According to the United States Department of Agriculture, the average monthly grocery expenditure for a moderate-cost meal plan for a family of four is about $966.50—or a little more than $11,500 a year. Erin Chase, founder of $5 Dinners, a website focused on budget-friendly family recipes, believes hard working Americans don’t need to spend nearly that much for healthy, nutritious meals. She cut her own food bill in half using a combination of strategic grocery shopping, meal planning and couponing, and now she’s helping others do the same.
SCOTTeVEST’s Patented Pockets Take the Hassle Out of Travel
Mobile phone, tablet, charger, sunglasses and reading glasses, keys, wallet, passport and more. When you’re on the go —whether just across town or to the other side of the globe— where do you stash all of these essentials? The answer is no longer limited to ‘my bag,’ ‘my briefcase’ or ‘my purse’ thanks to SCOTTeVEST’s innovative garments engineered for the everyday adventurer.
RewardExpert spoke with Scott Jordan, the company’s co-founder, to learn more about the inspiration behind his line of tech-enabled vests, jackets, hoodies and more as well as his plans for SCOTTeVEST’s future.
850 FICO: Do you really need the highest credit score?
While many people struggle to improve their credit scores, there are some super prime consumers who have earned a perfect credit score of 850. The higher your credit score, the better terms you’ll get on loans and perks on your credit cards. But do you really need the highest credit score possible to get the best loan interest rates and credit card benefits? And what steps can you take to improve your credit score?
Why the Free Checked Bag Benefit Doesn’t Always Mean “Free”
The airlines are making a killing by charging us for checked bags. In 2017, airlines made over $4.5 billion from this additional source of revenue. Now, checking a bag is getting more expensive for travelers because United and JetBlue are increasing the first checked bag fees from $25 to $30. And the other airlines are sure to follow.
Take the Road to Success with MyCorporation
Owning your own business is a career path that millions of people dream about. The idea of being your own boss, with the freedom to do what you want, when you want, and cash in on the profits at the same time, is quite appealing to many individuals. However, turning that dream into a reality is easier said than done. One company called MyCorporation is helping to make the road easier for budding entrepreneurs, providing guidance every step of the way.
Allianz Tuition Insurance: Helping Families Protect Their Higher Education Investment
In today’s increasingly expensive economy, a college degree can mean the difference between long-term financial security and a paycheck-to-paycheck existence. In fact, according to data from the Social Security Administration, a U.S. male with a bachelor’s degree will earn approximately $900,000 more in his lifetime than one with only a high school diploma. The same male with a gradate degree would earn $1.5 million more.
Of course, enrolling in college isn’t enough to guarantee financial success—you have to actually finish your studies. Statistics show that this may be easier said than done, with one in three students forced to leave college for at least one semester and 41 percent failing to earn a four-year bachelor’s degree within six years of enrollment.
Hawk Incentives Helps Businesses Build Loyal Customers With Incentive Programs
Customer reward programs are popular with today’s consumers. In fact, a survey commissioned by Hawk Incentives, a division of Blackhawk Network and a leading provider of rewards and incentives to organizations across the globe, found that the average American adult belongs to 6.2 such programs. That number was even higher for consumers in the Millennial generation at 6.5 on average.
We recently spoke with Theresa McEndree, the company’s Vice President of Marketing, to learn more about Hawk Incentives’ reward program services and survey insights as well as how RewardExpert readers can design effective loyalty programs for their own businesses.
Leave Your Computer Issues to Bask
We’ve all been there. Something is acting up on your computer and you have no idea how to fix it. As a consumer, you dread taking your machine to the store and having to leave it there for several days and pay a hefty fee. Or if you’re a business, there’s the frustrating call to the IT department and putting in a ticket.
With Bask, you can take a break from the hassles of IT and just make a simple call. One of the technicians will help you over the phone and get you back to your work (and your life) fast.
Protect Your Precious Cargo With CargoNet
It’s a major problem that many Americans have never heard of—cargo theft. The FBI defines it as the criminal taking of any cargo, including goods, money or baggage, and it can have a significant financial impact on both a company and the broader U.S. economy. Companies like CargoNet offer solutions to the cargo theft issue.
Ryan Shepherd, general manager of CargoNet, a Verisk business, spoke to RewardExpert. He said companies need to start taking cargo theft seriously, now. “Any assumption that your company is safe simply because you’ve never had a theft incident is a mistake that can end up costing you,” he said.
Meet the Writer Who Believes You Can Afford Anything You Want
How often do you scroll through your social media feed, looking at other people’s outfits, new homes or exotic vacations and wishing you too could afford to live the kind of life that would make your Instagram friends green with envy?
Paula Pant knows exactly what it feels like to be on the receiving end of such feelings. When she quit her job ten years ago, bought a one-way ticket to Egypt and spent the next two years backpacking around the world, she was the object of a fair amount of envy.
14 Southwest International Destinations for Your Next Getaway
Southwest Airlines is my favorite domestic airline due to their awesome customer service, no-frills approach and great benefits, like the Southwest Companion Pass. But did you know that there are 14 Southwest international destinations to choose from?
Southwest Flights to Mexico
When I lived in Orange County, one of my favorite Southwest international flights was to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. The flight was only 2.5 hours long, and we could be transported to another world where we could lounge by the pool and sip margaritas all day.
In Mexico, Southwest locations include Cabo San Lucas, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico City and Cancun.
Southwest nonstop flights to Cabo depart from Houston, Chicago, Denver, San Diego, Orange County, Los Angeles, Oakland, San Jose and Sacramento.
Southwest airports that offer nonstop service to Puerto Vallarta include Houston, Denver, San Diego, Los Angeles and Oakland.
Houston is the only city on the Southwest flight map that offers nonstop service to Mexico City.
Cancun offers the most Southwest locations with nonstop flights from 13 different cities. These Southwest nonstop flights depart from Fort Lauderdale, Baltimore, Atlanta, Nashville, Columbus, Indianapolis, Chicago, St. Louis, Houston, Austin, San Antonio, Denver and Los Angeles.
Southwest Flights to Central America
Southwest airports in Central America include Belize City in Belize and Liberia and San Jose in Costa Rica. My son, Timothy, and I flew to Costa Rica when he was 5 to stay at the Hyatt Andaz Papagayo, and we had an amazing father-son trip.
Belize City offers three Southwest nonstop flight destinations, including Denver, Houston and Fort Lauderdale.
You can fly to Liberia from two Southwest airports—Houston and Baltimore. The three Southwest Airlines cities that fly to San Jose are Houston, Fort Lauderdale and Baltimore.
Southwest Flights to the Caribbean
In the Caribbean, there are eight different Southwest destinations to choose from. And you can take Southwest nonstop flights from multiple Southwest Airlines cities within the United States to get there.
Nassau, Bahamas, offers two Southwest nonstop cities—Fort Lauderdale and Baltimore.
When service to Cuba was announced, there were multiple cities that flew to Cuba and there were three airports in Cuba you could fly to. Now nonstop service has been reduced to flights to Havana from two Southwest locations – Fort Lauderdale and Tampa Bay.
Grand Cayman is a beautiful island that I took Timothy to for his Spring Break when he was 6 years old. Swimming with the stingrays at Stingray City is a must-do. Nonstop service is only available from Fort Lauderdale.
Montego Bay, Jamaica, offers more nonstop flights on the Southwest flight map. You can fly nonstop from Houston, Chicago, Baltimore, Orlando or Fort Lauderdale.
The Turks and Caicos has nonstop service from Fort Lauderdale.
Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, is served by four airports—Fort Lauderdale, Atlanta, Chicago and Baltimore.
San Juan, Puerto Rico, was the first Caribbean flight I took on Southwest when they acquired AirTran. San Juan is now serviced by six Southwest locations—Houston, Tampa, Fort Lauderdale, Orlando, Chicago and Baltimore.
Aruba is the Southwest international destination that is the furthest away from the continental United States. Houston, Fort Lauderdale and Baltimore are the three Southwest airlines cities that offer nonstop flights to Aruba.
How to Book Southwest International Flights
When you book a Southwest international flight online, it is the same process as booking a domestic flight. If you need to call to book your Southwest international destination, then customer service will transfer you to a different department that has access to those systems.
Factom Safeguards the Information We Care About Most
Let’s face it: the world is full of cyber-criminals looking to steal your data online and use it in malicious ways. We all recognize the need for heightened security when it comes to sharing and securing information.
But what about the information that should be shared with the world? Information like distributed records, information and other documentation that should be available and accessible to others—how do you keep some information transparent while also safeguarding it?
Petplan: Insurance for Pet Parent Peace of Mind
One in three pets will experience an unexpected health issue each year according to Petplan, a pet insurance company on a mission to ensure healthier, longer lives for North America’s four-legged family members. Unless they have insurance coverage, these emergencies can take a vicious bite out of pet parents’ budgets. In fact, the average cost of an unexpected trip to the vet ranges from $769.56 in North Dakota to $1,521.18 in California.
Credit Utilization: Everything You Need to Know to Increase Your Score
To increase your credit score, you want to focus on what you can change the quickest. Credit utilization is the second largest factor in your credit score. And it is the one you have the most control over on a monthly basis. Simply put, the lower your balances versus the amount of credit you have, the better your score will be. We’re going to discuss everything you need to know to increase your credit score by controlling your credit utilization rate.
10 Passive Income Ideas to Rock Your World
The only thing better than making money is making money while you sleep. That’s the whole concept behind passive income. You can spend more time with your family and friends, perfect your golf swing or learn another language. The possibilities are endless because you’ve set up passive income streams that provide you a paycheck without needing to clock in. Here are the 10 best passive income ideas that will rock your world.
Net-Works: Cultivating Biodiversity Through Grand Opportunity
Creating a more sustainable world is quite possibly the most talked about topic as of late. But who’s really doing something about it? When it comes to making changes that will have a positive effect on both the environment and the communities who thrive within it, cooperation is just as vital a part as conservation. Fortunately, there’s a joint international effort happening that is finding such solutions to this very problem.
Asurion: Mobile Phone Insurance for Peace of Mind
Have you ever dropped your mobile phone, shattering the screen or causing other irreparable damage? Or lost it while running errands or traveling? If so, you’re not alone. According to Asurion, a global tech solutions company, one in five people—or 2.2 per second—will have their cell phone lost, stolen or damaged this year. Unless they have mobile phone insurance, they’ll be on the hook for the full retail cost of a replacement as well.
451 Research: IT Industry Analysts That Make More Out of the Digital Economy
In the evolving world of information technology, it’s important to be in the know on new developments and innovations. With new markets and value networks constantly being created, a viable source for industry analysis is central to the success of emerging companies in the IT arena. 451 Research is a research and advisory firm that specializes in data-driven insight for technology and service providers, enterprise IT leaders and financial professionals to help gain a clearer vision into these emerging segments.
Soft Credit Check vs. Hard Inquiry
I don’t know about you, but I’m very protective of my credit. When I learned that allowing credit card issuers and businesses to simply look at my credit could ding my score, I became a lot more protective of who gets access.
This whole idea of a soft credit check vs. a hard inquiry was something that I felt like I needed to know all about. Once I really understood the difference, I was more protective of my score in some ways but not as worried in others.
Mastercard Advisors Partners With Businesses to Help Them Grow
When consumers are looking to access greater purchasing power, they turn to Mastercard. When businesses are looking for ways to get inside the minds of consumers and leverage growth, they turn to Mastercard Advisors for expertise and proven solutions.