Why is 1st Financial Federal Credit Union selling its credit card portfolio?
1st Financial routinely re-evaluates its product line in order to bring you the best products. ATIRAcredit assumed ownership of 1st Financial’s credit card program on September 30, 2009. The reason for the change is simple – to stay competitive in the credit card industry, we must have a card that offers additional features and flexibility.
We have partnered with another credit union organization, ATIRAcredit, to continue to bring you a great credit card program. Our mission is to provide you with the best possible product available with the fairest terms out there.
Our relationship won’t change – you’ll still be able to come in to our branch and make payments or call us with questions about your account. You will continue to have additional member service support 24/7 via telephone and online access.
Who is ATIRAcredit?
ATIRAcredit is a Credit Union organization that offers credit cards to partner credit unions. They offer a Platinum Rewards MasterCard to replace your current 1st Financial credit card.
What are the benefits of the 1st Financial ATIRAcredit Platinum MasterCard?
Your platinum card gives you the prestige of having a top-tier card with a generous rewards program. It also combines great benefits at no additional cost such as Zero Liability fraud protection and a $250,000 travel insurance policy that is automatically added when you use your ATIRAcredit Platinum MasterCard. Finally, AT NO COST TO YOU, we are pleased to offer the following additional benefits:
- Extended Warranty Coverage – Doubles the original warranty time period and duplicates the coverage of the original manufacturer’s warranty up to a maximum of 12 months on most items purchased with your 1st Financial ATIRAcredit MasterCard.
- Price Protection Coverage – If you find a lower price for something you purchased with your 1st Financial ATIRAcredit MasterCard within 60 days of purchase, you may be eligible for the reimbursement of the price difference.
- Purchase Assurance Coverage – If something you purchased with your 1st Financial ATIRAcredit MasterCard is damaged or stolen within 90 days of purchase, you may be eligible for coverage of the actual cost of the item.
Also with the new 1st Financial ATIRAcredit MasterCard product, you will earn double reward points on purchases for the first 60 days you have your new card. Your current balances will remain at their existing rate until you pay them off.
Will 1st Financial still be able to service my credit card account?
Your relationship with us at 1st Financial is enhanced by this partnership. You will still be able to make inquiries about your card, and you can continue to make payments at your local branch. Your current card – with its features and benefits – will continue to work as usual until your new card arrives in late April/early May.
Why is my minimum monthly payment amount changing?
As part of our conversion to the new program, we are adjusting our minimum monthly payment amounts to 3% of your total balance or $40, whichever is greater. Although the minimum amount is a bit higher, this change will help you to pay off any balances you might have sooner – ultimately decreasing your costs associated with carrying a credit card.
What is the transition timeline?
- December 2009 – letter announcing the partnership sent to all current cardmembers.
- January/February 2010 - letter mailed with the new terms and conditions and cardmember agreement.
- Late April/Early May 2010 – your new card arrives, look for it in a white, unmarked envelope for your security
- May 24, 2010 - old 1st Financial cards become inactive
Will my account number change?
Yes, you will receive a new account number and expiration date. Closer to the transition, we’ll remind you to update any recurring payments that happen automatically with your current 1st Financial card to your new account number.
Will my interest rates increase?
Your new 1st Financial ATIRAcredit card pricing will be based on your individual risk score, therefore interest rates will be unique to the individual. In late February 2010, you will receive a Welcome Letter disclosing your new interest rates, along with a new cardmember agreement.
Can I continue to use my 1st Financial credit card?
Your current account will continue to work as usual until May 24. You will receive your new 1st Financial ATIRAcredit card (see timeline above) before that date so you will not have any usage interruptions.
What will happen to my old 1st Financial credit card ?
Your old 1st Financial card will be closed and your balance will be moved to your new 1st Financial card ATIRAcredit card at conversion in April 2010.
Will my credit bureau report reflect this change?
Your new card will be added to your report. The new card may be listed as TMG Financial Services, ATIRAcredit. After conversion, your old 1st Financial credit card account will report as Sold/Transferred.
Will my joint account holder or authorized users also receive a new card?
Yes, all card holders under your current card will receive the new 1st Financial ATIRAcredit card and maintain the same relationship they had under the old card.
How can I make a payment on the new card?
As a cardmember, you’ll continue to have a number of convenient ways to make your payment, just as you do today, including:
- At your local 1st Financial Federal Credit Union branch
- Over the phone
- By mail
If I am currently on autopay, will I be able to continue automatic payments?
As a cardmember, you’ll continue to enjoy the convenience of having your payment automatically deducted from your 1st Financial checking or savings account.
Why are you raising my rates?
Unfortunately, the cost of credit is rising due in part to current economic conditions, as well as the new Federal regulations going into effect soon. These regulations have changed the way credit card rates have been calculated in the past. Now, issuers will no longer be able to raise prices for individual cardmembers who become a higher risk. As a result, the cost of credit has to be adjusted for all cardmembers to make up for the increased risk the issuer is taking on.
I have good credit and have never been late with my payment, why is my rate changing? As my credit union, I trusted you to be different.
Our philosophy for issuing the 1st Financial credit card hasn’t changed – our goal is to give you a competitively-priced card with great benefits backed by outstanding member service. Even with this rate change, our late fees remain less than half that of major issuers, we still don’t charge an annual fee or balance transfer fees, and you can earn and redeem reward points.
Can I get a better rate with another card?
You should certainly compare credit card products and choose the one that’s best for you. According to our competitive analysis and review of published rates, your Purchase APR is competitive with people who have similar credit scores. As you evaluate other products, you also want to look at the fees they charge, whether you earn rewards points, and what member service is available to you when you have a problem.
How do you determine what pricing I get?
Our pricing is based on your credit score and your behavior with our card. If your credit score improves when we next evaluate it, we will decrease your APRs as a result. You can increase your credit score by paying your bills on time each month and responsibly manage the amount of credit you have by keeping your balances low.
Why is my Cash APR suddenly so high?
Using your credit card to access cash is a convenience we offer to our cardmembers, however it is not a practice we encourage. Our experience shows that cardmembers who access cash from their credit card place themselves at financial risk much more often than those who don’t access cash. Our rates reflect the increased risk these transactions represent to us.
What if I don’t want this rate?
You have the option of opting out of these changes by calling us at 636-916-8300 or 800-288-7618 or by sending us a letter to that effect to the following address by April 1, 2010 to 1232 Wentzville, MO 63385. The letter should include your name, address, phone number, account number(s), state of residence and reference to the fact that you do not accept the new terms and wish to close your account. When you opt out of these changes, we will close your account so you can pay down the balance on your card at your existing rate.
What if I just want to close my account?
If you find a comparable product with a better rate and/or terms, and you decide you want to close your account, you can certainly do so by calling us at 636-916-8300 or 800-288-7618 or by sending us a letter to that effect to the following address by April 1, 2010 to 1232 Wentzville, MO 63385. The letter should include your name, address, phone number, account number(s), state of residence.