Save Hard & Spend Smart Blog
Having a rewards credit card is great, but knowing how to maximize the rewards you earn from using your credit card is even better. Below are a few secrets to be sure that you’re getting the most out of your Members First Visa® credit card:
- Make your Members First Visa® credit card your default payment method on Apple Pay, Android Pay, Samsung Pay, or Visa Checkout.
- Register your Members First Visa® credit card and keep track of your rewards at scorecardrewards.com.
- Take advantage of the shopping bonuses, like double points at select retailers, that are found on scorecardrewards.com.
- Consider using just one rewards card, like your Members First Visa® credit card, for all your purchases. It’s one way to simplify your spending habits and earn rewards quickly. And, if you pay your card off each month you can avoid interest charges.
- Be Disciplined — If you don’t pay off your credit card balance in full each month, be careful with your spending. Don’t go in debt for extra rewards. Like with any credit, don’t borrow more than you can pay off.
Vishing is an electronic fraud tactic in which individuals are tricked into revealing critical financial or personal information. In these calls, the caller impersonates the credit union or credit card company and has too-good-to-be-true offers.
Vishing callers request information that will allow them to steal your identity, money, or both. They will pressure you to act immediately to avoid punishment, so you don’t miss out, or because the need is urgent.
Additionally, these scammers can spoof a local phone number causing more confusion. If you don’t answer, they may leave a message that “your account has been hacked” or “call us to reset your password.” They try to catch you off guard and get you to share personal information.
To protect yourself, take these few easy steps:
- Don’t let yourself be pressured into giving information over the phone.
- If you think the call might really be your financial institution or credit card company, locate a statement with their phone number and call that number directly.
- Stay informed of the newest fraud trends. For example, the IRS will not call and ask for payment of back taxes in the form of gift cards, debit or credit card, or wire transfers. Generally, they try to reach you by mail.
- If you get a scam call, hang up and block the number whenever possible.
Pensacola, FL May 22, 2019 – DepositAccounts.com has released its list of the 2019 Top 200 Healthiest Credit Unions in America.
DepositAccounts.com evaluates the financial health of banks and credit unions in the United States once per quarter. To determine bank ranking and recognition DepositAccounts.com grades each institution on several factors, including capitalization, deposit growth, and loan-reserve ratios. Members First scored an A+ and ranked #178 out of more than 5,000 federally insured credit unions evaluated, placing the credit union in the Top 200.
“It is such an honor to have Members First Credit Union recognized among the Top 200 healthiest credit unions in America,” said Members First CEO/President, Caryl Greene. “Being part of this list further solidifies our commitment to excellence and stability for our members.”
Did you know that you could travel for free? If you’re buying groceries, gas, and other day-to-day purchases with a debit card, you’re missing out on hundreds of dollars in cash back or travel rewards that could fund a cruise vacation, a trip to your favorite theme park, or any of your bucket-list destinations.
We understand that using credit cards can be a little daunting, but using a rewards credit card, like your Members First Visa®, can also be the key to traveling for free.
Nearly every airline or major hotel brand has their own rewards credit card, but most come with high annual fees, minimum spend amounts, and high interest rates. And the thing is, you don’t have to search too far for a great credit card option for earning travel rewards.
Members First offers our members an excellent selection of credit cards that come with fixed interest rates that are low and competitive. Plus, for every $1 spent on purchases with your Members First Visa® credit card, you’ll earn 1 Bonus Point, that can be used towards your next vacation.
Earning rewards is not limited to in-store purchases only. You’ll also be rewarded for swiping at the pump, shopping online, or making purchases through our digital wallet services like Apple Pay®, Android Pay®, Samsung Pay®, and Visa Checkout®. What’s even sweeter is you’re getting rewarded for making purchases that you normally would anyway.
Still worried about using credit cards? One way to keep track of your spending is through the SecurLOCK Equip® app. With the app, you’ll be able to review your credit card account details and transactions. You can also decide when and where your card is used by locking or unlocking your credit card. Another thing to remember is not to bite off more than you can chew. Make the most of your rewards and pay off your credit card balance at the end of the month.
Don’t have a credit card with us? Apply today at membersfirstfl.org, call 850-434-2211, or stop by one of our branch locations.
According to a study at the University of Michigan Center for Human Growth and Development, children as young as five have already begun developing emotional reactions to spending and saving money. The study also found children’s emotional reactions translated into real-life spending behavior, and early spending behavior might indicate poor financial decisions later. All of this highlights the importance of early education to get kids on the right financial track.
So where can kids learn about the merits of saving and setting goals and the relationship between work and earning money? In most schools, personal finance isn’t part of the curriculum, which means it’s up to parents and guardians to impart these important lessons.
Fortunately, local credit unions, like Members First Credit Union of Florida, have helpful youth saving programs that can help teach kids as young as pre-school age about money. Many youth programs come with fun perks like a gift for opening an account, prizes for making deposits or reaching saving goals, and the ability to have allowance direct deposited into their account. In addition to these benefits, here’s what else opening a youth saving (or checking) account can do for kids:
Teach about goals. Setting, working toward, and achieving goals is a crucial life skill and one that serves us throughout life. Through goal setting, kids learn about hard work and delayed gratification. Saving money for the goal of being able to afford something like a new toy is a very tangible, concrete way to work on these skills and lessons.
Begin teaching financial basics. Saving for a financial goal also instructs kids about the basics of income, expenses, and value. If a child begins saving for something but quickly sees how much work and time it will take to earn and save enough money to purchase the item, they might rethink their goal, teaching them to think critically about what to spend money on and if it’s worth the price (i.e. a wise purchase). This is an important lesson in an age when many kids more often observe adults using credit cards to obtain goods and services and don’t see an obvious exchange of money for those goods and services.
Teach responsibility. A saving account that directly reflects a child’s contributions and savings as well as withdrawals will help teach responsibility for actions and the correlation between decisions and consequences. If they don’t regularly contribute to their saving account and resist spending, they will never reach their saving goal! This is also a chance for children to feel pride, accomplishment, and empowerment when they reach their saving goal—and associating those positive feelings with saving will help reinforce this habit.
Teach the value of investing. Investing and interest can be difficult concepts to teach—so why not show it at work on a saving account! With a youth saving account and online access to account balances, kids can see how they earn interest by having money in different kinds of saving accounts—the more money they have saved, the more interest they earn. Having a saving account also shows how saving early and regularly grows money and how even small amounts can add up—both when saving and spending.
Teach compassion and perspective. Using a saving (or checking) account to save money, watch it grow, and use it to buy things shows kids how financial resources are tied to what people have and don’t have, what they can afford and what they can’t. Kids can begin to understand that the things they and their family own are the result of planning, choices, and work. Not only can this lead to more thoughtful decisions regarding their own spending choices, but it can also lead to a more compassionate view of others when they understand why someone can’t simply buy what they want or need whenever they want.