The holiday season should be a time of joy and spending time with those we love. It shouldn’t be a time to worry about fraud, identity theft, or blowing budgets. Use these five tips for safer shopping this holiday season.
#1: Monitor debit card transactions with Card Guard.
Set up and receive debit card transaction alerts with the A+ Card Guard app. Getting started is easy and alerts can be set up for a variety of things, including:
- Easily suspend your debit card in the event you think it may be lost or stolen or if you won’t be using it for a period of time and reactivate when you’re ready
- Set transaction limits for a certain amount and choose if you’d like to decline ATM, international, and/or online transactions
- Set up real-time alerts for declined, gas station*, and/or international transactions and ATM withdrawals
You can choose to receive these alerts via push notification, text message, and/or email. Watch our how-to video to see a demo on setting up your preferences.
#2: Do (almost) everything you need with the A+ Mobile App.
#3: Get cash from a surcharge-free ATM.
Holiday money should be spent on holiday items, not ATM fees. If you need cash, find one of the thousands surcharge-free ATMs local and nationwide.
Get your free Holiday Spending Survival Guide and make the most out of your holiday budget. Download >
#4: Be safe when shopping online.
When using the internet to shop, it’s important to make sure the website you’re on is safe and secure before you put in your credit or debit card number.
Here are some important things to look for and keep in mind:
- The website URL should start with “https” and not “http”. The “s” stands for secure and means the company had to go through a validation process.
- In addition to the “s” in the URL, look at the address bar. No matter which browser you use, you should see some version of a lock icon. This means the website has gone through the highest level of validation.
- If you’re on an unfamiliar website, there are other things to look for before purchasing. Look for a physical address and phone number, a return policy, and a privacy statement. If you’re in doubt, don’t enter your information.
- If you’re doing some form of “buy online, pickup in store,” make sure you’re getting the item you paid for and that no one else can pick it up instead of you. Speak with the specific store you’re looking to order from to see what their protocol is and how you can keep your information and purchases safe.
#5: Set up your holiday budget and track using myFinance.
Access myFinance after you’ve logged into A+ Online Banking or the A+ Mobile App and get started building your budget. With myFinance, you can:
- Link external accounts to make sure all your spending is tracked
- Create a specific Holiday Spending budget – or specific budgets for gifts, decorations, travel, etc.
- Track and categorize your holiday expenses
- Set up alerts if you get close or go over your budget
We hope these tips help you have a safe, happy, and healthy holiday season. For more ways to save money and shop smarter, visit our Holiday Resource Center.