Prepaid Debit Cards - Consumers Union Issues Warning On New Kardashian Kard

The Kardashian sisters entered the pre-paid debit card market, leveraging on their teen fan base with a celebrity sponsored card. However, Consumers Union has issued a warning that the Kardashians’ new pre-paid debit card is not very different from other pre-paid plans on the market, meaning the card is also rife with hidden fees and feeble consumer protection.

“There’s nothing glamorous about a prepaid card that comes with a bunch of hidden fees and other gotchas,” said Suzanne Martindale, Policy Associate for Consumers Union, the nonprofit publisher of Consumer Reports. “Don’t try keeping up with the Kardashians by falling for this celebrity-hyped prepaid card. There are more affordable and safer options to managing your money and paying with plastic.”

The card offers 2 options when signing up; a 6-month plan and a 12-month plan. The 6-month option costs $59.99 and the 12-month option costs $99.99. Each plan charges a $9.95 purchase fee, a $5 minimum deposit, and a $7.95 monthly fee for however long the teen remains signed up. The plans are identical but with the 12-month plan, the consumer is charged the $7.95 monthly for the entire 12-month period.

Furthermore, according to Consumers Union, purchasers will pay a $1.50 withdrawal fee, $1 fee for balance inquiries at ATMs, and even a $1.50 fee to speak to a customer service rep by phone. A cancellation fee of $6 is also charged.

Consumers Union suggests several alternative ideas to the Kardashian Kard for teen consumers, such as to apply for a regular checking account at your local bank branch and be sure not to sign up for the expensive overdraft protection. Consumers are also urged not to sign up for a pre-paid card that provides a line of credit, as this is likely to put the consumer into more debt.

In addition, Consumers Union also reminds consumers to always read all fine print and compare at least 3 or more pre- paid cards to work out the best deal available.