Posted by: Michael Atkisson | October 23, 2010

Credit Card Points for Good Grades: Is This Educational Innovation?

I was thinking about ways in which educational social web technologies can encourage their own adoption. What if they could offer point systems for interactions and desirable online higher education behaviors and best practices? And the point systems would work like credit card points.

Then I looked to see if and credit cards offer points for grades or something like that. And Yes, CITI offers one through visa.

Grades for credit card points, virtue or vice?

Earn up to 4,000 ThankYou® Points every year for maintaining a good GPA

•  GPA •  ThankYou Points
•  2.50 – 2.99 •  250
•  3.00 – 3.49 •  500
•  3.50 – 3.99 •  750
•  4.0 •  2,000

But is it the right idea with interest rate and fee traps like these (see below)? So you get a few points for good grades but they are betting on you making them money by not paying on time or paying minimum balances because your are a poor college student. Hmmm, not the best trade off.

Could a deal with a bank be worked out to give points for grades on things other than credit cards, or maybe deals directly with retail stores, where they are cash cards rather than gift cards? Store cards seem like a better model.

via Citi® mtvU™ Platinum Select® Visa® Card for College Students – Credit Cards.

Interest Rates and Interest Charges

Annual Percentage Rate (APR) for Purchases

0% introductory APR for 7 months from date of account opening.

After that, your APR will be 12.99%, 16.99%, 17.99%, or 19.99%, based on your creditworthiness. These APRs will vary with the market based on the Prime Rate.

APR for Cash Advances


This APR will vary with the market based on the Prime Rate.

Penalty APR and When it Applies

Up to 29.99%, based on your creditworthiness. This APR will vary with the market based on the Prime Rate.

This APR may be applied to your account if you:
(1) Make a late payment or
(2) Make a payment that is returned.

How Long Will the Penalty APR Apply? If your APRs are increased for either of these reasons, the Penalty APR will no longer apply to existing balances on your account if you make the next six consecutive minimum payments when due. However, the Penalty APR may apply to new transactions indefinitely.

Transaction Fees
Balance Transfer

Either $5 or 4% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.

Cash Advance

Either $10 or 5% of the amount of each cash advance, whichever is greater.

Foreign Purchase Transaction

3% of each purchase transaction in US dollars.

Penalty Fees
Late Payment

$15 on balances up to $100
$29 on balances of $100 up to $250
$39 on balances of $250 and over

Returned Payment


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