DiscoverThe Clark Howard Podcast06.03.24 Managing Travel Rewards / Smart Shopping Carts - A Review
06.03.24  Managing Travel Rewards   /  Smart Shopping Carts - A Review

06.03.24 Managing Travel Rewards / Smart Shopping Carts - A Review

Update: 2024-06-031
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The Clark Howard Show kicks off its June edition by discussing the challenges of using reward points for travel, highlighting the devaluation of programs like Delta Sky Miles and Marriott Bonvoy. The show emphasizes the importance of researching available redemptions and utilizing tools like Point.me to maximize value. The episode then delves into the emerging technology of automated shopping carts, showcasing a new system at Fairway Market in New York City that utilizes Instacart technology for a seamless shopping experience. The show explores the potential benefits of this technology for both shoppers and retailers, particularly in addressing shoplifting concerns. Finally, the episode addresses the impact of credit freezes on auto insurance rates, explaining that in many states, credit reports are a primary factor in determining insurance premiums. The show advises listeners to temporarily unfreeze their credit when shopping for auto insurance to ensure accurate rate calculations.

Outlines

00:00:00
Introduction and Travel Points Devaluation

This Chapter introduces the Clark Howard Show and its mission to provide financial advice. It then dives into the topic of travel using reward points, highlighting the increasing difficulty in redeeming points due to devaluation by airlines and hotels. The show specifically mentions the devaluation of Delta Sky Miles and Marriott Bonvoy programs, emphasizing the need for careful research and utilization of tools like Point.me to maximize value.

00:14:19
Automated Shopping Carts: A New Era of Retail

This Chapter features Anthony from Team Clark, who shares his experience with a new automated shopping cart technology at Fairway Market in New York City. The technology, powered by Instacart, allows shoppers to add items to their cart using sensors, receive real-time promotions, and automatically remove items when returned to the shelf. The chapter discusses the potential benefits of this technology for both shoppers and retailers, particularly in addressing shoplifting concerns.

00:20:23
Credit Freezes and Auto Insurance Rates

This Chapter addresses the impact of credit freezes on auto insurance rates. The show explains that in many states, credit reports are a primary factor in determining insurance premiums. The episode advises listeners to temporarily unfreeze their credit when shopping for auto insurance to ensure accurate rate calculations.

Keywords

Reward Points
Reward points are a form of loyalty program offered by companies like airlines, hotels, and credit card companies. They allow customers to earn points for purchases or activities and redeem them for rewards, such as free flights, hotel stays, or merchandise. Reward points can be a valuable way to save money on travel and other expenses, but their value can fluctuate depending on the program and redemption options.

Devaluation
Devaluation refers to the decrease in value of something, such as currency, assets, or reward points. In the context of reward points, devaluation occurs when the number of points required to redeem a reward increases or the value of the reward decreases. Devaluation can make it more difficult for consumers to use their points effectively and can lead to frustration and dissatisfaction.

Point.me
Point.me is a website and app that allows users to search for and compare redemption options for travel reward points. It aggregates data from various airline and hotel programs, providing users with a comprehensive view of available options and helping them to maximize the value of their points. Point.me can be a valuable tool for travelers who want to make the most of their reward points.

Automated Shopping Carts
Automated shopping carts are a new technology that uses sensors and AI to track items placed in the cart, provide real-time promotions, and automatically remove items when returned to the shelf. This technology aims to streamline the shopping experience, reduce shoplifting, and improve efficiency for both shoppers and retailers.

Fairway Market
Fairway Market is a chain of supermarkets located in the New York metropolitan area. It is known for its wide selection of fresh produce, gourmet foods, and prepared meals. Fairway Market is currently testing a new automated shopping cart technology powered by Instacart.

Instacart
Instacart is a grocery delivery service that allows customers to order groceries online and have them delivered to their homes. Instacart has partnered with Fairway Market to develop a new automated shopping cart technology that uses sensors and AI to track items placed in the cart.

Credit Freeze
A credit freeze is a security measure that prevents credit bureaus from releasing your credit report to potential lenders or creditors without your explicit permission. This can help to protect your identity and prevent unauthorized credit applications or loans. However, credit freezes can also impact your ability to obtain credit or insurance, as lenders and insurers may need to access your credit report.

Auto Insurance
Auto insurance is a type of insurance that provides financial protection against losses arising from accidents or damage involving a motor vehicle. Auto insurance premiums are typically based on a variety of factors, including the driver's age, driving history, vehicle type, and credit score.

Q&A

  • How are airlines and hotels devaluing reward points?

    Airlines and hotels are devaluing reward points by increasing the number of points required to redeem a reward or by decreasing the value of the reward itself. This makes it more difficult for consumers to use their points effectively and can lead to frustration and dissatisfaction.

  • What is Point.me and how can it help me maximize the value of my reward points?

    Point.me is a website and app that allows users to search for and compare redemption options for travel reward points. It aggregates data from various airline and hotel programs, providing users with a comprehensive view of available options and helping them to maximize the value of their points.

  • How do automated shopping carts work and what are the potential benefits?

    Automated shopping carts use sensors and AI to track items placed in the cart, provide real-time promotions, and automatically remove items when returned to the shelf. This technology aims to streamline the shopping experience, reduce shoplifting, and improve efficiency for both shoppers and retailers.

  • How does a credit freeze affect auto insurance rates?

    In many states, credit reports are a primary factor in determining auto insurance premiums. A credit freeze can prevent insurance companies from accessing your credit report, which may result in higher insurance rates. It is advisable to temporarily unfreeze your credit when shopping for auto insurance to ensure accurate rate calculations.

Show Notes

Using reward points for summer airfare and hotels has been a great way to save over the years, but operators have long been devaluing these programs, and are limiting how you can earn those points. Know how to better manage the moving targets that are today’s variable travel rewards. Also, a special guest: Our man Anthony visited Manhattan’s Fairway Market, and reports on the latest version of cashier-less tech - the automated shopping cart.


  • Travel Loyalty Points: Segment 1

  • Ask Clark: Segment 2

  • Smart Shopping Carts: Segment 3

  • Ask Clark: Segment 4


Mentioned on the show:


Thank you for listening today, Clarkies! If you want to be part of our “Clarkie” segment, call 404-981-2071 to leave a comment or story. We may play it during a future episode!

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06.03.24  Managing Travel Rewards   /  Smart Shopping Carts - A Review

06.03.24 Managing Travel Rewards / Smart Shopping Carts - A Review

Clark Howard