Archive for April, 2008

Meet our $1,000 gas card winner

Ricky wins our $1,000 gas card

Meet Ricky R., American 1’s $1,000 gas card winner from this past weekend’s car sale.

Ricky financed a 1997 Ford Econoline van at the sale, earning him an automatic $100 gas card. But $1,000 worth of gas cards on top of that? “That’s cool,” Ricky, a Jackson member since 1995, says.

Ricky was looking to get a new vehicle at the sale after he heard about it from our Home Office staff.

How long will $1,000 worth of gas last him?

“The way I drive?” Ricky says. “About a month.”

Congratulations Ricky!

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Thanks+

The A1 sale crew

After our recent car sale and the advertising we put around it, you’ve probably noticed we’ve been tooting our own horn a bit. Modesty and humbleness have their place, and more businesses should try practicing it, but our point is to let you know – in spite of everything going on in our area – your credit union is doing just fine.

You may have seen the numbers in the ad: 8,000 new members last year, 1,800 new members so far this year, 9,000 people attending our free community events, $1.6 million dollars saved in ATM fees. These are big numbers.

Plus $1 million in auto loans at our spring sale, which means $1 million that will help local businesses (like the dealerships) and that, as Bruce over at The Car Company said, will be “reinvested in the local economy.”

The Car Company is a good example, because they sold almost 30 vehicles on Friday and Saturday. Ask any other dealer in town whether they can pull off those numbers over a weekend.

Historically, credit unions have helped out their communities when the community needs them the most. This is that time, and that’s exactly what we’re trying to do.

So thanks. Thanks for being a member, thanks for making our sales such a big hit, and thanks for helping us help out Jackson and Hillsdale and Battle Creek and Chelsea and all the other communities we call home.

ScamWatch: IRS warns of tax rebate scams

The IRS has posted new warnings about phone and e-mail scams, both tied to this year’s economic stimulus payments and tax season, by fraudsters seeking to acquire taxpayers’ financial institution account numbers and other sensitive data.

In one of the scenarios, people have been contacted by phone and told by the caller that they need to provide their account numbers in order to get the stimulus payments. But IRS isn’t calling or e-mailing people for this information; it’s making the payments based on information in taxpayers’ tax returns.

In another case, people are receiving an e-mail with a link to a form where recipients are told they must provide information to receive their payments by direct deposit. IRS says the senders are probably really trying to get recipients’ personal and financial information so they can clean out their accounts. And taxpayers that want to receive tax refunds, or stimulus payment, by direct deposit are already instructed to provide the required information on their tax returns, it notes.

//Source: NAFCU, via IRS

Spring sale a success.

Financing at the spring sale.

Just a quick post this morning before we clean up and unpack from this weekend’s super-successful used vehicle sale.

We want to thank the hundreds of people who stopped out at Sears on Friday and Saturday. We gave out $100 gas cards, trip to the cash machine, and lots and lots of hot dogs. American 1 knows how to put on a used vehicle sale, but we sure couldn’t do it without the community support.

Were you there? Did you grab a vehicle? Let us know in the comments!

Spring used vehicle sale this weekend.

Roz prepares to do some financing.

Perhaps you’ve heard?

If you’ve stopped into our branches, waited in line at a drive-through, or browsed around our web site, I’m sure you know our spring sale is this Friday and Saturday out at Sears in Jackson.

But here’s another reminder!

Check out our sale page for the full scoop.  Even if you think you’re not looking for a used vehicle, stop by the sale anyway.  Just by showing up you can enter to win our $1,000 gas card drawing.  And be sure to stop by our concession stand and grab a hot dog from me.  I’ll be grilling them up as usual.

Bring the kids, too, because we’ll have activities for them.  Who knows?  You could find yourself test driving that summer vehicle you’ve always wanted.

See you this weekend!

ScamWatch: Five new credit card scams

The Consumerist.com, a consumer-advocate blog from Gawker Media, posted four (five, technically, but #1 is actually a credit card practice) new scams that include “cramming,” “shaving,” “minting,” and “skimming.”

The skimming scam (say that five times fast) is one we’ve heard before from local police officers, and involves thieves setting electronic scanners that read your debit/credit card information when you swipe it at machines and terminals.

As always, keep a close eye on your credit card number and card.

Check out our ScamWatch page to learn more ways to protect yourself from identity thieves.

Members have options at Felpausch Branch.

Our Felpausch Branch will remain open until the store closes.

Just when we spread the good word about Felpausch’s community involvement, the news hit that the store is closing May 24.

What is an American 1 member to do?

Luckily, we have options. Argyle is only 1.8 miles away. The Home Office is a pretty quick trip down Michigan Ave. And there’s always ATMs, online banking, and A1 Access phone banking.

Just know that:

  • our Felpausch Branch will be open as long as the store is open
  • no employees are losing their jobs
  • our Board of Directors is evaluating possible branch locations as I type this

We think the whole thing is very unfortunate, but we sure didn’t choose the timing or the conditions.

One of the benefits of having many other branch locations is that no matter where you usually do your banking, the folks at the other locations will welcome you with open arms.