Lil Wayne’s Young Money to Debut Prepaid Credit Card

We tell you why having one may cost you more than you think

The Young Money pre-paid debit card

Young Money is all about the cash. Your cash. While it’s not unusual for artists to parlay their success into other ventures, this hip hop super group–led by Grammy-award-winning rapper Lil Wayne and breakout stars Drake and Nicki Minaj–plans to cash in on those struggling to build credit. According to reports, the group is releasing a pre-paid debit and credit card. Mack Maine, president of Young Money, told blogger Karen Civil, that “it’s just pretty much a Young Money card and then we’ll branch out to like Nicki Minaj pink cards, maybe having Wayne and Drake cards being like the black cards…Maybe have Twist and Chuckee for the younger crowd.”

While this may be a lucrative deal for the popular Young Money crew, this could spell disaster for your wallet if you’re not educated about how these cards work . Details about the Young Money card are still being worked out, so I’ll refrain from conclusive statements about them and how they’re preying on the disadvantages of those in our community who financial institutions may consider “unbankable.”  But I will dive into why prepaid cards, in general, can be hazardous to your financial health. The fees from many of these cards can add up to hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars over the years. (Ryan Mack, CEO of Optimum Capital Management, recently penned a telling blog opposing Russell Simmon’s Rush Card on Huffington Post to ilustrate this same point.)

So before you sign up with Young Money or any other prepaid cards, here’s an example of fees associated with cards like these.

Rushcard vs. Typical Bank Card

Activation Fee: Rushcard = $19.95, Typical Bank Card = Free
Convenience Fee: Rushcard = $1.00, Typical Bank Card = Free
ATM Cash Withdrawal: Rushcard = $1.95, Typical Bank Card = Free (at Branch)
ATM Balance Inquiry: Rushcard = $.50, Typical Bank Card = Free
Bill Payment: Rushcard = $1.00, Typical Bank Card = Free
Inactivity: Rushcard = $2.95, Typical Bank Card = Free
Refund of Rushcard/Bank Card via Check: Rushcard = $5.00, Typical Bank Card=Free

Prepaid cards are usually marketed towards those with no credit history, bad banking history or lacking access to financial institutions. Sure, Young Money and others may spin this as financial empowerment, but the truth is, many of the patrons who use these cards lack of financial understanding to begin with–and unfortunately these individuals disproportionately tend to be in poorer neighborhoods. Prepaid cards do not help the “unbankable” establish or rebuild credit; instead it creates a cycle hello-payday loans and check cashing spots.

Click here for tips on how you can rebuild your credit.

Tell us what you think: Have you ever used a prepaid debit card? What message do you think Young Money’s prepaid card sends to young people? What are alternatives you would use for a prepaid card?

ACROSS THE WEB
  • Michael Mims

    Wow! I’m sorry to hear this about the prepaid cards. They’re from the hood and looking to go back and take from the hood. When it should be the complete opposite. There is sooo much more business ventures out here to be done to take advantage of the millions that God has Blessed these guys with to actually give back to their neighborhood and will do more good for their careers and their souls than taking advantage of the poor. Come on people where is your creativity? Think back on the same energy and devotion to get where you are now and use it. But this time with looking to get paid with a postive standpoint to those who are below you…

    • Crystie

      Nothing this rapper (and the majority of them today, save for the old school ones, e.g. KRS, etc) does is meant to “give back” to the community. Their music is our poison and poisons our youth…our future generation.

      This rapper (and others like him) “giving back to the ‘hood” is analogous to deliberately running over someone with a car, then jumping out of the car and handing them some band-aid for their massive wound…then asking to be celebrated for your effort.

      When you slit a pig down the middle, then give it one suture and expect to be applauded for it…you’ve then reached an outrageous level of dysfunction and hypocrisy. I can’t even BELIEVE when these predators expect praise when they’re the ones poisoning/harming our communities and our youth in the first place.

  • http://preview.tinyurl.com/32s9aq3 George

    So true Michael, so true.

    Why is it that we have so much to offer to the our Sister’s & Brother’s and all we do is take from each other? I think it’s because we use the same foolishness and trickery that the “establishment” uses…why not right…as long as you get paid!

    I am tired of it and I am trying to do something about it…if you wanna hear it, let me know.

    PEACE OUT & STAY BLACK
    GE

  • David

    This is horrible to read.We are supposed to be empowering these young children to be financially responsible . They will be at every college signing these kids up and probably offer them a free CD with every registration. We have to educate these kids, Its cheaper to take them to a bank for a free checking account…..What is the problem???

  • Kisha

    Ok the prepaid card is a little pricey if you look at it like this, but the difference between the rushcard and other cards are the benefits. Although you are charged a convenience fee, you are refunded every month on the 15th for any amount over $10.00 you spend. Most credit cards have activation fees, and that is how one is supposed to look at this card, like a credit card with banking (direct deposit) features. If you have a bank account then it makes no sense to have a card like this, but for those who choose not to have bank accounts or have been turned down by banks this is a reasonable option. Other cards like green dot charge way higher fees for atm usage and charging items to the card. The Rushcard is a totally plausible option for those who are marginalized by their credit score… I’m just sayin’

    • Crystie

      It is not, and we all know it. These cards are MEANT to be predatory. No financial advisor would recommend them. When my credit score was at its lowest (and it was LOW), I simply got a secured credit card. After about a year, they changed it to a standard credit card. I rarely used it and when I did, I actually paid off the entire amount charged immediately each month or every two months. My fees were minimal to none.

      These predatory cards do not offer the same options, financial incentives…nothing.

      Let’s stop trying to blind Black people into doing business with financial predators who wish to exploit them.

  • http://www.sharedaluv.com houston

    it truly amazes me even in in this technological age people continue to have problems managing their finances. we have free libraries that’s always has a wealth of info on personal finance and yet many of us still will not take advantage of these resources. I had those same issues until i lucked up on a site http://gboogie.net that help me better understand how to correct my bad way of thing about finances . they provided quite a bit of free info on how to build a 700+ fico and even how to build a business on a shoe string budget. it’s free info like this that keeps people that are trying to make a bad financial situation better.

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  • JAMES

    win do the credit cards com out

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