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Old Oct 8, 12, 1:02 pm   #1
 
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Wal-Mart, Amex take on banks with Bluebird debit card

I was notified by Amex that they are closing my prepaid Amex and transferring into a new bluebird account. Is this in response to the vanilla reload trick?!

Here is the email

Important:
bluebird Card Closure Notification

Dear PhdtoMD

Last fall, American Express and Walmart partnered to launch bluebird, a debit card alternative. Thank you for joining bluebird and for being a valued Cardmember.

Building on the success of the bluebird Card and feedback received from Cardmembers like you, American Express is launching a new Bluebird in a nationwide partnership with Walmart.

We are therefore ending the current bluebird program and closing all accounts. We encourage you to visit Bluebird.com to register for a new Bluebird Account when it launches.

What happens to my bluebird Card right now?

We want to minimize any disruption this may cause you and give you plenty of time before your current bluebird Card is closed. You may continue to use your current bluebird Card and access bluebirdmoney.com until you transfer your balance to a new Bluebird Account, until you close your current Card, or until December 8th, 2012.

What will happen to my bluebird Card in the future?

Your current bluebird Card will be closed on December 8th, 2012. After that date, you will no longer be able to use the Card.

What will happen to my money?

Prior to December 8th, 2012, please make sure to discontinue any scheduled reloads or direct deposits to your Card. Before December 8th, you have three options for handling the remaining funds on your bluebird Card:

Recommended: Request the transfer of funds from your current bluebird Card to a new Bluebird Account. To do so, you will need to first register for a new Bluebird Account when it launches at Bluebird.com. Additionally, if you transfer your existing balance to a new Bluebird Account, we will offer a one-time complimentary credit of $20 to the balance of your new Bluebird Account. This is an exclusive offer for our current bluebird Cardmembers, and you will receive instructions by e-mail when the new Bluebird launches

Spend down the rest of the funds on your Card before December 8th, 2012 and cancel your Card by calling 1-866-545-7847

Request a refund check in the mail for the remaining balance of your Card and cancel your Card by calling 1-866-545-7847 before December 8th, 2012
Your money is always yours. Even if you do nothing, a refund check will automatically be sent to you for the remaining balance on your bluebird Card when your Card is closed on December 8th, 2012. All checks will be sent to the Purchaser's address on file.

What should I do if I have purchased a bluebird Feeder Pack?

If you have purchased a bluebird Feeder Pack and it is not yet loaded onto your Card, please load it to your current bluebird Card before December 8th, 2012. Feeder Packs cannot be used to load funds into the new Bluebird Account. If you would like to receive a refund for the purchase of a bluebird Feeder Pack, just follow the directions or call the number printed on the back of the Feeder Pack package.

We hope that you will join us as a Member of the new Bluebird! The new Bluebird is based on the same promise of more access to benefits and minimal fees, but has even more features, like the ability to deposit a check with the Bluebird mobile application, create family Sub-Accounts, and access cash at more than 22,000 MoneyPass ATMs without surcharge fees when you sign up for direct deposit.

Please visit bluebirdmoney.com for more information on managing your current bluebird Card or call us with questions at 1-866-545-7847.

We appreciate your Cardmembership.

Sincerely,

American Express Customer Care
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Old Oct 8, 12, 1:28 pm   #2
mia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phdtomd View Post
I was notified by Amex that they are closing my prepaid Amex and transferring into a new bluebird account.
The email appears to say that they are closing your existing Bluebird account and replacing it with a new version. This is widely reported in the financial press and confirmed here:

https://bluebirdmoney.com/

If you are certain that you never opened a Bluebird account they may have simply sent the wrong email. Is there an account number or other details that you can match to your American Express Prepaid card?
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Old Oct 8, 12, 1:33 pm   #3
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mia View Post
The email appears to say that they are closing your existing Bluebird account and replacing it with a new version. This is widely reported in the financial press and confirmed here:

https://bluebirdmoney.com/

If you are certain that you never opened a Bluebird account they may have simply sent the wrong email. Is there an account number or other details that you can match to your American Express Prepaid card?
I have never opened a bluebird acct, only prepaid. If this is simply an error please delete the thread
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Old Oct 8, 12, 1:34 pm   #4
 
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I never had BlueBird account, but received the same email. I do have Amex Prepaid card.
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Old Oct 8, 12, 1:42 pm   #5
mia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigRedBears View Post
I never had BlueBird account,
Quote:
Originally Posted by phdtomd View Post
I have never opened a bluebird acct,
Digging around it does appear that the Wal-Mart Bluebird and the Generic Prepaid are substantially the same product. Is there a website where the Prepaid cards can be managed, and does it display the same notice as the Bluebird site?
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Old Oct 8, 12, 1:51 pm   #6
 
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Login is the same, I am able to view my account for my prepaid card when logging into bluebird site you provided

The conspiracy theorist in me thinks this is Amex response to the vanilla refills being available using credit cards at OD

There is growing there is a growing number of people commenting on www.thefrequentmiler.com about this issue now

Update:
It appears as though if you bought your Amex prepaid from OD then got perminant card you will now be a bluebird card holder. Whereas if you ordered from Amex directly you are not. Interesting... Is the bluebird card reload able using the vanilla network

Last edited by mia; Oct 8, 12 at 2:08 pm.
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Old Oct 8, 12, 4:19 pm   #7
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phdtomd View Post

Update:
It appears as though if you bought your Amex prepaid from OD then got perminant card you will now be a bluebird card holder. Whereas if you ordered from Amex directly you are not. Interesting... Is the bluebird card reload able using the vanilla network
This is interesting. What's your source? I, too, got this email, having purchased the prepaid from OD and then converted it to a permanent one. But the language of the email, suggesting that I had a bluebird card, took me by surprise as I'd never heard of bluebird before.
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Old Oct 8, 12, 6:39 pm   #8
 
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Update: Just received an email from AMEX asking that I disregard their prior email about the bluebird card that, they say, was sent in error.

Dear Bandana1948,

The account closure notification e-mail you received today was intended only for bluebird Cardholders. Please disregard the email and the information contained in it. We apologize for any concern it may have caused. Your American Express Prepaid Card is not impacted in any way, and has nothing to do with the account closure notification email you received in error.

Sincerely,

American Express Customer Care
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Old Oct 9, 12, 2:21 am   #9
 
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Wal-Mart, Amex take on banks with low-priced debit card

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/...8970H520121008

Wal-Mart Stores Inc and American Express Co are teaming up to offer a prepaid debit card called Bluebird to target lower-income shoppers who may not have bank accounts

The Bluebird, which will be available next week, offers something similar to a checking account, but without minimum balance requirements or monthly or annual fees. Adding money is free, unlike other cards, known as prepaid debit or reloadable cards.


We will need to see what fees are charged for using this card at ATM - and of course, which credit cards will work for loads. But could be a nice new product here.

Last edited by forextrader; Oct 9, 12 at 2:27 am.
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Old Oct 9, 12, 2:28 am   #10
 
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I think Frequent Miler did a write up on it.

http://boardingarea.com/blogs/freque...-isnt-falling/


ATM Use: With Bluebird, if you setup direct deposit, then all ATM withdrawals are free from MoneyPass ATMs. Otherwise all ATM withdrawals incur a $2 fee (plus ATM owner fees). With the old prepaid card, the first ATM use per month is free, then $2 per withdrawal afterwards; and ATM owner fees always apply.
Bluebird has no fee “electronic bill pay.” We’ll have to wait to see what exactly this entails.
Bluebird explicitly allows funding via debit card for $2 per load. it will be very interesting to see if we can load from Vanilla Visa debit cards.
According to the cardmember agreement, Bluebird allows loading from Vanilla Reload packs, but it is unclear to me whether this agreement has been updated with the new card’s features. UPDATE: I called Amex and they confirmed that this card will be reloadable with Vanilla Reload cards.
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Old Oct 9, 12, 2:36 am   #11
 
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I had not seen his write up - we shall wait and see, but could be very useable.
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Old Oct 9, 12, 3:25 am   #12
 
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Another write-up:

http://www.suntimes.com/business/sav...nk-option.html
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Old Oct 9, 12, 6:58 am   #13
 
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You can add as much as $10,000 per month to the account, with a limit of $1,000 in deposits in any one day.

Even if you don't go to a office supply store to reload with Vanilla cards, as long as you can find vanilla cards to purchase, this could be lucrative. Just a thought...right now, I do bill pay to pay my mortgage..it always has to come from a check, but being able to load this with a vanilla card, then cut a check for mortgage/rent with hardly any fees (just the vanilla card fee), this could be of awesome use.
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Old Oct 9, 12, 7:44 am   #14
mia
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Some confusion created by an American Express email is discussed, and apparently resolved, in posts 1 - 8.

Details of the "new" Bluebird card fees etc are in this Wal-Mart press release:

http://news.walmart.com/news-archive...cking-accounts

Last edited by mia; Oct 9, 12 at 8:45 am.
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Old Oct 9, 12, 10:07 am   #15
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mrgolfer21 View Post
You can add as much as $10,000 per month to the account, with a limit of $1,000 in deposits in any one day.

Even if you don't go to a office supply store to reload with Vanilla cards, as long as you can find vanilla cards to purchase, this could be lucrative. Just a thought...right now, I do bill pay to pay my mortgage..it always has to come from a check, but being able to load this with a vanilla card, then cut a check for mortgage/rent with hardly any fees (just the vanilla card fee), this could be of awesome use.
If not getting 5x how would it be lucrative when you pay about 1% for buying the V
Unless you could find it in a grocery store or somewhere where it will code at a higher rate than 1% it appears to be only a benefit to meet a spend.
I know my 4% gas card has a cap of $75 per transaction to get the 4%.
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