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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 Mar 27, 13, 7:50 am
  #31  
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: NE
Programs: UA PLAT, HH Gold, Marriott Gold
Posts: 211
Originally Posted by EWRfflyer View Post
Now we just need Amex to up the VR reload limit to 10K a month.
+1

And OD to come back...
ThereYaGo is offline  
Old Mar 27, 13, 8:30 am
  #32  
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: NYC
Posts: 1,433
Originally Posted by EWRfflyer View Post
Now we just need Amex to up the VR reload limit to 10K a month.
And the VR activation fee to 0
yoyo is offline  
Old Mar 27, 13, 9:25 am
  #33  
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Washington, DC
Programs: BAEC Blue, Priority Club Platinum, SPG Gold, Hilton Gold
Posts: 1,715
The Wall Street Journal had a little blurb today about Bluebird accounts now being FDIC insured and offering checks thanks to the collaboration with Wells Fargo. Good stuff!
terpfan101 is offline  
Old Mar 27, 13, 11:27 am
  #34  
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 266
Just ordered my 100 free checks. I agree with everybody else, this will help especially when property tax season rolls around.
dontippet is offline  
Old Mar 27, 13, 12:16 pm
  #35  
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 538
Just wanted to report on a recent bean purchase at CVS. First swipe, my Chase card was declined saying another form of payment is required. I re-swiped and it went right through. No fraud alert, no record of the decline at Chase. This has happened to me twice this month.

Don't know why, but it seems like the register chokes on the initial swipe. ::shrug::
crimsonAA is offline  
Old Mar 27, 13, 1:21 pm
  #36  
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Texas
Programs: AA Gold, Starwood Gold
Posts: 123
Smile

This will also be useful for funding retirement and stock accounts if you do not want to link bank accounts to your Etrade/etc. whatever accounts. Like this a lot better than having check sent to me and then sending check and paperwork on.

Originally Posted by dontippet View Post
Just ordered my 100 free checks. I agree with everybody else, this will help especially when property tax season rolls around.
TravelTexan is offline  
Old Mar 27, 13, 2:35 pm
  #37  
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Programs: Far too many
Posts: 310
BB checkwriting

BB is introducing checkwriting after a fashion.

It is only marginally useful. You have to "pre authorize" the checks online, at which point they withdraw the money from your account. They say it will take 2 biz days to pre-authorize larger checks.

You can order 100 checks for free until the end of May. There is a hefty fee after that.

The value in my opinion is that you can reduce the turnaround time if you were going to have BB mail you the check, which you were then going to mail on with a voucher to the ultimate payee, to make sure the payment was properly credited. Now you can skip the step where you wait for BB to mail you the check, and just send your own, with the voucher.

Go to the My Account" tab, click on the "order BB checks" menu item.

Last edited by travel light; Mar 27, 13 at 2:47 pm Reason: add info
travel light is offline  
Old Mar 27, 13, 4:19 pm
  #38  
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: DCA
Posts: 6,502
Didn't see this in the past couple pages of posts, nor read about it on any of the blogs, but I just noticed that when you load a VR to BB now, they send you an email confirming. Cool!

Last edited by arlflyer; Mar 27, 13 at 4:25 pm
arlflyer is offline  
Old Mar 27, 13, 4:36 pm
  #39  
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Atlanta
Programs: Delta Diamond; HHonors Diamond
Posts: 642
A couple questions:

1. Am I correct that the limit on funds in the account is now $100,000 instead of only $10,000?

2. Is there still a $5,000 limit on how much you can pay by check or can I write bigger checks now? What limits are in place now with respect to the number of checks you can write in a month or the amount you can send by check in a month (either per check or total among all checks in a month)?

If $100K is allowed in the account and there will be an opportunity to write really large checks (like a single $10,000 check for my kids tuition or a $13,500 check to fund the college account for the year), this could be fantasic.
GatorBlues is offline  
Old Mar 27, 13, 4:37 pm
  #40  
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Programs: AA EXP/LT PLT
Posts: 1,467
Originally Posted by arlflyer View Post
Didn't see this in the past couple pages of posts, nor read about it on any of the blogs, but I just noticed that when you load a VR to BB now, they send you an email confirming. Cool!
It's not new for most of us I guess
supergrandslam is offline  
Old Mar 27, 13, 4:54 pm
  #41  
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: NE
Programs: UA PLAT, HH Gold, Marriott Gold
Posts: 211
Originally Posted by GatorBlues View Post
A couple questions:

1. Am I correct that the limit on funds in the account is now $100,000 instead of only $10,000?

2. Is there still a $5,000 limit on how much you can pay by check or can I write bigger checks now? What limits are in place now with respect to the number of checks you can write in a month or the amount you can send by check in a month (either per check or total among all checks in a month)?

If $100K is allowed in the account and there will be an opportunity to write really large checks (like a single $10,000 check for my kids tuition or a $13,500 check to fund the college account for the year), this could be fantasic.
The way I read the terms:
1) yes, but if you are only loading via VR you will only hit $60k/yr
2) subject to total acct. balance and add money limits it says, so I think that means if you only are adding via VR you are limited to 5k/mo. Have to have DD to write larger checks, or write the larger checks after complying with 5k/mo VR limit. So a $13,500 check would need over 2 months to build up balance.

Correct me if I am interpreting that wrong.
ThereYaGo is offline  
Old Mar 27, 13, 5:09 pm
  #42  
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: USA
Posts: 1,172
Originally Posted by ThereYaGo View Post
The way I read the terms:
1) yes, but if you are only loading via VR you will only hit $60k/yr
2) subject to total acct. balance and add money limits it says, so I think that means if you only are adding via VR you are limited to 5k/mo. Have to have DD to write larger checks, or write the larger checks after complying with 5k/mo VR limit. So a $13,500 check would need over 2 months to build up balance.

Correct me if I am interpreting that wrong.

Correct..or if you have two BB accts in your household, then you can possibly transfer the max $5K from one account to your account and write a check for $10K after the first month.
tsmith12 is offline  
Old Mar 27, 13, 5:09 pm
  #43  
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 1
Originally Posted by travel light View Post
BB is introducing checkwriting after a fashion.

It is only marginally useful. You have to "pre authorize" the checks online, at which point they withdraw the money from your account. They say it will take 2 biz days to pre-authorize larger checks.

You can order 100 checks for free until the end of May. There is a hefty fee after that.

The value in my opinion is that you can reduce the turnaround time if you were going to have BB mail you the check, which you were then going to mail on with a voucher to the ultimate payee, to make sure the payment was properly credited. Now you can skip the step where you wait for BB to mail you the check, and just send your own, with the voucher.

Go to the My Account" tab, click on the "order BB checks" menu item.
I did this for this first time this month and had BB mail me the check. I will use the check to pay my rent, what is this voucher you are talking about that has to be mailed with the check? The payee on the check btw is my landlord but I had it sent C/O to my address.
fmat is offline  
Old Mar 27, 13, 5:33 pm
  #44  
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Atlanta
Programs: Delta Diamond; HHonors Diamond
Posts: 642
Thanks for the responses. This is great news. Now that there apparently is no longer a $5K limit on payments to "non-registered" payees, I will be able load up an account for me and my wife at the $5K per month pace (I already have $10K in mine) and then pay my two kids' grade school tuition ($10K each) this summer plus make 529 account contributions for each of the kids ($13,000 each), banking alot of points plus hitting a key annual spend threshhold that would otherwise be out of reach.

I don't mind that it takes a while to build up the balance for a large check. At current interest rates, I'm OK with BB getting a little float off my money. It's the least I can do for the gobs of points I'm going to pick up as a result of this.
GatorBlues is offline  
Old Mar 27, 13, 5:34 pm
  #45  
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 800
KaBOOM!

Amex and BB take a good program and make it even better. No more worries about using billpay to mail a mortgage check or other critical things I was reluctant to mail a check for.
WhateverDude is offline  

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