Pawn Stars’ ink deal to show up on plastic

Visitors line up outside Gold & Silver Pawn in Las Vegas on Wednesday, June 15, 2011. The pawnshop is the home of the reality-TV hit “Pawn Stars” on the History Channel.

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The men behind the hit TV show "Pawn Stars" recently launched a prepaid debit card branded with their store's name, Gold & Silver Pawn Shop.

The men of Gold & Silver Pawn have become staples on TV. Now, they want to move into people’s wallets.

The “Pawn Stars” — Rick “The Spotter” Harrison, dad Richard “Old Man” Harrison, son Corey “Big Hoss” Harrison and best friend Austin “Chumlee” Russell — last week launched a prepaid debit card with their faces emblazoned across the front. The limited-edition MasterCard is branded with the Gold & Silver Pawn name and is being offered through Redwood Hills Financial Group.

“For centuries, pawn shops have provided financial services to consumers who don’t have a traditional checking account or credit card,” store owner Rick Harrison said. “Our prepaid debit card is a natural extension of what we’ve been doing for years in our shop — giving good people some financial ‘wiggle room’ and direct access to their money.”

Customers need only an ID to sign up for the card. Credit history is not a factor.

Unlike regular credit cards where money is essentially borrowed, the debit card must be loaded with funds before it can be used. Customers can directly deposit their paychecks to the card or transfer cash at Western Union. It can be used anywhere MasterCard or debit cards are accepted.

“There’s a large portion of the population that have bad credit and can’t even get a bank account,” Harrison said. “You need a credit card for just about everything these days. It’s basically a necessity, and a lot of people are locked out.”

Redwood Hills approached Harrison with the idea several months ago. He researched the company to make sure it was legit, he said, and demanded one condition: low fees. “I’m not going to associate my name with anyone ripping people off,” he said.

The finance group does charge fees for using the debit card. Customers pay $2.50 for withdrawing cash from an ATM, for example, and $14.95 if they overdraw the account. But the fees are lower than those charged by several other companies. Redwood Hills waives its monthly $9.95 maintenance charge if a customer sets up direct deposit, and account-to-account transfers are free.

The debit card is a fitting side project for the pawn stars. The audience the Harrisons hope to target in many ways mirrors the crowds that line up for their Las Vegas shop (at least before it because a tourist trap). Both are mainly people hard hit by the economic downturn.

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  1. @dipstick (dennis williams):

    That is the absolute worst troll I've ever heard. Everybody uses debit cards in conjunction with their checking account. This is a pre-paid card which is totally different. But why bother fact checking.

  2. Maybe someday someone will have enough personal integrity to say "Just because I will make money on it doesn't make it a good idea"

    Evidently it won't be the Harrison's.

  3. Not to burst your bubbles here dippy & tvless, but these cards are for people who do not have great credit & are turned down by banks to even get a checking account. These people who use them do not have any other option. As well as unlike other cards like these out there, the pawn guys are at least going at it right by keeping the fees down. So as much fun as it much be to carry large amounts of cash to showboat around, most people feel unsafe doing that so this is a great option for people who can't get a regular checking account.

  4. I gather that this is no different than going to a CVS and putting $50 on a Prepaid Debit Card, like American Express does and using it around town. The $2.50 charge for ATM access is asinine, but getting rich quick isn't cheap for the banks.

  5. I never use prepaid cards or debit cards (other than a rebate card from a cell phone company, or if I get one as a gift). I just cannot see paying a fee to spend my own money. I pay my bills online or by check, even pay one utility with good ol' cash since it's right up the street from my house. I understand the need for banks to charge a monthly service fee, there is a cost of doing business, but I'll keep paying the old fashioned way to avoid those fees. I also understand that those without credit or a bank account have few options, so a prepaid card is viable. I 'm just amazed how many people pay everything with a debit card, even if so many have a fee for each transaction.
    Dennis, your politics and mine may be very different and we have had some good debates on this site, but I'm with you on this one!