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Welcome to the Love My Credit Union Rewards Blog!

Love My Credit Union Rewards is an exclusive discount program that was created (as Invest in America) in 2008 to help credit union members save on the products and services they use every day.

We began with the Credit Union Member Discount from GM and soon grew to include the Sprint Credit Union Member Discount as well as savings programs from TurboTax, DIRECTV, Allied Van Lines and ADT. Plus, we offer our own discount partners Love to Shop and the Credit Union Auto Club.

Our blog is to give you insider info on the latest discounts and share other ways to help you save. We hope you enjoy our blog and saving at LoveMyCreditUnion.org!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Invest in America and RV Discounts

Last week we discussed how Invest in America is expanding from focusing solely on the American auto industry to offering credit union members exclusive discounts on products and services from a variety of American owned businesses. This week we are excited to talk about our partnership with Thor Industries, the world's largest manufacturer of recreation vehicles (RVs), including names such as Airstream, Breckenridge, CrossRoads, Damon, Dutchmen, Four Winds and Komfort.

RVs bring to mind images of cross country traveling for fun, but they are not just for recreation; there are a variety of reasons to purchase a recreation vehicle. People with mobile lifestyles, either because of their work or by choice, find value in having a home they can take with them wherever they go. RVs are a good alternative for people who find themselves in need of an inexpensive place to live, either in the short or long term. Of course for vacationers, they are a great way to compromise between camping and staying in a hotel.

If you've been thinking of purchasing a RV, there is no better time than the present. With Thor's Credit Union Member Discount offered through Invest in America, credit union members can take advantage of great deals on all types of recreation vehicles.

Before shopping for a RV be sure to consider:
  • Your budget - how much can you afford?
  • What kind of RV is right for you - a Motorhome, Travel Trailer, Fifth Wheel or Park Model? Which one best fits your needs?
  • When you are not traveling, where will you park the RV? Be sure to check your local codes and regulations to see if there are any restrictions to storing your RV on your property.
  • Driver's license requirements - rules vary by state, so be sure to check with your local DMV.
  • Insurance - RV insurance varies based on the model and state of residency; be sure to check with your insurance agent
  • Maintenance costs - check around for repair costs, gasoline and other expenses and be sure to include those in your budget.

A RV is a large purchase, very much like buying a home. Make sure you do your research and get your best deal. Visit your credit union to secure your financing before you head to the dealership and get your Invest in America Credit Union Member RV Discount and your best loan rate.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Invest in America - More Than Just Great Vehicle Discounts

Credit unions are known for the value added services they provide to their members. Invest in America is known for the discounts it provides to credit union members who purchase or lease an American made vehicle. But Invest in America is more than just cars; it is a Credit Union Member Enhancement program aimed at providing discounts on products and services offered by American owned corporation to provide a stimulus for stronger financial results for the U.S. economy, increase credit union membership and member satisfaction. So, how are we achieving this? By expanding the types of offers available through Invest in America; and our relationship with Sprint is the first of many.

Sprint's credit union member discount program provides discounts on wireless products and services for both personal and business accounts. Even if a credit union member is already a Sprint customer, they can take advantage of the discount.

What benefits do credit union members receive?

Personal Accounts
  • 10% discount on most Sprint monthly recurring charges
  • Waived application fee on new lines (approximately $36 in savings)
  • Waived upgrade fee (approximately $18 in savings)
  • Discounts on phones and accessories*
  • National rates with no roaming or long distance charges

Business Accounts

  • 15% discount on most Sprint monthly recurring charges
  • Waived application fee on new lines (approximately $36 in savings)
  • Waived upgrade fee (approximately $18 in savings)
  • Discounts on equipment and accessories*
  • National rates with mo roaming or long distance charges

As a credit union member, Invest in America provides you with more than just discounts on vehicles; it provides you with an opportunity to save on things you value and need, including wireless services. So instead of asking why should my credit union participate in Invest in America, the question should be why not?

*Up to $150 off new phones and smart phones with 2-year service agreement or eligible upgrade.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Leasing and Invest in America - Increase Your Savings

The Invest in America program has expanded to provide credit union members' of participating credit union exclusive discounts when they lease select Ford and GM vehicles. GM is currently offering credit union members supplier pricing plus cash back offers while Ford's lease offers vary depending on the make and model.

These are great lease offers for credit union members who prefer to lease vs. buy. Leasing is a good option for credit union members who:
  • Want a new car every 2 to 3 years
  • Don't want to customize or modify their car
  • Want lower monthly payments
  • Don't want to pay for repairs
  • Drive fewer than 18,000 miles per year with driving habits that will not change
  • Want a low or no down payment
  • Want GAP insurance - most leases have it built in

If you're going to lease, be sure to check out the great offers available to credit union members through Invest in America. Let's use the example of a 2009 Chevrolet Malibu. We calculated a lease for a credit union member living in New York with the credit union member lease discount and without. With the discount (supplier pricing and $2,500 cash back) the monthly payment on a 60 month loan is $231.27. Without the credit union member lease discount, the monthly payment is $283.38; over the 5 years if the loan without the discount through Invest in America that credit union member would pay $3,126.60 more for the same car.

There are many resources available online to help you calculate your lease cost; Credit Union Leasing of America and Groovecar both provide calculators and other resources to help you make an informed decision. Each state has different taxes, dealers have different fees and you'll have a different trade in or cash down value, so be sure to get all the specifics of your lease deal to accurately calculate your price. Edmunds.com has a great article that outlines what you need to know.

Additionally, the Government's Cash for Clunkers program can be used when you lease a vehicle, as long as you lease for 5 years, so if you qualify be sure to add that amount to your cash back rebate!

Make sure you do your research and get your best lease deal. Visit your credit union to secure your financing before you head to the dealership and get your Invest in America Credit Union Member Lease Offer Discount and your best loan rate.

Friday, August 7, 2009

"Cash for Clunkers" and Credit Unions - How Has It Helped?

With President Obama signing an extension for "Cash for Clunkers" - 3 billion dollars more - consumers have more time to trade in their gas guzzlers and buy a more fuel efficient car. Politicians and auto industry leaders are touting the effectiveness of the program and the jump start it has given to the ailing auto industry.

"Cash for Clunkers" has had an immediate impact on car sales and credit union loans across the country. According to Edmunds.com, in just the first tow weeks, the "Cash for Clunkers" program sent the auto industry's annualized U.S. sales to double what it was the first half of 2009. While it's too early to pull exact figures, credit unions are telling us that they are pre-authorizing and funding more car loans now than they have all year. The "Cash for Clunkers" program has created a surge in lending for credit unions across the country.

The American auto industry is reaping the benefits of the "Cash for Clunkers" program:
  • Combined, the Big Three have brought in 45% of all new car sales.
  • GM has sold the most cars out of all manufacturers - 18.7%
  • Ford Motor Company achieved its first year-over-year sales increase since November 2007
  • Chrysler's Jeep Wrangler, Jeep Compass, Dodge Avenger, Chrysler Sebring, PT Cruiser, Dodge Caliber, Dodge Grand Caravan and Chrysler Town and Country are in short supply, with dealers running out of inventory on their lots.

How can your credit union increase your auto loan portfolio and take advantage of the car buying boom created by the "Cash for Clunkers" program?

  • Clearly explain the "Cash for Clunkers" program to your staff and members. Dupaco Credit Union has a page on their site that clearly explains the "Cash for Clunkers" program and gives their members a call to action to secure their financing at the credit union.
  • Dealer relationships are key. The "Cash for Clunkers" program is run through the dealers, so be sure to leverage your relationships with them, whether you have an indirect lending program or not. The University of Wisconsin Credit Union has a list of their preferred dealers linked to their auto loan page to help strengthen their relationship.
  • Tie the "Cash for Clunkers" program into the great incentives offered by the American auto industry through Invest in America

Has your credit union seen increased business because of the "Cash for Clunkers" program? If you have, let us know! Share your story with us at www.lovemycreditunion.org.