Those hot new Capcom prepaid cash cards may look pretty sexy coming out of your wallet but it turns out they're packing a fistful of service fees and hidden charges that'll make your eyes bulge faster than a Hadoken in the junk.
Announced in February, the Capcom prepaid cards are available in Street Fighter IV, Resident Evil 5 and Bionic Commando motifs, and give cardholders access to exclusive offers like closed betas, free downloads and Capcom merchandise. But with great power comes great responsibility, and in this case cardholders are responsible for laying down $9.95 to buy the card and a minimum $10 initial deposit, plus a $4.95 monthly access fee. Ouch.
But it doesn't stop there. As Defend Your Dollars discovered, that's "tip of the iceberg" territory. Reloading the card when it runs dry will cost you another $4.95, which is apparently a standard fee on any Visa cash card. You want to actually use the thing? That'll cost you, too: 25 cents every time you enter your PIN, and $1.50 to yank money out of the local ATM, which you'll pay in addition to whatever fees the bank may charge for the privilege of using their machine.
Your card is declined because you haven't put enough cash on it? 50 cent charge. You forget how much cash you've got on it so you decide to be responsible and check before attempting a purchase? 50 cents. Having trouble of some sort, aside from the fact that you're going broke paying for this sweet new Chris Redfield cash card? It'll cost you 25 cents to call in to an automated help line and if you're so unreasonably demanding that you actually want to talk to a person, it'll be $1.50.
There's more! If you manage to overdraft the card you're on the hook for any amount overspent plus a $10 overdraft fee. And if you eventually decide that carrying Ken and Ryu around in your ass pocket just isn't worth the expense it'll cost you $10 to cancel the card, which you'd better pay because along with the $4.95 monthly service fee there's also a $5.00 dormancy fee if you just don't bother using it.
If you still want to sign up for one of these things you can do so at capcom-unity-card.com, where you can also find a full list of fees, penalties and other ways you can give away your money for the opportunity to impress the girl behind the counter at Starbucks. Consider yourself warned.