Citibank Clear Platinum Card – The Social Credit Card?

Citibank’s Clear Platinum Card allows its users to enjoy 5x the rewards for Online Shopping, Nightspots, Cinemas and Cafes, and like all Citibank credit cards you can redeem your rewards with your Citi$. Out of all Citibank’s credit cards, the Clear Platinum Card has one of the lowest annual fees of S$160.50 (inclusive of GST).

According to AsiaOne, the Clear Platinum Card has gone through a re-vamp, card members are now going to be engaged through three ways.
  1. "Clear Deal of the Month" allows card members to customize their card experiences and rewards every month.
  2. Interaction via a virtual community that gives tangible rewards) - Clear.24.7 Singapore 's first virtual community built around a credit card, integrating both virtual and real life card rewards. Centered on the theme "Social A-Lister" and hosted on the Citibank Facebook page, online members are rewarded for "checking in" and participating in social activities, for tagging these activities and the card benefits as "cool" and for "sharing" them with their network of friends. 
  3. Benefits are also tailored to the consumer's increasingly online lifestyle, with 5x rewards for online shopping for the first time in Singapore , while engaging them via mainly electronic communication platforms such as social media, instead of traditional marketing channels.
Sounds like a good card for those that are very social, as you’d get 5X Rewards* at your favourite outlets:
  • Nightspots - Zouk, Butter Factory, Helipad, Brewerkz, St James Power Station and more
  • Cinemas - Cathay, Golden Village , Shaw, Eng Wah and more
  • Cafes - Starbucks, The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf ®, TCC, Spinelli, Coffee Club and more
  • * Online Shopping – Amazon.com, ASOS, Gmarket SG and more
The thing only catch about the online shopping part is that it only applies to all shopping websites with merchant name starting with www. or ending with .com, and excludes all travel, airline, government and online gaming websites. Not useful if you buy anything from the Apple Online Store as the Apple Online Store which belongs under the merchant category of "Computer Hardware and Software". The same would apply for any other shopping website that does not start with www. or end with .com. Paying for things you purchased off Ebay with Paypal is not going to give you 5 times the points either, which pretty much deviates from the meaning of online shopping, doesn’t it?

Ok, so it is stated that online shopping does not include and apply to travel, airline, government and online gaming websites. It would be more appropriate to relax on the categories and definition of online shopping (excluding travel, airline, government and online gaming websites). Not every online store or website selling items are going to have www. and/or .com in their merchant name, and the "Computer Hardware and Software” category does not fall into the categories of travel, airline, government and online gaming websites either, but purchasing such items online (which constitutes as online shopping and should be eligible for 5 times the points as it does not fall within the mentioned categories, doesn’t it?) gets you nothing special.

The Clear.24.7 sounds like a great app. During its launch, members get the chance to win weekly prizes, as well as a grand prize at the end of six weeks, where they can work with Citibank Singapore to customize a party of his/her choice worth S$5,000. During this period, the conversion rate will be reviewed (so it’s really hard to say where this is going to go). Right now, the thought of sacrificing such privacy (spending amount, habits and preferences etc...) and making it “public” is not appealing to me.

Information of any kind can always be abused in any way possible, and to integrate your credit card with your online social “life” can become a really bad mistake (who knows?). Well, maybe it’s just me, but how would you like it if friends or “friends” flaunted their ‘perceived wealth’ on Facebook? It might seem like a cool idea to use such an app, but isn’t it easier to abuse something when you have information on a person’s spending, preferences and habits? With each click or check-in or like, in a way, you are being “monitored” and “tracked” in more ways than one and by more entities than just the bank and your friends.

However, online shopping and privacy issues aside, if you are into movies, cafes and the nightlife, you might find this card suitable for you, with 5 times the points you accumulate the points faster. And with the Clear.24.7 it makes it even easier to accumulate those points.

So would you use the socializing element of the card or apply for the card just for such benefits and function?

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When travel collides with a byte, a unit of information made up of bits, TravelBytez is formed: snippets of ramblings on travel, food, shopping, living and anything else that comes to mind.
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2 comments :

  1. This is a great card for frequent travellers like me. So many cards have huge rates added to them for the priviledge of changing currency, and then interest added. It's great to get something back!

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    1. The Citibank Clear Platinum Card is geared more towards lifestyle. There are cards out there that are for traveling, like the Citi Premier Miles.

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