Month: July 2017

monitoring

Fraud Prevention: Monitoring Your Account

Preventing fraud is sometimes as easy as keeping an eye on your money. Regular account monitoring can help protect your identity and keep your hard-earned funds safe. Many credit unions, banks and credit card companies will send a monthly statement, which you should always look over, but being proactive in your financial surveillance will give you an extra layer of protection.

Logging in

Online banking gives you anytime, anywhere access and that means you don’t have to wait for a statement. Some people make logging in and going through account activity part of their morning routine. As you check in, you’ll see pending charges, when checks clear, when deposits are made, and more. Also, looking at your account daily facilitates better budgeting.

The main things to watch for when monitoring your account are unexpected ATM withdrawals, unusual point-of-sale purchases and other unauthorized transactions on your Visa® cards. America First also offers free check images so you can verify that there haven’t been any alterations to cleared checks. Moreover, if you authorize specific withdrawals, such as those from a utility company, make sure the names and amounts match your expectations.

Setting up alerts

America First offers free account alerts that will trigger emails when specific actions occur. You choose what kind to get and when they’re sent. These could include notifications about withdrawals over a certain amount, when you’re approaching your credit limit, or when your paychecks arrive. Enabling and customizing alerts will allow you to stay on top of your finances.

Downloading more benefits

Card Guard® from America First is a free mobile app that gives you complete control of your Visa and ATM cards. For example, you can use it to disable your debit card outside your current geographic location or specify that your Visa credit card can only be used at restaurants. Or, you prohibit any ATM withdrawals. Card Guard® can also send instant notifications to your mobile device whenever your card is used. Plus, if you lose your card, you can immediately disable it.

Regardless of how you’re monitoring, if you notice any unauthorized purchases or suspect any fraudulent activity, notify us immediately. America First members will generally not be held liable for fraud when it’s reported in a timely manner. But being vigilant is always part of a good defense.

charitable accounts

In Lieu of Flowers—Donating to Memorial & Charitable Accounts

When hardships & losses affect you or someone you care about, there are always financial implications and many wish to offer monetary contributions to a family or cause. There are many different crowdfunding options online, such as Go Fund Me and You Caring, that can collect funds. But they charge fees or payment processing costs, which take a cut out of the proceeds. By contrast, when you use America First memorial and charitable accounts, the recipient gets every cent raised. Plus, the money is safe in a financial institution you know and trust.

Setting it Up

The main difference between charitable and memorial accounts is that the former is created for living persons, whereas the latter honors someone who passed away. Other than that, these two savings accounts function in the same manner. Anyone who qualifies for America First membership can open an account and whoever is established as the owner has access to the funds.

Many people use these types of accounts to help with medical bills, support a family after the death of the primary breadwinner, and in similar ways. Charitable accounts can also act as the collector of a 5K run’s proceeds or a donation box for the new roof of a local business. They can be open as long as needed, but keep in mind that they do earn interest. Since the owner’s Social Security number is attached, he or she would have to claim that as income.

Chipping In

Anyone can donate to America First charitable accounts. All that is needed is the account name and/or number. People can use their financial institution’s bill paying feature to transfer funds, contribute in-person at any of branch, send a check in the mail, or call 1-800-999‐3961.

We offer donation receipts for the contributor and the recipient. However, please note that America First doesn’t monitor where the money goes after it’s collected. We only receive the deposits and hold them for the beneficiary. Account owners are responsible for managing the funds.

It’s important to be cautious when you contribute to any charitable cause. Do your research before donating, get a receipt when possible, and monitor when the money’s debited from your account. Being vigilant can help you aid people in need monetarily without putting yourself in financial danger.

Avoid Cyber Attacks & Fraud

You are more likely to be a victim of fraud during summer months! Reduce your chances of being vulnerable to cyber attacks by following tips from America First Credit Union.

This segment is sponsored by America First Credit Union.

Source

summer vacation

Stay & Save on Your Summer Vacation

Your summer vacation doesn’t have to break the bank. In fact, you can always get away without going far, enjoying events & entertainment without extensive travel expenses or costly hotel stays. Plus, when you use your Visa® from America First, you’ll get additional savings at several local venues, such as:

Lagoon

Although it’s over 130 years old, this amusement park in Farmington, Utah is constantly growing, improving and inventing new ways to thrill. It features over 50 rides for both children and adults including Cannibal, Colossus — The Fire Dragon, Jet Star 2, Wild Mouse and Wicked. Also, be sure to step into the past at Pioneer Village, and beat the heat at the Lagoon-A-Beach water park.

America First Visa perk: $8 off general admission every Wednesday in July

Megaplex

Since 1999, Larry H. Miller’s Megaplex Theaters have revolutionized the movie-going experience. With almost 20 locations and 200 screens in Utah and Nevada, this popular chain showcases the latest films using cutting-edge technology. While you’re watching a movie in IMAX® 3D at the Megaplex, you can get a deluxe meal from the in-house food court.

America First Visa perk: Matinee pricing every Monday night at the ticket counter

SeaQuest Interactive Aquarium

At SeaQuest, visitors are encouraged to interact with the animals. You can swim with the stingrays or dip your feet into the exfoliating fish spa. And it’s more than just sea life. You can also pet iguanas, feed macaws & talk with mermaids. Take the whole family to SeaQuest in Layton, Utah or Las Vegas, Nevada locations.

America First Visa perk: $7 off single-ticket discounts on Tuesdays & half-price annual passes

Cowabunga Bay

Bring the beach directly to your family. Located in Draper, Utah and Las Vegas, Nevada, Cowabunga Bay gives you a variety of intertwining waterslides and hundreds of interactive water toys. You can even let your kids splash around as you relax with food and drinks delivered directly to your private cabana.

America First Visa perk: $5 discount in Draper or $15 discount in Vegas on general or military admission

Cherry Hill

Cherry Hill combines every summer activity into one park in Kaysville, Utah. Work up a sweat climbing on The Rock or putting around the miniature golf course, then cool off on the Double Dragons waterslides or Grant’s Gulch lazy river. Then, when you’re all tuckered out, you can climb in your RV or set up a tent and camp on one of 180 sites.

America First Visa perk: $5 off the all-access King of the Hill pass

These are only a few of the ways you can save during your summer vacation. Check out our Visa benefits page to see more discounts and offers you’ll get for using your America First Visa credit & debit cards.

Let Us Know Before You Go

It’s that time again: family vacations, day excursions, maybe even the trip you’ve been planning for years. And there’s no better way to pay for these opportunities than with your America First Visa® cards.

But before you leave, please inform us so we can safeguard your resources.

Call 1-800-999-3961 or log in to free online banking. Use the Other Services tab and look for the Visa traveling form in the bottom-left corner.

You can also visit this link for further information about protecting your finances.

Remember to Regularly Review Your Account Beneficiaries

It makes good financial sense to routinely check & update your America First beneficiaries. You designate who will receive your resources and it’s important to ensure your payable-on-death and individual retirement account (IRA) information is correct.

Many life changes can affect who you want to benefit from your accounts. If you’re newly married, had a child, been divorced or experienced the loss of immediate family member, it’s important to review these individuals.

Payable-on-death designees have rights to funds after all account owners and joint owners have passed. For IRAs, both primary and contingent beneficiaries may be added with corresponding percentages.

For help with beneficiary designations or if you have questions, please contact us or stop by your local branch.

United We Stand

By John B. Lund, President and Chief Executive Officer

I’m extremely fortunate to live in a small, rural mountain town where the air is clean, the scenery is beautiful, and the people are friendly, hard-working & service-oriented. Lovely patriotic scenes are painted on the sides of two local barns, illustrating pride of country and patriotism.

The community is also known for our annual Independence Day celebration held in and around the park. A flag-raising ceremony marks the sunrise, followed by 5K and 10K races, a delicious freshly cooked breakfast, and a parade around the town square. There are games for the kids, local works of art, crafts, a patriotic program, music, and lots of food is available throughout the day. Our Fourth of July culminates with a fantastic display of fireworks.

This year, my wife was asked to help with the planning and coordination of the parade. It is a real down-home event, featuring children on bicycles, family-decorated floats, marching school bands & cheer squads, vintage tractors and cars, American Legionnaires, horses, fire engines, police vehicles, candy tossed to the kids, and a local citizen being honored as grand marshal.

The parade theme for 2017 is United We Stand—three simple but powerful words. United means acting in harmony as a single unit. We is descriptive of a collective group. To me, Stand denotes life, accomplishment, being steadfast, integrity, and purpose. Individuals are different in many ways, but working together, we become much more powerful and better off as families, neighbors, communities, and as a nation.

I am so grateful for those who continue to stand united in preserving our freedoms, opportunity, peace, and security. To honor this great nation and our servicemen and servicewomen each summer is most certainly appropriate.

America First Credit Union was founded in 1939 by a group of 59 pioneering individuals who also stood united to improve the economic well-being of one another. Since those humble beginnings, generations of individuals, families, and businesses have benefited from superior financial services, better rates on loans & deposits, premier technology, many free or low-cost services, tremendous convenience, and a sense of belonging.

On behalf of the dedicated volunteers and staff of America First, I thank you for your membership, loyalty, and allowing us to serve your complete financial needs. We look forward to a lifelong relationship.

Don’t Let a Getaway Give You Unnecessary Financial Stress

For many, summer vacation planning is done according to a reasonable budget. You research flights, accommodations & destinations; you book the lower-priced alternatives; and you weigh the cost against your savings accumulated specifically for this purpose.

Then you arrive and financial responsibility goes out the window. You’re soon spending without limits and paying no heed to the costs of extras & incidentals. Before you embark this year, here are some tips to consider:

  • Have a goal. Do you want a full two weeks away in another part of the country or would a long weekend at a state park give you the rest & relaxation you need? Think about this issue before you start digging into the details.
  • You’re in control. Where to go and how much to spend is up to you. Take a vacation you can afford and live within your means while you’re there.
  • Go beyond the initial price tag. We all encounter hidden costs, fees, and taxes that come with hotel stays and airline tickets. Don’t forget these things when you’re drawing up your balance sheet.
  • Look ahead. When you get home, begin putting money aside for the next trip. A great way to do this is with a dedicated savings account from America First. With this option, you’ll benefit from competitive returns, convenience & flexibility, and more.

Visit us here for more information about achieving financial health.