Citibank has launched a new Facebook app that allows users to 'pool' credit card reward points to save up for a group purchase or make a donation.

The ThankYou Point Sharing App, which is only available in the US, builds on a service introduced last year that lets customers transfer points to each other on the bank’s homepage.

Now, ThankYou members can combine their points on Facebook to make a charitable donation, or choose from a range of rewards on

Customers start a rewards pool by naming a recipient, who must be an individual rather than an organisation, and explaining its purpose. The recipient then maintains control of all the points.

Users can promote the reward pool through their Facebook page or by inviting other Citibank customers to donate. The app can collect personal information from Facebook profiles, but Citi says it does not share any customer account information with Facebook.

PayPal launched a similar app in November that allows Facebook users to make peer-to-peer payments free of charge.

The app, called Send Money, is aimed at the gifting marker as it allows users to send an e-card with the money, but it does not offer the same group contribution function as Citi’s app.

The launch of Citi’s app signals increased competition among online payment providers, with companies seeking to innovate and integrate social media into their online services.

Visa also announced a new online wallet last year, called, which operates in a similar way to PayPal although it was not integrated into social media networks at the time of launch.

PayPal would appear to have a headstart on other brands as it is seen as a trustworthy online brand and 80% of its users actively use Facebook, but it may soon feel the pinch if the likes of Citibank and Visa continue to push for a share of the market.

David Moth

Published 3 January, 2012 by David Moth

David Moth is Editor and Head of Social at Econsultancy. You can follow him on Twitter or connect via LinkedIn

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Comments (2)


Jay Gould

This is a very smart move on Citi's part. On one hand, they are testing a new approach to building their social media presence by allowing cardholders to share their rewards points, which makes sense and seems to be working.

On the other hand, if successful, the experiment will give another push to the huge campaign U.S. issuers are currently waging with the aim of driving consumers away from debit cards and towards using their credit cards, which is already producing results. The Citi guys may not have thought of that when the point-sharing program was launched, but will surely welcome the positive (from their point of view) side effect.

over 6 years ago


Ernie Jay

People need to know that CitiBank plays a game against its customers with their ThankYou rewards program. If you join it and earn points, be aware that Citi reserves the right to change the value of the points. And in fact, they have already changed them. For example, on 6/1/12, it took 16,000 points to get $100 cash but on 6/26/12, it took 20,000 points to get $100 cash. I've had conversations up to the presidential level telling them that this approach is a disincentive to people using their program but they said they didn't care, they're sticking with it. So my friends, my advice is not to join the ThankYou program and if you're already in it, use your points soon or they'll drop in value."

about 6 years ago

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