members. In addition to no annual fee, cardholders have the option to sign up for ScoreCard Rewards.

Other Financial Products From 1st MidAmerica Credit Union

1st MidAmerica offers a wide variety of other account services, including:

  • Auto loans
  • Home loans
  • Home equity loans
  • Personal loans
  • Business loans
  • Commercial real estate or rental properties
  • New construction
  • Land and commercial lots
  • Commercial vehicles
  • Equipment and machinery
  • Inventory

1st MidAmerica Credit Union Customer Service

As of Aug. 19, 2020, in-person banking services were available by appointment only due to COVID-19 restrictions. Appointments can be made online or by contacting 1-800-345-4216 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Central Time, Monday through Friday. Video and phone support also can assist customers with many banking questions.

How to Bank With 1st MidAmerica Credit Union

To open an account with 1st MidAmerica, visit 1stmidamerica.org or call 1-800-345-4216. As with any financial institution, you need to provide personal information when opening a bank account.

Final Verdict

BENEFITS

1st MidAmerica offers some generous interest-earning and cash-back checking options that make it stand out from many other banks and credit unions. Interest rates on loans and credit cards are competitive, and shared branch banking, along with online and mobile banking, makes it easy for members to access and manage their accounts from virtually anywhere.

DRAWBACKS

It may be more difficult to join 1st MidAmerica than other credit unions, owing largely to the geographic limitations on membership. The low number of branches also could be a problem if you qualify for membership but don't live near a local 1st MidAmerica location or shared branch location. While you can apply for loans online, opening any other type of account would require a branch visit.

Article Sources

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  1. 1st MidAmerica Credit Union. "Kasasa Cash." Accessed Aug. 19, 2020.

  2. 1st MidAmerica Credit Union. "Kasasa Cash Back." Accessed Aug. 19, 2020.

  3. 1st MidAmerica Credit Union. "Kasasa Tunes." Accessed Aug.19, 2020.

  4. 1st MidAmerica Credit Union. "Savings." Accessed Aug. 19, 2020.

  5. 1st MidAmerica Credit Union. "Savings Rates." Accessed Aug. 19, 2020.

  6. 1st MidAmerica Credit Union. "Youth Savings." Accessed Aug. 19, 2020.

  7. 1st MidAmerica Credit Union. "Credit Cards." Accessed Aug.19, 2020.

  8. 1st MidAmerica Credit Union. "Contact Us." Accessed Aug. 19, 2020.