Lending their names to a reloadable prepaid debit card might be a hot way for celebrities to make money and take up permanent residence in their fans’ wallets, but they’re also widely criticized for their high fees and taking advantage of unsophisticated consumers. Now the cards promoted by two big names who really should have known better, Magic Johnson and Suze Orman, are shutting down.
When it launched, we noted that the card bearing personal finance guru Orman’s name and imprimatur was less terrible and slightly less fee-laden than competing reloadable prepaid cards, but this didn’t mean that it was necessarily good. One credit card expert called the card the “cream of the crap” at the time. There are other options to check out as an alternative to banks or carrying around wads of cash.
Marketwatch reports that holders of Suze Orman’s card have received letters warning them of the impending closure, and the Magic Card hawked by Magic Johnson stopped charging fees at the beginning of March, and will shut down at the end of this month. Why? Well, we don’t know: the banks that issue these cards didn’t respond to requests for comment from Marketwatch, but we can make some guesses. It could be that the prepaid card sector has simply become too competitive, with cards that aren’t endorsed by any celebrities boasting much more reasonable fees. It could be that Johnson and Orman’s contracts are up, and they don’t want to continue card-hawking.
Celebrities stop charging fans prepaid-card fees [Marketwatch]