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Kardashian Kard can't keep up with the competition

The debit card launched three weeks ago by the sisters who star in the reality TV show 'Keeping Up With the Kardashians' is being pulled amid slow sales and an uproar over high fees.

November 30, 2010|By Tiffany Hsu, Los Angeles Times

Reality television stars, tabloid queens and fashion designers they may be, but debit-card pushers the Kardashian sisters are no longer.

The prepaid Kardashian Kard is being pulled just three weeks after its Nov. 9 launch amid slow sales and an outcry about high fees from groups such as Consumers Union.

Minnesota lender University National Bank said just 250 customers had bought the card, which is stamped with a photo of Kim, Kourtney and Khloe Kardashian, stars of the "Keeping Up With the Kardashians" show on E!.

Buyers can use the MasterCard-branded card for 30 days, after which remaining balances and upfront fees will be refunded, according an agreement between the lender and the Kardashians' company, Dash Dolls.

The card targeted "financially unsophisticated young adults" drawn by the Kardashians' "lives of luxury and extravagance," Connecticut Atty. Gen. Richard Blumenthal said in a letter last week to the bank.

"There's nothing glamorous about a prepaid card that comes with a bunch of hidden fees and other gotchas," said Suzanne Martindale, a Consumers Union policy associate, in an earlier statement.

Cardholders could have racked up $100 in fees a year on top of charges to cancel the card, add money to it, withdraw funds from an ATM, even to speak to a phone operator. Depending on whether customers chose a six-month or yearlong plan, the card could cost $59.95 to $99.95.

"This was one of the worst financial products ever introduced," said Bill Hardekopf, coauthor of "The Credit Card Guidebook" in a statement. "Thankfully, common sense won out."

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