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Celebs gain off neediest Americans

Celebs like Russell Simmons and Kim Kardashian are cashing in on the credit crisis by offering consumers prepaid debit cards with their faces plastered over the plastic.  

Celebs like Russell Simmons and Kim Kardashian are cashing in on the credit crisis by offering consumers prepaid debit cards with their faces plastered over the plastic.

The problem is, these fee-harvesting cards pack a host of extra charges, forcing customers to pay every time they check their balance, deposit money, make purchases and even cancel the card.

The “Kardashian Kard” is targeted at teenagers and the under-banked, as it doesn’t require proof of employment or a credit check. Its six-month plan includes a $9.95 fee for purchase of the card and $7.95 a month for “maintenance fees.” Simmons’ “Rush Card” monthly plan includes a $3 activation fee, a $9.95 service charge, $2.50 for any ATM withdrawal after the first two and $1 for each PIN-use debit transaction.

Jorge I. Montalvo of the Consumer Protection Board warned shoppers against the trend.

 
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