This post comes from my friend and fellow blogger Philip Taylor from PT Money.
In order for me to spend my Chase credit card rewards I log into my account, check my reward balance and request a check or have the rewards deposited into my Chase checking account. This is how most people redeem their points, I’m assuming. What if you could spend your rewards instantly, using the same credit card that you used to earn the rewards? Would that be of any value?
Well, pretty soon, you’ll be able to do just that. Dynamics, Inc. and Citi Credit Cards have teamed up to bring you the Citi 2G Card. These “Second Generation” cards actually have batteries and a computer chip, along with buttons for you to select between using your available credit or using your rewards. They also have little LED lights that indicate which method you are using.
Pretty inovative stuff, if you ask me. But is it a game changer? I’m not so sure. I collect anywhere from two to five hundred dollars in rewards cash each year. I really like getting that in one big check or deposit so I can bulk up my online savings account. I’m not sure I’d enjoy the whole cash back rewards system if I could spend as I earned. Plus, aren’t cash back programs usually tiered such that you have to reach a certain threshold before cashing out makes sense?
If this card doesn’t impress you, then have no fear, Dynamics, Inc. has some other cards in their 2G wallet. They offer a card that hides a portion of your credit card number until you enter a passcode on a series of 5 buttons. Once you enter your unique passcode, the card can be used. If this card can be manufactured cheaply, then I can see credit card companies jumping all over this type of card. I’m sure they lose millions in fraudulent card charges each year. This would ideally clean that up and it would be in their best interest to get as many of these in the hand of their customers as they can.
They also offer a multi-account card that acts like two credit cards in one, allowing you to choose which account you want to spend from: a debit from your checking account, or a charge on your credit line. As a consumer with a George Costanza sized wallet full of cards and junk, this type of all-in-one smart card appeals to me. I bank at Chase for my personal account and my business account. Plus I have credit cards with them as well. My wallet looks like a Chase credit card factory. If I could get all of those accounts assigned to just one card, then I’d be game. Dynamics, Inc. supposedly has other 2G cards in the works. My advice to them is to hurry it up because I see payment moving to mobile devices in the future.
So how do you get your hands on one of these cards? So far Dynamics, Inc. appears to have partnered with only one big bank, Citi. According to the Citi website, they aren’t available yet. I’m not a Citi card holder, so I don’t know if they are pitching these things to their customers yet. I’ve seen in other news stories and in Citi employee comments around the web that they are in some type of pilot. If you have one of these cards, I’d love to get your thoughts on it in the comment below. I did find a form on the Dynamics, Inc. website that you could complete to be “sent an application for Dynamics cards as they are released, or if you would like to be considered to participate in existing or future Dynamics pilots.” I filled it out and will let you know what I find out.
So what do you think of the Citi 2G Card and the other 2G options from Dynamics, Inc.? What would you want your credit card to do?
This is a guest post from my friend Philip Taylor of PT Money: Personal Finance. Philip blogs each day to help you save more money, make more money, and spend your money wisely. Check out his latest list of the best free online checking accounts.