Money is a significant part of rapper Lil Wayne’s life. Not only does he talk about it incessantly in songs like “Got Money,” “I Got Some Money on Me,” “Money on My Mind,” “I’m so Paid,” and “Money to Blow,” but he also makes a lot of it, ranking 4th on Forbes’ 2011 list of hip-hop’s Cash Kings. Now, Lil Wayne has his own prepaid card, The Young Money Prepaid Card, which launched on November 10 under the brand name of his record label, Young Money Entertainment.
Lil Wayne (i.e. Dwayne Carter) is obviously banking on this new product – offered in conjunction with Discover and ACCENT InterMedia–following more in the footsteps of Russell Simmons’ Rush Card, rather than the quickly-discontinued Kardashian Kard. But has Lil Wayne’s interest in money put him in the position to offer a truly beneficial financial product, or is the so-called Lil Wayne Prepaid Card simply a money pit?
This is a question any interested consumer must ask, as there is no sense in paying more for a card simply because it is tied to a popular entertainer. So, let’s take a look at the costs of doing business with this new prepaid card:
ATM Withdrawals: $2.00 per transaction
Paper Statements: $2.50 per billing period
Replacement Card: $5.95
Direct deposit, online bill pay, and customer service are all free with the Young Money Prepaid Card, as is a medical savings card, which provides discounts on certain prescriptions and tests. A percentage of Young Money Card sales will also be donated to child charities like Lil Wayne’s 1 Family Foundation.
Ultimately though, the Young Money Prepaid Card’s high fee structure makes exploring other prepaid card options advisable.
One such option should be Green Dot’s Prepaid Visa, which was identified by a Card Hub study as a viable checking account alternative for consumers unhappy with recent bank fee increases. This card is free to use, provided cardholders deposit at least $1,000 per month (think direct deposit of your paycheck) and only use in-network ATMs for withdrawals (Green Dot has 18,000 ATMs nationwide). Under these conditions, it would save you more than $100 each year relative to the Young Money Card.
While Lil Wayne will likely continue “getting money like I got a money printer,” as he bragged in the song “Sure Thing” off the Sorry 4 the Wait mixtape, by avoiding the Young Money Prepaid Card, you at least won’t be contributing to the cause.