Kim Kardashian has launched a new product, and this time it's not a perfume or a diet pill or a self-tanner or a Kim-endorsed brand of laser hair removal—it's a credit card. Specifically, a credit card marketed for kids. Kim, along with her sisters Khloe and Kourtney, have teamed up with MasterCard to create the Kardashian Prepaid MasterCard, which aims to help parents track their child's spending habits.
If you're thinking that it sounds downright ridiculous for a trio of women known for their extravagant lifestyles to be promoting a card meant to help parents teach their kids money management skills, you're not alone.
Beth Feldman, founder of Role Mommy, told PopEater she doesn't think it's a good move to give children in middle school or high school a credit card at all, regardless of how the spending can be monitored. She's also not a fan of the celebrity aspect:
"If I were to select a spokesperson for responsible spending for children, they're the last people I would go to. They're completely out of touch with reality, they're ridiculously wealthy. They are promoting the excesses of having everything you want in life and not really working very hard to get it."
Social psychologist Susan Newman also thinks parents should avoid giving credit cards to their kids, saying,
"Giving them a credit card is, for the most part, a bad idea. We're not selling a pair of sneakers here. You're really giving a child carte blanche, even if you stipulate the amount. Teenagers are very impulsive. Many of them will just purchase whatever they see."
For me, that's the point that resonates more than whether or not the Kardashians are good financial role models. My kids are too young for credit cards right now (they would totally just max it out at Toys R Us), but I imagine that in the future I'll make that decision based on how we feel about kids-and-plastic in general. I can imagine the benefits of controlling your kids' money with a card rather than forking over cash, but I think it would all depend on my own kids and our situation at that time.
It seems to me you can look at this a couple of ways—that using the card is buying into the Kardashian lifestyle and values, or that it's like using any other celebrity-endorsed product where the (harmless) idea is that their name is intended to convey a sense of quality.
What do you think? Is it sending the wrong message to let your kid use a Kardashian-branded card?
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