Suze Orman, personal finance “extraordinare” has recently debuted a prepaid debit card called The Approved Prepaid MasterCard. Personal finance bloggers, including myself, were a little perturbed. Other celebrities including Russell Simmons and the Kardashians have been criticized for making a buck off of lower and middle class with these cards, so we didn’t quite understand why a finance guru such as Suze would be advocating a prepaid debit card. With its $3 monthly fee, fees for paying bills, fees from withdrawing from the wrong ATMs, fees for paper statements, fees for additional customer service, the list goes on. Sure, there’s some free things like opening the card and PIN transactions, but the fees outweigh the benefits. Seems as if she wants us to be mindless sheep and agree with everything she says.
Suze was making snarky remarks earlier in the evening that made me give the side eye. Things like:
Then I guess I stepped into the murky waters that is the Suze Orman Twitter feed:
Twitter went wild! PF bloggers came to the rescue and voiced their opinions, infuriated with someone we thought was a genuine person. Boy, were we wrong!
Safe to say it was an eventful, and unfortunately eye opening night. After reading the tweets, what do you think? Don’t just take my word for it; I’m willing to give Suze some much needed link juice for her poor debit card’s website, The Approved Card. If you feel as strongly as I do, share this post with the hashtag #denysuzecard!
You know how Suze basically implied bloggers aren’t “legit reporters”? Well, she even insulted one of those too. Ron Lieber, New York Times money scribe (and Verified by Twitter) also got a taste of Suze’s nasty medicine:
Ron’s article can be found at the New York Times. After Ron got his apology, we all got one, including Phil!
Feel free to leave a link to your Approved Card review in the comments:
- Suze Orman Pre-Paid Debit Card: Can We Afford It? Denied!
- Sorry, Suze Orman’s New Prepaid Debit Card Won’t Rescue Your Credit
- Suze Orman’s New Prepaid Debit Card
- Suze Orman’s New Prepaid Debit Card: The Approved Card
- TV Advisor on Money Offers Card
- Suze Orman Releases Prepaid Card. Wait, What?
Wow. I always liked Suze, but… um, yeah. This card just has “scam” written all over it. I mean, it could be used well, but so can regular credit cards. Besides, isn’t she the one that always used to say to only use a credit card with a fee attached to it if that fee balanced out the interest in a good way? Maybe that was Ramsey…
It’s definitely questionable, and she refused to back it up, just started saying how wrong everyone was. Who knows what her true motives are.
I’m inclined to believe the hidden purpose of this card is to give TransUnion access to consumer spending data. She can’t possibly be giving them the data for free. And I don’t believe she would put $1 million of her own money into this product and simply nickel and dime it back with $3 monthly fees and interest gained from deposits.
It is about time people find out who they have been dealing with: http://bit.ly/gNk3EE
That first image alone is more scary than the card LOL!
The way she has duped the world is even scarier.
I’m with WordVixen; this card seems a little bit…questionable, at best, and downright dangerous at worse. I generally agree with Suze, or at least respect where she is coming from, but wow, that’s most definitely not how you handle critics of one of your projects, particularly when they do have genuine issues that they are trying to point out. Sorry to say it, but bad form, Suze, bad form.
Great point Roger. I can usually respect where she’s coming from. This time I was lost and looks like many others were too.
Thanks for preserving my “idiocy” for all the interwebs to see. Just kidding. Thanks for putting this together. It was a crazy night for sure. I appreciate everyone coming to my rescue. Feels good to know I have some support.
The bottom line is that she’s got a *decent* prepaid card product here. I like some prepaid cards and I see them as useful for certain situations. The problem is that it’s a prepaid card AND she’s Suze Orman (this is the one product she decides to create!) AND she’s pitching it to *everyone*, like we should all drop our bank accounts and start paying her $3 a month instead.
@ptmoney you clearly hit a nerve!
LOL Definitely a crazy night. You definitely have our support. Your blog has done so much for us, and I don’t even have to mention what you did for us with FINCON. There was no way she was gonna get away with it. My point exactly: Suze Orman + Prepaid Card doesn’t add up, and it’s definitely not for everyone. Glad you got an apology!
I loved the way you made her apologize to you! That whole twitter feed was very entertaining! (I tried to comment on your blog but finally gave up – sorry!)
Holy crap. I wasn’t aware of this. I’d say “what a bitch”, but more to the point, how can someone have that little regard for her customers and potential customers? Yes, the card is for morons, but watching Suze defend herself (while slamming everyone else) almost makes you wonder if this isn’t some bizarre form of self-sabotage.
Long story short, someone’s got plenty of column inches in the upcoming Carnival of Wealth on Control Your Cash.
I was wondering the same thing. Aren’t we the very people she wants to “approve” this card? She just said we’re wrong and ignorant instead of saying why this card could help. Can’t wait to see your post!
Now I think people will come to realize that there’s some merit to my bashing Suze and Dave Ramsey for being narrow-minded when trying to push their products as “one-size fits all” cures with the attitude of “If I say something it’s gold”.
People like that who attack the people who once supported and defended them on the sole basis of differing viewpoints show their classlessness and lack of regard for the people they are supposed to be “helping”.
I’ll back you, Phil, and anyone else who stands up for what’s right any day of the week on this issue!
Everyone’s situation is different and there’s lots of different options out there. I just didn’t see how the Approved Card helped as many people as it claimed. You hit the nail on the head: we supported and defended her! We don’t agree with one product and we’re instantly the enemy. Thanks for having our backs!
I just don’t like the way she approached the whole issue from start to finish. Besides, you guys are the ones I read and respect…her–not so much.
Prepaid cards are evil. They have their uses. But most would do better finding a cheaper option.
I’m willing to hear any discussion on why Suze’s card is a great idea. But when people I know, who are doing real good for their readers, are called idiots and ignorant by her Twitter stream – no one deserves that and it leaves a horrible taste in my mouth for Suze Orman products.
You should believe in your product and if you think it will help people then defend it. I think name calling is a weak defense.
I apologize. That first sentence is supposed to read “Prepaid cards aren’t evil.”
I think prepaid cards are a good solution for kids and parents to collaborate on budgeting efforts. I don’t see how it’s the best option to keep you out of debt or set up an emergency fund. I’d love to hear her reasoning is, without calling nice people like Phil names.
I used to like Suze. I still like her Mantra “People First, then Money then Things.” That’s why I don’t understand her foray into Prepaid credit cards. And as far as this twitter exchange, I would like to believe that it wasen’t really Suze tweeting, but some stupid intern at Bancorp.
I don’t understand either! Seems like an option that should’ve been much lower on the list. If it was an intern, Suze took the fall and apologized. The world may never know.
I’m glad you posted the conversation going on Twitter. It’s surprising how the whole situation is being handled. Everyone is entitled to share and voice their own opinions (hello freedom of speech) and I think it’s wrong for Suze to lash out and start calling people names. So some of the personal finance bloggers disagree with her, why is she so upset? It’s tragic actually, and the whole thing could have been avoided.
I figured no one wanted to go through multiple Twitter streams so I took the liberty of bringing everything together haha. Calling names was really immature. Saying several people are “wrong” without stating why is questionable.
I can’t believe how aggressive Suze’s twitter is. I wrote about that last night too, because she made a snide remark at me. Very unprofessional.
I saw when she got fiesty with you too Kevin. I thought “wow Kevin got a response from Suze!” I guess we were the unlucky ones.
While I do think there are a few limited situations where having a prepaid credit card like this might help, as Phil mentions I think there are a lot better options for a majority of people. Why get a card with a $3/month fee when you can get a free checking account like the one from Perkstreet?
I also think that her responses on Twitter were puzzling at best. Let’s just hope that the person responding wasn’t actually her and one of her social media team – and that she fires them!
I love Perkstreet, and if I’m not mistaken, Bancorp issues Perkstreet’s debit card as well as this Approved Card. I can’t imagine why she didn’t choose something similar which could help even more people than this prepaid card.
She’s apologized, which leads me to believe it was actually her tweeting, or taking the fall for it. Whatever the case, Twittergate is dying down and now we can go back to questioning the product.
Before this controversy, I was pretty neutral on Suze Orman – thought she had good things to say, but was a bit too much of a “showy” media star for me. But after the way she has treated you and other financial bloggers, I have to seriously question whether she has gone off the deep end. How can it possibly be in her interest to be so rude? Amazing lack of class and not very smart even from her own financial/image point-of-view.
She was very blunt and what some describe as “no nonsense” but there was lots of it happening in these conversations. She’s since apologized, which I wonder if it was her own conscience, PR’s doing, or the pressure cooking her (like our crockpots!)
I can’t believe how rude she was! What a bad angle for her to take on this whole discussion. Also, I don’t understand the card at all. How is a prepaid debit card different from a checking account linked to a debit card?
I wish she’d explain how (if possible) this is supposed to be better than just opening a free checking account. I don’t have to pay a fee for my billing statement, to contact customer service, or to pay my bills. And I’m pretty sure TransUnion isn’t going to care how I use debit.
Exactly! If TransUnion legitimately considers your use of the card when they calculate your credit score — then, yes, the card is truly a “revolution,” as she says. But if TransUnion only receives the data — but DOESN’T calculate it into your score — then the card is of no value.
Wow, I just posted about this but missed the Twitter poop storm.
It was crazy to say the least. It took on a life of its own.
Speechless by this whole ordeal. I never really followed Suze much, but was shocked by the mishandling of her social media. What’s amusing to me about all this is that this card is no better than may other options that have always been out there with Green Dot and the card you can pick up at retailers like Walmart. (Disclosure: I’m part of Walmart’s social media Moms program, so I get information on their financial products — although I am never obligated to talk about it. This is how I became familiar with the fee structure of the Green Dot card, however, and why I was so taken aback with the fee structure of the Suze card.) I understand the need for a prepaid card, in general, (minus some of the more reaching fees of Suze’s card), but when you put your face on anything you had better be prepared to rationally and professionally explain yourself. It comes with being a famous person — something I though Suze knew how to do by now.
Great article, as usual, Mr. Myricks 🙂
Oh my goodness, Briana! In my sleep-deprived stupor, I put “mr.” instead of “Mrs.” — you know I’d never do that purposely! Now where is that silly “edit” button? LOL
Thanks Linsey! I’ve only just recently heard about Green Dot since this ordeal happened, and it sounds really interesting. I’m going to check it out. Maybe she’s never had that type of negative attention before. (BTW I edited my name for you hehe)
I challenged Suze to a debate about her new card, the fees, the credit reporting insinuations. Haven’t heard back yet.
We’re “idiots” 4 criticizing her card.This idiot challenges U 2 debate
card, credit reporting promises & fees. U choose forum.
I requested an article from Suze defending the criticism. She replied that it was ” a good idea.” I look forward to reading it.
Ooh a debate would be awesome (and a nice change from the Republican Primary debates). Hope she considers it. We have some valid concerns about the card and its methods.
My post on this issue: http://www.thedebtprincess.com/2012/01/11/suze-ormans-approved-prepaid-debit-card-bad-for-consumers/
I have also updated it with the apology and her reply to me about a future article defending criticism.
I sure hope she writes it! I want to know what was going on.
I don’t think this needs to be about bashing Suze Orman. But it is about giving sound financial advice to people and this card is not “sound” by any measure, except it is less costly than some other celebrity finance products. There simply isn’t any value in the card for most people, just a cost – and far too many people who have no particular use for the card will be misled because of her celebrity status.
I don’t think we’re bashing her. We tried to tell her we didn’t like the product itself, gave reasons why, and she got defensive and went left. So at that point her response was a lot worse than the card’s flaws. So not only was her marketing flawed (suggesting it was for everyone when in fact it’s a pretty niche market who could actually find ), but her PR was poor also. I knew more reputable PF blogs would talk about the card itself with a more objective approach. I chose to cover the “personal” interaction, as well as weaknesses others brought up that she didn’t address.
Just, wow. Being out of town with my anti-Twitter boss I missed the storm but thanks for pulling it all together!
Never been a big fan of ANY guru who thinks they know more than anyone else simply because they have a show on TV or radio. One size does NOT fit all and you’d think that Suze’s degree in social work would help her understand this since it obviously didn’t help her understand finance … or social media.
Social work with a lack of social skills. I’ve heard it all. Hopefully this was a lesson learned.
Wow, she is a biyooooooooooootch!
Wow, she quickly back pedaled when she saw how bad she looked.
Thanks for posting the twitter feed; I just linked this post to the Dave Ramsey forums. WTG – you rock!!!
I thought I was the only one Suze rebuked. I wrote this blog post:
and tweeted Suze about her Approved Card, only to find myself blocked from all her tweets from here on in. The woman is nothing short of a bitch, IMHO!
“Even you PT” — “even you”???? That sounds a bit backhanded.
Wowwwwww – was just forwarded this – way to go guys!!! Good for you on taking the upper road here. I’d listen to my blogger friends over “gurus” any day 😉 Rock it out, yo!
Suze Orman’s card is not a bad prepaid card, but it is nothing more than that either. It is not even the best prepaid card out there, as that distinction belongs to American Express’ prepaid card, which comes with no monthly fees at all.
But what really bothers me is that Orman advertises her card almost like the solution to all of your financial problems, provided “you use it how I tell you to.” The thing is, if the “unbanked,” who constitute the vast majority of prepaid users, were always doing what they were told with their finances, they would never have been cut off of the banking system and come to rely on prepaid cards in the first place. http://blog.unibulmerchantservices.com/why-suze-ormans-prepaid-card-is-a-non-event
I’m kind of ambivalent about Suze but I’m fairly certain she’s not the one posting from her Twitter account. It has never sounded like her.
Wow. I’ve always liked Suze and I watch her show. But now I just feel icky about it. I can’t believe that exchange. Just wow. It’s a bit sad how all she could say is “you’re wrong” instead of at least trying to explain her goal with the card (which is a bad idea).
Wow! Thanks for the detailed listing of the Twitter battle. Chalk one up for the personal finance blogosphere. Suze needs to pull this card before her rep is totally ruined. Might already be too late. http://blog.checkadvantage.com/2012/01/16/suze-orman-vs-blogosphere/
Just a thought, but I would bet money that Suze Orman had someone handling her twitter feed (probably a winter intern) who would not be getting a letter of recommendation. It’s not uncommon for people to outsource their social media and whether or not the card is a good or bad thing, I cannot see someone like Suze risking the image she’s worked so hard for. Casting aside the sugary sweet “now you know it’s not like that girlfriend” to lash out at multiple people with denigrating terms is in marketing terms equivalent to Dave Ramsey telling people God hates them. It just wouldn’t make sense.
This has been one for the books. Suze should be working with PF bloggers. We are on the same side. Debit cards and prepaid cards are still heavy with fees. Suze is trying to link her card to the credit reporting agencies. But how can a debit card show a persons credit history. It seems bogus on Suze’s part.
Like with any other “expert” or “influencer,” people sometimes forget the humanity behind the expert. Like anyone else there are days in which they behave less than well. To idolize them, and take what they say at face value without doing your own research concerning their area of expertise is always what gets people in trouble.
With that said, I do find it disappointing every time I see an “expert” being influenced by stereotypes such as the “all bloggers are ignorant trolls” stereotype. The stereotype simply isn’t true, and it’s very insulting to those of us who work very hard to research our topics thoroughly.
Okay, I have read enough about suize Orman and her
delightfully annoyingly and ignorant rants. One time she said that people that did
not pay interest on student loans were stupid. On another occasion she gave
advice to some woman that she should not buy Christmas presents for her kid
because of some title or payday loan. I think this might be because she does
not have children or celebrate Christmas. My dad made sure five little girls
had Christmas every year, even when times were tough. I think when you have
never had to pay for a child you may not be the best person to talk about
financial advice. By the way, my dad paid off his house and his brand new truck and is doing just fine now, so please don’t think that you have to lean on this woman for advice, it can be done other ways. Follow people who are genuine in their advice.