Member Benefits FAQs For Changes in March 2015

Member Benefits FAQs
January 30, 2015

To assist members and staff in better understanding updates to the Member Benefits Program, as well as changes to checking accounts, we have created these FAQs.

Checking

Q.  Why are you increasing fees for checking accounts?

A. Checking accounts cost the credit union and its members to maintain. Presently, about 75% of members are meeting qualifications to have fees waived via either qualifying for Member Benefits and/or fulfilling checking account requirements. The fee changes being made are to encourage a greater number of members to qualify. We did not make changes to the E-Benefit Checking account as we wanted to provide a cost-effective alternative. Because we experience savings when members use electronic and remote delivery channels, we are able to pass these savings on via this account.

Q.  To qualify for Member Benefits via a checking account, I understand you added some new criteria. What is it?

A. Since we first debuted the program we have implemented a lot of technological improvements which members are taking advantage of. As such we have added a requirement that members who want to qualify with a checking account not only have e-statements and a direct deposit/ACH of $250 monthly, but also that they conduct four (4) remote transactions monthly. These include: transfers in PATROL Online Banking, sending payments via Popmoney, paying bills using Online Banking or Mobile Banking, ATM deposits or withdrawals, and making check deposits using GO-Deposit. As you can see, these are easy to fulfill requirements.

Q. I just received a notice about checking account fee changes. If don’t qualify, when will I start receiving fees?

A. Fee changes go into effect March 1, 2015, so the first new fees will be applied on April 1, 2015.

Q. If I do not meet the monthly checking account requirements and am assessed a maintenance fee, will I receive ATM rebates?

A. No. You must fulfill the account requirements to receive ATM rebates.

Q.  I am opening a new checking account and plan on fulfilling account requirements. Will I be charged fees during the period of time it takes to add those requirements?

A. We are providing a two-statement cycle “grace period” which should allow members enough time to add direct deposit, sign-up for e-statements, etc.

Q. How can you have the checking fees waived?

A. Simply fulfill the account requirements and you get the maintenance fees waived. You also receive ATM rebates that allow you to use any ATM anywhere in the country. Additionally, if you have Member Benefits, you will get your maintenance fees waived, however you must fulfill checking account requirements to receive the ATM rebates.

Q. I have multiple checking accounts under multiple account numbers. If one of those account numbers qualifies for Member Benefits, will the fees be waived on all accounts?

A. The fees will only be waived on accounts under the account number that qualifies. Other account numbers must have the requirements fulfilled to qualify.

Q.  I’m a student and concerned about fees. Is there any way to get around the fees?

A. LAPFCU does not want to penalize its young members, so members under 24 will continue not be charged a fee if they have an e-benefit checking account (if a young member has Free Checking or Performance Checking, they will need to fulfill those account requirements to avoid receiving a fee).

Q. If I have several checking accounts and they don’t all meet requirements, will they all be subject to fees?

A. If you qualify for Member Benefits, all checking accounts under that member number will have the maintenance fees waived. If you do not have Member Benefits, each account will need to qualify.

Q.  I have direct deposit, but deposit funds into my spouse or child’s account. Will that provide them with the direct deposit requirement?

A. If a member receives direct deposit and then splits it so it deposits into a spouse’s, child’s, etc. account, it will qualify. Please contact LAPFCU and ask to arrange an “ACH Distribution.”

Q. I plan on opening a checking account in order to get a vehicle loan discount. Will I receive the vehicle loan discount immediately?

A. Yes. The loan discounts will be applied as soon as you open the checking account. A two-statement cycle grace period will allow you to avoid fees while you fulfill checking account requirements. If you do no not fulfill requirements by then, you will not be entitled to any other member benefits and you will be subject to any applicable checking account maintenance fees.

Q. I am self-employed and have a checking account. As I can’t fulfill the direct deposit requirement, will I receive a fee?

A. Performance Checking allows you to have an automated debit in lieu of direct deposit, so you can avoid fees by using that account. Additionally, if you work with another financial institution, you can set up a recurring automatic deposit into LAPFCU that would qualify you. Ask for additional details.

Member Benefits

Q.  Why are you updating Member Benefits?

A. Since we debuted Member Benefits two years ago, members have raved about how they enjoy getting more out of their relationship with LAPFCU. As such we wanted to find ways to give them even greater benefits. That is the goal of the update.

Q. What new Benefits are being offered?

A. There are a few significant changes to Member Benefits:

  • Members will now get a 0.25% on their qualifying Share and IRA Share Certificates
  • Members will now get up to a 0.75% discount on their qualifying consumer loan
  • Members can now get American Express gift card fees and travelers check fees waived as part of the one $10 fee waiver monthly
  • Members may now receive one-free year of the Silver I.D. Enforcer credit monitoring program when they qualify for Member Benefits and have a Performance Checking account.

Q. Are any of the existing benefits being removed?

A. There are a few items being eliminated:

  • The free box of checks is being eliminated. What we are finding is that members are writing fewer checks as a result of their increased use of online and mobile banking. It no longer made sense to pay for items members were using less of.
  • The $200 mortgage rebate is being eliminated. We found members did not get their mortgage with us for these rebates, so it didn’t make sense to continue offering them as they were costly to other members.
  • There is a change in how the consumer loan discount works – we removed the 0.15% automatic discount, and instead increased the automatic payment discount to 0.50%, while increasing the online loan application to 0.25%.

Q. Why is LAPFCU offering a Member Benefits Program?

A. As a member-owned cooperative, LAPFCU wanted to reward members who most fully utilize the credit union. Therefore, we created a program that would provide additional benefits to members who are most loyal and fully conduct their business here.

Q. What are the benefits members receive?

A. When they qualify for Member Benefits, members will receive:

  • No monthly checking account maintenance fees
  • IRA/Share certificate dividend rate bonuses
  • Consumer loan interest rate reductions
  • Member-requested monthly fee reimbursements

Q.  How do I qualify for Member Benefits?

A. Qualifying is easy. Simply have one of the following accounts and fulfill requirements:

  • Any checking account – Use e-statements have a monthly direct deposit or ACH credit with a minimum of $250, and conduct four (4) remote transactions monthly. These include: transfers in PATROL Online Banking, sending payments via Popmoney, paying bills using Online Banking or Mobile Banking, ATM deposits or withdrawals, and making check deposits using GO-Deposit. As you can see, these are easy to fulfill requirements.
  • Any Visa card – Use Visa e-statements, e-statements on deposit accounts and have four transactions post a month
  • A first mortgage with e-statements and auto payments

Q. I have Member Benefits but don’t fulfill requirements requested of a checking account. Will I still receive the ATM rebates on the checking account?

A. No. Although you will not be charged a monthly maintenance fee on your checking account, you must fulfill checking account requirements to receive any incentives on that account.

Q.  How do I sign-up for e-statements?

A. You must first have a PATROL online banking account. Once you have that, you can log on and under the “Online Services” tab, click on “Cubus Online Statements” to sign-up.

Q.  E-statements are a requirement of Member Benefits. What are the benefits?

A. Accessing e-statements is safe and secure. It eliminates wasted paper costs and you can also access up to 18 months of statement online. These can be printed out or saved to your computer.

Q. I am working with the Collections Department right now, can I participate in Member Benefits?

A.  No. Members must be in good standing to receive benefits. This definition is provided in our Truth in Savings brochure and disclosure.

Q. I qualify for Member Benefits. Does everyone in my household receive them as well?

A. No. Please contact LAPFCU for additional guidance on getting your family members qualified.

Q.  I have a qualifying checking, Visa card and first mortgage, do I get triple benefits?

A. No. You would be entitled to the same level of benefits, meaning if you generally received $6 in ATM rebates you would not receive $18, nor would you be entitled to up to $30 in fee reimbursements monthly, only the $10 as outlined in the program.

Q. What are Member Benefits qualification cycles?

A.  Member Benefits qualification cycles are not tied to the calendar month. For a complete list of qualification cycles visit the Member Benefits section of LAPFCU.org, or call us for details.

Q. If I open a new checking account or Visa and still have to fulfill requirements, will I have to wait to receive Member Benefits?

A.  No. You will be entitled to receive Member Benefits during a two-statement cycle grace period. If at the end of that time, you have not fulfilled requirements, you will not be entitled to Member Benefits.

Q. I have just become an LAPFCU member. Will I get Member Benefits?

A. No. You must open a qualifying account to receive benefits.

Q. How are benefits applied to my account and how often do I need to requalify?

A. Requalification is monthly and benefits are applied for the following month.

Q. What type of transfers will qualify for the new Active Checking qualification? (4 remote activities)

A. The following qualify:

  • Transfers out of checking
  • Transfers into checking
  • Transfers from checking to shares under the same member number
  • Transfers to another member
  • Transfers going out through an auto-pay with another company

Q. Will staff receive a free box of checks, and/or members receive any discount as the free checks are being taken away?

A. Our check provider, Harland Clarke, provides free checks for staff and that will continue. Members with Member Benefits will not be given any discounts on checks.

Q. When a Member opens a new account, new account staff will typically print temporary checks as a courtesy for the member so the member. Will we allow front line staff to continue to print temp checks as a courtesy for new members when the account has just opened? If so, how many?

A. Yes. Staff should continue printing out checks for new members and not charge the member.

Q.   Members who qualify for Member Benefits in February will be eligible for their benefits in March. When the Member Benefits update takes effect on March 1, which perks will the Member receive? The existing benefits they qualified for in February, or the new benefits which go live March 1?

A.  Members will receive the new perks being offered on March 1.

Q. Will the existing red flags continue to disqualify Members from Member Benefits?

A. Yes. This includes flags 45, 103, 48 and 91. Members with a loan status of P (pre-charge off), C (charge off) or D (discharge) will also continue.

Q. How does Share Branching transactions effect Member Benefits? Will conducting transfers at a Shared branch count towards transferring funds under new Active Checking requirements?

A. Shared branch activity does not count toward member benefits.

Fees

Q. What does “member-requested monthly fee reimbursements” mean?

A. In order to receive fee reimbursements on commonly used services, you must contact the credit union for reimbursements. In most cases, members will be using a branch for say a money order, Coinstar use or something similar, ask for the fee reimbursement when you’re at the teller window.
Q. What services can members request fee reimbursements on?

A.  The following are items members can request fee reimbursements on:

  • Cashpacks (up to 10 packs)
  • Cashiers Checks
  • Check Withdrawals
  • Coinstar
  • Deposit Adjustment
  • Money Orders
  • Notary Service (non-LAPFCU-related)
  • Photocopy of paid check (2 free)
  • Replacement ATM/debit card
  • Returned Statement
  • Statement Copy
  • Travelers Checks
  • American Express Card Fees
  • Verification of Deposit/Loan

Q. Can I use my fee waiver for ODP or a late loan payment?

A. No. The reimbursement cannot be used for overdraft protection charges or late payments.

Q.  How will fee reimbursements be applied?

A. They will appear as a credit in the account they are taken out of.

Q. I use Credit Union Service Centers. Can fees be reimbursed if I qualify for Member Benefits?

A. Yes, if they are on the reimbursable list. Contact LAPFCU to request fee reimbursements.

Q. How does the “fee reimbursements on one transaction a month” work?

A. Say you are in a branch and request a cashiers’ check, use Coinstar and get a money order, you would be reimbursed for up to $10 of the total cost associated with those services.

Share Certificates

Q. What are the share certificates dividend bonuses I get with Member Benefits?

A. Qualifying members receive a 0.25% APY dividend bonus on new or rollover IRA certificates or share certificates. This is an increase to reward savers.

Q. I have Member Benefits, will I receive the dividend rate bonus on any new or rollover IRA Certificate or Share Certificate.

A. Yes. If you are opening a new qualifying certificate, the bonus will be applied at that time. If you have a certificate that rolls over, the bonus will be automatically added to the prevailing rate.

Q.  If I no longer qualify for Member Benefits, will any discount be taken away from the IRA share certificate or share certificate?

A. No, the rate will remain for the term of the certificate. When it rolls over you will not receive any additional bonus unless you qualify for Member Benefits.

Q. If I have Member Benefits and have multiple share certificates, will they all qualify for the bonus?

A. Yes.

Q. I have an existing share certificate. If I have Member Benefits, will bonuses be added to that certificate?

A.  No. The bonus will only apply to a new certificate or when your existing certificate rolls over.

Loans

Q. What are the loan interest rate discounts I receive with Member Benefits?A. Members who qualify for Member Benefits can receive up to 0.50% in consumer loan interest rate discounts comprised of the following:

  • 0.50% for automatic payment
  • 0.25% for applying for a loan online

Q. What are the consumer loans that qualify for benefits?

A. You can receive interest rate bonuses on any LAPFCU personal loan including vehicle or Freedom loans The following loan types are excluded from rate reductions: real estate loans, unsecured lines of credit, credit cards, share loans and share certificate loans.. Ask LAPFCU for additional guidance.

Q.  I received a vehicle loan pre-approval certificate. To receive the 0.25% incentive, do I need to re-apply online?

A. No. The 0.25% will be applied when you take out the loan.

Q. If I open a checking account or Visa to receive loan discounts, do I have to wait until I meet all requirements to receive the discounts?

A. No. You will be entitled to receive loan discounts during the two-statement cycle grace period. If at the end of that time, you have not fulfilled requirements, you will not be entitled to additional Member Benefits.

Q. If I refinance a consumer loan that is currently with the credit union, will I receive the loan incentives?

A.  Yes. The bonuses could be applied to an in-house refinance.

Credit Cards

Q. I see you increase the credit card requirement to 4 posted transactions a month from two. What does “posted transaction” mean?

A. A posted transaction is defined as: purchases, payments, balance transfers, payments, cash advances and charges that appear on your monthly statement.

Q. How do I sign up for Visa e-statements?

A. You must have a credit card that has been activated and will need to sign-up for Visa EZ Card where you can access your credit card information. You can sign-up to receive Visa e-statements within EZ Card.

Q.  I am taking out a credit card to receive Member Benefits. Do I need to fulfill all Visa account requirements before receiving benefits?

A. No. You will be entitled to receive Member Benefits during the two-statement cycle grace period. If at the end of that time, you have not fulfilled requirements, you will not be entitled to additional Member Benefits.

Mortgages

Q. What changes are you making to the mortgage qualifier?

A. To receive Member Benefits, those taking out an LAPFCU first mortgage after March 1, 2015, will be required to have mortgage e-statements (the member will have to opt in for all e-disclosures to receive mortgage e-statements) and set up automatic payments.

Q.  I am taking out a new first mortgage but do not have Member Benefits. Will I receive the benefits.

A. You must take out a mortgage and then receive e-statements and set-up automatic payment. You will be given a two-month grace period to fulfill requirements.

Q. The revised Member Benefits qualification for Mortgage now includes an auto-pay requirement. What criteria will the auto-pay require? Can the auto-pay originate from outside LAPFCU? Will it need to originate from an LAPFCU account?

A. The auto payment can come from either LAPFCU or another financial institution. It must a recurring payment.

I.D. Enforcer

Q.  I have Member Benefits and a Performance Checking account. How do I get the I.D. Enforcer?

A. You must log on to PATROL Online Banking. Within the “Forms” section is a request form to request the I.D. Enforcer (effective March 1, 2015).

Q.  If I qualify for and receive the I.D. Enforcer does it automatically renew?

A. No. You will need to contact LAPFCU when you receive notice that your subscription is ending. You will need to qualify for Member Benefits at the time you request a renewal.

Q.  If I qualify to receive the Silver I.D. Enforcer package and want the Gold or Platinum package, may I upgrade?

A. No. Members may only select the Silver (basic) plan.

Q.  I have Member Benefits and a Performance Checking account. I also signed up for I.D. Enforcer. If I lose my Member Benefits standing, will I lose my I.D. Enforcer?

A. The I.D. Enforcer subscription is for a year, so you would have the service for the remainder of the term.

Q.  I have an I.D. Enforcer subscription right now. If I qualify because of my Performance Checking account, can I get a reimbursement?

A. If you paid for a year of the I.D. Enforcer, depending how far you are into your subscription, you may be entitled to a partial refund or not. You would have to cancel your subscription via the I.D. Enforcer web site and would be entitled to any refund from I.D.T.911. You would then contact LAPFCU to receive your free subscription.

Q.  How are members being given the I.D. Enforcer?

A. Members will have to contact LAPFCU. They will then be given a special “code” as well as information to a special web site where they can register and input their code for a one-free year’s subscription.