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Top Tips For Saving While Shopping Safely & Conveniently During The Pandemic

by Joshua D. Scroggin
November 16, 2020
A woman sits on her bed with a laptop to holiday shop online

Whether you’ve already finished your holiday shopping, you’re somewhere in the middle or haven’t even started yet — there are still ways for you to save money this season.

Boost your holiday savings and do it safely with these shopping tips.

Consolidate your spending

Plenty of online retailers have already promoted sale prices on many most-wanted items on your loved ones’ wish lists. If you pounced on thosyoue, you might have a larger-than-usual credit card balance waiting to be paid off.

A great way to save money is to examine the interest rates of those cards. You could gain some welcome payment flexibility and convert that holiday debt to a much lower interest rate with a balance transfer to your CoastHills Credit Union Encore or Platinum Rewards Visa card.

Both CoastHills cards feature a 1.99 percent six-month introductory rate on balance transfers — and no balance transfer fee. Let’s say you have a $5,000 credit card balance. The monthly finance charge on that balance at a rate of 17.99 percent is almost $75. At 1.99 percent, that finance charge would only be $8.29. That’s a savings of more than $66 in the first month alone.

The balance transfer strategy will also work for you, even if you haven’t done your holiday spending yet.

Feel confident going for the best deals you can find. Some financing options will give you discounted prices or enhanced rewards. CoastHills credit cards offer some of the most competitive rates out there (with standard rates as low as 7.99 percent), but even if you choose another purchase option, you can still plan to transfer the balance to your Credit Union card and take advantage of the low rates.

Go fully contactless

Online shopping is on the rise again, and that’s even more evident than it has been in past years, largely due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Shopping from home is an easy and convenient way to avoid spreading the coronavirus.

Still, shopping local is an important part of supporting your neighbors and community.

For those times when you are in a local brick and mortar retailer, whether you are buying gifts or groceries, make sure your smart phone or wearable smart devices are equipped for contactless payments.

That will limit the number of times you are exchanging contact with your cashier and the payment terminals, which each customer before you has tapped with their fingers and/or shoved their payment cards into.

With apps like Apple Pay and Google Pay, you can enter your payment information and use NFC-equipped devices to make mobile payments without ever touching anything other than your own device. Just follow your app’s directions and hold your smart watch or mobile phone an inch or two away from the payment terminal to make a payment.

As an added bonus, mobile pay transactions are generally quicker than purchases with EMV chip-enabled cards, and like EMV, they use tokenization that helps keep your account secure by not sharing your actual account number with the merchant.

CoastHills credit cards are compatible with both Apple Pay and Google Pay. Your CoastHills debit card will also work with Apple Pay.  

Use alerts to battle fraud

More than ever, your health is a major safety concern, and so is the safety and security of your spending accounts and sensitive personal data.

CoastHills has protections in place to monitor your accounts for fraud as well as Visa’s Zero Liability policy to rely on if you do encounter fraud.

Despite those protections, your credit card number can still be abused by criminals. Data breaches can still happen with retailers and card skimmers, both online and off. There are also plenty of scams designed to trick you into giving up your account details or passwords. They look more and more convincing all the time.

An easy way to make sure there are no unauthorized payments taking place on your account is to monitor your own transactions as they happen, rather than waiting to review your monthly statement.

Through your CoastHills online banking portal and our new mobile app, you can set up spending alerts that let you know when a transaction hits your account. For instance, if you want to know every time a purchase exceeds $100, you can choose to receive an email or a text message — even a mobile app push notification. You can also be notified if your account balance goes under a certain amount and more.

You can even set up alerts for your non-CoastHills accounts by importing them into Money Management.

You choose the dollar amounts. You choose how to be notified. It’s completely customizable. Then, if you see activity that you don’t recognize, take action.

Log into your online banking or mobile app today and look for the settings menu. From there, find alerts and notifications. They take little time to set up and are well worth the effort to provide peace of mind.

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