Normally, when consumers redeem their credit card rewards points they are somewhat limited as to how and when they can redeem those points. Citigroup is looking to change all that by allowing their members to redeem their ThankYou Rewards Points any way they choose.
Building a Stronger Customer Base
In order to keep their most loyal and valuable customers, Citigroup is looking to build partnerships with major businesses so card-carrying Citi members can pay for goods and services using their ThankYou Rewards Points with the same ease as using cash or paying with a credit card. So far LiveNation has jumped on the bandwagon, and now members can pay for any event ticket by using their ThankYou Rewards Points.
Members will have the option to use all their rewards points or a portion depending on how many points they may have accrued. Citigroup’s head of co-brands and loyalty programs, Ralph Andretta announced that Citi is in development with other merchants and expects to announce similar deals by the end of this year.
The Right Combination for Customers & Promoters
Citigroup is not the first credit card issuer to use this strategy though. Last year Discover, American Express, and J.P. Morgan Chase allowed members with specific cards to apply their rewards points on purchases made at Amazon.com. As more credit card companies look for ways to keep their current customers happy and entice new ones to join, their rewards programs continue to become a viable channel for affiliate marketers to explore. Consumers are always on the hunt for a good deal, so if a credit card company allows them to make purchases while earning points which they can later use on other goods, it’s like a shopaholic’s dream come true.
Top of the Heap
Scott Strumello, a payments consultant with Auriemma Consulting Group, noted that “the average consumers has anywhere from three to four cards in their wallets… the question is which one do they reach for when they’re going to make a purchase. If you can get your card to be top of wallet, that’s all part of the engagement strategy.” It’s this strategy that all credit card issuers are vying for, and the only way to do it is by giving consumers a good reason to pull out their card over the competition’s. While the analysts fight each other over how the economy is doing, consumers are continuing to apply for credit cards and spending on the things they need.
As June draws to a close, it’s difficult to say whether consumers will prove analysts right, but what is certain is that credit card companies will continue to roll out programs that keep consumers happy and urge them to use their credit cards more often. This gives affiliate marketers an opportunity to reap the benefits of every new program out on the market, and as long as credit card companies keep coming up with new programs, there will always be new consumers to win over.