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Citibank Launches Online Shopping Tool for Consumers

Financial giant Citibank launched ClickCredit, a separate line of credit for consumers designed to be used exclusively for online purchases.

ClickCredit is backed with rewards, features and services including cash back and airline mileage rewards, transaction security and purchase protection/satisfaction guarantees.

Citibank said that as the largest credit card issuer, it "intends to leverage its industry leadership position and reputation for superior customer service to alleviate consumer concerns and dramatically accelerate growth of the online retailing market."

ClickCredit is actually two products: Click Citi Platinum Select and Click Citi AAdvantage. While these lines of credit are not issued in the form of a credit card, they will feature many of the benefits and services of Citibank's traditional credit card offerings, the company said.

Click Citi Platinum Select members will receive 2 percent cash back on all Internet purchases made through May 31, 2000; thereafter they will earn 1 percent cash back.

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.

ClickCredit customers will not be responsible for any unauthorized online charges made on their account and Citibank said it will provide a 100 percent 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 that they 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 that includes a group of online retailers offering savings and benefits to Citibank customers.

Among the merchants at launch 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.

CitiPlaza can be accessed through the Citibank Cards web site.

"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," said Antony Jenkins, director of Internet initiatives for Citibank North America Cards.

"We found there were barriers that kept some customers from entering this new world of shopping, so we are vitually eliminating those barriers by offering assurances that our customers will have a safe and rewarding Internet shopping experience."

ClickCredit customers can monitor their spending and make payments at www.citibank.com through features such as Account Online and CitiPay.

Online applications can be accessed directly at www.clickcredit.com, or through the Citibank Cards site.