These days just about anyone can become a reality TV personality. Sarah Palin, Kate Gosselin and just about anyone appearing on “Dancing with the Stars” have shown how easy it can be. Once you become a “Celebrity” you can go on to market a variety of items to American consumers.
The Kardashian sisters, Kourtney, Khloe and Kim, have a reality show on the E cable television network called “Keeping Up With The Kardashians“. The sisters decided to use their “Celebrity” status to market a prepaid debit card to younger adults. They launched the card on November 6, 2010. The Detroit News reports that the sisters cancelled their involvement with the card, just weeks after its launch, after receiving negative press coverage over the numerous predatory fees associated with the card. Even Saturday Night Live mocked the sisters and their card on a recent show in a Weekend Update segment (SNL video link).
Beware the Predatory Fees
If you are in the market for a prepaid debit card, you need to investigate all of the hidden costs to use your own money. Just to purchase the Kardashian card cost $59.95 for six months or $99.95 for one year. After the initial period expired, the card assessed a fee of $7.95 thereafter to keep it. Other fees included $1.50 each time money was withdrawn from an ATM, $1.00 for each balance inquiry, $1.50 each time to speak with a customer service rep. and $6.00 to cancel the card.
An alternative to the costs associated with these celebrity endorsed prepaid cards is an ordinary bank checking account. Most accounts can be linked with a debit card to access your account for a fraction of the cost associated with cards like the Kardashian card. A CNN Money report provides a list of some of the fee-friendly banks and ATM cards that are available. If you work to avoid those predatory fees you too may be able to Keep Up With The Kardashians!
Michael P. Dansack