The Kardashian celebrity sisters, Kim, Khloe, and Kourtney, are the latest to have launched their own branded Kardashian Prepaid Debit MasterCards; one of the many to launch along side with Mack Maine, president of Lil Wayne’s super group Young Money though the date is not yet certain.
Prepaid cards or credit cards named after celebrities are not new. Russell Simmons launched his own infamous RushCard, while Usher had his own MasterCard which is now defunct. However, what’s disturbing is that the Kardashian card is being marketed to gullible teenagers as young as 13 to teach them how to manage their own money better, according to Eve Sarkisyan. They are also luring parents by their marketing strategy which explains how they will be able to track their teens’ spending habits by cellphone.
The advertisement and marketing may look and sound right, but the fact is that the Kardashian sisters should not be considered as role models for wise spending and finance management. Who would want to take lessons on personal finance from Khloe, who has $18,490.74 in back taxes which have been reported last August by TMZ. Another sister, Kim proudly brags about a crocodile skin purse she bought for $30,000 from the French boutique Hermes in Paris; she admitted on her show that she was combating a shopping addiction.
It does not make any sense why a teenager should be sporting a Kardashian card to say that Kim taught them how to manage money. They would surely flaunt it around to their friends and use it more so they can “keep up” with their beloved idols.
Prepaid cards are attractive because it doesn’t charge overdraft fees or interest, and can be used as long as there is enough amount of money deposited onto it. But people who used it are those with low or no credit and the underbanked – those people who have a checking or savings account but depend on alternative financial services such as check cashing places and payday loans. Approximately 31.6 percent of Blacks are underbanked according to the FDIC.
However, scrutinizing closely, prepaid cards have fees that go with purchasing it. Take for example the RushCard that has accompanying fees that keep people in debt in the long run. Similar with the Kardashian card which costs $59.95 to purchase, with the inclusion of 12 months of monthly fees. Succeeding monthly fees amount to $7.95, after the initial purchase. Other fee-based services include $1.50 ATM withdrawal fee and a $2.00 fee for bill pay per item.
Obviously, the Kardashian sisters do not intend to convey to their fans responsible financial management. During the launch party on Tuesday for the card, Kim said in her twitter account: Thx 4 coming out 2 support our Kardashian MasterKard! Let’s go shopping!”