Posts Tagged ‘savings’

Orlando, Fla – 7/29/2010

AAA partnership with Discover Bank gains further momentum as consumers seek safety and higher than average rates 

Cynthia BroughAAA announced today that total deposits in its AAA Deposit Program, offered in conjunction with Discover Bank, have doubled to $2 billion in the past 12 months.

Forty-five AAA clubs offer money market accounts, certificates of deposit and IRA CDs via AAA’s relationship with Discover Bank. All of the products are FDIC-insured 1 and come with preferred interest rates for AAA members that exceed Discover’s already extremely competitive rates.

“The adverse banking environment encountered by millions of consumers since 2007 has driven many Americans to explore offerings by customer-focused financial services providers,” said Mark Brown, AAA executive vice president for Association and Club Services. “AAA’s Deposit Program is proving extremely attractive because we are a strong and trusted organization that is able to offer outstanding rates of return with the security of FDIC insurance.”

AAA Deposit Program poised for additional growth

The AAA Deposit Program was launched in January of 2008 and exceeded $500 million in deposits after eight months in existence. The program doubled in size eight months later to $1 billion in July of 2009. The AAA Deposit Program has the potential to continue rapid growth in deposit balances based on member demographics and the competitive product set, AAA said. Approximately 25 percent of American households hold AAA club memberships.

As Discover Bank’s first and largest affinity partner, AAA helps us advance our mission of helping Americans achieve their savings goals,” said Discover Bank President Christina Favilla. “The success of this relationship stems from the fundamental commitment by both partners to offer quality products backed by excellent customer service.”

To access the AAA Deposit Program consumers should visit www.AAA.com/Deposits, phone 1-888-728-3230 or contact their participating AAA club.

AAA Financial Services offers an array of banking products with exclusive rates and benefits to members in participating U.S. clubs. These products include Money Market Accounts, CD’s, IRA CD’s, rewards-based credit cards and auto loans. Benefits include such things as no minimum balance to open a savings account2, a variety of credit card rewards and rebates from cash back to merchandise and travel, preferred rates on savings and loan products, and flexible terms.

As North America’s largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA provides nearly 52 million members with travel, insurance, financial and automotive-related services. Since its founding in 1902, the not-for-profit, fully tax-paying AAA has been a leader and advocate for the safety and security of all travelers. AAA clubs can be visited on the Internet at AAA.com.

Founded in 1911, Discover Bank is one of the 100 largest banks in the United States and an affiliate of Discover Financial Services. Discover Bank offers certificates of deposit, money market deposit accounts and other consumer financial products and services. For more information, visit http://www.discoverbank.com/.

1 FDIC deposit insurance temporarily increased from $100,000 to $250,000 per depositor, per deposit category, through 12/31/13.

2 There is no minimum deposit required to open an account, however money market accounts must have an average daily balance of at least $1,500 beginning on the third statement cycle otherwise a monthly minimum balance fee will be charged.

ORLANDO, FLORIDA,  March 17, 2010

AAA’s “Building a Sound Savings Strategy” videos on MonkeySee.com urge consumers to understand and use savings products appropriate to their financial goals

Cynthia BroughAAA – the largest paid-membership organization in North America – is offering consumers advice on constructing a sound savings strategy via a series of “how-to” videos available on the Internet. The videos are intended to address America’s renewed emphasis on saving money as a hedge against future expenses, as a means of paying for “big-ticket” items in an era of tighter and more expensive credit, and for retirement.

Hosted by AAA’s Director of Financial Services, Bill Gerhard, the videos cover three common investment types; money markets, certificates of deposit and individual retirement accounts. Gerhard explains the advantages of each and how they can be appropriate for meeting specific savings objectives. AAA offers members savings products with better-than-average rates at www.AAA.com/deposits . The videos are intended as introductions to each topic and are not meant to provide specific financial advice to individual consumers.

“AAA members and others are still undergoing profound shifts in their financial life. The era of easy credit has ended and rates of return have dropped to almost zero on many savings products,” Gerhard said. “This makes it more important than ever to put a savings strategy in place that addresses a number of different factors, including safety, accessibility, best available rates, short-term needs and long-term goals.”

The titles and descriptions of the videos from AAA Financial Services are as follows:

How to Save Money

How to Invest in CDs and Money Market Accounts

How to Save For Retirement Using IRAs

“While meeting basic monthly expenses and paying off debt are uppermost in the minds of millions of Americans right now, savings considerations should not be put off since it is only by saving that consumers are able to eliminate or reduce their need to borrow money in the future,” he said.

As North America’s largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA provides more than 51 million members with travel, insurance, financial and automotive-related services. Since its founding in 1902, the not-for-profit, fully tax-paying AAA has been a leader and advocate for the safety and security of all travelers. AAA clubs can be visited on the Internet at AAA.com.

ORLANDO, FLORIDA, January 1, 2010

Reviewing Six Components of Household Finance Can Help Keep Consumers On the Road to Financial Success, Motor Club Says

Heather HunterAAA – the largest paid-membership organization in North America – is urging consumers to perform a financial tune-up as part of their New Year’s resolutions for 2010. “Pledging to spend less money in the New Year is a time-honored, but frequently ineffective financial resolution in many households,” said Bill Gerhard, director of AAA Financial Services. “Instead, AAA suggests consumers be more methodical this year by developing a financial checklist that includes the key components that make their household run. By looking at each component, they should be able to determine what financial repairs or maintenance may be necessary.”

AAA offers a range of financial products and services to assist consumers including money market accounts, certificates of deposit, traditional and Roth Individual Retirement Accounts, and AAA credit cards.

“While creating a budget is a great first step toward improved money management, these lists often tinker with existing situations and may not enhance overall financial performance,” Gerhard said. “Consumers that fix each of the major financial components in their household – including income, spending, saving, insurance, credit and taxes – are more likely to have a smoother financial ride,” he said.

Consumers Should Think about Fixing Their Finances like a Technician Maintains a Vehicle, AAA says

Knowing what to look for and reviewing these areas on a regular basis are the keys to successfully spotting and preventing car trouble as well as financial problems. AAA suggests consumers inspect their major financial components for the following:

Component 1: Income

Know to the nearest dollar your total annual income as well as your monthly income from all sources, including salaries, interest, support payments and tax refunds.

To make sure you know your income, review last year’s income tax return, your year-end paycheck or the withholding statement your employer files with federal and state tax authorities. Look at bank account statements and other potential income records. Many people overestimate their take-home or spendable income and then spend more than they make. Knowing what you really earn – not just your gross income – is important when planning where and how far you can go, as well as when to stop.

Component 2: Spending

Make a list of all of your monthly and annual expenses including rent, mortgage payment, utilities, loans, insurance and other predictable bills. Start writing down all spending, or log it on a computer. You need to know where your money is going before you can change direction. Ask yourself if there are ways you can make spending less money part of your normal routine, such as by using coupons, paying with a credit card that earns reward points or by using AAA’s Show Your Card & Save® program. Consumers that frequently go out of their way to save money on a gallon of gasoline should adopt the same mindset in other areas of spending.

Component 3: Savings

Saving for retirement, a home, automobile, education or even a dream vacation is an essential part of sound money management. Having an emergency fund of ready cash equivalent to six months of income also is important. Are you spending all the money you make each month, or are you planning to go the distance by setting money aside for emergencies and future goals? If so, do you have a fixed plan and are you following it? It is best to save a pre-set amount each time you are paid and to place the money in an account that is not easily accessed for other purposes, such as in a money market account or a certificate of deposit. When doing so, make sure you are earning maximum available interest on your money and that all deposits are federally insured against loss. Even small differences in the amount of interest your deposits earn can make a big difference over time. There are a variety of sites that let consumers compare rates. AAA offers better-than-average rates on FDIC-insured certificates of deposit and money market accounts to members.

Component 4: Insurance

Having the right insurance and the right amount of insurance is a way to help protect ourselves against financial calamities. Reviewing your policies and coverage at the start of each year makes sense because the value of assets change over time and our financial responsibilities do too. Most of us understand the need for auto and home insurance, but many of us do not have medical coverage, life insurance or liability protection. Although insurance isn’t cheap, not having the coverage you need when you need it can be financially ruinous to your household. If you have not reviewed your coverage in some time or know you are missing important protection you need, take time to speak with an insurance agent.

Component 5: Credit

The terms and availability of credit have changed dramatically in recent months. Things that have not changed are the need to establish and keep a good credit score and to use available credit wisely. If making more than the minimum payments is a problem or you have a high amount of debt from multiple sources, credit payment consolidation or refinancing might make sense. Working with a registered consumer credit counseling service to adjust repayment terms may be another option to explore. Beware of services that promise miracles, however. If credit debt isn’t burdensome, keep it that way by only charging items that will be repaid at the end of each month and by carrying a balance only when an emergency expense is incurred; such as a major vehicle repair. Cards that offer reward points and cash back – such as the AAA WorldPoints Reward or Cash Rewards Credit Cards – are a good idea when interest rates are competitive with cards that don’t offer such rewards.

Component 6: Taxes

Keeping more of the money you earn in the form of tax savings is an excellent way to improve your household balance sheet. The federal government provides several ways for savers to enjoy tax-advantaged savings plans to assist with eventual retirement expenses. These include traditional and Roth Individual Retirement Accounts and various savings plans, such as a 401K account. When looking for tax savings it is always a good idea to consult with a tax professional. If they recommend investing in a traditional or Roth Individual Retirement Account, AAA can help. It’s no secret most Americans are not saving enough for retirement. Don’t let another year pass without planning ahead.

Once you have completed your financial tune-up keep your budget in shape by performing regular maintenance checkups, AAA recommends. Just as a vehicle needs to have its oil changed and its tires rotated, your finances need to be reviewed from time to time to be sure nothing is amiss and you won’t be left stranded. A weekly or monthly review of your budget is essential, and a quarterly look at where you are in reaching your longer-range financial goals is a good idea too.

As North America’s largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA provides more than 51 million members with travel, insurance, financial and automotive-related services. Since its founding in 1902, the not-for-profit, fully tax-paying AAA has been a leader and advocate for the safety and security of all travelers. AAA clubs can be visited on the Internet at AAA.com.

Orlando, Fla., September 9, 2009

Finding budget-stretching shopping discounts, travel deals and cheaper gasoline prices are just some of the ways AAA will help consumers this Fall and Winter 

While the worst of the recession may now be in the rearview mirror, many families are still searching for creative ways to stretch their holiday budgets this year.

Whether these expenditures involve gift-giving, travel or dining out, there are a variety of ways AAA can help its more than 51 million members financially this holiday season.

Rather than trying to save money by searching local shopping malls for a bargain, eating at fast food restaurants, and haggling with telephone operators for a decent hotel rate, AAA members can simply reach into their wallets for instant savings. They are also protected in several ways from major automotive-related expenses. And, they can go online to AAA.com to access various tools and products that will aid them this holiday season. If a family member or friend is not already a member of AAA, membership makes a great money-saving gift too. To join, go to AAA.com.

Six ways AAA helps consumers stretch and protect their holiday budgets

  1. Before they reach into their wallet for cash or a credit card, millions of AAA members pull out their membership card. AAA’s Show Your Card & Save® program is available at more than 164,000 locations in North America. Deals include discounts on meals, hotel rooms, themed attractions, car rentals, movie tickets, apparel and footwear, vision care, prescriptions and auto parts. Members also save online with well-known general merchandise retailers, as well as with many of the Internet’s best known and trusted specialty stores on items such as jewelry, floral arrangements, books and other media, and luggage. Visit AAA.com/discounts for a complete list. Last year, members saved an estimated $2.1 billion via the Show Your Card & Save program.
  2. When holiday plans include travel, seasoned travelers know to call or visit a AAA travel agent or go online to AAA.com/travel. AAA Travel Agency services are available to members and non-members, although members are entitled to special benefits. AAA, which operates the largest leisure travel agency network in North America, is able to provide access to unmatched travel values via its industry partnerships with leading travel providers, including the best tour and cruise companies, a wide range of hotel operators, numerous themed attractions and special destinations. In the current economy steep discounts, as well as free upgrades and extras are not uncommon, but holiday travelers should seek up–to-the-minute information for the best deals.
  3. AAA members don’t need to search all over town for the best prices on gasoline. Many members and non-members go to www.aaa.com/triptik for information on local gas prices updated as frequently as four times per day. AAA’s special relationship with the nation’s leading provider of retail fuel price information – Oil Price Information Service – makes this information available on AAA’s trip mapping and planning tool. This is also the ideal place to plan your holiday road trip. You can find hotels, restaurants and other points of interest. Plus, you can plot your travels to avoid toll roads if you wish. AAA maps and AAA TourBook® guides are also available free to members at their local office.
  4. A definite holiday budget buster can be an unexpected breakdown or major car repair. As a free public service, AAA inspects auto repair shops around the country and only approves those that meet and continually maintain high professional standards for equipment, customer service, cleanliness and training. To search for a AAA Approved Auto Repair shop nearby, visit AAA.com/repair. AAA recommends all motorists have their vehicles thoroughly inspected by a qualified technician at least once each year; especially if they are contemplating a long road trip. Regular inspections and maintenance can help consumers avoid major repair expenses, or the frustrating inconvenience of an automotive breakdown.
  5. When it comes to paying for all those holiday items, members can use a AAA credit card and reward themselves at the same time. The AAA WorldPoints® card allows members to earn points redeemable for cash, merchandise, gift cards, travel and more. Or, they can use the AAA Cash Rewards card that pays back 1 percent of total net retail purchases and there are no tiers to meet in order to get the best return possible. Cardholders not only get some of the best rewards available, the added benefits include no annual fee, reduced foreign transaction fee, and zero fraud liability.
  6. Should their vehicle fail them during the holiday rush, AAA’s legendary emergency road service is just a phone call or email away for members. Basic membership includes free towing from three to five miles (depending on local club policies) to any destination. AAA Plus members are entitled to 100 miles of free towing in any direction. Unlike most road service plans, AAA membership provides coverage for any vehicle they are driving or riding in. Experienced drivers know the expense of a tow alone will frequently pay the full cost of a one year membership in AAA. In addition, the motor club’s unique abilities as a roadside problem solver means members are not left alone to find a repair shop, arrange their own towing, secure a rental car or even make hotel arrangements should their holiday trip be disrupted. Last year, AAA responded to more than 29 million calls for roadside assistance.

As North America’s largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA provides more than 51 million members with travel, insurance, financial and automotive-related services. Since its founding in 1902, the not-for-profit, fully tax-paying AAA has been a leader and advocate for the safety and security of all travelers. AAA clubs can be visited on the Internet at AAA.com.

ORLANDO, Fla., February 14, 2005

A new tool on AAA’s Web site (www.aaa.com) can help members find discounts on everything from tires and shoes, to prescription drugs and clothing. 

Heather HunterSearch for Savings, a part of AAA’s Show Your Card & Save program, provides users a searchable database of more than 107,000 merchant locations in North America and another 40,000 throughout the world that offer discounts on products and services to AAA members.

“In 2004, members saved more than $520 million worldwide by showing their AAA membership card at participating merchant locations,” said Tom Wilt, managing director, AAA Partnership Programs. “With the new Search for Savings database we anticipate that more people will be finding and patronizing the merchants who are participating in the program.”

To access the database simply log on to www.aaa.com/save. Users who have not visited the AAA Web site before may be prompted to enter their zip code. Once on the site, users can search the database by city, type of merchandise, business name or method of purchase such as online, phone or storefront.

“It’s designed to help users find discounted products and services whether they are shopping in their home town or on the road,” said Wilt. “It has never been easier to save money.”

AAA Partnership Programs negotiates savings opportunities with companies throughout the United States. By offering reciprocal agreements with auto clubs in other countries, AAA can also provide its members with discounts while they travel abroad in more than 40 countries.

AAA.com is the on-ramp to AAA’s many consumer products and service on the Internet. The site connects users to their local AAA or Canadian Automobile Association club Web site where they can find a full range of helpful information and assistance, as well as information on how to join or renew membership.

As North America’s largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA provides more than 47 million members with travel, insurance, financial and automotive-related services. Since its founding in 1902, the not-for-profit, fully tax-paying AAA has been a leader and advocate for the safety and security of all travelers.

 

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