- Personal Finance
Hello Kitty Debit Card
Hello Kitty Debit Card
Ever since Sanrio premiered the Hello Kitty character in the mid-70’s, tons of licensing and cross-promotional deals have been made bearing the cute cat’s image, one in particular being the Hello Kitty debit card. Now why in the world, you ask, would anyone want to walk around sporting a debit card with a cutesy kitten’s grill on it? You must not be too familiar with the “Kitty-craze” that has thoroughly swept Japanese pop culture (and actually spawning a whole new iconography of “all things cute”—also called “kawaii”—in Japanese pop culture). Although Hello Kitty displays herself as uber-cute, demure, and innocent, make no mistake: The company that pushes out all these Hello Kitty products (Sanrio) is aggressive about its marketing tactics and licensing repertoire, to the tune of over a billion dollars a year in Kitty merch of all kinds. You’ll find Hello Kitty’s cute white face with a red bow over her left ear on every conceivable item, from backpacks to clothes to greeting cards to dishes to alarm clocks to (in some places, believe it or not) feminine sanitary napkins. Yup, you read it right. As a matter of fact, practically every item that has enough room for a Hello Kitty graphical image has been fair game for the marketing masters of this world, and when we talk about masters of marketing, there’s no way we can leave out credit card companies, because they intentionally target younger markets for the purpose of “getting ‘em while they’re young”. This, my friends, is one of the reasons why the Hello Kitty debit card has hit the scene.
Hello Kitty Debit Card from Bank of America
The Hello Kitty debit card was popularized and premiered in America by (who else but) Bank of America, as part of a checking account package known as “MyAccess Checking”. As of this writing, the Hello Kitty-themed checking account has no direct deposit requirement if you sign up online, and there are no monthly fees or minimum balance requirements (again, these benefits are only available via signing up online). Once you sign on the dotted line (or, I guess the virtual dotted line), you will receive your Hello Kitty plastered checks as well as your cutesy Hello Kitty debit card. I doubt that there are too many men who will be all that into this type of thing (I know that I’m not), but the female population has been devouring these offers like piranhas on a slab of meat. There are other options out there where you can get a prepaid Hello Kitty debit card, which is very useful for people who don’t want to go through the whole drama of opening a checking account just to get their Kitty-emblazoned debit card. It also helps in terms of financial management, because with a prepaid card, you know that you’ll never swipe the Kitty one too many times and end up paying ridiculous overdraft fees. Bank of America also offers a Hello Kitty Platinum Plus Visa Credit Card, which is quite different from the debit card, because you actually have to apply to receive this one, and it comes with all of those lovely fee schedules and APR wizardry that we’ve all come to love from our credit card companies. So for the just-starting-out person, I would say that the safer bet would be to go with a checking account that offers a Hello Kitty debit card for your purchases, that way you don’t find yourself in a mountain of debt just because the Kitty culture says that you should “shop till you drop”.