Unity One CU informs: 4 tips for using credit cards this holiday season


Sticking to your diet during the holidays is hard, but sticking to a budget can be even harder. Parties, family activities, baked goods, and, of course, gifts can add up to a lot of spending during the holidays.

And if you don't have much in your piggy bank, it's very tempting to charge all those purchases to your credit card.

U.S. News shares four tips on getting the best bang for your buck this holiday season by using your credit cards. 

  1. Think before you swipe. A saved credit card makes it way too easy to click "purchase." The act of getting out your credit card and entering the information may save you from unwise purchases. 
  2. Leverage rewards. Many credit card companies offer extra rewards during the holiday season. You can earn double the points November - December by using Unity One's VISA Gold card
  3. Keep a budget. The reason it's easy to lose track of holiday spending is because there was no plan in the first place. Determine ahead of time what you can spend and stick to it. 
  4. Shop early and then wrap it up. Don't wait until December 24 to start your holiday shopping. You can find great deals if you give yourself enough time. 

Earn DOUBLE reward points

Unity One CU informs: Tips for a less stressful holiday

Holiday Loan Sale 2017  8.5x11.jpgCooking. Shopping. Gift wrapping. The tasks and expenses that pile up each holiday season seem to be never ending. Here are a few tips to help make your holiday less stressful. 

  1. Make a trip to the dollar store. Why pay $4 a gift bag at the big box retailer? You can purchase all of your gift bags, wrapping paper, bows and more at the dollar store. They're equally as cute but at a much cheaper price!
  2. Prepare your holiday meals in advance. Not only will you be able to make your meals ahead of time, but you can cut your grocery bill by taking the time to shop around for the best deals. 
  3. Take advantage of one-stop holiday card sites. Websites like shutterfly.com and cardstore.com will allow you to order your personalized cards as well as address and mail them for a nominal fee. 
  4. Cut your spending with online coupons. Mobile apps such as RetailMeNot and online sites like dealcatcher.com offer both printable in-store coupons as well as online discount codes. 
  5. Plan out your expenses ahead of time. You should not only look for the best deals, but you should make a plan as to how you're going to pay for them. If you haven't been saving throughout the year, Unity One Credit Union can help. From November 1 - December 31, you can borrow up to $2,500 at a rate as low as 6.99% APR. 

Learn More

*APR = Annual Percentage Rate quoted “as low as.” Qualifications apply. Other rates and terms may apply. Minimum loan amount of $500. Payment for $2500 borrowed at 6.99 APR for 12 months is $216.31. Not available on existing Unity One loans. Some restrictions may apply. Offer expires 12/31/2017.

Unity One informs: Not all deals are good deals

shutterstock_524408065-web.jpgIf you haven't hit the online deals, it might be too late. But incase you were still thinking about browsing, here are a few words to the wise. Treat All Deals With Caution. 

Both Black Friday and Cyber Monday are famous for dodgy deals and recycled old deals. Unless you desperately want one of these products, I’d suggest you tread carefully: 

  • Amazon – 50-inch 1080p LED TV for $145 (no retail price listed) – the lack of a brand means this remarkable price needs to be treated with caution until the model is revealed
  • Amazon – 50-inch 4K Ultra HD Smart TV for $249.99 (no retail price listed) – as above
  • Best Buy – Lenovo 110-15ISK 15.6-inch Laptop, Intel Core i3, 4GB RAM, 1TB Hard Drive for $299.99 (save $30) – was $249.99 on eBay’s Black Friday sales and has mixed reviews
  • Best Buy – Save $100 with iPhone and Select Beats Wireless Headphones – pushing customers onto specific brand combinations. Was a $250 gift card on Black Friday with no headphone obligation
  • Best Buy – Apple TV – 64GB – Black for $169.99 (save $30 / 17%) – as above
  • Best Buy –  Microsoft Surface Pro 4 12.3-inch, Intel Core i5, 128GB for $799.99 (save $200) – a good discount but was $400 on Black Friday
  • Target – Apple TV (4th Generation) 32GB for $149.99 (no discount) + Extra 15% Off at Checkout ($127.49 total) – was $25 off on Black Friday
  • Walmart – Quadrone Hybrid Drone for $99 (save $30) – currently listed as $109 on Walmart’s website so wait for the confusion to clear so you know what you’re paying

Source: http://www.forbes.com/

Unity One CU Informs: The 12 Scams of Christmas

shutterstock_147621878-web.jpgBlack Friday and Cyber Monday mark the official beginning to the holiday season. These days are popular with both consumers and cybercriminals alike. To help protect your information, here are some of the most common holiday season scams as written in the Credit Union Times:

1. Black Friday/Cyber Monday Specials. Scammers often send fake emails with deep discounts on big ticket items, to lure consumers into clicking on the links. They then steal sensitive information like your credit card number to commit fraud. 

2. Free vouchers or gift cards. A common scam involves big discounts on gift cards. Social media site posts also offer phony vouchers. Users who clicked through to those shared links are often brought to phony websites with online surveys designed to steal personal information.

3. Postal delivery failures. In this scam, consumers receive bogus emails with subject lines such as, "USPS Delivery Failure Notification." These emails then trick consumers into clicking the link to find out when they can expect a delivery. Clicking on the link activates a virus, which can steal personal information such as user names and passwords. 

4. Ransomware, DDoS and site overload. In a typical extortion campaign, targeted businesses receive an email threatening a DDoS attack on the company's website unless they pay a ransom. DDoS attacks result in damaging consequences, including lowered customer confidence and lost revenue.

5. Fake coupons and refunds. A fake coupon and refund scam often circulates through emails that appear to come from a hotel or retailer. It claims a "wrong transaction" occurred and asks victims to click for a refund, triggering a malware infection on the victim's device.

6. Phishing on the Dark Side. A new email has begun circulating that tricks people into thinking they could win movie tickets for the highly-anticipated film, "Star Wars: The Force Awakens." However, the email is a phishing attack in disguise.

7. Charity tricksters. Making a donation on the wrong site can mean inadvertently funding cybercrime or terrorism. Consumers should be skeptical of communications that ask for contributions and make sure they are legitimate.

8. Extra holiday money. The most innocent versions of these scams collect confidential information such as Social Security numbers from victims on required forms, and then later on used by cybercriminals to commit identity theft. 

9. The search trap. Bad guys do their research to find out what consumers want, then they build websites that promise the item to their victims. To get more traffic to the sites, they ensure that they pop up on search engines. These sites contain malware, and experts recommend that consumers update their web browsers to alert them of unsafe sites.

10. Open Wi-Fi. Scammers trick shoppers by emitting what appears to be a free Wi-Fi signal. If the shopper hops on it, the scammer can gain access to his or her credit card information. Experts advise consumers to never complete a credit card transaction while using a public Wi-Fi connection.

11. Grinch e-card greetings. These malicious email attachments look like an e-greeting card from a friend or co-worker, but they contain malware that could infect the recipient's device.

12. Not so secure EMV cards. The Federal Trade Commission reported scammers are trying to take advantage of the millions of consumers who haven't received chip cards by emailing them and posing as card issuers. These fraudsters coerce victims to share personal information or install malware on their devices. 

Learn more about CHIP CARDs.

About Unity One Credit Union

Established in 1927, Unity One Credit Union is the oldest credit union in Texas. A member-driven and not-for-profit cooperative, Unity One CU served the employees and families of the BNSF Railway for 70 years. However, after transferring its corporate headquarters to Fort Worth in 1998, the credit union expanded its field of membership to include other non-railroad companies, organizations and individuals. 

Today, anyone who lives, works, worships or attends school in Fort Worth, Blue Mound, Saginaw, Haslet, Keller, Colleyville, Bedford, North Richland Hills, Southlake, St. Paul, MN and Kansas City, KS may apply for membership. Unity One CU has eight branches to serve over 30,000 members nationwide. For more information about Unity One Credit Union, visit www.unityone.org. Think outside the bank.™

Credit union informs: Five tips for safe online shopping

Safe online shoppingWorried about shopping online - safely?

You're not alone. In the wake of cybersecurity breaches at major retailers, such as Target and Home Depot, many people are fearful of debit/credit card fraud or identity theft. 

Here are some tips to keep your personal information private while shopping online:

1. Be careful what you click. Think that ridiculously low-priced gift is too good to be true? It probably is. Phishing scams - the attempt to steal sensitive information - run rampant during the holiday season. If you are not familiar with the sender of the email, do not open or click the links. Doing so may jeopardize your personal information.  

2. Read the fine print. While not the most enjoyable way to spend your time, reading the fine print can help you avoid unnecessary fees. If you don't, you could end up in an automatic subscription without realizing it. With some club fees charging upwards of $40/month, reading the fine print could net you big savings.

3. Update your social media profile. Posting too much information on social media can make you an easy target for identity theft. Avoid sharing information such as your birthday and maiden name. Thieves can use this information to piece together a partial Social Security number or credit card number. 

4. Check for the 'S' in the web address. As long as the 's' is present, the site is secure. 

5. Don't save card information on e-commerce websites. Make sure criminals won't have easy access to your information by choosing not to save your card information. Also make sure to log out and close your browser each time you leave a shopping site or payment account. 



Established in 1927, Unity One Credit Union is the oldest credit union in Texas. A member-driven and not-for-profit cooperative, Unity One CU served the employees and families of the BNSF Railway for 70 years. However, after transferring its corporate headquarters to Fort Worth in 1998, the credit union expanded its field of membership to include other non-railroad companies, organizations and individuals.

Today, anyone who lives, works, worships or attends school in Fort Worth, Blue Mound, Saginaw, Haslet, Keller, Colleyville, Bedford, North Richland Hills, Southlake, St. Paul, MN and Kansas City, KS may apply for membership. Unity One CU has seven branches to serve over 30,000 members nationwide. For more information about Unity One Credit Union, visit www.unityone.org. Think outside the bank.™ www.unityone.org

Credit union informs: Hottest toys of the season results

Hottest Toys - BCTALYear after year, toy companies put together their list of the hottest toys of the season. This year, Unity One decided to put those toys to the test. We purchased the toys and placed them in our lobbies for true, honest critiques by kids.

Here are the top ten hottest toys of the holiday season, as picked by Unity One members.

10. Hot Wheels Street Hawk Remote-Control Flying Car – The Hot Wheels remote-control car offers a cool combination of on-ground R/C performance, including proportional ground steering and the aerial performance of a plane. It’s durable and lightweight, allowing it to perform impressive aerial maneuvers and fly up to 150’ in the air. One member said, “Love it. Needs lots of space to fly.”

9. Zoomer Interactive Dino – Control him if you can! With real dinosaur movements, sounds and incredible dino-sense abilities, Dino can detect when you’re nearby and interacting with him. But watch out! Just like a real Dino he can get angry, spin around, chomp and roar! One member said “It’s the most enjoyable toy ever! I had so much fun with it,” while another said “The dinosaur was so much fun. When it eats it’s cute.”

8. Transformers Age of Extinction Mega 1-Step Bumblebee Figure – Bumblebee is back and he’s badder than ever! You can flip this powerful robot hero to change him fast from robot mode to sports car mode and back!

7. Hot Wheels Track Builder Total Turbo Takeover Track Set – This toy racecar system comes with everything kids need to design and customize their own race track. It also has an all-new, two-way motorized booster to get the cars moving at breakneck speeds. In the words of one of our members, “It’s awesome!”

6. Doc McStuffins Get Better Talking Mobile Cart – This cart gives kids everything they need to provide on-the-go care. Kids can let friends know they’re in a hurry with the motion-activated siren that lights up and plays the Doc Mobile song. One member said, “I really like how it has stickers to go with the cart.”

5. Disney Princess Palace Pets Magic Dance Pumpkin, Cinderella’s Puppy When Cinderella found Pumpkin on the palace balcony, she was very surprised to discover that she was actually an anniversary present from the Prince. This glamourous puppy loves to attend royal balls and she twirls and dances with the elegance of a princess. Simply stated, our members “loved this.”

4. Snap Circuits Jr. Give your child an exciting, hands-on introduction to electronics with this kit. This innovative kit contains over 30 color-coded, real circuit components that snap together to create working electronic circuits and devices. This toy was repeatedly highly ranked for being “fun, yet challenging.”

3. Ultra Stomp Rocket An excellent way to have fun with the whole family! Teach your children lessons about aerodynamics, propulsion and science while they stop on the launch pad shooting the rocket over 200 feet into the air. This toy is touted for its easy assembly and battery-free fun. One member said, “This thing is awesome!”

2. Catch Phrase Decades Game The perfect gift for your older children! Shout it, sing it, dance or just make faces to get your team to guess the word or phrase on the screen. Loaded with over 5,000 words and phrases from the 70s, 80s, 90s, 00s and 10s, this game is sure to get the party started. Students at our Birdville Center for Technology and Advanced Learning branch said, “This game is so much fun!”

Snow Glow Elsa1. My First Disney Princess Frozen Snow Glow Elsa Singing Doll With a touch of her magical snowflake necklace, hear Elsa talk to her Frozen friends and watch the magic as her dress glows in a flurry of lights. This toy, as quoted by one member, is “amazing.”

Other toys that were tested, but did not make the top ten list include: Melissa & Doug Suspend Game, K’Nex 70 Model Building Set, Glee Cranium, Simon Swipe Game, Mega Bloks Barbie Fab Mansion, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Stretch N’ Shout Raphael Figure, Air Hogs RC Zero Gravity Laser Racer, LEGO Super Heroes Captain America vs. Hydra Play Set, Deluxe Light Up Flutterbye Fairy, Nerf N-Strike Elite Demolisher and the Cra-Z-Loom Ultimate Rubber Band Loom.




Credit union informs: Hottest Toys of the Holiday Season

Hottest Holiday Toys

We want to hear from you! Which toy will be selected as Unity One's hottest toy of the season?

Join Unity One at each of our branch locations this Friday, November 21, 2014, to vote for your favorite.

Each branch will have three toys available in their lobby. Simply play with each toy and return your ballot to an employee.

Toys include:

  • Snow Glow Elsa
  • Doc McStuffins Get Better Talking Cart
  • Zero Gravity Laser Racer
  • Zoomer Interactive Dino
  • and many more! 

Winners will be announced on our blog soon!

Find a Unity One Branch

Credit union informs: Prevent holiday-related identity theft

Holiday fraud preventionUnity One Credit Union informs its members and friends of simple steps for holiday-related identity theft prevention. According to CNBC, here are four tips for more safe holiday shopping:

1. Bogus websites with screaming deals: It's a holiday tradition—identity thieves create bogus sites with beautiful graphics and amazingly low prices on popular, but nonexistent digital devices. Take the bait and you won't get your merchandise and the crooks will have your credit card number and other personal information.

Protect yourself: Do your homework. If this is your first interaction with a new merchant, check them out before you provide any personal information. How long have they been around? Are they rated by the Better Business Bureau? Beware of prices that are significantly cheaper than everywhere else. It could be a trap.

2. Digital greeting cards loaded with merry malware: You expect to get holiday e-cards from friends and family. Identity thieves send out seasonal greetings, too. But theirs are loaded with viruses and other malware. Their spambots use social media sites to send booby-trapped greeting cards that look like they're from someone you know.

Protect yourself: Don't click the links in the body of an email alerting you to an e-card and don't open any attachment. You can always check to see if that person really did send you a card. The safest way to get an e-card is to go to the greeting card company's site and put in the card number listed in the email.

3. Bogus shipping notices: If you shop online and are expecting a package, a shipping notice doesn't seem that unusual. That's why the bad guys send out bogus shipping alerts designed to look like they're from FedEx, UPS or the U.S. Postal Service. They're hoping you'll click on the link which loads malware on to your machine or takes you to a phishing website they've created.

Protect yourself: Only use tracking numbers provided to you in the initial email you get right after you make the purchase. Go to the store's website to track any packages you're expecting.

4. Fake Black Friday or Cyber Monday ads: It's always fun to see the leaked ads for Black Friday and Cyber Monday. That's why scammers create fake leaked ads. They contain links that direct you to a fraudulent website that installs malware.

Protect yourself: Stick with reputable sites that specialize in Black Friday ads.

Report Fraud

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