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FOCUS ON RETAIL : Costco's sweet Visa/Citi deal









By Tom Ryan
MAY 1, 2015













Costco's new exclusive credit card deal with Citicorp and Visa will reduce the warehouse retailer's acceptance costs to almost zero, sources toldBloomberg.





Currently, Costco pays approximately 0.6 percent on each transaction as part of its exclusive deal with American Express. AmEx charges most merchants 2.45 percent per transaction. The even lower fee with Citicorp and Visa reflects the increased leverage of the second-largest U.S. retailer as well as the banking appeal of Costco's affluent customer base.




Effective April 1, 2016, Visa will succeed AmEx as the exclusive credit card accepted at Costco's U.S. stores. Citicorp will issue a new co-branded card to replace the existing AmEx-Costco card.




When news arrived that the 16-year deal with AmEx was ending, some felt Costco might shift strategy to start accepting many forms of card payments as a convenience to shoppers. Only cash or debit cards are accepted outside of AmEx at the chain.





Customers will gain some convenience as more own Visa cards.
















But concerns are already arriving over potential headaches transitioning to new cards. Customers are being assured that replacing current cards will be as easy as opening the mail although a similar switch in Canada led to long lines in stores.





More critically, many consumers want at least the same perks as the AmEx co-branded card. Costco's basic $55 annual fee enables members to apply for an Amex card that rebates three percent of most gasoline purchases, two percent on most travel and restaurant spending, and one percent on other purchases. Doubling the membership fee to $110 to earn a Costco AmEx card adds an annual check for 2 percent of most Costco purchases.





Costco said the new card will provide "generous rewards" but can't offer specifics with final details with the banks being worked out. Apparently its low negotiated swipe fees and other deal incentives will help.






"We think it's a big positive over a long period of time" 
said Richard Galanti, Costco's CFO, in March on Costco's second-quarter conference call. 


"But recognize big positive to us means giving most of it back to the customer; in this case, most of it back to the co-branded user of a credit card and that's going to happen."





























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Alphonso





Alphonso (mango)
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia








Alphonso (हापुस Haapoos in Marathi, હાફુસ in Gujarati, ಆಪೂಸ್ Aapoos in Kannada) is a mango cultivar that is considered by many[who?] to be one of the best in terms of sweetness, richness and flavor. 


It has considerable shelf life of a week after it is ripe making it exportable. 

It is also one of the most expensive kinds of mango and is grown mainly in Kokan region of western India.

 It is in season April through May and the fruit wei…

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However, the good news for fruit lovers is that this could see price of mangoes across varieties decrease marginally by 2-3%. This is mainly on account of 'import' of the fruit from other mango-growing states in India, said M Kamalakshi Rajanna, chairperson, Karnataka State Mango Development and Marketing Corporation Ltd.




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