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.
Instead, you CAN load your Bluebird card with a debit card for FREE when you reload at a Wal-Mart store. You can reload up to $1,000 per day and $5,000 per month.
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, points from my Alaska Air & UFB Bank Airlines Reward checking account just posted. I earned 150 Alaska Air miles for reloading my Bluebird debit card with $300 at Wal-Mart with the Alaska Air debit card, and I earned 40 American Airlines miles for loading $80 purchase to a Bluebird at Wal-Mart.
You only earn 0.5 Alaska Air or American Airlines miles per $1 spent with the Bank of America Alaska Air or UFB Bank Airlines Reward debit card. However, the annual fee for the Bank of America Alaska Air card is $30 compared to $75 for the Delta debit card which earns 1 mile per $1 spent and there is no fee for the UFB Bank Airlines Reward debit card.
The transaction posted to my Alaska Air statement as:
WAL-MART #XXXX 10/22 #000366676 PURCHASE XXX STREET XXX KS
This means that you can earn up to 2,500 Alaska Air miles per month for reloading your American Express Bluebird with up to $5,000 via a debit card at Wal-Mart.
The transaction posted as “POS DEB Walmart” to my UFB Bank statement.
However, I don’t expect this to last long because giving out so many Alaska Air or American Airlines miles is likely unprofitable for someone. There’s also the risk that Bank of America or UFB Bank might ask you why you spend so much at Wal-Mart and investigate your account.
Sure, this doesn’t help complete minimum spending requirements on credit cards or to get spending bonuses on credit cards.
But using a debit card to load a Bluebird 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 because 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 manager 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.
I’ll keep you posted when the points from my 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 by using the Delta, Alaska Air, or American Airlines debit cards.