Millennials Like Tacos More Than Credit Cards

Four months after President Obama was sworn into office, he signed in a bill that both supported his 2008 campaign commitment to transparency and completely changed the way credit card companies can market to college students.

Lawmakers called it The Credit Card Act of 2009.

President Barack Obama Signing The Credit Card Act of 2009.

According to the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau (CFPB), The Credit Card Act of 2009 has two main purposes:

1. Fairness — Prohibit certain practices that are unfair or abusive such as hiking up the rate on an existing balance or allowing a consumer to go over limit and then imposing an overlimit fee.

2. Transparency — Make the rates and fees on credit cards more transparent so consumers can understand how much they are paying for their credit card and compare different cards.

The CFPB’s Annual Report

Fast forward 6 years later to December 15, 2014. The CFPB releases College Credit Card Agreements: Annual Report to Congress , “which shows a nearly 70 percent decline in the number of agreements since Congress passed new disclosure requirements in 2009 [The Credit Card Act].”

To say that the Credit Card Act of 2009 has hurt the business of credit card companies is a massive understatement.

$142,500 For a New Customer

The CFPB’s Annual Report to Congress reveals that credit card companies are paying outrageous amounts to acquire new accounts. Despite all the money they’re pumping into it, the results are well ... laughable.

As you can see, FIA “Bank of America” Services paid a combined $1.325 million to acquire 418 new accounts from DePaul University and Stanford Alumni Association. As for Chase Bank, they spent an excess of a million dollars to acquire 8 customers.

You can view the full data report from CFPB here.

What Company Do Millennials Trust?

It should come as no surprise that Taco Bell is much better at engaging millennials than let’s say ... Chase Bank.

First off, there is no looming Taco Act of 2009 that forces Taco Bell to be fair and transparent.

Secondly, Taco Bell’s integration of Instagram and Snapchat into their social media marketing campaign is pulling in millennial college students by the thousands.

Especially, when they’re swiping through their phones at 1 a.m. with a major case of the munchies, see a Taco Bell advertisement, and order it straight from their phone.

Total Tacos

Here at Self, we think the College Credit Card Agreements: Annual Report to Congress is pretty hysterical and well ... sad.

Our financial service is dedicated to helping people build credit history without falling into unmanageable debt (aka using a credit card), so data like this makes our jobs easier.

Instead of stopping the article here, we took the report’s numbers and worked out a total taco equation to help us answer one last question:

If Taco Bell followed the route of credit card companies for attracting millennials at universities and institutions, then how many tacos would Taco Bell need to give to gain new customers?

A Taco Bell Regular Soft Taco costs $1.09 per taco

As you can see above, Taco Bell would have to give:

  • 275,229 tacos to gain 1 new customer at the University of Chicago

  • 1,045,872 tacos to gain 8 new customers at Yale University

  • 372,146 tacos to gain 1,505 new customers at University of Notre Dame

Lucky for Taco Bell, they will never have to, for the foreseeable future, give Tacos to universities or institutions to gain new customers.

As for credit card companies, they may need to take Taco Bell’s lead and start embracing Snapchat and Instagram a little bit more.

Written on July 12, 2016

Self is a venture-backed startup that helps people build credit and savings.
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Disclaimer: Self is not providing financial advice. The content presented does not reflect the view of the Issuing Banks and is presented for general education and informational purposes only. Please consult with a qualified professional for financial advice.

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