Citi allows cardholders to tie rewards to Facebook accounts

As part of an effort to continue expanding its customer base by reaching consumers who may not be traditional targets for credit card marketing, one of the nation’s top lenders is now changing the way it lets cardholders handle the rewards points they accrue.

Citi recently unveiled its new ThankYou Point Sharing App, which works with cardholders’ Facebook accounts and allows users to have more flexibility in how they accrue, pool and redeem their rewards points, according to the company. For example, members who are friends on the popular social network will be able to put their points together toward a single reward, or use them to make a charitable donation.

“As our ThankYou members imagine all the ways to use their points this year, this app extends the possibilities,” said Ralph Andretta, head of co brands and loyalty at Citi Cards. “With the new ability to pool points together through their social networks, ThankYou members can rally their friends towards a bigger reward – whether they are interested in combining points to book a weekend getaway or supporting a common cause.”

In addition to this new app, Citi will also give away 10 million points to celebrate the launch. The first 4,000 people who link their Facebook accounts to the ThankYou Point Sharing App before February 3, 2012, will receive 2,500 bonus points, the company said. Those can be used toward a number of rewards including ebooks and music downloads. Those who choose to link their rewards credit card and Facebook accounts will receive the bonus points within 72 hours of doing so.

Users can also use the new app somewhat socially, such as starting a pool for a specific goal or reward and inviting Facebook friends who have ThankYou accounts to contribute, the company said. In addition, they’ll be able to track progress on the account through the app and see how much has been contributed toward that final goal.

Many of the nation’s top credit card lenders are always on the lookout for ways to expand the offerings they grant consumers, particularly as it relates to rewards programs. These have become some of the most popular accounts offered by lenders in the years since the end of the recession, as consumers are trying to incentivize their own credit card use.

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