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Bluebird prepaid debit, now with FDIC insurance and paper checks (2013-2014)

Bluebird prepaid debit, now with FDIC insurance and paper checks (2013-2014)

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Old Nov 9, 15, 2:25 pm   -   Wikipost
Please read: This is a community-maintained wiki post containing the most important information from this thread. You may edit the Wiki once you have been on FT for 90 days and have made 90 posts.
 
Last edit by: markr33
Wiki Link
Read the wiki before posting a question.

Check your BB load limits BEFORE asking in this thread about "tender not allowed" or any other errors.

Bluebird website. There's no need to buy a Bluebird kit in-store; sign-up free on the website.

The original FlyerTalk discussion thread is here: Wal-Mart, Amex take on banks with Bluebird debit card

Bluebird Load Limits:
  • BB loading via VR or WM load: $2,500/day and $5,000 total per calendar month
  • Online Debit Card Load* - $200/day and $1,000/month
  • Checking/Savings Account - $2,000/month
  • Checks - $2,000/day and $10,000/month
  • ATM Withdrawals - $750/day and $2,000/month

*For online debit load, only use of bank-issued cards is allowed. The use of pre-paid debit cards (Netspend, Paypower, Univision, Paypal, etc.) and VGC/MGC/AGCs is not allowed. Your account will be flagged upon first/second attempt. If blocked, call Account Protection Services at 1-800-660-2454 to clear it (9am-8pm EST, Mon-Fri).

The day currently resets around midnight Eastern/11pm Central/10pm Mountain/9pm Pacific.

For online bill pay
  • You can pay the credit card that you used to buy reloads
  • Error 1302 means that you have 1 pending payment the same amount as the one you just submitted. For example, 1000 bill pay to sapphire preferred from Friday and then on Saturday you submit another bill pay for 1000 to sapphire preferred, you will get this error.
  • Tip: if using online bill pay to the same place multiple times, vary your amounts by $0.01 to make it easier to track since your confirmation number does not match the tracking number on your credit card statement


Loading with debit card at Walmart
Self checkout does not work for loading.

Many Walmart stores are enforcing a rule against the use of gift cards when loading, even though the register and the MCE do not enforce. Do not make your prepaid debit cards visible. Show them a bank debit card if asked. Otherwise, you may be asked by management to never visit the MC again to load with gift cards.

Loads at register over $500 will sometimes trigger ID requirement. There is a limit of four swipes per transaction; this means your card plus three payments.

If your card doesn't say "debit" on the front, it isn't a debit card.

Please see http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/manuf...bit-cards.html for additional information on using prepaid debit cards.

Training a WM cashier:
  • If the WM cashier doesn't know how to load the card, advise them to enter "70" then press "action code".
  • If you are using a temp card that doesn't have your name on it, you can swipe the card from your side of the terminal. The WM rep never has to touch any of your cards. The screen will say "enter account." That is your prompt to slide the card.
  • The terminal will ask the WM employee if you are loading in multiples of $2000. Advise them to enter "no."
  • Avoid saying gift card. Always refer to your card as a debit card.

Error Messages:
DEBIT NOT AVAILABLE
Received when I used a card I thought I had activated but hadn't.

DEBIT NOT APPROVED
Received when the card's monthly load limit had been reached.

TENDER NOT ALLOWED
Card was incorrectly read, or wrong PIN entered .

HOST TIMEOUT
Connection problems. The GC may be drained but the transaction should reverse itself, and funds will become available again. Try again later.

UPdate Notice on Sept 15, 2014.
Some minor changes on the ATM limits and fees:
Out-of-Network ATM Fees:
Beginning October 30, 2014, the fee for withdrawing funds using out-of-network ATMs will increase from $2.00 to $2.50. ATM operator fees may also apply.
Free In-Network MoneyPass® ATMs:
Effective immediately, all Bluebird Customers can withdraw funds for free when using in-network MoneyPass ATMs. You can find one of the more than 24,000 MoneyPass ATMs below.
ATM Withdrawal Limits Increase:
We have increased your daily ATM limit, so you can withdraw up to $750 per day. Your monthly ATM withdrawal limit will remain at $2,000.

-----

•If you use Wal-Mart Savings Catcher, you can earn double rewards by redeeming to your BlueBird account <== Doubling of savings catcher amounts ended sometime in the summer of 2015.
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Old Oct 4, 13, 6:55 pm
  #2731  
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 84
Got following message while trying to load with GC to BB. Hope it doesn't lead to account shutdown!

"You have the following errors.
This request cannot be completed at this time. Your Permanent Bluebird card must be activated before adding money using your bank account. If you’ve received your Permanent Bluebird card and already activated it, please call Account Protection Services at 1.800.660.2454. Our hours of operation are 9am - 8pm EST, Monday - Friday. If not, your Permanent Bluebird card will be delivered within 7-10 business days of your completed registration."
digital330 is offline  
Old Oct 4, 13, 7:01 pm
  #2732  
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: SJC
Programs: DL DM
Posts: 130
Originally Posted by digital330 View Post
You have the following errors.
This request cannot be completed at this time. Your Permanent Bluebird card must be activated before adding money using your bank account. If you’ve received your Permanent Bluebird card and already activated it, please call Account Protection Services at 1.800.660.2454. Our hours of operation are 9am - 8pm EST, Monday - Friday. If not, your Permanent Bluebird card will be delivered within 7-10 business days of your completed registration.
This is exactly the error I got when I was shut down. Sorry, but you've been caught. I hope you at least got a few debit loads in.

ETA: Account is still alive. As mentioned before, I had to call in to unfreeze.

Last edited by dyst0pia; Oct 4, 13 at 7:02 pm Reason: Clarification
dyst0pia is offline  
Old Oct 4, 13, 7:09 pm
  #2733  
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Programs: All of them!
Posts: 322
Originally Posted by jwudbwei View Post
Really? my card number is printed on the WM receipt. I'd be surprised if that info is not passed onto AMEX. If yes, it means AMEX knows if they choose to check. If AMEX does not care, why they shut down people's account when they load money from the same type of card?
Look at your BB account history sometime. It shows Walmart loads as "Cash" regardless of how you paid. What makes you think WM sends your receipt to Amex? They show that same info about the card you paid with on your receipt regardless of whether you are loading BB, buying MO, or just doing normal shopping there. I'm guessing Walmart just authorizes a Bluebird load for X amount with Amex (to make sure you aren't exceeding 1k/5k limits), then after you pay they confirm the load and Amex puts the money in your account. Also if you look at the page that lists options for loading BB there's no mention of using debit cards at Walmart, and the 1k/5k limit is listed as cash, combined Walmart and VR loads, with no mention of debit.
Lemma is offline  
Old Oct 4, 13, 7:50 pm
  #2734  
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 493
Originally Posted by digital330 View Post
Got following message while trying to load with GC to BB. Hope it doesn't lead to account shutdown!

"You have the following errors.
This request cannot be completed at this time. Your Permanent Bluebird card must be activated before adding money using your bank account. If you’ve received your Permanent Bluebird card and already activated it, please call Account Protection Services at 1.800.660.2454. Our hours of operation are 9am - 8pm EST, Monday - Friday. If not, your Permanent Bluebird card will be delivered within 7-10 business days of your completed registration."
You are frozen. Give them a call, listen to their lecture, and promise not to do it again.
aradisc is offline  
Old Oct 4, 13, 8:19 pm
  #2735  
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: New England
Programs: DL PM, HH Gold, the rest come and go
Posts: 313
Originally Posted by aradisc View Post
You are frozen. Give them a call, listen to their lecture, and promise not to do it again.
Not sure what "frozen" means. I got the same message when attempting to make a debit load after loading $1k in VR this morning. Then successfully made 4 bill payments. Do you mean loads are frozen? Debit loads?
sgideons is offline  
Old Oct 4, 13, 9:30 pm
  #2736  
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 1,207
Originally Posted by sgideons View Post
Not sure what "frozen" means. I got the same message when attempting to make a debit load after loading $1k in VR this morning. Then successfully made 4 bill payments. Do you mean loads are frozen? Debit loads?
You can still BP out, but you cant load. Its not a big deal unless youve already had it frozen and unfrozen for the same reason. They will just tell you not to do again and you will promise oh yes sir sorry sir did not know sir and things will all be right in the world again.
hamokmonky is offline  
Old Oct 4, 13, 10:12 pm
  #2737  
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: New England
Programs: DL PM, HH Gold, the rest come and go
Posts: 313
Originally Posted by hamokmonky View Post
You can still BP out, but you cant load. Its not a big deal unless youve already had it frozen and unfrozen for the same reason. They will just tell you not to do again and you will promise oh yes sir sorry sir did not know sir and things will all be right in the world again.
Just loaded an additional $1k, BP'd out balance without issue. It seems that message appears for multiple kinds of errors. Will give debit load another shot tomorrow.
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Old Oct 5, 13, 4:59 am
  #2738  
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Washington, DC
Programs: UA Plat MM, AA Gold, Hyatt Explorist, Hilton Gold, IHG Plat, Marriott Titanium Elite
Posts: 5,015
Originally Posted by bthobe View Post
If I add funds via my Alaska Air debit card issued by Bank of America, how does that show up on the BofA side? A purchase or transfer or cash advance?
Huh? You are using a DEBIT card, not a credit card. The money comes directly out of your checking account so it cannot possibly be a cash advance.
DCBob is offline  
Old Oct 5, 13, 5:18 am
  #2739  
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Washington, DC
Programs: UA Plat MM, AA Gold, Hyatt Explorist, Hilton Gold, IHG Plat, Marriott Titanium Elite
Posts: 5,015
Originally Posted by adamant628 View Post
Anecdote from slickdeals warning against loading gift cards:
Here is an explanation why Amex does not want you to load prepaid gift cards: http://www.creditcards.com/credit-ca...uired-1282.php. Amex does not want to have to deal with the government paperwork involved and I don't blame them.

Anyone who continues to do so above a certain threshold is asking to be shut down. Real debit cards (tied to your own checking account) are fine. In fact, BB will let you set up recurring payments of $100 so that you only have to go online to load once a month up to the $1,000 limit. And now that it's free, I think it's a good deal if your debit card also earns miles or points. Please don't send me any PMs asking which debit cards do so. It's in this thread if you really want to know. But you will also be shut down by the bank issuing the mileage/points earning debit card if you abuse the card by using it only to earn miles/points. So don't try this method unless you are going to act responsibly and use the checking account the way it was intended to be used.

Last edited by DCBob; Oct 5, 13 at 5:28 am
DCBob is offline  
Old Oct 5, 13, 7:27 am
  #2740  
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: San Antonio
Programs: AS MVP
Posts: 2,276
Originally Posted by DCBob View Post
Huh? You are using a DEBIT card, not a credit card. The money comes directly out of your checking account so it cannot possibly be a cash advance.
Not a cash advance, but possibly a cash withdrawal. For instance, I can buy MOs at my grocery store or Walmart, or load BB, with my AA debit card from ufbdirect. These transactions code as purchases and earn miles. However, USPS MOs and any sale where I take cash back at the register code differently (as an ATM withdrawal I think) and do not earn miles.
KennyBSAT is offline  
Old Oct 5, 13, 12:24 pm
  #2741  
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 150
Using Same Debit Card on Two Bluebird Accounts

I have been using a Suntrust Debit Card to load just under $5K per month on my bluebird account and then using the bill pay feature for almost a year now to pay off credit cards, student tuition, taxes, etc. Our monthly bills exceed $5K, so my wife now also has a bluebird account that I would like to load with the same debit card to avoid having her open a Suntrust account requiring us to maintain another minimum balance to avoid monthly fees.

I've searched this thread, but am unable to find a post where someone is using the same debit card to load more than one bluebird account. Seems like this might be asking for trouble...but was wondering if there is evidence that the same Suntrust debit card can be used to load more than one bluebird account without risk of shutdown by either Amex or Suntrust.
zink88 is offline  
Old Oct 5, 13, 1:24 pm
  #2742  
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: KOA
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Posts: 2,189
Originally Posted by DCBob View Post
Here is an explanation why Amex does not want you to load prepaid gift cards: http://www.creditcards.com/credit-ca...uired-1282.php. Amex does not want to have to deal with the government paperwork involved and I don't blame them.
That article was written June 28, 2010.
Richard1148 is offline  
Old Oct 5, 13, 2:30 pm
  #2743  
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 1,207
Originally Posted by zink88 View Post
I have been using a Suntrust Debit Card to load just under $5K per month on my bluebird account and then using the bill pay feature for almost a year now to pay off credit cards, student tuition, taxes, etc. Our monthly bills exceed $5K, so my wife now also has a bluebird account that I would like to load with the same debit card to avoid having her open a Suntrust account requiring us to maintain another minimum balance to avoid monthly fees.

I've searched this thread, but am unable to find a post where someone is using the same debit card to load more than one bluebird account. Seems like this might be asking for trouble...but was wondering if there is evidence that the same Suntrust debit card can be used to load more than one bluebird account without risk of shutdown by either Amex or Suntrust.
If its a different card # to the same account you are probably ok, but if its not bluebird will likely freeze the account. Also, make sure your wifes name is on the account too, otherwise they will shut her down for using a card that is not under her name.
hamokmonky is offline  
Old Oct 5, 13, 3:10 pm
  #2744  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Austin, Texas
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Originally Posted by zink88 View Post
I have been using a Suntrust Debit Card to load just under $5K per month on my bluebird account and then using the bill pay feature for almost a year now to pay off credit cards, student tuition, taxes, etc. Our monthly bills exceed $5K, so my wife now also has a bluebird account that I would like to load with the same debit card to avoid having her open a Suntrust account requiring us to maintain another minimum balance to avoid monthly fees.

I've searched this thread, but am unable to find a post where someone is using the same debit card to load more than one bluebird account. Seems like this might be asking for trouble...but was wondering if there is evidence that the same Suntrust debit card can be used to load more than one bluebird account without risk of shutdown by either Amex or Suntrust.
Originally Posted by hamokmonky View Post
If its a different card # to the same account you are probably ok, but if its not bluebird will likely freeze the account. Also, make sure your wifes name is on the account too, otherwise they will shut her down for using a card that is not under her name.
That should be only if using it to load online with the $1k limit. If loading at WM, which I'm assuming zink88 is doing, there should be no issue.
TheBOSman is offline  
Old Oct 5, 13, 3:42 pm
  #2745  
 
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 1,106
Originally Posted by Richard1148 View Post
That article was written June 28, 2010.
Did things change since June 28, 2010?
vagrants is offline  

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