Kardashian Kard a Bad Idea

November 18, 2010, Written By John H. Oldshue

Last week, the Kardashian sisters launched a new credit card targeted at teens, one of the worst products to enter the financial market in a long time.

The card is very expensive and using the Kardashians as financial role models to impressionable teenagers is already being questioned by financial experts around the country.

The card is a prepaid MasterCard debit card with the Kardashian sisters’ picture on the plastic and is done in partnership with Mobile Resource Card, providers of custom prepaid card programs. The card is promoted as a way for parents to monitor their children’s spending while teaching them money management skills.

But the cost of the card for the first year is $99.95 which includes a one-time card purchase of $9.95, 12 months of monthly fees at $7.95 per month, and preloaded deposit of $5.00. After the first year, a $7.95 monthly fee will be assessed. If consumers prefer a six month option, the cost is $59.95.

But the fees do not stop after the card is purchased. ATM withdrawals cost $1.50 in addition to ATM fees. Automatic bill pay using the card costs $2 per item. There is a 2.5% fee for instant transfers that are made from a credit card or debit card. If you want to add money to the card, tack on an additional $1. It will cost you $6 to close the account. Have a question on the card? That will be $1.50 to speak with a live operator.

The new CARD Act rules apply to secured cards, not prepaid cards. The fees for prepaid cards are still unregulated and can be pretty shocking.

But beyond the costs is the tie-in with the Kardashian sisters, stars of the reality show “Keeping Up With the Kardashians”. The girls are known for their luxurious lifestyle complete with expensive cars and fancy clothes.

One of the things we don’t do a good job of as parents is training our children to be financially responsible. We don’t do a very good job of sitting down with them and teaching them about money and how to be financially prudent. We need to take more time to discuss how to save, how to budget, and the pitfalls of credit. The Kardashian sisters might be great people, but they should not be the ones to guide our kids into the world of credit cards. That should be our responsibility as parents.

Prepaid cards, like the Kardashian Kard, are also complicated and can be costly to use at restaurants, hotels and gas stations. Restaurants typically add 20-25% to the total amount of the bill for a tip. When your account is settled, only the amount you sign for will be deducted from your card balance. However, the initial authorized amount may remain on your card for 24-72 hours. If your card balance is not enough to cover the authorized amount, the transaction will be declined and you could be subject to decline fees.

Most gas station locations and hotels also put a hold on prepaid cards, requiring you to have a sufficient balance on your card. This amount may be considered a hold until the actual amount of the purchase is processed, which could take up to 72 hours or more.


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The information contained within this article was accurate as of November 18, 2010. For up-to-date
information on any of the terms, cards or offers mentioned above, visit the issuer's website.