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Suze Orman Prepaid Debit Approved Card: DENIED

Suze Orman has really lost my respect with her latest stunt.  Now she’s come up with a pre-paid debit that seems to do more harm than good.  We’ve all seen the Rush card and maybe you know that the Kardashians came out with their “Kard” which eventually got run out of town.  For heaven’s sake, I even remember Suze telling them to do away with it.

“KIM there is no reason for you to SKIM them kids- shame shame shame.  Come on gals, pul (sic) it off the market and put your name or image on something that is great.”

Hypocritical much Suze?

I would go into my own extended diatribe about this but let’s take a look at what others have said about her new moneymaker:

Suze Orman Defends Prepaid Card As ‘Just Another Financial Tool’

“Orman’s Approved card has a pretty low basic fee structure as long as you regularly deposit money onto the card and use one of the over 35,000 ATMs AllPoint has nationwide,” said Odysseas Papadimitriou, the CEO of card comparison website CardHub.com. “However, there’s a fee floor, so to speak, which means this card will always cost you something.” Some cards, including one from GreenDot, are free to use if certain types of payments, like a paycheck, are directly deposited onto it.

 

With the Approved card, fees are assessed when the customer loads the card with money; the minimum amount to place on a card is $20. Electronic transfers and direct deposits are free, but consumers cannot post the amount of a paper check onto the card. Loading cash onto the card costs from $3.50 to $4.95 because customers must rely on MoneyGram or Western Union to transfer the funds.

 

Yet for the millions of Americans who cannot afford or simply don’t use traditional branch banking, the card offers a viable alternative to that other form of plastic — namely a credit card. Approved also comes at a time when credit card companies are ramping up offers to spur consumer spending again.

 

Approved! Suze Orman offers prepaid card

So this card has to be fee-free, right? Wrong. Simply purchasing Orman’s Approved Card costs $3. Then, there’s a monthly fee of $3, but the good news is the first month’s fee is waived. The card is associated with ATMs in the Allpoint network, which has about 37,000 machines nationwide, and costs $2 per transaction, $1 to check a balance and another $1 if the card is declined by the ATM. Customers can avoid these fees, however, by making a direct deposit or bank transfer of at least $20 a month. One more note — loading cash onto the card costs from $3.50 to $4.95 because customers must rely on MoneyGram or Western Union to transfer the funds.

 

Out-of-network ATM withdrawals will always cost $2, plus any extra fees charged by the ATM’s operator, and in order to do a cash-back transaction at a store or retailer, you’ll have to pay $2 each time. Got a question for the bank? You get one free call to a live customer service agent per month, but any call after that will cost $2. And if you still like receiving those traditional paper statements, that’ll cost you another $2 per statement. Replacing your Approved Card will cost $3.

 

What We Need from Suze Orman Instead of Another Celebrity-Endorsed Useless Prepaid Debit Card

By definition, debit and prepaid spending should not be on your credit report. Anyone who thinks otherwise is living in la la land. But does that stop Suze from using the credit project thing as a selling point? Nope. In her interview with Huffington Post, she says,

“Middle-class Americans…don’t want a credit card in their wallet because don’t want ability to get themselves into trouble again,” she said. “The problem with that is if you spend money on debit or cash, it doesn’t report to the credit bureaus so it doesn’t give you a FICO score.” “I wanted to create (a scenario) where people who pay with debit and cash are rewarded…”

This card will not help your credit score or report. Don’t take my word for it. In this interview with Fox Business, Jon Ulzheimer points out that the fine print from the Approved Card site:

“The information we share with TransUnion concerning your Approved Card account will not appear in your credit report.”

Suze Orman’s Pre-Paid Debit Card Labeled “Cream Of The Crap”

“At the end of the day, it’s still $36 a year to have access to your own money,” added Ulzheimer. “I can go to a credit union tomorrow, stick five dollars in an account, open an account, get a debit card and it’s going to cost me the grand total of nothing.”

 

As you can see, I’m not the only one puzzled by Suze’s latest move.  Suze has totally lost my respect and while I wish her well, I do hope that she reconsiders this latest offering.  This is likely to be a PR nightmare for her brand should her audience and the media push for the product to change as they did with Verizon, GoDaddy, Netflix and Bank of America.

Oh, and Suze’s reaction to the blowback? Less than graceful, in fact it was the nightmare I predicted and she only stirred the ire of the same bloggers she has at one time or another recruited to push her products and brand.

 

20andEngaged has the full blow by blow with screenshots from all sides engaged in tonight’s virtual scuffle so go take a look and see for yourself!

If you disagree with Suze’s new pre-paid debit card, why don’t you do her a favor and tweet your disgust to @suzeormanshow?  She seems to think that smart people agree with her and we beg to differ.

  • Suzie Ornot

    I saw through this talking head when I first saw her. It reminded me of seeing O’Really’s show after having seen him on Tabloid TV show Inside Edition. They’re just teleprompter readers.

  • Junie

    Hi, I have an approved card and I’m very happy with it.This card is helping me to get out of debt with my high-interest credit cards. I don’t pay any fees other than an extremely small monthly fee.Thank you Suze, you rock!

  • http://blacksmythe.com/blog blacksmythe

    I think the bigger question is, what’s going on with their finances that cause them to go back on their word. I don’t know Orman from a hole in the wall. But I know she’s smart enough to recognize how much damage this can do to her brand. Just like I’m assuming Romney is smart enough to know how much damage not releasing his taxes will do.

    Given that, I’m assuming there’s something going on with her own loot and THIS is causing her to jump into the card game. No pun intended.

  • Anonymous

    Wow I really dont get all of your harsh critisicm of this card. I dont even need it & I signed up for one because the 3.00 fee is so worth the Transunion credit monitoring!! Plus you can use allpoint atm’s for free with no fee just by direct depositing 20 bucks per month! Which is no problem for me. This card may not suit everyone,  but compared to other offerings it’s great.. Again I dont see why the big rant people are making??..

  • http://twitter.com/weekdaygirl danielle mangum

    I am not taking sides but when I have to load money on paypal it cost me $4.95 for a Moneypak it the only way to load cash. I have netspend and direct deposit on there and it still cost me $5 a month. My husbands bank Wachovia now Wells Fargo charges him $15 a monthy for not keeping $1500 in the checking account. Atm’s charge fee you can’t aways go to the one for your bank. It is Fee’s everywhere. I saw Suze on Wendy Williams and she said it is a movement to try to get the credit card companies to report your spending to Fico because more and more people use prepaid cards now because nobody has credit anymore. It has to start somewhere maybe they are running data on the use of the card in the next 2 years nobody knows what people spend on debit cards. I know I pay my bills with them and everything and I get no new fico score numbers. I think somebody has to take a stand and that all she is doing. To start a company it cost money maybe down the road some of the fees get lowered somebody has to get paid to print the cards work the buisness. I think it is a great idea because of the fact prepaid cards is not just for the people on welfare people shop online with them because they don’t want to use there real bank account. Give her a chance and the twitter comments people piss me off too when they right stuff on my wall that makes no sense at all. All prepaid card want you to put your direct deposit on there card I got 8 of him sitting here that want that or the charge you more to use I will get her card $3 is cheaper to me than $5 with netspend and I will see 2 years from now what happens with all the data they collect. 

  • Bigredstrgn

    The point isnt to go up against your banking institution but the credit card companies. You have to go into debt to built credit with really high interest. This card you get to use your own money and in time develope a credit score! You can build credit and not have to place high interest on other companies money. 36 dollars a year? Sounds like a deal to me. Do your research.

    • Anonymous

      The card does not build CREDIT.  This is a DEBIT card and those transactions are not reported to the bureaus.

      • [email protected]

        Yes they are. It is the first of its kind. She built that card to help to millions in debt crisis in this country. It builds a score over a two year period while you use your own money!

        • [email protected]
          • http://www.girlsjustwannahaveufunds.com/ Ginger-GirlsJustWannaHaveFunds

            Did you read the article on CC?  Just in case you missed the following salient points:

            “While a consumer’s ability to use debit card spending as a way to build
            credit, I can understand why the reporting agencies don’t normally
            consider debit card activity to be relevant to a credit score. With a
            debit card, you can pay only what you have in the bank, or in the case
            of a prepaid debit card, only what you have on deposit. Debit cards do
            not provide a consumer with the opportunity to be tested with credit,
            and there is no monthly bill to pay. The type of behavior required to
            use a debit card successfully does not equate with the behavior required
            when borrowing money.” -Consumerism Commentary

            Since you’re all about posting links to prove a point.

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/ENJBHNUUI4CQAR34ZCD5RZZM5I Nicole

          Sorry you are wrong. The website clearly states: Please be advised that APPROVED LLC, our program manager RedWage LLC,
          and The Bancorp Bank, the issuer of The Approved Card, are not credit
          repair organizations or similarly regulated organizations under other
          applicable laws, and do not provide credit repair advice. The
          Approved Card is not designed to improve your credit record, history,
          or rating. Use of The Approved Card will not and cannot improve or fix
          your credit score or rating.

        • http://www.girlsjustwannahaveufunds.com/ Ginger-GirlsJustWannaHaveFunds

          Reading and comprehension is really fundamental to this conversation.  DEBIT=CASH   Credit bureaus only report CREDIT card DEBTS.

          This card is a DEBIT card.

  • Anonymous

    Well it seems that the tsunami of bad reviews have begun: http://i43.tinypic.com/2lvb9n7.png

  • http://www.stepawayfromthemall.com/ Nick

    I definitely didn’t expect any of this from Suze – the card or the tweets.  Glad she apologized but wow… that was harsh. 

  • http://blog.debteye.com/ Kevin @ DebtEye

    Wow, I just spent half an hour reading suze orman’s twitter account… at least she apologized…I look forward reading her post on defending this card..

  • http://twitter.com/nickelbynickel Andrea

    Following this on twitter was CRAZY, I can’t believe how she responded!

    • Anonymous

      Things did get pretty crazy last night!

  • Wine Sprite

    Did you run down the list of fees? $20 paper check issuance fee. As in, you ask the bank to issue a check for a bill payment, they charge you TWENTY effing dollars. There is literally not a single way you can avoid ANY fee on this card. Suze has always rubbed me the wrong way. Nail in the coffin for me.

    • Anonymous

      Get this, the fee list is so long that I could not get a screen shot on a 27 inch iMac!

  • http://freefrombroke.com/ Glen Craig

    Her new card is quite an interesting product, isn’t it?

    It’s a shame that either she, or the people who manage her Twitter account, felt it was better to bash people and call names rather than defend her card.

    Honestly, I have no problem if she makes money off a product or endorsement. But people have he right to question the products and endorsements.  When she calls names and such, I think it just looks poor on all fronts.

    • Anonymous

      I think she is going to end up pulling it because of all the bad press.

  • http://twitter.com/IAmDebtProject AmericanDebtProject

    Wow I had no idea she totally called out the Kardashians before going in for her own prepaid card!  And those are quite a few fees, thanks for listing them all out.  Never liked her before, not gonna start now!

    • Anonymous

      She’s lost all of my respect.

  • Anonymous

    Not only is she contradicting herself, robbing consumers out of money with the many fees but her response to criticism has been to lash out, name call and be generally rude. She only approves of so called “legit reporters” when they agree with her but those that do not are all “uneducated.” I have completely lost any and all respect I had for her.

    • Anonymous

      Same here!  Her PR people have been all up in my inbox to promote her various brands so she needs to stop.  She comes looking for PF bloggers to validate her and spread her brand to people with good sense but she messed up this time.

  • http://20andengaged.com Briana Myricks

    See, so it’s not just us. We’re all a little confused and disappointed in Suze. Hopefully she’ll get off her high horse and realize she’s indeed trying to profit on us.

    • Anonymous

      She knows that she is which is why her replies were so harsh.  She’s going to have a  come to Jesus moment with Oprah.  Watch and wait.

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