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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 1478673 times)

Offline CountValentine

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He, you only go to 8-10??
CVS's yes.  ;)
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Offline yitz-ee

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Every day at all 8-10 I go to.

LOL, but when you don't live in "Poland" but in a high volume DDF area it's a huge treat!

Offline glasses dude

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LOL, but when you don't live in "Poland" but in a high volume DDF area it's a huge treat!
ha you should've taken more and sold them for two bucks a pop...which city was this in btw

Offline itsyehuda

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Can the "Barclay's Bank Delaware" Payee in BlueBird be used to pay barclays credit cards?
I remember when a coke was a nickel, and you could buy VRs in OD.

Offline ckmk47

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I had an issue with Serve because the credit card I entered was my husband's.  At the end, they made me send in proof of all linked bank accounts and credit cards and they reopened it.  But they are very strict and inflexible about it.  Good luck.
I tried linking a gc to my husband's BB.  They had me call and told me it was a violation, so they shut down the account.  I opened a new one in my (adult) daughter's name and bank info.  (I have her on my AP circle already, so no big deal.)

I realize, though, that I don't really need 2 BB accounts.  I can hardly get VRs and I don't get to walmart too often to load GCs.  So I only rarely reach the $5000/ month limit anyway.

Offline bla

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Bluebird: reported as checking account
« Reply #4010 on: May 29, 2013, 04:11:33 PM »
Does anyone know if bluebird is reported to the irs and other agencies as a bank account or something else. how do i report it on my tax return?

Offline Devorah

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From FM:
You can link your Bluebird account and withdraw money from Google Wallet to Bluebird.  Iím not sure why you would want to do this, but you can (Bluebird allows ACH transfers into the account, but not out).  You can find out your Bluebird account and routing number by going through most of the steps within your Bluebird account to setup Direct Deposit.

Isn't this a way of loading your Bluebird card with a credit card?

Offline lfas25

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Re: Bluebird: reported as checking account
« Reply #4012 on: May 29, 2013, 04:46:21 PM »
Does anyone know if bluebird is reported to the irs and other agencies as a bank account or something else. how do i report it on my tax return?

Why are you reporting it to the IRS?!
I only paid 15% by switching to dansdeals

Offline itsyehuda

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From FM:
You can link your Bluebird account and withdraw money from Google Wallet to Bluebird.  Iím not sure why you would want to do this, but you can (Bluebird allows ACH transfers into the account, but not out).  You can find out your Bluebird account and routing number by going through most of the steps within your Bluebird account to setup Direct Deposit.

Isn't this a way of loading your Bluebird card with a credit card?

You'd hit the new lower limit of yesterday's non event
I remember when a coke was a nickel, and you could buy VRs in OD.

Offline ckmk47

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You'd hit the new lower limit of yesterday's non event
Good point, but it's another $2000/ mon of cc through GW.  (I don't have that many friends and family .)

Offline glasses dude

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Re: Bluebird: reported as checking account
« Reply #4015 on: May 29, 2013, 07:26:08 PM »
Does anyone know if bluebird is reported to the irs and other agencies as a bank account or something else. how do i report it on my tax return?
what exactly are you reporting on ur tax return, your own money that you put into your account? You wanna pay taxes on ur own money??!!??

Offline Barryg

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I've had a few interesting reactions when buying VR's in CVS (even when combining with other stuff and not just buying $1k of vr's).
So far the best part for me was asking a Walgreen's manager and yesterday a CVS manager who didn't let me buy a VR card with a cc... When they said no cc for vr's I asked, if there were ppl who come in to CVS with $503.95 cash just to load it onto VR and of course the answer was, Ya, ppl do it all the time...
(He also tried explaining to me that not accepting cc and $1k limit per day were to prevent money laundering, I always thought that it would be easier to launder cash, but don't know much on the subject)
Instead of shlugging him up as to why there were hundreds of VR cards on the shelves, I asked if I could take some to the CVS's near my house who all sell VR's with cc, just don't ever have any in stock, I got a polite, no we have them marked as inventory and can't give them out for free even though they have no value...
I've seen other comment in other threads that they were given permission to take, but I figured the subject warranted its own thread and not just part of a reg cc or the is it ethical thread...

Offline AJK

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So what are you adding? That you in spepcific were denied when asking if you could take some unloaded VRs home?

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

Offline Barryg

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Yes
and that some ppl buy VR's with cash!
and that maybe someone that has CVS permission can pm me so we can clear off some CVS shelf space (if it's ethical)

Offline AJK

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I ain't no moderator, but I'm not sure this deserved it's own thread. But that's just me.
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