How to Earn LOTS of Points With American Express Bluebird for Mortgages, ATM Withdrawals, Rent, Loans, & Almost ALL Transactions!

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My American Express Bluebird prepaid card showed up in the mail today and I have lots of good news to share!  Note that if you already have an American Express Serve account, you have to cancel your Serve account before applying for American Express Bluebird.

I successful loaded my Bluebird prepaid card with mile earning debit cards at Wal-Mart for no extra fee.

Load American Express Bluebird with Miles Earning Debit Cards at Wal-Mart!

And I also loaded my Bluebird account using a Vanilla Reload which I bought from Office Depot using my Chase Ink Bold.  Note that this option is no longer available, but you may be able to find Vanilla Reloads at CVS, Walgreen’s or other locations. 

Successfully Loaded American Express Bluebird with Vanilla Reload Cards

Next, I paid $100 towards my Chase credit card bill (as a test) and withdrew money from an ATM using my Bluebird card!

And I was extremely excited to earn 5X Chase Ultimate Rewards points (which can be transferred to different airlines and hotels including, United, Hyatt & Southwest)  for both these transactions which otherwise would never earn miles and points!

If you earn 5X Ultimate Rewards points on only $2,000 per month (easy to do when you can pay rent, mortgages, loans, credit card bills, and regular purchases) with Bluebird, you earn 120,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points a year.  That is enough for a business class ticket to almost anywhere on United, 5 nights at a top Hyatt category 6 hotel, or ~$2,000 in travel on Southwest!

As I wrote a few days ago when I bought my Bluebird starter kit:

Bluebird has the potential (I’m still testing) to turbo charge the way we earn miles and points.  You can pay rent, utilities college tuition, mortgages, and even credit card bills and potentially earn lots of miles and points!

Well, my experiments were successful, and you can earn lots of miles or points by paying your rent, mortgage & credit card bill using the Pay Bill feature on your Bluebird card.  You can’t do this as easily with any other pre-paid card.  And potentially earning 5X Chase Ultimate Rewards points for everyday transactions is the icing on the cake!

However, I wasn’t able to use Bluebird to buy money orders (since it appears to swipe as a credit card) or to get cash back during regular purchases.  I also couldn’t buy or reload my Bluebird with a Wal-Mart gift card or with a credit card.

Load Bluebird with a Debit Card

You can load Bluebird with a miles or points earning debit card (Delta, Alaska Air, or American Airlines) online.  But this option is expensive.  It costs $2 per debit card load and you are limited to $100 per day and $1,000 per month, so I don’t recommend this method.

However, you CAN load your Bluebird card with a debit card for FREE when you reload at a Wal-Mart store.  I used my Delta, Alaska Air, & American Airlines cards to successfully load my Bluebird card at a Wal-Mart store.

The Alaska Air and American Airlines debit cards earn only 0.5 miles per $1 spent, so the Delta debit card which earns 1 mile per $1 spent could be the better choice, but it depends which miles you’d rather earn.

Debit Cards Which Earn Miles & Points

The teller swiped my Bluebird card and asked me how much I wanted to load on the card. I loaded $100 from my Delta debit card, $300 from my Alaska Air debit card, and $100 from my American Airlines debit card.

My bank statements haven’t yet closed, so I don’t know if I will earn miles, but I’m pretty sure that I will since the purchase will be coded as a Wal-Mart purchase.  I’ve earned miles for buying money orders and paying bills at Wal-Mart, so I’m not sure why this will be any different.

There is a $1,000 daily limit & $5,000 monthly limit for loading your Bluebird card with a debit card at Wal-Mart stores.  This $1,000 limit is shared with the $1,000 daily limit for Vanilla Network reloads below.

I loaded $500 with debit cards in Wal-Mart, but was only able to add an additional $500 with a Vanilla Reload.

Load Bluebird (Indirectly) with a Credit Card

Bluebird can be reloaded with a Vanilla reload.

You load your Bluebird card (which you can order online) with a points earning debit card at Wal-Mart.  You can also reload Bluebird with Vanilla Reload cards which you can buy at CVS, Walgreen’s or other locations.  Alternate with other credit cards so that you’re not spending too much at buying Vanilla Reloads with any one credit card.

Here’s a post on other credit cards to use with Bluebird, so that you’re not maxing out on just 1 card.

For example, let’s say you use a regular credit or your AMEX Hilton (which earns 6x points at CVS) to buy a $500 Vanilla reload card from CVS.  You will earn 500 points with the Chase Sapphire Preferred or 3,000 Hilton points with the AMEX Hilton and pay $3.95 for the Vanilla reload fee.

You then load your Bluebird card with the $500 Vanilla reload card and use it for transactions for which you don’t usually earn miles or points  – such as paying mortgages (using the Bluebird Bill Pay), withdrawing from ATMs, paying other persons, etc.

You come out slightly ahead when you use a credit card or any other credit card including a cash back credit card.

You can load your Bluebird  up to $1,000 per day and up to $5,000 per month using a Vanilla reload.  This $1,000 limit is shared with the $1,000 daily limit for Vanilla Network reloads below.

I tried exceeding the daily limit, but wasn’t able to.  Note that you can buy as many Vanilla Reloads from CVS or other location, but can only load $1,000 per day on your Bluebird card.

However, you can store up to $10,000 on your Bluebird card so you can always load $5,000 in one month and $5,000 another month if you have to make a payment of more than $5,000.

I was initially skeptical that this would be allowed because, as a marketing brand manager, I don’t understand why American Express would spend a lot of money to develop the “Bluebird” brand & develop “Bluebird feeder packs” but then dilute that expensively created Bluebird brand equity by allowing you to reload the card with a “Vanilla” reload.

But this isn’t a marketing blog, and I’m glad to be wrong because loading Bluebird with Vanilla reload packs opens up a lot of lucrative points earning opportunities!

How To Load Bluebird with a Vanilla Reload

Check out this post to see the different type of Vanilla cards available.

You load your Bluebird account with a Vanilla Reload by going to VanillaReload.com.

Enter your Bluebird card number in the “Card Number” field

Loading Vanilla Reloads on American Express Bluebird

Enter the PIN number from the Vanilla Reload Pack in the “PIN Number” field  and click “Submit.

Vanilla Reload PIN

What Can Bluebird Do For You?

Here’s a recap on how to earn miles and points using Bluebird.

1.  Pay Rent, Mortgage, Credit Card Bills, Utilities, or College Tuition.   The best use of Bluebird to me is the ability to pay for transactions which can’t usually be made with a miles or points earning credit card.

Bluebird has a Pay Bills option which includes most mortgage companies, utilities, and other payees.

I tried to pay Emily’s Sallie Mae student loan, but the system didn’t recognize her account number.  I’m assuming this is a glitch and will try again later.

But I was able to pay $100 towards my Chase credit card bill using the Bluebird Bill Pay!  I love being able to earn miles and points for paying my credit card bill!

Earn Miles When You Use Bluebird to Pay Your Credit Card Bills

You can use the Pay Bill feature to pay your mortgage, car loan, student loan, and many other payees!

There is a limit of $10,000 in payments per month for payments to businesses already listed in the Bluebird Pay Bills system.

2.  Pay ANYONE.   This is actually part of #1 above, but I wanted to emphasize just how important this can be. 

For example, let’s say that the person or business you want to pay, say, your apartment complex or your contractor or your college is NOT listed in the Bluebird Pay Bills option.

You can enter that person’s or business information manually and send up to $5,000 per month, per account, with Bluebird.  Bluebird will send a check to the person or business, for free!

So you can earn miles and points when you fund your Bluebird account with a credit or debit card and then use Bluebird to send a check to anyone else!

3.  ATM Withdrawals.  You can load your Bluebird card with a miles and points earning debit card (Delta, Alaska Air, or American Airlines) or with Vanilla reload packets (bought with a credit card)and earn miles or points for the load.

You can then withdraw up to $500 per day (in up to 3 daily withdrawals) and up to $2,000 per month with your Bluebird card.

I Withdrew $40 From an ATM as a Test

You can use this feature to help complete a minimum spending requirement on a card.

For example, say you have to spend $3,000 within 3 months on a credit card.  You can buy Vanilla Reloads from an Office Depot with your credit card and load them on your Bluebird card.

Buying the Vanilla Reloads at Office Depot with your credit card will count towards the spending requirement on your credit card and earn miles and points.  You then use your Bluebird for regular purchases including withdrawing money from ATMs.

There is a $2 fee per ATM withdrawal (waived until November 4, 2012), unless you set up Direct Deposit to your Bluebird card and use a MoneyPass ATM. Many employers will let you split your paycheck to different bank accounts.

If you use an ATM outside the MoneyPass ATM network, you will be charged an ATM fee which varies depending on the ATM machine.

You can also use this for meeting a bonus spending requirement on a credit card such as, say, spending on the Delta credit cards to earn extra MQMs and miles.

However, I’d make sure to not abuse this method and to also use Birdbird for regular spending as well!

4.   Transfer Money to Your Bank Account.  You can also transfer money to your linked bank account from your Bluebird account.

This is very similar to Amazon payments, but I’d be very careful to NOT just fund your Bluebird account (to earn miles and points or to meet a minimum spending requirement) and then withdraw money to your bank account.

Transfer Money From Bluebird to Your Bank Account

5.   Regular Spending.  You can load your Bluebird with Vanilla Reload packs bought with an AMEX Hilton which earns 6X points at CVS and earn points on any purchase you make with your Bluebird card.

Here’s a post on other credit cards to use with Bluebird, so that you’re not maxing out one one card.

Much thanks goes to Frequent Miler for showing us how to earn 5X points with American Express Prepaid cards!

CAUTION

– Do NOT only fund Bluebird with a credit card and then withdraw money from an ATM or transfer money to your checking account.  That is very easy to detect.  Withdraw only as much money as an average person would – that is in the hundreds of dollars and NOT thousands of dollars per week.

– Use Bluebird for lots of routine transactions as well.  If all you do with Bluebird is withdraw money from the ATM or to your bank account, you are likely to be shut down because you are unprofitable for American Express.

– I would NOT abuse the  category bonus for using the AMEX Hilton card to buy Vanilla Reload cards at CVS.  AMEX financial reviews are not fun.

You WILL get shut down if you try to spend tens of thousands of dollars per month at CVS with any one card.

I can’t give you an exact amount (you’ve got to decide for yourself), but $1,500 to $2,000 per month in CVS *could* be pushing the envelope.

Alternate with other credit cards so that you’re not spending too much at one location with Ink credit cards.

Here’s a post on other credit cards to use with Bluebird, so that you’re not maxing out on just one card.

Go slow and easy and enjoy the many benefits of the Bluebird card.

Bottom Line

You can order a Bluebird card online at Bluebird.com.

Bluebird opens up a whole new world of point earning opportunities, but you have to go easy. Otherwise you risk having not only your Bluebird account shut down, but also your credit cards.

* If you liked this post, why don’t you join the 7,000+ readers who have signed-up to receive free blog posts via email (only 1 email per day!) or in a RSS reader …because then you’ll never miss another Bluebird update!

* If you liked this post, why don’t you join the 25,000+ readers who have signed-up to receive free blog posts via email (only 1 email per day!) or in an RSS reader …because then you’ll never miss another update!

Editorial Disclaimer: Neither the responses below nor the editorial content on this page are provided or commissioned by the bank advertisers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertisers. Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of the bank advertisers. It is not the bank advertisers’ responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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316 responses to “How to Earn LOTS of Points With American Express Bluebird for Mortgages, ATM Withdrawals, Rent, Loans, & Almost ALL Transactions!

  1. Question:

    What’s to stop me from using my Chase Freedom card, which has 5% cash back at CVS, to buy a Vanilla card, load that onto my Bluebird card, and use my Bluebird card to pay off my Chase card. It seems like an arbitrage. Am I missing something?

  2. It certainly seems like alot of people are having a major hard time with issues using the bluebird card. Can you comment on the issues? You are touting it as the card to rule them all and the idea seems great but teh problems ? Please post something regarding this… thanks

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  4. @Billy – I was thinking the exact same thing…

  5. I registered and setup a Bluebird by American Express account online; no starter kit. After 2 days, i am still waiting for the for the verification e-mail to pop into my email address. Anyone have this problem?

  6. Bluebird sucks. PayPal and bluebird do not get along, like another post explains calling BlueBird customer service to resolve such issues WILL GET YOU NO WHERE! I don’t understand why bluebird declines. Their is no reason for this, PayPal is very wideley used for of payment transaactions both ways. I linked my paypal to my bluebird, try to direct deposit from paypal to bluebird works fine. Then when I make a payment from paypal it will decline my bank (“BlueBird” Centurion Bank) and I have to jump through all these hoops to get them linked again. No more BlueBird for me, tis’ awful I say just awful.

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  8. Darius-
    Do you know if you load the card at Walmart with a debit card, does the chage show as a purchase or does it code as something else where I wouldn’t get points? Thanks

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  10. When I first got my Bluebird card, I agree that the customer support was horrible and wait times just as bad. Things have improved however and I have used my Bluebird card for about 7 months now using automatic deposit through my employer. I have paid about 10 bills via the bill pay system. The very first one was to my insurance company and an important payment and it said it completed and would be there within 5 days. I called customer service and they assured me it would be fine and to wait but I was skeptical as nothing had been deducted from my balance. They said it was sent but the due date came along and it was indeed not paid. I had to hurry up and pay it via a Visa debit card as my insurance company did not accept AMEX. After that, I have made successful bill payments to my regular credit cards without any problem whatsoever but they were all to payees in their system and were sent electronically. I am going to send a payment soon that will have to be sent by regular check/mail and am a bit worried about that.

    I was considering closing my Bluebird account until I read this website that said that you can accumulate miles by using the Bluebird bill pay feature. I have not read anywhere, anything about accumulating miles simply by using the bill pay feature. I have doubts about this but will look into it further. At this time, I do not understand how you earn Miles using a vanilla reload pack and right now it does not seem to make sense if you have to pay $3.95 to buy one just to earn Miles.
    Also, AMEX will not help you recover any funds if a company debits your card like Visa or MasterCard will. I had 2 charges for $7.99 and they refused to help me, but the merchant happily credited it to my account. Customer service said that there would be no recourse though if the merchant would have refused. Visa and MasterCard would have credited it right away with the provisional credit because it was a mistaken charge on a Netflix account that I canceled and no longer used.

    I’m opening up a regular checking account at my local credit union tomorrow but may keep my AMEX Bluebird account open if I find that the miles are indeed credited and easy to use. I bet it will turn out to be such a hassle and I will give up way before any benefit would come of it. I believe AMEX Bluebird definitely has a lot of ironing out to do regarding this card/features and its zero protections. When I told the customer service agent that they should stand behind their consumers a little bit better, she just wanted to argue with me all the more and I calmly told her they should be more like Visa and MasterCard regarding mistaken charges/unauthorized purchases. She hung up on me and it was not a hangup “mistake”. Yes, they are foreign and could give 2 $%^# less about the customers and it seems they cannot keep up with incoming call volume. Those are my honest feelings and opinions regarding the AMEX Bluebird account, so you need to weigh the benefits and disadvantages out carefully before you get involved.

    One other advantage that I thought I would mention is that I can load my card with cash for free at any Walmart location and withdraw cash for free at any US Bank in my hometown/area. I do think it is better than the reloadable Walmart Visas and MasterCard’s offered at Walmart that charge a monthly fee of $9.95 and also charge you a lot of other high charges for withdrawals and purchases etc. Best of luck!

    Derek Bowman

    • @Derek – Thanks for sharing! Bluebird isn’t for everyone, but it does have its uses. As always, do what makes sense for you and for many folks, that could be a regular credit card.

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  13. I had be asked by a friend to get the bluebird card. I went on line to read all the pros and cons about the care and I would like to thank each off you for your opinion for it gave me the insight that I do not need a card with such limit amount and use.

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  15. I just got my BlueBird card along with a few Chase Gift cards. I don’t live near a Walmart. So I found the nearest MoneyPass ATM near me and tried to deposit the Gift cards and didn’t see a way to deposit debit cards/gift cards on it.

    Is Walmart the only game in town for this BlueBird card?

  16. How can I pay a credit card bill through Blue bird ? I want to use the money that i loaded through a VR, but can’t seem to figure out what or how of it.. unlike most people, i don’t have to pay rent, insurance, tax or mortgage 🙁

  17. Sorry man.. I found that page soon after I wrote the comment..

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  19. I’m new to points so tell me if I’m wrong. You don’t earn points on the Bluebird card, but you do on the cards you’re using to load the Bluebird card. Is that right?

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  21. DELTA AMEX CARD & BLUEBIRD MODEL….Is it worth it? check my math below please and share your thoughts

    If my mortgage is $1,500 I would have to purchase 3 Vanilla Reload cards (3 x $4.95 = $15).

    With a 1 point per $1 purchased (Delta Amex rewards credit card program), I would get 1515 points (1500 points for value on cards + 15 points for purchasing vanilla cards)

    So 1515 points / $15 = 101 points / $1

    Typical ticket with Delta ticket round trip is 32,500 points (+5 fee)

    So at 101 points / $1 ……. 32,500 points would cost $321 (+5 fee).

    If you purchase the same a round trip ticket directly from Delta it would cost you $377 (with tax). This is $49 more than using the bluebird / vanilla reload model.

    Based on the comments of others who have been dissapointed with the service, accesibility, and freedom of the bluebird card, I don’t think $50 is worth the headache.

    It’s not like you’re getting double delta credit card points for using your bluebird card to purchase Delta tickets. Iif you do use your delta dredit card to purchase your ticket you do get double points and a free check in bag.

    • @JD – That’s correct. You earn the miles and points when you buy the Vanilla Reloads or gift cards to load your Bluebird with.

      @John Q – You get a better value when you use a different credit card which earns more valuable points such as Starwood points or Ultimate Rewards points. Another good option could be the AMEX Premier Rewards Gold card. You get a 15,000 point bonus for spending $30,000 a year, and you can transfer American Express Membership Rewards points to Delta.

  22. John Q: The Delta Skymiles Amex card (they really push these on a Delta flight) only required a $500 spend to get 30K points on Delta. You can also get a Delta Skymiles DEBIT card through Suntrust Bank. Use THAT card to load your Bluebird card to pay your mortgage. 1500/month x 12 = 18000 pts/year for $75/yr fee through Suntrust. Of course if you have to meet the spend on another worthwhile card like Darius mentioned above, load it with the Vanilla Reloads and load your Bluebird card with it.

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  24. Hi Darius,

    Thanks again for all of the wonderful information you provide.

    I know that you have probably answered this question a thousand times, so I apologize. I know that I can load $5,000 per month into Bluebird using Vanilla Reloads. Can I load an additional $5,000 per month using debit cards? So, can I load a total of $10,000 per month as long as I’m using different sources?

    Thanks!

  25. @Cat, the total per month is $5,000 regardless of the method (debit, or vanilla reloads, or a mixture of debit & vanilla reloads)

  26. @Brandon – Thanks for the information. I thought that the limit had been changed to $10,000, but I was obviously wrong. Thanks again.

  27. Got this email after applying online for blurbird. Looks weird. Shall I follow the instruction?
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    In order for us to process your registration, we need to verify your account. Please fax or mail a legible copy of the following documents:
    • Social Security Documentation (must clearly show full 9 digit Social Security Number). Choose 1 of the following options:
    • Social Security Card, OR
    • A Medicare insurance card
    Plus…
    • Picture ID:
    · A valid driver’s license card OR
    · A valid state issued ID card OR
    · A valid United States Passport

    It is important that we receive your documentation within ten days.
    Fax or Mail to:
    Fax Number: 1-855-477-0483
    Mailing Address:
    Account Protection Services
    4315 South 2700 West
    Salt Lake City, Utah 84184
    Please call us at 1-800-551-1814 if you have any questions or concerns.
    Thanks,
    Bluebird

  28. I drove all over town. There is nowhere anymore that lets you purchase a Vanilla Reload or Paypal reload with a credit card. It can’t be done at gas stations, nor Office Depot, nor CVS.

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  32. Today was my first experience with Bluebird, which I learned about from this site. Loading funds from the Vanilla Reload card was easy enough, but setting up bill pay proved to be a frustrating challenge. After getting error messages 3 times when trying to enter a payee, I called customer service. I got a response right away, no wait time. I spent close to 15 minutes on the phone with the representative trying to enter the information. I was surprised to learn that the system doesn’t accept any special characters, meaning no periods for P.O. box, and no parenthesis for phone number (though the visual prompt for adding a phone number includes the parenthesis). It would be nice if they at least mentioned that on the site.

    Regardless, after 6 failed attempts at entering a payee, I was advised that the payee must not be in their system and therefore I cannot enter it. This would imply that they are no longer paying bills via the mail service, and will only accept payees who are set up with ACH transfers.

    Has anyone else had a similar experience? Do we know if Bluebird no longer mails checks?

  33. Thanks Daraius. That’s exactly what I did. FYI, they are offering them at no charge til the end of the year. Yes, it’s definitely a pain. I am very surprised at the poor execution on this site. I have higher expectations from AMEX. Thanks for your feedback.

  34. Apparently since they updated to the “new” website, bill pay is fried. Will not allow PO box and freezes when you try to review transactions. This occurs even on merchants I have been paying for a year. Work around is download the mobile app and pay from there. It works fine.

  35. Yes, thanks for the tip. I didn’t learn that my bills didn’t go through until AFTER I after I discovered my mortage wasn’t paid!! (Thank goodness I have one “freebie” per year). I record when I pay all my bills on the statement. So I looked back and compared – yup, BB messed me up. I looked back at my other statements; some were paid and some weren’t. It’s difficult to edit the payee on the website, so I just created a duplicate payee without the PO box, and deleted the old.

    My question is WHY did they not alert us and WHY didn’t I get some sort of alert that the payee address is no longer correct. I called CS and they had NO record of my payment attempts. They’re advice was to “pay with checks.” That’s fine, but after so many, it costs. Also, why have a “bill pay” feature if it doesn’t work with the address on the bill???

    I noticed there was a problem with a $500 gift card I loaded; it’s missing also

    Bottom line, beware with Bluebird!! Check and double check everything to make sure it’s gone through!

  36. Is the vanilla reload at CVS / bluebird method to pay a mortgage still working right now?

  37. Also is it better to just sign up for Bluebird online or buy a temporary card at Walmart first and then sign up online?

  38. Can I just load the bluebird account with the vanilla refills and then just get a checkbook from blue bird and just pay my rent with an actual physical check.. This could work really well and because I am paying an actual bill.

  39. If I use a single CC to purchase $3500 a month in Vanilla Reload cards to upload to Bluebird to pay bills (either bluebird ach or checks), am I technically doing anything against the law/violating the terms of my CC agreement? I’m new to this so I’m not sure, but it doesn’t seem like manufactured spend to me, I’m just trying to get points for paying bills for institutions that don’t accept credit cards. I know you mentioned $2k on one card would be pushing it, but I wasn’t sure if it the Vanilla reloads were used for actual bills if it would be an issue.

  40. I just ordered my Bluebird Checks (qty 50) for free. Shipping’s free too. Fees waived thru April 1st, 2014 for either qty 50 or 100.

  41. Hi Daraius,
    Ive just signed up with Amex blue bird . I’m currently having difficulties to by vanilla reloadcards. After so many attempts, I found a CVS that has them, but the cashiers keep those at the cashier counter and ask me to pay cash only for the cards. I am about to have to bring in some cash at a closing (selling a condo at a loss) and would love to be able to get some miles for the large expense. I almost loose hope with blue bird amex because I spent a whole week driving around town to try buying vanilla cards without success. Will you please recommend some other alternative option? I greatly appreciated your advice

  42. @hong- I loaded my Bluebird checking using a $500 Visa gift card at Wal-Mart customer service about 3 days ago. It’s also a debit card so I set the PIN via online first. Cashier told me to swipe my “debit” card and enter PIN. Worked just great.

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  44. So I’m new to all of this and I really want to know what cards are best to use for this opportunity. I have the Barclay arrival to give me 2 points/ $ spent. Is there any cards that I could use with CVS (drugstores) or 7 eleven (gas station) to get a better point yield? Also will a purchase inside a 7 eleven be credited as gas because its at a 7-11?

  45. Bluebird is awful first they took 3 days to post my direct deposit. Then they froze 500.00 between subaccounts and took 3 days to get that back. Now they are going on. 3 days late posting my tax refund which was sent to them 3 days ago. This is it. Once I get my money from them. I will cancel

  46. Fraud is rampant in Florida and everybody I know has been affected. When I heard the CSR’s were in India, there was no way I was going to give them my SS#. The card seems to work fine without opening an account. Bluebird needs to assure customers that SS#’s are safe with them.

  47. Ok….. So it appears that this card is useful b/c…(?)
    1) It is like a separate bank acct-making it simple to save for a goal
    2) I can buy vanilla reload cards,using my points accruing card,and use the BB to pay a car payment,mortgage,etc.
    3)
    ….All this seems good but my questions are….. I have read about difficulty finding or buying the VR cards….is this stil the case? (CVS or Walgreens)
    If I Can’t buy the VR to refill (5000.00 per month) then what are my options left? I have a couple of cc’s that accrue points,and that is my goal.
    …And Why would using a cc to buy VR,fill BB acct,and pay bills be considered a bad thing? in the article you state ‘don’t “overuse” any one cc to purchase VR’….why? I thought this was how it’s meant to be used…(?)
    …And, I currently use 2 cards for spending, is that enough variety to keep things cool?
    I’m not trying to get fancy here, Just want to try this service for paying bills….
    thank you!!!

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  49. I am a newbie to the miles game. My rent is 1650. Will it be worth it to buy a 4th card that only has 150 dollars on it (500) +(500)+(500) + (150) when you have to pay 3.95 for each card?

    • @JM – You can usually find Vanilla Reloads at CVS stores. If you can’t find VR, you can buy Visa or MasterCard gift cards and then use them to reload your Bluebird at Wal-Mart.

      @Esther – It depends. But it could be worth it to help meet the minimum spending requirements on a credit card.

  50. Thanks for the replies…. I found the VR ate one local CVS,but not another (???) anyway- I purchased one,added it,and did a trial bill pay (20 days early to test) it all shows as working, fingers crossed!
    then today I got 2 more,and will add those.
    If I buy more VR, I will use a different cc. I also like the idea of sending a check for a payment,if it isn’t listed on their site- does this work well? (the good old days, sending checks by mail option)
    Also is there any more info. on paying (part) of a cc bill,using the BB? Would this be an issue, to pay off part of a cc that was used to buy VR?

  51. Does this work with an Amex card? Bc Amex terms say:

    Eligible purchases do NOT include fees or interest charges, balance transfers, cash advances, purchases of travelers checks, purchases or reloading of prepaid cards, or purchases of other cash equivalents. Additional terms and restrictions apply.

    So if you purchased Vanilla reload cards at a drug store, you wouldn’t actually earn 5% cash back…correct?

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  53. Tsai Lun Huang

    Not sure if anyone knows the answer, but can you transfer money from a Bluebird account to a Serve account directly, or vice versa? Thanks a bunch

  54. @Tsai Lun Huang,
    Serve is also an Amex product, you cannot have both Bluebird and Serve under the same SSN. Also, if you start moving money around a bunch of Amex products, even if they are not in your name/ssn, you will set off flags.

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  56. I have had extremely poor customer service with Bluebird. No, that just doesn’t sound bad enough. Terrible, AMAZINGLY TERRIBLE customer service. Their product has performed exceptionally terrible also… aside from in person swipes. I have done one online payment transfer, and one online check payment and neither has gone through. And what’s worse is that they didn’t notify me that it hasn’t gone through for one of these. If you ever have a problem with Bluebird they won’t be able to explain what happened in any specific way.
    I am 50 years old and have had many types of different financial products. Nothing compares to this nightmare. As of today, Bluebird is sending me a check for the balance an my card. I can’t wait to cut my plastic card up.

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  59. Is there an update on this? I heard this system was shut down in the last month? I am new to miles/points game, but I am a landlord with several mortgages (both to private people and to banks) that I pay every month (appx $6000 total) and utilities etc that run through me that I would LOVE to earn miles on but cant figure out how without paying 2.5%+ which negates the miles earned in the long term (I would max out any spending requirements on a card in one month and dont see good logistics in 12 new cards a year)…suggestions?

  60. Is there a cash limit on a day that u can load on ur card at walmart

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  63. Hi all,

    I’m confused as to how all of this works. If anyone would care to break it down step by step, that’d be awesome!

    Please let me know if I have this straight:
    I understand Vanilla cards no longer work. So basically, you just buy gift cards from any retailer (ex. Staples, using a Chase credit or debit card), deposit it into your bluebird account and then use your bluebird account to pay loans, rent, etc?

    Rather than just using your regular bank account? And then all of that has multiple ways of earning extra cash back?

    Please confirm, thanks!

  64. You got it, Nick!

    I buy Visa gift cards from Staples with my Chase Ink, load the gift cards onto my BlueBird card at Walmart, and then pay write a check off my BlueBird account to pay my rent!

  65. Bobbi Eakright

    So when you go to walmart to reload your Blue Bird card with straight cash… is there a limit?? Like say I’m coming into some money and I want to load like up to $10, 000 or more, can I do that?? I really need to know within acouple days if possible. Thanks in advance.

  66. Can I use bluebird inside the bank at a teller to withdraw cash