A Comprehensive Blanket of Insurance Covers Bank5 Connect Deposit Accounts

If you enjoy the convenience and features that Bank5 Connect has to offer, here’s another bonus that comes with our online-only banking – all your deposits are insured in full.money-covered-by-deposit-insurance

There’s no need to worry that your deposits are at risk at any time. When you place your money in a Bank5 Connect account, you can be assured that every penny is totally covered by deposit insurance.

That’s because Bank5 Connect is a Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) and Depositors Insurance Fund (DIF) member bank. This means each depositor is insured by the FDIC to $250,000. All deposits above this amount are covered by the DIF.

Simply put, there are no gaps in insurance coverage for Bank5 Connect customers’ deposit accounts. That’s about as risk free as you can get.

Plus, there is no dollar limit to the DIF’s coverage – the Fund covers everything above the FDIC limit of $250,000. What’s more, all deposits placed in a Bank5 Connect account are eligible for DIF coverage. That includes checking accounts, savings accounts, and certificates of deposit.

Another great feature of DIF coverage? There are no forms or applications to fill out to receive the insurance. It’s automatic and free.

Since the inception of both insurance programs, no depositor has ever lost a penny of FDIC- or DIF-insured deposits. That in itself is a remarkable track record.

How and why did each program come about? Here’s a quick overview.

The DIF was established by the Massachusetts legislature in 1934 as an alternative to the FDIC. At that time, Massachusetts savings banks, by state law, were not allowed to join the FDIC.

However, the law was changed in 1956 to allow Bay State savings banks to join the federal insurance program. For those that did, the DIF became known as an excess deposit insurer, meaning the Fund insured deposits in excess of the FDIC limit. By 1986, all DIF member banks had joined the FDIC.

Even though state law created the DIF, it is a private deposit insurance company and not backed by the state or federal government.

On the other hand, the FDIC is an independent agency of the United States government that protects you against the loss of your deposits if an FDIC-insured bank or savings association fails. FDIC insurance is backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. government.

The FDIC was created as a result of widespread bank failures during The Great Depression in the 1920s and 1930s. In addition to establishing the agency, the Banking Act of 1933 also regulated the volatile banking industry and renewed the public’s confidence in the banking industry. The Banking Act of 1935 made the FDIC a permanent government agency.

So the next time you place money in one of your Bank5 Connect deposit accounts, take comfort in knowing that it has a total blanket of insurance coverage.

You can learn more about the FDIC at its website at www.FDIC.govAs a courtesy, you will be leaving Blog.Bank5Connect.com and going to another website. We have approved this site as a reliable partner, but you will no longer be under the security policy of Bank5Connect.com. Come back soon!

Additional details about the DIF are available at www.DIFxs.comAs a courtesy, you will be leaving Blog.Bank5Connect.com and going to another website. We have approved this site as a reliable partner, but you will no longer be under the security policy of Bank5Connect.com. Come back soon!


Some Tips For Easing The Pain Of Vacation Planning

Going on vacation can be like a love-hate relationship – you love getting away, but you hate planning for it.ws_HoneyMoon_Place_1920x1200

To make your getaway as fun and stress-free as possible, you should prepare ahead of time. Yes, it can be a bit of a pain, but isn’t it better than forgetting to pack your passport or accidentally leaving behind your credit cards?

What helps make planning easier is creating a checklist of what you need to pack, things you have to do before leaving, etc. Lucky for you, you don’t have to start from scratch. Here are several suggestions to get you pointed in the right direction:

  • Wherever you’re going, take along snacks! This is especially important if you have kids who are constantly asking, “When are we going to eat?”
  • Notify your credit card company before you go on vacation so they can put a travel alert on your card.
  • If you discover once you’re at the hotel that you forgot a toiletry such as a toothbrush or comb, stop by the front desk and ask if they have complimentary ones available (most usually do).
  • Save space when packing by sticking socks and underwear inside of shoes.
  • Roll up clothes before placing them in a suitcase. Zip all zippers and button all buttons. And avoid taking clothes that require ironing. Who has time for that when you’re on vacation?!
  • Pass on packing new shoes or clothing. Guaranteed the shoes will be uncomfortable since they won’t be broken in, and you’ll worry about spilling something on your new shirt and skirt.
  • Don’t pack things that your hotel will provide, such as soap, shampoo, hair dryer, etc.
  • Leave behind jewelry that’s expensive and could attract the attention of crooks. Only take those pieces that you really plan to wear.
  • Take a reusable water bottle. It will save you money on buying expensive bottles of water and will also help save the planet a bit, too.
  • Carry your wallet in your front pocket. And if you carry a purse, hold it toward the front so you can keep a hand on it instead of leaving it dangle by your side.
  • Wherever you park your car – whether it’s at an airport parking lot or with you during your entire vacation – make sure it’s locked and don’t leave any valuables inside. Speaking of parking at an airport, take a photo of where your car is parked with your cell phone, making sure that an identifying symbol of the parking area (usually a conspicuously placed number or letter or a combination thereof) is clearly visible so it’s easier to find when you return from vacation.
  • Remember to tip the hotel housekeeping staff. A good rule of thumb is $2 per day, and maybe a little more if you have more than two people in a room. Hotels usually provide envelopes to leave the tips, but if they don’t, write a note saying the money is for the housekeeping person.
  • Use a travel kit for toiletries. Because of its compact size, it will force you to keep things to a minimum. And pack a travel-size first aid kit that includes pain relief medicine, bandages, allergy medicine, anti-itch cream, and anti-diarrhea medicine.
  • Bypass packing the electric toothbrush and razor in favor of manual models.
  • Pack chronologically, placing the items to be worn first on top. This will prevent you from turning a suitcase inside out looking for a particular piece of clothing.
  • Your carry-on luggage should hold your jewelry, travel documents, medication, keys, and other valuables. And if there’s room, throw in a change of underwear and clothes just in case your checked-in baggage gets lost or misplaced.
  • If traveling by air, check in advance the rules and regulations of the federal Transportation Security Administration (TSA). Go to https://www.tsa.gov/travel/travel-tipsAs a courtesy, you will be leaving Blog.Bank5Connect.com and going to another website. We have approved this site as a reliable partner, but you will no longer be under the security policy of Bank5Connect.com. Come back soon! for travel tips.

And here’s one more friendly reminder – don’t forget your passport and credit cards!


Uncovering Your Own Personal “Pot of Gold”

It’s almost St. Patrick’s Day, and we all know what that means – lots of green, plenty of beer, and all the Irish music and food you could want. And if you’re lucky, you could even find your own little pot of gold right at home, without the help of a leprechaun!follow-the-money

Let’s start with that junk drawer you have in your house; the one that you toss all kinds of stuff into when it’s cluttering your pockets or your countertops. Like that Visa gift card you got for your birthday, or the $50 check that your grandma gave you for Christmas. Or maybe it’s the place where you throw all of your loose change. Whatever it is that you toss in there, you could be pleasantly surprised by some forgotten treasures if you take the time to clean it out.

And did you know that every year, millions of dollars in federal tax refunds sit idly because they could not be delivered, or were never claimed? The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) mails refund checks to your last known address, so if you move and don’t provide a forwarding address to the IRS or the U.S. Postal Service, your refund check could end up going back to where it came from. If you’re expecting a refund check and haven’t received it, you can check the status of your refund online by going to https://www.irs.gov/refundsAs a courtesy, you will be leaving Blog.Bank5Connect.com and going to another website. We have approved this site as a reliable partner, but you will no longer be under the security policy of Bank5Connect.com. Come back soon!. Or you can contact the IRS by phone. You can also visit https://www.irs.gov/help-resources/telephone-assistanceAs a courtesy, you will be leaving Blog.Bank5Connect.com and going to another website. We have approved this site as a reliable partner, but you will no longer be under the security policy of Bank5Connect.com. Come back soon! to find the appropriate phone number to call.

And speaking of unclaimed money, most states maintain an unclaimed property division for monetary property that has not been claimed or has been abandoned. Some states even allow you to search online for unclaimed property just by typing your name into a search box. Typically your state’s Treasury Department oversees unclaimed property, so that’s a great place to start your search if you think you may have any unclaimed property out there.

You can also hit a potential “pot of gold” by using a member organization geared toward specific groups of people, such as retirees or car owners. AARP, formerly called the American Association of Retired Persons, is the largest membership club for retired people in the United States, while AAA describes itself as “North America’s largest motoring and leisure travel organization [that] provides its members with travel, insurance, financial and automotive-related services.” Both of these organizations offer their members access to discounts on a variety of services and products, such as life insurance policies and discounts on purchases like concert tickets and hotel rooms. You can learn more by going to www.aaa.comAs a courtesy, you will be leaving Blog.Bank5Connect.com and going to another website. We have approved this site as a reliable partner, but you will no longer be under the security policy of Bank5Connect.com. Come back soon! and www.aarp.comAs a courtesy, you will be leaving Blog.Bank5Connect.com and going to another website. We have approved this site as a reliable partner, but you will no longer be under the security policy of Bank5Connect.com. Come back soon!.

No matter where you end up looking, we hope you uncover at least one pot of gold along the way!


Don’t Get Hooked By A Cyber Crook

Sometimes you have to think like a crook in order to fight off a crook. For instance, what runs through the mind of a cyber thief seeking an unsuspecting victim?cyber_full

  1. I’m looking for someone who uses the same password for several online accounts. That includes bank accounts and credit card accounts.
  2. How do I figure out what that password is? Hmmm, I’ll look for clues that they put out there on social media like Facebook and Twitter. Personal information like the name of their pet or one of their children. Look, they have a dog name Fido. Then let’s try Fido123 as their password. Voila! It works!
  3. Now, let’s see if their home Wi-Fi is password protected. If I can get into their network without a password, I can then check if their computer has anti-virus software.
  4. OK, I have access to their bank account. But I’m not going to clean it out right away. I’ll make a small purchase here and there to see if they’re checking their account regularly. And if they’re not, I’m going to go for the big score!

If any of this strikes close to home, then it’s time to strengthen your cyber defenses. You can do that by following these tips by cyber security experts:

  • Use a different password for each online account you have, and change it frequently. Each password should include a combination of letters, numbers, and symbols.
  • Don’t share passwords with others, even if it’s a friend or a family member.
  • Avoid using personal information when selecting passwords or answers to security questions, especially if this information can be easily found by others online, such as on your Facebook page.
  • Don’t save passwords on your computer, tablet or smart phone. Instead, put pen to paper and write them down on a note pad or in a journal. There is also password management software designed specifically to keep track of your passwords.
  • Password-protect your desktop computer, laptop, tablet and mobile phone, as well as your Wi-Fi service at home.
  • Monitor your bank account online at least once a week. Do the same for credit card and debit card activity, especially if you use your cards on a regular basis.
  • If you discover suspicious or unauthorized charges in one or more of your accounts, contact the affected financial institutions immediately. Note that a popular tactic of cyber thieves is to “sneak” small transactions by victims to see if they’re paying attention to their account activity. If they see those transactions going undetected, they’ll swoop in to make major purchases that could have a significant financial impact.
  • Install anti-virus software on your computer and keep it up to date. This is especially important if you do a lot of transactions online, such as buying items or services. And avoid making purchases on sites you’re unfamiliar with.
  • Log off or turn off your computer when you’re not using it. And close your browser and sensitive apps before going offline.
  • Don’t open e-mails or attachments from suspicious or unknown sources. These are typical approaches used by cyber crooks to gain access to information on your computer or take control of it. The same goes for links that are in e-mails. Unless you know for sure where those links are going to take you, don’t click on them.
  • Never access your financial institution’s website for online banking or to make credit card payments from a public computer at a hotel, library, coffee house or other public wireless access point.

No matter if you’re on your smart phone, computer or tablet, always be alert and on guard against cyber criminals.

Cashing In On Presidents Day Weekend Sales

What do the names Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, Jackson, Cleveland, Madison, Grant, and McKinley have in common? Of course, they’re all the last names of presidents of the United States.adobestock_78064696-fw

And all of them, at one time or another, have also had their portraits appear on U.S. currency. Currently, Washington is on the $1 bill, Jefferson is on the $2 note, Lincoln is on the $5 bill, and Jackson appears on the $20 note.

So what does all of this have to do with Presidents Day Weekend sales? Why, without all those Jacksons, Lincolns, and Washingtons floating about, those sales would fall flat on their faces!

It’s safe to say that the commander-in-chiefs appeared on our currency long before Presidents Day sales became popular. But now they’re all but inseparable.

That doesn’t mean, however, that people aren’t willing to separate themselves from their currency if the right sales come along. And they’re will be a lot of them to choose from during the holiday weekend. From car dealership lots to clothing stores, the bargains will be waiting for buyers to snatch them up.

And getting the best buys is now easier than ever, thanks in large part to those things called apps. No, we’re not talking appetizers. We’re referring to those software applications that you can download onto your smart phones and tablets.

There are plenty of them to choose from these days. The big players like Amazon and eBay have them. But there are lots more floating about, including RetailMeNot, Coupon Sherpa, SlickDeals, Shopular, Ebates, BuyVia, Hafta Have, Gilt, Purchx, ShopSavvy, ScanLife, and Flipp.

Within those listed are mobile comparison shopping apps like BuyVia and Purchx, while others feature mobile coupons for various retailers, such as Ebates and Coupon Sherpa. The majority of shopping apps are compatible with both IOS and Android operating systems.

All of this modern technology makes it more convenient to shop, whether you decide to do so from the comfort of your home or in brick-and-mortar stores. You have the capability of comparing retailers or tracking down valuable coupons with just a few clicks.

But as the saying goes – buyer beware. Crooks are still out there waiting to take advantage of unsuspecting shoppers. Fortunately, people who shop in physical stores are being afforded more protection by the recently introduced chip-enabled credit and debit cards. These cards are designed to make it a lot harder to steal vital information from consumers.

As a result, thieves are turning to a lesser path of resistance – cyber space. Since chip cards can’t be used physically to make online purchases, this gives criminals greater opportunity to access your information. You can keep the bad guys at bay by buying from online retailers you know and trust.

On a lighter note and returning to the earlier theme of U.S. currency, trivia buffs might know that there are several denominations of currency notes that are no longer produced. They include the $500 bill featuring William McKinley’s portrait, the $1,000 note that pictured Grover Cleveland, the $5,000 bill with a portrait of James Madison, and the $100,000 note featuring Woodrow Wilson’s caricature.

And that brings us full circle to Presidents Day Weekend and lots and lots of sales. So get out there and spend your bucks on the best buys of the season!

Put Yourself In The Driver’s Seat With Your Credit Report

You’ve finally saved up enough money for a sizeable down payment on a new car, and now you’re prepared to shop around for a loan to cover the rest of the cost. But before you head out the door, it would be wise to first pull up your credit report.free-credit-report


You want to be sure that the report accurately reflects your credit history and that there’s nothing in it that could impact you getting the loan. If it contains inaccuracies that you were unaware of, that could jeopardize your dream of owning a new set of wheels.

Credit reports are a key resource used by banks, insurers, and other businesses to evaluate applications for credit. The reports contain such information as how you pay your bills, whether you pay them on time, and whether you’ve filed for bankruptcy or been sued.

While businesses have to pay to access credit reports, you can obtain yours for free once a year. A federal law known as the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) requires each of the nationwide credit reporting companies — Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion — to provide you with free reports upon your request.

FCRA is intended to promote the accuracy and privacy of information that’s on file with these credit reporting companies. That information might include what credit card accounts you have opened and whether you pay your bills on time.

So suppose you discover an inaccuracy in one of your credit reports, such as a credit card account that appears to still be opened even though you closed it several years ago? You need to contact the agency that issued the report to correct the error. Otherwise, that mistake could haunt your credit worthiness.

Another benefit of reviewing your reports on an annual basis is to guard against identity theft. Someone who’s stolen your identity could be making purchases or opening credit card accounts in your name. If that would occur, your report might show it, and you could take steps to block future fraud.

You can order your free reports through a central website – www.annualreport.comAs a courtesy, you will be leaving Blog.Bank5Connect.com and going to another website. We have approved this site as a reliable partner, but you will no longer be under the security policy of Bank5Connect.com. Come back soon!. Or you can call 1-877-322-8228. There is also a request form that you can fill out and mail to Annual Credit Report Request Service, P.O. Box 105281, Atlanta, GA 30348-5281. Click on this link — Annual Credit Report Request FormAs a courtesy, you will be leaving Blog.Bank5Connect.com and going to another website. We have approved this site as a reliable partner, but you will no longer be under the security policy of Bank5Connect.com. Come back soon! – to access the document.

Reports ordered online should be accessible immediately on the website. For requests made by phone or by mail, the report should be mailed to you within 15 days.

Credit reports can be ordered one at a time from each of the credit reporting agencies. Or you can order reports from all three agencies at the same time. The choice is yours. But the important thing is to access them every year so you know where your credit stands. It could mean the difference between getting that new car or being stuck with your old clunker.