With Free Rickshaw Rides. Chase Lures College Students To 23% APR Credit Card

Chase is giving college students free rides in special marketing rickshaws. Reader Ben reports seeing some, which look like the one pictured, on the campus of his North Carolina State University. Apparently the whole ride around the driver tries to sell you on the “Plus 1” credit card with its super-dope 23% APR. There’s also pitches for Bee Movie. The card gives you “karma points” which you can cash in for crap, share with friends or donate to “causes.” College kids go love to feel socially aware and responsible, and if it can be accomplished without leaving the dorm, all the better. Chase is also marketing the card on Facebook, the social networking site for people who go to college. The Plus 1 card earned a lemon award from creditcards.org.

Looks Chase is shifting tactics since giving kids burritos and tshirts in exchange for signing up for a crappy credit card is drawing media fire.


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  1. DrGirlfriend says:

    Gosh, all I know is, a rickshaw could get me to agree to anything. Damn you, Chase!

  2. erockO says:

    scum of the earth

  3. headon says:

    Chase takes you for a ride before and after you get the card.

  4. 3ZKL says:

    these have been tooling around the campus of UNC-Chapel Hill as well. GTFO!

  5. Odwalla says:

    I saw one of these all decked out in black and yellow like a bee on the campus of Purdue University this past weekend during Homecoming.

  6. bobpence says:

    Screw the “US News” rankings, send you kid to the school with the lowest success rate of gimmicks like this — where the smart kids go.

    Meanwhile Maryland is considering slot machines to help finance education; the way you it’s working is when state graduates are smart enough not to use them.

  7. FLConsumer says:

    Wow… I still wonder why Chase stoops this low. Sure, these kids will rack up huge amounts of debt, be charged ridiculous amounts of interest….but will they be able to collect all of that? If not, better to run a straight (fair) operation. My guess is that many of these cards will go off to collections and be settled for pennies on the dollar.

  8. DallasDMD says:

    @FLConsumer: They love to target college students because they know mommy and daddy will bail them out of debt when things go out of control.

    I know many cases where I, as a college student with no credit, had a much easier time getting credit cards than regular adults with no credit but in the workforce or military.

  9. karlrove says:

    Shhh…A secret: You can get the free t-shirts, burritos, other crap by simply filling out the application with fake information. Many an old high school teacher’s name was put on one of these apps by me to score an awesome “College” t-shirt…

  10. Archteryx says:

    They’ve been here at Ohio State too, but then, I wasn’t surprised, since Bank One used to have it’s nominal headquarters here. They were pitching Bee Movie as well.

    Didn’t know about the sales pitch during the ride, though. That’s just…dumb, since the Rickshaw routes are all served by free campus busses. I figure people will catch on pretty quick here that it’s all a black and yellow snow job.

  11. FLConsumer says:

    @DallasDMD: Maybe mommy & daddy did that in the past (if they did, shame on them!), but with the whole sub-prime mortgage crisis + slow housing market + future economic trouble, I don’t think that’ll happen as often now.

  12. backspinner says:

    When I was in college I always went love to feel socially responsible.

  13. bohemian says:

    Karlrove has a good idea. If students started flooding them with faux applications to get the free gear the card companies might decide the tactic is not worth it.

    What I want to know is why colleges are still allowing these card companies on campus?

  14. TVarmy says:

    @karlrove: Is that legal? I guess they couldn’t track you. Still, I’d be too afraid of getting caught. What really sucks about this whole thing is that now it’s hard to find a good credit card for someone like me, who mostly uses cash and a debit card and just wants to built up credit. I have no credit to my name, and I’m interested in a starter card. A low credit limit is fine, and I plan to pay off monthly. Any suggestions? I bank with Wachovia, so if their credit card has a lot of benefits for existing members, I’d like to know about it.

  15. t-ray says:

    Campus marketing is deceptive and predatory. Selling credit to a vulnerable population under the guise of a free ride/pizza/burrito/whatever is vile and immoral. Check out what some universities are doing on the USPIRG website: truthaboutcredit.org

  16. FLConsumer says:

    @TVarmy: As long as you’re not planning on using the credit card that you’re falsely applying for, I don’t think it’d be viewed as a crime. Now, if you were using the card, then that’d be attempt to defraud, but that’s a different set of circumstances.

    As far as Wachovia goes, they shoot pretty straight with their credit cards. Depending on what level of credit card you get from them, they have decent interest rates, fair billing (due date never changes), give you 1-2 waived late fees/year, etc. If you’ve been with them for awhile, it’s worth a short. Both my personal credit cards are with Wachovia (the first one is an old Wachovia-labelled card run my MBNA before Wachovia got back into the credit card game, second one is through Wachovia Bank, N.A.) If you manage to get ahold of their Visa Signature card, it’s practically an Amex Platinum card in terms of benefits and services, with the bonus of 1.5% back on everything.

  17. erockO says:

    @karlrove: I tried to do this and when they asked for my ID i decided to look over the form once again and decided giving them ANY identification would be absurd so I tore up the forms in front of everybody else. It’s amazing how easily they can dupe students into signing up for credit cards.

  18. karlrove says:

    Yes. Please don’t use a false credit card. But most campus campaigns seem to emphasize a fraternity (or other organization) gathering as many apps as they can and those organizations don’t seem to care about verifying the applications..or at least as far as my experiences went a couple years ago.