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Costco inks agreements with Citi, Visa

BY Antoinette Alexander

ISSAQUAH, Wash. — Following its fallout with American Express, Costco announced on Monday that it has entered into a new co-brand credit card program agreement with Citi and an acceptance and co-brand incentive agreement with Visa.

Under the agreements, Citi will become the exclusive issuer of Costco's co-brand credit cards, and Visa will replace American Express as the credit card network for Costco in the United States and Puerto Rico, beginning April 1, 2016.

Once issued, Costco's co-brand Visa credit card would provide rewards to Costco members, serve as the Costco membership card, and would be accepted at Costco locations in the United States and Puerto Rico, as well as all merchants worldwide that accept Visa credit cards.

Costco stated that it will provide its members with additional information in the coming months regarding the transition from its existing co-brand credit card program.

On Feb. 12, American Express announced that its U.S. co-brand and merchant acceptance agreements with Costco will end on March 31, 2016. According to American Express, the companies failed to reach an agreement on renewal terms. Until that time, all American Express credit cards will be accepted at Costco warehouse stores in the United States and on Costco.com. All co-branded cards from American Express and Costco can be used any place American Express cards are accepted through March 31, 2016.

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BURG intros new safety smartwatch

BY Ryan Chavis

NYACK, N.Y. — BURG, a producer of smartwatch technology, on Monday announced the BURG 31, a standalone phone and safety smartwatch for kids and seniors. The watch lets adults monitor their children and also offers a way to respond rapidly to emergencies involving senior citizens. 

BURG is able to accomplish this through GPS tracking and what it calls the "Find my BURG" feature, which provides one-touch SOS calls, speed dialing of up to three pre-set numbers and a standby battery time of two days. 
 
The watch is available in eight colors:  light blue, orange, lime, red, pink, navy, gray and black. For seniors, the BURG 31 smartwatch is a more fashion-forward altnerative to what it describes as the  "stereotypical, embarrassing and expensive 'I’ve fallen' pendant." And as an added benefit for parents, the BURG 31 doesn't have an internet browser, eliminating the chance that children to stumble upon trouble on the web. 
 
The BURG 31, priced at $129, includes a free SIM card, USB to Micro USB cable, 4GB Micro SD card that can be upgraded to 16GB, headphones, watch battery, stylus, Quick Start Guide, band tool and language selector. Consumers can visit Burgwearbles.com for more information on the new product. 

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Forbes Billionaires list counts H-E-B chairman among the 100 richest

BY Ryan Chavis

Image Credit: Forbes.com
 
NEW YORK — H-E-B CEO Charles Butt has been named to the 2015 Forbes Billionaires list, according to a news report from WOAI. Butt's net worth totals $12.3 million, placing him at number 94 on the list. He shares the spot with mining heiress Gina Rinehart.
 
Butt was the 121st wealthiest person in the United States last year, WOAI reported. He began his career bagging groceries at the age of 8 years old and has been at the helm of the company since 1971, according to Forbes. 

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