Credit cards can get high-tech, too. Just like the Redemption, a dual-purpose wallet filler that can turn from a regular credit card to an in-store points redemption device at the push of a button.
Using the new card, redeeming rewards becomes as simple as charging payments on a card. All you have to do is punch one of the two buttons in front (either C or R) and it will automatically turn from one to the other. If you want to pay with your earned points, hit "R"; if you want to charge it to your credit account, hit "C." In either mode, the sales clerk can swipe it on a card reader like normal, with Citi processing all information on the backend. Simple.
Redemption uses a programmable magnetic stripe (called the Electronic Stripe) that will hold data right on the strip, which can then be read by any magnetic reader at the point of sale. All your earned points balance (for multiple store accounts) are kept right on the strip, so you only need one card to redeem your rewards at any retail shop. Yes, you can finally ditch all the individual store cards that bulk up your wallet.
Created by Dynamics, the smart card uses their Card 2.0 technology platform, the same one they're using to build a growing line of fancy credit cards with buttons and a whole host of new capabilities. Trials for the Redemption have been ongoing with a limited user base since May and will expand to a larger group of customers beginning next month.