Suze Orman Pushes Signature Prepaid Card
January 12, 2012 by UPI - United Press International, Inc.
NEW YORK, Jan. 12 (UPI) — U.S. financial giant Bancorp Bank said it has teamed up with financial news personality Suze Orman to offer a prepaid debit card called The Approved Card.
Orman is not just pitching the product, she has been given full credit for creating a card she says “is the single most important thing I’ve done in my whole career.” The card, she said in a statement, “is my answer for all those who are looking for a better way to bank, use plastic and feel secure knowing that their interests are being put before fees and profit motives.”
Bancorp urged consumers to join Orman’s “People First movement,” touting the card’s clear disclosure of fees. Orman tried to keep fees to a minimum, The New York Times reported.
Orman has a weekly show on CNBC that sets up the product for possible conflicts of interest, given she discusses rival products on the show. She has vowed to not talk about The Approved Card on her program and to keep fees unchanged for two years, the Times said.
MSNBC said Orman has sunk $1 million of her own funds into the project that will likely not make a profit for a few years.
The fees include $1 for pay by check, $2 for a paper statement and $2 for an over-the counter cash withdrawal. There is also a $2 fee for talking with a live customer service agent and $3 to replace the card, if it is lost. Beyond this, the card costs $3 and there is a $3 monthly fee that is waived for the first month.
Analysts said the fees are lower than most. “But there are still fees to watch out for and it may not be as good of a deal for the consumer who doesn’t have the option of direct deposits,” said Suzanne Martindale, a Consumers Union staff attorney. “It remains to be seen how useful it will be to the consumer.”