Bluebird from American Express: Everything You Need to Know

Bluebird from American Express

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Bluebird from American Express was launched as a way to serve the unbanked community. Many people who were struggling financially and couldn’t open a checking account with a bank could open a Bluebird account and use it to deposit and access their money.

Let’s dive into what Bluebird from American Express offers and see if it can be useful to those who like redeeming miles or points for hotel stays for flights.

What Is Bluebird?

Many prepaid debit cards come with tons of fees that end up costing the cardholder an enormous amount of money. Bluebird from American Express is a clear winner in this category as it does not have an annual fee or any monthly fees to keep the account open.

How to Get Bluebird from American Express

You can purchase a Bluebird from American Express card in person at retail stores for $5. However, you can also just order the card online for no fee.

Unlike applying for a credit card, your credit will not be pulled when you order a Bluebird card.

How to Deposit Money Into Your Account

Bluebird Mobile Deposit
There are several ways to deposit money, including mobile deposit. Image courtesy of bluebird.com.

There are several ways to add money to your Bluebird account. Some require you to visit Walmart, while others can be done online or through a mobile device.

Regardless of the method you use to deposit money into your Bluebird account, the maximum amount that you can add is $100,000 per year and $10,000 per month.

Direct Deposit

If your employer pays you via direct deposit, you can link your Bluebird account so your paycheck will automatically be deposited into it.

The payment must come from a U.S. bank account for Bluebird to accept the deposit. You will not be charged a fee to deposit money with this method.

Tax Refunds

You can designate your Bluebird account to receive your tax refund if you will be receiving one. You will not be charged a fee to deposit money with this method.

Debit Card

You may also deposit money into your account through a bank debit card. Deposits may be made via your Bluebird account online or through the Bluebird mobile app.

You may deposit up to $200 per day and $1,000 per month. You will not be charged a fee to deposit money with this method.

Cash

Cash may be deposited into your account at Walmart Money Centers. You can also deposit money with your debit card in person at Walmart. These deposits are considered cash deposits.

You can deposit up to $2,500 ($1,999 at Walmart) per day and a total of $5,000 per month. You will not be charged a fee to deposit money with either of these methods.

You can also deposit cash at other retail locations, but the fee to do so could be up to $3.95.

Checks

If you need to deposit checks, you can do so through the Bluebird mobile app thanks to its Mobile Check Capture ability. You can deposit up to $5,000 per day and $10,000 per month.

Like most deposit methods with Bluebird, this one does not have a fee.

How to Spend, Withdraw, and Transfer Cash

There are several ways to spend money, pay bills, and withdraw cash with Bluebird

Pay Bills

Pay Bills With Bluebird
You can pay bills online with your Bluebird account. Image courtesy of bluebird.com.

Your Bluebird account comes with a bill pay feature that makes it easy to pay rent, utilities, car payments, and more. You can make payments online or through the mobile app.

When you use Bluebird’s bill pay feature, they will send a check on your behalf. If Bluebird does not already have your payee listed, you can add a new payee.

However, you are limited to payments of $5,000 per month to payees you add, while you can send listed payees up to $10,000 per month.

Transactions – Merchant and Online

You may use your Bluebird card to make up to $15,000 in purchases per month. Your Bluebird card can be used anywhere American Express is accepted.

Peer to Peer Transactions

You can send up to $2,500 per month to friends and family.

Withdraw Cash

Your Bluebird from American Express can be used to withdraw cash at any of the over 24,000 MoneyPass ATM locations across the U.S. You may also withdraw cash from out-of-network ATMs, but there is a $2.50 fee for each withdrawal (plus any fees required by the ATM’s network).

You can also get cash from Walmart through what is called Cash Pickup Powered by Ria. Here’s the fee schedule for Ria:

Cash Withdrawal AmountFee
Up to $500$3
$500.01 to $1,000$6
$1,000.01 to $2,900$9

Money Transfer

Bluebird2Walmart Money Transfer Powered by Ria allows you to transfer up to $2,500 per day. Here are the fees associated with these transfers, which can be picked up at any Walmart location in the U.S. or Puerto Rico:

Transfer AmountFee
Up to $50$4
$50.01-$1,000$8
$1,000.01 to $2,500$16

Transfer to Bank Account

You may transfer up to $15,000 per month from your Bluebird account to a linked bank account. This can all be done online.

Checks

You can request paper checks to use, but there is a $19.95 fee plus shipping and taxes. If you want to write a check for $2,000 or more, you are required to get pre-authorization to do so. This process can take a couple of days.

Amex Offers

Just like many of the credit cards provided by American Express, Bluebird from American Express also participates in Amex Offers.

Amex Offers provides discounts at a variety of retail stores, restaurants, and more. These offers are temporary and new ones are added regularly.

If you have American Express credit cards, you might even be able to pay for a purchase with multiple cards to maximize the discount you receive.

Can Bluebird Help You Travel?

It’s pretty clear that Bluebird from American Express isn’t a great card to help you earn or redeem miles and points for travel, since it does not earn any kind of points when you make purchases.

Final Thoughts

If you’re looking for another card that provides Amex Offers and doesn’t have an annual fee, Bluebird from American Express does provide that benefit.

However, this card and its functionality are meant for those without bank accounts. If you need a place to deposit money, it could definitely be useful to you since it does not have the fees that many other prepaid debit cards do.

In the end, though, there’s just not much here for those who are earning and redeeming miles and points for flights and hotel stays. If your credit is in good shape and you’re looking to travel, stick with other American Express products that can help you earn Membership Rewards points.

*Featured image courtesy of bluebird.com

FAQ

What is Bluebird?

Bluebird from American Express is a reloadable prepaid debit card that has been used by many people without bank accounts.

How do you deposit money into your Bluebird account?

You can set up a direct deposit your paycheck or visit Walmart to deposit cash, checks, or load with a debit card. Additionally, you can deposit a tax refund into your Bluebird account.

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11 comments

  1. Raquel Medina · February 5, 2018 · Reply

    My son has no credit card right now and need to stay in a hotel to attend a convention. I have booked a hotel for him. Can he use his bluebird card to pay for a hotel accommodations?

  2. don’t know about hotels, but first how do you get your card registered? I have tried for months now and could not, I did get to use it, but now can not put more money on it and will not register at your site, so got a new card and you will not allow me to excess my money?

  3. Rush Spencer Jr. · April 19, 2018 · Reply

    When I got my card they forgot to put Jr. on my name…

  4. Maria · May 14, 2018 · Reply

    I got it originally to use with my Walmart price matching tool. Then got my paychecks direct deposited to it when I got a new job that didn’t give paper ones. It was great until someone stole my information. I called to report it and deactivate the card. Over 2 weeks later, and still no card. No follow up on my fraud case. 2 calls and 2 supervisors later still no way to get my check and only a “it should definitely (probably) be there tomorrow.” One guy had the audacity to ask me what I needed the funds for so badly!!! Food! The electric bill! Gas to get to and from work! When I get my new card I’ll “definitely probably ” get a real bank and just pay the monthly fees to not go through this again.

  5. Candixe smith · July 25, 2018 · Reply

    I dont understand why my wifes check is still not given to her? Her name is Megan Smith, you all keep saying, tomorrow tomorrow and its been both those tomorrow’s and its not there !!! Do we need to re transfer it from the one bank and totally just skip yours??? We thought it would help and be easier to just transfer her things to you. But now you have lied to her for two days now. If you say its pending, then where is it??

    • I’m sorry to hear of your frustrations, but please understand that we are a travel blog. We are not American Express or any bank or affiliated with any credit card. We just write about travel and finance. Please direct your messages to them to help get your situation fixed.

  6. Brenda Manos · July 29, 2018 · Reply

    I have had Bluebird for the last five years and have been pleased until recent fraud activity. I have had numerous calls recently to resolve the fraud issue. They sent my new card to the wrong address after I had given them the new address. After calling them back several times they still had the wrong address, and I had to specifically tell them to delete the wrong address. I called them back today and gave them the correct address again, and they told me I would have the new card by July 30 or 31. Up to now what they have told me was lies. It was easier for a thief to get my money than for me to get my money.

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