Can 3 little words convince millennials to use this credit card?

The new card is made with this generation in mind
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There are more millennials than any other generation in the U.S. Millennials are also known in the financial world for avoiding credit cards

This combination presents a challenge for a credit card company like American Express. Their new plan to meet that challenge involves three words: no annual fee. 

American Express and Delta Air Lines are rolling out a new card Thursday and they say it's designed for people in the 18-34 age group. 

'Built for the new traveler'

American Express and Delta have already teamed up on other frequent flyer credit cards – where using the card adds miles to your frequent flyer account. 

But unlike the gold, platinum, and reserve cards, the new blue one is meant for people who don't travel very much – at least not yet.

"We purposefully built this card with the new or casual traveler in mind," Sandeep Dube, a Delta vice president, says in the companies' statement. No annual fee is a big part of that strategy, plus the frequent flyer miles don't expire.

Dube also tells Bloomberg the idea is that Blue card users will transition to the other ones as they move through life. 

As a starter card, the Blue one will not get you all of the perks the fancier ones offer. Your bag fee doesn't get waived, for example, and you don't get priority boarding or use of the private lounge. 

Millennials and credit cards 

A study commissioned by Bankrate a couple years ago found that 63 percent of millennials do not have a credit card. And in most cases it's by choice. 

Why? For one thing, lots of millennials are already working on paying off student loans. 

But beyond that, it seems to be a generation that doesn't want to take on debt, Bankrate suggests. That's consistent with what Facebook found when they surveyed millennials last year about their attitudes toward money. 

Forty-six percent said their definition of financial success includes being debt free. Some financial experts have theorized that coming of age during a recession contributed to a distaste for debt. 

New card targets restaurant meals

American Express and Delta were, of course, well aware of the millennial aversion to credit cards. So they did some research to try to figure out how to break through it. 

Getting rid of the annual fee is certainly part of that. But their researchers also found that more than a third of millennials said eating at restaurants is the No. 1 way they spend disposable income. 

And 82 percent of those in the 18-34 age group told American Express and Delta that when they travel they especially want to try new dining experiences. 

So to encourage millennials to pay for those meals with their new Blue credit card, the companies will give cardholders two frequent flyer miles for every dollar spent at a U.S. restaurant. That doubles the one-mile-for-one-dollar that applies to other purchases.

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