Rock band camp? Sure, with Citi rewards points

Citi sends credit card members to rock band camp, like learning to play guitar from Dave Navarro, with reward points.For a mere 385,000 rewards points, you could learn to play guitar from Dave Navarro. By Blake Ellis, staff reporter


NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- Are you a rock star wannabe? If you're a Citibank customer, you can attend adult rock band camp by cashing in your rewards points.

Members of Citi's Thank You rewards program can now sign up for camp by using around 385,000 points. Of course, that takes a lot of spending since rewards members accrue one point for every dollar they spend.

Customers also have the option of using a combination of reward points and cash, with the typical camp session costing around $3,000.

Citi partnered with Rock n Roll Fantasy Camp to offer four programs, including a four-day session in New York where the most talented campers will be invited to play Blood Sweat and Tears songs as the opening act for the Woodstock festival.

It may sound wacky, but Citi (C, Fortune 500) is confident its rewards members will flock to the new offering, since a large number of its customers already use their points and Citi credit cards for music-related purchases.

"We're focusing on what our customers like and what they want to do," said Ralph Andretta, executive vice president of Loyalty and New Products at Citi. "Sometimes people don't wake up one morning and say, 'Hey, I want to go to rock band camp,' but who hasn't dreamed of being a rock star as a kid?"

At the camps, Citi customers will be divided into small groups to work with real live rock stars, including Sammy Hagar, Phil Collen of Def Leppard, Dave Navarro of Nine Inch Nails and Chad Smith of the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

This dream vacation is part of Citi's Wish Fulfilled option, where customers can ask for any type of reward they desire and Citi will try to grant it. Andretta said that in the past, customers have requested -- and been granted -- things like sky diving, hot air ballooning, a volcano tour, a theology class and one customer even used his reward points for dental work.

So while technically customers could have requested to use their points for rock band camp in the past under this program, it would have been a lot more work.

"Customers could have done it, but you would have had to come up with the idea, find the camp, make sure there is space available and do it all on your own," said Andretta. "Now we're putting prominence and weight on it, and we will arrange everything for you and hold your hand through it to make sure you have a great experience."

And Citi isn't the only credit card issuer offering unique rewards and focusing more on experiential rewards than typical items like hotel reservations or DVDs. Chase rewards customers, for example, can choose between items like expert DJ lessons, private art lessons and even a class in Irving, Texas, exploring the art of metal embossing. To top of page

Frontline troops push for solar energy
The U.S. Marines are testing renewable energy technologies like solar to reduce costs and casualties associated with fossil fuels. Play
25 Best Places to find rich singles
Looking for Mr. or Ms. Moneybags? Hunt down the perfect mate in these wealthy cities, which are brimming with unattached professionals. More
Fun festivals: Twins to mustard to pirates!
You'll see double in Twinsburg, Ohio, and Ketchup lovers should beware in Middleton, WI. Here's some of the best and strangest town festivals. Play
Overnight Avg Rate Latest Change Last Week
30 yr fixed4.08%4.24%
15 yr fixed3.19%3.23%
5/1 ARM3.36%3.46%
30 yr refi4.06%4.15%
15 yr refi3.17%3.17%
Rate data provided
by Bankrate.com
View rates in your area
 
Find personalized rates:
Index Last Change % Change
Dow 17,020.86 -77.59 -0.45%
Nasdaq 4,577.03 -3.24 -0.07%
S&P 500 1,995.18 -8.19 -0.41%
Treasuries 2.41 0.06 2.73%
Data as of 1:06pm ET
Company Price Change % Change
Apple Inc 103.36 0.86 0.84%
Bank of America Corp... 16.14 0.05 0.28%
Staples Inc 12.62 0.95 8.09%
Facebook Inc 75.76 0.94 1.26%
Intel Corp 34.48 -0.44 -1.26%
Data as of 12:51pm ET

Sections

The founding CEO of the Washington Post's big rival, Politico, will now be in charge of the Post More

Gas prices are falling to nearly $3 a gallon in some parts of South Carolina, and that will soon be common in much of the country. More

Microsoft is expected to begin showing off Windows 9's features later this month. Here are the expected changes you should be thrilled about. More

The Coolest Cooler is the most successful Kickstarter campaign in the site's history, raising $13.3 million from over 62,000 backers. More

A scam where fraudsters impersonate IRS agents has now stolen $5 million from taxpayers, and this woman - who lost her entire life savings -- is just one of its victims. More

Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.