Not Your Average Card

RCBC Billboard - Not Your Average - (Bridge Street Digital)

You may receive a lot of offers in the mail for average credit cards but we are sure you haven’t received an offer for a card or rewards program like ours. In fact, we like to say that we have debit and credit cards that simply aren’t your average cards.

That’s because our Rewards Checking debit card and Visa® Platinum credit card work in tandem to reward you for your regular banking and purchasing activities. Those uChoose Rewards® points can be used for a host of things including cash back, gift cards, travel and merchandise. If a customer has both cards, those cards can be linked to one uChoose account to help the points accumulate more quickly!

Here’s how it works:
With Rewards Checking, customers can earn one point for every $3 spent as well as 200 bonus points for 21 or more purchases per statement cycle.  We also offer points for using Online Bill Pay, Direct Deposit and for automatic loan payments. Customers are even rewarded with 500 bonus points on the anniversary of the account! With the Visa© Platinum Credit Card, customers can earn one point for every dollar spent!

See what we mean when we say it’s not your average rewards program? That’s because we’re not your average bank.

Now through August 31 we are offering an exceptional summer special so that you can earn even more points just for signing up for Rewards Checking and/or a Visa Platinum Card.* Sign up for a Rewards Checking Account or a Visa Platinum Card between June 15 and August 31, 2018 and receive 5,000 bonus points. Sign up for both the credit card and the checking account during that period and you’ll receive 15,000 points!

Are you ready? Stop by your local office or click here to get started! 

*Credit restrictions apply. Not all applicants will qualify for this promotional offer.

Pointers For Earning With uChoose Rewards

UChoose LogoIf you have Rewards Checking or a Visa® Platinum Card at VCNB, there are a few things we hope you’ll remember about your uChoose Rewards® points.

  1. You have to register your cards to earn points with them. That’s right – you need to register your cards with an account on the uChoose website so you may earn and redeem points. It’s an easy process that takes just minutes.
  2. Once you’re registered, it’s easy to log in to your uChoose account to check your points balance and redeem your points for great merchandise, gift cards, cash book, travel and more!
  3. New cards have to be registered. That means if you were reissued a card that replaces one that was lost, stolen or in some way compromised, you’ll need to take a minute to register the new card. In this instance, when you attempt to log in to your uChoose account, a pop up box will instruct you to register the card with a new account. Never fear, all the points you have accumulated will be available in your new uChoose account!
  4. Points are good for just three years. If you’ve been saving up your points for a big reward like plane tickets or if you simply forget to redeem them, you need to use them before they’re gone. To find out if you have points nearing expiration, simply log in to your uChoose account. There will be an expiration warning next to your points balance.
  5. You can earn even more points if you use your debit card 21 times or more each month. Do this and you’ll earn an extra 200 rewards points!
  6. There are even more point earning opportunities on the uChoose website! Log in to your account and look for online earning opportunities as well as in-store offers that you can activate for your card!

What are you waiting for? Click here to register your card or to log in to your existing account and start redeeming points!  

 

 

Three ways you can protect your cards from fraud

In our industry, we see data breaches involving major retailers almost every day. This is an enormous, far reaching industry that involves criminals stealing personal and card information which has far reaching consequences for retailers and banks as well as for customers who are frustrated and frightened by the threat to their information and money.

That is why VCNB spends a lot of money and resources to make sure that the bank and bank customers are protected. We have a top notch Fraud Department that monitors your activity, looking for things that are out of the ordinary so that we can stop fraud from occurring.

What happens if there is fraud?
If we confirm that your card has been used for fraudulent activity, we will turn it off immediately. The card will be closed so that it cannot be used for any purchase that you or someone else may attempt to authorize. We will then order a new card for you and will offer to issue a temporary card that you can pick up at your local branch. This temporary card is designed to get you through until your new permanent card arrives.

But what happens to the money that was stolen from you? You will need to contact the bank to file a dispute. It is through this dispute process that the bank will credit your money back to your account. If it is proven that the charge was fraudulent, you will not lose your money.

How can you protect yourself?
VCNB spends a lot of time and money to keep your accounts protected but we can only do so much. We rely on you, the customer, to monitor your own account activity. Here are three free ways you can do that:

  1. Turn off your card when you’re not using it. Yes, you read that right. You have the ability to turn your card off when you’re not using it and back on the minute you need it again. This can be done using VCNB Mobile or the Card Valet app for your debit card. You can control your VCNB Visa® card with Card Valet. We have customers who will turn their card on while standing in line at the store or when they pull up to the gas pump. When they finish the transaction, they turn off their card again before putting it back in their wallet. It’s a quick, easy and secure way to control how the card can be used.
  2. Monitor activity. This can be done in a few ways. Using Card Valet you can receive a text each time your card is used. You can also monitor activity in the VCNB Mobile app and on our website. Finally, you can sign up for free Account Alerts so you can receive a text or email every time your card is used. These are all free services to help you look after your money and accounts. If you see something suspicious or something you don’t recognize, contact the bank immediately.
  3. Place limitations on your card. Using VCNB Mobile or Card Valet, you can set limitations for each of your cards. You can set a monetary spending limitation as well as limitations on where a card can be used. You can determine a geographic area where the card can be used and say that it can only be used at certain kinds of retailers like grocery, gas stations or department stores. You can also place a monetary limit on each card so that it can be used for no more than $100 or whatever limit you choose. You can apply different limits to each of your cards and change them as you see fit.

We ask for your cooperation as we attempt to keep your money safe. If you see something that looks suspicious, we ask you to contact the bank immediately so that we can prevent a loss from occurring. This era in banking and currency has many conveniences but there are risks associated with using your cards, even with the retailers you trust the most. We thank you for your help keeping your money safe.

Money Tools To Help High School Grads Succeed

Celebration Education Graduation Student Success Concept

Graduation season has arrived, ushering into the world a new group of young people who are headed into the workforce and into higher education. If you’re among the scores of high school graduates this season, there are some things you’ll need to succeed financially.

Checking Account
Everyone needs a checking account. It will keep your money safe and accessible.  Not only is money in the bank protected from flood, fire and robbery, it is also FDIC insured.* This means your money is safe until you are ready to use it. Yet it is still easily accessible for online bill paying, for purchases with debit card or check and for withdrawal from an ATM, bank, or cash back in a store.

Savings Account
One piece of advice we hear from older folks all the time is to start saving early. Even if you don’t have a lot of money, it’s important to stash away as much as you can every chance you get. A VCNB Passbook Savings account gives you a safe place to keep your savings separate from the spending money in your checking account.

Online and Mobile Banking
You are on the go a lot. That means you will want to have quick access to your money. You’ll want to know how much you have, be able to schedule bill payment online and transfer funds between your checking and savings account with ease. Having online banking and mobile banking, like VCNB Mobile, your accounts are at your fingertips 24 hours a day.

Debit Card
As mentioned above, you need to be able to buy things. A debit card is safer than carrying around a pocketful of cash. Most retailers today accept plastic making it the most popular way to pay in most stores and restaurants.

Popmoney
Here at VCNB we offer something called Popmoney® personal payment service that allows customers to send money to another individual with just their mobile phone number or email address. If you’re headed off to college, this is an easy way for parents or grandparents to send their favorite college student a little pizza money from time to time.

Here’s a little more food for thought – You may think these crazy bankers have unrealistic expectations. You are just starting out and don’t have much money to save or to spend so you’re wondering why all this is so important. We’ll tell you why: when you’re young and without resources is a great time to learn how to do more with less. We find that people who learn to manage a bank account when they have limited funds are more likely to manage their money well when they are more established with a full time job and higher income. When you have a small balance and just a few bills is a perfect time to learn how to create a budget, reconcile your account and manage your finances responsibly.

One last thing – While you’re just getting started in a career or higher education, it’s important to think toward the future and toward building good credit. Talk to your parents and to a trusted banker about applying for a small balance bank credit card which you can learn to manage responsibly or about co-signing for a small loan so you can get the hang of paying a monthly payment for something you need. Building a strong foundation for credit usage which you manage responsibly is something everyone should work toward.

You can open accounts online or stop by your neighborhood VCNB office to talk with one of our local experts and to get started.

*FDIC deposit insurance covers the depositor up to $250,000 per depositor and per account type at each bank.

 

Five Reasons We Love Our App

A lot of our customers say they just use the mobile app to check their balances or to see if a charge has gone through. We think that’s super but VCNB Mobile has so much more to offer that we wanted to chat with you today about some other features we think will make you love the app as much as we do.

It offers protection and security
You can use the mobile app to turn your card off when you’re not using it and even to limit spending functions. With a tap of the screen you can turn off your card and then turn it on again when you’re ready to use it. Limit how much your card can be used for in a single transaction, the types of vendors where it can be used and even the geographic area where it can be used.  Say you plan to only use your card at grocery stores and gas stations within a thirty mile radius and you never want a single transaction to go through for more than $200. You can set those limits and then change them as your needs change! 

You can deposit checks
We get how busy you are. In fact, even bank employees don’t want to spend their lunch break making a bank deposit. Instead, you can deposit checks with your mobile app. See full instructions within the app to see how easy this is.

You can pay bills
Online Bill Pay is one of the best features of the app.  From your dentist and accountant to your utility bills, it’s easy to schedule one time payments as well as those that recur.  Some businesses can accept payment electronically while others must be mailed a check.  You choose when they receive their money and we take care of the rest. Even if we have to mail them a check, there’s no charge to you for using this service. However, if you sign up for Online Bill Pay and don’t use it at least once each calendar month, we will charge a fee of $3. Still get a paper bill? Digitize it with VCNB Mobile by taking a picture of the bill!

You can pay people too
Another feature you may not be using yet is Popmoney® personal payment service. Use Popmoney to send money to an individual. Repay your parents the money they loaned you or send a coworker funds to chip in on a gift for the boss using Popmoney.  Plus, if someone owes you money, you can send them a request for payment. All you need is the recipient’s mobile phone number or email address. No personal banking information is required and there is no fee for using Popmoney.

It’s convenient
Banks like to talk about convenience and ease of use when promoting their mobile apps but we are sincere when we say it is convenient and that it’s so simple to use anyone can use it. It is arranged with an easy to follow menu at the bottom of the screen and the numerous options are organized so it’s easy to find what you need.

What’s your favorite use for VCNB Mobile? Tell us below in the comments section. We would love to hear from you!

Four Ways To Spring Clean Your Finances

Spring is a great time to clean up your finances! Here are four easy ways to get started!

  1. Review your credit report –It is important to make sure your credit report is accurate and free of mistakes. By law, you are entitled to order one free credit report each year from each of the three major credit bureaus. Access yours here. 
  2. Review your budget and plan to pay off credit card debt – Is your budget current? Do you even have a budget? Every person with an income and expenses needs a budget to help them know what is happening with their money. While reviewing your budget, also look at your debts. Do you still have leftover holiday debt hanging around? It’s time to knock that out.
  3. Start an emergency fund – Most Americans have less than $1,000 saved. If faced with a crisis, how would you pay for it? Putting away just a few dollars every payday can be a big help in an emergency. Click here to open a Passbook Savings at VCNB with as little as $100.
  4. Organize and shred old financial documents – Sort through your old files and only keep what you absolutely need. Remember, the IRS has up to six years to audit you so be sure to keep tax records and supporting documents for that long. Learn more here.

A couple more thoughts – take a look at your bank accounts, credit cards and even the way you pay your bills. Are you paying too much credit card interest? Are you pleased with your checking account? Talk to a VCNB account representative about how you can be rewarded for your credit card purchases with a Platinum Visa© Card and for your everyday banking habits with a Rewards Checking Account at VCNB. Also ask about how Online Bill Pay can save you time and money and even prevent late fees!

Finally, we just confirmed some shred days for two of our offices:

May 5, 2018 from 10 a.m. to Noon
Canal Banking Center
 
June 9, 2018 from 10 a.m. to Noon
Friendly Bremen Banking Center (W. Fair Avenue location)

This is a great, free way to safely dispose of important documents that you do not need to keep. We’ll post more information as it becomes available!
 
Learn more about our Rewards Checking Account, Platinum Visa, Online Bill Pay and other VCNB products here!

Now Is The Time For Home Improvements!

JCBC Billboard - HELOC Now is the Time - (Jackson Digital)

How long is your home improvement wish list? Is there something special you would like to do that would make your home perfect? Is it the bathroom of your dreams or a bigger kitchen to accommodate your growing family? Maybe you want a more spacious family room or a pool so your home can be the hangout for all the neighborhood teens?

Whatever it is you would like to accomplish, here at VCNB we believe that now is the time to make those dreams a reality. Now through June 30, open a new home equity line of credit to receive an introductory annual percentage rate (APR) of 3.99 percent for the first twelve months.

If you have equity in your home, why not use it to make your house the home you’ve always wanted it to be? See below for the terms of this promotion and click here to get started! 

This promotion is available April 1, 2018 through June 30, 2018. The introductory Annual Percentage Rate (APR) will be fixed at 3.99% for the first (12) months from the note date and will be terminated at the end of the twelve (12) month period. After the introductory period, the loan will become a variable rate loan. The subsequent APR may vary from Prime Rate (index) to Prime Rate plus 0.25% (margin is dependent on loan-to-value ratio). Prime rate is based on the current rate published in the Wall Street Journal. As of March 22, 2018 that rate was 4.75%. The current APR using the prime rate plus the 0.25% margin is 5.00%. The APR will never exceed 18.00%. This promotion applies only to new lines of credit. Promotion available for single family, owner-occupied, primary residence only; excludes manufactured properties. Minimum line amount of $10,000 is required. Maximum loan-to-value ratio is 89.00%. After the initial 12 month period there is a $50.00 annual fee. Title Insurance and Survey Fees will be assessed to borrower for loans of $100,000 or greater. Fees range between $350.00 and $1500.00. Property and flood insurance will be required, if applicable. Applicants must successfully meet our Home Equity Line of Credit underwriting standards. Not all applicants will qualify for this promotional offer. Alternative rates and terms are available. NMLS #483350

 

Now Is The Time To Buy!

FBBC Billboard - Home Loan Now is the Time Alt (Nauman Digital)

Buying a home isn’t a decision to be made lightly. However, if you’re thinking about buying this year, now is the time to buy and finance your new home with VCNB.

Here at VCNB we have experienced lenders who will help you along the way. Plus, now through June 30, qualified borrowers will receive a $500 closing cost credit with a new home purchase mortgage!

The $500 Closing Cost offer is valid for applications received April 1, 2018 through June 30, 2018. This offer is only available for purchase mortgage transactions of a new, single family, owner-occupied primary residence. All loans are subject to underwriting and property approval. Not all applicants will qualify for this promotional offer. The $500 closing cost offer will be in the form of a lender credit and will be applied at the time of closing. Other restrictions and limitations may apply.

What are you waiting for? There is no better time than the present to finance your new home with VCNB! Click here for details and to find a lender in your neighborhood!

NMLS# 483350

Why Teens Need a Checking Account

VCNB began offering a student checking account a few years ago in response to a growing number of teens and parents who requested it. There is significant value to a teenager having an age appropriate checking account and we are optimistic that this generation of teens will be more financially savvy because of it.

After all, a teen will be an adult in a few short years. Whether they are headed straight to the workforce or to higher education, your teen soon will experience some degree of independence. Helping them establish good money habits at a young age is an important way to give them a good start to adulthood.

Here’s some food for thought:

Expense tracking and budgeting
Having a checking account teaches teenagers the very basic of skill of not spending more than they have as well as how to record expenses and debits. In general, it helps them develop budgeting skills they will use for a lifetime.

Independence, good habits and financial responsibility
As a parent, you have spent years managing every aspect of your child’s life. While you may not like to think about it, soon your teen will be an adult who needs to make responsible decisions. Independence starts in the teen years and helping them make sound decisions with their money is part of preparing them for adulthood. Habits are created every day – work with them and use a checking account to teach them good ones

Safer than cash
We notice that many of our student checking accounts are opened by teens who are going on school field trips, sometimes out of country. It’s far safer to travel distances or even just around town with a debit card than with a pocketful of cash.

Check out this link to learn more about Student Checking My Way at VCNB. You’ll find this account listed under the Checking Accounts tab.