2021 1st Quarter Newsletter
As I look back at what has been a very challenging year, I still look ahead with great hope. The lessons we learned in 2020 showed us our resilience. We proved, once again, that we’re stronger together. We triumphed through adversity, just as we did in 1941 when our credit union suffered a direct hit during the attack on Pearl Harbor. Since the credit union’s beginning, we’ve weathered great challenges together, and we’ve prevailed.
Last year gave us the opportunity to come together in a greater capacity to help our members and our staff. When the pandemic began, we immediately rolled out our Member Accommodation Plan to assist those with loans. We also promptly equipped our brave frontline staff with Personal Protection Equipment, and we retrofitted our branches to allow for the safety of our members and staff.
As we adjusted to life during COVID, our employees worked tirelessly to assist Aloha United Way in processing applications for the State of Hawaii Rent
al Relief and Housing Assistance Program. Through their
efforts we were able to process over 1.6 million dollars of relief to help those who needed it most. 2020 also saw the rollout of GreenPath, a renowned financial education resource that helps empower members to lead financially healthy lives.
All of this while still being recognized as one of Hawaii Business Magazine’s Best Places to Work.
Finally, for those of you reading this from your computer or mobile device, welcome to our first e-newsletter! Like the new coin counter in our Pearl City branch, Hickam FCU continues to move forward. As we evolve, our Core Values of Caring, Integrity and Commitment form the foundation of who we are as a credit union. Stay tuned for new products and services that await you, and most importantly, stay positive and stay healthy.
Hickam FCU President/CEO
Notice of the 84th Annual Meeting
The 84th Hickam FCU Annual Meeting will be held Monday, March 8, 2021 at the Pearl City Branch. Registration will begin at 4:00 p.m. with the meeting to be conducted promptly at 4:30 p.m. Precautions to stem the spread of COVID-19, will be in place. Several offices will be set up with limited capacity for safety and remote access to the meeting. No refreshments will be served. To RSVP to attend the Annual Meeting please contact our Call Center at 423-1391.
Celebrating Our Members With Member Appreciation Week
To show how much our members mean to us, Hickam Federal Credit Union will be holding a Member Appreciation Week. From Monday, March 8 to Friday, March 12, visit any Hickam FCU branch to pick up your free member appreciation gift and treat. It’s a small token to let all our members know how much we appreciate you and your loyalty to Hickam FCU!
New Hickam FCU Credit & Debit Cards That Truly Saves More!
A Commitment to Our Members While Caring for Our Islands
Starting February 2021, Hickam FCU will be switching to a new card processor and revamping its card program. As we do so, we are thrilled to unveil our new canvas of artistically designed Mastercard® debit and credit cards with an exciting palette of card features and benefits that will sustain your purchasing needs. Plus, by using our stunningly illustrated cards inspired by a local artist, a portion of the transactions will go towards a great cause that cares about saving, protecting and sustaining our precious ocean environment in Hawaii.
Hickam FCU has partnered with a talented young artist named Stephanie Hung who is a senior at Punahou School and founder of the non-profit Artist Saves Waves. Growing up in Hong Kong surrounded by a polluted ocean then experiencing the beauty of the Great Barrier Reef and the waters of Hawaii, Stephanie turned her love of art into an amazing vision of bringing people together to preserving our precious shorelines, ocean and marine life. Artists Saves Waves forges partnerships with artists such as herself and caring community businesses like Hickam FCU to help support organizations that are directly involved in cleaning-up and maintaining our beaches and ocean such as Sustainable Coastlines Hawaii.
Hickam Federal Credit Union was impressed with Stephanie Hung’s integrity. In one of her public interviews Stephanie stated, “I really wanted to get the message across that, individually we may not be able to change the world. But when we all come together and kind of work together as a group, toward one specific goal, we can make that happen.” This cooperative spirit of people helping people resonated with the philosophy of the credit union.
We found the partnership as a good match. After many years, the credit union is adapting to the rapidly evolving digital payment and purchasing systems. Our credit card revamp and conversion mirrors Stephanie’s approach to her art and non-profit business and that is being “fluid and agile”.
In 2021, we will be introducing our revamped credit card and debit card lineup. All of new cards will have the latest chip technology and will support contactless transactions for enhanced fraud protection.
Starting February 22, 2021:
The designations of Classic, Gold, and Platinum cards will be replaced as follows:
- The Classic and Gold cards will be combined to form a Rewards Card with a 1.50% (an increase from 1%) for cash back or rewards benefit and will have a coral reef design.
- The Platinum card will be described as a Rate Card and will retain its basic low rate and will have a valley design.
And, we will be introducing:
- The New World MasterCard® with not only the 1.50% cash back or reward benefits but also MasterCard® World Benefits and it will be depicted by an island ocean design.
Finally, in July 2021:
- We will be replacing our Hoku Checkcard with an illustratively inspired beach design with all the same convenient features of an ATM/Debit card.
We are very excited about our “artsy” series of credit and debit cards and the special partnership that brings together a service that not only “cares” about its members and environment but also “saves” our members and environment, too.
For more information about Artists Save Waves: www.artistssavewaves.com
For more information about Sustainable Coastlines Hawaii: www.sustainablecoastlineshawaii.org
2021 College Scholarship Program
Hickam Federal Credit Union feels that it is important to give back and support our student members. That’s why Hickam FCU is proud to continue our College Scholarship Program aimed to help our members in advancing their education and striving to achieve their dreams.
The 2021 Hickam FCU College Scholarship Program will award five (5) $1,000 scholarships to deserving graduating high school seniors attending an accredited 2 or 4-year institution of higher learning, or undergraduate or graduate students pursuing a higher degree from an accredited institution.
Primary members with their own Hickam FCU Savings Account in good standing for a minimum of 12 consecutive months prior to the application deadline may apply. Scholarship recipients will be selected based on academics, leadership, school/community service, merit, recommendations and financial need.
Applications will be available starting January 11, 2021 at all Hickam FCU branch locations or download a PDF scholarship application and print it. Applications must be postmarked by March 15, 2021 to be eligible. For more information call our Call Center at 423-1391 or visit a branch.
Making the Community Better. Together.
Hickam FCU Donates $8,500 to Deserving Hawaii Organizations
In the true spirit of giving during this challenging time, Hickam FCU recognized the need to help the community more than ever by donating $8,500 to several Hawaii organizations.
Hickam FCU proudly joined the Hawaii Foodbank Credit Union Coalition by raising over $4,000 to help feed Hawaii’s hungry. Hickam FCU also donated $5,000 to the Hawaii Children’s Cancer Foundation and $3,000 to the Laulima Giving Program. Hickam FCU also helped Hawaii’s animals by making a donation of $500 to the Oahu SPCA.
And once again, Hickam FCU partnered with the U.S. Air Force First Sergeant’s Association Angel Tree program. We are deeply grateful to all of those who made a donation to the Angel Tree and helped brighten the holidays for many Hickam Air Field children. With the help of generous hearts, Hickam FCU was able to bring holiday joy to over 120 children.
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American Express to Cease the Supply and Sale of Travelers Cheques
Effective March 31, 2021, American Express will cease the supply and sales of its Travelers Cheques in the United States due to declining consumer demand and the increased prevalence of card acceptance and global ATM access and the preference of digital options, such as mobile and contactless payments. As a result, Hickam FCU will no longer be selling the Travelers Cheques. However, members who have purchased Travelers Cheques may continue to use them at locations around the world and receive refunds for lost and stolen Cheques as they never expire. Before traveling, members can find locations that accept the Travelers Cheques for encashment by visiting the American Express website.
Avoid Stimulus Payment Scams
With a second round of stimulus payments going out to eligible individuals and families, that means a second round of scammers looking to take advantage of those in financial need. According to the Federal Trade Commission, the first round of stimulus payments in April 2020 resulted in over $211 million being lost to fraud. It is important to be vigilant to avoid becoming a victim to a stimulus payment scam.
Here are some scams that experts say to watch out for to protect your money.
Unsolicited Phone Calls or Messages
If you get a phone call, voicemail or email message from someone claiming they are with the Internal Revenue Service, use the contact information from the IRS official website to verify the legitimacy of the call or message. Additionally, do not click on any links sent to you via social media, text message or email.
The Federal Trade Commission notes that the IRS will not call, text, email or contact you on social media to ask for personal information such as your Social Security Number, credit card information or bank account number.
Threats of Penalty
If you receive a phone call and the person claims you will lose your payment or suffer a financial loss if you don't take immediate action and provide your personal information, that is a scam.
If anyone asks for information such as your Social Security Number, credit card information or bank account number, you should hang up. If the threat is via email or text message, do not respond and delete the message immediately.
The key is to not take any immediate action. Scammers are trying to trigger a quick emotional response to get you to act before thinking things through.
Offer to Get Your Payment Faster
If someone contacts you claiming they can get you your stimulus money faster or that they can expedite payment via wife transfer, cash apps, prepaid debit card or a gift card for an upfront fee, that is a scam. The IRS does not offer expedited stimulus payments.