November 2021 Newsletter
When it comes to personal finances, people tend to be reluctant about using credit cards. By not paying off their credit card balance every month, the interest they pay can quickly cancel out many of the card’s advantages. But for those with the discipline to manage their balances, credit cards can provide a number of benefits that make them a powerful financial tool.
Boost Your Credit—Getting a credit card can help establish and improve your credit history, as well as increase your credit score. A high credit score could mean you pay an interest rate several points lower on a home loan than someone with a poor credit history. This is also true for other loans, including auto loans.
Purchase History—Credit card statements can help you track your finances and check for merchant errors. They can help you create a budget so you know where your money is going and can be an excellent reference at tax time for deductions..
Purchase Protection—If you pay in cash for a purchase and the seller doesn't come through, you're basically out of luck. If you pay with a credit card, you have a much better chance of getting your money back. Plus, generally speaking, credit card companies do the majority of the work and issue a chargeback if they find in your favor.
Earn Rewards—From frequent-flier miles to discounts on automobiles and hotel reservations, there are rewards programs for everyone. Bellco’s Colorado Rewards Credit Card even lets you earn bonus points on everyday Colorado lifestyle purchases, including 3X points on gas and groceries.
Balance Transfers—Paying down or consolidating higher-interest debt to a credit card with a lower interest rate can help save you money and pay down your balance faster.
Save With a Bellco Balance Transfer!
Starting Monday, November 15, get a low fixed interest rate when you transfer other debt to your existing Bellco credit card. This is a limited time offer. Click here to learn more.
As technology makes interactions—and transactions—easier and more popular, fraudsters are improving their cons to match. They’ve now started using scams that involve peer-to-peer (P2P) transfer apps, which has been catching many consumers unaware.
If you use a convenient instant money transfer service such as Zelle, Venmo, PayPal, or others, be on the lookout—in a new scam, a con artist claims to “accidentally” send money to a victim’s account and asks if they’ll return the funds. Once the victim authorizes a credit to the scammer, the scammer recalls the “accidental” transfer, which leaves the victim out the authorized “reimbursement.”
In another scam, the thief will offer something in return for the victim first paying for it with a P2P service. This frequently involves a puppy “when the litter is born,” event tickets, or even a lease on an apartment. After the victim sends payment, they discover that the item doesn’t exist.
Scammers will also reach out to victims pretending to be customer service or a representative of the app, claiming that, if the victim sends a small amount of money, they’ll get a larger amount in return (known as cash flipping). Once the victim sends the money, of course, they see nothing in return.
In these schemes, con artists are relying on the fast transactions to steal money—especially because the P2P services aren’t protected in case of fraud or theft the way credit cards are. To protect yourself, be sure to use your transfer service with only known and trusted friends and family. Never give away your PIN or other sensitive access information. Know that, although some P2P services do run legitimate incentivizing offers, they’ll do it through authorized social media channels; they won’t reach out to individuals. And always remember that if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
P2P transfer technology can be a great way to exchange funds with friends and family, so don’t give up on it! Instead, be sure to be wary of scams and stay educated on how to avoid them. As always, you can report a scam or fraudulent incident by contacting the Federal Trade Commission at reportfraud.ftc.gov.
As a not-for-profit, Colorado-based financial cooperative, Bellco is committed to providing tools and resources to help our members and the community feel financially empowered. One way we've done this is by collaborating with Denver 7 to provide communities across Colorado with helpful financial tips.
There are some key differences between credit unions and banks. In a recent Denver7 segment, reporter Eric Lupher shared some benefits of both financial institutions to help you decide which may be a better fit. You can view the segment below:
To learn more about about the differences between banks and credit unions, you can visit our MoneySmarts page.
By The Insurance Loft
Colorado is the greatest place in the world! All right, we are a bit biased because we live here. But with 300 days of sunshine, some of the best skiing available, and the fact that Casa Bonita is returning, it’s at least in the conversation!
But Colorado residents are facing a quiet struggle that is impacting everyone who calls colorful Colorado home. Intense weather, fires, and more people moving to the mountains have left auto and property insurers unable to predict claims and pushing insurance rates up across the state.
This leads many well-known insurance companies to alter coverage for Colorado residents who own homes and vehicles. Most of these changes occur abruptly, often without much notice. In many cases, resulting in higher insurance costs and a reduction of much-needed coverage.
How Does This Impact You?
The burden falls on Colorado residents to keep closer tabs on their policies and related costs to ensure coverage in the event of a claim. Given the pace of these changes, we encourage everyone to get an insurance check-up every twelve months to learn how best to protect their cars, homes, and families.
As a Bellco member and fellow resident of the greatest place in the world, you have full access to The Insurance Loft’s team of expert advisors at absolutely no cost to you. We can quote dozens of insurance carriers that provide the right coverage for our Colorado clients.
Click to schedule your complimentary review or get a quote online to eliminate coverage gaps that specifically impact Coloradans.
Prefer to talk with an advisor? Give us a call at 1-888-808-6475 or schedule an appointment!