Russell Simmons Responds To Rush Card Criticism

Boyce Watkins and others called The Rush Card "pimping," and Russ responds.

Hip Hop mogul Russell Simmons has been facing harsh criticism for his Rush Card business. Marketed primarily towards low-income African Americans, Rush Cards are described as “no-credit-check, pre-paid credit cards with $200 credit limits and $50 a year in fees” by public radio program “The Takeaway.”

In an interview with the morning radio show, Boyce Watkins, a professor of finance at Syracuse University, compared Russell SimmonsRush Cards to pimping.

It’s a very interesting sort of idea here,Watkins said. “[Simmons is] saying ‘I’m giving everyone access to the American Dream,’ but I never really knew the American Dream consisted of having a piece of plastic that puts people further and further in debt. But even a pimp that helps — that quote unquote ‘helps’ — a young woman get off the street, he can say I helped you because you were homeless when I met you and now you’re not.

After the New York Times published a blog which also showed Rush Cards in a negative light using quotes from the radio interview, Simmons made a statement firing back at critics.

Since April is financial literacy month I feel this is a perfect time to set the record straight concerning comments I have been reading online about the Rush Card,” he said. “The Rush Card is a prepaid card, NOT a credit card. It gives people the convenience of a credit card without the debt. Financial literacy month is when people should know the truth about options to manage their money, not when misinformation should be spread to keep the underserved communities suppressed.

went on to say that the Rush Card helps to protect underrepresented communities from the exploitation of bank entities and check cashing places who charge high fees for over drafting and the cashing of checks respectively.

Some people pay a lot to have a bank account. The average US household pays over $340 a year in bank insufficient fund fees. In fact, most of these are paid by members of underserved communities totaling over $1,300 per year per household.

Recently, Rap group, the Young Guns Now also criticized the Rush Card for its activation fee of $19.95.To read Russell Simmons’ full statement on the Rush Card, [click here].


  • J. Howell

    The Rush Card is total scam and that's just the clear cut truth. I respected Russell Simmons and most of his business ventures but this is just far from anything I could have imagined. I know people personally who has a Rush Card as well as I did and for some reason something just isn't right with this product or service. I don't have to get into specifics but know that Rush Card and it's developers are scamming people everyday. People who work hard for their money and expect to be provided with a legitamate service for handling their money is not getting what they pay for. I've had money tied up into this company and still haven't received my money yet. I've got nothing but the run around and excuses. I wouldn't be the only victim, just check the web for the thousands of complaints and sad story's!

  • kareemah

    Hi, I am a rushCard costomer. last year I lost almost $4,000 from my RaushCard. I did not know how people can get thru my account?! I tried to contact RushCard customer service. all they told me is to fill out the dispute form. and I did--- I filled the form and fax it to them and also email it to them. that was 6 month ago. until now I have not hear any thing back yet.If anyone you can advice me how to get my money back. My hard working money just gone!!! I checked the transactions and I see all the transactions was made in India.I wondering if the Indian people who work for RushCard had my information and used my card? if anyone can help I will be greatly appreciate. contact me via email please Thanks

  • SProsper

    I obtained a Rush Card and i must say that i am very dissatisfied by their inability to inform an account holder that there are fraudulent;ant activities on their account. I recently tried to withdraw MY MONEY from my account and was unable to. I called customer service and the6y told me there was a hold on my account. I have email and text notification set up on this account and when my balance is low, I'm notified. When i make a deposit, I'm notified. When Rush Card wants to tell me about updates or special offers, I'm notified. So why when my account is blocked for the purposes of fraudulent activities, that i am not notified? And then they have the nerve to tell me i have to wait several days to get my funds. You are a financial institution dealing with peoples money that is rightfully theirs. If i hadn't called them, I would've never known there was a block on my account in the first place. Mr. Simmons you need to have a meeting or something brother...Thank you.

  • jose trinidad

    People, check this out yourself. If you do not mind giving a bruddah USD$19.95 when you can activate similar cards for less, then let him keep the $19.95. No harm, no fowl. I am now investigating the green dot card to compare and will act accordingly.

  • Curisse

    i have had a rush card for 6 years and i have never had a problem with it....the convenice fee of $1 is awesome because on the 15th of every month i get a cashback if i wswipe my card 30 times i get a $30 cash back...its worth it to me...i guess people just need to learn how to manage their money a little better and they wouldnt have any problems...i think Russ has done a great deed...people just dont wanna see other people just sayin try it before u knock it

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