Anthony Hall—Getty Images/Hemera
By Martha C. White
March 23, 2016

It’s been well-documented that Americans, especially young adults, are willing to give up pretty much any bit of personal information in exchange for a freebie of nominal value. But this newest pitch takes the cake — or burrito, as the case may be. There’s a company out there that wants access to your 401(k) in exchange for a $10 Chipotle Mexican Grill gift card.

Sure, Chipotle is pretty popular with young adults (although recent outbreaks of nasty bugs like E. coli have dampened its appeal), but it remains to be seen if a gift card that can score a free burrito is enough to sway them into giving retirement account-management startup Blooom (yes, there are three Os) access to their nest egg.

New users who go to burrito.blooom.com and supply their 401(k) or 403(b) account’s login credentials to Blooom will get a $10 Chipotle gift card along with a diagnosis of whether or not their retirement allocations are in good shape or need recalibrating. It’s a service that — not surprisingly — Blooom provides for a monthly fee (hey, they have to pay for those burritos somehow).

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At least one expert in consumer behavior thinks consumers will — ahem — bite. “People seem to be influenced much more by small discounts than economists would think they should or would be,” University of Colorado Law School professor Peter Huang told MarketWatch.com.

Blooom said it doesn’t store any personal data until people actually sign up for the service, and people aren’t under any obligation to buy their services. Who says there’s no free lunch?

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