National / International News

Colombian soldiers killed by bomb

BBC - Mon, 2015-02-16 04:32
Three soldiers are killed in north-eastern Colombia in an attack blamed by the army on the country's second-largest rebel force, the ELN.

Schools reopen in Ebola-hit Liberia

BBC - Mon, 2015-02-16 04:24
Many schools in Liberia reopen six months after the world's deadliest Ebola outbreak forced their closure.

VIDEO: Washing machine 'vandalism' deadlock

BBC - Mon, 2015-02-16 04:23
Three executives from LG electronics are due to stand trial in South Korea after being accused of vandalising washing machines made by rival firm Samsung.

Renewed fears over Longannet future

BBC - Mon, 2015-02-16 04:10
There are renewed fears for the future of the huge coal-fired power station at Longannet in Fife, BBC Scotland has learned.

Police 'thank' Facebook taunt man

BBC - Mon, 2015-02-16 04:08
Police issue their own message to an on-the-run criminal who taunted them on Facebook, as he is arrested and returned to prison.

What would happen if prices started going down?

BBC - Mon, 2015-02-16 04:06
Britain is heading for its first period of falling prices since 1989.

Hadi allies clash with Yemen police

BBC - Mon, 2015-02-16 04:04
Clashes erupt in the Yemeni city of Aden as militiamen loyal to President Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi seize buildings guarded by pro-rebel police forces.

Racecourse bans punter picnics

BBC - Mon, 2015-02-16 03:59
"Trip hazard" picnics face ban at Newcastle Racecourse for health and safety reasons.

Saturday Night Live marks 40 years

BBC - Mon, 2015-02-16 03:37
Saturday Night Live celebrates its 40th birthday with a three-hour special featuring guests including Jack Nicholson and Robert De Niro.

Soyinka on Nigeria's 'cycle of evil'

BBC - Mon, 2015-02-16 03:29
Ahead of Nigeria's presidential election, Nobel-Prize winning author Wole Soyinka tells the BBC's Will Ross that both main candidates have serious flaws.

Villa job a 'no brainer' - Sherwood

BBC - Mon, 2015-02-16 03:15
New Aston Villa boss Tim Sherwood says he did not need to think long about the opportunity to replace Paul Lambert.

US drone rules impact Amazon plans

BBC - Mon, 2015-02-16 03:03
New rules on drone flights proposed by the US aviation authority would prevent Amazon's drone delivery plans.

Ex-Union president rape case review

BBC - Mon, 2015-02-16 03:02
The CPS is to review the decision to drop the case against a former president of the Oxford Union, after the alleged victim appeals.

Pape cited for challenge on Heaslip

BBC - Mon, 2015-02-16 02:48
France lock Pascal Pape is cited for allegedly kneeing Jamie Heaslip in the back during Ireland's Six Nations win over France.

In pictures: Rio samba schools fight for title

BBC - Mon, 2015-02-16 02:47
Carnival battle in Rio

Rolls 'does not tolerate' bribes

BBC - Mon, 2015-02-16 02:40
Rolls-Royce says it does not "tolerate improper business" after the Financial Times reports that the firm has been accused of being involved in the Petrobras bribery scandal.

VIDEO: Ebola crisis: Liberia schools reopen

BBC - Mon, 2015-02-16 02:32
Schools are reopening in Liberia on Monday following closure due to the epidemic of the deadly Ebola disease.

Convicted rapist 'murdered parents'

BBC - Mon, 2015-02-16 02:22
A convicted rapist, recently released from prison, is believed to have killed his parents in a double murder in central London.

US north-east shivers in snowstorms

BBC - Mon, 2015-02-16 02:18
The United States north-east is reeling from the latest in a series of disruptive blizzards, with temperatures up to 17C below normal.

Why would credit cards want Costco?

Marketplace - American Public Media - Mon, 2015-02-16 02:16

The Costco and American Express partnership, which is ending at the end of March, was just one example of what credit card companies are doing more of these days. 

American Express offered an official Costco card and had been the only credit card you could use to buy stuff at the retailer, which posted $110 billion in revenues for fiscal year 2014.

Their partnership was a co-branding arrangement. Such arrangements have become more common, says Jason Arnold of RBC, and offer loyalty programs such as airline miles or cash-back cards. These arrangements are alluring to risk-averse credit issuers, says Arnold, because they are less likely to result in delinquencies.

"If a card-member wants to keep their rewards, they typically have to pay their card on time," Arnold says. 

Since the Great Recession, banks have been increasingly employing co-branding agreements to stand out from the competition, instead of competing with each other on lower interest rates, says Arnold.

Co-branding partnerships can encourage spending. American Express says 20 percent of its monthly outstanding balances are on its Costco cards. And, 70 percent of the money people spend on those cards, isn't even spent at Costco, according to the company.

Customers have been using the cards for other purchases, too.

Sameer Gokhale, who tracks the banking industry at Janney Capital Markets, says co-branding gives credit card companies a captive customer base.

"You have this one merchant. You have customers loyal to this one merchant," says Gokhale, "In this case it was Costco."

But he adds that it probably did not make sense for AmEx to retain the partnership under the terms which he thinks Costco was asking: accepting lower fees for point-of-sale transactions at Costco stores. 

For its part, American Express says it will try to hold onto its many Costco credit card customers by offering them other AmEx cards. It also plans to ramp up spending on marketing.