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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 2352336 times)

Offline lfas25

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It is very hard now for me to find 10k at one store. These FT guys are like vultures!  :)

What does FT stand for?
I only paid 15% by switching to dansdeals

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Offline HelpMe

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FlyerTalk Forum.
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Offline lfas25

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I only paid 15% by switching to dansdeals

Offline A3

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Bluebird: Now you can pay bills that don`t take credit card with a credit card
« Reply #204 on: November 08, 2012, 11:12:04 AM »
Anybody have an experience with the PayPal load cards found at cvs? Besides for the 3.95 are there any additional fees? Don't get to excited the max is $500 a day and 4k a month I believe.

Offline 3ZeroT

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Anybody have an experience with the PayPal load cards found at cvs? Besides for the 3.95 are there any additional fees? Don't get to excited the max is $500 a day and 4k a month I believe.

If you are using Vanillas the load limits are higher (definitely > $500 day).  Shutdown will come swiftly on this one with any large activity (note it is supposedly run by Netspend).

Offline A3

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Bluebird: Now you can pay bills that don`t take credit card with a credit card
« Reply #206 on: November 08, 2012, 01:07:11 PM »
If you are using Vanillas the load limits are higher (definitely > $500 day).  Shutdown will come swiftly on this one with any large activity (note it is supposedly run by Netspend).

I was asking about PayPal because they are easier to find.
Yes I am very familiar with Vanilla. Thank you.

Offline 3ZeroT

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I was asking about PayPal because they are easier to find.
Yes I am very familiar with Vanilla. Thank you.

So Paypal is a prepaid.  Vanilla is a reload for prepaids (like Paypal and Bluebird).  You might be able to load a Paypal at the register with CC when you first buy.  What was your strategy going to be after that to load it (if not using Vanillas)?

Offline A3

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Bluebird: Now you can pay bills that don`t take credit card with a credit card
« Reply #208 on: November 08, 2012, 02:21:23 PM »
So Paypal is a prepaid.  Vanilla is a reload for prepaids (like Paypal and Bluebird).  You might be able to load a Paypal at the register with CC when you first buy.  What was your strategy going to be after that to load it (if not using Vanillas)?

The card is meant to be added to your Paypal account.
Load it into my account --> transfer it into my bank account.
I would keep buying more cards. 8 a month as it will be the same price as vanilla
Do you think PayPal will charge me anything else beyond the initial 3.95 load fee.

Sorry if I wasn't clean

Offline myb821

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The card is meant to be added to your Paypal account.
Load it into my account --> transfer it into my bank account.

Do you think PayPal will charge me anything else beyond the initial 3.95 load fee.

Sorry if I wasn't clean
paypal will shut u down pretty quickly

Offline 3ZeroT

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The card is meant to be added to your Paypal account.
Load it into my account --> transfer it into my bank account.
I would keep buying more cards. 8 a month as it will be the same price as vanilla
Do you think PayPal will charge me anything else beyond the initial 3.95 load fee.

Sorry if I wasn't clean

Ah I gotcha - yes they supposedly charge a $4.95/month fee for each card.  You could close the card after draining it and repeat with another, but not sure how long they would let you keep doing that.

Offline Drago

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If anyone ever finds a way to leverage this online, us Israeli's would be quite interested.

Offline Saver2000

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Anybody have an experience with the PayPal load cards found at cvs? Besides for the 3.95 are there any additional fees? Don't get to excited the max is $500 a day and 4k a month I believe.
I'm almost sure they say on the package "must be paid for with cash".

Offline montey

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I take it the Amex prepaid cards at Office Depot can't be used to fund a Bluebird?

Offline sky121

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Yes it can, but you can't find them
I just called a dozen or so stores, no one is in stock

How do you fund them with an Amex prepaid card?
"Not all who wander are lost"

Offline Yehoshua

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I had a few questions after reading all 15 pages of posts:

1- Will it look suspicious if I buy 4 Vanilla cards ($2000) to fund my BB card to pay my rent (nearly $2k)?  I assume it is a legitimate use of both Vanilla and BB but because the rent amount is so high I wasn't sure if it would be flagged.

2- BB provides you with a routing/account number.  Could I use that to have my Gas Utility or auto loan just debit the amount I owe them straight from the BB account of do I need to use the bill pay option?

Offline Mocha

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BB provides you with a routing/account number.
Where is this provided?

Offline Yehoshua

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It's provided to enable you to do direct deposit. I just want to know if it works for direct debit also.

Offline yossi4k

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It's provided to enable you to do direct deposit. I just want to know if it works for direct debit also.
It has been discussed already that a: it might not work and b:if it does your basically asking for your account to get shut down. The proper way to pay any bill with BB is to click 'pay bills' and then search for the merchant. It will take about 2 business days to process. If you can't find it then manually put the merchant info in and BB will send them a check on your behalf within 5 biz days. So if you planning on paying rent then make sure to initiate it 5 days before the due date.

Offline Yehoshua

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It wouldn't be a problem for me to have BB send a check, just wondering if it would be suspicious to buy $2k of Vanilla cards to fund the BB account.