June, 2018
Notes of Interest

GEMC.ORG
June 15th
Boys & Girls Club Golf Tournament
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J une is an exciting month, as many of us celebrate graduations, plan our summer vacations, and start new jobs. With all of these exciting things going on in your life, the last thing you want to worry about is fraud on your debit card. GEMC Federal Credit Union has an easy tool that you can use to control your money.
 
Card Valet is a free app that you can enable send you a message to your phone every time a transaction occurs on your debit card. One of our members downloaded Card Valet and received a message that a soda had been purchased at a vending machine. They thought maybe a family member had purchased something and would ask them about it later. What this loving mother did not know is that a criminal was testing her card information at a vending machine. Once the criminal determined the account was real, they dispatched members of their team to start purchasing items at a mall. ***
*** Our member received a message on Card Valet that another purchase was being made at a mall store and she knew this was not a real transaction. With a swipe of a button on her phone, she turned off the card and no further transactions occurred.
 
This was a very unusual situation that does not occur often, but Card Valet has other great features that will give you more piece of mind about the security of your money. Members can set spending limits on their card or a family members’ card. If a spending limit of $50 is set on the account and a $55 transaction is attempted, the transaction will be declined. Online and international transactions can also be turned off until you need to use them. To learn more about how Card Valet can help you and your family enjoy life visit our Online Education Center, gemc.org.
Save Money on Traveling
Taking time-off is important for an individual in any profession. Being horribly sick shouldn't be the only break you have from work, while many employees don’t even do that. If you overwork yourself, you're just going to crash, become worse, and do harm to your career and health. Studies have shown that men who do not take vacations are more prone to heart issues, and women are more likely to have depression ( https://risepeople.com/blog/use-your-vacation-days/ ).

Traveling for vacation is a popular way of relieving stress from our daily routines. Vacations have been said to improve an employee’s mental health and overall well-being. If you need a break, there are several different options for getting one. You can go for a long and luxurious break, a relaxing and simple one, or short and sweet. Making the most out of your vacation doesn’t always mean spending your entire budget. You can save plenty of money while still having a good time out-of-town. Here are 5 great ways to save money while traveling!
  1. Use Short-term Rental Housing
Renting a condo or apartment in a family-friendly neighborhood is usually about half the price of a hotel. It gives you more space than a hotel room, and you have a kitchen for making breakfast—another way to cut costs. Companies like AAA and AARP have many partners for discounts and deals. Don’t be shy about asking short term apartments if they offer anything for those memberships or military discounts. Short-term apartments and home rentals can be found through airbnb.com . A good tool for international places is HomeAway.com.
2.                  Ask for Discounts 
No one likes a hassle and most people won’t haggle. Try something more easy-going like, “Do you ever give families on a budget discounts?” Try it out the next time your at a hotel check-in, new restaurant, or an entertainment venue. Understanding staffers may offer you a kids-eat-free deal, a group discount, or special upgrades. Being friendly and humble can go a long way.
3.               Look for Discount Cards and Groupons
Local entertainment booklets for cities are a great platform to start planning for a visit. Items of value like hotel savings can be found, along with coupons for popular areas, such as theme parks, historic sites, theaters, museums, and local dining. Other good sources like, Groupon, LivingSocial, and Restaurant.com can also give you insight on deals happening in your next destination. 
4.                Book your Rental Car Early
Travelers on a budget reserve the smallest rental car for the earliest pickup time available. In the car rental industry, the early bird gets the free upgrade. Most rental customers won't have returned their cars yet causing the more-affordable compact cars to be out of stock. Car rental companies are required to give you an available car for the same rate.
5.                Notifying your Financial Institution
When traveling, let your credit union or bank know if you will be using your debit or credit card in a different country or state. This will help them know your purchases made out-of-town are legitimate. For debit cards, GEMC Credit Union members can use the Card Valet app to let them control their cards. Each time a purchase is made using the debit card, a real time message is sent to the member including where and how much was spent. If a suspicious transaction occurs, the member can immediately turn the card off.