Getting a credit card is one of the easiest tasks on campus.
Free T-shirts and calling cards are just a couple of ways credit
card companies try to entice students to fill out applications.

Now, students can fill out those applications while sipping
coffee. Starbucks, in cooperation with Bank One, has entered the
credit card competition with the Duetto Visa card. The card, which
launched Oct. 13, operates as a regular Visa credit card as well as
a Starbucks Card.

The card may be more appealing than other credit cards because
consumers can use it as a basic charge card and in doing so, earn
money towards Starbucks food and merchandise.

“This is a great way for folks to simplify their wallet and be
rewarded for the spending they are doing,” said David Chamberlin,
spokesman for Bank One.

But the influx of credit cards offered to students has its
consequences.

Nellie Mae, a student loan company, reports that students double
their credit card debt and triple the number of cards in their
wallets between the time they arrive on campus and graduation. By
the time college students reach their senior year, 31 percent carry
a balance of $3,000 to $7,000.

Some students, weary of debt, choose alternative methods. “I
have a debit card and I try to avoid credit cards to make sure I
don’t spend more money than I have,” LSA freshman Rachel Bullock
said. “I have one credit card from my parents for emergencies
only.”

According to findings by Student Monitor, a company that
researches the college student market, Bullock is just one of many
students choosing to use a debit card over a credit card these
days. Their research shows that debit cards account for 20 percent
of students monthly spending – double the 10 percent from credit
cards.

The Starbucks’ Duetto Card allows the holder to have both a
debit and credit card. It can be used as a Starbucks Card by
putting money on it and using it to pay for any Starbucks
purchase.

“One of the major factors that contributed to the launch of the
Duetto Card, was the success of the regular Starbucks Card two
years ago,” Starbucks spokeswoman Kristine Jimenez-Ortiz said.

Duetto Card holders earn Starbucks Duetto Dollars every time
they make a purchase using their Visa account. Spending $100 on the
Visa earns $1 toward Starbucks purchases.

The first time you make a Visa purchase with the Duetto Card,
you receive $10 in Duetto Dollars and $5 will be donated to The
Starbucks Foundation – a philanthropic program that supports
literacy, diversity and environmental initiatives.

Not everyone blames the bulk of student debt problems on credit
cards.

“While people have a tendency to focus on student debt in terms
of credit card use, the real concern should be student loans,” said
Eric Weil, managing partner for Student Monitor.

Forty-eight percent of students have a loan and expected loan
debt at graduation is $17,994, Student Monitor reports.

 

 

 

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