As Credit Cards Enhance Rewards, Consumers Advised to Comparison Shop

Tuesday, July 25 at 09:15 AM
Category: Arvest News

Did you know 25 million credit card holders have held the same credit cards for at least a decade?

LOWELL, Ark. – Consumers routinely search for the best price or the best deal when making a long-term financial commitment – from automobiles to cable companies to phone carriers. They don’t, however, tend to comparison shop once they have committed to a credit card.

A report by creditcards.com* shows that some 25 million credit card holders have held the same card for at least a decade, and another 20 million have never switched to a different creditor. This, despite the emergence of rewards programs that offer consumers robust benefits. 

Among the most popular perks offered through reward programs are cash-back options and bonus rewards. When offered, cash-back and other reward options can put extra money in the pocket of cardholders. Cash-back benefits can be applied as a credit on a future statement or deposited electronically in the customer’s bank account. 

Some financial institutions offer bonus opportunities such as providing customers with as much as triple rewards during certain times throughout the year, when they spend a particular amount on their card or when they charge specified items such as groceries or gas. 

More than half of consumers who did switch to a new credit card made the change because of a better rewards program, according to a creditcards.com* survey from 2015.

A rare and competitive offering among a handful of institutions is a rewards program that touches every level of credit cards. From a classic card to the platinum level, a rewards program could be in place, though the rewards may vary.

In addition, card issuers are becoming increasingly competitive by eliminating various fees, such as annual rewards program fees and balance transfer fees, and increasing the amount of control cardholders have at their fingertips.

One factor that will always get the attention of cardholders is interest rates. An individual’s improved credit score could mean they are eligible for a lower rate on their credit card. That provides another option for saving money and another reason to evaluate and compare programs. 

The Federal Reserve anticipates additional increases in interest rates later this year. With that change, every percentage point and every rewards option could affect consumers’ wallets in one way or another.

The bottom line for consumers is that, with the emerging new benefits programs offered by credit card issuers and the expectation of a rising rate environment, comparison shopping for the best credit card for their particular needs is becoming more important than ever.

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

Tags: Arvest Flex Rewards™, Credit Cards, Financial Education
 

Arvest Bank Surpasses $1B Mortgage Mark for 15th Consecutive Year

Tuesday, August 01 at 10:00 AM
Category: Arvest News

Arvest Bank announced today that its mortgage division has originated more than $1 billion in mortgage loans for the 15th year in a row. That includes both purchase-money and refinance loans. This is the earliest the bank has reached the $1 billion mark since 2013, indicating a strong real estate market in the communities the bank serves.

“We are honored that our customers choose Arvest for their mortgage business, both when purchasing a home and in situations when our low rates provide them the opportunity to refinance and improve their financial position,” said Steven Plaisance, president and chief executive officer of Arvest’s mortgage division. “The majority of loans we are issuing are purchase-money loans, which is a healthy sign for our markets, and rates are still very good.”

Arvest reached the $1 billion mark almost a month sooner than it did last year. As of July 24, Arvest had closed a total of 5,696 loans with a total loan value of $1,004,913,837. In 2016, the bank reached the $1 billion mark on Aug. 19.

“The housing market is very robust, with record home sales in some areas and certainly competitive lending rates,” said Plaisance. “Consumer confidence has been strong and that’s certainly reflected in the mortgage industry.”

This is the fourth consecutive year in which purchase-money loans account for more of Arvest’s total mortgage loan volume than refinances. Through July 24, purchase-money loans accounted for 64 percent of the company’s total loan volume. That’s up from 58 percent in 2016. 

“The continued year-over-year increase in purchase-money activity in our markets is yet another strong indicator of the health of those local economies,” Plaisance said.

Through July 24 of this year, Arvest made 3,687 purchase-money loans with a volume of $645,467,279. That’s up from 3,390 loans and $555,367,905 in volume compared to year-to-date totals on July 24, 2016.

Arvest’s overall volume of $1,004,913,837 – on 5,696 loans as of July 24, 2017 – is up from $860,630,640 on 5,360 loans as of July 24, 2016. That’s a 16.8 percent increase compared to the same time last year.

The average loan size at Arvest as of July 24 for this year also increased, compared to the same period last year, from $160,565 to $176,424, reflecting improving values in the real estate market.

Arvest is unique among most local lenders in that it services 99 percent of its mortgage loans, meaning that customers make their payments to Arvest and work directly with Arvest for any needs after their loan closes.

Tags: Arkansas, Kansas, Lending and Financing, Missouri, Mortgage, Oklahoma, Press Release
 

MyBankTracker Recognizes Arvest Bank

Wednesday, August 09 at 11:00 AM
Category: Arvest News

Arvest Bank once again has been recognized by MyBankTracker.com, which touts itself as a personal finance resource for more than a million monthly visitors.

Arvest was named the “Best Southern Customer-Focused Bank” for the fourth consecutive quarter. MyBankTracker.com’s regional awards are given on a quarterly basis.

MyBankTracker.com* cited Arvest’s extensive branch network, extended hours and high levels of transparency, among other factors, in announcing it as a winner.

This honor comes after Arvest was recognized in May by Forbes magazine as one of “America’s Best Large Employers” for 2017. The bank ranked 208th out of the 500 businesses nationwide – with 5,000 or more full- or part-time associates – that scored highest in an independent survey of employees regarding satisfaction with their company. Additionally, Arvest is the highest-ranking community bank among all companies in the banking/financial services category and the only Arkansas-based company on the large employer list.

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

Tags: Arkansas, Associates, Award, Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma
 

Track Your Teams with Gameday Experience Apps

Thursday, August 17 at 02:00 PM
Category: Arvest News

Arvest is excited to be the presenting sponsor of a collection of mobile apps that let you keep track of your favorite sports teams, no matter where you are!Football Fan
 
Developed by From Now On, an Omaha, Neb.-based emerging player in mobile app technology, the apps are branded for many of the universities, colleges and high schools within our footprint and are provided at no cost to the fans! The gameday experience apps are designed to enhance your fan experience and promote engagement.

Each school’s app—based off the FanX platform—features team info, event schedules, live stats, scores, stadium maps, personalized notifications and much more.

“Providing the FanX app to these institutions is an innovative way to elevate fan engagement while also fulfilling our mission of giving back to our communities,” said Jason Kincy, SVP and director of marketing for Arvest Bank.

You can download the apps via the App Store* and Google Play* or you can search for your school’s name in the search bar.

Go teams!

Here is a list of the gameday experience apps within our footprint. This list is current as of Aug. 10, 2017.

  • MSSU Lions GO (Missouri Southern Athletics)
  • Gorilla Experience (Pittsburg State Athletics)
  • UMKC Roos Athletics (University of Missouri-Kansas City Athletics)
  • Arkansas Tech Experience (Arkansas Tech University Athletics)
  • UAFS Lions Gameday (University of Arkansas-Fort Smith Athletics)
  • University of Ozarks Athletics
  • ORU Golden Eagles Live (Oral Roberts University Athletics)
  • NSU Live (Northeastern State University Athletics)
  • Oklahoma Christian Athletics
  • Cameron Aggies Gameday (Cameron University Athletics)
  • Little Rock Gameday Experience (University of Arkansas-Little Rock)


Coming soon! This list is current as of Aug. 10, 2017:

  • Drury University
  • Bartlesville High School
  • West Plains High School
  • Mountain Home High School
  • Yellville Summit High School


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

Tags: College, Online Services, Technology
 

Bear State Bank to be Acquired by Arvest Bank

Tuesday, August 22 at 02:30 PM
Category: Arvest News

Bear State Bank and Arvest Bank have exciting news to share today. An agreement has been signed where Arvest will acquire Bear State and come together as one customer-focused bank. The acquisition of Bear State Bank meets two strategic goals for Arvest – entry into attractive new markets for the bank, and an expansion of customer base and branches in existing Arvest markets. We’re excited to welcome Bear State Bank customers and associates to Arvest and look forward to working together in the future.

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (Aug. 22, 2017) – Arvest Bank (“Arvest”) announced today it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Bear State Financial, Inc. (“Bear State”) (NASDAQ:BSF), the parent company of Bear State Bank. The acquisition, expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2017 or first quarter of 2018 pending customary regulatory approvals and subject to approval by Bear State shareholders, is an all-cash transaction valued at approximately $391 million.

Bear State Bank operates 42 branches and three personalized technology centers in Arkansas, Missouri and Oklahoma, while Arvest operates more than 250 branches in Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma. As of June 30, 2017, Bear State had total assets of $2.24 billion and total deposits of $1.7 billion in 34 communities. As of June 30, 2017, Arvest had total assets of $17.30 billion and total deposits of $14.98 billion in 120 communities.

“This is a strategic move for us and one made after much careful consideration,” Arvest president and CEO Kevin Sabin said. “In addition to giving us the opportunity to expand into some new communities, this deal also allows us to strengthen our presence in some existing markets.

“Because Bear State is such a solid company with dedicated employees – and because both banks are so committed to their communities – we believe this will be a great fit. From outstanding products and services to superior customer service, Arvest shares a lot of similarities to Bear State and we look forward to serving all of our customers – old and new – with the same courtesy, competency and care as we always have.”

Of the 34 communities where Bear State operates, 18 are markets where Arvest has banking operations while 16 markets will be new communities for Arvest – most notably communities in northeast Arkansas, southwest Arkansas, southern Missouri and southeast Oklahoma. Arvest Bank and Bear State customers will not notice any immediate changes, and both banks will continue to conduct business as usual. A full conversion of systems and accounts will occur in 2018, and Arvest Bank will be communicating with Bear State customers over the next several months regarding their transition to Arvest Bank.

Additionally, all those employed by Bear State on the date of contract closing will become employees of Arvest Bank.

New communities Arvest looks forward to serving in Arkansas are: Ashdown, De Queen, Dierks, Glenwood, Jonesboro, Manila, Monette, Mount Ida, Nashville and Waldron. Arvest will enter the communities of Golden City, Kimberling City, Lamar and Marshfield in Missouri, and Broken Bow and Idabel in Oklahoma. 

About Arvest 

Arvest Bank, named by Forbes magazine as one of “America’s Best Large Employers” for 2017, operates more than 250 bank branches in Arkansas, Oklahoma, Missouri and Kansas through a group of 16 locally managed markets, each with its own local board and management team. These banks serve customers in more than 120 communities, with extended weekday banking hours at many locations. Arvest also provides a wide range of banking services including loans, deposits, treasury management, credit cards, mortgage loans and mortgage servicing. Arvest is an Equal Housing Lender and Member FDIC.

About Bear State Financial

Bear State common stock is traded on the NASDAQ Global Market under the symbol “BSF.”  For more information on Bear State, please visit www.bearstatefinancial.com.  Its principal subsidiary, Bear State Bank, is a community oriented financial institution providing a broad line of financial products to individuals and business customers. Bear State Bank operates 42 branches, three personalized technology centers equipped with interactive teller machines and three loan production offices throughout Arkansas, Southwest Missouri and Southeast Oklahoma.

 
Tags: Arkansas, Associates, Community Support, Locations, Missouri, Oklahoma

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