Valley First

Average debit card user could save $1,200 with Big Change

Valley First’s new, free banking feature makes saving easier

May 6, 2016

Penticton, B.C.—Despite being mired desired in debt—on average Canadians owe more than $1.64 for every dollar they make—many British Columbians long to be debt-free; unfortunately, they don’t know where to start.

To encourage debt-reduction, Valley First, a division of First West Credit Union recently launched Big Change. Big Change is a free banking feature that can be set to automatically round up the total of debit card purchases and move the additional amount into an open prepayment retail loan or a mortgage account. What makes Big Change different from other round-up offerings is the option to also move the round-up to a high-interest savings account or as a charitable donation to a local food bank.

“Small amounts of money can accumulate much more quickly than most people anticipate,” says Valley First’s Nicole Diachuk. “Big Change enables people to add to their savings, pay down debt or make a charitable donation in an easy, convenient and simple way that can produce impressive long-term results.

“For example, if you spend $3.46 on a cup of coffee, Big Change rounds the purchase to $4 and moves the extra $0.54 into a savings account that earns higher interest for you and holds your money in place where you’re less likely to spend it,” she says.

Members may also choose to "top up" their Big Change transfer amount by adding up to $5 to each transfer. Based on our average debit card usage rate, rounding up to $5 would equate to $1,200 in savings annually.

To further boost savings for new members, Valley First will match any funds—up to $30 per month-- generated by Big Change for a period of three months—which could equate to an additional $90.

“You can take those Big Change savings and pay down your debt, build your emergency savings account or even pad your retirement nest egg” says Diachuk. “Every step you take towards better saving habits helps you work towards ensuring you have a healthy financial future.”

About Valley First

Valley First is a premier provider of banking, investment and insurance services for residents and businesses in the Okanagan, Similkameen and Thompson valleys. As a division of First West Credit Union, B.C.'s third-largest credit union with 54 branches and 38 insurance offices throughout the province, Valley First brings innovative products, an extensive branch network and local decision making to the banking experience. For more information on Valley First, visit

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