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Bluebird

The basics:

Sign up for a free account from Bluebird. Wait 7-10 business days to receive the card. If you have a Serve account, you will need to cancel it and then wait about 30 days before signing up. You need to wait for your physical BB card before you can proceed here.

Please note: As of the beginning of July 2014, you can load a maximum of $2500 a day at a WM register or ATM, up to $5,000 each calendar month into your Bluebird (hereafter: "BB") account. As of September 4, 2014, you can also load an additional $200/day with a debit card, up to $1000/month, though this might be risky, see below, II.4.

You can find answers to many questions here: https://www.bluebird.com/faqs?linknav=us-Prepaid-Bluebird-Home-Faqs#bluebird-checks And here: https://www.bluebird.com/ (just scroll down instead of clicking 'log in')

How to load it:

"Gift" cards (GCs)
Mastercard (MC) and Visa GCs have PIN codes that will make the cards function as debit cards. GCs may be used to load up your BB account in any Walmart, as will be explained below, or to get cash back when purchasing with them. Note that not all GCs work this way. Those from Metabank do, as do others. AMEX GCs are not capable of working with a PIN. They can only be used as gift cards. GCs for a specific business or store (iTunes or Home Depot or whatever) will never work in the ways described here. Note that 'Vanilla' brand GCs can no longer  be loaded to BB.

1. Buy Visa or MC GCs. The larger the denomination the better, since the fee-to-balance ratio will be better. Buy them anywhere, but you get the most out of this if you buy them with a CC that pays more than 1 point per dollar at that store at that time.

2. You will need a PIN for each GC. If you bought a MC GC, call the number on the back of the card or go online to set a PIN. If you bought a Visa, the last four digits of the card number will usually work, as long as you have not used the card yet. If you have used it, you had to set a PIN, so use that.
The # for US Bank MC Gift Cards is 1-866-952-5653. 1/2/<16 digit cc>#/<3 digits from back>#/3/PIN#/PIN#.

3. Go to Walmart (WM).

There are two suggested ways to load the GCs to BB at WM. Via a MoneyPass ATM (preferred) or via any cashier. Neither method charges an additional fee to what you paid when you bought the card. Please do not go to the service desk. Certainly do not refer to the GCs as gift cards, as they are, in fact, debit cards.

3a. MoneyPass ATMs

Not all WMs have MoneyPass ATMs, and MoneyPass ATMs at non-WM locations will not work to load BB. You can search for MoneyPass ATMs at WMs here: http://www.moneypass.com/atm-locator.aspx

Some report that MoneyPass ATMs in WMs near areas with high concentrations of DDFers seem to be permanently out of service. You may need to go farther afield or use the other method, mentioned below.

Follow the instructions on the machine to load your BB card. In some cases, the "WM Money Card" option will work for BB as well. Be patient and careful with your card swipes, as the machines are often slow or touchy. Each GC will be a separate transaction. Remember, the maximum of $2,500/day per BB account always applies.

If you are using high-denomination GCs, have found a very quick ATM, had a fellow BBer ahead of you, or are just experienced and able to complete each transaction very quickly, it is possible that you will complete $2,000 of transactions within about 10 minutes, which locks up the ATM for a while. Take a walk around the store and come back to let the machine unlock.

3b. Cashier

Please remember to be friendly, considerate and compassionate in all your interactions.

Ask a cashier to load your BB account from a debit card. If they don't know how, tell them to use 70 action code (they may need to type 70 first, followed by "action code") and follow the instructions on their screen. They are able to split a single transaction into up to four different cards, but it can be simpler to add one GC at a time, especially with people waiting behind you on line. You can then go back around to the same or another cashier to add other cards. Again, the $2,500/day per BB account applies.

This method should work at any WM - as intended by the BB product - but there are many stores in which some or all of the staff and management are suspicious of such transactions and will not do it. Your chances of convincing them to do something they think will risk their jobs is slim to none so if you encounter such resistance, please: Do take no for an answer and leave courteously to try another store or another day.
You want to stay under the radar as much as possible, so if things start getting complicated, tell them that you just remembered that you need to pick your kid up from school or whatever (have a good excuse ready beforehand) and that you need to leave, but you'll be back later. Th is way they forgot about their suspicions much faster.

4. It is apparently possible to load up to $200 per day to BB from debit cards on the BB web site for free, up to $1000 per month. Please note that people have had their BB accounts frozen or shut down for using GCs to load BB online, and that the BB site clearly says that any debit card used must be in the BB account holder's name. You have been warned.

Using A MC GC
Frequently a MC is declined at WM

When using the moneypass ATM, press the button ABOVE the BB button.  It may work without the following workaround.
The workaround is to:
1. Swipe MC
2.If you have the black and green screen press Cancel.If you have the white screen with colored touch icons, then right after you swipe a yellow 'change payment' button well pop up for a second, press that (you have to be fast).  You can also push the physical yellow button on the keypad. It does the same thing.
3. Select Debit
4. No Cash Back
5. Enter the PIN

Also seems to work if only $99 loaded.  or 99.99, too.

What to do with the money on your BB:

On the BB site, money can be sent to pay bills that don't normally accept CCs (think rent/mortgage, tuition, insurance, car payment, gas bill, even pay your cc bill) or to anyone in the U.S. for free. Use the 'pay and transfer tab'.  Checks sent online this way are delivered within 5 business days. (It may be prudent not to use BB to directly pay the CC on which you purchased the VRs/GCs that funded BB, but, once again, YMMV.)

Some people would rather use the free physical checks that you can order from BB. Please note that these checks need to be pre-authorized by you online, and a number written on them, before you give them to the person/institution you are paying. For checks of more than $2,000, authorization will require additional information and time. You need to provide the information and wait for confirmation before the check will be valid.

The money in your BB account can be withdrawn directly to a linked bank account, which, if done too much, may be seen as risky by BB, but in moderation should be fine. You can also send money to your bank account online by check, same as any other payee, but this might be risky from the perspective of the bank (not BB) if you bank and have CCs at the same institution.

Useful organizing techniques:

It can be unwieldy and confusing when standing in front of the WM ATM with a BB card or two and a bunch of GCs, some used, some not. The last thing anyone wants is to end up throwing away several hundred dollars on a perfectly good GC because you mistakenly thought it was drained. I'm sure there are contributors to this thread who have woken up in a cold sweat from just such a nightmare. Plus, being unorganized costs you time, and may make it more likely that some employee thinks you are up to something. Here are a few strategies for how to be organized.

1. Cargo pants, or other clothing/accessories with plenty of different pockets. Use different pockets for GCs yet to use and used GCs.

2. If you have more than one BB card, shuffle them into the stack of GCs at the appropriate spots for how many GCs you plan to load to each card. That way, you can just work through the stack and finish/begin each new BB card in turn.

3. A Sharpie marker works well for marking off GCs or BBs that you're done with. The marks even come off the cards with a little alcohol. Careful not to mark yourself or your clothes though.

4. Sort your GCs in ascending order of last 4 digits.  That makes it easier to keep track of which GCs are used.

To Close Your Bluebird:
While logged into your BB account, open this page: https://secure.bluebird.com/Profile/CloseAccount   

This no longer works and the only way to close your account is to call
For more details, including how to close family accounts, see (FM writeup)
« Last edited by justmeha on January 11, 2020, 11:55:46 PM »

Author Topic: Bluebird: Now you can pay bills that don`t take credit card with a credit card  (Read 2352344 times)

Offline AJK

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This is a trick used on prepaid cards to drain money out. My guess it will not work with Amex and if it does you could get your account shut down.

I assume you're referring to reloadable prepaid cards.
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Offline HelpMe

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I assume you're referring to reloadable prepaid cards.
Correct, like Bluebird.
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Offline yossi4k

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This is a trick used on prepaid cards to drain money out. My guess it will not work with Amex and if it does you could get your account shut down.
with Amex cc? Amex prepaid?

Offline Nitantnel

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with Amex cc? Amex prepaid?
I think he is referring to prepaid.

@ HelpMe, why do you assume Amex will be different?

Offline HelpMe

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@ HelpMe, why do you assume Amex will be different?
I did not assume I am guessing.  :) Based on other Amex prepaids.
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Offline yossi4k

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Correct, like Bluebird.
Youve got me confused. Are you saying you think Bluebird will shut you down for doing this?

Offline 3ZeroT

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Youve got me confused. Are you saying you think Bluebird will shut you down for doing this?

The other prepaids out there have shut people down for excessive billpay or ACH because a) they make no money off those transactions and b) it can look suspicious.   

Maybe AMEX as a big company wanting to get this product out there will be more tolerant of a), unlike the smaller prepaid companies whose business is more sensitive to unprofitable customers.    Heck, Amazon still allows free CC payments after years of exploitation, whereas smaller payment services always put a stop to it quickly.  But I am being optimistic.  8) 

Offline HelpMe

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When you choose set up direct deposit option they give you an account number and a routing number for the paycheck to be deposited to. Can I use that bank info to just pay a rent bill as if I would be using my own check?
Base on what others have tried, no.
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Is the only place OD for cc use? I went to OD they were all sold out at 2 locations and walgreens had but wouldn't take credit and 7-11 didn't have

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Is the only place OD for cc use? I went to OD they were all sold out at 2 locations and walgreens had but wouldn't take credit and 7-11 didn't have
OD is the only place that takes CC with no problem. Everwhere else it is just hit or miss and sometimes even at the same store on the same day.
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Can I pay someone else's CC from my Bluebird account?
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Can I pay someone else's CC from my Bluebird account?

You can pay "ANYONE."
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You can pay "ANYONE."

Thanks. So instead of adding it as a Chase card I should add it as a new person and just put in their account number? Will it still just send them a check? ?
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Thanks. So instead of adding it as a Chase card I should add it as a new person and just put in their account number? Will it still just send them a check? ?

No, I'd still send to Chase, just put his name and cc in.
2015: 116K bkd | 1.6M brnd | F: OZ,NH,AA,EK | J: UA,CA,TK,DL,TN,AF,VA | LIH,NRT,ROR,PEK,CNS,BOB,MEL,TLV & Pacific Hopper

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No, I'd still send to Chase, just put his name and cc in.

Got it. Thanks!
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Offline HelpMe

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Can I pay someone else's CC from my Bluebird account?
Yes but this has caused red flags for other reloadable perpaid cards.
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Offline sky121

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Yes but this has caused red flags for other reloadable perpaid cards.

Hmm... ok.. not worth doing then. Thanks!
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Offline sruly101

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Anyone had this? tried signing up got this email:

Thank you for signing up for Bluebird! We are reviewing your request and will send you an e-mail to provide an update on your Bluebird Account status.

few hours later got this email:

Thank you for your recent registration for a Bluebird Account.

Unfortunately we are not able to validate your registration information at this time. In order for us to process your registration, please contact us at 1-866-340-2773 during the following business hours: Monday - Saturday, 6:00AM-6:00PM (MST).

Please be sure to call us within 2 weeks to ensure your registration is not cancelled.

Offline sky121

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Anyone had this? tried signing up got this email:

Thank you for signing up for Bluebird! We are reviewing your request and will send you an e-mail to provide an update on your Bluebird Account status.

few hours later got this email:

Thank you for your recent registration for a Bluebird Account.

Unfortunately we are not able to validate your registration information at this time. In order for us to process your registration, please contact us at 1-866-340-2773 during the following business hours: Monday - Saturday, 6:00AM-6:00PM (MST).

Please be sure to call us within 2 weeks to ensure your registration is not cancelled.

Maybe your social wasn't right?
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Offline HelpMe

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Anyone had this? tried signing up got this email:
It could be that a piece on the info they use to verify your identity did not match up. Just give them a call.
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