Posted by William Charles on April 6, 2019
Bank Account Bonuses

Published on April 6th, 2019 | by William Charles

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[Military & Retired Military] Air Academy Federal Credit Union $200 Checking Bonus – No Direct Deposit

Offer at a glance

The Offer

Direct link to offer

  • Air Academy Federal Credit Union is offering a bonus of $200 when you open a new Kasasa checking account by April 30th, 2019. Bonus is broken down as follows:
    • Earn $50 for each debit card purchase you make, up to a limit of 4 ($200 total) within 30 days of account opening

 

The Fine Print

  • Receive up to a $200 bonus when you open a Kasasa checking account with opening deposit of $200.
  • Bonus of $50 paid per AAFCU debit card purchase, up to a max of 4 purchases, made within 30 days of account opening.
  • Bonus paid within 1 business day from date qualifying purchase(s) posts and clears account.
  • Offer valid on personal accounts only and limited to 1 account per member.
  • Bonus considered taxable income.
  • Must mention offer at time of account opening for bonus eligibility.
  • Offer not valid for current AAFCU Kasasa account holders or member with accounts closed within the past 180 days.
  • Offer subject to change without notice.
  • Membership requirements apply; over 250 ways to join.
  • Restrictions and requirements apply.
  • Offer valid until 4/30/2019.
  • All bank account bonuses are treated as income/interest and as such you have to pay taxes on them

Avoiding Fees

Monthly Fees

All three checking accounts have no monthly fees to worry about.

Early Account Termination Fee

According to the fee schedule there is an early account termination fee of $10 if closed within six months of account opening.

Our Verdict

We need to know if this is a hard or soft pull to open, if it’s a soft pull then I definitely think it’s worth doing if you’re eligible as the requirements are very easy to meet and there are no monthly fees to worry about. If anybody goes for this bonus then please share your experiences in the comments below.

Useful posts regarding bank bonuses:



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Student of Credit
Student of Credit

Bonus posts fast, I got the bonus for two purchases the next business day and I am waiting for the other ones. The online app link doesn’t seem to have a special code, so you might want to call to make sure it’s applied.

Kasasa cash back checking is good to keep open by itself if you’re willing to put some spend on the card; it has 3% cash back up to $300 ($9 max per month) if you meet requirements, which vary by bank and credit union. AAFCU requires any DD (ach push probably works), one login, and 18 transactions per month to qualify. AAFCU has a few bad reviews about loans from a year ago, so I’m reluctant to get loans or keep large amounts deposited but I might use it for all my fast food purchases and maintain the balance around $500.

If you’re looking for fat APY, Kasasa Cash is the way to go and if you want free music and mobile games, Kasasa Tunes will rebate iTunes and Google Play.

Their mobile app seems to be from the same vendor Unify uses.

AAFCU pulls Chex. I have not gotten an inquiry alert email from my free experian monitoring but the experian service has a delay and I don’t think they notify at all for a SP. Will check TU and EQ manually later.

P.S. Some of the bad reviews about Air Academy FCU are from a person (or multiple persons?) who weren’t pay loans with mobile check deposit. This might not be AAFCU’s fault. There is a regulation in the Military Lending Act prohibiting the use of remotely created checks to pay loans. A mobile deposit (remote deposit capture or RDC) and a remotely created check (a manufactured image with no signature) are different things but military-focused CUs are known to be cautious and conservative in their compliance practices especially MLA/SCRA.

Danno
Danno

This is kind of a broad question, but for all of these Kasasa accounts, do banks tend to give the rewards for transactions that include cash back withdrawals, such as buying a bottle of soda at Walmart and then taking out $100 as cash back? I’m mostly just curious since it’d be a way to max out the $300 when I’m out of the country for almost the whole month. It’s only a few bucks, but I’d rather keep an account and find a way to make it work for a bit if at all possible.

Svy
Svy

Student of Credit Did you ever receive the rest of the bonus for your other two purchases? Do those purchase amounts need to be $50 or more for the bonus payments or did any amount work for you? Which type of account did you select and do you have any reports on how that is working out? Thanks in advance!

Adam
Adam

Just called and spoke with customer service rep who said there is no hard pull, but they do pull Chex. Sounds like it is probably worth going for!

Christian
Christian

Good to know. I’m still waiting on a response from the secured message I sent to them. I’m definitely go for it if they confirm the same thing.

Danno
Danno

Yeah, this is what I got in an e-mail while they consider: “All potential members must qualify for membership and are subject to approval based on information provided by ChexSystems.” So it sounds like the rep was accurate so far, but I should know by Monday or Tuesday when they actually open the account.

Danno
Danno

Applied for an account. No immediate hard pull, but the email said it’ll be two business days for their review and since it’s the weekend I probably won’t find out until Monday.

Also, their checking accounts have some ineresting rewards. Probably not worth it on their own, but worth a quick “churn” if I’m already going through the hassle. The I-Tunes rewards account says $12/mo for Amazon spending, so one could possibly split up the 18 transactions to equal $12 in reloads each month for free Amazon cash until they shut you down..

Jimmy
Jimmy

Did you have to mention the $200 bonus at the end of application in the comments section?

Danno
Danno

I didn’t, which had me a bit concerned but I figure I’ll just call in and ask about it after the first debit

Michelle
Michelle

Thinking about the I-Tunes rewards account for $12 Amazon spend per month.

Does anybody know if these “rebates” end up on your end of the year 1099?

Ann
Ann

They’re rebates that required spending, so they shouldn’t. If you get a bonus just for opening the account, that part would go on a 1099.

Gadget

Ann The Double Your Money rewards they are calling as interest per promo terms, and that is a spending rebate of sorts as well. And if the Credit Union does file a 1099-INT, there won’t be much we can do about it. If you get the credit union to agree to retract or adjust a 1099, which is probably really unlikely, would the IRS database get updated? I know it should, but will it?

Guess we will find out come Jan/Feb.

Master 4
Master 4

I did some research on Kasasa Tunes and it appears that they only refund you on Amazon downloads (e.g. movies, songs), so just shopping at Amazon.com doesn’t seem to work.

Ann
Ann

“From music and movies to apps or books” as long as they’re digital downloads; from iTunes, Amazon.com, and Google Play.

https://kasasa.com/innovative-products/kasasa-tunes.html

Ann
Ann

The long list of other ways to join ( http://www.aafcu.com/content/docs/SEG-List.pdf ) is mostly employees of local businesses in Colorado, but there are a few nationwide businesses on the list that someone might happen to work for elsewhere (e.g. UPS Store). It also includes anyone who graduated from the Air Force Academy, even if you didn’t stay in the military long enough afterward to officially become ‘retired military’, and anyone who graduated from the Air Force Academy’s prep school which apparently shut down in 2010.

But the most noteworthy thing I found in that list is the Air Force Academy Athletic Association ( www2.usafa.org/Give/AFAAC ), specifically described as “New Members” and “Existing Members”, not employees. This sounds like donating to that charitable organization would be a side-route in. Call the CU to verify first if you want to attempt it.

roger
roger
Ann
Ann

I think that’s for the Association of Graduates, though, not the Athletic Association.

Gadget

Submitted app – Retired Military in VA. Very short app – nothing about funding, no AML quiz, no identity questions, so I assume we are going to cover that all over the phone. I put in the comments that I am mentioning “Double Your Money Up To $200” offer.

I give myself a 50/50 shot of getting approved, as I am sure they have had an influx of apps this weekend and might start to get picky on location and/or Chex.

If I get approved, curious to see what funding options they give over the phone… someday I will stumble upon a rep that lets me fund 10-25K over the phone. Offer is very specific that you need to open with at least $200.

Gadget

No phone calls yet. Received two DocuSign documents via e-mail this afternoon; Membership Application, and a debit card Application. Annoyances:

– Membership app asked for a password to be typed in plain text, which probably should have been explained. Many banks ask for a pet’s name or Mother’s maiden name, or were they looking for a true login password?

– They automatically picked the Kasasa Cash (S12) checking, and I couldn’t change it.

– They also automatically opted in for overdraft protection, which is pretty standard for CU’s, as they want to pull overdrafts from savings.

– Debit app required an account number, so I had to go back to other application to get my member number.

I just got the documents done because I didn’t feel like calling. Probably all of it can be changed later.

Gadget

William Charles Chuck Paul Danno Jimmy Adam Ann roger

Just got two e-mails in from my DocuSign documents, both stating:

Subj: Voided: Membership Application or Debit Card App

Body: Application has been voided for the following reason:
out of town-not eligible for double your money

And just like that, they become footprint sensitive for bonus purposes. Lame Sauce! Probably updating web-page terms now, after the fact.

Danno
Danno

I was approved for the debit card, maybe the application too since they charged by card to open the account. But I never mentioned the bonus, so I’m curious whether it’ll work. I’ll still press on with the deposit and call about the bonus after. Thank goodness there’s no hard pull, I guess worst case we’re just out our time.

Paul
Paul

Submitted short application yesterday. I included the promo language. I said I was retired but didn’t specify I retired from the Air Force. Got a call later in the day from a CSR who verified I retired from the military and then asked how I found out about the offer. Just said I got an email and she was fine with that. I then received two DocuSign documents to open the account and apply for the debit card. Waiting for additional info on funding the account, etc. Will update as the process continues.

Gadget

Paul Location? Just curious if that is why you got the same-day call-back, and may be why I am probably getting the boot. No call – no e-mail – no good.

Paul
Paul

Texas. Might have been a timing thing…keep the faith!

Gadget

Got the DocuSigns, but no phone calls. Thanks.

Danno
Danno

I was just approved for the debit card and my initial $10 opening charge was pre-authorized to my credit card (unfortunately they specified the amount, so no big bank account funding here). I’m curious if they were more strict because you mentioned the bonus?

Gadget

Danno The way the bonus read, you can only double your money of the opening funding amount. So, you probably have a maximum bonus of $10.

They took down the web page now, so this promo is being revamped.

They got more strict because they saw dollar signs flying out the window. There is a huge number of active and retired military out there…

One other bank offers a nationwide $100 bonus for military, but does a hard credit pull.

https://www.doctorofcredit.com/america-first-credit-union-100-checking-bonus-retiredactive-u-s-military-veterans/

Others coming here might want a small consolation prize. May as well break that one too.

Danno
Danno

Woohoo! $10 bonus! Plus 1.5% on that CC deposit! If this were a hard pull, I’d probably submit a complaint. But since it isn’t…whatever. You can’t win ’em all. Thanks for all the info on your end, it’s always hard navigating these “deals” with small credit unions without other data points.

Gadget

Well, Danno , I would still try for the maximum amount if I were you, since you got approved. Maybe it will pay out at maximum value. They are going to be busy answering a lot of complaints, and maybe some CFPB’s. I probably won’t bother.

But I am a little annoyed at the situation, that they slammed the door shut. They should at least have had the courtesy to explain and see if I wanted to proceed with the app. Maybe I really wanted the Kasasa checking rewards… rolling eyes.

Paul
Paul

Application just got denied/voided as Out of State – Not Eligible for Double your Money Promo…oh well….

Jimmy
Jimmy

California applicant here. After signing two documents online that I received through email, my application was denied/voided for the following reason: out of state – not eligible for double your money promo.

I mentioned the promo in the comments section of the online application.

Danno
Danno

Another update going off of Gadget’s findings…The website for the bonus is now “Page Not Found”. Looks like they’re backing off of this in a hurry. I’ll still follow through since it’s just tying up a couple hundred for a few days, but I’d be surprised if it pays at this point.

Realname
Realname

AD in CA, applied and received confirmation of application and under review 4/9.

“All potential members must qualify for membership and are subject to approval based on information provided by ChexSystems”

Received email today 4/10 that I was approved for checking/savings, additional information required was Government ID, Address confirmation ie gas bill and LES or email from .mil. I was also given the option to pick what account to open

I noted the $200 bonus on the additional comment section when I applied and asked about it as I provided the require documents today. Waiting on confirmation and will update once I received an email back.

Gadget

This morning AAFCU called and explained a communication error on why apps were voided. Now moving forward with my membership. Per CSR, if you are eligible for membership, you are eligible for promo. Faxed over D/L and LES/RAS to: FAX: 719.535.8793

Received new DocuSign docs about a couple hours later… this time included 10 pages of membership agreement, 1 page fee schedule, 3 page debit agreement, all in one DocuSign. (no password to fill-in this time) Once you digitally sign, next screen is account funding.

William Charles
DP: Debit card or Credit card funding – amount already filled in for $205 and not editable. Stated $200 for Double Money promo, and $5 for initial share.

I used Citi D/C, and instantly shows as pending. “Air Academy Federal Cr 800-2231983 CO Category: MORTGAGE COMPANIES-FINANCIAL INSTITUTION” My D/C CA limit is $0, so I have no doubt it’s a purchase.

Paper statement fee: $4.00 per month. E-statements are free.
Account closure fee: $10 (less than 6 months)
Inactive account fee: $10.00 per month (12 months of no activity)

This is a shared branch credit union, meaning you can conduct teller service at many credit unions nationwide. Not sure anyone uses a teller 4 times a month anymore, but:

Shared Branch Withdrawals (fourth and subsequent withdrawals per month): $2/transaction
No mention of any limit on shared branch deposits.

Gadget

They are definitely not speedy. I figured out you can log into docusign.com, view your inbox, and check the application status. My app has been viewed by “MA Review Team”, but not signed.

Sent them an e-mail tonight to see if they are waiting for anything else from me. Probably not, but trying to be proactive. I imagine I won’t hear anything back until Monday. On Citi CC funding still sitting as pending.

Gadget

Yesterday I got an e-mail from DocuSign saying “All parties have completed” my Application. Later that day I signed up for online banking, without being notified I could/should. I was able to setup the login/password, but no accounts were showing up, just blank screens. Coincidentally, they use the same online interface Unify, Elements, etc use.

This afternoon I logged in and have my two accounts, checking and savings, $200 & $5 respectively. Opening Deposit dated 4/16. Enrolled in bill pay, and e-statements.

Just strange they don’t keep customers informed of the status. I am used to getting an e-mail or something with the green flag, acct number, ach rtn, reminders to enroll in bill pay, something. I have a feeling they are being hit with a lot of applications. FYI Danno Paul

Gadget

Got my first real snail mail from AAFCU, dtd 4/9, but it arrived 4/15. 1 page letter explaining Reg. E, and overdraft for ATM & Debit. Nothing about how to setup the account, routing/account numbers, welcome, etc. Still no informative or welcome e-mail either.

Did an SM to find out my ACH account info on 4/16, and got a response later that same day. Member number from application and ACH account number are totally different from each other. I suspect by the response I have ACH can only be used for the checking, but I have a recent reply message sent in to confirm that.

Really just waiting on the debit card… so I can fulfill the “spend”. Think I may try Serve or Venmo and see what happens.

roger
roger

I just spoke to them , military contractors are also eligible for the offer , you just have to send them email from military email address. Thx Doc!!

Adam
Adam

My application got denied due to ChexSystems and it says my QualiFile score is 150. Would that be because this is my fourth Chex inquiry in past 1 month, or because I have my credit reports frozen? Not sure if frozen credit has any impact on Chex or not. Thanks in advance.

Danno
Danno

No credit check so it must be the Chex like you thought initially

Gadget

Adam I would suggest pulling your Chex consumer report ASAP. You can do the request online for free, and then have to wait on the snail mail report. It’s hard to judge Chex scores as nobody I know puts out a guide, but some CU’s/banks (FI’s) do place value on the score. 150 on an 800 scale is lousy. 150 on a 200 scale might be decent. I think mine has dipped into the 400’s, but I gave up looking into it as the vast majority of FI’s don’t care about Chex score – they screen for derogatory remarks and luckily only a minority look at number of inquiries.

Your credit reports being frozen can affect the approval process because FI’s often pull personal info from CRA’s to verify identity. However, AFAIK, that should not have an affect on your Chex score. But, maybe you should call Chex and verify that? It’s entirely possible that is part of the scoring.

Going forward, my suggestion is if you are going to be a bank bonus miner/chaser and apply for banks/CU’s, that you do unfreeze though. Who really wants to go through the sign-up process twice? The error messages these places spit out are not always clear, and if you call, no telling if the CSR will truly give you good info.

Danno
Danno

Initial $10 deposit CC charge never posted. No call or email, no further info on account set up. Maybe I’ll get something in the mail, but I’m not holding my breath. Probably for the best anyway.

Gadget

Danno I wouldn’t give up. You likely already took the Chex hit…may as well see it through. They might just need to redo the funding. My funding took like a week to post. This is a pretty tiny credit union. 8 branches total per my Google. They are taking on something way to big IMO by signing up any military active & retired, and now a DP about contractors???… sounds like basically anyone with a .mil e-mail. Good googly moogly. Can you imagine how many people qualify by e-mail standards, civil servants, contractors that work for a military organization?

Gadget

https://www.aafcu.com/post/payback_piggy.html – interesting promo, giving away money to anyone in proximity, dropping piggy banks in various spots. If you did this in the big city, people would be calling 911/bomb squad.

Got my debit card today, and activated via phone, no issue.

Looks like Serve isn’t going to work with the debit card. Filled in info online in Serve login, but I was supposed to get 2 transactions for verification… instead I got one for $0. So I can’t verify the card with Serve. Chime, allowed me to remove my old debit card, but doesn’t have an option to add another. Looks like Chime is working off Plaid only now. Guess I am either signing up for Venmo, or giving in and paying bills. Lame sauce.

Svy
Svy

Gadget Very helpful comment. Do you know where I can find an explanation of why plaid doesn’t work and venmo would for this? Trying to figure out what camps circle and square would fall in. TIA!

Gadget

I don’t think the funds will pass thru the debit card when you do Plaid to connect. Plus, I was unable to get Chime to even link AAFCU via Plaid – gave an error.

Serve might work. Got the trial debits this morning, so I am starting there with a $50 load. Waiting…

Svy
Svy

My $50 load on Bluebird worked instantly…

Gadget

Well, yes, the load work instantly. But at AAFCU, shows Pending. And, what about the payout? Description:
DEBIT CARD AUTHORIZATION PREPAID SERVE ATLANTA GA

Gadget

DP: Serve load online (not at register) worked for debit spend. Takes a day of pending, another day for Serve to post, then next day “Double Your Money Promo – Transfer” $50 posts.

Svy
Svy

Thanks for DP! Hoping for same results with BB….

Gadget

It should. Web interface calls it a transfer, but if you look at description, says debit purchase.

Gadget

Remaining three Serve load $50 debits posted yesterday at AAFCU, and today, $150 “Double Your Money Promo” posts in one transaction.

Damn, now what am I going to do with the account for 6 months when you get the bonus in a week? To be fair, took over a week to open the account, but pretty sure my clock didn’t start until 4/16.

Ann
Ann

“I was supposed to get 2 transactions for verification… instead I got one for $0.”

I think that happened to some people trying to link with some other account a couple years ago and they were able to call the other bank (which would be AAFCU in this case) to find out what the real transaction amounts were.

Gadget

They showed up the next business day in AAFCU…. Admittedly, I am a Serve newbie. I just know when I linked one other account before, trial debits showed up right away, within 2 minutes. Soon I find out if Serve $50 load worked to trigger bonus.

Master 4
Master 4

Anyone else signed up for the Kasasa Tunes and know how it works with Amazon?

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