Ever want to team up with your Facebook friends to donate to charity or buy a gift for a mutual friend? You can now using Citi rewards points.
The credit card issuer unveiled a new Facebook app Tuesday that allows you and your Facebook friends to pool Citi ThankYou rewards together for one purchase or cause. The app also allows Citi customers to transfer their points as well. It expands on Citi's efforts last year to allow points to be transferred from one account to another via the company's website.
"That was well-received, but we realized that everyone is not on the Citi website everyday, but they are on Facebook," says Ralph Andretta, head of co-brands and loyalty at Citi Cards. "So we improved on that and went to where our customers transact socially."
The Facebook app is easy to work with. Simply click on the link of the Citi Facebook page, pick a reward and invite others to join the pool. Of course, your invitees must be on Facebook and have ThankYou Rewards account. There's an option to share the pool on your Facebook wall to encourage others to join. The app even tracks the progress toward your group's goal.
Citi is going a little further by offering some incentives for using the app. The first 4,000 ThankYou customers to link to the app before Feb. 3 will get 2,500 extra rewards points.
"We want to be the world's best digital bank," Andretta says. "It's a first of many steps for us."
Citi is one of many credit card issuer leveraging social networking sites for customer interaction. Many offer special discounts or promotions just for Facebook fans, while others run contests and charity selections over Facebook and Twitter.
Other companies have been using the real-time benefit of Twitter to address customer issues. And American Express has even paired up with social and mobile site Foursquare, while Capital One partnered with online social games "Farmville" and "Cityville."