Spend & Save
How Do I Choose A Savings Plan That's Right For Me?
First off, you are exactly right - a savings plan is completely about personal choice. There are savings accounts that allow you complete access to your money at any time and without penalty, while there are other savings options, such as certificates, that provide you with the opportunity to earn more on your money depending upon the term, or the amount of time you keep your money in the account. The bottom line is that it is a personal preference on how you want to save - and what might be preferred by your parents or friends may not be the right option for you.
Here are our common savings options:
Savings account: This type of savings plan is actually the initial account that establishes your membership with our Credit Union, so every member automatically has one. There is a low minimum opening deposit and balance ($5); however, a balance of at least $50 is needed to earn annual percentage yield. Typically, the dividend earned is lower than other savings accounts offered.
Money Management Account: This account is designed for long-term savings, and because the account is tiered, you have the opportunity to earn higher dividends based on your account balance. The more you save, the more you earn.
Holiday and/or Vacation Clubs: The money you set aside into one of these accounts can be earmarked for either the holidays or vacation - a time when you need some extra money. These accounts give you the means to save a little bit all year long. You can deposit as much as you want whenever you want. There are penalties for early withdrawals. Holiday Clubs automatically transfer to your Regular Savings Account on October 1 and Vacation Clubs automatically transfer on April 1.
Certificates: There are short- and long-term certificates available (from 3 to 60 months). When you hold a certificate (minimum investment is $500), you are trading time for money. You are unable to access your money for the length of your term; however, in exchange, your dividends are computed daily and paid monthly. This means you have the opportunity to gain returns more rapidly than a traditional savings account. There are penalties for early withdrawals.
Trust Accounts: If you have money you'd like to leave to a beneficiary, you may consider setting up a trust account. These are designed to protect funds for future use by the designated beneficiary.
How Do I Choose The Best Credit Card For Me?
Credit cards get a "bad rap" because, unfortunately, they are often misused to live above a person's means. But when handled properly, credit cards can be a critical part of building your good credit.
Credit cards are not all the same, so be careful not to just jump at the first credit card offer you get. Many credit cards sound attractive at first, but you soon find out that they have an annual fee and a high interest rate. Instead, look for one that offers annual cash-back rebates or rewards such as travel or merchandise points - without the annual fee or balance transfer fee attached. Additionally, make sure you take the time to read the fine print so you know what happens if you are late with a payment.
For details about our VISA Credit Card options, click here.
What Is A Health Savings Account?
A Health Savings Account is used for paying or reimbursing qualified medical expenses. These accounts provide a way for employees to manage health care costs through individual flexibility, control and tax savings. In fact, Health Savings Accounts carry a whole host of benefits:
- Qualified contributions are fully tax-deductible (employer contributions may be excluded from your gross income).
- Qualified distributions are tax-free.
- Money saved can be applied directly to unexpected or high medical bills.
- Contributions may be made any time during the year, and balances roll over from year to year.
- Health Savings Accounts can continue even if you change jobs.
To be eligible to have a Health Savings Account, the individual:
- Must be covered by a qualified high-deductible health plan as defined by the IRS
- Cannot be enrolled in Medicare
- Cannot be claimed as a dependent on someone else's federal income tax return
How Safe Is Online Or Mobile Banking?
It is important to us that we provide you with the convenience of online and mobile banking - while maintaining your security. We are committed to protecting membership from potential fraud and ID theft, and it is for this reason that we continually enhance our security features to ensure your protection.
Some of the security enhancements we use with electronic banking include:
- Picture identification. When you first set up your online account, you pick from thousands of images and write a brief description to help you identify this item. Each time you log into Members 1st Online, you will see this image and caption before you enter your password.
- Security Questions. You will be required to correctly answer security questions before performing certain actions within Members 1st Online.
- Computer Recognition. Our secure system will recognize the computers you normally use to access Members 1st Online.
If we detect "unusual or uncharacteristic behavior" (e.g., the action appears to be something that you don't normally do), we'll ask you for more information to make sure it is really you and not an unauthorized user.
Although there aren't as many options through Members 1st Mobile Banking, the same security measures have been taken with these apps. With Mobile Banking you can:
- Check account balances
- Transfer funds
- View transaction history
You do need to be enrolled in Members 1st Online to use Mobile Banking. If you don't currently have Members 1st Online access, why not get started with it now?
The above document(s) is in Portable Document Format (PDF) which can be read by Adobe's Acrobat Reader. If you do not have Acrobat Reader, you can download it free from Adobe's download site.
How Do I Make A Deposit Without Visiting A Branch?
With Deposit Anytime Anywhere you may deposit a check using your computer and scanner or your mobile device. It’s easy and convenient. This service is perfect for anyone who doesn’t live or work close to a branch. Certain conditions and restrictions may apply.
Call our EFT Services Department for more information: (800) 283-2328, ext. 5243