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.
Earlier this week, the Approved Card launched. It’s a prepaid debit card that charges more modest fees than most, but still extracts money from customers for the privilege of holding on to their money for them. Her support of pre-paid debit cards is nothing new: she said as much in an interview with Consumerist only a month ago.
Chris Morran: Is a cash-only existence possible?
Suze Orman: No. I’m a tremendous advocate of the debit cards, I’m a tremendous advocate of the pre-paid debit cards, if, and only if, the fees make sense. Many of these prepaid debit cards have very high fees, they’re not worth it whatsoever. But you cannot walk around with large sums of money, we don’t live in a culture where you can do that anymore. You can’t shop online cost effectively if you don’t have some piece of plastic.
Orman’s own press release on the Approved card puts together quotes from various media outlets, most of which aren’t unequivocal support. They’re finance writers saying, “well, this card isn’t as bad as other prepaid debit cards, as long as she doesn’t hike up the fees.” That’s the point of view that we took here at Consumerist when the card was announced.
Other outlets have been more critical…like personal finance blogger Philip Taylor, who criticized the whole venture as misguided and a poor choice for its target market. That, according to Orman, makes him an idiot. At least, that’s what she told a fan on Twitter who cited Taylor’s post when asking for clarification about the card.
Well, except for Ron Leiber, who did write a great column on the card’s launch this week. She’s really sorry that she accidentally referred to him as an idiot.
Everyone else? Still idiots. Which didn’t escape the notice of our own Phil Villarreal.
Eventually, Orman apologized to everyone else. Possibly to anyone she has ever called an idiot in her whole career.