NEW YORK (MainStreet) – It used to be that celebrities who wanted to expand their empires and make some extra money simply attached their name to a clothing line. These days, they’re more likely to put their face on a credit card.
Big-name celebrities are attaching their names to prepaid credit cards, which are intended to help unbanked people carry out transactions that require plastic. Unfortunately, prepaid cards tend to carry considerable fees, and the celebrity-branded cards are no exception – the now-infamous Kardashian Kard was so laden with fees that it came under investigation and was ultimately pulled from the market. And while Suze Orman’s prepaid card is a lot more fee-friendly, the television commentator raised some controversy when she referred to a blogger who criticized the card as an “idiot.”
That’s not to say that we hate the idea of celebrities endorsing prepaid cards, if they are set up to serve consumers’ best interests. Here are a few we wouldn’t mind seeing.
The Elizabeth Warren Card. Warren, who was instrumental in creating the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and is now running for Senate in Massachusetts, is certainly a celebrity in the consumer advocacy world. While her political aspirations make it highly unlikely that she would ever endorse a particular financial product, we know that a card bearing her name would be the most fee-friendly card on the market, as she’s on record campaigning against hidden credit card fees. And if the CFPB’s proposed credit card agreement is any indication, you can be sure that any fees included in the card agreement would be crystal clear to anyone signing up.
The Bono Card. Remember how popular the U2-branded iPods were? Apply that same principle to prepaid cards and you’ll have a surefire winner. The card could rack up rewards points to use on the iTunes store, and purchases made at select retailers could automatically trigger a donation of a small portion of the purchase to the star’s efforts to fight AIDS in Africa.
The Betty White Card. We feel sort of obliged to mention Betty White, since she turns 90 today. The card would be gold – this is the last surviving Golden Girl, after all – and would earn cash-back rewards on products of interest to the older set. Instead of cash-back rewards, a percentage of profits could go toward an IRA or other retirement account as well.
The Ellen Card. When we asked our Facebook fans which celebrity they’d like to see a prepaid card from, reader Kelly Giles recommended Ellen DeGeneres, who she says “promotes the layman’s shopping choices” on her show. As we see it, people who use the card would pay a monthly fee, but in exchange would get exclusive coupons and discounts at grocery stores and other shops. No dancing required.