Bank-funded debit rewards are probably going away, thanks to Sen.  Durbin’s restrictive move on debit interchange fees, and hyper-competitiveness among credit card issuers has led to a sea of same: “Most rewards programs are copycat,” says Corporate Insight’s Doug Miller. But a handful of new offerings have managed to distinguish themselves because of their innovative use of technology, funding models, or both.

Citi’s 2G Credit Cards, Point-of-Sale Rewards

Buttons with corresponding LED lights on this smart card allow users at checkout to choose to pay either with rewards or credit. Pressing an orange button on the right of the card with an “R” in its center, with “Request Rewards” printed immediately to its left, flips on a small orange light above the tab, signaling that a payment will be made from redeeming rewards in points or cash back. Pushing a circular blue button on the card’s left side with the letter “C” in its middle turns on a blue light above, signifying that “Regular Credit” will be used to pay.

Why it stands out: Citi listened to card customers who said they wanted more point-of-sale choice and control, and gave it to them, using existing merchant infrastructure. Terry O’Neil, evp of Citi’s North America credit card division, says Citi 2G gives card members “a seamless redemption experience anywhere credit cards are swiped today.”

Read the others here.

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