Credit Cards Rewards? There’s an ‘app’ for that as credit cards join forces with social networking

As credit cards become even more competitive, and less not more are using them, credit card companies may be trying to get social with you and their rewards system.    Find out which credit cards may be interacting with you in a whole new way.

Citigroup will be thanking customer with thank you rewards that they can “pool” together in a new Facebook application.  The Facebook application allows users to join points and use them to benefit a charity, a person or a gift.  For example, 20 people could share their points together, and use them to purchase an airline ticket for a friend.   Citi says it’s the first bank to offer such a feature.

After a successful launch of a Citigroup app which permitted customers to transfer points to one another using the banks online banking service, it decided to expand the rewards sharing capability and program by offering it social media.

“Now we’re delivering it to where customers are every day,” said Ralph Andretta, who heads Citi’s loyalty programs and co-branded cards. He notes that “customers will have far more flexibility with their points, whether it’s to help a friend fly home from college or team up for a big-ticket reward. The company is giving away 2,500 free rewards points to each of the first 4,000 customers to sign up.”

Simply download the ThankYou Point Sharing App, to get started. This application is offered on Citi’s Facebook page at

American Express Card members can go for the gold as they “sync” their credit card purchases with their Foursquare account and application.  American Express also joins J.P. Morgan and Discover Financial Services allow cardholders to link their accounts with and use rewards to pay for purchases on the site.

Discover Card users can apply as little or as much of their cash back rewards to purchases on Amazon and also earn double cash back bonuses when they use their Discover Card to make purchases on Amazon.   You can even use it on your MP3 purchases, just follow these simple instructions.

Have you ever purchased credits on Facebook?  These “credits” are used to play premium games and access some services on Facebook.   Facebook now has a gift card available for purchase at Target.  You can purchase your card in $15, $25 and $50 denominations and use it to make Facebook credit purchases.  USA Today reports, “”We think (the cards) will be incredibly popular as a holiday gift,” says Dan Rose, vice president of partnerships and platform marketing at Facebook.  The cards can initially be used on more than 150 social games and applications, including titles from game makers such as Zynga (FarmVille, FrontierVille), CrowdStar (Happy Aquarium, HelloCity) and PopCap Games (Bejeweled Blitz). Facebook gift cards do not replace Zynga’s existing game cards.”

Is Facebook the new credit card of the future?  Gift cards today, credit cards and reward applications tomorrow?  Would you be worried about the interaction on sites like Facebook that links both personal and financial information?  I would, after all the more you “share” the more you and everyone else can know.




Wall Street Journal