Month: March 2018


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.

Service Excellence Delivers Long-Term Benefits to America First Members

By John B. Lund, President and Chief Executive Officer

Dear valued members,

I feel fortunate and humbled to be a part of such an outstanding organization and I am pleased to report that 2017 was a period of significant accomplishment. Our credit union is strong, stable, and well-positioned for a bright future. We will work diligently to continue earning your trust and support.

Additionally, I am honored to report that Money Magazine recognized America First as Utah’s best financial institution; the following principles illustrate just four of the reasons why:

ValueWe endeavor to provide relevant products and services in a convenient and professional manner, simplify busy lives, and help members keep more of their hard-earned money.

To that end, we offer free checking, free 24/7 online & mobile banking, free nationwide ATM withdrawals, free educational seminars, free financial counseling, free credit scores, free document shredding events, free financial calculators and budgeting tools, as well as numerous benefits that recognize the value we provide.

Our Visa® cards allow worldwide transactions, deliver industry-leading cash back & rewards programs, and provide merchant-funded offers that generate additional cash. Using Visa from America First further brings free identity theft recovery services, account and fraud monitoring, real-time security, and free mobile device management, including the ability to turn cards on and off. Discounts for transactions made with our Visas are available at retailers, events, and recreational opportunities.

The credit union’s loan and deposit products consistently lead the competition in rate, flexibility and choice. We are the market’s number-one auto lender and rank among the best in RV and mortgage financing.

America First business members have a wealth of resources at their disposal, including SBA loans, lines of credit, Visa credit accounts, complete in-house merchant services, free checking, and many other significant advantages.

Encompassing a financial solution for every need, we also offer fully managed insurance, investments, health savings, retirement planning, wealth management, and trust services.

ServiceIt is our goal to establish meaningful lifelong relationships, serving our members how, where & when they choose.

In addition to a significant, multi-state network of 125 branches, America First creates an anytime, anywhere environment with award-winning online and mobile services, mobile deposits, telephone banking, live chat, and robust social and digital media platforms.

Loyalty, retention, and product utilization numbers remain among the best in the nation. Our Net Promoter score–a benchmark for evaluating service quality—is at a level attained by only the best of the best companies.

Throughout my associations and travels, it is not uncommon for individuals to share stories of how America First has served, supported, and benefitted them when they learn of my position with the credit union. It is extremely satisfying knowing we are improving the lives of those around us.

StrengthAmerica First demonstrates fiscal strength, stability, soundness and is independently rated among the best credit unions in the country.

Last year, we received positive results from a National Credit Union Administration examination and from an external auditing firm. When completed, we expect a similar outcome for 2017.

During turbulent economic times, such as the deep recession of 2008 to 2010, a lack of capital strength was often the root cause leading to the weakening or failure of a financial institution. This is not the case with our credit union, as America First closed the year with $912.3 million in capital, up 8.07% from 2016. Our net worth ratio is 11.11%, well above the federal regulatory requirement.

Net income totaled $93.4 million. Assets grew by 12.07%, ending the year above $9.2 billion—America First is now the 10th largest credit union in the nation in terms of this measurement.  Return on assets was a healthy 1.06%. Our membership continued growing at a healthy pace, closing 2017 at over 905,000. Deposits increased $893.4 million (12.39%) and loans grew by more than $1 billion, or 17.16%. Delinquencies rose slightly to .93%; however, the allowance for loan loss is more than adequate to absorb any portfolio deficiencies.

Our top priority is protecting members’ personal data, financial information, resources, and accounts. America First’s highly regarded information technology systems and networks are continually upgraded, enhanced, monitored, and secured.

HeartWe remain committed to improving our communities & schools, making a meaningful difference in the lives of others.

Examples of these efforts include supporting food drives, contributing thousands of personal volunteer service hours, and making meaningful financial contributions to worthwhile charitable organizations. We support schools, communities, children’s hospitals, financial literacy, educational scholarships, and dozens of projects that promote the greater good.

My deepest gratitude is extended to our volunteers and staff, all of whom are passionate about serving you and who remain sincere in their dedication to seek continual improvement. Most importantly, I express my utmost appreciation to you, our members, and reiterate our commitment to developing and maintaining a lifelong relationship with you and your family.