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Posted December 12, 2019

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 transactions:

  • Transaction amounts
  • Declined transactions
  • ATM withdrawals
  • Gas station purchases
  • Card not present transactions
  • International transactions

You can choose to receive these alerts via push notification, text message, and/or email. A+ Card Guard is available for both iOS and Android devices.

#2: Check your balance, transfer money, and more with the A+ Mobile App.

Even if you’re out and about enjoying the holidays, checking your balances, paying bills, transferring money, and monitoring your accounts is easy with the A+ Mobile app, available for both iOS and Android devices.

#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.

#4: Look for the safety lock and “https” when shopping online.

When shopping online, 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.

Two things to look for:

  • 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 green address bar and 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.

#5: Set up your holiday budget and track using myFinance.

Following your holiday spending plan is even easier with A+FCU’s online financial management program, myFinance.

Access myFinance after you’ve logged into A+ Online Banking 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