We have been convinced that Citi is the most generous in giving out credit card rewards. Now, in a bid to improve customer retention in its banking departments, Citigroup is bringing reward programs to banking products. As reported by this WSJ article, "Citibank customers can now earn the same type of rewards points for using its banking services as some of them already earn with their credit cards. The size of the monthly banking bonus will depend on the type of bank account they use and the number of Citi banking products and services they use."
Not many information is available from Citi's website, but here are the details I figured out:
1. According to the same WSJ article, customers will be rewarded based on number of banking products they utilize every month based on the following schedule:
0-2 services: none
3 services: 100 points
4 services: 200 points
5 services: 400 points
6 services: 600 points
7+ services: 800 points
2. According to Citibank, covered products include: Checking Plus, Bill Payment, Home Equity, Money Market, Direct Deposit, Home Equity Line, CD, Ready Credit, Mortgage, Savings, Personal Loan.
3. Customers can also "[g]et 1 point for every $2 spent for purchases with
your signature and for every $3 spent for PIN purchases."
4. Points earned can be redeemed in the Citi Thank You Network. Based on the sample reward catalog, I feel it is fair to say each 10,000 point is worth about 80 dollars.
So, the question is: does it make sense to stick to Citi for these points?
Maybe not. After all, even if you are a heavy user of Citi banking products, you will only get rewarded by a few bucks every month. When it comes to banking, Citi is never generous in the interest rate for either saving or loan products. You might be much better off if you choose financial outlets with more competitive rates.
On the other hand, as WSJ rightfully pointed out, "[t]his is a change in the industry similar to when credit cards started having rewards attached to them." Let's pray more banks will follow suit, and bring more rewards to us.