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Citi 2G Credit Cards Coming Soon

Dynamics Inc., a developer and manufacturer of advanced payment devices, recently took best of show at Finovate Fall 2010 when they announced their partnership with Citi and the launch of a new credit card that allows consumers to redeem rewards right at the cash register.

Dubbed the "Citi 2G", the new credit card looks identical to regular cards but hides a battery, embedded chip, and a programmable magnetic stripe that gives users the ability to press one of two small buttons on the card and choose between "Regular Credit" or "Request Rewards" when paying for their purchases. A choice of "Regular Credit" ensures your transaction takes place just like a normal credit card purchase.

However, a choice of "Request Rewards" will activate the card so you can redeem points or cash rewards with the next swipe of your card. According to Dynamics, you'll also be able to clearly tell which option you've chosen because a small light will turn on next to the button when activated.

The picture shown above from Citi provides an example of how the new cards should look. Sounds pretty cool and innovative to me, but will card users actually embrace the new technology? We'll find out soon. Citicard's pilot program is set to launch this November for select cardholders, and it appears that the new cards will primarily be available in the form of Citi Dividend 2G and Citi PremierPass 2G credit cards. I've been a long-time user of the Citi PremierPass credit card, so I'm really hoping I'll get a chance to test this out sometime before the end of the year.

What still eludes me is how cardholders are expected to know what their stash of cash back or rewards points is on the spot? Will cardholders be willing to choose "Request Rewards" if they have no clue what rewards they have or what the redemption value is? I doubt it. At any rate, it'll be interesting to see whether this new service takes off or does a total nose dive.

Stay tuned for more to come in November as the pilot program rolls out in full force.

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Joshua Heckathorn's picture

Joshua Heckathorn was President of Creditnet, is a credit expert and has been featured on CNNMoney, FOX Business, Yahoo Finance, The Street, and many other national publications during the past ten years.  He received a Bachelor of Science in Management (Finance) from Brigham Young University's Marriott School of Business and earned his MBA from Seattle University.

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Craig Huizenga's picture

Your previous statement shows your rewards points. They redeem points only after $50 have accumulated.