Citi-MTV Card Threat To CUs, Says Analyst

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Citbank is continuing its aggressive marketing of credit cards to college students, and has teamed up with mtvU to co-launch the "Citi mtvU Card for College Students." mtvU is a new MTV network geared toward at college students. Bryan Sims, president of brassMEDIA, Inc., which specializes in helping credit unions connect with young adults and which publishes brassCU, said the "alliance marks one of the most significant partnerships in the financial sector targeting young adults and college students."

"The partnership is much more than a cross-promotion; it is a joint program hailing both Citi and mtvU. Integrated with Citi's latest 'Thank You' campaign, cardholders can save points for exclusive rewards such as tickets to the MTV Video Music Awards or tours of the mtvU Studios," said Sims.

Sims said the card rewards students for things such as paying their bills on time and paying more than the minimum monthly payment. "In an effort to help improve credit scores 'building good credit' is a theme often mentioned in the Citi mtvU campaign," the company said.

"This is the biggest push for young adults and college students the financial sector has ever seen," said Sims. "It is the first nail in the coffin for credit unions if they don't wake up and change quickly. With a brand like MTV issuing credit cards with Citi, how can credit unions compete? The impacts of this will be seen five or 10 years from now when credit unions have no more borrowers...because they all got their first credit card with Citi and MTV."

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