Banking with Justin Bieber

NEW YORK (MainStreet)—This bit of Justin Bieber banking news might make you sing, "Baby-baby-baby-oh!"


Fact: Justin Bieber’s life began in 1994 in Ontario, Canada, making him a highly sympathetic figure for those who are 19 years old and younger.

Fact: Bieber’s success as a singer and songwriter earned him the cover of Forbes in May 2012 after having netted $108 million in the preceding 24 months.

Fact: His fans are called “Beliebers.”

Fact: thought that this was such an extraordinary confluence of facts that they have made him the company spokesperson for a line of pre-paid debit cards.

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Window dressing aside, Spendsmart’s new pre-paid debit card follows a long line of financial products aimed at ‘tweens and teens (but controlled by their parents), which comply with the Credit CARD Act of 2009 barring minors from having credit cards.

Pre-paid cards are easy to reload, their use (or misuse) will not impact you or your child’s credit score, and they’re a soft-entry for lots of minors into the hallowed halls of financial independence. Right now, you can shop for Visas, Mastercards, and American Express network cards (offered by two dozen online and brick-and-mortar banks), all with varying ATM or transaction fees.

There’s only one card, however, for which Justin Bieber shills.

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And, it makes no sense whatsoever to own this card. Here’s why:

A SpendSmart pre-paid Mastercard is free to obtain provided you load it with $20 to start. The monthly fee to own this card is $3.95, and you may re-load it without charge once per month and with charges multiple times per month. Each user withdrawal of any kind will cost $1.50 in the U.S. and $2.50 anywhere else (like, say, Ontario, Canada).