Citibank Credit Cards
by Jeffrey Steele | Money Rates Columnist
Today, Citbank is a major provider of credit cards of every imaginable stripe. Its more than two dozen cards cover the gamut, from entry-level student credit cards to lavish rewards credit cards that offer bonuses such as ThankYou Rewards points, travel rewards and cash back earnings.
In short, whatever consumers may want -- flexible travel rewards, cash back, small business perks -- are available in Citibank credit cards.
These quotes are from credit card issuers which have paid for a link to their website. Offers are subject to change without notice and may not be the same for all consumers.
Citi leads to MasterCard
But while its latest offerings are very current, Citibank's history dates all the way back to June 16, 1812, when the City Bank of New York was chartered by the state of New York with an authorized capitalization of about $2 million.
In 1865, City Bank became part of the newly-created United States national banking system, and was renamed the National City Bank of New York. By 1894 it had grown to become the United States' biggest bank, and a little over 40 years later had become the largest international bank with 100 offices in 23 countries outside the U.S.
Renamed the First National City Bank of New York in 1955, it entered the credit card business 10 years later. In 1967, the company unveiled its first credit card, the First National City Charge Service, popularly called the "Everything Card." Within a couple years, it would be renamed MasterCharge, later to be known as MasterCard.
In the mid-1970s, the First National City Holding Corporation changed its name to Citicorp to more accurately reflect its international business. And in the early 1980s, Citicorp acquired the venerable Diners Club, one of the best-known early credit cards. By the late 1980s, it was also the leading issuer of securitized credit card receivables.
In 1992, Citibank, one of the brand names under Citicorp, became the biggest bank in the United States, and a year later, achieved the distinction of becoming the largest credit card and charge card issuer and servicer in the world.
The same year, the company folded in the savings banks it acquired in the 1980s, and together they then formed Citibank FSB under a single charter. By 1996, the same year Taiwan became the first country outside the U.S. with more than 1 million credit cards, Citibank credit cards were the most prevalent credit cards in Asia.
Also in 1998, all Citicorp divisions merged with Travelers Group to form Citigroup Inc. The strong and vibrant Citibank brand has continued operating under that umbrella since.
Citi now bills itself as "today's pre-eminent financial services company," and it has nearly 200 million customer accounts in more than 160 countries worldwide.
Citibank's wide range of credit cards, like the larger array of banking services offered by its parent, is designed to provide customized services to every imaginable customer, whether they're looking to grow their business or simply take advantage of a low interest rate or may be using gas credit cards. Moreover, Citibank is continually unveiling new credit cards to capture an even broader range of customers than they have today.