winterizing

Properly Winterizing Your Watercraft

For boat owners, one of the year’s saddest days is their last on the water. Proper winterizing, however, can prevent further gloom when the season finally rolls around again. Many watercrafts suffer unnecessary and costly winter damage due to neglectful storage. We can help you protect your nautical investment and save you money with the advice below.

Inspect the exterior

Once your boat is on land, scrub the hull with soap & water, then scrape off any barnacles or plant life. Keep an eye out for any stress cracks or blisters in the body and repair them. If your hull is fiberglass, add a wax coat for cold-weather protection.

Treat the tank

A partially filled fuel tank can cause problems. Temperature shifts cause condensation, while old gas gums up the carburetor and fuel injectors. Manufacturers recommend either filling it to the top or draining it completely. Before doing either, though, they all suggest using a preventative fuel stabilizer to help prevent issues. Once you add the stabilizer, idle the engine for 15 minutes to evenly distribute it through the system.

Clean the engine

For outboard motors, flush the engine with fresh water to remove dirt and other impurities. With inboard and stern-drives, you’ll additionally want to do a final flushing with anti-freeze. Improperly drained engines leave residual water in the cooling chambers, that expands when it freezes—possibly cracking the manifolds or engine block.

Change the oil

Changing the oil & filter prevents potential moisture corrosion. Run the engine beforehand for faster and more efficient draining. Some owners will even change the oil while winterizing and do it again in the spring.

Care for the cylinders

Fogging oil helps protect the interior during storage. If you don’t fog the cylinders, pistons and rings, rust and other decay occur. Many engines allow you to spray this solution into the air intake while it’s running, or you can remove the spark plugs and apply it there.

Keep it covered

Most people don’t have the luxury of a climate-controlled storage facility, but at the very least you should use a tarp or sturdy cover during colder months. It’s important to keep the interior of the boat as dry as possible to avoid mold or mildew. Covers with ventilation deter ice accumulation and allow for some airflow. You can additional buy sprays or dehumidifiers to pull excess moisture from the air.

Winterizing may seem like a lot of work, but when it’s done correctly, it will save you time and money when the time arrives to get your boat out on the lake again. And these tips are only the basics—please consult your owner’s manual for additional instructions and recommendations for specific makes and models.

America First welcomes two new managers to two Utah branches

For Immediate Release:

America First welcomes two new managers to two Utah branches
Merissa Van Miltenburg and Akina Bosley named Service Center Managers for Layton Fairfield branch and Jeremy Ranch branch, respectively

RIVERDALE, Utah – (Friday, Sept. 14, 2018) – America First Credit Union would like to congratulate Merissa Van Miltenburg and Akina Bosley on being selected as new service center managers for Layton Fairfield and Jeremy Ranch branches, respectively.

Van Miltenburg started her career at America First Credit Union in February of 2012 as a teller at the Ogden Main branch. While at that branch, she worked as a consumer loan originator and backup lead teller. She was then promoted to lead teller at the Roy branch in April 2014. In October 2016, Van Miltenburg transferred to the Roy Kent’s branch as service center lead teller and subsequently returned to Ogden Main in August 2017 as lead teller. She has been in her current role of market assistant manager of the Ogden Main branch since November 2017. Van Miltenburg’s promotion is effective Sept. 10, 2018.

Bosley started her career with America First Credit Union in April 2015 as a teller at the Sandy branch. In Feb. 2016 she was promoted to lead teller at the City Creek branch. Akina moved to the Salt Lake Foothill Dan’s branch as the service center lead teller in Oct. 2016, later transferring to the Sandy Harmon’s branch as the service center lead teller. In Aug. 2017 she was promoted to assistant branch manager of the Salt Lake Pioneer Branch and has been serving her current role of market branch assistant manager at the Taylorsville branch since June 2018. Bosley’s promotion is effective Sept. 10, 2018.

The Layton Fairfield branch is located at 88 S Fairfield Rd. Layton, UT 84041 and open from 9 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. on Monday – Saturday. The branch is closed on Sundays.

The Jeremy Ranch branch is located at 3151 Kilby Rd. Park City, UT 84098 and is open from 9 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. on Monday – Saturday. The branch is closed on Sundays.

For more information, visit www.americafirst.com. Find America First Credit Union on Facebook and Twitter or follow @AmericaFirst on Instagram and Pinterest.

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ABOUT AMERICA FIRST CREDIT UNION

With a long-standing history and more than 79 years servicing members, America First has become one of the largest, most stable and most progressive credit unions in the country, and has remained 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 over $10 billion, and the sixth largest credit union in membership in America with more than 984,000 members.

Media Contact:
America First Credit Union
Nicole Cypers
C: 801-726-9480
ncypers@americafirst.com

Tara Trovato
Quillin Advertising, Public Relations & Social Media
D: 702-800-7803
C: 702-286-6272
tara@quillinlv.com

America First welcomes Social Media Manager

For Immediate Release:

America First welcomes Social Media Manager
Rachel Keoppel hired to manage the newly formed social media department at America First

Riverdale, Utah – (Thursday, Sept. 13, 2018) – America First Credit Union recently welcomed Rachel Keoppel to assume the role of social media manager for the newly created social media department at America First Credit Union.

Keoppel brings 10 years of marketing, events promotion and social media experience to the America First team. Her professional experience includes roles as the large committee and special events liaison for the Ogden-Weber Chamber of Commerce, marketing specialist for the Tanner Clinic, community and social engagement director for Davis Hospital and Medical Center and marketing director for Jordan Valley Medical Center.

Keoppel received her bachelor’s degree in communications with a print journalism emphasis from Utah State University and has consistently been an active member of her community, serving multiple chambers of commerce, women in business ambassador groups and the military affairs committee at Hill Air Force Base.

For more information, visit americafirst.com. Find America First Credit Union on Facebook, follow @americafirst on Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest.

###

ABOUT AMERICA FIRST CREDIT UNION

With a long-standing history and more than 79 years servicing members, America First Credit Union has become one of the largest, most stable and most progressive credit unions in the country, and has remained 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 over $10 billion, and the sixth largest credit union in membership in America with more than 984,000 members.

Media Contact:

Nicole Cypers
America First Credit Union
C: 801-726-9480
ncypers@americafirst.com

Tara Trovato
Quillin Advertising, Public Relations & Social Media
D: 702-800-7803
C: 702-286-6272

cruise

Low Costs on the High Seas—Saving on a Cruise

Some people have never gone on a cruise because they think it’s too expensive. However, when you consider that the room, the food, and the entertainment are all included with the price of your ticket, the cost is comparable to other vacations. If you want to save some additional money on your nautical voyage, here are some tips.

Right place, right time

Cruises range from luxury liners to economy trips—and the cost can vary even more depending on the time of year. Decide where and when you’d like to travel, then look for the cruise line that will give you what you want for the best price. You’ll save some extra money if you go during the off-season, which is typically late spring or early fall.

You can also spend less by either planning far ahead or waiting until the last minute. Some companies will offer early-bird specials for those who book their trip more than a year in advance. On the flip side, when the sail date approaches and the companies want to fill their cabins, some will drop their prices or add incentives to attract passengers, such as additional credits, room upgrades, and complementary amenities. Keep your eye on the prices throughout the year and note what’s included—then you’ll know when you’re getting a good deal.

When creating your budget, don’t forget to factor in the price of traveling to the ship’s location, which is not included with the price of a cruise. Consider using a travel agent—they usually know about the best deals and can bundle your admission with things like airfare and a hotel room, if necessary. Or pick a port close to home to save on travel costs.

Prioritize your perks

Determine what is a want and what is a need before you book your tickets. For example, it would be nice to have a large, private veranda where you can watch the ship pull away from the port, but you can also do this up on the deck. Inside state rooms are cheaper than ones with a view, and you only really need them for sleeping and getting ready. Plus, if you easily get seasick, inner rooms are usually more stable, too.

Many cruisers blow their vacation budget on unnecessary extras. There’s really no need to upgrade for fancy dining when buffets are included with the price of your ticket. Tap water, coffee and juices are usually free, but soda or alcoholic beverages will add up on your final bill. A wireless connection while you’re out to sea can also put you over budget. Unplug while you’re on the ship in order to save money. If you need to check your messages, find a café with a free Wi-Fi on the shore while the boat is docked.

When it comes to shore excursions, you don’t have to purchase the packages offered by the cruise line. You can enjoy a day on the beach, go on a hike and explore the port on your own. If you’re going to buy souvenirs, you can probably get them for cheaper by bargaining with vendors on land than you could in the ship’s gift shop. However, if you’re hungry, you should go back to the boat to get some food, since you’ve already paid for it.

contactless payments

Make Quick Purchases with Contactless Payments

Swipe, dip, tap, insert. It can be confusing when you approach the check-out counter, but contactless payments are now a popular way to transmit funds. And if you think making purchases with your phone is something for a far-off future, the ability is probably in your hands right now.

The technology behind it

To understand how this process works, you first must be familiar with radio-frequency identification, or RFID. This technology uses a memory chip to store data and an antenna to send information to a reader when they are in close proximity. Examples include security tags on clothing in department stores, microchips implanted in pets and, of course, credit & debit cards. In fact, you may already have tap-to-pay access. If the contactless symbol (which looks like a sideways Wi-Fi signal) is on the back of the card, it means you’re good to go.

Near-field communication, or NFC, is a slightly more advanced cousin to RFID. Such memory chips can also act as readers, meaning you can send and receive data—and money—from one device to another if they’re within an inch or two of each other. It’s still relatively new, but most of the latest smartphones come with this feature pre-installed. To check your phone, go to settings and look for the switch that turns NFC off and on.

How to use it

Millions of restaurants and retailers worldwide have contactless terminals. You may also already have a mobile payment app, such as Google Pay, Apple Pay or Samsung Pay on your phone. If you don’t, you can easily download them for free. Then add your compatible cards by manually entering the information or scanning the card. When it’s time to pay, simply unlock your device, open the app and tap it on the terminal.

The benefits

Tap-to-pay technology makes shopping quick and easy. You won’t be carrying around a stack of cards, nor will you need to rummage through your bag to find the right one. All your information is safely secured behind the phone’s lock screen, and there are multiple layers of security to help prevent fraud.

If you’re hesitant to try contactless payments with your phone, we hope this explains it’s not as complicated or scary as you might have thought. In fact, tap-to-pay technology is probably already in your pocket. And once you’ve try it, you may never want to swipe again.

America First Credit Union Holds Free “Shred-Your-Stuff Saturday”

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

America First Credit Union Holds Free “Shred-Your-Stuff Saturday”

Shred Day held at multiple branches in Utah on Saturday, Sept. 8

Riverdale, Utah – (Tuesday, Sept. 4, 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 on Saturday, Sept. 8, 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:

Centerville Branch
451 West Parrish Lane
Centerville, UT 84014

North Ogden Branch
2575 North 400 E.
North Ogden, UT 84414

St. George Red Cliff’s Branch
2722 East Red Cliffs Drive
St. George, UT 84790

Taylorsville Branch
2715 West 5400 S.
Taylorsville, UT 84129

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 americafirst.com, or follow America First Credit Union on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.

# # #

ABOUT AMERICA FIRST CREDIT UNION

With a long-standing history and more than 79 years servicing members, America First has become one of the largest, most stable and most progressive credit unions in the country, and has remained 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 over $10 billion, and the sixth largest credit union in membership in America with more than 984,000 members.

Media Contact: 

America First Credit Union

Nicole Cypers
C: 801-726-9480
ncypers@americafirst.com

Quillin Advertising, Public Relations & Social Media
Tara Trovato
702-800-7803
tara@quillinlv.com

 

Harnessing Technology to Deliver Excellence in Service

By Rich Syme, Executive Vice President, Digital & Contact Center Delivery-Product Management

Of my childhood memories, those that stand out most vividly are the family trips to Grandma’s house in Lyman, Wyoming. It was there we’d spend Thanksgiving, Christmas, birthdays and just about every other occasion worth celebrating. Congregating in her kitchen, we were surrounded by stories, laughter and the delicious aroma of what was cooking. Another detail I clearly recall was the black rotary phone hanging on the wall—the kind you would literally dial.

It was an endless source of entertainment for my cousins and me. In those days, small communities had shared or ‘party’ lines, meaning you could pick up the phone for all the latest news and gossip, like Myrtle from down the street talking to Aunt Irene about her latest needlepoint project, or whether Edith in Fort Bridger really had the county’s best strawberry rhubarb pie (or if the fair judges were a bit biased).

Yes, what we do with phones has changed quite significantly since then. They’ve gone from being a simple way to speak with someone else at a distance, to multipurpose tools integrated into nearly every aspect of our lives. My children and grandchildren do not have wall-mounted telephones with long, curly cords; instead, they carry incredibly powerful devices that put the vast collection of human knowledge and achievement at their fingertips. Smartphones changed the world and in a manner few could have imagined several years ago. We now use them to talk, text, Google, navigate, shop, record our memories, catch rides, and accomplish so much more.

Of course, I’m particularly interested in how these devices can help us better manage our money. I’m proud America First was an early adopter of mobile banking technology. Since 2002, members have checked balances, reviewed transaction histories, and made transfers with their phones. As mobile technology evolved, we introduced a state-of-the-art app that helps you deposit checks, pay bills, apply for loans, and find deals & discounts from local merchants.

America First mobile banking has advanced tracking features, as well as the ability to add accounts at other institutions for a more complete picture of your finances. And because creating a budget and sticking to it can be tedious, the app generates personalized plans based on previous purchases. The system automatically assigns transactions to spending categories and it’s continually learning, providing the most accurate assessments.

To further enhance your experience, we developed Card Guard mobile security, giving you control of how, where, and when your Visa® credit & debit card cards are used. You can additionally set up account activity alerts and limit them to certain geographical areas.

It is our ongoing commitment to deliver the products and services you need to achieve financial health, and these benefits are a good snapshot of how we’re doing. Our talented mobile services department’s primary goal is to surprise, delight and empower the membership. If you haven’t already, download mobile banking and Card Guard to see if we’re meeting that lofty expectation.

Given the rapid pace of technological advancement, I wonder what my relatives and other folks in the Lyman of my youth would think about the smartphones we now have in our pockets. It would be fun to hear what topics Grandma, Myrtle and Aunt Irene might be gossiping about, but it’s likely they’d be chatting about neighborhood events via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, reddit, or another new platform. Because, even after all these years, we haven’t changed so much what we say, we just changed what we use to say it.

Staying Alert & Connected

Take financial control with immediate fraud alerts. You can check your phone for free, real-time texts that tell you when a transaction is suspicious. We’ll ask if the purchase was legitimate and you can simply reply with a yes or no answer.

It’s already set up and provided without a cost to all America First Visa® cardholders. Just look for the sender AFCU FRAUD or the short code 28799 to verify the message—it’s a safe & secure way to monitor your account.

And if you don’t want to receive alerts, just send STOP or CANCEL and we’ll take care of the rest.

These texts are easy, effective and a service we’re glad to provide, because protecting your hard-earned money is our first priority.

Security Update: Reduce the Risk of Identity Theft

No matter the season, cyber criminals are always busy attacking  consumers around the globe. According to experts, no one is immune to this phenomenon and, while we are all vulnerable, there are ways to minimize your risk:

  • Be overly careful about clicking on links and attachments you didn’t request and/or don’t recognize.
  • Limit the sensitive data stored on your devices.
  • Use free online & mobile banking for real-time transaction and account monitoring.
  • Don’t geotag photos on Facebook.
  • Restrict the personal information you post on any social media site.
  • Get free identity theft recovery services with Visa® credit cards from America First.

Please visit us here for updates regarding our efforts to safeguard your resources.

breakfast

Sunrise Savings: Breakfast on a Budget

Just because breakfast is the most important meal of the day doesn’t mean it also needs to be the most expensive. Whether you’re cooking for one or feeding a horde of children, here are some ways to save some money every morning.

Make a Menu

Grabbing whatever you can find as you’re rushing out the door is not only unhealthy, it can cost you. Create a weekly menu so you’re not buying too much at the grocery store. Identify where you can utilize an ingredient in multiple meals, like spinach for a dinner salad as well as your morning smoothie. Proper planning will save you time, prevent waste, and keep you out of the drive-through.

Buy in Bulk

When certain breakfast ingredients go on sale, get larger quantities and store them. For example, if you buy a whole bushel of peaches while they’re in season (May through August), you’ll spend less per pound than you would picking up two or three at a time during the winter. Chop fruits and vegetables you don’t plan on using immediately to freeze before they spoil.

Go Generic

Many Americans wake up to big bowls of cold cereal. Bringing home box after box of name-brand products can get expensive. Generic versions are a fraction of the cost and usually taste the same. This saving principle can be applied to other items such as cream cheese, bagels, jam, peanut butter, bread and even microwavable meals. Don’t pay extra for the label.

Make it Yourself

You’ll also be charged for the labor that goes into pre-cooked, pre-sliced and otherwise pre-made foods. A box of pancake mix is easy, but purchasing flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, eggs, milk, vegetable oil, and making your own batter will produce more and cost you less. Less processed products are the more frugal choice.

Keep it Simple

When it comes to the first meal of the day, people tend to overcomplicate things. Your kids may be just as satisfied with a hard-boiled egg as they would eggs Benedict. And instead of grabbing a breakfast sandwich from a restaurant on the way to work, bring a piece of buttered toast with jam from home. Substitute simple rolled oats for pricey cereals—you can even mix in those delicious peaches you have in your freezer. Start your day off right by saving!