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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 1523449 times)

Offline @Yehuda

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Re: Bluebird: Now you can pay bills that don`t take credit card with a credit card
« Reply #6555 on: December 09, 2013, 02:40:05 PM »
when paying a Barclays card with bb what do you type in as payee?
I did "barclays" and it came up.

Offline @Yehuda

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Re: Bluebird: Now you can pay bills that don`t take credit card with a credit card
« Reply #6556 on: December 09, 2013, 02:43:24 PM »
How about new cards with getting 5x UR?

But either way see these threads and you may understand a bit more:

http://forums.dansdeals.com/index.php?topic=2422.0

http://forums.dansdeals.com/index.php?topic=35401.0 (or this for easier reading: http://forums.dansdeals.com/index.php?topic=34969.0 )

How many times can you reopen Ink cards to get the bonus AND 5x on your GC purchases? lol

To save the $4 fee when there's a sale on GCs? Okay I hear that, but it still seems like an incredible hassle. (Agreed, sometimes VR is also a hassle when it means driving to 3 CVS's because OOS.)

Offline ybeeds

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Re: Bluebird: Now you can pay bills that don`t take credit card with a credit card
« Reply #6557 on: December 09, 2013, 02:52:55 PM »
How many times can you reopen Ink cards to get the bonus AND 5x on your GC purchases? lol

To save the $4 fee when there's a sale on GCs? Okay I hear that, but it still seems like an incredible hassle. (Agreed, sometimes VR is also a hassle when it means driving to 3 CVS's because OOS.)
and $60 back for groceries... not bad
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Offline IsraelGuy

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Re: Bluebird: Now you can pay bills that don`t take credit card with a credit card
« Reply #6558 on: December 09, 2013, 03:36:12 PM »
Hadn't been in my bluebird account for a few weeks, but just went in and saw both my account and my wife's had been given a $25 "Good Faith" credit back in October. Not that I'm complaining, but did anyone else receive this?

Offline mawmaw

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Re: Bluebird: Now you can pay bills that don`t take credit card with a credit card
« Reply #6559 on: December 09, 2013, 03:39:44 PM »
Crazy how many people complain how hard it is to use GC/WM for their BB but still do it that way. GO VR!! :-) I know it's hard to find VRs in some communities, but other than Dan and a select few, doesn't seem like anyone has consistent success at WM. Manattan (as well as central Jersey) is loaded with VR! And in terms of getting 5x UR on GCs at Office Depot, what's 5x when you can get 50K for using new cards. I'm only 2 months into this world, but (at least if you have a spouse) I don't see why you shouldn't always have new cards eagerly waiting for their turn at CVS...
+1 NO WM around ny nj that takes gc

Offline 3ZeroT

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Re: Bluebird: Now you can pay bills that don`t take credit card with a credit card
« Reply #6560 on: December 09, 2013, 03:43:13 PM »
Hadn't been in my bluebird account for a few weeks, but just went in and saw both my account and my wife's had been given a $25 "Good Faith" credit back in October. Not that I'm complaining, but did anyone else receive this?

My wife and I did as well, due to transaction processing delays on a particular date in September.

Offline PBaruch

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Re: Bluebird: Now you can pay bills that don`t take credit card with a credit card
« Reply #6561 on: December 09, 2013, 03:43:26 PM »
+1 NO WM around ny nj that takes gc

What are you talking about that no WM takes GC?  You can load GC at the Moneypass ATM to BB or at the register.  Yes its a hassle but definitely doable. 
What do you do after your dreams come true?

Offline mawmaw

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Re: Bluebird: Now you can pay bills that don`t take credit card with a credit card
« Reply #6562 on: December 09, 2013, 03:44:38 PM »
where???????????????

Offline PBaruch

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Re: Bluebird: Now you can pay bills that don`t take credit card with a credit card
« Reply #6563 on: December 09, 2013, 03:47:33 PM »
where???????????????

Where have you been hiding?  You can load certain GC to BB at every WM cashier.  You can also load at Moneypass ATM.  Do a search for walmart locations at the moneypass atm locater website. 
What do you do after your dreams come true?

Offline mawmaw

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Re: Bluebird: Now you can pay bills that don`t take credit card with a credit card
« Reply #6564 on: December 09, 2013, 03:52:44 PM »
can u be more specific vanilla gc are not accepted at wm so what kind of gc can I load in wm

Offline PBaruch

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Re: Bluebird: Now you can pay bills that don`t take credit card with a credit card
« Reply #6565 on: December 09, 2013, 03:56:42 PM »
can u be more specific vanilla gc are not accepted at wm so what kind of gc can I load in wm

I am not sure which ones work or not.  You will have to do a search here yourself.  I know that the Visa GC from Staples work.  The pin is the last 4 digits of the GC or you can set your own pin.  People have reported that the MC from Staples have issues but I have loaded them in the past without any issues.
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Offline IsraelGuy

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Re: Bluebird: Now you can pay bills that don`t take credit card with a credit card
« Reply #6566 on: December 09, 2013, 04:14:01 PM »
My wife and I did as well, due to transaction processing delays on a particular date in September.

Ahhhhhh. Awesome.

Offline BigDanFan

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Re: Bluebird: Now you can pay bills that don`t take credit card with a credit card
« Reply #6567 on: December 09, 2013, 04:20:12 PM »
I am not sure which ones work or not.  You will have to do a search here yourself.  I know that the Visa GC from Staples work.  The pin is the last 4 digits of the GC or you can set your own pin.  People have reported that the MC from Staples have issues but I have loaded them in the past without any issues.
ye - that's interesting -- The Staples Visa GC were good, but not the CVS GC...  (when they run out of VR) ...hmm...
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Offline Moes Tavern

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Re: Bluebird: Now you can pay bills that don`t take credit card with a credit card
« Reply #6568 on: December 09, 2013, 04:31:09 PM »
I know that the Visa GC from Staples work.  The pin is the last 4 digits of the GC or you can set your own pin.
I have found that for Staples GC, you need to call the number on the back to set up the PIN.

Particularly all GC issued by Meta Bank, I have to call in to set the PIN.
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Re: Bluebird: Now you can pay bills that don`t take credit card with a credit card
« Reply #6569 on: December 09, 2013, 04:39:38 PM »
+1 NO WM around ny nj that takes gc
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