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Citibank Credit Cards - Compare & Apply

By Joe Taylor Jr.

In its earlier days, Citibank helped launch some of the most innovative credit card offers of all time, but staffing changes, tough competition, and economic setbacks caused the bank to reconsider its approach to personal lending. JPMorgan Chase's current CEO, Jamie Dimon, has been using many of the ideas he honed at Citigroup against it, especially its approach to affinity partnerships and reward programs. However, Citi's new leadership has a few tricks up their own sleeves. You can make their competition pay off by selecting from a wide range of credit card offers that could enhance your personal lifestyle.

How Citi says "ThankYou" to loyal customers

For years, Citi relied on its marketing partners to manage customer loyalty programs. For instance, the credit cards with miles promotions that Citi operates in conjunction with American Airlines remain some of the most popular accounts in the company's portfolio. Over the past few years, Citibank announced its intention to build one of the industry's best credit card reward programs with the launch of its "ThankYou Network."

Like other credit card rewards programs, ThankYou uses points as a form of currency that members can redeem for merchandise, gift cards, or even cash. Depending on your credit score, you can qualify for accounts that earn ThankYou points with a base redemption value of between 0.5 and 2 percent of your overall purchases. However, responding to special offers can help you earn points faster, or even multiply the value of your existing ThankYou points.

Citi tests a simpler credit card

Citi has also launched an experiment with its newest low interest balance transfer credit card, called Simplicity. In the years leading up to 2008's financial crisis, critics of the credit card industry charged that banks relied on balance transfer offers to spike customers with heavy penalties with just one or two late payments. The Credit CARD Act changed how banks can assign penalty interest rates, while easing the path for consumers to cure their accounts. As a result, many banks eliminated their overlimit fees while clarifying the terms of their teaser offers.

Simplicity takes the trend further, by eliminating late payment penalties for customers who keep Citi informed about their plans to pay down their balances. Although the credit card still requires routine monthly payments, customers can flex their bills around payroll schedules or family emergencies without fear of losing their teaser rates. Citi has even made some Simplicity zero percent introductory APR balance transfer credit cards available to consumers with credit scores below 700, exposing even more Americans to the idea of a flexible repayment schedule.

Citi builds new customer connections after enduring crisis

Citi's recent innovation marks the close of a particularly rough chapter in its storied history. The bank's predecessor companies date back to 1812, and it helped invent what we now know as MasterCard. Citibank upended the consumer lending business in the 1980s by moving its credit card operations to South Dakota, where it could enjoy fewer restrictions under the state's looser lending laws.

The company fueled its growth through a clever structure of subsidiary companies, linked under a common brand. However, a late 1990s merger with Travelers Group never panned out the way company leaders expected. Citigroup spun off Travelers' insurance business in 2007, embarking on a full corporate restructuring. The financial crisis of 2008 forced the company to streamline further, while the government took over a third of the company's equity in exchange for a last-minute bailout.

Today, having recovered from some of the biggest challenges in its corporate history, Citi has returned its government investment and refocused on consumer banking. Under CEO Vikram Pandit, Citi restored its profitability and boosted its account security and fraud detection teams. With a full slate of credit cards with balance transfer promotions, Citi may just have a deal that can save you money over the next few years.

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