Our Members Earned Almost $2 Million in Rebates!

If you’re not reaping the rewards of being a member at our Credit Union, then you are not taking full advantage of your account relationship with us. Just remember R&R go together — rebates and relationship. The more you work on your relationship with us, as in using more products and services, the more you’ll benefit in terms of rewards. It’s like peanut butter and jelly – it just goes well together.

To give you an idea as to how this works, the total amount of rebates earned by our members in 2011 was almost $2 million! That’s right, $2 million! That’s big bucks back in your wallet! If you’re not a member of our Credit Union  right now, can you say that your current financial institution does that?

Members who use our VISA Debit Card received a total of $865,098 in Swipe 5 rebates last year. The average annual rebate was $10.15. Our Business debit card members earned over $21,940 in Swipe 5 rebates. The average business card earned about $7.85.

Our VISA Platinum Rewards Credit Card cash-back rebates posted to member accounts late last fall and were based on total purchasing activity within the year. In 2011, over $954,000 in rebates were earned! The average rebate amount was $57. One member earned over $2,100! The more you use our credit card, the more you earn!

We reward business members, too, when it comes to VISA. A total of $129,730 in business VISA Credit Card rebates was deposited into member business accounts. The average reward received per participating business was over $110. And get this – one business received $24,521!

For more information on how you can reap the rewards of rebates, stop by a local branch today or call us now at (800) 237-7288.

Helping You Stay Connected

We have a variety of ways to help you stay connected to us. We’ve been busily working on our new Web site which we will unveil to you in March. Here’s what you can expect to see on www.members1st.org:

  • Enhanced and easier search function on our home page to help you find branches, ATMs, open an account, apply for a loan, look for a form and more
  • New Advice Center containing short articles on a variety of financial topics
  • Home page news and special alert section
  • Improved events calendar
  • Easy-to-use navigation – just follow the tabs for these service areas:
    • Learn – Here’s where you’ll find calculators, tools, rates, calendar of events and other resources such as our newsletters, brochures and forms
    • Products & Services – This area will contain information about loans, deposit accounts, electronic & mobile services, mortgages, business services, insurance services, student services (including student loans, our education award, scholarship links and more);  and other services such as safe deposit boxes and foreign currency exchange
    • Membership & Benefits – Here’s where you can read about Member Loyalty Rewards, opening an account and more
    • About Us – This section will focus on the Credit Union, career opportunities and our leadership team
    • Contact Us – Use this section to find phone numbers, email addresses and to connect to important fraud & security information

We’ve optimized the views of our new Web site for smart phones, 7-10 inch tablets, netbooks, notebooks and wide profile monitors. We hope that you will find our new site easy to use and informative. Watch for it in March.

Are You Reaping the Rewards?

If you could get a few extra benefits with minimal effort, would that pique your interest? How many times are you at the checkout and asked if you have a bonus or rewards card? If you have one, you usually end up getting some sort of discount or offer to redeem during your next visit.

We reward loyalty just like other retail outlets. All you need to do is to take advantage of the following. Follow the links for more details or stop by a branch near you. 

  • Member Loyalty Rewards – You could get more services for free, reduced consumer loan rates, bonus certificate rates and pay fewer fees.
  • Swipe 5 – Use our debit card in conjunction with our Rewards Checking Account and you’ll earn 5 cents on every single qualifying non-PIN based transaction. That means, use your card as “credit” (not at an ATM or type in your personal identification number) and make some extra money every month.
  • Annual Cash Back Rebates or Reward Points – As a VISA Platinum Rewards Credit Card holder you can earn cash back based on your annual purchasing activity or you can choose to earn non-expiring points for travel and shopping. The more you use your card, the more you earn!
  • Overdraft Protection – Some may not consider this a reward, but you’ll feel like it is when you don’t bounce a check, automatic payment or debit card transaction and end up incurring a chain reaction of fees. Opt to have overdraft protection from your regular savings, supplemental savings, money management account, personal line of credit or home equity line of credit and you’ll keep your account in check.
  • CASH4U – Refer someone you know who doesn’t have an account with us (and who is not a join owner on an already existing account) and when that person opens their account, we’ll give you $5. It’s easy money! Pick up a CASH4U referral form at a branch or call us at (800) 237-7288.
  • Special Offers – We like to provide offers that we believe are of value to you. These may involve discounts on TurboTax, enter to win contests and the like.

It is rewarding being one of our members. It’s about more than just having a place to put your money. If you’re not a member, we invite you to compare us with your current financial institution. While we may offer similar products and services, you may find that there are differences in how things work behind the scenes. If you are a current member, remember that you can always make your relationship with us stronger by using more products and services.

Ask and you shall receive an entry

Money talks.  What’s an extra $100 say to you?

If you’d like to have an extra $100 in your pocket then you’ll want to participate in a little event we’re doing on Friday, January 27 called the 50 Branch Challenge. We’re celebrating the fact that we now have 50 branches throughout SouthCentral Pennsylvania. Throughout this day, you can stop by any of our branches to ask an associate for your official entry QR code to use to enter online. You can only enter this giveaway online using this special QR code. There’s only one online entry per person and you must be over age 18.

Let’s review… we have $100 to give away and you want to win it:

1. Visit any of our 50 branches on Friday, January 27
2. Ask an associate for the 50 branch challenge official entry QR code
3. Scan the QR code using your smart phone or other electronic gadget
4. Provide us with your contact information
5. Wait for us to call you to let you know that you’ve won (only one winner will be randomly selected from all of the online entries received)
6. Connect with us via our Facebook page and Twitter to follow the day’s events and see if your picture is posted

You may run into members of our Marketing team who will be randomly visiting branch locations throughout the day. They’ll be taking pictures and giving away Members 1st logo items. Join in the fun if you see a team member at the branch. Photos will be posted on our Facebook page. See you on Friday!

For more details, stay connected with us on Facebook and Twitter @Members1stFCU.

Join in the fun – 50 Branch Challenge

On this Friday, January 27, members of our Marketing Department will be visiting all 50 branch locations for a fun-filled day that could mean an extra $100 for one lucky member. Because of you, we’ve grown from having one original branch located at the Naval Support Activity in Mechanicsburg that opened in the spring of 1950 to having our 50th branch open on Hempstead Road in Lancaster in late 2011.

Our 50 branch challenge is about you – our members – and thanking you for helping us grow throughout Adams, Cumberland, Dauphin, Lancaster, Lebanon and York counties.

As team members visit our branches, they’ll be giving out Members 1st logo items and taking photos that we’ll compile into an album on our Facebook page

Be sure to stop by any branch location this Friday, January 27 to be a part of the fun. Be sure to ask one of our branch associates for the official $100 giveaway entry instructions containing a special QR code. You can only enter this giveaway using the QR code and providing us your information online.  You must be age 18 or over to enter. One winner will be randomly selected from all electronic entries.

We hope to see you sometime this Friday as we’re out and about! For more details, stay connected with us on Facebook and Twitter @Members1stFCU.

New Year May Mean A New Financial Plan

We all do it every time a new year begins. We make resolutions and plans about all the things we’re going to do (or not do) in the new year. We’re now starting the fourth week of 2012 – how are we doing? 

One of the most popular new year’s resolutions seems to be about money. Whether it’s paying off debt, going on a budget, developing a savings plan or something similar, money is always on the resolution hit list.

While the economy may not lend itself to making our financial goals an immediate reality, it does make us think. We offer a variety of tools and resources to help you on your journey towards feeling more financially secure. Our Web site, www.members1st.org, offers financial calculators and various personal financial coaches for a “do-it-yourself” approach.  But if you’re like most of us, sometimes you just don’t know where to begin, let alone how, and you could use a little guidance.

That’s where our Investment Services professionals can help. They can help you with:

  •  retirement planning;
  • college funding;
  • estate planning and asset management;
  • 401K/pension rollovers;
  • insurance planning;
  • long-term care insurance;
  • mutual funds;
  • annuities;
  • stocks;
  • bonds; and
  • life insurance

 Call us at (800) 283-2328 to find a representative in your area and to schedule your free consultation.

Registered representatives of and securities and insurance products are offered through INVEST Financial Corporation (INVEST), member FINRA / SIPC, a registered Broker Dealer and affiliated insurance agencies. INVEST is not affiliated with Members 1st Investment Services. Products and services offered through INVEST

  • Are not NCUA insured
  • Are not guaranteed by a Credit Union
  • May lose value.

Important Consumer Information:
This site is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be a solicitation or offering of any security and;

1. Representatives of a broker-dealer (“BD”) or investment advisor (“IA”) may only conduct business in a state if the representatives and the BD or IA they represent

  1. satisfy the qualification requirements of, and are approved to do business by, the state; or
  2. are excluded or exempted from the state’s licensure requirements.

2. Representatives of a BD or IA are deemed to conduct business in a state to the extent that they provide individualized responses to investor inquiries that involve

    1. effecting, or attempting to effect, transactions in securities; or
    2. rendering personalized investment advice for compensation.

 INVEST Financial Corporation’s Privacy Policy

This web site may contain concepts that have legal, accounting and tax implications. It is not intended to provide legal, accounting, or tax advice. You may wish to consult an attorney, tax advisor, or accountant regarding your specific situation. No representations are made as to the accuracy of the information contained herein or any information contained in any link provided herein.

Budgets and Bargains

Black Friday and Cyber Monday blazed a trail through our wallets and purses only to become a fading distant memory of the current holiday shopping season. While we’re all busy deckin’ the halls and hittin’ the malls keep in mind that the big day is happening in 23 days.

Whether you’re buying or not, it’s hard not to get sucked in to the deals to be had, sales, and the frenzy of yummy delights gracing the office, parties, and at our own homes. We start thinking about our new year’s resolutions, family and friends we haven’t seen, and we start really noticing that time is flying by.

Keeping the two B’s in mind — budgets and bargains — during the holiday season and all year through is a great way to keep things in perspective. Condition yourself to have holiday willpower, as in “I will power my way through the holidays without blowing my budget” and “I will power my way through without having to pay for this year’s gifts the entire way through the next.” 

If you’re serious about wanting to avoid the bill chill come January, keep the following in mind:

  1. Pre-season prepping. Did you set up a Holiday/Christmas Club at your financial institution to help you save money throughout the year for your seasonal shopping?
  2. Payday countdown. Have you figured out how many paychecks you have coming in before the big day?
  3. Lists. Did you make a list of people to buy for and how much you can spend on each one? While shopping, pay attention to the dollar limits you’ve set. You  may need to re-evaluate your intended gift idea in order to stick to your budget.
  4. The office. How are you planning to handle office events – do you feel obligated to contribute to gift collections, parties, etc. or do you politely decline? What is your work policy regarding these sorts of events?
  5. Added extras. Did you factor in the added extras when planning your budget – stamps, wrapping paper/gift bags, bows and tape, packing supplies, cards, shipping expenses, gift tags, the tree, any new trimmings/decorations you want, and so on?
  6. Eats. What about your holiday meal or party? What are you planning to have and provide or will you provide the main dish and ask your guests to bring a dish to share to help cover expenses?
  7. Make it about you.  If you don’t budget yourself into your spending mix you may begin to feel resentful as you’re spreading love and joy to others. Do something nice for you.
  8. Pay using cash. When making your list and establishing your gift spending limits, consider putting that specific dollar amount per person in individual envelopes with their names on them. As you shop, you can only use the money placed within the designated person’s envelope. When their budgeted money is gone, you’re done shopping for them. Factor in any cards or stocking stuffers when establishing your per person budget.
  9. Charge or no? If using credit, remember it’s a loan. It doesn’t matter if its VISA, MasterCard, Discover, Boscov’s, Macy’s, Sears, Victoria’s Secret or whoever’s card. It’s a credit card. It’s a loan. It means monthly payments, potentially high interest rates and the potential to carry a monthly balance. That translates into the potential to spend more money both pre- and post season. If you use a credit card, make sure you earn rewards like an annual cash-back rebate on purchases or you pay it off immediately when the statement comes.
  10. Bargains. Take the time to read through sales flyers. Compare between stores. Check out online bargains. The closer to Christmas Eve, the better the bargains.
  11. Timing could be everything.  Is there a law that says your holiday shopping must be done by midnight on December 24? Not that we are aware of. Why not spread out the holiday gift season between Christmas and New Year’s? While we all love getting our gifts on Christmas Day, isn’t it fun to get a gift later, too? Start new traditions. Spreading it out over the holiday week not only allows extra time to prepare, but you may also be able to take advantage of the even bigger “day after” sales for some of your gifts.
  12. Big heart, small wallet? Contrary to popular belief, gifts do not have to cost money. How many times do you hear, “Oh, you don’t need to buy anything for me. I don’t need anything. If I want it, I go buy it. I have a house full of stuff, I don’t want any more stuff.” Ok then, don’t buy anything. Gifts can be intangible — think of the immeasurable value. Do chores for others. Fix their car. Offer to paint their house. Babysit for free. Offer to make dinner for your favorite friend couple and bring them a “dinner date” to their house while you babysit their kids at your house. Volunteer to pet sit. Offer to do a top to bottom cleaning for someone.  The intangible gift-giving ideas are endless and there’s no right or wrong gift idea here!
  13. Learn to say no. If you can’t afford it, don’t buy it. Don’t choose to feel guilty about saying no. If extravagant gifts mean the difference between paying your rent or mortgage next month and holiday overspending, then this is a no-brainer. You can always do something thoughtful for someone post-holiday like treat them to lunch, a coffee outing, etc.
  14. Think quality — as in quality time. Creating priceless memories with family and friends is far more valuable than the gimme, gimme, gimme, get me, get me, get me of the season.
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