If you’re new to the American Express pre-paid BlueBird card, this post will cover some useful information for you. BlueBird is a pre-paid card by American Express that allows you to deposit money onto the card and use it anywhere Amex is accepted. You can also have your paycheck deposited to your BlueBird account and there are no monthly fees. However, the biggest thing I use BlueBird for is manufactured spending. I buy Visa gift cards with my credit card to earn miles and points and then I deposit the gift cards into my BlueBird account at Wal-Mart. So what are the important things to know about BlueBird?
BlueBird has limits tied to each account.
- You can add up to $10,000 a month maximum.
- You can add up to $200 in debit card transactions per day and up to $1,000 per month.
- You can add up to $2,500 per day in cash/debit reloads and up to $5,000 per month. <— This is what I care about since this is the only reason I use BlueBird.
- You can add up to $1,999.99 per day at Wal-Mart registers (this previously used to be limited to $1,000 per day).
- For more limits, please see the BlueBird page here. I’m pointing out just the important ones that I care about.
Many Wal-Marts have a Money Kiosk in the customer service area that allow you to swipe your BlueBird card and deposit Visa gift cards yourself without having to go to a cashier. Keep in mind that if you’re trying to deposit two $500 Visa gift cards, you’ll have to swipe your BlueBird card twice. If you go to a cashier you can tell them you want to load $1,000 and then do a split payment and pay $500 per card. This is a little faster and will save you some time.
In reference to #4 above, you can add $1,999.999 per day per BlueBird card. This means that if you buy $5,000 in Visa gift cards, you could be finished loading them to your BlueBird card in as little as 3 trips to Wal-Mart. It used to be $1,000 per day, which means you had to make 5 trips to Wal-Mart in order to complete $5k in manufactured spending!
What about having more than 1 BlueBird card?
In order to signup for a free BlueBird account, you need to provide your social security number. However, this is a way around this. Please read here how I was able to obtain 5 BlueBird cards. If you don’t plan on manufactured spending more than $5,000 a month, then you’ll only need 1 card.
If my Wal-Mart has a Money Kiosk, should I even bother loading money to my card with a cashier?
Personally I do both. My local Wal-Mart is pretty ghetto and they don’t care if I’m loading multiple BlueBird cards. They don’t check the name on the card and they don’t care I’m funding my accounts with Visa gift cards. Now there have been reports on FlyerTalk.com about Wal-Marts in California that are trained to shut you down immediately if they see you’re trying to use Visa gift cards to deposit money. Thankfully this hasn’t happened to me since I live in Minnesota. After reading these horror stories, I am trying to use the Money Kiosk in my Wal-Mart more versus visiting a cashier. If you do decide to use the kiosk to load money to your card, just note that you can do a maximum of $1,999.999 every 10 minutes. I load multiple BlueBird cards so this does slow me down a bit. After I swipe my 4th Visa gift card and type in $499.99 for the amount, I then check the time on my cell phone and walk around the store a bit and come back to finish my loading.
Don’t ever mention you’re using gift cards!
If you’re using Visa gift cards to fund your BlueBird account, always tell the cashier you’re using a “debit card” if they ask how you’re going to pay. If I’m running short on time I’ll sometimes go to a cashier and tell them I’d like to load $1,000 to my BlueBird card and do a split payment. Numerous times I’ve been asked how I’m going to pay and I just tell them debit card. Don’t ever tell the cashier it’s a gift card as they may not allow you to proceed.
BlueBird plays a MAJOR factor in my monthly manufactured spending routine. This is how I am able to rack up so many miles and points in a short amount of time. If you don’t understand something or have questions, please feel free to ask me in the comments below!