Welcome to Community at BECU, a place for anyone who wants to talk about money, saving, investments and everything in between. Have a question or just want to get the community’s opinion on something? This is the place. It’s a great resource for peer-to-peer advice, access to the latest BECU news and behind the scene’s insights from BECU’s experts.
Who doesn’t like a little extra cash in their pocket? BECU is exploring an improved member rewards program to further enhance the member benefits we offer and strengthen our credit union difference. Honestly, I'd prefer you not do this. My experience with other "member rewards" programs has been "meh" at best because the rules and payouts necessarily have to be labyrinthine to prevent abuse. I don't think they've ever changed my shopping behavior. I'd rather you channel the effort into employee satisfaction or broadening general services (e.g., more ATMs/fee waiver for the first). Examples of recent experience: Fred Meyer (Shell) and Safeway (Chevron) have respective programs for "fuel points" that provide a discount at the store-branded fuel stations or the ones in parenthesis. There is an expiration of points. Moreover, when you attempt to use them, the experience is opaque: I enter my Rewards Card into the gas station keypad, swipe my card, it generates a random number between 0.00 (most common) and 0.50 a gallon savings. The "reward" usually ends up expiring because I tend to get gas at Costco, where the price is consistently low. I don't think either has changed my behavior.
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> When/what was the last conversation you had with your kids about money? We've been having a lot of discussion recently about their imminent college plans. We were very sensitive to her being saddled with debt. When we started looking at schools with (M), we gave some guidelines core expenses (tuition + room & board + fees), how financial aid generally works, and what we could afford from college savings. While we're helping out with the base expenses, she is obliged to come up with money for extras such as study abroad. The youngest (H) was interested in these numbers, so we went over them with her, too. However, unlike (M), she is an extreme packrat. I don't thinks she's ever withdrawn money from her savings account. > How can we help you pay your kids money/allowance and teach them how to manage it? It would be interesting if they could get their allowance from the ATM machine and also track their balance. While they know to look for a BECU ATM, there have been a few occasions where that simply wasn't an option and (M) incurred a $2 charge on a $40 withdrawal that, I think, she didn't fully appreciate. > What resources or support do you wish you had? I would like a way for them to experience credit cards, especially since aspects like Apple Pay or card-only (e.g., airline food service, Costco gas) are becoming mainstream. We briefly tried the "visa gift cards" that I periodically get at work for being awesome, but they're surprisingly inconvenient: they often don't work at checkout and after a while, the fees eat away. Ideally, I'd like to set them up with a limited credit card (e.g., cap at $100) so they can gain some experience with the concept without doing too much damage. (Debit cards scare the bejeezus out of me because they seem to lack many of the protections.) It's been helpful having the monthly BECU paper statement sent to each. (H) reads it through, (M) may look at every third.
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> When and for what questions would you consider getting advice and service via Online Chat? It would be most often used when I had a quick question and the answer wasn't readily available online, or I don't have the vernacular to ask it from the site. For example: * My daughter is heading to college in the fall. I would like to give her a credit card, but I want to limit exposure on it, what are my options? * I'm buying a car and got pre-approved, what do I do now that I'm at the dealer? (a sort of common question, but some more urgency) > When you’ve had the opportunity to get assistance via Online Chat, what did you like or maybe not like about the experience? I've most liked chat when it feels like a conversation with someone in my community - some small-talk and levity makes the experience pleasant. Another small, but effective differentiator is using a name. I feel more confident talking with "Tim Falk" (as occurred recently with another company) or "Ginger Root" (BECU rock star) than "Bob S." or his cold, metallic overlord, "CUTOMER CAREBOT, SECTOR OMEGA." I've also appreciated it when the experience had a clear resolution because the person communicated well the next steps, had authority to own the problem, and managed handoff. The latter is especially important when dealing with a large company like Comcast or CenturyLink. As a positive example, when I was switching from AT&T to T-Mobile for my cell plan, the rep did *everything* with me on the line. It was awesome because she clearly knew how the system worked, could ask the right questions, and did it a lot faster than I could have. As a negative example, on Friday morning, we had an outage on our corporate internet with Century Link. I'm four people away from the situation, but since I was the first one in, I wanted to get it taken care of. I wasted half an hour before I realize I had called the residential group. Rather than doing a clean handoff to business group, I had to get back in the queue and explain all over again. Frustrating! One thing that's felt kind of creepy is the overuse of "blurbs," or standardized blocks of text that a rep can use with a customer. I'm cool with the super standardized stuff like business hours and phone numbers. However, with some companies (*cough* Dell *cough*) the rep interjects so many other ones that it feels like a plea for help or a silly metric (blurbs per hour) their manager is enforcing. A nice feature that would complement this is a preferred (versus legal) name for myself. The transcript option mentioned above is also very good.
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