The most recent celebrity to lend his face to a prepaid card, Justin Bieber, is doing more than just smiling for the camera. The 19-year-old singer is doling out financial wisdom to fans in his “Real Talk” series of videos, the first of which debuted this week.
Aired on YouTube and promoted via Bieber’s Facebook page, which boasts over 48 million followers, the spots encourage young people to be responsible with their money. “If you have a hundred dollars or a hundred million dollars, if you spend more than you have, you’re gonna go broke,” says Bieber in the first episode, which clocks in at less than one minute.
In it, he shares two lessons: number one, make a budget, and number two, “spend some, save some.” He also advises teens to discuss finances with their parents. “I’ll never forget the lessons I learned from my family, so I think that you should definitely have a talk with your family about money.”
Beware of prepaid card fees
One piece of advice he hasn’t shared yet though, is that teens may want to ask their parents about the fees that prepaid cards charge – especially the SpendSmart Prepaid MasterCard that Bieber endorses. Critics say that the card’s fees are higher than others, and teens can do better with other card options.
The SpendSmart card carries a monthly fee of $3.95, with a $1.50 charge for domestic ATM withdrawals and a $2.95 fee to load the card from a credit or debit card. After 30 days of inactivity, a $3.00 charge will be levied against the card’s balance. And although getting the initial card is free, there is a $7.95 charge for replacement cards.
The fees are on par with teen-targeted MYPLASH, a prepaid card which also charges $3.95 per month for card loads. ATM withdrawals are $1.50. But there are also several prepaid options that don’t charge a monthly fee, including Bluebird and Serve from American Express.