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Bob Ferguson

Kard2This news may leave you wondering, what, exactly, is (or was) the Kardashian Kard? In short, it’s a debit card emblazoned with the images of three attractive, if slightly vacant, media darlings: Kim, Kloe and Kourtney. I’m guessing that the Kardashians, known for their plasticity, didn’t immediately grasp the irony of being depicted on pieces of plastic.

The women are the step-daughters of Olympian Bruce Jenner. Kim is famous for her good looks and her sisters enjoy residual fame. Of course they have a reality show, “Keeping Up with the Kardashians.”  I will confess to recently catching a few minutes of the program. I can’t decide if it’s fascinating, like driving past the scene of a car accident, or yet another indicator of the coming end of Western Civilization. But I digress. 

Back to the Kardashian Kard, as reported by the Associated Press:

Just to buy the card and use it costs $59.95 for six months, or $99.95 for 12 months. That does not include any money on the card. The person buying the card must add money onto it.

The initial feel were just the start. After those six or 12 months are up, it costs $7.95 a month to keep using the card. Users have to pay $1.50 to withdraw cash from an ATM, and $1 to check their balance. Talking to a customer representative on the phone costs $1.50 for each call, and canceling the card costs $6 (See more Kardashian Kard fees at The Consumerist).

Reuters reports that the financial institution issuing the “kards,” University National Bank, decided to halt sales:

A Minnesota lender on Monday halted sales of a prepaid debit card featuring an image of the Kardashian sisters, after Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal said the card carried "outrageous" fees that unfairly targeted financially unsophisticated young adults…According to a letter from the Kardashians' lawyer released by Blumenthal's office, the sisters on Monday pulled out of the agreement allowing the bank to use their likenesses on the card.

"The Kardashians have worked extremely long and hard to create a positive public persona that appeals to everyone, particularly young adults," wrote the lawyer, Dennis Roach.

Who, on God’s Green Earth, would subscribe to such a debit card? The Connecticut AG’s office says that pre-paid cards target young adults. Since Nov. 9, apparently 250 “unsophisticated” consumers decided to take the plunge. No worries, says University National Bank. They may continue to use the cards for another 30 days. Will they retain the opportunity to pay $1 to check their balances for the next 30 days? No word yet. But we’ll attempt to keep up with the latest developments.

-Dan Sytman-



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