I Earned Delta Miles for Reloading American Express Bluebird With my Delta Debit Card at Wal-Mart

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[Emily & I do NOT get a referral for the Delta, Alaska Air, or American Airlines debit cards.]

As soon as I got my American Express Bluebird card, I reloaded it with 3 miles earning cards – the Suntrust Delta debit card, the Bank of America Alaska Air debit card, and the UFB Bank Airlines Rewards Checking account which earns American Airlines miles.

It costs $2 per debit card load to load your Bluebird with a debit card ONLINE, 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.

Bluebird Delta Debit Card

I Earned Delta Miles for Loading my Bluebird With the Delta Debit Card

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.

I used my Delta, Alaska Air, & American Airlines cards to successfully load my Bluebird card at a Wal-Mart store.  I was pretty sure that I’d earn miles for these reloads because I’ve earned miles for buying money orders and paying bills at Wal-Mart, so I didn’t expect this to 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.  These limits are shared with the limits for Vanilla Reloads.


Well, my Suntrust statement just closed and I earned 100 Delta miles for reloading my debit card at Wal-Mart with the Delta debit card!

The transaction posted to my Suntrust statement as:


This means that you can earn up to 5,000 Delta miles per month for reloading your American Express Bluebird with a Delta debit card at Wal-Mart.

Sure, Delta miles aren’t as valuable as other miles, but 5,000 Delta miles is worth at least $50 at 1 cent per mile.

However, I don’t expect this to last long because giving out so many Delta miles is likely unprofitable for someone.  There’s also the risk that Suntrust might ask you why you spend so much at Wal-Mart and investigate your account.

So What?

Sure, this isn’t as lucrative as using a credit card to buy Vanilla Reloads and it doesn’t help to complete minimum spending requirements on credit cards or to get spending bonuses on credit cards.

But this is a great way for folks who don’t sign up for credit cards to earn some extra points because you can use Bluebird to pay almost any bill electronically or via a check with their “Pay Bills” system.  If you do sign-up for credit cards, it is better to use Bluebird to meet minimum spending requirements to get the sign-up bonus and to pay bills which otherwise didn’t earn any miles or points.

This is also helpful for those folks who don’t have easy access to Vanilla Reloads cards.  There are lots of Wal-Marts across the US.

How to REload A Debit Card at Wal-mart

You can technically reload a Bluebird with a debit card at any cash register at Wal-Mart, but in my experience most tellers don’t know how to do that and have to call a manger to help them.  Perhaps this will change once more folks have Bluebird cards and go to Wal-Mart to reload them.

But the staff at the Wal-Mart Money Center (in the same section as the customer service department or next to it) are experts at reloading pre-paid cards and can reload your Bluebird in just a few minutes.

Bottom Line

I’ll keep you posted when the points from my Alaska Air and American Airlines debit cards post to my account.  For now, it is nice to have an alternative way to earn miles with American Express Bluebird!

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43 responses to “I Earned Delta Miles for Reloading American Express Bluebird With my Delta Debit Card at Wal-Mart

  1. Hi Darius, Do you think Bofa will have any problems/investigate/Close my account if the only transaction on Alaska card is large Walmart transactions loading Bluebird. I don’t want to get into trouble with Bofa..Because I work for Bofa in IT department 🙂

  2. Michael Belisle

    Thanks for the post. I saw on the bluebird site that they charged $2 for debit card load and assumed that was talking about loading at the store. When I receive the bluebird card I will attempt this. Thank you

  3. Walmart certainly isnt an expert in loading the BB. So far Ive been the lab rat. 4 different Walmarts I’ve been the 1st one to ever load one of these. Lots of confused looks and calls to Mgrs for help. Good news is they’ll be pros by the time Im done.

  4. any data on using the B of A Alaska airlines card for miles?

    • @RK – I really can’t say because I don’t know what threshold will get flagged and it likely varies. Perhaps you can use your connections to find the algorithm!

      @Michael Belisle – It is $2 to load online with a debit card, but not at a store.

      @MileageUpdate – Did you go to the Money Center or to a regular check-out lane?

      @sil – Still waiting for the points to post, but I’ll keep you updated.

  5. Office Depot is now requiring a copy of your driver’s license if you charge more than $2k of vanilla reloads at one time! had this experience last nite. they are also selling out and looks like they are not restocking fast.

  6. Walmart in my area has not heard of BB.. none to be found.

  7. Money Center. I might get hired to be the trainer of BB loading for Walmart in my area 🙂

  8. Vanilla Reload says CVS is also carrying them….going to check out my local CVS today. It is not as lucrative as 5x at OD but its something!

  9. Michael Belisle

    le us know if cvs allows this. a while ago i tried to buy a moneypak card and they required cash only. if cvs allows vanilla reload by credit it will be a miracle

  10. I went to my OD last night and they were completely sold out.

  11. My office depot went into more extreme measure. They totally removed all gift cards that are vanilla visa and american express.

    I guess time is running out on this deal.

  12. Never loaded for > 3,000 in a month. I have a friend working in ST and he told me that is the spending threshold that triggers the bank to look into the account. Under that line, you are safe.

  13. Andrew Schroeder

    For us Mint.com users, is the Bluebird card able to be added to your accounts?

  14. I am so anxious to know if you got AA miles with your ufb DC! I just opened up an account last month for this very purpose, have loaded $1500 each of the past 2 days onto the Bird, and will load another $1500 today (on multiple cards). But I’d love to know if I’m actually going to get miles for these loads! Thanks for posting as soon as you know!

  15. Is anyone else having problems using the bill pay option? I am getting an error message when I enter the zip code for company that I am trying to pay. I have tried entering the 5 digit zip, 9 digit zip with and without the dash. I called blue bird twice and they are no help. They tried to tell me it was probably because I was using a Mac computer. Really? I don’t think so!

  16. Will applying for any of these cards result in a hard pull?

  17. Can a bluebird card be loaded directly with a credit card either online or at a Walmart store without the use of vanilla reloads?

  18. So with OD slowly not restocking Vanilla Reload Cards, and the other way of using the Bluebird Card is by using debit card, what are the true benefits of the Bluebird Card if OD pulls the Vanilla Reload?

  19. So when you visit the money center at walmart to reload your BB card, what is the maximum you can reload with your debit card?

    • @Robert – Thanks for the info. I’ll test it out!

      @Andrew Schroeder – Not as of now.

      @Preacher7 – You will. 🙂

      @Kathy – Not sure what the problem is, but hopefully it works soon.

      @milesfan – Applying for a debit card doesn’t result in a hard pull in my experience.

      @Monte – Not that I’m aware off…

      @Tony – You can earn miles by loading Bluebird via debit card to pay bills.

      @wade – $1,000 per day.

  20. Minimum? probably 5 bucks but you need to look maximum not min. 🙂

  21. Not good news. I was able to buy vanilla reload cards at Office Depot in Lake Mary, Florida last week. Went in today and was told they changed policy so now you can only buy $250 per card with a maximum of two cards. Not only that, but they also said they would have to call the credit card company to confirm the purchase. I wonder how many other Office Depots are changing to this kind of policy. I left without buying any cards.

  22. Hi Daraius, on a seperate topic about the alaska airline and want you to confirm this. I just got the alaska airline and there is a remarks that effective from 11/30/09, the mileage credit is not awarded for federal, state or local tax payments or similar payments to federal, state and local government agencies. Do you know if this is true?

  23. Thanks Daraius. What about the UFB Bank debit card? Can it still earn miles by making tax payments such as personal estimated tax and secured property tax?

  24. went to walmart today and got an inexperienced person at the money center. tried to reload with delta skymiles debit card and was charged $3. she apparently withdrew the money from my debit card as if she was going to hand me cash which costs $3 to do that I guess. Then she put that money on my bluebird card. Tried to tell her it should have been a free transaction but she was clueless so I let it go. Everybody look out for this at walmart.

  25. Daraius.

    I have been searching the Bluebird website but I can’t find anyplace where it says that debit reloads at a Walmart have the 1000/5000 limit and are fee-free. Can you provide a link?

  26. Hi Darius
    I tried 2 walmarts today to load my bluebird with the vanilla prepaid reload cards I got at Walgreens but neither could do it. Worked fine online but the $2 charge is a pain.
    I called Bluebird & they said any walmart could do it at the register or money center but so far no luck. Haven’t tried the suntrust delta debit card yet at walmart.

  27. Daraius: Do you have to do a PIN transaction when you do the load in WalMart with a prepaid card? IMU, PIN based transactions don’t earn anything, neither to merchant, nor to consumer. If that is true, do you just use your debit card as credit card, making it a no PIN thing?

  28. I only found one CVS(out of 8) or walgreens in my area to take a credit card(HH amex) to buy vanilla reloads & have 77,000 miles from the hiton honors card in 2 weeks with the sign up bonus. I was buying $500-$1000 per day and immediately paying the card off through bluebird. Backed off for awhile to try again later in Dec.

    • @Seemit – Yes, you have to use your PIN when you load your bluebird with the debit card, but I do earn miles for the transaction.

      @Chaplain Chip Rohlke – That’s a lot of points! I try to do ~$5K with my Citi and AMEX Hilton cards and then use it to pay bills.

  29. Preacher7-did you get your mileage with the rapid bluebird transactions?

    Is there fine print lingo with these bank debit cards that prohibits these rapid re-loads just to pull the cash out? Enjoy your posts.

  30. Pingback: The Bluebird card | plainmoney.com

  31. Is UFB still earning AA miles by funding Bluebird? I am curious about it.

    Thank you!

  32. Just bought a VR at a CVS with a CC with no issues here in Phoenix, I have a walgreens and another CVS to try in morning.

  33. It looks like Suntrust has just completely nerfed the Skymiles Bluebird method getting Delta miles.

    I just received a change in terms that basically says any cash like transactions will not earn miles and even getting cash back with a purchase voids any miles gained from the purchase.