Leave Financial Worries Out in the Cold this Holiday Season

Credit Union of Colorado Offers Financial Tips for a Happy Holiday Season

Don’t let record inflation or holiday fraud schemes put the freeze on your holiday plans. Credit Union of Colorado provides tips to thaw your financial concerns and keep your plans in motion – whether that includes a great holiday vacation, a trip to visit relatives or scoring the perfect holiday gifts.

“The high cost of airline tickets, gasoline and lodging due to record inflation might have you thinking twice about your holiday plans. Scammers are also out in full force this time of year – using a variety of tactics to steal private financial information and holiday joy,” says Madeline Sears, Credit Union of Colorado Fort Collins branch manager. “Credit Union of Colorado is here to help you with tips to help make travel more affordable and avoid common fraud schemes.”

Search for offline travel deals.
Conventional wisdom tells us to search online for the best travel deals. Unadvertised discounts might also be available when you call hotels and car rental agencies directly. You can even ask a friendly customer service agent if there are other discounts they can apply to your reservation.

Redeem your credit card rewards first.
Spend less out-of-pocket by using your credit card points or miles to get you to your travel destination. Depending on your travel plans and reward options, exchanging points for restaurant gift cards might be preferable to using them to cover one night of a five-night hotel stay. Review your credit card redemption rules to determine how to make the most of your reward.

Pay for travel expenses using your credit card.
You might needlessly spend money on travel-related coverage if you’re not careful. Check with your card issuer to confirm whether you can keep more cash in your stocking by declining travel insurance coverage and auto collision damage waiver coverage when making travel arrangements. These optional protection plans may already be available when you use your credit card to pay for travel or rent a car.

Earn more credit card rewards today.
Credit Union of Colorado Platinum Preferred Rewards VISA® users planning to travel later this winter can store up rewards now and redeem them next year. For a limited time, cardholders can earn 3x cash back on gas and groceries until December 31, 2022.

Sign up for hotel, car rental, and other travel rewards programs.
Even if you only travel once a year, enrolling in these programs could save you money. Some offer sign-up bonuses, while others allow you to earn points toward future stays or access discounts reserved for program members.

Purchase entertainment tickets in advance.
Winter concert tickets can sell out fast. Whether you hope to secure a third-row center seat for a Nutcracker performance or balcony seats at a holiday symphony, waiting to buy tickets at the door almost guarantees you’ll pay higher prices. Search online now for advance ticket prices and mark your calendar to buy them when they go on sale.

Check your memberships.
Do you belong to a group or professional association such as the American Automobile Association (AAA), AARP, credit union, or alumni organization? If so, it could hold the magic key to travel, dining and entertainment discounts reserved for members and their families. Visit the membership section of the website or contact the organization by phone to learn ways to save on upcoming winter travel. Credit Union of Colorado’s PeakPoints rewards program is an example. In addition, some banks and credit unions, including Credit Union of Colorado, offer skip-a-payment options during the holidays that allow members to skip one monthly payment on their auto loans if their accounts are in good standing.

Avoid scams.
Awareness is key to avoiding scams all year round. Before acting on any unsolicited request for personal information, remember if it feels off, it probably is. Trust your instincts.

Credit Union of Colorado will NEVER ask you for a verification code, website password, or full activated card number over the phone, via text message, or email. Whenever you contact a financial institution regarding your account, you may be asked to verify your identity in other ways. You should never divulge financial details to someone who calls you out of the blue.

“We encourage our members to stay alert to potential fraud schemes at all times, and especially during the holiday season. Your best defense is awareness,” says Sears. “If you believe you may be the victim of a scam, we recommend using Credit Union of Colorado’s Fraud Checklist to recover the security of your accounts and possibly your identity.”

Credit Union of Colorado in your community:
Founded in 1934, Credit Union of Colorado is one of the largest credit unions in the state and is deeply connected to the communities where its members live and work. The credit union’s “here to help” culture is demonstrated by its strong support of local communities through financial donations, promotional sponsorships and employee volunteerism. Credit Union of Colorado offers the latest in banking with 18 full-service locations throughout the state featuring lobby service centers, safe deposit boxes, drive-up tellers and surcharge-free, drive-up ATMs. The credit union also provides its members with the convenience of digital banking with remote check deposit and access to Zelle®, a fast, safe and easy way to send money right from your mobile banking app or online banking account.

With more than 85 years of experience, Credit Union of Colorado is a stable, member-owned financial institution with more than $2 billion in assets serving more than 140,000 members. The Credit Union of Colorado Foundation supports education and emergency human services programs through college scholarships and grants to nonprofit organizations.

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