A sample of the new ID card.

Oakland Residents Will Be Slammed With Fees If They Use City IDs As Debit Cards

The city of Oakland has begun offering ID cards that can also double as prepaid debit cards. Not inherently a bad idea, except for the fact that these cards come loaded with fees that will chisel away at the user’s funds. [More]

(frankieleon)

Yet Another Reason Prepaid Debit Gift Cards Are A Terrible Idea

Cody had a Visa gift card, and he used it up to buy a grill, ordering online from Lowe’s for in-store pickup. He didn’t say where the gift card came from: maybe it was a present or he received it from a rebate. It doesn’t really matter. He used it for only part of his purchase. The problem came when he forgot to pick up the grill and other items that he bought for almost a month. The store where he was supposed to pick it up no longer had it in stock, but they couldn’t transfer the purchase to a different store. He needed to get a refund for the grill that he had ordered online, then buy it over again at another store. Easy enough…if he hadn’t used up the prepaid card and then tossed it out. [More]

My Employer Will Only Pay Me By Prepaid Debit Card. Is That OK?

My Employer Will Only Pay Me By Prepaid Debit Card. Is That OK?

Everyone (except consumer advocates like us) seems to love prepaid debit cards. You can get student loan fundage on them, unemployment benefits, and even federal and state tax refunds. And now they’re handling your paycheck. Christopher just took a job as a pizza delivery driver for a major chain, and he has only one option for receiving his pay (other than tips): a prepaid debit card. He doesn’t like it. [More]

Zynga-Branded AmEx Prepaid Card Lets You Earn FarmVille Cash In The Real World

Zynga-Branded AmEx Prepaid Card Lets You Earn FarmVille Cash In The Real World

This site does not, in general, approve of Zynga’s freemium addiction-based gaming model or fee-laden prepaid debit cards. So we are amused and slightly dismayed to bring you the news that AmEx and Zynga have teamed up to bring a Farmville points rewards card into the world. Fill up your card, spend the money, earn points to buy in-game stuff. How could this product possibly go wrong? [More]

Prepaid Debit Card Fees Are Wildly Inconsistent, Not Always Disclosed Up Front

Prepaid Debit Card Fees Are Wildly Inconsistent, Not Always Disclosed Up Front

The Federal Reserve says that prepaid debit cards are the fastest-growing non-cash way to pay. All that competition to get customers has led to an overall decrease in the fees associated with these cards, but a new study finds the price points for these fees are all over the place, and that companies are not always up front about disclosing them. [More]

Green Dot Mixes Up Prepaid Card Addresses, Ties Up My Money

Green Dot Mixes Up Prepaid Card Addresses, Ties Up My Money

Sarah bought a Green Dot Visa card at Walmart so she could do some shopping online. Her experience is a great illustration of why this site isn’t a huge fan of prepaid debit cards: she put down cash for a card that had erroneous address information even though she had carefully followed all directions and registered the card. She ended up with most of the card’s balance tied up in transactions she couldn’t complete. [More]

South Carolina To Provide Tax Refunds On Bank Of America Debit Card

This tax season, South Carolina taxpayers will have three options for getting their tax refunds: direct deposit, paper check, or a prepaid debit card from Bank of America. While this last option might seem like a good idea to some, they could be paying for the convenience. [More]

If You Think Suze Orman's Prepaid Debit Card Is A Bad Idea, You're An 'Idiot'

If You Think Suze Orman's Prepaid Debit Card Is A Bad Idea, You're An 'Idiot'

Poor Suze Orman. All she was trying to do was launch a prepaid debit card that charges slightly fewer exorbitant fees than the competition, and sort of reports your spending habits to credit bureaus but not really. Then a whole bunch of “idiot” personal finance bloggers began ganging up on her on Twitter, and she had no choice but to lash out and remind them that they’re not real journalists. [More]

If CVS Sells You Something Expired, It's Your Own Damn Fault

If CVS Sells You Something Expired, It's Your Own Damn Fault

Reader Andy noticed this sign in near the breakfast foods in a local CVS. It instructs customers to check the expiration dates of the items they choose before taking them up to the cash register. It’s an innovative idea: maybe they’re aiming to crowdsource stock rotation. [More]

CVS Sells Customer Expired Prepaid Debit Card, Shrugs

CVS Sells Customer Expired Prepaid Debit Card, Shrugs

Last year, Mike bought a Vanilla Visa prepaid debit card at CVS as a gift for a friend, who promptly forgot that the card existed until about a year later. The card doesn’t work, but not because it’s been dormant for the last year and had its balance eaten up in fees. No, the problem is that this card expired in July 2010, before it was even purchased. CVS never should have sold him this card. Now neither CVS nor Vanilla Visa will take responsibility for the problem, and are even accusing Mike of being a scammer. [More]

Banks May Push Prepaid Cards Onto Customers To Make More Money

Banks May Push Prepaid Cards Onto Customers To Make More Money

No longer able to make as much money from processing debit card transactions due to new regulations, banks are expected to start increasing their bottom lines by coaxing customers into using prepaid cards and signing up for credit cards. [More]

Behold The Amazing Disappearing Prepaid Debit Card

Behold The Amazing Disappearing Prepaid Debit Card

It seemed like a good idea at the time. When Jim’s wife received a bonus at her job in the form of a prepaid debit card from the First National Bank of Omaha, they chose to put it away for an emergency. What they didn’t realize is that prepaid debit cards combine all of the arbitrary fees of banks with all of the general crappiness of a gift card, only worse. Much worse. By the time the couple went to use the card, the entire balance had been gobbled up by fees. Fees levied for not using the card. [More]

Even With New Fees, Most Checking Accounts Beat Prepaid Debit Cards

Even With New Fees, Most Checking Accounts Beat Prepaid Debit Cards

Pushers of prepaid debit cards say the fees they charge are comparable to a checking account, but a new study by Consumers Union, publishers of Consumer Reports and this blog, finds that by and large, checking accounts are still a better deal. [More]

Prepaid Debit Cards Rack Up Fees As Soon As You Even Think About Getting One

Prepaid Debit Cards Rack Up Fees As Soon As You Even Think About Getting One

Using TurboTax to file his taxes last month, Sam chose an interesting new option for his refund: a TurboTax-branded Greendot prepaid debit card. He doesn’t have a bank account at the moment, and wasn’t receiving a huge refund, so this seemed like a good option. He tried to use up the card soon after receiving it in order to avoid the monthly “maintenance fees” that come with prepaid debit cards. What he didn’t know was his account really began on the day that he requested it online, so he was paying monthly fees when he had the card for barely a week. [More]

Kardashians Sued For Fee-Drenched Debit Card, By The Card's Makers

Kardashians Sued For Fee-Drenched Debit Card, By The Card's Makers

The Kardashians have been sued over their Kardashian Card, a pre-loaded debit card they agreed to put their faces and names on and help promote. The card was slammed by critics and an AG almost as soon as it came out for the high hidden fees it hoped to extract from the teen audience it was targeting. But the plaintiff isn’t a government body or members of a class action, it’s the Kardashian’s former business partners. [More]

Kardashians Terminate Krap Kard

Kardashians Terminate Krap Kard

After just 3 weeks, the Kardashian Kard is canceled. Lawyers for the K sisters sent a termination letter to the bank that had licensed their likenesses and slapped them on its hidden fee-laden debit card targeted at children. Seems they don’t want to be associated with a card that was almost immediately after it launched the source of an AG investigation. See the full letter, after the jump. [More]

An Animated Takedown Of The Kardashian Kard

An Animated Takedown Of The Kardashian Kard

Those wascally NMA folk took a swing at the Kardashian Kard with a new comedic animated video. They waste no time skewering the fee-laden prepaid debit card marketed towards children. My favorite part is when Kim runs away laughing as her tween fans paw ineffectually towards her, their feet shackled to balls and chains of debt. [More]