Personal finance guru Suze Orman launched The Approved Card, a prepaid debit card, on Monday. It is a purple plastic debit card with the Master Card logo on it and self-branded with Orman's name.
My job is to educate American and give them the tools they need so they finally have a highway out of poverty, Orman told the Huffington Post.
The card is targeted to those in the middle class who want to avoid credit cards, as it allow a person to put money on the card and use it for daily transactions, according to Huffington Post.
That Approved Card carries a $3 monthly fee and no checking account is attached to the card. Users must however, agree to have at least $20 a month direct-deposited the card. You can enrol here.
Here's what Orman's Web site claims:
- The Approved Card is a prepaid card, not a credit card. Therefore, you can only spend what you load on the card. There is no interest when you use The Approved Card and won't pay an overdraft fee.
- A text can be sent to you every time you use your card so that you can know your balance every morning. This is to enable you know how much money you have to spend. You can also check your balance and transactions at any time using the telephone or online.
- You can use The Approved Card for all of your expenses and payments, which also includes bill payment.
- If your Approved Card is lost or stolen, then your money can be replaced under the MasterCard Zero Liability policy but there are conditions and exceptions that apply.
- The deposits on The Approved Card are FDIC Insured up to $250,000 through the card issuer.
- The Approved Card has fraud prevention and detection systems to ensure your money and identity are kept safe. You will get free identity theft protection from TrustedID when you get The Approved Card.
- You can use The Approved Card to set up an emergency fund. This will be separate from your primary Approved Card account and so you cannot spend it by accident. Contact The Approved Card when you want to spend the funds.
- You can set up other savings funds for making big purchases like buying a car or your first home.
- You can set up three additional Approved Card accounts for your kids aged 13 and older so they can learn money management.
Here's how Orman's Web site noted you can minimize your fees
- Sign up for Monthly Direct Deposit or bank account transfer of $20 or more and use an Allpoint ATM
- Don't use ATMs other than Allpoint. The are a reported 37,000 Allpoint ATMs nationwide found in gas stations, grocery stores and large retailers like Target and Costco.
- Get cash back at the point of purchase
- Avoid using cash to reload; use MoneyGram if you need to
- Use TheApprovedCard.com, text alerts and our automated telephone system to check your balance
- Pay your bills online
- Don't call customer service more than once a month
- Don't make over-the-counter cash withdrawals at a bank