Archive for October, 2010

Shred Day shredder winner

claire foley picture

Congratulations to Claire Foley, our Shred Day shredder winner.

Claire stopped by our free community Shred Day to take care of some documents she had been saving. And what good timing: her home shredder just broke.

“I’ll use this shredder every day,” she said. “I want to keep it up just to reduce the clutter.”

We had about 80 people stop by the shredding event, but those people had a ton of material to shred.

Look here for any updates on future shred events!

Advertisements

Bank of America: No more free checking

BoA fees

Trying to find any source of income they can, Bank of America is waving bye-bye to free checking accounts – and saying hello to charging customers for face-to-face service, says the AP:

Bank of America, which does business with half the households in America, announced a dramatic shift Tuesday in how it does business with customers. One key change: Free checking, a mainstay of American banking in recent years, will be nearly unheard of.

…To make up for lost fees, [Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan] also started thinking of new products. In August, the bank introduced a new “eBanking” account, where customers were offered a free checking account if they banked online. The catch: If they opt for paper statements, or want access to tellers for basic transactions, they would be charged a monthly fee of $8.95.

Did you catch that? If you want to interact with a real human being, it’s $9 a month. Amazing.

Store credit cards make more, cost more

A news item from the Wall Street Journal confirms what we’ve found – that store cards (like from Target, Kohl’s, or Best Buy) cost more than a plain old credit card:

A chunk of the customer base for these cards is made up of low-income households and less credit-worthy borrowers. As a result, these cards typically carry higher interest rates and lower credit lines than general-purpose cards.

Store label card issuers also make more off these cards.

“Issuers of retail credit cards make $16 to $18 of interest and fee income on every $100 loaned out, before subtracting expenses,” the Journal says. “Earnings on general-purpose cards typically are $14 to $15 per $100 loaned.”

That one or two dollar difference may not seem like a lot, but multiply it by thousand dollar balances and the millions of people who have store cards, and it adds up to a lot of profit for credit card issuers.

Customers think that by signing up for the store card and getting 10% off a purchase (for instance), they’re getting a good deal. Over the long term, however, these store brand cards can cost you more.

Payment-free auto loan winner

Payment-free winner - Sarah and Lynn

A hearty congratulations to Sarah Matheny (above, with Lynn Hoag at our Brooklyn Branch) of Napoleon, Ohio – our 2010 payment-free auto loan winner.

Sarah is a member at our Brooklyn Branch. She had her 2003 Kia Spectra loan, worth $1,600, paid off by American 1.

When Lynn called Sarah with the good news, she told her to sit down.

“I thought maybe the loan didn’t go through,” Sarah says.

But now that her loan is paid off, Sarah will have one less bill to worry about as she prepares to go on maternity leave.

“It couldn’t have come at a better time,” she says.

Congratulations to Sarah and her family for the win. Last year, the Barkemas had their truck loan paid off by American 1.

Fall Women’s Expo winners

Fall Women's Expo - Gold Crown winners

Congratulations to (from left to right) Karen Lond, Della Turk, and Cindy Briskie – our 2010 Fall Women’s Expo jewelry winners, thanks to Gold Crown Jewelers.

Fall Women's Expo - Karen Lond

Karen Lond, our first place winner, won a 1/2 karat diamond necklace. Karen takes a day for her and her friends at the expo, making it a girl’s day out, she says.

Fall Women's Expo - Della Turk

Della Turk won the second prize: a 10 karat gold bracelet with diamond accents. Getting to the expo early is Della’s strategy, especially to get a good parking spot.

Fall Women's Expo - Cindy Briskie

Cindy Briskie won our third-place sterline silver cubic zirconia ring. Cindy takes her out-of-town sisters to the expo to enjoy the day.

“We jump on the shuttle bus,” she says. “It’s much easier.”

Congratulations to all three winners, and thanks to Gold Crown Jewelers for providing our Women’s Expo prizes. Look for your chance to win at our Spring Women’s Expo, coming March 12, 2011.

Check out all the pictures from this fall’s expo at our Flickr gallery.

Branches opening late for fall quarterly

American 1 branches will open later on Wednesday, Oct. 13 for our quarterly staff meeting.

Jackson-area branches will open at 10 a.m., while those branches outside of Jackson will open at 11 a.m.

We do these quarterly meetings for staff training, education, and team-building once a quarter, usually in October, January, April, and July – and usually in the middle of the month.

Sorry for any inconvenience!

Community support: a sense of duty

Brad Flory at the Jackson Citizen Patriot:

Founded in 1950 as the Jackson Co-Op Federal Credit Union, American 1 directly organizes and finances 11 community events each year in Jackson — including the Women’s Expo, the Kids’ Fest and the Teen Idol competition — with all proceeds going to local charities.

The company also gives financial support to many other community events and charities. It is largely responsible for reviving Jackson’s annual Rose Parade, and it gave the Jackson County Fair a much-needed financial boost by purchasing naming rights to the American 1 Fair Events Center.

We’re glad that Flory pointed out the other financial institutions around town that are doing their part to make Jackson a better place, too.

With so much bad news lately, it’s nice to hear about some home-grown businesses that are giving back, doing fun things, and doing it all out of what Flory calls a “sense of duty.”