Personal finance guru Suze Orman this week launched her own prepaid card for consumers who are looking for an alternative to credit cards. Called The Approved Prepaid MasterCard, Orman intends for it to be a tool that helps people think about and spend their own money.

"For me, The Approved Card is a mission. It's the single most important thing I've done in my whole career. This is my answer for all those who are looking for a better way to bank, use plastic and feel secure knowing that their interests are being put before fees and profit motives. People are tired of not getting fair financial deals," says Orman in a press release.

The Approved Card is a MasterCard branded prepaid card that can be used at ATMs and wherever Debit MasterCard is accepted. The card is a part of the Allpoint network, which allows users to use the card at any of Allpoint's 35,000 ATMs surcharge free when they make at least a $20 direct deposit or electronic transfer to the card during any given month. If a cardholder doesn't meet this requirement, ATM fees are $2 per transaction.

When adding money to the card, cardholders must add at least $20 to the card at a time. They can set up a direct deposit to have their paychecks put directly onto their Approved Card. Users can also add money to the card through account transfers or by adding cash to it at through MoneyGram Express Payments or Western Union. The card holds a maximum of $9,000. Users can spend a maximum of $2,000 in a 24-hour period, and a maximum of $9,999 in a 30-day period.

"The Approved Card is similar to other prepaid cards like Green Dot and NetSpend. The Approved Card follows the basic prepaid card model, but it makes use of multiple purses on the card, which is something of an innovation because it allows people to segregate funds," says Ben Jackson, senior analyst, Prepaid Advisory Service at Mercator Advisory Group. "Mercator's research shows that roughly 15% of people use prepaid cards for budgeting as a way of separating out money for a designated purpose. So, by having a card that allows people to separate money into different categories, this could potentially tap into that."

"The other thing is that the card would seemingly fit into her financial advice, so she tells people to save, to not run up debt, and a prepaid card gives people a way to spend and shop online or spend money electronically without incurring debt," adds Jackson.

Orman has partnered with TransUnion to provide cardholders with one year of free credit reports, monitoring and credit scores with unlimited updates. In addition, users who participate in The Credit Project aspect of the prepaid card will anonymously share their purchasing data with TransUnion. Currently, those who don't have credit cards or other loans can't build an accurate FICO score. While this data currently will not impact an individual's current credit score, Orman hopes that this data will prove that prepaid and debit card users can use these cards responsibly and this type of usage should help determine their credit scores.

"The fact that she attaches it to credit reports increases the potential of it helping someone who has run into financial difficulty and is trying to rebuild their financial health," says Jackson.

The card has a $3 monthly fee for up to four cards. "Like every prepaid card it has fees, including a $3 month fee that is as near as I can tell is unavoidable. There are other fees associated with it, so if someone is going to use the card, they need to consider whether or not the way they would use the card would be cost effective," says Jackson.

Orman launched The Approved Card on the same day her new television show "Money Class" premiered on the Oprah Winfrey Network.