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Bluebird From American Express: Everything You Need to Know

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Alex Miller

Alex Miller

Founder & CEO

Countries Visited: 34U.S. States Visited: 29

Founder and CEO of Upgraded Points, Alex is a leader in the industry and has earned and redeemed millions of points and miles. He frequently discusses the award travel industry with CNBC, Fox Business...
Edited by: Keri Stooksbury

Keri Stooksbury


Countries Visited: 39U.S. States Visited: 28

With years of experience in corporate marketing and as the Executive Director of the American Chamber of Commerce in Qatar, Keri is now Editor-in-Chief at UP, overseeing daily content operations and r...
& Kellie Jez

Kellie Jez

Director of Operations & Compliance

Countries Visited: 10U.S. States Visited: 20

Kellie’s professional experience has led her to a deep passion for compliance, data reporting, and process improvement. Kellie’s learned the ins and outs of the points and miles world and leads UP’s c...

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Bluebird® American Express® Prepaid Debit Account is a prepaid card that cuts fees and offers banking and shopping features that beat many competitors.

You get the convenience of a prepaid account with banking features like direct deposit. Plus, you get access to money-saving Amex Offers that otherwise are only available with credit cards. Smart customers living debt-free are making Bluebird a top choice to manage their finances.

Let’s dive into what the Amex Bluebird Prepaid Debit card/account offers!

All information about the Amex Bluebird Prepaid Debit card has been collected independently by Upgraded Points.

What Is Bluebird?

Many prepaid debit cards come with tons of fees that end up costing the cardholder an enormous amount of money. The Amex Bluebird Prepaid Debit card/account 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 the Amex Bluebird Prepaid Debit Card/Account

You can request an Amex Bluebird Prepaid Debit card/account online for free or purchase at participating retails stores for $5.

Unlike applying for a credit card, your credit report will not be pulled when you order an Amex Bluebird Prepaid Debit card/account.

How to Deposit Money Into Your Account

There are several ways to deposit money, including mobile deposit. Image Credit: Bluebird

There are several ways to add money to your Amex Bluebird Prepaid Debit card/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 Amex Bluebird Prepaid Debit card/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 Amex Bluebird Prepaid Debit card/account so that 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 Amex Bluebird Prepaid Debit card/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 Amex Bluebird Prepaid Debit card/account online or through the Bluebird mobile app (iOS, Android).

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 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 be charged a fee of $3.74 to deposit money with either of these methods beginning July 1, 2023.

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


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 $2,000 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

You can pay bills online with your Amex Bluebird Prepaid Debit card/account. Image Credit: Bluebird

Your Amex Bluebird Prepaid Debit card/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, a check will be sent 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 Amex Bluebird Prepaid Debit card/account to make up to $15,000 in purchases per month. Your Amex Bluebird Prepaid Debit card/account 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 Amex Bluebird Prepaid Debit card/account 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 month. 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 to $1,000$8
$1,000.01 to $2,500$16


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.

Bluebird Benefits

Amex Offers

A Bluebird feature unlike other prepaid cards is that you can save money shopping with Amex Offers.

Amex Offers are limited-time offers that update regularly and different from account to account. You can find discounts at a variety of retail stores, restaurants, and more. These offers are time-limited and new ones are added regularly.

Purchase Protection

Shopping with your Amex Bluebird Prepaid Debit card/account with confidence thanks to purchase protection that helps protect eligible purchases made with the card against accidental damage and theft for up to 120 days from the date of purchase.

Roadside Assistance

In case of emergency, you can call Bluebird customer service for assistance services to help you get on your way. Cardmembers are responsible for third-party service costs.

Fraud Protection

If your Amex Bluebird Prepaid Debit card/account is lost or stolen, or your account is compromised, you’ll be protected against any fraudulent purchases made with your card.

Does Bluebird Earn Miles?

Bluebird does not earn miles or points. Its focus is on daily financial management rather than travel rewards.

Final Thoughts

If you prefer to manage your finances with a debit card rather than a credit card, Bluebird is a great option.

Bluebird has many of the features of a traditional bank account such as direct deposit. Fees are low compared to competitors. Plus, you get access to money-saving Amex Offers that otherwise require an American Express credit card.

Those who want to live debt-free or are repairing their credit will find Bluebird a compelling product.

Frequently Asked Questions

The Amex Bluebird Prepaid Debit card/account is a reloadable prepaid debit card that is a popular alternative to traditional bank accounts.

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 Amex Bluebird Prepaid Debit card/account.

The Amex Bluebird Prepaid Debit card/account comes with benefits like access to Amex Offers, purchase protection, fraud protection, and roadside assistance.

You can request an Amex Bluebird Prepaid Debit card/account online for free or purchase it at participating retail stores for $5.

About Alex Miller

Founder and CEO of Upgraded Points, Alex is a leader in the industry and has earned and redeemed millions of points and miles. He frequently discusses the award travel industry with CNBC, Fox Business, The New York Times, and more.


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Disclaimer: Any comments listed below are not from the bank advertiser, nor have they been reviewed or approved by them. No responsibility will be taken by the bank advertiser for these comments.


Raquel Medina

February 05, 2018

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?

Alex Miller

February 06, 2018

Unfortunately, this card cannot be used for hotel reservations. Please see their terms here: – search for the word “hotel” on that page and you’ll see the relevant section.


July 03, 2018

I was able to use my card to book a hotel room back in February.


June 03, 2020

This is not true. I used my Bluebird to travel to Paris. I used it to book, and pay for my accommodations, as well as when I returned to the United States, I was able to use the card at a Hilton near Boston Logan Airport

Jarrod West

June 04, 2020

Hi C,

Thanks for sharing this data point. This is quite strange as the Bluebird T&C seems to state the opposite. In any case, thanks again for sharing your experience!


June 09, 2020

Nah. The terms say that hotels, car rentals, etc. “may not” work. It doesn’t say “will not” or “shall not.” So it is possible to use the Bluebird card at a hotel, but it’s also possible that the card will decline.

Also, keep in mind that hotels, gas stations, and car rentals often put onerous holds on debit card funds. So if the hold is more than the balance in the account, the card will decline.

Jarrod West

June 09, 2020

That is great to know, Michael! Thanks for clarifying this!

J tutor

February 24, 2018

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?

Alex Miller

March 02, 2018

Your best bet is to call Bluebird Customer Service (Open 24/7) at 1-877-486-5990


April 13, 2020

They never answer and I’m on hold for over 2 hrs and then it disconnects.


May 17, 2020

The same thing happened to me they have been holding over $200 for almost a month now from when I rented a U-Haul truck. No one answers the phone. One night I was on hold for an hour and 18 minutes, then when they came to the phone we got disconnected. You can’t talk to anybody. This is a ridiculous card and as soon as my funds are cleared I’m dropping it and I’m suggesting everyone that I referred them to to do the same.


November 28, 2020

I have a Bluebird card and have had it for years. I love that they never charge me for anything unless I withdraw money from an atm. I use it All the time they don’t charge for any swipe at p.o.s purchase. I’ve also used it to reserve a room at a hotel many times. Never had any problem with customer service. It is a great card I think and I tell people all the time that they should get one.

Rush Spencer Jr.

April 19, 2018

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

Alex Miller

April 19, 2018

I’d call up Amex and request a new card with Jr. on it if it’s important.


May 14, 2018

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.


April 05, 2020

Great story but the person at fault here is you. Why cancel your card when your “info” was stolen? Everyone knows it takes time to get a replacement card, you could have simply withdrew your funds knowing that you needed it and then deposit it back after your replacement arrives. You’ll need the new one to pay bills anyways.
Why not buy a new one at the store, then transfer the funds to the one via online? Or if you know someone with a Bluebird card transfer to them. Lots of options, instead of writing a complaint that resolves nothing..

Candixe smith

July 25, 2018

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??

Alex Miller

July 26, 2018

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.

Brenda Manos

July 29, 2018

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.

Cat Anders

November 21, 2018

I’m an American living abroad and don’t have a US bank account. I’d like to use Bluebird for monthly debit payments to a US auto insurance company. Is this possible? Can I transfer funds from my foreign checking account or AMEX to Bluebird? (A credit to debit transfer)

Rhon Parker

November 26, 2018

Why does the phone number for blue bird not offer a live person to talk to? I have questions concerning my card use and its always automated. How can I speak with a live person?

Erin Miller

November 26, 2018

Hi Rhon, please be advised that we are not American Express. We are Upgraded Points, a website dedicated to points and miles content which, at times, includes credit card reviews.

That being said, it is not uncommon for credit card companies to utilize an automated service to funnel you to the appropriate representative. Once you have gone in and entered your social or card number to establish you are a current customer, you can try to say “speak with a representative” or at times, pressing 0 or the # key will cue the service to send you to a representative.

Best of luck – maybe someone else reading this article will have a better answer for you and can let us know in the comments below.


November 27, 2018

Can you still really load debit cards to Bluebird? This option doesn’t appear in the app.

Mary Christopher

December 01, 2018

I’ve had BlueBird for the past 5+ years and I love it. I had some sketchy charges I noticed and called Amex and they immediately corrected things and sent me a new card which I received within a week. The only thing I dont like is now they charge to order checks. Luckily I got my last set right before they implemented the new fee for check orders (to be clear there is no fee to write a check only to order the physical checks). For me I’m a forgetful person, so with bluebird checks you use the app and preauthorize the ck# and amount and it pulls it from your balance so there’s no issues later. Just wish AmEx was accepted at more small mom and pop shops.

Steve Winter

December 15, 2018

Many are being Ripped off by American Express / Bluebird card!  You can file a complaint here:
Please SHARE RT to help the many being ripped off


January 09, 2019

This used to be a very good card. Not anymore. The past year has seen its decline. No customer service and way to many problems with funds. Check the Consumer Affairs page to see the hundreds on new complaints. Don’t get this card.


March 07, 2019

Worst card ever. Too hard to load money without another bank account, can’t do ACH transactions. Did not live up to the hype, regret even getting this. Just get a regular checking account and stay way from these types of accounts.


March 11, 2019

How on earth are you supposed to add funds to your own account if they won’t let you cut a check to “yourself”? Had to drop the whole program, really frustrating. Other options are taking cash to walmart (no) and transfering $200 by debit PER DAY up to a limit of $1000 per month.

For some reason they REMOVED the ability to do direct bank transfers to add funds (essentially like writing a check to yourself, just without the check). No explanation. Made the card useless to us.

Ryan Holiday

April 10, 2019

Avoid this card at all costs. I’ve used it for 2 years with relative ease however I was only getting my paychecks and withdrawing the cash. Recently I started using it more. Any hold that is placed on the account will take 7-30 days to be released. Had to wait 7 days for a Hotel ACH to clear even though the hotel instantly refunded my money. Amex held it hostage for a week. Used it for a rental car biggest mistake of my life. There were multiple Authorizations from the rental car company then one final charge it left the account negative (The reason I got the card was to avoid overdrafts) so when I was paid, another $300 was taken. Got off the phone with them after the 7 days from the rental car had been returned they said I have to wait 30 days from transaction to transaction for the money to be credited. They have over $600 of my money. I should be able to sue or get interest on my money. They basically take your money as an interest free loan. When I asked why it takes so long I was told because it is not one of the accepted ways to add money to the card even though it’s a REFUND. Then when I asked to speak to a supervisor and was told one was not available and they could take my name and have someone call in 1-2 business days.


May 13, 2019

Before you choose the Bluebird card by American Express please read! I am and have been a bluebird card holder for about 6 years. The reason I got the card was when Wal-Mart had their cash back rewards program when you uploaded your receipts. Anyway, I had recently stayed at a casino hotel and resort and used my card to pay for the room the deposit that was on hold etc… Well, it was a total of about $280. I was supposed to get everything but the $80 back as the difference was only put on hold. If you have stayed in a casino hotel you know what I’m talking about…

Well, the next day when I checked out I first stopped at the atm to do a withdraw and I had $7 in my account and I should have had $560. WHAT?!?!?! Well, after arguing with the hotel manager we found why this had happened. Bluebird had charged me not once, not twice but three times the amount of the original $280. So, the hotel manager calls them and they told her that they couldn’t release the money back on my card until the hotel on their end gave the transaction a released status. The manager, in fact, had already done that first thing that morning before I even checked out. She gave them the transaction authorization code and everything and that STILL WASNT good enough for Bluebird.

They told me I had to wait 8 business days before they would put the money back on my card!! Well, when we got home I called Bluebird again and spoke to a manager and she told me the same thing that I had to wait the 8 days for the casino to release the pending status on the transaction. Well, she had printed off a copy of the transaction sheet that showed that it, in FACT, was released and NOT in pending status and AGAIN I gave them the authorization transaction number but it still wasn’t good enough for them.

So not only did they take the $280 off three times but they ended up not refunding me my money for eight days. They gave me back everything but the $80 twice. They kept $80 twice when they should have only kept it once! This card is the worst card ever! They can and will steal your money and the only reason they keep your money on the 8-day hold before rending it is so that it can sit in their institution and draw interest! They charge you not once, not twice, but 3 times for an atm withdraw. The fee for mobile check cashing is outrageous and the customer service agents are not only foreigners but they are also rude! The only benefit of this card is that you can load cash on it for free at Walmart other than that it’s terrible!

Jacqueline P Goodwin

September 23, 2019

I have a bluebird American express card. I’ve had this card for 2-3 years. I would like to know if there is an updated card with a chip? I would like to get one if possible.


Jarrod West

September 23, 2019

Hi Jacqueline,

I would contact the Bluebird Customer Service at 1-877-486-5990. They will be able to assist you with that request.

Thanks for reading!

Rita Odom

November 05, 2019

All I can say is DO NOT GET A Bluebird card. They are horrible to use. I have called customer service several times and they don’t know what they are doing. They tell me something and then hang up. It didn’t fix the problem.

I can’t even transfer money from my Bluebird card to my checking account. It is insane. After I get this money off of the card I will throw it away and never use it again. Also, I needed to transfer some money for my husband’s business and Wal Mart accused me of money laundering. Gezzzzz No proof, just judgement. Never been in trouble in my life. They they refused to even work with me. And it was an amount that they transfer !!!

Douglas Groves

November 13, 2019

Does the Walmart savings catcher still work?

Jarrod West

November 13, 2019

Hi Douglas,

The Walmart savings catcher has been discontinued. Thanks for reading!

paisley woodstock

November 23, 2019

I am sorry that I got this card. I thought it was a better option to bring overseas instead of my regular debit card tied to my cash. I just need it for using at ATMs (inside a legitimate bank) because of having a pin number. I initially loaded it with $200 but only by personal check, no fee, funds available in 10 days. I am worried about using it for this express purpose now. By the way, the customer service phone number has no option to speak to a person. That is a scary thought. I will destroy this card and opt-out after using up the $200.

Joseph E, Grzelak

March 04, 2020

I applied for a online loan. The company wants me to get a Amex Bluebird card just to prove I can make payments to them. Is this a scam and can they take money from this card?

Christine Krzyszton

March 11, 2020

Hello Joseph. It sounds like it could be a scam. I looked up some common online loans scams and there were several involving pre-paid cards so indeed this may be one.


March 23, 2020

Why do I need to make a security deposit before the funds can be released into my card?

Christine Krzyszton

March 24, 2020

Hi Daniel. You should not have to make a security deposit. Have you tried contacting Bluebird customer service to resolve the issue? 1-877-486-5990


April 04, 2020

Good Luck with that one! I tried to contact bluebird today and was on the phone for over 50 minutes waiting to dispute an overcharge mount on my bluebird card and could never get them to answer, and apparently so does a whole lot of other bluebird customers. I bought food from chucke e cheese that cost $45 and I have the receipt but in my bluebird online account, I was charged nearly $55! This has never happened before and I have been a customer with the same card now for over 5 years.


October 26, 2020

If you have a Bluebird pre-card, can someone send you money on Venmo?

Jarrod West

October 26, 2020

Hi Kathy,

Yes, you should be able to add your Bluebird card to Venmo.

Rachael J Cochrane

December 07, 2020

This card is a joke now. The app is completely not user friendly. They updated it and now you have to log into your online account instead of through the app. If you try to do the basic things it used to be able to do, like transfer money or send it to a sub-account, it says: “this feature isn’t available in the app yet, please log in online.” When contacted, Bluebird said it was an update to make it easier to use…what?! That isn’t easier at all! Garbage app. Waste of time. No timeframe on when they will get it fixed.


December 27, 2020

When I used to purchase things online they added extra charges. I ordered something for $48.71 on bluebird but it says $56.02. Why is my card being charged more than what I paid? Can anyone please tell me why this happened?

Jennifer Buchanan

January 18, 2021

I received a ready to be activated Bluebird card in the mail that I did not request. I called the customer service number on the card but it gave me zero options for this question or the ability to talk to a real person. I googled it and saw it was related to American Express so they were not able to help. Can someone provide me a number to call to destroy this card account so no one can use it?

Jarrod West

January 18, 2021

Hi Jennifer,

Give this number a try and let me know if you have any issues: 1 (877) 486-5990

Lisa Brodski

January 28, 2021

So, basically, I can only transfer $200 a day and no more than $1,000 a month to a Sub Account? I have a main account linked directly to my bank account. I transfer money to a few Sub accounts.

Jarrod West

January 29, 2021

Hi Lisa,

The figure you’re quoting is specifically related to making deposits to your Bluebird account from a debit card, it does not apply to sending money out of your Bluebird account.


April 15, 2022

If I cancel a order, how long does it take for the money to get put back on my Bluebird prepaid card?

Christine Krzyszton

April 17, 2022

Hi Zach. It will depend on the merchant and how they process the refund. It could be immediate for an in-store purchase but for an online purchase you’ll need to allow at least 7 days.

Ann T.

March 23, 2023

I asked my local walmart about Bluebird and loading money to it and they (customer service rep and then the supervisor) told me they don’t do that anymore. I wanted to learn more about it from walmart staff before I got the card but it seems it’s not available anymore, is that correct or did I just had some bad info from 2 not so knowledgable staff.

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