Justin Bieber's Latest Gig: Prepaid Debit Card Promoter

Justin BieberBy Blake Ellis

Eighteen-year-old pop sensation, Justin Bieber, will promote a new prepaid debit card to his more than 30 million Twitter followers and 50 million Facebook fans, according to BillMyParents, the teen-focused financial company that's launching the card.

He's one of many celebrities to make a foray into the multi-billion dollar prepaid card market, following in the footsteps of Suze Orman, Russell Simmons, Magic Johnson and the Kardashians.
Prepaid cards are reloadable and provide an alternative to traditional bank accounts.

BillMyParents CEO Mike McCoy said in a press release that Bieber's star power will help the company "empower countless families with teens to think about responsible spending in a new and better way." Bieber will also be producing videos about financial literacy for the company.

But before falling head over heels for the new card, make sure to read the fine print. Prepaid cards are often loaded with fees that can really add up, and this card is no exception.

The Bieber-endorsed card isn't available yet, but it will carry the same fees as the SpendSmart prepaid card currently being offered on the BillMyParents' website, according to McCoy. The monthly fee on that card is $3.95, and withdrawing money from an ATM is $1.50 a pop (and checking your balance at an ATM is another 50 cents). If you don't use the card for 90 days, you're charged $3, and replacing a lost card costs $7.95.

These fees are high compared to those charged by many other prepaid cards on the market, credit card comparison site CardHub.com found. The Kaiku Visa (V) Prepaid Card, for example, comes with a monthly fee of $1.95 and doesn't charge for ATM withdrawals, as long as they are made within the Allpoint network of 50,000 ATMs.

John Ulzheimer, CEO of SmartCredit.com, said the fees on the SpendSmart card aren't the worst out there, but he recommends staying away from prepaid cards altogether and going with a conventional debit card from a bank that doesn't charge monthly fees or even a gift card instead.

"If you want to teach teens responsible spending then there are better, less expensive ways of doing so," said Ulzheimer. "Teaching teens that it's okay to pay a fee to use your own money is the exact opposite of what you should be teaching them."

More details about the card and launch date will be released later this month, when Bieber's campaign will also begin.

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Dumbest product out there. If you have the cash spend it, if not don't . Paying a fee to spend your own money is stupid. This guy is no different than russel simmons and other celebs using they're name to sell this crap to the those who can least afford it. montel williams is another one of these creeps. Wake up people.

January 08 2013 at 12:48 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

dont these kids go away around 18 ... and the new crop comes in? he has overstayed his welcome .....

January 08 2013 at 12:25 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Grant MacDonald

Bieber; is all of a sudden – cool …? Justin Bieber is an industry upon himself … worth millions … with talent oozing out of his fingertips …! Ya shouldn’t be jealous -- but … respectful!
What were you doing at his age! Try creating music!
I should know …! I released 60 songs in 2012!

January 07 2013 at 8:05 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Grant MacDonald's comment

see above comment ... many like him before .. many coming up .... many disappear

he had his run .. and a great return for a packaged product

He should be happy and move on ... and realize what "talent" he has

January 08 2013 at 12:35 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

How dumbed down are we? Put your money on deposit, and then pay a fee to use your own money.
No wonder the country is going broke.

January 07 2013 at 1:50 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply