How Long Does it Take For Bluebird “Pay Bills” to Post Your Payment?

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Bluebird Introduction

One of the best uses of American Express Bluebird is the ability to pay for transactions which can’t usually be made with a miles or points earning credit card. Transactions such as your rent, mortgage, car payment, credit card bill, tuition etc.

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.

You may also be able to pay for the Vanilla Reloads with a credit card at Walgreen’s, but this isn’t always the case and could be a bit of wild goose chase.

Here’s a post on what a Vanilla Reload looks like and  how to load a Vanilla Reload card to your Bluebird account.

Bluebird Pay Bills

My Bluebird “Pay Bill” payments to Emily’s Sallie Mae student loans and my Chase credit card account posted within 1 business day.

I Paid Sallie Mae & Chase Credit Cards Using Bluebird’s Pay Bill Feature

I’m excited to now earn miles and points for these routine transactions which didn’t earn miles and points before!  And to be able to meet minimum spending requirements to get the sign-up bonus on new credit cards much more easily!

I explained earlier with lots of screen shots and details on “How to Use Bluebird “Pay Bills” to Pay Rent, Mortgage, Credit Cards, Utilities, College Tuition, etc.

One of the best uses of American Express Bluebird is the ability to pay for transactions which can’t usually be made with a miles or points earning credit card. Transactions such as your rent, mortgage, car payment, credit card bill, tuition etc.

You load your Bluebird card (which you can order online) with a points earning debit card at Wal-Mart or with Vanilla Reload cards which you buy for 5X Chase Ultimate Rewards points using a Chase Ink Bold, Chase Ink Plus or other Chase Ink cards. Or alternate with other credit cards so that you’re not spending too much at Office Depot with Ink credit cards.

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

Payment Options

You can pay bills or loans for anyone as long as you have their account information.

Bluebird offers 2 options to pay your bills via their “Pay Bills” system.  The first way is to look up the name of the business whom you want to pay.  If the business is listed in the Pay Bill system, you can send money electronically from your Bluebird account to the business which you owe money.  I used this option to pay Sallie Mae student loans and my Chase credit card bill.

Available payees include, for example:

  • Most mortgage, car loan, student loans, credit cards and financial institutions
  • Most utility companies

The Bill Pay system is quirky and, in some cases, requires you to enter in the full 9 digit zip code (without the hyphen) of the person or business whom you are paying (not your zip code).  This is a check to help ensure that your payment goes to the correct payee.

There is a monthly limit of $10,000 for payments to payees listed in the Bluebird Pay Bill system.

The second option is if the business or person whom you want to pay is not listed in the system – say your apartment complex or contractor.

In that case, you enter the name, address, and account number of the payee and Bluebird will mail a check for free with your account information on it.

How long to post your Payment

American Express guarantees that your payment will reach on time if you schedule it at least 6 business days in advance of the due date.  However the guarantee is for only up to $50 in late payment fees.

I made test payments to a Sallie Mae student loan and to a Chase credit card.  Both these payments were to payees listed in the Bluebird Pay Bill system.  My payments were applied to my account within 1 business day. However, I still recommend submitting your bill payment at least 6 business days in advance, if not longer.  Paying late fees is never any fun.

Here are the details:

1.   Chase Sapphire Preferred Credit Card.  I sent a test payment of $100 from Emily’s Bluebird account to my Chase Sapphire Preferred credit card account. I entered my 16 digit credit card number as the “account number” on the Pay Bill screen.
Enter Your 16 Digit Credit Card Number as the Credit Card Account Number

I submitted the payment at 6:52 pm CST (after business hours) on October 22, 2012 and Bluebird indicated that my payment would be applied to my account on October 24, 2012.  This means that it took 1 business day for the payment to post to my account.

I logged into my Chase Sapphire Preferred account on October 24, 2012, but my payment didn’t appear in my account.  But the payment did show up when I logged in to my account on October 25, 2012.  The payment was posted on October 24, 2012, which was exactly when Bluebird said it would be applied to my account.

Payment Posted in 1 Business Day

Some folks suggest that using the Bluebird Pay Bill to pay your credit card bill is a red flag which will get your Bluebird and credit card accounts shut down.

I don’t buy that.

Sure, funding Bluebird and then paying off your credit card bill mid-cycle, and then funding Bluebird again and paying off your credit card bill etc. in the hope of gaining lots of extra points WILL attract unwanted attention – and rightfully so.

But you should be fine if you use Bluebird like a regular person.  A regular person would fund Bluebird, use it for routine transactions, withdraw money from the ATM, and pay bills.  A regular person does NOT fund Bluebird, immediately withdraw all the money and pay bills, fund Bluebird again, and then immediately withdraw all the money again and again.

You can store up to $10,000 a month ($5,000 if you reload with Vanilla Reloads bought with a credit card or at Wal-Mart with debit cards) on your Bluebird and pay up to $10,000 in bills per month.  Almost all banks, credit card companies, and many credit unions are in the Pay Bill system.

I’m pretty sure the reason they are included in the Pay Bill system is because AMEX wants you to use Bluebird’s Pay Bill system.

My only caution is to make your payment at least 6 days (if not longer) in advance of the payment due date to ensure that you don’t pay interest or late fees.

2.   Sallie Mae Student Loan.  Similarly, I made a payment towards Emily’s Sallie Mae student loans for $500 during business hours on October 23, 2012.  Bluebird indicated that my payment would be applied to my account on October 24, 2012.

This means that it took 1 business day for the payment to post to my account.

I logged into Emily’s Sallie Mae account on October 24, 2012, but my payment didn’t appear in my account.  But the payment did show up when I logged into her account on October 25, 2012.

Bluebird Pay Bills
Payment Posted in 1 Business Day

The payment was posted on October 24, 2012, which was exactly when Bluebird said it would be applied to her account.

Bottom Line

The Bluebird Pay Bill feature is a great way to earn miles and points for bills which usually don’t earn miles and points!  But schedule your payment at least 6 days in advance of the due date. There is no option to schedule recurring or automatic payments which is very inconvenient.

But be sure to read my cautions at the end of this post before using Bluebird.

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