Archive for May, 2009

Protecting your online purchases

In the ongoing effort to prevent ID theft and online fraud, American 1 is now requiring that members who make purchases from online vendors using Verified by Visa (for credit card transactions) and MasterCard SecureCode (for debit transactions) sign up for each program.

These two programs require that you enter a seperate, secure passcode when you make online purchases at participating vendors. When an online merchant prompts you to enter your SecureCode or Verified by Visa code, you have to be signed up with the respective credit or debit program to make your purchase.

Not all online merchants (, PayPal, etc.) currently require you to use Verified by Visa or SecureCode when making a purchase. For the ones that do, however, you’ll be required to sign up for the program. Use Visa’s online form to activate Verified by Visa, and MasterCard’s unique American 1 page to get the process started.

You can choose to “decline” the transaction, but if you do, your transaction will be declined.

In other words, this service is now mandatory for online transactions where the merchant offers it. But again: not all online merchants currently utilize these programs.

We’re doing this to combat online fraud. There have been more and more members that have been affected by identity theft, especially using Visa and MasterCard cards, so we’re using these security programs to fight back.

Yes, this means you’ll have one more passcode to remember. But, in the long run, it will help protect you in case someone steals your credit or debit card number.

If you have any questions about Verified by Visa or SecureCode, contact our Card Services Department at (888) 213-2848.

ScamWatch: Beware of fake Charter One verification sites

Fake Charter One e-mail

Head’s up: an American 1 employee received the above phishing e-mail (click for a larger view) that sent her to the this web site:

Fraud phishing site

Take note that the web site asks for all the information on a debit card, including:

  • debit card number
  • card expiration date
  • card verification number (the three numbers on the back)

This should send up a big red flag for anyone who receives a similar e-mail. Your financial institution will never (NEVER!) ask for your PIN via e-mail, and will never ask for all the information on your card.

Why? They have it already.

Luckily, our staff member was wise enough to recognize this as a phishing attempt. Let this be a lesson: just because something looks and sounds legit doesn’t mean it’s so.

If you ever receive an e-mail like the one above, let us know!

Closed for Memorial Day

American 1 branches will be closed this Monday, May 25 in observation of Memorial Day.

All branches will reopen at their normal hours on Tuesday, May 26.

Enjoy the holiday!

Smart Commute Day 2009

Smart Commute Day 2009

American 1 participated in the Fitness Council’s Smart Commute Day.

Most of our Home Office and Resource Center participants parked at work, walked to Nixon Park on Cooper and North St., and then hiked back to work. About 46% of our employees participated.

It was a beautiful walk back to work. Hope everyone else had a great Smart Commute Day!

Member wins Lansing Lugnuts tickets


Congratulations to Roger Kunak of Quincy. Roger was our Lansing Lugnuts tickets winner after referring his co-worker, Matthew, in April.

Rogers wins four Lugnuts box seats and a snack voucher for the May 30 game versus Quad Cities.

You can win your own set of Lansing Lugnuts baseball tickets by referring a friend.

30 and Under: Dave Lawrence

Dave Lawrence & Kristi Latoszewski

Just like our Vice President of Marketing & Communications, Kristi Latoszewski (right), was honored last year, our own Dave Lawrence (left) was honored as a 30 and Under designee by Jackson Magazine for 2009.

Dave, American 1’s senior communications specialist, was awarded for his involvement in Recycling Jackson and the Jackson Breakfast Rotary Club.

Congrats, Dave!

New no-surcharge ATM at Allegiance Health


Good news – we just put a new no-surcharge ATM in at Allegiance Health’s Foote Hospital.

You can find the American 1 ATM on the second floor, near the cafeteria. Now if you need cash for food or the gift shop, you can take advantage of our no-surcharge ATM. For a complete list of American 1 ATMs, visit our ATM Locations page.

Exposed: Bank of America’s fee increase letter


Here it is: an official letter from Bank of America spelling out all the bad news.

For one, they’re raising their fees in several areas. Two, they’re expanding their definition of the “Foreign Transaction.” And three, they’re eliminating a credit card rewards program for average cardholders.

Talk about a bummer. You can download the entire letter here, but we’re going to go into more detail below.


Let’s start from the top: Bank of America is raising fees on this entire list of card features. And no matter what the fee ends up, the minimum you’ll pay on each is $10. Do all seven? That’s at least $70 extra on your bill. Who can afford that?

The thing is, American 1 doesn’t charge a fee on any of those listed items. None.


As you can see above, BoA is expanding their definition of a “Foreign Transaction” so they can charge you their 3 percent fee plus any other fee that applies. That fee is triple what American 1 charges.


Finally, Bank of America is cancelling their Basic Air Rewards for everyday cardholders.

After doing some digging, we found out that Basic Air Rewards are still available – but only to Visa Signature and World MasterCard accounts. If you’re a basic BoA cardholder, you’re stuck with FlexAir Rewards.

American 1 does it differently: our ScoreCard rewards points are available to everyone, no matter what card you have.

This letter from Bank of America just shows why having one of their cards in your wallet can cost you. Find out more at our Top Secret Visa site, and think about transferring your BoA credit card balance to an American 1 Visa.

$1,000 rebate gas card winner


A big congratulations to Dennis B. of Parma, our Rebate $1,000 gas card winner.

Dennis financed a van from Huff Auto at our spring used vehicle sale after hearing about the Rebate at an American 1 branch. Closing at the sale gave him multiple entries into the drawing.

Since his wife works in Ann Arbor, he said, the $1,000 worth of gas cards will come in handy.

“It’ll help us out,” Dennis says. “It should last a while.”

Now he has relatives asking him to drive on trips!

American 1 Federal Credit Union