Citigroup and AT&T have unveiled a new credit card that offers a credit for a new smartphone, potentially boosting adoption of Citi Wallet.
Called the AT&T Access More card, it lets users earn reimbursement for the cost of a smartphone. Citi and AT&T provide a link to a site where the consumer buys the phone at full price with the card. The consumer then gets a statement credit for the cost of the phone, up to $650, after making $2,000 in card purchases within the first three months of opening and maintaining service with AT&T.
The card also provides loyalty points and can be linked to the Citi Wallet app.
"Whether talking, texting, shopping or paying, we know our customers rely upon and love their smartphones," said Ralph Andretta, head of North America Branded Cards at Citi, in an April 23 press release. Citi and AT&T did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
The move comes as banks are under pressure to market their own mobile wallets as companions to Apple Pay. While Apple Pay is expected to increase mobile payment adoption, banks will incur some expense from working with Apple.
The success of using new smartphones as a lure to Citi's mobile wallet remains to be seen. Existing smartphone penetration is highnearly 70% in the U.S. as of 2014, so the offer would likely be used by people looking to upgrade from their existing devices.
Citi has used electronic devices as a lure before. In 2004, Citi offered new customers an iPod mini, an Apple product that was hard to get at the time, if they agreed to use the bank's online bill payment service for at least a year.