Archive for July, 2010

American 1 network offline for Tues/Wed

UPDATE: The system is back online and working as normal. Thanks for your patience!

American 1’s computer system will be down for repairs starting at 7 p.m. Tuesday night and lasting until about noon on Wednesday.

This means you won’t be able to use online banking or A1 Access during the down time.

Your debit and Visa cards will be unaffected, however, as will any ATM transactions – so you can use those as normal. Also, Bill Pay payments scheduled before the down time will be paid.

Once the system is done with maintenance, everything will come back online. We’ll keep you updated at this blog post, so check back for updates.

Sorry for the inconvenience!

American 1: Everywhere you are, too

A fun video from Service 1 FCU up in Muskegon. The same principle applies to American 1, and most credit unions.

With services like online banking, online Bill Pay, A1 Access for your phone, and our giant network of no-surcharge ATMs, American 1 is pretty much everywhere you are.

Video: Jackson County Rose Parade 2010

Miss the Rose Parade this year? Fear not: we have a short video recap for you over at our YouTube channel.

The All-American Lumberjack Show was a new addition this year, and everyone who came to the Party in the Park after the parade loved it. We got some action shots from the contest at the end of the video.

Check out last year’s Rose Parade over at our YouTube channel, too.

Women’s Expo ideas needed

We’re brainstorming here at American 1 (you can probably smell the smoke where you’re at) on what type of presentation we could offer at the Women’s Expo this fall in the auditorium at Parkside that women would want to see. Something educational, but fun. Something relevant to our community/residents that would be beneficial. A hot topic that’s not too controversial.

And we’re not talking about businesses pitching their product or ideas and trying to earn more customers. We want to learn something, or grow in some way.

How we can add to our Women’s Expo events and attract more guests as well? If you have an idea of something that you or maybe a female friend or family member would be interested in learning about, let us know in the comments below.

Jackson Project Connect helps the homeless

If you’re homeless, living in a car, or out on the street (or know someone who is), Jackson’s Project Connect is a one-day event that can help with resources.

Project Connect’s next event takes place Friday, July 23 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Parkside field house (2400 Fourth St.). The group is providing free lunches, haircuts, clothing, and more. Jackson Transportation Authority (JTA) is providing free rides to and from the event.

For more information about this event and project, call Kitrina or Megan at (517) 789-8735.

2010 Teen Idol winner: TR Krupa

Teen Idol 2010 - TR

Congratulations to TR Krupa of Jackson, American 1’s 2010 Teen Idol winner.

TR put on an amazing performance Friday night, and was part of a fantastic top five finalist group. All 10 of our semi-finalists had tremendous talent.

TR wins a $2,000 savings bond, a new notebook computer, and a little local recognition for his talent and ability. All the contestants took home prize packages. Charlotte Prenevost of Chelsea took the runner-up spot, while Tony Smith of Jackson earned third place.

The Jackson Citizen Patriot was there to take pictures and cover the event, while’s Adam and Ben served as emcees.

As always, we do Teen Idol to highlight the talented teens in the area, help the Jackson School of the Arts, and benefit the charity of the winner’s choice (TR picked the Cascades Humane Society). We also put on this fun, free event to give Jackson families something to do on a Friday night during the summer.

Thanks to everyone who came out to support the teens. Check out the rest of the photos from Teen Idol 2010 over at our Flickr photo gallery.

American 1 Teen Idols tomorrow

Teen Idol - Singing her heart out

Tomorrow night we celebrate our seventh Teen Idols event, with a new location, a bunch of new competitors, and even an added “S” on the end of the name. We did that because we’ve invited singing groups besides the 10 competitors to perform for guests.

Also,’s Adam and Ben will emcee the event once again this year. For those of you who caught them at Parkside last year, you know they’re a hoot.

Something to watch for: both 2009’s runner-up and third place winners, Olivia Hale and Taylor Hawkins, return for this year’s competition. Historically, top-placing contestants do well when they return at our event. It’s no guarantee, but it’s something to keep an eye on.

Emmaline Brown, TR Krupa, Charlotte Prenevost, Tony Smith, and Shannon Watts are also Teen Idols veterans, while Amanda Collins, Austin Lyon, and Kristin Thomas are the rookies. And hey, rookies have won before.

It all starts tomorrow night at 6 p.m. at the Jackson County Fairgrounds. In the meantime, be sure to check out past performances at our Flickr photo gallery.

Be sure to check out the Jackson Citizen Patriot’s write-up on the event, featured in this week’s In Town & Around.

12 fraud prevention tips

Our friends at Allied Solutions passed along 12 helpful tips to protect your personal account information, especially your checking account.

“Allied Solutions has seen an increase in losses involving stolen member checks and misused personal information that has allowed criminals to cause those individuals a loss in their accounts at credit unions,” Marie Burgoyne wrote us. “Common-sense and a logical approach with the way an individual uses and stores checks can help reduce the risk of this type of loss.”

Keep these tips in mind:

  1. Keep your account information confidential and never provide your account number or personal information to unknown persons. Be particularly cautious of unsolicited phone sales.
  2. Reconcile your bank statement as soon as possible after receipt (within 20 days) to detect any irregularities. Delays may subject you to liability for any losses due to check fraud.
  3. Protect your checks – Store your checkbook, blank checks, deposit slips and bank statements in a secure location.
  4. Don’t leave blank spaces on the payee or payment amount lines on your checks.
  5. Monitor check orders to ensure they are received timely and immediately verify that all checks were received with the order.
  6. Mail bill payments through the Post Office and not from your mail box at home. Seeing the upright red flag on your home mail box is a favorite signal for criminals to look in the box and steal whatever is there.
  7. Do not add personal information on your check (Social Security #, Driver’s License # or DOB).
  8. Destroy (shred) cancelled checks (if received), account statements and deposit tickets unless needed for tax purposes.
  9. Use your own pre-printed deposit slips and make sure the account number on your slip is correct. Thieves have made attempts to alter deposit slips at drive-up windows in the hope that bank representatives will not notice with the result that the funds are deposited into the thief’s account.
  10. Don’t ever make a check payable to cash and also, never endorse a check until you are ready to cash the item or make the deposit. If lost or stolen, a check made payable to cash may be legally and rightfully cashed by anyone.
  11. If someone pays you with a cashier’s check, be cautious and if possible, have them accompany you to the bank to cash the item. If you need to accept a check for payment, do so during normal business hours so you can verify with the financial institution that it is legitimate. Make sure you obtain identification information from the individual.
  12. If your home is burglarized, determine if any checks have been stolen. Look closely because thieves will take checks from the back or middle of your check book to avoid immediate detection.

Read more identity theft tips in our ScamWatch category.

American 1 Federal Credit Union