Part 1: Some credit cards provide special bonus features, such as a discount on certain purchases, “airline miles” that can be redeemed for plane tickets, or extended warranties on certain purchases.
Part 2: When attempting to eat healthy foods, the battle is often lost at the supermarket: it’s easy to buy a gallon of ice cream and 800 gummy worms, and obviously you’ve got to eat these things once you’ve purchased them.
Thus, we propose a “restricted” credit card (Figure 1) that could operate in one of two ways:
1) It prohibits certain items from being purchased (i.e. junk food is blocked at point of sale).
2) It adds a 100% “you are cheating on your diet” tax to these prohibited items.
Implementation of this process could be straightforward, as it would have a high degree of overlap with the existing “restricted items” list that is already in place for government food assistance (“food stamps” / “SNAP”), as seen in the unusually specific list of ineligible items below:
https://www.fns.usda.gov/snap/eligible-food-items Households cannot use SNAP benefits to buy: * Beer, wine, liquor, cigarettes, or tobacco * Live animals (except shellfish, fish removed from water, and animals slaughtered prior to pick-up from the store) * Prepared Foods fit for immediate consumption * Hot foods * [and additional items]
This restricted-use credit card would operate in a roughly similar manner, although it would presumably be unrestricted when dealing with non-food items (i.e. you could still use it to buy an umbrella or car battery).
PROS: Could help promote a healthy diet, thus increasing quality of life and reducing overall national health care expenditure.
CONS: May be difficult to sell people on the idea of “a credit card, but more expensive and less useful.”
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