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ConsumerWatch: Questions Raised About Bieber-Backed Debit Card?

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(KPIX 5) – Teen idol Justin Bieber is selling more than music these days. He’s putting his brand on a pre-paid debit card for teenagers.

“You know when I was a kid, we didn’t have a lot of money, so me and my family had to watch the money that we spent,” Bieber said in a video for the card.

Bieber’s deal with Spend Smart nets him $3.75 million for the 14 month deal plus royalties. The company claims its mission is to teach teenagers financial responsibility. The card sends users and parents instant alerts anytime it is used.

Consumer advocates are concerned about the fees attached to the card. The Bieber card includes a monthly fee of $3.95, loading fee of $2.95 and ATM withdrawal fees of $1.50, a $7.95 replacement card fee and $3 inactivity fee.

Michelle Jun, an attorney with Consumers Union, has concerns.

“Prepaid cards to not have federal protections yet against fraud and loss,” Jun said.

She suggests a traditional debit card from a bank or a credit union which usually come with fewer fees and helps users establish a credit history.

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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