Extended: Free AMEX Bluebird Checks Until June 1, 2014

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I’ve written lots about American Express Bluebird and how you can use it to pay bills you can’t normally pay with a credit card, send money to other Bluebird users, or write checks for regular expenses.

By loading your Bluebird account with Vanilla Reloads or pre-paid gift cards you’ve bought with a credit card, you can earn lots of miles and points on expenses you would have otherwise paid cash for.  However, it’s become much harder to buy Vanilla Reloads with a credit card because CVS will no longer sell them with a credit card!  But perhaps you stocked up!

Extended Free AMEX Bluebird Checks Until June 1, 2014

Free Bluebird Checks, Now Until June 1, 2014

Bluebird was going to start charging for check orders after April 1, 2014.  But you can now order Bluebird checks for free until June 1, 2014!

This is a good deal, because Bluebird normally charges ~$26 for 50 checks, or ~$33 for 100 checks.

How Do You Order Checks?

Link:   American Express Bluebird

Link:   My Review of American Express Bluebird

1.   Log in to Your Bluebird Account

Enter your username and password as you normally would to log in to your Bluebird account.

If you don’t have a Bluebird account, read my post about how to sign-up for Bluebird.  You can also read my posts on how to load Bluebird with a credit card by buying Vanilla Reloads or pre-paid gift cards with a PIN.

Note: Starting April 4, 2014, CVS stopped accepting credit cards for Vanilla Reload purchases.  But if you managed to buy Vanilla Reloads before the change, you can still load them to Bluebird and write checks or pay bills to liquidate them.

Extended Free AMEX Bluebird Checks Until June 1, 2014

Log in to Bluebird as You Normally Would

2.   Find the “Order Checks” Link

First open the settings window by clicking “Settings” in the upper right hand corner.  Then click “Order Checks.”

Extended Free AMEX Bluebird Checks Until June 1, 2014

Open the Settings Window and Click “Order Checks”

3.   Choose the Number of Checks You Want

You can order 50 or 100 checks.  Either way, they’re free, so you might as well order 100!  Then click “Review.”

Extended Free AMEX Bluebird Checks Until June 1, 2014

Might as Well Go Big and Order 100! They’re Free!

 4.   Place Your Order

Click “Place Order” to order your checks.  They should arrive in ~2 weeks.

Extended Free AMEX Bluebird Checks Until June 1, 2014

I Like When Fees Are Waived!

What If You’ve Ordered Free Checks Before?

I tried to order more checks, even though I’d gotten 100 free checks when Bluebird 1st started offering them.  I got an error message.

Extended Free AMEX Bluebird Checks Until June 1, 2014

Oops. No Free Checks If You’ve Already Gotten a Free Batch!

I called American Express to double check, and you only get free checks once per account.  I’m glad I ordered 100 the 1st time!

How Do You Use Bluebird Checks?

You can use Bluebird checks to pay for most things you would use a regular check for.  It’s best to pay for things that can’t be paid by credit card.  For example:

  • Mortgage payments
  • Rent
  • Income taxes (you can use a credit card but will get charged a fee)
  • Property taxes
  • Tuition and school fees
  • Handymen, contractors, snow removal, yardwork
  • Day care expenses
  • Babysitters, music teachers, pet sitters
  • Swimming or dance lessons, sign-up fees for sports teams
  • Paying back friends or family

Remember that Bluebird also has a bill payment function, so if it’s a payment that can be mailed or done electronically, it usually makes more sense to use bill payment rather than write a check.

Emily and I use Bluebird checks to pay expenses like our plumber, cat sitter for Joelle, and salsa dancing lessons!

Extended Free AMEX Bluebird Checks Until June 1, 2014

Dancing Lessons? You Can Pay by Bluebird Check!

Here’s how to write a Bluebird check.  You’ll need to have the check in front of you.

Note: You must have enough money in your Bluebird account to cover the check.  The funds will be deducted immediately, not when the check is cashed!

1.   Log in to Your Bluebird Account Then Click “Pay & Transfer”

Once you click “Pay & Transfer,” a dropdown menu will appear.  Click on “Write a Check.”

Extended Free AMEX Bluebird Checks Until June 1, 2014

Click “Write a Check”

2.   Fill in Check Details and Enter PIN

Enter the check number from the front of your check, the amount, and a memo if you wish.  Then click “Review.”

Extended Free AMEX Bluebird Checks Until June 1, 2014

Enter Your Check Information and Click “Review”

Then enter your PIN and click “Submit.”

Extended Free AMEX Bluebird Checks Until June 1, 2014

You’ll Need to Enter Your 4 Digit PIN

3.   Write Pre-Authorization Code on Your Check

Bluebird will confirm the check and give you an 8-digit pre-authorization code.

Extended Free AMEX Bluebird Checks Until June 1, 2014

The Confirmation Code Is 8 Digits. Write It on the Check.

You must write the confirmation code on the front of the check for the check to be valid.

Extended Free AMEX Bluebird Checks Until June 1, 2014

Fill in Check Details and Authorization Code

You’ll get an email from Bluebird when the check has been cashed.  Remember, the money has already been taken out of your account!

Bottom Line

You can still order free checks from American Express Bluebird.  The deadline to order is extended until June 1, 2014.

Log in to your Bluebird account to order your checks (shipping is free, too).  You can only order free checks once per account.

Bluebird checks can be used for almost anything.  They’re great for paying for things you can’t normally use a credit card for, like handymen, babysitters, and lessons.  Even the salsa dancing kind! 😉

What have you used a Bluebird check to pay for?

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34 responses to “Extended: Free AMEX Bluebird Checks Until June 1, 2014

  1. I still have checks that I got previously from bluebird–they were free. I have enjoyed loading up on them at CVS. It’s been a great ride. Now that they aren’t available at CVS, I’m not sure that it will be beneficial to use the bluebird. I have credit cards for bills that take credit cards and I have a checking account for bills that will take my checks. What are your thoughts? Now that Office Depot isn’t selling VR with credit cards and neither is CVS, is bluebird over?

  2. Costco is the best!!!

    You can get a max cashback of $60 with your purchase from any type of pin-enable debit card. Additionally, if you are not happy with this purchase, you can return it and get cash; you keep your $60 cashback though. This is another great method to liquidate those debit gift cards bought from OM, Staples, CVS, or any other merchant with a rewards-earning credit card.

    Example: I buy a tablet and pay with a debit card ( any type of debit card from OM or Staples or CVS…etc). I get a cashback of $60 with my tablet purchase. When I get home, my wife is not happy with my purchase and tells me to return it. I return my tablet to Costco and get cash for the return (Costco only process AMEX).

    You have to pay a membership fee to do this. However, after 11 months ask for a full refund of your membership fee. Easy Peesy

    You do not have to return the item bought at Costco to get the cashback or ask for a full refund of your membership fee. I usually buy 3 hotdogs ($1.50 each) separately and get $60 cashback with each hotdog to liquidate a $200 debit gift card.

  3. Hi Now I have a blue bird, could my wife also have a blue-bird? She did not have ssn

    • @Kathy – It is harder to use Bluebird, but it isn’t over. That’s because you can load the with Visa gift cards with a PIN at Wal-Mart.

      @ChessMaster1 – Good to know that Costco lets you get cash back with gift cards.

      @ xuguang – Your wife can apply for a Bluebird, but will need an SSN.

  4. I usually buy Vanilla Reloads at Valero stations to get the 2X using my Chase Ink card. Went to several yesterday, none had the VRs except 1 and they told me cash only. Went to Walgreens where I only get 1X, they said corporate policy is now cash only as well. Looks like Vanilla Reload/Bluebird for manufactured spending is over.

  5. I have a BB and got free checks. I know people who have more than one BB. If I get a second BB will I then be eligible for more checks? Thanks.

  6. I don’t have CVS where I live, so I tried everything to be able to buy VR with my credit card, but the only places I could find them were Office Depot and Valero, both of which will not let you pay with CC. So, I started buying the VISA with a pin at my King Soopers, and going to reload them at Walmart. When I tried to load this past weekend, the person at customer service said that there was a new rule that you could no longer load your Bluebird with a VISA debit with a PIN. I had a hard time, and had to talk to 2 managers before they told her that they had not heard this new rule, and had her load it. Is this new, or is this person just misinformed?

  7. Thanks for the reply Million Miles Secret. I would like to someday start a blog just like yours. Maybe you can help me get started on this dream.

    To add to my previous post, the Walmart and Sam’s club discover card can be used to get cashback with any purchase at any retailer that allows cashback with purchase. The cashback amount only depends on the retailer. I usually buy something small (something I was going to buy anywhere) and get cash back with purchase. A lot of retailers allow $100 cashback with each transaction. So shop almost anywhere, get cash back with purchase, and finally pay your bill at Walmart/Sam’s Club with a pin-enable debit card bought at OM, Staples, CVS..etc. with a rewards-earning credit card. It is a another great way for me to liquidate these gift cards. It is another great liquidation method to add to my collection of gift cards liquidation.

  8. Good information here, thanks. I think a follow-up post would be to address the “glitchy-ness” you see on many message boards about Blue Bird, with their bill pay and with writing checks. I’m sure some of it is user error and can be corrected. However, I do not yet think that Blue Bird can be considered wholly reliable yet.

  9. ChessMaster1, couldn’t you just use the pin-enabled debit card to get cashback? Why the extra step of using the WM/Sam’s Club card?

  10. DBest…since I believe only Costco allows cashback with purchase with the pin-enable debit gift cards bought at OM, Staples, CVS, etc., the WM/Sam’s Club card technique allows me to cash out these gift cards out in a indirect way. The WM/Sam’s Club card supplements my arsenal of gift card liquidation techniques.

  11. Thanks for the tip, I may never need them, but free is free. And since that saves me over $30 bucks I got them. So far I’m new to BB, but have loaded Visa Vanilla issued by bankcorp at WM no issues pin is required but you enter in at time of loading. In the three cases I did it, the CSR was helpful and has zero issues.

  12. Daraius,
    Thanks for the infor. Have gotten the checks once so no go for me as well.

    Doesnt Costco only allow the use of Amex CC to pay for your purchases? And no cash back are allowed on debit card from CVS is it not?

  13. Kay,
    Costco allows the use of any type of pin-enable debit( either from bank or giftcard) & (Visa/MC) in addition to Amex CC to pay for your purchases.. You can use any of the pin-enable debit card from CVS (or any other retailer, but only ViSA/MC) to get cashback with your purchase at Costco. I have done this many, many times with success everytime.

  14. Kay,

    Costco allows any pin-enable debit card (Visa/MC), in addition to the use of Amex CC, to pay for your purchases. You can use any pin-enable debit card (Visa/MC) from CVS or anywhere else you can buy them to get cash back with purchase at Costco.

  15. My BB check bounced a few days ago. This was my rent check for my landlord and I did put the pre-authorization code on it. The bank rejected it with “Unable to Locate Account.” So I got hit with $130 in both Insufficient Funds and late fees from my landlord. After talking to a BB supervisor and his manager and then his manager, I have the rent money back but not the $130 in fees. They just say that the check looks fine on their end.

    I have had other problems with BB; now I’m done with them. I hate that they can’t be emailed and you have to call them.

  16. ChessMaster1,

    Thank you! I didnt know that. I shop at Costco on a regular basic and will definitely check this out.
    For cash back, how much do you get each time with your purchase?

  17. ChessMaster1,
    Sorry, just re-read your blog earlier and your post stated that the max amount of cash back at Costco and most establishment. Sorry for asking without reading carefully.

    Qtn – when you say wm/sams’s clun card, are referring to their debit card as well? I have bought a wm gift card loaded with $500 before but was told I cant get any cash back. Appreciate your clarification.

    Most grateful!

  18. Kay,

    At Costco, you can request a cashback of maximum of $60 with your purchase using any pin-enable debit VISA/MasterCard gift card. There is no limit in the number of cashback you can get per visit. There are days where I got 3 cashback of $60 each to liquidate a $200 gift card.

    I have no experience with getting cashback with the wm giftcard. My second post involves getting cashback with the Walmart and/or Sam’s Club Discover Credit Card ( You can also get cashback with the “real” Discover card form Discover) and when it is time to pay the Walmart and/or Sam’s Club Discover Credit Card, you can pay the bill with a pin-enable VISA/MasterCard debit giftcard bought at OM, Staples, CVS…etch. This is an indirect way of liquidating these pesky giftcards.

  19. Kay,

    ….this is similar to liquidating these gift cards through Evolve Money….and paying some types of Citibank credit card bill with a pin-enable VISA/MasterCard over the phone…

  20. Kay,

    ….and Amazon Payments…my favorite 🙂

  21. Darius,

    What do you think of me starting a blog about accumulating points/miles and chess strategy and tactics? It will be a blog that shows how chess strategy and tactics helps one’s ability in accumulating points/miles while accumulating points/miles helps one’s chess playing ability. What do you think? 🙂 Can you help me do it?

  22. Daraius, When I see posts like the one from ChessMaster1 I want to scream! Suggesting that someone should use/abuse Costco for their own purposes for 11 months and then ask for a refund of their membership fee is dishonorable and disgraceful. You have been quick to point out dubious practices in the past, and I hope you will continue to urge people be principled in their actions. Thank you!

  23. ChessMaster1,

    Appreciate the clarification. Will try the cash back at Costco the next time. That will safe me a trip to the bank for cash. Didnt know you can pay with debit card for hot dog and pizza at Costco either! Will try that too so I dont have to pay with cash. 🙂

    As for the discover and wm credit card, wldnt that be considered as cash advance for the cash back?

    Will check out EVolve. I am conservative and will check each out carefully. Hv tried Amazon and loved it and the fact that I do buy from Amazon makes it very convenient.

    Thanks again!

  24. Kay,

    The Walmart/Sam’s Club cashback is not considered a cash advance, but rather a purchase. And like a purchase, you have a grace period to pay your balance before getting interest. That’s the beauty of this system: you are indirectly liquidating those pesky giftcards by using them to pay for your cash back bill.

    There are many methods of liquidating gift cards. It is up to you which ones to use to help accumulate points/miles/cashback.

  25. …and by the way…when you buy a hotdog/ pizza at Costco with a debit card instead of cash, you have to check out in the main registers instead of the hotdog/pizza registers.

  26. ChessMaster1,
    Understand. Is this cash back only available for wm/discover card at wm and sams? What abt Chase card? Can you get a cash back when paying other items with your Chase card ?

    Hot dog – that is good to know or I’ll look silly trying to pay with debit card at the hot-dog counter. Always get a polish dog n pizza. 🙂

  27. Kay,

    I believe only discover allows a fee-free cash back with purchase.

  28. ChessMaster1,
    I wanted check back in and let you know that I tried what you said with success!
    Thank you so much!

  29. Kay,

    Your welcome. 🙂 Every little thing helps in playing this game well.

  30. ChessMaster1,
    Was checking out Evolve like you mentioned and Daraius just wrote a piece about Evolve. Will give it a try in paying for Utilities and see how it goes. 🙂

  31. Thanks a ton! I just went on and ordered 100 checks for FREE. It is 6/8/2014 and they are still free. Now if you could only get a free Costco membership like a typical Amex CC… Thanks again

  32. I just created a Bluebird account in the last two weeks – checks and shipping are still free! Not sure if it’s an extended promo or if it’s free for the first order, but it’s there!

  33. Bluebird free check order still working. Just placed an order – now they are giving 100 free checks instead of 50.