Archive for December, 2008

Have a Happy New Year!

Hope everyone has a safe and happy New Year.

All American 1 branches will be closed tomorrow. We’ll reopen at our normal hours on Friday, Jan. 2.


Bad economy sees increase in bad behavior

When the economy suffers, so do people’s ethics, it seems.

A recent story in the New York Times reports that shoplifting, especially around the holidays, is on the increase:

Police departments across the country say that shoplifting arrests are 10 percent to 20 percent higher this year than last. The problem is probably even greater than arrest records indicate since shoplifters are often banned from stores rather than arrested.

This time of year is also a peak time for online and e-mail fraud.

At American 1, we are very vigilant in looking out for “secret shopper” and foreign-country lottery scams. As always, if something sounds too good to be true, it usually is.

Be aware of where you keep your checkbook, debit card, and credit card. “Crimes of opportunity” – thefts where a thieve is in the right place at the right time – are also on the rise, meaning your pocketbook or wallet could be at risk.

If your banking or personal information is ever stolen, or if you become a victim of an online scam, alert your local police department. Then contact your financial institutions, like American 1. Look for more tips and resources to fight ID theft at our ScamWatch page.


American 1 holiday hours



Just a reminder – American 1 branches are closing early tomorrow, Christmas Eve, at 1 p.m. On Thursday, Christmas day, all branches will be closed for the holiday. We’ll reopen at our normal hours on Friday, Dec. 26.

Have a safe and merry Christmas, and a very happy holiday!

Let it snow.

Jackson, MI snow storm

Here’s the scene on Friday, Dec. 19 at 9 a.m. looking down East Michigan Ave. in Jackson.

Lots of schools closed, lots of plow trucks out, and a weirdly empty parking lot at the American 1 Home Office.


Emergency Snow Route

“All the smart folks stayed home,” one co-worker said. That could be.

Be safe out there!


Chrysler added to ‘Invest in America’ program

Good news – Chrysler is joining GM in the “Invest in America” program that offers Midwestern credit unions discounts on new vehicle purchases. American 1 members can use “Credit Union Member Cash” to purchase a discounted Chrysler or Dodge vehicle, says LoveMyCreditUnion.org:

All eligible current and new credit union members in Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky, Texas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Tennessee can receive up to $1,000 in bonus cash incentives, depending on which model you choose. Plus, the Credit Union Member Cash program can be combined with most current incentives to add to your savings!

The discounts extend through June 30, 2009. Since you have to get financed through a local credit union, you can get pre-approved before you head out to shop.

Head to LoveMyCreditUnion.org for more details.

ScamWatch: beware fraud text messages



We recently received word from another credit union that members are receiving fraud text messages citing “unusual account activity.” These text messages provided an 800 number, where members were asked to verify three pieces of information linked to their account to “restore their credit or debit card.” And then it asks them to enter their 16-digit credit or debit card number.

Folks, this is a scam. Credit unions will not alert you via text message when something is wrong with your account. If you ever receive something like this, be sure to double-check the given phone number against our own: (888) 213-2848 or (517) 787-6510. And please, don’t ever enter your credit or debit card number to just anyone. Check and double-check each request for financial information. It could save you a bundle.


Invest in America: GM discount available to members

investinamerica

If you think General Motors is going down without a fight, think again. GM is teaming up with midwestern credit unions to offer a vehicle purchase price discount – plus $250 of bonus cash on a new GM model vehicle.

They’re calling it the “Invest in America” program, and it’s available to credit union members in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan and Ohio through January 5, 2009. As an American 1 member, you’re qualified to participate.

To get started, head to Love My Credit Union and click on the blue GM button.

Get holiday deals using your American 1 cards

lifetakesvisaholidays

If you’re a holiday shopper, you know to never pay full price – or full shipping – on anything, right?

Just in time for discount shoppers, both Visa and Mastercard are offering discounts to many merchants just by using their cards. For American 1 members, that means simply using your American 1 Visa credit card or Mastercard debit card can earn you great deals from big-name retailers.

Mastercard is offering its Mastercard Savings program free for any Mastercard debit card holders. After you sign up, Mastercard will send you links and coupons for discounts while you shop. The discounts apply to both online and brick-and-mortar retailers. Their How it Works page shows some examples of the discounts offered.

Visa, on the other hand, seems to tailor their discounts around the holidays. Their Holiday Deal Train page is decked-out in winter scenery, and a online train that shows various retailer discounts.

Both of these programs are free for American 1 cardholders to use. Mastercard’s Savings program does come with a $30/year premium feature, but it’s totally optional.

If you use either of these programs, be sure to let us know how it goes. Were the discounts enough? What retailers did you use? Sound off in the comments!


November gas card winner refers co-worker

kathypnov08

Kathy P. of Quincy read about American 1’s membership campaign in her newsletter. She referred one of her co-workers at Randall Food Products in Tekonsha, MI, and then didn’t think much about it.

But then we called and let her know that one referral won her $500 worth of gas cards.

“It was a fluke,” Kathy says. “I just skimmed through the newsletter. I was amazed – I never win anything.”

Like many members before her, Kathy was skeptical when she found out she won.

“I wondered, ‘what’s the stipulation?'” she says.

There’s no stipulation – Kathy already did her part by referring a new member to American 1.

December is the last month you can qualify to win a $500 gas card. Find out more on our GreenBack membership campaign page.



American 1 Federal Credit Union