We reported a few months ago that Justin Bieber is releasing his own prepaid card. However, the card has come under fire. The 19 year old was paid close on 4 million dollars in order to hawk the card. Turns out, parents aren’t entirely happy with the situation.
The card has an average age of sixteen and is most commonly used to buy fast food, gas, gadgets and clothes. Positives include the ability for parents are provided with tools to track their son’s or daughter’s spending right from their smartphone or tablet. Parents get text alerts every time the card is swiped. They can also set up recurring deposits to the account, and lock and unlock the card whenever they want. And they can block the card from working at certain retailers.
Fox notes that the card has several fees including a monthly fee of $3.95, ATM fees of $1.50 for every withdrawal, $2.95 to deposit money onto the card from a debit or credit card and more. While this is nothing new for people used to banking fees, parents are taking aim at Bieber for endorsing the card and getting kids into the habit of using plastic and the debt that comes with it. In addition there is a lost card replacement fee of $7.95, ATM fees of 50 cents per balance enquiry, $1.50 every time cash is withdrawn, and a $3 charge if the card inactive for 90 days. Parents, understandably are not impressed with these costs.
“I wouldn’t get it for my children, but my sister’s daughter is just crazy about Bieber,” said one mother. Celebrities sell and Justin Bieber has a great deal of marketing influence and a huge social media outreach, so this will likely put peer pressure on teens and subsequently their parents to set up these accounts. The issuing company will get instant access to this market for an essentially unregulated gift card that has a pretty steep drain on the funds compared to a normal credit or debit card which is great for the card company.
The Bieber card has a strong “avoid” stamp on it for our American readers.