Citibank launches app to allow users to pool reward points

Citibank yesterday launched a Facebook application that allows users to team up to use their credit card rewards points, whether for charity, a group gift or a personal goal. The bank said it was the first lender to offer such a feature.

The app is an extension of a service Citi introduced last year that allows customers to transfer points to one another on the bank's homepage. Executives decided to expand the rewards sharing capability and offer it through social media after getting feedback, according to Citibank.

According to Ralph Andretta, head of Citi's loyalty programmes and co-branded cards, the bank was now delivering it to where customers were every day.

Andretta said that customers would have much greater flexibility with their points, whether it was to help a friend fly home from college or team up for a big-ticket reward. The company is offering 2,500 free rewards points to each of the first 4,000 customers that sign up.

Customers first need to download the ThankYou Point Sharing App, which is linked on Citi's Facebook page.

They can then start a rewards pool by naming a recipient and explaining its purpose, with the recipient maintaining control of contributions. Recipients can only be individuals and not organisations, even if the intended goal is a charitable donation.