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Editor's Note: This article is the first of a two-part interview with Terry O'Neil, Executive vice president of Citi Cards.
Who hasn't ever paid a credit card late fee? Consumers are often penalized with over the limit fees or a higher interest rate for being late on a payment. Wouldn't it be great if there was a credit card company that offered rewards like a lower APR for acting responsibly? Citibank is a company who is attempting to do just that. Terry O'Neil, Executive Vice President of Citi Cards, explained a unique, new rebate credit card called Citi Forward.
Mike: Can you offer background information as far as what Citi Forward is all about, details of its rewards programs, and why it was initiated?
Terry: Citibank conducted extensive qualitative and quantitative research into the wants and needs of consumers and found that they wanted a credit card that rewards them for good financial behavior. Citi Forward was built from the ground up, in response to these findings, to help consumers build and maintain a good credit history.
Our research revealed:
- 74% said they would very interested in a credit card that rewards them for good financial behavior
- 76% agreed that they would rather learn by being rewarded for doing the right things they do, rather than learning from mistakes
- 82% said they can do a better job managing their finances
Citi Forward speaks directly to the financial needs and interests of consumers and rewards them for making the right decisions when it comes to credit. Citi Forward is the only credit card that lowers card members' purchase interest rate by a quarter percent when they use credit wisely and rewards them with ThankYou Points each billing period for paying on time and staying under the credit line. The long-term reward is the foundation to build and maintain a strong credit history and financial future.
Mike: Can you elaborate in detail on the credit card APR reduction feature you mentioned?
Terry: Uniquely designed to help consumers maintain healthy credit, Citi Forward is the only credit card that lowers a card member's purchase APR by a quarter percent when they make a purchase, stay under the credit line, and pay on time 3 billing periods in a row. The purchase APR can be reduced a maximum of 8 times up to a total reduction of 2% throughout the time the account is open. The APR reduction does not apply to balance transfers or cash advances.
Mike: What is the difference between Citi Forward and Citi Forward by MySpace?
Terry: Citi Forward and Citi Forward by MySpace are both designed to help consumers build and maintain healthy credit.
The latter uniquely rewards card members for both financial and social responsibility, while offering great exclusive rewards and experiences through MySpace. Card members receive the same benefits and incentives for using credit wisely as well as the opportunity to earn additional ThankYou Points for completing socially responsible acts as part of the card's 12 Resolutions Program. These deeds include donating to a local food drive, going paperless, switching to energy-efficient light bulbs, and more.
Citi Forward includes free membership in Citi's ThankYou Rewards Network. ThankYou Points can be redeemed for millions of items, including a wide range of merchandise and experiences, such as gift cards at leading retailers, travel, student loan rebates, charitable donations, and much more.
Citi Forward by MySpace cardmembers can also redeem ThankYou Points for exclusive rewards and experiences from MySpace, such as music downloads, the Impact Maker Fundraising package, VIP concert experiences, private concerts for card member and friends in a small venue, trips to movie premiere screenings, trips to a charity gala, and much more.