Posts Tagged 'fee'

Incorrect address fee (and why)

As of July 1, 2010, we started charging a $5.00 monthly fee to any account that has an American 1 Federal Credit Union mailing returned to the credit union because of an incorrect address.

An account is flagged when a mailing is returned and members have 30 days to update the address before the fee will be imposed. Once the member submits a proper change of address, the account will no longer be charged the incorrect address fee. If the monthly incorrect address fee charged takes the account to a zero balance, the account will be closed.

We receive way too much mail that gets returned to the credit union because of incorrect information. Because of out-of-date addresses, too much postage and paper are wasted.

On your next branch visit, make sure we have your up-to-date address, phone number, and e-mail address on file. Or contact us and make sure your information is up to date. As always, the best option is signing up for e-statements – that way, your monthly statements and notices are e-mailed to you, helping us to reduce waste.

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Big bank balance transfer rates going up

Bad news if you play the credit card balance transfer game, says MSN Money:

In July, JPMorgan Chase, the largest credit card issuer in the country, cited the new federal regulations when it sent letters to its customers informing them that the bank will increase its maximum balance transfer fee to 5% — the highest charged by any issuer. Subsequently, the company stopped including balance transfers in most of its new offers.

…Bank of America – the second-largest issuer – has increased its maximum balance transfer fee to 4%…The standard balance transfer fee had been about 3% – and some issuers also limited the total fee, often to less than $100, with caps.

From the research we’ve done, most big bank credit card issuers charge some sort of balance transfer rate on top of the regular rate for each transaction total.

American 1? We don’t charge any balance transfer fee.

The wild, wild west of the credit card world

PBS’s Frontline ran a special called “The Card Game” in November on how the credit card industry hurts customers with exhorbitant fees and interest rates.

Watch the second part, especially, to get an idea of what every day consumers face with rising costs.

Big banks get desperate on credit cards

So that big Credit CARD Act that’s due to hit financial institutions next year? Big banks are scrambling to set up more fees and more interest rate hikes to get your money before the act goes into affect.

Bank of America is testing an annual fee on 1% of their cardholders (that’s 800,000 people, all together).

“We’re testing this to see what the feedback is,” said Bank of America spokesperson Betty Reiss. “In terms of any plans going forward, we haven’t made any decisions yet.”

Here’s a clue, Betty: feedback is going to be negative.

Lucky for them, BoA has chosen not to raise their card rates, but an annual fee means if you’re holding a Bank of America card, you could be paying more.

Meanwhile, Wells Fargo is going to raise rates on its card-holding customers, says the South Florida Business Journal, by up to 3%. The new ouch-worthy rate will affect “most” of Wells Fargo’s credit card customers, whatever that means. “Most” usually means “more than half,” so it’s going to hurt a lot of people.

Tip of the day: Sign up for e-statements, get free Bill pay

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You probably know that when you sign up for American 1’s e-statement service, you can take advantage of our online Bill Pay services for no charge.

Some members, however, have noticed that they still get charged for using Bill Pay after signing up for e-statements.

Here’s the fix: after you sign up for e-statements, log on to our A1@home home banking system, and then head to the Bill Pay area. Bill Pay recognizes that you are enrolled in the system and stops the monthly fee.

The issue seems to be with members who rarely use Bill Pay. Regular Bill Pay users never recieve a charge; it’s only members who haven’t used the system that seem to get charged.

So remember: after signing up for e-statements, immediately head to the Bill Pay site, and everything should be automatic. Check out our Bill Pay page for instructions on how to get set up.


Why does your ZIP code matter to Chase?



While doing some online research into big-bank checking accounts, I came across Chase’s web site. But first things first: they asked for my ZIP code. Why? Check the highlighted area – the offer I get depends on where I live.

If that doesn’t speak to the cruminess of big banks, I don’t know what does. Why should where you live determine what kind of “offer” you receive? Shouldn’t it be the same for everyone, no matter whether you live in Alaska or Florida?


The benefit of no-surcharge ATMs.

Bad news

Americans paid more than $4 billion in ATM fees last year. And big banks like Bank of America have raised their charges to $3 a pop.

Good news

American 1 offers no-surcharge ATMs at each of our more-than-40 locations. If you did get charged for using one of our ATMs, it’s your bank that charged you, not us.

Maybe they’re trying to send you a message…