Summary. This document provides member tips and guidelines for member customers of the University of Iowa Community Credit Union (UICCU). This page will be updated as necessary.
Benefits. As a financial banking institution in Iowa City, the credit union is small enough to be nimble and responsive to unique customer needs and suggestions.
Services. In the years leading up to 2010, the UICCU has been relying on various companies to provide banking services to customer members. The advantage to this would usually be that the best providers can be selected for each service. However, as a result, a customer member may need to interact with numerous websites and service providers to do their banking. In the future, the UICCU may consider merging all services under a single domain name. The current list is:
- https://www.netit.financial-net.com — This is a third party brokerage company that offers branded online banking for smaller financial institutions. This is the site for reviewing account transactions, bill paying online, and viewing the credit card balance. However, credit card transactions aren’t available for viewing here.
- https://www.uiccu.org – This is the main UICCU website, and no online banking is offered within the UICCU.org domain name.
- https://www.mycardinfo.com – This is a website that doesn’t seem to have the full endorsement or trust of the UICCU, but it is linked from the main UICCU website. It is the only location where UICCU patrons can find their UICCU Visa credit card transactions. When clicking the link from the UICCU website, patrons are warned, “Please be advised that you are leaving University of Iowa Community Credit Union’s website. This link is provided as a courtesy. University of Iowa Community Credit Union does not endorse or control the content of third party websites.”
- https://www.statement-express.com – This is a third-party website that offers online statements. There is no direct way to login to this site, and no direct link from the UICCU website. The only login path is to enter the online banking, and then navigate to a link where you can leave online banking and go to the Statement-Express.com website.
Essential Information. The following points are essential information for anyone banking at the UICCU and wanting to optimize their experience. You can avoid frustrations by knowing what to expect.
- Credit Card. The UICCU Visa card is actually the best way to make regular daily purchases because it offers greater security and the transaction tracking is more detailed that what is offered for standard checking accounts. However, as is explained below, it is important to use the debit card at least 12 times per month as a credit card transaction to qualify for some special offers.
- Payments. If you like to conduct banking in real-time, then payments to your card are best made from within the online banking system as a transfer to the card rather than making payments from within the MyCardInfo.com portal where most credit card activity is conducted. The reason is that a transfer payment to the card will show up immediately in your bank account and the actual new balance will be reflected. Regardless of how you pay, the actual payment won’t be processed and reflected on your credit card for several days.
- Deposits in Real-Time. When you make a deposit at the UICCU, the funds are available immediately, even if it’s a check deposit or weekend ATM deposit. That’s the advantage of real-time banking.
- Overdraft Fees in Real-Time. Overdraft fees are assessed immediately in real-time if any check, debit, or electronic transaction takes place when there are insufficient funds at that moment. However, they might not show up in the online banking system until a day or two later. This can be a potential problem, since some electronic payments of varying amounts are withdrawn at unpredictable times. So, if you anticipate making debit transactions on your account, or may be having an electronic bill payment come through, be sure to have the funds in the account ahead of time. What’s nice about the UICCU is that they offer a tiered overdraft fee system that rewards responsible patrons by charging fees well below the industry standard (for the first two). Those who repeatedly overdraw an account are charged a higher fee over time. The tiered system is: 1-2 overdrafts are $19 each transaction, 3-10 are $28 each transaction, and 11 or more are $38 each transaction (regardless of how small the purchase was). With the current online banking system, a patron utilizing online banking might not be aware that these NSF fees are mounting up because they don’t show up until a day or two later, and the bank doesn’t currently have a system in place to notify the patron in a timely manner by phone or email (this may be an option in the future). Overdraft notices are currently sent by postal mail. For these reasons, it’s best to maintain a high balance (you’ll also earn competitive interest). Also, having overdraft protection setup with a savings account can help. Here are some examples of problems that could arise without proper planning:
- A patron signs into online banking and sees that an unexpected transaction (earlier in the day) has caused their account to be overdrawn. The patron immediately transfers funds to cover that amount. Even so, they will be charged an overdraft fee regardless of how quickly they acted to correct the problem. The fee(s) won’t show up until a day later, so the patron may (unknowingly) be running a negative balance that results in additional overdrafts. If this happens to you, and you transfer funds, be sure to transfer approximately $30 per transaction that may have caused an overdraft fee (refer to the tiered system mentioned above).
- A patron may have had some unplanned purchases or expenses during the day. When the patron gets home, they immediately transfers funds to cover their expenses that day. Even so, if any unplanned expenses caused the account to be overdrawn, the patron will be charged an overdraft fee for every transaction regardless of how quickly they act to correct the problem. The fees won’t show up until a day later, so they may (unknowingly) be running a negative balance that results in additional overdrafts. If this happens to you, and you transfer funds, be sure to transfer approximately $30 per transaction that may have caused an overdraft fee (refer to the tiered system mentioned above).
- A patron may be shopping, make a purchase, and then later in the day find the same item elsewhere for less money. They return the item purchased from one store, and buy it at another. This can cause their account to spiral into an ever increasing negative balance. Although stores and banks have figured out a way to instantaneously take your money, they are reluctant to have money returned in a timely manner. So, refunds may take days to show up in your account, but purchases will show up immediately. Be sure to pay very close attention to your account and maintain a much higher balance than you perceive is necessary.
- Qualifying for Special Offers. The UICCU has some special offers available to customer members, such as 4% interest on checking balances up to $25,000 and no ATM or Debit purchase fees. However, qualifying for these special offers requires meeting certain qualifications.
- Each month the customer member must use their ATM Debit Card to make 12 in-store purchases as credit card (not debit card) purchases. Twelve or more transactions must average at least $5 or more. This can be a bit tricky. If you have 12 $7 purchases, but the rest of your purchases are under $5 per transaction, you might not satisfy the requirement. To make absolutely certain that you are satisfying this qualification, just make sure you have about 15 purchases during the month that are between $5 to $10. The rest of your purchases you’ll probably want to use the UICCU Visa for because you’ll get much better transaction management such as advanced transaction searching, and (if you’re downloading transactions) you can get details on when the transaction took place as well as when it was processed. So, UICCU Visa card use is the best system to use. Just make sure you have 15 (to be safe) transactions per month that are $5 to $10 (at least) each. It’s actually quite easy to do. The reason to have 15 transactions per month is because you might think a merchant is processing your purchase as credit, but they inadvertently process it as debit.
- The customer must signup for paperless statements. This is not automatic, but must be done manually online through the online banking system using a link to a third-party provider of bank statements.
- The customer must have a paycheck or other automatic deposit into their checking account(s) each month.