Money & Company

Tracking the market and economic trends
that shape your finances.

« Previous Post | Money & Company Home | Next Post »

Kardashian Kard pulled amid complaints of "egregious fees"

November 30, 2010 | 11:17 am

KARDASHIAN Reality television stars, tabloid queens and fashion designers they may be, but debit card pushers the Kardashian sisters are no longer.

The pre-paid Kardashian Kard is being pulled just three weeks after its Nov. 9 launch amid slow sales and outcry about high fees from groups such as Consumers Union.

Minnesota-based lender University National Bank said just 250 customers had bought the card, which is stamped with a photo of Kim, Kourtney and Khloe, stars of the "Keeping Up With the Kardashians" show on E!.

Buyers can use the MasterCard-branded card for 30 days, after which remaining balances and up-front fees will be refunded, according an agreement between the lender and the Kardashians’ Dash Dolls company.

The card targeted “financially unsophisticated young adults” drawn by the Kardashians’ “lives of luxury and extravagance,” blasted Connecticut Atty. Gen. Richard Blumenthal in a letter last week to the bank.

“There’s nothing glamorous about a prepaid card that comes with a bunch of hidden fees and other gotchas,” said Suzanne Martindale, a Consumers Union policy associate, in an earlier statement.

Cardholders could have racked up $100 in fees a year on top of charges to cancel the card, add money to it, withdraw funds from an ATM, even to speak to a phone operator. Depending on whether customers chose a six-month or yearlong plan, the card could cost between $59.95 and $99.95.

"This was one of the worst financial products ever introduced,” said Bill Hardekopf, author of The Credit Card Guidebook in a statement. “Thankfully, common sense won out."


More employers offering paycards to workers instead of checks

Scam watch: Protect your debit card from fraud

-- Tiffany Hsu

Photo: From left, Kim, Kourtney and Khloe Kardashian arrive at the Teen Choice Awards in Universal City. Credit: Chris Pizzello/Associated Press