Suze Orman’s Approved Card vs Other Prepaid Cards: A Real Comparison
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by Clay Wyatt
You may have heard about Suze Orman’s new Approved card. With all the bad press about prepaid debit cards, you may wonder why a well-known financial guru like Suze Orman would lend her name to such an item. After all, prepaid debit cards just rip off the consumer, right?
Let’s take a look at how the Approved Card compares to other prepaid debit cards and whether it is a worthwhile card to use or not.
How This Card Works
The approved card has a maximum value of $9,000. This shouldn’t cause any problems, as you probably don’t spend more than amount at one time very often.
Adding money to the card via direct deposit or transfer is free, assuming that the amount is at least $20. Also, for 30 days after each of the mentioned ways of adding money, you’ll have free access to ATM withdrawals from Allpoint ATMs. If you’d like to add money to the card by using cash, you can do so through MoneyGram Express Payment or Western Union. Just remember that you may have to pay their fees to do so.
With this card, you’ll also have the option of receiving daily or weekly texts or emails to notify you of your balance. Also, you’ll receive texts or emails when you make purchases or deposits.
Benefits of the Approved Card
A TransUnion credit report and score is included with this card for one year. This will help you keep on top of your credit.
Also, this card comes with identity theft protection. You’ll be alerted if any potential threats to your identity arise, such as a change in your home address or a bank account opening.
Additionally, this card is the first of it’s kind to share information with TransUnion. This will be aggregate information, so it won’t personally identify you. The claimed goal is to have this information included on future credit reports, which would build credit. Of course, this won’t do you any good for at least a few years, so I wouldn’t recommend making this a major factor in your decision. However, it is just a potential future benefit that you could contribute to if you wish to help change the way that credit history is viewed.
This card comes with a card purchase fee of $3. There is also a monthly account maintenance fee of $3 after the first month.
There are also potential ATM fees that are associated with this card. They range from $1 to $2, depending on whether or not they are domestic ATMs and if the provider is Allpoint or another company. As mentioned, you can avoid these fees for 30 days after each qualified addition to your card when using Allpoint ATMs.
If you want to speak with a customer service agent, you’ll get one free call a month. Each additional call costs $2.
Paying your bill electronically won’t cost anything extra. However, paying via paper costs $1 and, when you add the paper statement fee of $2, costs a total of $3.
The rest of the fees are as follows:
Card replacement fee – $3
Express card delivery shipping fee – $20
Expedited or same-day payment – $9.95
Check copy fee – $20
Postal reject fee – $25
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