Current news for Costco members
no change to services
BEGINNING ON AUGUST 1, 2005, Costco members using the financial planning and the auto and home insurance services through
American Express noticed a brand-name change for the provider.
Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc., is the name chosen for the
company that was formerly American Express Financial Advisors Inc.
(AEFA), while Ameriprise Auto & Home Insurance is the new name
for the American Express Property Casualty companies. Both companies are wholly owned subsidiaries of Ameriprise Financial, Inc.
This name change does not affect the co-branded Costco
American Express True EarningsSM Card or the Business Capital Line/
“The name Ameriprise reflects both our history and our strengths
as one of the leading financial services firms in the United States,” says
Jim Cracchiolo, chairman and CEO of Ameriprise Financial. “The
name represents our American roots and the vastness of our nationwide network of over 10,000 financial advisors. It also embodies the
enterprising culture our people bring to bear in helping provide our
clients the peace of mind that comes with planning for a secure financial future. We help people achieve the ‘prize’ of the American dream.”
The company has an impressive history dating back to 1894, when
John Tappan founded Investors Syndicate. In 1949 Investors Syndicate
changed its name to Investors Diversified Services, Inc. (IDS). The
insurance division, IDS Property Casualty Insurance Company, was a
1986 acquisition, and both divisions began doing business under the
American Express brand in 1994.
According to Ken Ciak, president of Ameriprise Auto & Home
Insurance, Costco members using the services will see no change
other than the name. “All of the products as well as payment options
will remain exactly the same,” he says. “The spin-off does allow
Ameriprise Financial to focus exclusively on the financial services
products and be even more responsive to market opportunities and
“The names might be new, but Costco continues to work closely
with these providers because of the great value they consistently
deliver to our members,” says Costco member services manager John
To learn more about the products and services of Ameriprise
Financial, visit costco.com, click on “Services,” then click on
“Financial Planning” or “Auto & Home Insurance.”
Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc., member NASD, and Ameriprise Auto & Home Insurance are part
of Ameriprise Financial, Inc., which expects to separate from American Express Company on or after
September 30, 2005. After the separation, they will no longer be owned by American Express.
Costco is not affiliated with Ameriprise Financial, is not a broker-dealer and does not offer financial
products or services. For a complete description of Financial Advisory Services and pricing options,
ask your financial advisor for a copy of the Ameriprise Financial Advisory Services Brochure (Form
94003 C). Auto and home insurance is underwritten by AMEX Assurance Company or IDS Property
Casualty Insurance Company, De Pere, WI.
Setting the right price
HAVING THE RIGHT asking help you make the right pricing
price when selling your home is decision.
an important consideration. Q: Should I get an appraisal?
Lending Tree, Costco’s real estate A: Getting an appraisal is
agent service provider, shares certainly a great way to deter-
these answers to frequently mine the market value of your
asked questions about pricing. home. By making adjustments
Q: What should be the first for the differences between com-
step in determining the right parable sold homes in your area,
asking price for my home? the appraiser can determine a
A: Determining the right ask- market value for your home. A
ing price for your home will be professional appraisal might cost
critical to the success of the sale. between $250 and $400.
The first 30 days is the prime Members can earn signifi-
exposure of your house to the cant savings when they buy or
market, and overpricing your sell a home through a real estate
home can be a crucial mistake. agent participating in the Costco
A key first step is researching Lending Tree program. Start
the selling and listing prices of today by visiting costco.com,
similar homes in your neigh- click on “Services,” then click
borhood. Seeking the profes- on “Real Estate Agent Services,”
sional advice of a Realtor can or call 1-800-237-3806.
Protecting your identity
IS IDENTITY THEFT on your radar a log-on or password.
yet? The Internet and e-mail • Always use a shredder when
have made everyone much disposing of documents that
more vulnerable to the booming contain identification, service,
crime of identity theft. Here are account or routing numbers
some tips from Costco service or other personal information.
provider Intersections Inc. • If you suspect you have been
to keep in mind as you lured into disclosing per-become more proac- sonal information online
tive in protecting your or over the phone, con-identity. tact your bank and/or
• Never provide your credit-card company
Social Security, credit immediately.
card, bank routing or Costco members in
account numbers or ver- Washington state can take
ify your address to a caller advantage of the credit report-unless you initiated the call. ing and monitoring service being
• Don’t carry personal identifi- tested there provided by Identity
cation numbers (PINs) or Guard® from Intersections Inc.
passwords in your wallet. For more information or to
• Don’t use your date of birth, apply, visit costco.com, click on
Social Security number or ser- “Services,” then click on “Credit
vice identification number as Reporting & Monitoring.”