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Citi Credit Card Lets You Redeem Points at the Register But Not Instantly

Citibank’s’ Citi ThankYou 2G Card with the Dynamics, Inc. programmable mag stripe are making their way to stores with the trial user group. This New York Times blog post notes the user experience of a trial cardholder:
For the card to work, you need to press one of its two buttons before swiping. If you press the “Regular Credit” button, a blue light flashes and you can swipe your card just as you would with any other transaction (if you don’t press the button before swiping, it won’t work). But if you press the “Request Rewards” button and you have at least 1,000 points in your rewards bank, you will receive a $10 statement credit within one to two billing cycles. (Your purchase will post as usual. And if don’t have enough points, the transaction goes through as it normally would.)
As the article notes, the earn rate for rewards is not notably different than other credit card programs. It is apparent, however, that rewards redemption in everyday purchase situations will be encouraged with this technology. Rewards redemption can be a weak link in traditional programs; the most generous rewards can be ineffective incentives if consumers never redeem them.
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