Kardashian Kard shows how bad pre-paid credit cards can be


I don’t know much about the Kardashians, but I like them right this second. If you’re a fan of celebrity gossip sites like TMZ, I’m sure you know who the Kardashians are. They are brand that’s just about being a brand and I don’t get it.

But I became interested in them when they distanced themselves from a branded pre-paid “credit card” (for lack of a better term) that’s geared toward teens called the Kardashian Kard. It featured their likenesses to create the illusion that cardholders were somehow closer to these young women. This is just one of many of these kinds of cards from celebrities, pseudo celebrities and entertainers.

The now-defunct Kardashian Kard had an annual fee of nearly $100 ($8 each month); a $1.50 fee when you went to use an ATM; and $1.50 charge if you wanted to talk to customer no service. This is not uncommon among similar cards sold in convenience stores, gas stations and elsewhere. There’s no clear disclosure of fees among any of them. It’s like an unregulated jungle.

So why do I love these people I don’t know anything about? Because of the exposure they’ve brought to the issue of pre-paid credit cards that feature a Visa or MasterCard logo, but are really just inferior facsimiles of the real deal.

Getting one of these cards is not a decision to take lightly. American Express is now pushing it own version with heavy fees for the holiday season. Just about the only good one I know of is a version from USAA that targets the teens in military families and has no fees at all.

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