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  • Credit Union Awards California's First $10,000 Prize to Saver

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    May 02, 2019

    On Thursday, American First Credit Union awarded a $10,000 prize to Cynthia S. of La Habra, Calif. Cynthia's prize came thanks to the credit union's Big Prize Savings account, which earns accountholders chances to win cash prizes as a reward for building their savings account balances.

    Cynthia is the winner of the biggest cash prize to date under the saving program, which awards $1,000 prizes every month, $10,000 prizes every quarter, and an annual $50,000 grand prize. Big Prize Savings works like any other savings account, except Big Prize Savings accountholders entries into the monthly drawing based on their account balances, and the account has no fees.

    "This is unbelievable—I never win anything—and I happened to really need this money," said Cynthia. "The service American First Credit Union gives me is just like being a part of their family. After you've come in three or four times, they know you by name."

    Generally called prize-linked savings accounts, programs like Big Prize Savings are new to California, having been recently authorized when Governor Brown signed SB 1055 into law last year. This makes Cynthia one of the first winners of a prize-linked savings cash prize in the state of California, and the recipient of the biggest cash prize to date at American First.

    Prize-linked savings accounts have gained popularity across the country after research at the Harvard Business School and pilot programs showed they're effective tools for promoting healthy money-saving habits. Under American First's Big Prize Savings program, accountholders with a minimum average balance of $500 earn an entry for every $25 of their average daily balance over the course of a month.

    "We are absolutely thrilled to offer Big Prize Savings to help people save for emergencies, big purchases or other savings goals," says Jon Shigematsu, CEO and President of American First Credit Union. "American First Credit Union believes saving is for everyone, so this incentive program is a win many times over. While our savers compete for cash prizes, they also earn interest on higher balances and pay no fees whatsoever. There's nothing to lose for savers and potentially a big prize to win. Maybe most importantly, we're helping to encourage a lifelong habit of saving."

    To learn more about Big Prize Savings, please visit BigPrizeSavings.com. The monthly $1,000drawings, quarterly $10,000 drawings, and the annual grand prize drawing of $50,000 are scheduled throughout the year.

    About American First 
    American First Credit Union is based in Orange County, California. It provides competitive savings and financing services for individuals and businesses. Since 1952, American First Credit Union has been keen on a "people helping people" credit union philosophy. It gives back to its communities with volunteer hours, supports numerous charitable causes and focuses on the financial wellness of its communities.

    To learn more about this credit union, visit AmerFirst.org.