Citadele Bank

Citadele together with Visa creates new brand of credit card in the Baltics

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Citadele Bank has signed an agreement for a long-term partnership with global payments technology company Visa. The agreement anticipates a close cooperation on developing new and innovative card and other payment offers to introduce in all three Baltic states over the next six years.

The first joint product developed by Visa and Citadele is a new brand of credit card with three card types: “X Card”, “X Platinum” and “X Infinite,” for all client sectors. 3 million Euro has been invested in providing the new card offer.

"In creating the “X" brand cards, we were led by the goal of developing the best credit card in the region. It has been designed as a new generation credit card - uniting in one card all the best that we can offer our customers – loyalty benefits, technology, and a wide acceptance network. The new “X” cards will have contactless functions and in the future they will support mobile payments,” says Guntis Beļavskis, CEO of the Citadele Bank.

Vesa Tukonen, Visa’s country manager for Finland and the Baltics, added: "Visa’s vision is to be the best way to pay and be paid for everyone everywhere. We’re delighted to partner with Citadele to bring Visa’s fundamental value proposition — convenience, interoperability, accessibility, and security — to their customers in the Baltics through new channels and on new devices.”

Card holders will be able to use the discount and point exchange loyalty programme RELAX as well as the chance to gain plane tickets from their purchases, use insurance, enjoy an individualised credit limit and other benefits.

The loyalty programme RELAX will work on two levels. First, as part of the discount programme card owners will be able to use discounts at over 450 retailers and service providers. The bank plans on widening its network of discount providers. Second, the points programme will give users the opportunity to collect points through purchases and exchange them for one of over 400 gifts from the RELAX catalogue. For each purchase made with “X” cards, the credit card holder will receive RELAX points.

Special programmes have been developed in cooperation with “airBaltic,” “Statoil” and Riga International Airport, and these programmes will work in addition to the first level programme. Card users who make purchases totalling 7,000 - 10,000 Euro in a year will receive free tickets to one of “airBaltic’s” 40 destinations. For purchases totalling 7,000 euro, card users will be able to fly, for example, to London or Munich; meanwhile those who make purchases up to 10,000 euro will be able to fly, for example, to Madrid or Tbilisi.

In cooperation with Riga International Airport “X Infinite” credit card holders will be able to use the Fast Track security line at the airport for free up to 8 times per year.

As part of the new loyalty programme, there will be a close cooperation with “Statoil” - cardholders will automatically become members of the “Statoil” loyalty programme and will be able to enjoy a 2.5 cent discount on petrol. Meanwhile “X Platinum” and “X Infinite” cardholders will receive a 3 cent discount on “MilesPlus” petrol.

“X Card” and “X Platinum” credit card holders will be able to receive an individualised credit limit offer with an interest rate starting at 9% and for a sum of up to 15,000 Euro, having first found out their individual offer with the bank’s credit rating tool.

All cardholders will be insured automatically in cooperation with the insurance company “Balta”. In addition to the traditional travel insurance and purchase protection, depending on the card level “X” cardholders will receive a wide range of insurance never before seen in Latvia and Lithuania:

  • price protection - if a product has been purchased with the credit card and it goes on sale within a month, the client will be refunded the price difference;
  • extended warranty on electric items;
  • insurance for internet purchases;
  • travel insurance for the whole family abroad and locally;
  • rental car deductible insurance;
  • a special skiing programme and others.

Visa cards have a wide acceptance network both in Latvia and abroad. This network gives “X” card holders the opportunity to pay on the spot at any retailer with a POS terminal, as well as on the internet worldwide.

“X Card” and “X Platinum” will be available with a monthly commission fee of 2.20 and 6 Euro which will not be collected if the card is actively used for everyday purchases. The Citadele “X Infinite” will have a yearly fee of 350 Euro - its holders will be served by private bankers, and a concierge service will be available to them.

Citadele’s partnership with Visa will gradually replace American Express cards issued by Citadele in Latvia and Lithuania.

Visa is the world’s largest retail electronic payments network with 3.1 billion cards worldwide and 44 million merchant locations.

About Visa Inc.

Visa Inc. (NYSE: V) is a global payments technology company that connects consumers, businesses, financial institutions, and governments in more than 200 countries and territories to fast, secure and reliable electronic payments. We operate one of the world’s most advanced processing networks — VisaNet — that is capable of handling more than 65,000 transaction messages a second, with fraud protection for consumers and assured payment for merchants. Visa is not a bank and does not issue cards, extend credit or set rates and fees for consumers. Visa’s innovations, however, enable its financial institution customers to offer consumers more choices: pay now with debit, pay ahead with prepaid or pay later with credit products. For more information, visit and @visaeuropenews.

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