Month: March 2018

Providing the Service & Support for Your Success

When it comes to finding the right merchant services provider, many business owners think the most important factor is low processing rates. However, there are many other aspects that come into play. Here are some critical features to consider.


Live, immediate support at any hour of the day is essential because you don’t want to wait for an email reply if your terminal goes down. Your provider should be there when you set things up and remain available for troubleshooting down the road.


It is imperative to protect your business and your customers from data breaches. Make sure your merchant services come with payment card industry (PCI) security standards. PCI protection plans keep you compliant and secure.

Simple agreements

Long-term contracts may seem like a great deal at first, with initially low rates and leases for terminals. However, they also tend to include early-termination penalties and other hidden fees. A month-to-month contract with no lease agreement is the best way to go.

Fair rates

If the advertised rate seems too good to be true, it probably is. Take time to discuss pricing solutions with your potential provider and ask about multiple options. If yours is a business that processes $200 a month, for instance, you don’t want to be under the same structure as one that does $250,000 a month.


At America First, support is our top priority. We offer 24-hour live service, one-on-one training, installation assistance, continuing education and high-quality member care. And we have a variety of PCI protection plans with coverage options to fit your specific needs.

With our merchant services, you won’t have to worry about long-term contracts, hidden fees & early-termination penalties. Our hardware is reasonably priced, our rates are competitive, and we’re always available to discuss any issues of concern. Visit for additional details or contact our experts at (801) 827-2614


Certificate Account Specifics

Savings accounts are good places to deposit your money, especially if you’re with a financial institution that offers competitive dividends. But if you want to take your savings to the next level, consider opening a certificate. These accounts reward long-term planning, and they’re one of the easiest & safest investments you can make.

How does it work?

Certificates are virtually risk free. Funds are insured by the federal government and is held in a similar manner as savings accounts. They are time deposits, meaning you will earn fixed dividends for a pre-determined amount of time, ranging from a couple months to a few years, depending on your preferred investment strategy.

Generally speaking, the longer the term of the certificate, the better the rate. If you make a withdrawal before the maturity date, however, you’ll pay a penalty fee. Make sure you can commit to keeping the funds there before opening one.

You can deposit the monthly dividends you earn on your certificate investment into another account, such as your savings or checking, or re-invest them into the certificate account to benefit from compound interest. As your certificate’s term nears its end, you’ll be notified of when you can take out your money or roll it over into a new certificate account. After that date, the money will stay in the account until the certificate matures again.

What certificates are available?

America First offers many options to fit your financial wants & needs.

  • Regular – Low minimum-deposit levels with higher yields
  • Bump – Provide one-time rate increases
  • Dedicated savings – Set up automatic deposits for future occasions
  • Flexible – Get quarterly access with no penalties
  • IRA – Boost your retirement savings
  • Ladder – Set up periodic maturity dates for consistent access

How do I open one?

At America First, it’s simple. Visit, call 1-800-999-3961 or stop by your local branch—and start letting your money make money.

The financial steps to take to start your business

Nicole Cypers from America First Credit Union answers another viewer question about finances today. 

“If I’m starting my own business, are there steps I need to take financially to get ready?”

First, congratulations on starting your own business. It’s certainly an exciting time and, although it can also be stressful, it doesn’t have to be.

First, I would recommend exploring your options for funding your business. It’s common that a new business may need financial support. Sometimes that can be accomplished by borrowing from friends and family or finding investors but a safe and secure option is to explore options for business loans with your financial institution. At America First we offer both commercial and small business loans. You want to look for something with competitive rates and flexible terms to meet your unique business needs. You might also benefit from a business line of credit or vehicle and equipment loans.

You’ll also want to set up a business bank account. This will be a key financial tool you use to manage your business finances. Keep in mind, you’ll need your business documents (formation documents, ownerships documents and/or business licenses in order) to open an account. Starting a business is hard enough which is why our business checking accounts are free and we also offer business remote deposit.

A business credit card may be beneficial as well. Not only does it help to keep track of your expenses, but it helps your business to establish its own credit identity. This may require some work on your end, in advance, to improve your own personal credit score but will serve you well in the end.

Again, opening a business can be a stressful time but it doesn’t have to be. At America First, our Business Services team helps you find the perfect solution based on your needs so you can stay focused on the success of your business.

Nicole also explains why now is a great time to refinance your home. The improving economy is a good thing but it also means interest rates are set to rise which makes now the perfect time to build, buy or refinance your home. 

If you’re ready to buy a home, they offer loans with little or no down payments and have options with no closing costs. They also  offer online consultations with no obligation. Plus, get a free review and get preapproved with no obligations. 

For more information call or visit



Raising the Roof—Increasing Your Credit Limit

A credit card is like a chain saw—if used correctly, it can be a great tool. But if it’s mishandled, the results can be disastrous. Increasing your limit is a helpful way to gain more spending power, but it must be done responsibly to gain the benefits.

Why should I increase it?

If you’re a responsible cardholder who regularly pays the entire balance every month, yet still find yourself repeatedly maxing out your card, you may have outgrown your credit line. Increased expenses, after all, are common as people get older, marry & have children. Raising your limit gives you more flexibility with your spending.

Another reason to boost your limit is to cover big expenses, such as a new vehicle or an extended vacation. Increasing your credit line can also be useful in the event of any emergency situations that may arise. Plus, with a Visa® from America First, you will enjoy quarterly rebates on every dollar you spend.

When should I apply to raise my credit limit?

It’s important to achieve financially stability before you request an increase. If your payment history is spotty or your credit score is low, you may not be approved in the first place. While a boost in credit may trigger a hard pull on your credit report, a higher limit could actually help raise your score in the long run. This is because your credit utilization ratio—an element that credit reporting agencies use to calculate your score—measures how much debt you have available, compared to what you regularly tap into. Keeping that percentage of used credit low in relation to your potential will help improve your overall score.

How can I accomplish this?

Raising your limit is actually quite simple. Usually you’ll fill out an online application or contact your financial institution. If you’ve proven yourself as a responsible borrower, your request will likely be approved. And don’t hesitate to discuss your current financial situation with the card issuer to determine what credit card limit is right for you.


Birthday Freebies—Celebrate with Deals Just for You

Eating out on your birthday doesn’t have to cost a lot of money. Many restaurants offer free food or drinks when you sign up for their lists or loyalty clubs, and all it costs is getting some emails. You can even create folders specifically for these deals so the marketing messages don’t overwhelm your primary account.

And you don’t have to visit all of these places in one day, either—that would be deliciously impractical. Most discounts won’t expire for a week or two and some are good for your entire birth month. These birthday offerings are subject to change, though, and most require advance registration, so please check their official sites for details.

  • A&W Restaurants – free root beer float
  • Arby’s – free small shake with sandwich purchase
  • Applebee’s – free treat
  • Baskin-Robbins® – free ice cream scoop
  • Benihana – $30 gift certificate
  • Buffalo Wild Wings – $5 off purchases of $25 or more
  • Cafe Rio – $5 credit towards one purchase
  • Chili’s – free dessert
  • Cinemark Theatres – free large popcorn
  • Cold Stone Creamery – buy-one, get-one-free ice cream
  • Corner Bakery Cafe – free sweet
  • Costa Vida – free dessert
  • Dairy Queen – BOGO Blizzard® shakes
  • Del Taco – free premium shake
  • Denny’s – free Grand Slam® breakfast
  • Dickey’s Barbecue Pit – free classic sandwich
  • Dunkin’ Donuts – free beverage
  • Einstein Bros. Bagels free egg sandwich with purchase
  • Famous Dave’s – buy one entrée, get the second 1/2-off
  • Firehouse Subs – free medium sandwich
  • IHOP – free Rooty Tooty Fresh ‘N Fruity® pancakes
  • Jamba Juice – free smoothie or juice drink
  • Jersey Mike’s Subs – free regular sandwich & 22-ounce fountain drink
  • Krispy Kreme – free doughnut & beverage
  • LongHorn® Steakhouse – free dessert
  • Olive Garden – free dessert
  • Orange Julius BOGO drinks
  • Pizza Hut – free breadsticks or cinnamon sticks
  • Red Robin – free burger
  • Rumbi Island Grill – free dessert with purchase
  • Smashburger – free side or milkshake
  • Starbucks – free beverage or treat
  • Texas Roadhouse – free appetizer with purchase
  • TGI Fridays – free dessert with purchase
  • The Habit Burger Grill – free Charburger
  • The Melting Pot – free chocolate fondue
  • Tucanos Brazilian Grill – buy one meal, get one free
  • Zaxby’s – free Nibbler sandwich

Have a happy and frugal birthday!

America First Credit Union Holds Free “Shred-Your-Stuff Saturday” this weekend Shred Day held at multiple branches in Nevada, Utah Saturday, March 10


America First Credit Union Holds Free “Shred-Your-Stuff Saturday”  this weekend Shred Day held at multiple branches in Nevada, Utah Saturday, March 10

America First Credit Union – (Thursday, March 8, 2018) Dedicated to providing services that enhance security and support financial well-being for its members, America First Credit Union will hold a free shred day this Saturday, March 10, from 9 a.m. to noon, or until the truck is full. Patrons may bring financial documents and personal information for shredding at no cost to any one of the following branch locations:

Las Vegas Craig Road Branch
1225 West Craig Road
Las Vegas, NV 89032

Layton Heritage Branch
425 West Heritage Park Blvd
Layton, UT 84041

North Salt Lake City Winegars Branch
3371 South Orchard Drive
North Salt Lake City, UT 84054

Ogden Main Branch
3650 Wall Avenue
Ogden, UT 84405

Provo Branch
1476 North Freedom Blvd
Provo, UT 84604

Each individual is allowed up to five (5) boxes of materials at a time for shredding. Those with more than five will have the first set shredded and must then get back in line for further service.

For more information, visit, or follow America First Credit Union on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.

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About America First Credit Union:

As the largest credit union in the state of Utah, America First boasts a long-standing history and 78 years servicing members and has become one of the largest, most stable and most progressive credit unions in the country while remaining a member-owned, not-for-profit cooperative financial institution. Today, America First has 130 locations and is the 10th largest credit union in assets in the United States with more than $9.5 billion and the sixth largest credit union in membership in America with more than 931,000 members.

Media Contact: 

America First Credit Union
Nicole Cypers
C: 801-726-9480

Quillin Advertising, Public Relations & Social Media
Tara Trovato

Security Update: It’s Time to Do Some Digital Spring Cleaning

To keep your electronic life secure, use the following tips to remove clutter, upgrade technology—basically, do a digital spring cleaning. Here are 10 simple chores.

  1. Get rid of excess files and items.
  2. Organize your media in labeled files.
  3. Remove unnecessary icons from the desktop.
  4. Uninstall programs that aren’t ever utilized.
  5. Install antivirus, antispyware, antiphishing and firewall software.
  6. Create strong & unique passwords (having different characters/numbers, lowercase/uppercase letters).
  7. Back up important data.
  8. Perform operating system updates.
  9. Defragment your hard drive.
  10. Double-check your smartphone and remove unneeded apps.

And be sure to visit us here to learn how your credit union is safeguarding your resources.


Helping You Develop Financial Independence for Retirement

We’re committed to helping ensure your funds are working as hard as they can for you, especially as you save for retirement.

Your membership provides access to a full range of America First accounts, as well as complete investment and insurance services, through CUSO Financial Services, L.P. (CFS*) at America First Credit Union Financial Solutions, including:

  • Broad investment choices
  • Portfolio management with accounting & performance reporting
  • Integration with online banking, giving you a single log-in
  • And more

We’re pleased to have a CFS Financial Advisor serving families and businesses in your community to help you achieve your goals, whether you are considering retiring or your IRA might not be generating the returns it could.

Please call 1-800-999-3961 for a no-cost, no-obligation appointment or send your request to

*Non-deposit investment products and services are offered through CUSO Financial Services, L.P. (CFS), a registered broker-dealer (Member FINRA/SIPC) and SEC Registered Investment Advisor. Products offered through CFS are not NCUA/NCUSIF or otherwise federally insured, are not guarantees or obligations of the credit union, and may involve investment risk, including possible loss of principal. Investment representatives are registered through CFS. The credit union has contracted with CFS to make non-deposit investment products and services available to members.


Cinematic Savings: How to Spend Less at the Movies

Whether you’re looking for a fun popcorn flick or you’re anticipating the next Academy Award-winning film, going to the movies is always a good time. Sometimes, however, the scariest thing at the theater isn’t on the screen—it’s on the receipt. The National Association of Theatre Owners reports that the average ticket price in 2017 was $8.97. That means a family of four will spend over $45 just for the show. If you add popcorn, drinks and candy, the total is closer to $75. But it doesn’t have to cost that much. Here are some ways to save.

Go early

Matinee pricing is usually cheaper than regular, so plan on a showing earlier in the day. Some theaters offer additional discounts for the first showing of the day, or if you on certain weekdays. And when you use your Visa® from America First, you can get matinee pricing every Monday night!

Go late

Despite what trailers tell you, it’s not necessary to see a movie on opening weekend. In fact, if you have the patience to wait—and the wisdom to avoid online spoilers—you can cut expenses by choosing a late-run showing or going to the dollar theaters. These establishments offer cheaper tickets for nearly the same moviegoing experience.

Avoid unnecessary fees

Do you really need to see that animated feature in 3D? Will IMAX enhance a romantic comedy? You’ll pay a premium for upgrades, but few are truly worth it. Stick to regular showings for the most part and buy your tickets box office to avoid online convenience fees.

Skip the concessions

The popcorn industry has done a great job of making you feel like their crunchy, buttery, salty treat is a must-have during any film. However, if you eat a good meal before going to the movies, you’ll be less tempted to get snacks and drinks, which is where most theater profits are made. If you can’t resist, split the cost with a group.

Discover discounts

Check to see if a nearby theater offers price breaks for students, seniors, AAA members, or those serving in the military. Warehouse outlets like Sam’s Club or Costco also sell tickets to local theaters at reduced prices. And if you download their apps, many national theater chains have ways you can earn discounts on movies and concessions.

Find freebies

Look for free screenings in your area. During the summer, for example, many communities will show films at local schools or libraries. You can also find out about advance events—when studios invite you to see a movie before the public to generate buzz. These are usually free, but they’re often overbooked and seating is not guaranteed. However, if you don’t get in, you can always go home and stream a favorite from the comfort of your couch.