Make the Most of Your Holiday Budget

Monday, November 19 at 11:00 AM
Category: Business Banking

Whether you are buying groceries for a holiday meal, traveling to visit relatives or simply picking up last-minute stocking stuffers, it is no secret the holiday season is expensive. With two major holidays back-to-back, the spending often feels unending.

Rather than letting long wish lists intimidate you, check out these easy ways to stretch your budget.

Start with a Budget and Stick to it
As holiday gifts and treats flood store shelves, the temptation to stock up on family favorites can be difficult to resist. The colorful displays and sale tags expertly draw in enamored customers. However, if you step into the store with a list in hand and budget in mind, you will be prepared to purchase only the necessities.

Make the list before you leave home, create a budget and set aside a small amount of money for additional, last-minute or forgotten expenses. Money Crashers* encourages customers to avoid setting a budget that is too tight, which only leads to frustration.

Earn Credit Card Rewards Points
Before you start shopping or traveling this holiday season, look into credit card rewards opportunities. With nearly every purchase on your card, you will earn points that can be redeemed at a later date.

If you have an Arvest Bank personal credit card, log in or call (800) 356-8085, to activate and earn 3X rewards points on nearly everything you buy up to $3,000. Activate your card as soon as possible, because Arvest Flex Rewards are available Nov. 1-Dec. 31, 2018.

Schedule a Vacation
Although family trips are traditionally reserved for summer months, Bankrate* suggests the holiday season may actually be the most affordable time to get away. When hunting for the best accommodation rates, try checking online, calling the central reservation number or contacting the hotel directly.

The hotel or resort’s willingness to book empty rooms may secure you a memorable family getaway for a fraction of the usual cost. Set your mind at ease knowing nearly every charge on your credit card is earning you additional rewards points.

Take Advantage of Black Friday
If you are brave enough to tackle the Black Friday adventure, go with a pre-made list of everything you hope to buy. Creating a game plan ahead of time and staying on track could help you score those high-demand wish list items for a more reasonable price.

After you have filled a cart with the items on your list, use your credit card at check out and earn rewards points on the purchase.

Look for Coupons
The internet is full of money-saving websites such as Groupon* and RetailMeNot*, which provide large catalog of in-store and online coupons. Look for coupon codes on items you were already planning to purchase.

LifeHacker* suggests setting aside the money you saved, and allowing it to accumulate in a savings account. The small discounts here and there will add up faster than you think and provide extra cushion for your budget.

Whether you find a coupon to use or not, don’t forget to use your credit card at check out and earn rewards on nearly every purchase.

Disclosure:  Activate to earn 3X Arvest Flex Rewards points on up to $3,000 in eligible purchases made on your Arvest Personal Credit Card between November 01, 2018 and December 31, 2018. The bonus offer must be activated online by clicking the activation button in your Rewards Account or by calling the rewards phone line at (800) 356-8085, selecting option 1 for consumer and then selecting option 7 for rewards. Bonus points will only be awarded on eligible purchases from the time your bonus is activated until December 31, 2018. Eligible purchases are not limited by merchant categories such as groceries or fuel, but do not include fees or interest charges, balance transfers, cash advances, convenience check transactions, purchases of traveler’s checks, purchases or reloading of prepaid cards or purchases of other cash equivalents. Bonus points will be applied to your account within three billing cycles after your qualifying purchase. The Card Account must be open and not in default as of the date the bonus points are applied. New applications are subject to credit approval.

Member FDIC

*Link is a third-party site not operated or endorsed by Arvest Bank, an FDIC-insured institution.

 

 

Tags: Arvest, Business Banking
 

Easy Ways to Save Money on Summer Travel

Tuesday, July 24 at 12:00 PM
Category: Business Banking

Traveling can be expensive, especially during the summer months, but with a simple schedule change or the click of a button, you could be well on your way to your dream vacation without emptying your bank account. Leave the stress at work, and enjoy vacation knowing you’re getting the most out of your hard-earned pay check.

Flexible Schedules Equals Savings on Flights

Although it may be tempting to book flights for specific dates, it can pay to be flexible. According to USA Today*, July is the peak month for summer travel – and one of the most expensive times to fly. However, you can save money by flying domestically on slower days like Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Saturdays when airlines are trying to fill empty seats.

Want the deepest summer travel discounts? The USA Today report also reveals airlines usually offer the biggest discounts beginning August 28th. That means if you’re able to delay your beach getaway a few weeks, not only will you miss the crowds, but your budget will stretch further!  Plus, those cheaper airline tickets still earn you rewards points when purchased with a credit card, which can be redeemed on other expenses.

Eat Like a Local, for a Fraction of the Cost

Save on food expenses by exploring local markets and avoiding over-priced restaurants. Smarter Travel* suggests buying unique, local ingredients and using them to prepare your own meals. Even those small, everyday purchases can earn credit card rewards points.

If your accommodations don’t offer a place to prepare food, restaurants are still a good option! Rather than asking your hotel concierge for suggestions, Smarter Travel recommends finding local restaurants by reading blogs, travel books or talking to locals. You may find a diamond in the rough with authentic local cuisine that doesn’t charge tourist prices. Those daily restaurant meals are one of the easiest ways to rack up credit card rewards points when you travel. After all, you have to eat!

A Better Hotel Room is an Upgrade Away

Don’t settle for the standard hotel room when planning your summer vacation. According to Business Insider*, hotels are more likely to upgrade your room if you book later in the day. When rooms are left unoccupied, hotels may be more willing to offer upgrades to late arrivals. In addition, front desk hotel employees upgrade customers more often than 800 reservation numbers do, so when possible, call the hotel directly.

Don’t hesitate to mention when you are booking a hotel room for a birthday, anniversary or other special occasion. Business Insider says some hotels offer perks or upgrades to help make your visit more positive and memorable.

Remember to ask how to become a member and earn points when you stay at certain properties. Not only do most hotels offer points and rewards opportunities for future stays, but likely so does the credit card you used to book the room!

Take Advantage of Credit Card Rewards

When you opt in for that hotel room upgrade, don’t forget to opt in for your credit card rewards points! If you have an Arvest Bank credit card, you’re already halfway to earning 5X rewards points on up to $1,000 of all charges this summer starting July 1, 2018. Simply go online to your Arvest Rewards account, and click the activation button or call the rewards phone line at (800) 356-8085, extension 3 to activate the bonus offer and start earning 5X rewards on future purchases through September 30, 2018.

Not an Arvest Bank credit card customer? Don’t miss out on rewards for vacation purchases and everyday purchases both big and small. Sign up for a credit card today at your local branch or online! Be sure to activate rewards as soon as possible, because bonus points will only be awarded on eligible purchases from the time you activate until September 30, 2018.

The views of this article are for general information use only. Please contact and speak with a subject expert or your banker when specific advice is needed.

*Link is a third-party site not operated or endorsed by Arvest Bank, an FDIC-insured institution.

Disclosure:  Activate to earn 5X Arvest Flex Rewards points on up to $1,000 in eligible purchases made on your Arvest Personal Credit Card between July 01, 2018 and September 30, 2018. The bonus offer must be activated online by clicking the activation button in your Rewards Account or by calling the rewards phone line at (800) 356-8085, extension 3. Bonus points will only be awarded on eligible purchases from the time your bonus is activated until September 30, 2018. Eligible purchases are not limited by merchant categories such as groceries or fuel, but do not include fees or interest charges, balance transfers, cash advances, convenience check transactions, purchases of traveler’s checks, purchases or reloading of prepaid cards or purchases of other cash equivalents. Bonus points will be applied to your account within three billing cycles after your qualifying purchase. The Card Account must be open and not in default as of the date the bonus points are applied. New applications are subject to credit approval.

Member FDIC

Tags: Arvest, Business Banking
 

8 Tips to Get a Jumpstart on Your Summer Plans

Thursday, May 03 at 10:00 AM
Category: Business Banking

As temperatures begin to heat up and the weather improves across the country, you have the perfect excuse to take a break away from your desk and your hectic day-to-day schedule. But, don’t just take our word for it. There are some serious mental and physical health benefits to doing so, according to a report on inc.com*. Citing several research studies, inc. reports that taking some time off can result in stress reduction, heart disease prevention, improved productivity and better sleep.

So, whether you are considering a week-long vacation or just making time for a day trip this summer, planning ahead is key. You may end up saving time and money by doing so.

Use these helpful tips to get a jumpstart on your summer plans.

1. Make sure your wallet is ready. Do you have the right rewards points-earning credit card to help you get where you want to go this summer and in the future? Arvest credit cards offer a $75 bonus for new cards. Also, you’ll get triple rewards points on gas and travel purchases until the end of May 2018. Arvest Flex Rewards™ can be used for cash back, travel, shopping and more.

2. Take advantage of new trip-planning tools. Travel sites and smartphone apps offer an array of trip planning resources to help you map out your next adventure and keep an eye on your budget as well. For example, consider using the destinations feature on Google—from your mobile phone, type the place you are interested in visiting along with the word “destinations.” Depending on the area searched, the results will display information cards and costs associated with the destination.

3. Set up alerts. Consider setting up airline, hotel and transportation fare alerts so you don’t miss the deals.

4. Time your trip strategically. Avoid peak travel weeks in the summer. According to cheapair.com*, if you are planning to fly to your destination, consider leaving mid-week as opposed to the weekend to save money.

5. Stay somewhere unconventional. If high hotel prices have you thinking twice about your getaway, see if you can snag a deal on a house or condo rental on vrbo.com* or airbnb.com*.

6. Consider all of your transportation costs. Getting to and from your destination is a given, but don’t overlook the expenses associated with navigating while you are at your destination. Will you be taking public transportation, relying on ride-hailing services, or renting cars or bicycles?

7. Buy tickets in advance. It pays to look up popular tourist destinations and sites ahead of time. You can purchase advance tickets to visit the Statue of Liberty* in New York City, for example. Note that some tourist sites require reservations. So, the sooner you look, the better.

8. Notify the bank. Before you take flight, set sail or cruise to your destination, be sure to notify Arvest or your financial institutions of your travel plans for peace of mind and security.

The views of this article are for general information use only. Please contact and speak with a subject expert or your banker when specific advice is needed.

Links marked with * go to a third-party site not operated or endorsed by Arvest Bank, an FDIC-insured institution.

Tags: Arvest, Business Banking
 

Small Business Tips for 2018

Monday, March 12 at 02:00 PM
Category: Business Banking

Is your business aware of the latest trends in technology or security? Whether you have just created your first business plan or you are a seasoned small business owner, the ability to recognize trends in your industry is important.

When you spend time learning and evaluating what’s to come in the next few months or year ahead, you are better equipped to make decisions about whether or not following the trends will give you the competitive edge you desire.

We’ve compiled a short list of suggested tips for business owners to consider in 2018 and beyond, based on common trends.

  • Embrace technology. Technology is constantly evolving. Your customers and employees will likely take notice if you invest in ways to improve your overall online and mobile presence and functionality. For example, if you offer goods or services, make sure your online platform is set up to accept payments or book services with ease. Consider accepting digital wallet and peer-to-peer payment methods, as they are increasingly popular. Take advantage of automated processes and spend time thinking about your digital strategy as a whole before making big decisions regarding costly technology improvements. Inquire whether the technology you are considering is fleeting or here to stay before you take the leap. 
  • Discover efficiencies. Getting the job done in the most efficient and effective way possible is always on trend. There are several ways that you can streamline your staff expenses and business costs to produce results. For example, consider a corporate credit card program that comes with real-time advanced management and tracking tools. Further, if your company requires employees to travel, many credit cards offer auto rental insurance, automatic travel accident insurance and many other complimentary services. The use of rewards points may also be useful in streamlining business costs as they can be acquired by each individual cardholder. Arvest Flex Rewards™ program is complimentary and allows cardholders to earn points with every eligible purchase. These points can be redeemed for travel, cash back and more. New corporate card customers are eligible to receive 10,000 bonus points until April 30, 2018.
  • Take security seriously. Informational hacks are widespread these days and can be extremely costly for businesses. You owe it to your business to keep your customers’ information and other data safe. Small businesses are not immune to data breaches—a Champlain College study reports* that 55 percent of small businesses reported at least one data breach in 2016. Perhaps even more startling is that the study found 60 percent of small businesses failed within six months of a cyberattack. Explore your options and know how to best protect yourself and your business.
  • Make it personal. Reports indicate* that America’s “Generation Z” or those born after 1998, are now “rising in influence” and understanding them as employees and consumers will become increasingly important for businesses. Some experts note* that this generation expects and responds to personal marketing and experiences. So, it may be time to assess whether your business is ready to provide personalized customer service and interaction whenever and wherever possible.

As you prepare for the future, keep in mind that looking back at your past business performance can also prove to be an enlightening exercise and can help you avoid future mistakes. Warren Buffett once said: “In the business world, the rearview mirror is always clearer than the windshield.”

The views of this article are for general information use only. Please contact and speak with a subject expert or your banker when specific advice is needed.

Links marked with * go to a third-party site not operated or endorsed by Arvest Bank, an FDIC-insured institution.

Tags: Business Banking
 

Arvest Bank Presents: SOLVE IT – Defining Your Target Customer

Monday, November 06 at 02:00 PM
Category: Arvest News
Central Exchange will host the final Small Business Banking class for 2017, presented by Arvest next month! The class will be held on Tuesday, December 5, 2017 from 12:00p to 1:15p at Central Exchange South (6201 College Blvd, Overland Park, KS).
 
Can you describe your target customer? Do you know what their needs are? This workshop will arm you with the resources to help you answer these questions. Join our featured speakers, Aviva Ajmera and Teddi Hernandez, owners of SoLVEKC, for an incomparable opportunity to allow your business skills a competitive edge.
 
Aviva Ajmera, co-founder of SoLVE, is an accredited Angel Investor and the Chairman of the Board with the Women’s Capital Connection, Kansas City’s only female Angel Investing group. She is an active member of the Central Exchange and is also on the Board of the Greater Kansas City chapter of the National Association of Asian American Professionals (NAAAP).  Prior to SoLVE, Aviva was a partner with The Partnering Group and worked for Accenture. She’s consulted for blue chip companies including Nestle USA, Post Foods, Sara Lee, Kimberly Clark, LG Electronics, Bauer Hockey, 3M, Northwest Airlines and Fingerhut.
 
Before her consulting years, she was a senior leader at Hallmark Cards, in many areas including Product Development, Innovation, Retail, Corporate Strategy, and Customer Strategy, and Business Transformation. She launched, grew and re-invented iconic marketplace programs partnering with many brands and retailers, like Disney, Starbucks, The Komen Foundation, Walmart, Walgreens.  Aviva has a BA in Economics and Policy Studies from Rice University; MBA in Marketing, Management & Strategy and Non-profit Management from Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University. 
 
Teddi is SoLVE’s co-founder.  She is also the co-owner of a boutique in Martin City, Full Bloom.  Prior to starting SoLVE, Teddi was Co-Owner and President of Just For Her Marketing and Retail Events. Teddi deeply understands the needs and challenges of local small business owners. She identified a need for a new kind of consulting firm in Kansas City. Teddi’s career began as a Legislative Assistant in Washington DC, and she worked on multiple state and Presidential campaigns. After leaving the Hill, she became a lobbyist for Hallmark Cards.  Hallmark brought her to Kansas City, where she led teams in product development, licensing, customer strategy, integrated marketing, advertising and promotions. She led strategic alliances with companies like Apple, Disney Consumer Products, American Girl, Starbuck’s and Major League Baseball.  
Teddi graduated from the University of Northern Colorado and also studied at the Oxford Polytechnic University in Oxford, England.  Her passion for American Politics led her to UMKC where she completed her coursework for a Masters in Political Science. 
 
This class is open to the public and includes a complimentary lunch. Space is limited so registration is required.
 
Links marked with * go to a third-party site not operated or endorsed by Arvest Bank, an FDIC-insured institution.
Tags: Business Banking, Kansas City

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