Heritage Club News: November-December

Heritage Club News: November-December

We have a number of fun events and educational November/December newsletter issue here

Curious about Heritage Club and the benefits of being a member? Stop by and visit your local banker or visit our website to learn more.

Gretchen's Corner

This is the official Christmas edition of the newsletter! This must mean Christmas is near—and the official start to Christmas has begun, at least according to the stores. I have noticed many stores have been filled with Christmas items since late September, which brings big objections from me. I prefer to enjoy my holidays one at a time, so I plan to celebrate Thanksgiving before the Christmas holiday season.

One year, I decided to be “Super Mom” organized for the holidays. Steve and I had four active kids involved in sports and extra-curricular activities, so days and nights were busy. I wanted to have all holiday tasks completed so my family could enjoy a Hallmark-type Christmas. Don’t we all love the Hallmark commercials where everything looks so perfect and Christmas-like! I started to attack the Christmas décor and set myself a deadline of Thanksgiving! I decorated our house: tree up, lights on, stockings hung, garland wrapped, and gifts secured (well, most were purchased and a few were wrapped). I felt so good about heading into the holidays with everything completed for Christmas—and I did all of this the week before Thanksgiving!! I was feeling pretty good about myself—all organized and ready for the holidays. Christmas decor and gifts were checked off my list!! Done! “Super Mom, Gretchen!” I just about wore a red cape as an action figure!

Read more about Gretchen preparing for the holiday season!

What's Happening Now


Financially Safe Holiday Travels

The holiday excitement is all around. Your suitcase is packed, you’ve got your travel itinerary, and you’re prepared for the weather where you are going. But are you all set financially? FDIC Consumer News offered the following suggestions before you leave.

Decide on the amount of cash you may need.

You may want to take some cash to pay for small purchases where credit cards may not be accepted. But for your own security, it’s not a good idea to take a lot of cash anywhere. If your cash is lost or stolen, you cannot replace it.

Take a couple of credit cards.

They are generally widely accepted. Just as when you are not travelling, it is best not to carry any more cards than what you expect to use, in case you lose your wallet.

Consider other alternatives to cash.

Debit cards, which can be used at stores and at ATMs, deduct funds automatically from a bank account. Prepaid debit cards, which are generally not linked to your bank account, allow you to load a specific amount of money on the card for purchases and ATM cash withdrawals.

Don’t flaunt your cash, bank cards, jewelry or other valuables.

When you travel, modesty is not only the best policy, it may also deter a robber. If possible, leave your jewelry and other valuable items in a safe deposit box at your financial institution or leave expensive items at home. Pickpockets thrive in certain communities, so don’t ever leave your purse, wallet or keys out in the open. If you have a travel companion and you share the same credit card accounts, it may be a good idea to carry one card each from different accounts so you can avoid losing all your cards at once.

Pay your bills before you go, especially if you’re going to be away for two or more weeks.

Doing so will eliminate hassles when trying to pay bills from the road, which could include finding a secure Internet connection to log into your financial accounts. You’ll also avoid the risk of forgetting to make a payment during your trip and incurring late fees.

Heritage Club Highlights

Elgin - Join us December 14 for our Christmas Open House!
Fargo-Moorhead - We'll be hosting our Christmas Luncheon on December 8 at the Delta Marriott Hotel.
Harvey - Stop in and register between November 11–17 to win a turkey for Thanksgiving! 
Killdeer - Come in and guess the number of candy corn in the jar before November 17!
Fessenden - Join us for our Christmas Open House December 20!
MinotStop in and register between November 13–17 to win a turkey for Thanksgiving! 
WillistonStop in for cookies and coffee anytime!
Staples/Motley - Come join us December 5 from 12–2 PM at Spot Cafe in Motley for our Heritage Club Christmas Party.
Watford City  - Join us for our annual Christmas Open House December 14 from 11:30 AM–2:00 PM.

Featured Recipe

Orange-Cranberry Pound Cake

We would love to feature your recipe in the next edition of our Heritage Club newsletter. Submit your favorite recipe by email or mail (3001 25th St. S, Fargo, ND 58103 - Attn: Marketing). Be sure to add a note about what makes the recipe special!

New Rugby Building to Open October 4: HUB Dedication and Community Celebration Planned

New Rugby Building to Open October 4: HUB Dedication and Community Celebration Planned

On Wednesday, October 4, First International Bank & Trust will welcome customers into their new branch in Rugby, ND, located at 215 Highway 2 SW. The new 20,000 square-foot facility features a modern cabin feel with a timber roof-line and plenty of glass to offer a panoramic view of the prairie. First International Bank & Trust has been operating in a temporary location since November of 2015. 

Tanner Johnson, Rugby President, shares, “After two years of planning, I am excited to open the doors to our new branch. We have appreciated the warm welcomes into the community and are excited to further demonstrate our long-term commitment by having this presence.”

Guests entering the building will immediately be welcomed by a familiar sight. The iconic 16’ diameter HUB sign that had been a landmark at the intersection of Highways 2 and 3 in Rugby has found a new home inside the Bank’s gallery – above a stone hearth fireplace.

“We are so proud to share this facility with the Rugby area community,” said Stephen L. Stenehjem, CEO and Chairman of First International Bank & Trust.

“As a company who prides ourselves on being family-owned and four generations strong, it was important for us to honor the history of this famous landmark and pay tribute to The HUB and the many memories community members have of that special place.” - Stephen L. Stenehjem

Community Celebration:

To celebrate the opening of the new branch, the Bank is hosting a full day of events on Thursday, October 19 and invites the public to attend.

2:00–4:00 PM  Cake, coffee and tours of new facility

4:00–4:30 PM  Chamber Ribbon Cutting and HUB dedication

4:30–7:00 PM  Community Dinner Celebration featuring the famous HUB stew                         

In addition to a full-service bank, the new building offers tenant space that has been secured by

Kat & Company Accounting, PC and Voeller Crop Insurance. There remains one open tenant space left to lease.

Important Information Regarding the Protection of Your Personal Information

Important Information Regarding the Protection of Your Personal Information

Recently, Equifax, one of the three national consumer credit reporting agencies, announced a major data breach. This breach affects approximately 143 million Americans. This is what we know according to Equifax: the data breach occurred May – July 2017, and the information stolen includes consumers’ personally identifiable information, including names, Social Security numbers, dates of birth, addresses and, in some cases, driver’s license numbers. Approximately 209,000 credit card numbers and dispute documents with personally identifiable information for approximately 182,000 consumers were also stolen. There is no evidence of unauthorized access to consumers’ credit reporting databases.

To be clear, First International Bank & Trust was not compromised and your information was not stolen from our bank. However, First International Bank & Trust takes the security of our customer information very seriously, and we are providing you with the information we know about this massive breach and the steps you can take to protect your personally identifiable information if you so desire.

Following this unprecedented breach, we are also asking our customers to be extra vigilant and report any suspicious activity in your accounts to First International Bank & Trust by calling 800-359-8092 or emailing ReportFraud@firstintlbank.com

Equifax has established a website that informs consumers if they may be affected by the breach, provides additional information on the breach, and offers complimentary identity theft protection and credit file monitoring. This information is available at www.equifaxsecurity2017.com.

To protect your identity and personal information, First International Bank & Trust strongly encourages our customers to take the actions noted below.

Experian® TransUnion® Equifax®
P.O. Box 9554 P.O. Box 2000 P.O. Box 740241
Allen, TX 75013 Chester, PA 19016 Atlanta, GA 30374
888-397-3742 800-680-7289 800-349-5191
www.experian.com www.transunion.com www.equifax.com
  • Take advantage of being able to access and monitor your accounts at any time with free Online Banking and on the go with Mobile Banking*. Learn more at www.firstintlbank.com/online.
  • Use our free CardValet app to manage your debit and/or credit card anytime, anywhere – through your smartphone*. It allows you to turn your card “on” or “off,” customize interactive alerts and much more! Learn more at www.firstintlbank.com/cardvalet.
  • Set up account alerts within Online Banking for checking, savings and loan accounts and get notified when certain activity happens on your account(s).
  • Please understand that when you call our Customer Care Center or Chat Online with one of our representatives, we will ask questions to verify your identity. These questions are not in place to irritate you but rather follow our strict identity protection procedures for your safety.
  • Be suspicious of incoming phone calls asking you for personal private information.
  • Consider if you should place an initial fraud alert on your credit report (learn more at https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0275-place-fraud-alert.
  • Consider if you should freeze your credit file (learn more at https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0497-credit-freeze-faqs.
  • Review your credit reports for accuracy. It is your right to call any one of the three credit reporting agencies to receive your free annual credit report or visit www.annualcreditreport.gov. A tip is to spread out your free credit report requests to each of the agencies to give yourself the opportunity to review the report every four months. For example, request your free report from Experian® in October, a free report from TransUnion® in February and a free report from Equifax® in June to monitor throughout the year.
  • You should also contact the credit reporting agencies to notify them of any suspected fraud or identity theft.

If you believe you are the victim of identity theft, contact your local law enforcement office and/or your state attorney general. Finally, you may also want to consider reviewing information about recovering from identity theft, which is available from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) at https://www.identitytheft.gov/ or by calling 1-877-IDTHEFT (1-877-438-4338). The FTC also offers general information to protect your online presence at https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/topics/privacy-identity-online-security.

*Please note you may be charged access or data usage fees by your internet/mobile device provider based on your plan.

 Heritage Club News: September-October

Heritage Club News: September-October

We have a number of fun events and educational opportunities for First International Bank & Trust Heritage Club members. Learn more in the September/October newsletter issue here

Curious about Heritage Club and the benefits of being a member? Stop by and visit your local banker or visit our website to learn more. 

Gretchen's Corner

Family vacations! I love going on a vacation; in fact, it is one of the fondest memories of my childhood. I am sure you and your families perhaps did the same as my parents which was “load up the car, grab the kids and head off for an adventure!”

I loved trips with my parents and siblings. My parents, Bill & May, would take our family across America in our station wagon (pretty fancy if the station wagon had wood trim side panels!).

My dad was often the driver while my mom mapped out our trip on a regular fold out paper map. It seemed we would start our vacation on an early Monday morning: lunches packed for the road, suitcases filled, coffee in a thermos to keep my dad awake and a few toys to keep me, along with my brother and sister, entertained.

Our family took summer road trips to Seattle, Washington DC, New York City and Denver to name a few places. We drove on interstates, along with toll roads where you needed money to take the faster, better roads. We stopped at rest areas to enjoy packed lunches and we saw famous monuments along the way. Each experience opened my eyes to sites beyond Minnesota and taught me the thrill of travel. I really don’t know how my parents did it for two weeks in a car locked up with three children! A few of the trips, my Aunt and Uncle, or a family friend would join us too. All aspects must have been “challenging”—bathroom stops, new motels each night, tired kids sitting for long periods of  time and kids that needed to get out and walk around. I think that’s why my Dad ALWAYS drove the car; my mom was the entertainment chairman of the car.

Read more about Gretchen's latest family vacation!

What's Happening Now

Three Simple Rules to Help Protect Your Personal Information Online

Did you know that one of the largest areas of Internet security risk is personal information? Your same, address, bank details, shopping preferences and even information shared on social media sites can be used for identify theft and fraud.

The good news is you don’t need in-depth knowledge of computers or the Internet to keep you and your information safe.

Rule #1

Only share personal and bank related information with people you know and trust! This information should only be shared over the phone when you are absolutely certain who you are speaking with.

When you visit www.firstintlbank.com, you will know the website is secure because a little padlock will be beside the website name and the website will start with https://.

Rule #2

Beware of email. First International Bank & Trust will never contact you via email asking for personal information. If you receive a mysterious email from a bank or other individual asking for your financial or other private, personal information, be skeptical and do not provide it via email.
Emails and text messages are like sending a postcard, always assume someone else could be reading them.

If a website or email has spelling and grammar errors, or looks like it may be an imitation - this should be a warning bell. It would be in your best interest to pick up the phone and confirm any source you feel uncertain about.

Rule #3

Feel free to say “no” and trust your instincts. Exploiters and abusers often are very skilled. They can be charming in their efforts to convince you to give up information and control of your finances. If something doesn’t feel right, it may not be and you have a right to say “no.” If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Sometimes low vision, a hearing impairment, or physical limitation keeps us from doing the things we want to do – including finance management. Our friends at Assistive are here to help! They help people find Assistive Technology solutions that will give you greater peace of mind and confidence:

  • Don’t let vision loss keep you from keeping your finances private. Assistive may help you read when seeing is difficult.
  • Trouble hearing your trusted bankers, automated messages, and loved ones on the phone? Learn about amplified and captioned phone options that may help you hear and understand when it’s the most important!
  • A calculator for everyone – hands free, big button, talking, and more. Find the perfect one for you!

Heritage Club Highlights

Elgin - Treats will be served in the bank lobby in celebration of the 1st day of Autumn!
Fargo-Moorhead - Please mark your calendars for dessert and coffee time!
Harvey - Come in and register for a Fall Gift Basket during the month of September!
Killdeer - Stop in and sign up for a $50 Gift Certificate to the new Killdeer Pharmacy, a one
month membership to the Killdeer Pool and Fitness Center, and a pair of tickets to the Hilltop Heritage Foundation 29th Annual Steak Fry.
Fessenden - Join us for coffee and treats in the lobby for social security day!
MinotCheck out the Bank of Scandinavia presented by First International Bank & Trust September 27–30!
WillistonCome join us at for Halloween treats!
Watford City  - We will be hosting a golf scramble in September!
Staples/Motley - Come join us for cookies on Halloween!

Featured Recipe

Butternut Squash Soup

We would love to feature your recipe in the next edition of our Heritage Club newsletter. Submit your favorite recipe by email or mail (3001 25th St. S, Fargo, ND 58103 - Attn: Marketing). Be sure to add a note about what makes the recipe special!

First International Bank & Trust Named to Prairie Business’ 50 Best Places to Work for the Fourth Year in a Row!

First International Bank & Trust Named to Prairie Business’ 50 Best Places to Work for the Fourth Year in a Row!

The September issue of Prairie Business names and honors thThe September issue of Prairie Business names and honors the 50 Best Places to Work in the northern Plains. Earlier this year, area employees nominated companies by submitting an anonymous employee-satisfaction survey, and Prairie Business used the survey results in selecting the 50 Best. The survey sought input on each employer’s benefits, workplace culture and employee morale, among other factors. And employees responded. Prairie Business received more than 1,000 nominations from employees from around the region, said Tom Dennis, Prairie Business editor.

"We are honored and humbled to be nominated by our employees to be one of the 50 Best Places to Work,” said Peter Stenehjem, President at First International Bank & Trust. “Our family is so thankful for our employees who take great care of our customers and help dreams come true each and every day."

All 50 Best winners are honored in the September issue of Prairie Business magazine, which is also available on the web at www.prairiebusinessmagazine.com.