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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 1411274 times)

Offline MosheP

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Re: Bluebird: Now you can pay bills that don`t take credit card with a credit card
« Reply #1935 on: February 08, 2013, 11:06:34 AM »
I wonder who's taking the hit on the credit card fees. Is it the store, or VR. If VR, at least they get the 3.95, which probly makes up for it.

I wonder if a big corporate owned store like CVS even pays 1% on credit card processing fees. Between the volume they must do, and low risk factor they must have much much better processing arrangements.

If they were taking a hit, they  would have pulled it by now. Its not that difficult to issue a company wide memo forbidding a cashier from taking credit card for a gift card  purchase.
« Last Edit: February 08, 2013, 11:20:31 AM by MosheP »

Offline deusconsilio

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Re: Bluebird: Now you can pay bills that don`t take credit card with a credit card
« Reply #1936 on: February 08, 2013, 11:19:10 AM »
Went to two CVS locations in Queens yesterday. Both had a massive stock of VR cards, both only allow up to $100 via cc, and both require you to have a New York driver's ID to purchase even that amount. Having a perfectly valid TN drivers ID was not good enough. I argued with one of the clerks about this and he immediately got on the phone with [someone] and claimed that I had been there earlier that day trying the same thing.  I was shocked, as I'd been at work all day.

This just seems to be a legwork item, and those who put in the time will get the rewards.

Question:  Has anyone tried this at Wallmart?

Offline A3

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Re: Bluebird: Now you can pay bills that don`t take credit card with a credit card
« Reply #1937 on: February 08, 2013, 03:17:03 PM »
Always fun finding VR hiding behind other cards.
Just another day

Offline Kn9ght

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Re: Bluebird: Now you can pay bills that don`t take credit card with a credit card
« Reply #1938 on: February 09, 2013, 01:09:31 AM »
Let's say I don't have access to VR and I have to use MVD. I know ppl can just buy temp cards and cash out. But I remember someone mentioned somewhere that you can transfer fund from several temp cards into 1 permanent card. Is that correct? And if yes, how can I do it? I don't see the option online.

Offline yoyo6713

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Re: Bluebird: Now you can pay bills that don`t take credit card with a credit card
« Reply #1939 on: February 09, 2013, 07:55:32 AM »
The point is that (reportedly) some banks will not cash advance on a temporary card. They want to see your name on it.

However, I confirmed yesterday (2/5/13) via a test run that Chase will cash advance temporary MVDs at no fee.
Do you have to be a chase customer to do this?

Offline yoyo6713

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Re: Bluebird: Now you can pay bills that don`t take credit card with a credit card
« Reply #1940 on: February 09, 2013, 07:58:56 AM »
Let's say I don't have access to VR and I have to use MVD. I know ppl can just buy temp cards and cash out. But I remember someone mentioned somewhere that you can transfer fund from several temp cards into 1 permanent card. Is that correct? And if yes, how can I do it? I don't see the option online.
Don't think so.  The source card need to be registered to do the transfer.  A card also needs to be registered to be CA'ed.

Offline Shmulyg

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Re: Bluebird: Now you can pay bills that don`t take credit card with a credit card
« Reply #1941 on: February 09, 2013, 06:16:28 PM »
Let's say I don't have access to VR and I have to use MVD. I know ppl can just buy temp cards and cash out. But I remember someone mentioned somewhere that you can transfer fund from several temp cards into 1 permanent card. Is that correct? And if yes, how can I do it? I don't see the option online.
Yes, it's correct. Just call the number on the back of the card and follow the automated instructions. And as yoyo6713 pointed out, all cards involved have to first be registered.

Offline deusconsilio

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Re: Bluebird: Now you can pay bills that don`t take credit card with a credit card
« Reply #1942 on: February 11, 2013, 11:51:33 AM »
Do you have to be a chase customer to do this?

I am a chase customer, so don't know.

Offline AJK

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Re: Bluebird: Now you can pay bills that don`t take credit card with a credit card
« Reply #1943 on: February 11, 2013, 11:54:21 AM »
Do you have to be a chase customer to do this?

No.
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Offline deusconsilio

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Re: Bluebird: Now you can pay bills that don`t take credit card with a credit card
« Reply #1944 on: February 11, 2013, 11:56:43 AM »
Another update:

Found a CVS in Queens which has ZERO controls on VR cc use.  The manager there did everything he could possibly do to assist me.

However, the machine would not allow him to charge my credit card for the VR and, despite the manager's literal best efforts, the system repeatedly voided the transaction. At first, I thought VR cards were done for the unfortunates such as myself who live in shitty NYC, but later I called the credit card company and it turns out that the transactions were voided at Chase's end. They told me the charge at CVS was unusual and therefore they turned the card off.  They turned it back on and gave me 600 pts for my trouble.  Haven't been back yet, but will let the room know how it goes.

Will be VERY annoying if I have to call Chase every time I want to churn.

Offline Redbull3

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Re: Bluebird: Now you can pay bills that don`t take credit card with a credit card
« Reply #1945 on: February 11, 2013, 01:15:40 PM »
Another update:

Found a CVS in Queens which has ZERO controls on VR cc use.  The manager there did everything he could possibly do to assist me.

However, the machine would not allow him to charge my credit card for the VR and, despite the manager's literal best efforts, the system repeatedly voided the transaction. At first, I thought VR cards were done for the unfortunates such as myself who live in shitty NYC, but later I called the credit card company and it turns out that the transactions were voided at Chase's end. They told me the charge at CVS was unusual and therefore they turned the card off.  They turned it back on and gave me 600 pts for my trouble.  Haven't been back yet, but will let the room know how it goes.

Will be VERY annoying if I have to call Chase every time I want to churn.

IME every time I bought 1k+ with Freedom it required a call. 500 didn't.

Offline Shmulyg

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Re: Bluebird: Now you can pay bills that don`t take credit card with a credit card
« Reply #1946 on: February 11, 2013, 03:00:39 PM »
IME every time I bought 1k+ with Freedom it required a call. 500 didn't.
It depends on your spending habits. I did $1000, it went through, then when i tried for more, they shut me down.

Offline Chaskel

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Re: Bluebird: Now you can pay bills that don`t take credit card with a credit card
« Reply #1947 on: February 11, 2013, 03:09:50 PM »
can someone please help, i went to CVS today and bought 2 Venilla Debit cards with my chase ink. i activated both cards and they told me i will get my new cards in 7-10 days

i tried loading these DEBIT cards onto my Bluebird but i keep getting this message

We are unable to process your debit card at this time. Please try again later.

i called them and they told me that i CAN NOT add any PREPAID DEBIT cards onto my account.
anyone else have this? do i need to wait for my new cards? is this a new thing? am i doing something wrong? please help!

Offline AJK

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Re: Bluebird: Now you can pay bills that don`t take credit card with a credit card
« Reply #1948 on: February 11, 2013, 03:10:36 PM »
You cannot add MVD to BB.

Just take it to a bank and CA.
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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Re: Bluebird: Now you can pay bills that don`t take credit card with a credit card
« Reply #1949 on: February 11, 2013, 03:26:08 PM »
what do i need to tell the bank? will they just give me the  500? is there anything i can load onto BB??