For the first time, more shoppers have debit cards than credit cards. But this weekend, Connecticut's attorney general issued a warning to parents that the so-called "Kardashian Kard" and other debit cards carry outrageous fees, as CBS News correspondent Ben Tracy reports.
'Tis the season to go shopping. But in this post-recession period, people aren't filling their bags with credit card debt
Instead, 70 percent of shoppers plan to use a debit card or cash for their holiday purchases.
"Some people are just sick of their credit card companies," said Gerri Detweiler of the website Credit.com. "They have too much debt or maybe they don't have credit cards anymore."
Now many people are setting their own spending limits with prepaid debit cards.
Users loaded $330 billion onto prepaid cards last year. That's expected to grow to $672 billion by 2013.
Eight percent of Americans don't have bank accounts. Millions more have bad credit, so these prepaid debit cards can be a good thing. They're easier than cash and there are no overdraft fees - but there is fine print.
Some prepaid cards charge fees for checking your balance, using an ATM, or even calling customer service.
"A few cards even charge you per purchase at the cash register. So it's easy to see your balance literally nickel and dimed away with the fees that come with many of these cards," Detweiler said.
The worst offender may be the new "Kardashian Kard," named for the reality show celebutantes. It's marketed to teenage girls.
"With this one you don't need credit you don't even need a bank account," Kim Kardashian boasted in a recent interview.
But you do need a lot of money for fees. A six-month card costs $59.95 just to set up. It costs $1.50 to use an ATM, $1 for balance checks, $1.50 to speak to customer service, $9.95 to replace a lost card, and $6 to cancel the account.
The most popular prepaid debit card in America is Walmart's money card. It charges a $3 monthly fee, $3 to reload, $2 to withdraw, and $1 to check the balance.
"There aren't as many regulations and consumer protections. So it's a bit of a wild west when it comes to these cards," Detweiler said.
So just like at the mall, it's wise to shop around.