If you've ever been frustrated with the hassles of using credit card rewards, take a look at the new Citi 2G credit card, which takes the Credit Card 2.0 technology from Dynamics and allows you to push a button to pay with your Citi Thank You Rewards when you swipe.
The new Citi PremierPass 2G and Citi DividendPass 2G cards have been in testing since last year and will be a card option to new and many existing Citi cardholders by the middle of 2011. The new cards are waterproof and work just like your existing credit cards, except you can choose how you pay before you swipe.By default, the cards will use your credit line to pay for purchases and even if you pay with rewards, the initial transaction will go through as credit. At the end of the day, the rewards will be applied to the purchase. Terry O'Neil, executive vice president at Citi Cards tells Mint.com that the card charges as credit first so that card holders aren't turned down at the point of sale if there aren't sufficient rewards associated with the account.
One thing we do like about the new Citi 2G cards is that it will be much easier to spend your credit card rewards, since you can use them anywhere and you don't need to have a set level of rewards before you use them. Mint.com reports that the points are worth a penny. This means 2,500 points will give you $25 to spend at a store, as opposed to waiting to accumulate 3,500 points to get a $25 gift card through the Citi Thank You rewards website.
It's hard to argue with the ability to actually use your credit card rewards, though we do wish Citi had used some of the other technology shown off as part of Card 2.0, such as the security features that require the user to enter a PIN to turn the magnetic stripe on.
Here's an example of the Card 2.0 technology in use, including the security features and ability to use two accounts on one card:
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