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Sam’s Club launches credit card featuring chip-enabled anti-fraud technology

BY Michael Johnsen

BENTONVILLE, Ark. — In a major boost to member benefits, Sam’s Club on Tuesday announced a credit card cash back program that gives members the opportunity to earn 5% cash back on fuel, 3% cash back on dining and travel and 1% cash back on all other purchases, up to $5,000 annually.

The new Sam’s Club MasterCard comes with enhanced credit card safety, a top concern for today’s shoppers. Sam’s Club is the first mass retailer to actively implement chip-enabled technology. Each credit card has an embedded chip that makes the card more difficult to duplicate, which provides enhanced security from fraudulent activity.

Starting June 23, the Sam’s Club 5-3-1 cash back program on its new co-branded MasterCard, issued by GE Capital Retail Bank, is available to qualifying Sam’s Savings, Sam’s Business and Sam’s Plus members in the United States and Puerto Rico. The cashback value proposition makes the new Sam’s Club program the most competitive credit reward program in the club category, the retailer stated.

“We’re always looking for ways to find time and money-saving solutions for our members. The 5-3-1 Sam’s Club program and co-branded MasterCard mean industry-leading savings and security innovation for today’s consumer,” stated Rosalind Brewer, president and CEO of Sam’s Club.“Under the 5-3-1 cash back program, Sam’s Club members can earn up to $5,000 cash back annually. That could cover a family of four’s travel to Disney, or five sets of laptops and wireless phones for a small business. We believe this value is the best in the industry.”

“MasterCard has taken a strong stance on the need for the U.S. market to make the transition to chip-enabled credit cards for the benefit of cardholders and merchants alike,” stated Chris McWilton, president of North America division for MasterCard. “This move by Sam’s Club makes them a trailblazer in getting chip cards in the hands of businesses and consumers, and leading the push toward a safer and more secure customer experience. This will no doubt help drive chip-enabled technology forward here in the United States as it gains more traction.”

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Study: Supplementing with vitamin D and calcium, but not vitamin D alone, reduces risk of bone fracture

BY Michael Johnsen

CHICHESTER, England — For seniors older than 65, taking a daily supplement of vitamin D with calcium — but not vitamin D alone — can offer some protection against the risk of common bone fractures, according to an updated review from the Cochrane Library, as released by the Health Behavior News Service Tuesday. 

Cochrane reviewers evaluated 53 studies with 91,791 participants to determine whether supplements with vitamin D alone or vitamin D supplements with additional calcium offered the best protection against fractures. Seniors were given either vitamin D supplements, including D2 and D3; vitamin D with calcium; or a placebo.

The reviewers, led by Alison Avenell at the University of Aberdeen in Aberdeen, England, concluded that in the doses and formulations that were tested in the included trials, supplements of vitamin D alone are unlikely to lower the risk of hip fractures for older people. “We did not expect to find an effect from vitamin D alone, as this has been a consistent finding from previous reviews,” Avenell said.

Supplements of vitamin D with calcium did, however, reduce the risk of hip fractures in nine of the studies. Among low-risk seniors who live in the community, those who consumed vitamin D with calcium had one less hip fracture per 1,000 older adults per year. For seniors living in high-risk environments of nursing homes and hospitals, there were nine less hip fractures per 1,000 older adults per year.

Avenell said the review supports the recommendation that at-risk older women and men take vitamin D supplements with calcium. Noting, however, that people, particularly those with kidney stones, kidney disease, high blood calcium levels, gastrointestinal disease or who are at risk for heart disease, should seek medical device before taking supplements.

“I would only suggest calcium and vitamin D for fracture prophylaxis in very high risk populations, such as much older people in such institutions as nursing homes, who get no sunlight exposure at all. Even then, the risk of side effects may outweigh any preventive effect. I would not suggest vitamin D alone," Avenell said. 

"Most individuals in Europe and North America are deficient in both calcium and vitamin D,” said Robert Heaney of the Creighton University Osteoporosis Research Center. “Giving one or the other, by itself, will help only those who have the single deficiency, not the double deficiency.”

It therefore makes sense that giving both is more likely to produce benefit than giving one or the other or nothing at all, he added.

 

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Pilgrim’s Pride raises bid for Hillshire

BY DSN STAFF

GREELEY, Colo. — Pilgrim’s Pride Corp. on Tuesday confirmed that it submitted a revised proposal to acquire Hillshire Brands for $55 per share in a transaction valued at $7.7 billion, representing a $1.3 billion increase from the initial offer.

Pilgrim’s said it is confident with the terms of the transaction, as it would create considerable value for shareholders of both companies. Hillshire’s portfolio of brands includes such names as Jimmy Dean, Ball Park and Sara Lee.

 

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