A credit card with a button? Yep. That exists. Citi is testing a card with an actual button on it that, when pressed, switches the card from regular credit to reward points.
According to Mint.com, the redemption rate isn’t awful:
You would spend 10,000 points instead of $100; 2,500 points instead of $25. (Meanwhile, you would need 3,500 points in most cases if you’d like to redeem them for a $25 gift card from Citi’s ThankYou rewards catalog.)
While switching from rewards to regular credit sounds nice, if not particularly useful every day– the company that makes the cards says that’s just a very basic example of what their product can potentially do.
At the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Consumerist spoke to a rep from Dynamics Inc, the company that makes the fancy cards.
Embedded in the card is technology that lets the card user press one button to use the card as a straight credit card or another button that utilizes reward points instead. The company claims the cards are waterproof; the Dynamics rep even demonstrated this by dunking a working card into a fish tank full of water. Additionally, the cards are all coated in plastic that also acts to protect the swipe strip on the back.
Dynamics also has other cards it claims are being tested by all major U.S. banks. One card allows the user to have multiple accounts on a single card. The push of a button switches between those cards.
Another card, dubbed the most secure credit card in the world, has a small readout screen in place of four of the credit card numbers. To have those numbers appear — and to activate the swipe strip — the user must enter a code on the buttons. When the code is not activated, the card can not be swiped. It also has a button to generate a dynamic 3-digit security code for online purchases. This number changes with each activation, so even if someone learns your whole credit card number, they will not be able to make online purchases.