The Bluebird Prepaid Card boasts the “Benefits of banking, without all the fees,” and it lives up to its tagline with potentially no fees at all if you live near a Walmart. However, this gives you easy access to your cash without all the extra cost.
The American Express Bluebird is designed for consumers who want the convenience of paying with plastic but don’t want (or don’t qualify) a regular credit card.
Prepaid cards only allow you to spend money already in your account.
So you can avoid interest payments, bounced checks, or overdraft fees.
American Express Bluebird does not require a credit check, so approval is guaranteed.
However, it will not help you build credit and some online merchants don’t accept prepaid cards.
Bluebird Prepaid Card American Express Pros & Cons
- Free in-network ATM withdrawal
- A monthly fee of $0, which is lower than average for prepaid cards
- There is no fee for loading your card
- No monthly or purchase transaction fees.
- Roadside Assistance Hotline included
- Global Assist Hotline included
- Cash withdrawal fees can add up quickly.
- American Express is not accepted as widely as Visa and Mastercard.
American Express Bluebird Prepaid Card Fees
|Max Monthly Service Fee||$0|
|Close Account Fee||$0|
|Card Replacement Fee||$0|
|ATM Balance Inquiry||$2.50|
|Free In-Network ATM Withdrawal?||Yes|
|No Signature Purchase Transaction Fee?||Yes|
|No PIN Purchase Transaction Fee?||Yes|
|Signature Purchase Transaction Fee||$0|
|PIN Purchase Transaction Fee||$0|
|Card Reload Fee||$0 – $3.95|
|No Monthly Service Fee?||Yes|
Features of the Bluebird by American Express Prepaid Card
Below are features of bluebird by American Express prepaid card
Simple Account Management
The Bluebird mobile app allows you to track your card balance, pay bills, and add money to your account on the go.
Mobile Check Deposit
Adding money to your Bluebird by American Express card is a snap with a mobile check deposit.
All you have to do is download the Bluebird mobile app, take a picture of the check with your smartphone and voila–you’re done.
You can use your Bluebird by American Express card to pay your bills each month with no added fee. Bluebird checks are also available free of charge.
If your employer offers direct deposit, you can have your paycheck added to your Bluebird by American Express card automatically every payday. Best of all, there’s no charge to set it up.
Family Account Access
Once you’ve got a Bluebird account, you can link up to four more cards for your family members.
You can set limits on spending and ATM access, which is great if you have teens on the account.
How Do I Get the Bluebird Prepaid Debit Card?
Have the following information on hand before you register your account:
- Social Security number
- Date of birth
- Residential address
- Email address
Bluebird prepaid debit cards aren’t available in Vermont, but for all other states, you must meet the following requirements to have a Bluebird account:
- At least 18 years old — or 19, depending on the state where you live
- At least 13 years old to join the family account
- US citizen or resident
- Valid social security number
To Sign Up
You can sign up with Bluebird in two ways.
To sign up online:
1. Go to the Bluebird website and click Open an Account.
2. Enter your personal information.
3. Create a username, password, and ATM PIN.
If you purchase a Bluebird card from Walmart:
- Once you have the card, go to the Bluebird website and click Register Your Card.
- Enter the card number and security code.
- Enter your personal information.
- Create a username, password, and ATM PIN.
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Adding Money to Your Bluebird Account
You’ve got several ways to add money to your Bluebird card, and American Express doesn’t charge any fees to do so.
Altogether, you can add up to $100,000 a year to your Bluebird account using these methods:
The most convenient way to add money to your Bluebird by American Express card is through direct deposit.
You can set up a direct deposit for your paycheck or any federal payments you receive as long as you’ve activated your permanent card.
Federal payments that can be added via direct deposit include:
- Tax refunds
- Social Security benefits
- Civil service retirement benefits
- VA benefits
- Worker’s compensation
Depending on how your employer’s payroll system works, you can get paid up to two days faster when you sign up for a direct deposit.
Just keep in mind that it can take up to two pay cycles for the direct deposit to kick in.
Bank Account/Debit Card Transfer
If you have a checking or savings account, you can add money to your Bluebird account via wire transfer. Be aware, however, that your bank may charge a fee for that service.
It can also take a few days for a transfer to complete so this is probably not your best bet if you need the money fast.
You’re limited to $2,000 in checking or savings account transfers each month.
Using a debit card that’s linked to your checking account is likely to be the better choice if you want to avoid a fee.
To add money using a debit card, you can either link it to your Bluebird account online or through the Bluebird mobile app or refill at the register next time you’re at Walmart.
You can refill your Bluebird account at Walmart for free, and at thousands of other locations for a small fee.
Here’s a list of some of the most popular refilling locations.
Retailers that Refill Bluebird Accounts
|Retailers||Fee To Add Funds|
|CVS Pharmacy®||Up to $3.95|
|Walgreens®||Up to $3.95|
|Duane Reade®||Up to $3.95|
|Money Center Kiosks||Free|
|Dollar General®||Up to $3.95|
|Participating 7-Eleven® locations||Up to $3.95|
The fee to add cash to your account at establishments other than Walmart varies by location. However, the fee will always be $3.95 or less.
Any time you add funds using a debit card, they’re available in your Bluebird account immediately. You can add up to $1,000 a month using a debit card.
There are three ways to add money to your Bluebird account by check: either mail it in, use a mobile check deposit, or cash your check at Walmart.
When depositing a check by mobile check deposit, there is no fee if you choose to receive your “Money in Days”.
However, if you choose “Money in Minutes”, then you will be charged a fee of either 1% or 5% of the check amount (minimum fee $5), depending on the check type.
If you cash your check at your local Walmart, you can ask for the proceeds to be directly deposited into your Bluebird account.
However, if you’re using the Bluebird mobile app, you can deposit up to $2,000 per day and up to $10,000 per month.
If you have a check for more than $2,000, you’ll need to send it by snail mail.
You can also add money to your card at any Walmart register using cash. The minimum deposit is $1, and the maximum is $1,999.
Note: If you’re purchasing a Temporary Card, you can add between $1 and $500.
The most you can add in cash per day in a Walmart store is $2,500, and you can’t load more than $5,000 in cash to the card each month.
You can deposit cash into your Bluebird account at any of the other retailers we listed above.
Every retailer may have its own requirements set for how much you can deposit, as well as the additional fees associated with it.