Keep Away from the Kardashian Kard

The Kardashian sisters may know their way around reality TV, but they apparently don’t know the first thing about pre-paid debit cards. Pay the Kardashians $7.95 every month for the “privilege” of carrying their branded plastic? I don’t think so.

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First, they were huge reality TV stars. Then the Kardashian sisters – Kim, Kourtney and Khloé – launched their own line of jewelry, several perfumes, a clothing boutique, and a workout DVD. And that was fine, because their fans (mostly young women) knew what they were buying, and at what price.

But their latest venture, the Kardashian Kard, is the worst idea since Kim’s 2007 sex tape. While the Kardashians usually don’t mind letting it all hang out on camera, their new prepaid debit card is downright shy – loaded with hidden fees.

Aimed at the 18- to 25-year-old women who made the “Keeping Up with the Kardashians” reality show a hit on the E! netowrk, Kardashian Kard customers (kustomers?) have two unappealing options: a six-month plan that costs $59.95 or a 12-month plan for $99.95.

According to Consumer Reports

The six month plan covers the $9.95 purchase fee, $5 minimum deposit, and a $7.95 monthly fee for the duration of the plan. The 12 month plan is identical except it includes the $7.95 monthly fee for the full year.

In addition, consumers will be subject to a $1.50 fee for withdrawing funds at an ATM (plus the fee the ATM operator charges); $1 fee if ATM or point of sale transactions are declined; $1 fee to check balances at ATMs; $1.50 to speak by phone to a customer service representative; and $9.95 to replace a lost or stolen card.

After the initial six or 12 month purchase period for the Kardashian Kard expires, consumers must pay a $7.95 monthly fee for as long as they use the card. Cancelling the Kardashian Kard will result in another $6 fee.

“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, 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.”

Admiring a celebrity is one thing – but why would anyone voluntarily send $7.95 every month to someone who’s presumably already rich? That’s simply crazy.

Granted, it’s not just the Kardashians – as we’ve reported before, all pre-paid credit cards are costly.

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