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Press a button to use Citi points?

By Leslie McFadden · Bankrate.com
Wednesday, October 6, 2010
Posted: 10 am ET

Citi announced yesterday that it will start a pilot program in November with programmable credit cards that allow cardholders to redeem their rewards points or dollars at the point of sale with a push of a button on their credit card.

According to a press release from Citi, the "2G credit cards" will have a battery, an embedded chip, a card-programmable magnetic stripe and two buttons on the front of the card that let the user choose between making a normal transaction or one that applies their rewards cash or points toward the purchase. An indicator light shows which option the user selected --  either "Regular Credit" or "Request Rewards."

The cards are the same size and shape as other credit cards, but feature an electronic magnetic stripe that rewrites itself with the corresponding data once the user selects a payment option. Cardholders can then swipe them through the card reader as they would any other credit card.

For now, only customers selected for the pilot program will receive the new cards. The company has plans to offer the cards on a broader scale in 2011, according to the press release.

The cards use technology from Dynamics Inc., the company that recently demonstrated programmable credit cards at a tech conference.

Would you like the ability to use rewards points at checkout? What's your redemption preference?

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