NEW YORK, Oct. 27 /PRNewswire/ -- Citibank, the world's largest issuer of
traditional credit card products, today introduced ClickCredit, a separate
line of credit to be used exclusively for online purchases. Citibank has
backed ClickCredit with rewards, features and services -- including cash back
and airline mileage rewards, transaction security and purchase
protection/satisfaction guarantees -- which are unrivaled among existing
online consumer credit products.
Although consumers are expected to spend nearly $7.3 billion shopping
online this holiday season, up more than 121% from 1998, online purchases
still account for only about 2% of total retail spending. Many people are
still unsure whether the benefits of online shopping outweigh their concerns
about privacy and security on the Internet. Citibank, as the largest credit
card issuer, intends to leverage its industry leadership position and
reputation for superior customer service to alleviate these consumer concerns
and dramatically accelerate growth of the online retailing market.
"Community and currency are the two most important enablers to shopping
online so, as we thought about how Citibank could make it easier and more
rewarding for our customers, we decided to focus on both of these criteria,"
explained A. Sami Siddiqui, Head of Citibank North America Cards. "Currency
refers to the choice of payment vehicle, and Citibank is introducing a new
line of credit, called ClickCredit, which is for use specifically when making
purchases online. Community provides a comfortable place to shop where
consumers are confident about buying, and feel that they are getting value for
their dollar; we are addressing this need with CitiPlaza(SM)."
ClickCredit - Setting a New Standard for Online Shopping Rewards and
Through ClickCredit, Citibank is introducing two products that will
facilitate shopping online for its customers -- Click Citi(SM) Platinum
Select(R) and Click Citi(SM) AAdvantage(R). While these lines of credit are
not issued in the form of a credit card, they will feature many of the
benefits and services that have become hallmarks of Citibank's traditional
credit card offerings, as well as special rewards unique to the ClickCredit
program. Features include the following:
-- Earn Cash Back. Click Citi Platinum Select members will receive
2% cash back on all Internet purchases made through May 31, 2000; thereafter
they will earn 1% cash back.
-- Earn Double Mileage. Click Citi AAdvantage members will earn two
American Airlines AAdvantage miles for every dollar spent online, through May
31, 2000; thereafter they will earn one mile for every dollar spent.
-- Online Guarantee. ClickCredit customers will not be responsible for
any unauthorized online charges made on their account.
-- 100% Satisfaction Guarantee.* Citibank provides a 100% money-back
guarantee on most online purchases that don't meet a customer's satisfaction
requirements. ClickCredit customers also receive Price Protection*
(if a customer sees an item purchased advertised online for less within
60 days, Citibank will refund the difference). ClickCredit customers also
receive an Extended Warranty of up to one year. Click Citi Platinum Select
customers receive an additional Purchase Assurance (Citibank provides refunds
if online purchases are damaged, stolen or destroyed by fire).
Along with the launch of ClickCredit, Citibank also introduced CitiPlaza,
an online shopping mall which includes a group of online retailers who will
provide special savings and benefits to Citibank customers. Among the
merchants already featured with CitiPlaza are Barnes & Noble, CBS Sportsline,
CDNow, Dell Computers, the Disney Store, Eddie Bauer, Fragrance.Net, FTD.Com,
IBM, Nickelodean's Red Rocket, Office Max, Omaha Steaks, Reel.Com and the
Sharper Image, with others expected to be added shortly. CitiPlaza can be
accessed through the Citibank Cards web site at www.citibankcards.com.
"Over the years, Citibank has earned a reputation for its ability to apply
technology to financial services in ways that truly improve the customer
experience -- we are the bank that made ATM banking user-friendly in the late
1970s, we pioneered telephone banking, and today our "Direct Access" online
banking service is regularly cited as the best in the industry," noted Antony
Jenkins, Director of Internet Initiatives for Citibank North America Cards.
"With the explosive growth of the Internet, it was only natural for Citibank
Cards to study the way consumers were reacting to it as a shopping channel.
We found there were barriers that kept some customers from entering this new
world of shopping, so today we are vitually eliminating those barriers by
offering assurances that our customers will have a safe and rewarding Internet
shopping experience. The Internet is changing the way people buy, and we
believe that ClickCredit will now change the way they pay."
ClickCredit customers can monitor their spending and make payments at
www.citibank.com through features such as Account Online and CitiPay(R).
Citibank's Account Online service enables its traditional credit card and
ClickCredit customers to log on and manage their credit accounts. CitiPay
allows customers to make payments over the phone or online by deducting them
directly from any checking or savings account.
Consumers can apply online for a Click Citi Platinum Select or Click Citi
AAdvantage account. Online applications can be accessed directly at
www.clickcredit.com, or through the Citibank Cards web site at
www.citibankcards.com. Customers will be issued ClickCredit cards which will
include their account number; the cards are for reference only and are not
used when actually making a purchase.
Citibank is part of Citigroup (NYSE: C), the world's most global financial
services organization. Citigroup's consumer businesses cover a broad range of
financial services in 57 countries -- retail and private banking, credit and
charge cards, mortgage lending, consumer lending, personal financial planning,
personal insurance and investment brokerage and counseling. These services
are marketed through Citibank, CitiFinancial (formerly Commercial Credit),
Primerica, Travelers Life & Annuity and Travelers Property Casualty.
Today Citigroup serves over 100 million consumers, businesses, governments
and financial institutions -- in more than 100 countries and territories.
*Up to $1,000 per item, $5,000 per year; certain restrictions and
Press Contacts: Maria Mendler Joe Miller
Citibank Ruder Finn
(718) 248-6175 (212) 715-1602