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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 25, 13, 5:25 pm
  #1  
mia
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Bluebird prepaid debit, now with FDIC insurance and paper checks (2013-2014)

Click here: http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/manuf...ebit-card.html

...to read previous discussions of the Bluebird Prepaid Debit Account. The original thread is long, but please use Search this Thread function to research fundamentals before posting questions in this new thread.

Last edited by mia; Mar 30, 13 at 7:25 pm
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Old Mar 26, 13, 12:42 pm
  #2  
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 1,165
Bluebird prepaid debit, now with FDIC insurance and paper checks.

Bluebird checks are finally here! Just ordered mine online, they are free for now, up to 100 checks.

Checks have to be "preauthorized", amounts over $2000 take 1-2 days to preauthorize.

Finally, a surefire way to pay taxes!

Looks like BB is FDIC insured now, and annual limit is 100K a year although the 5K/mo VR limit still applies.
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Old Mar 26, 13, 1:37 pm
  #3  
 
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Where do you see this?
I logged in and it's not a feature I see.
Although I see "Pre Authorize Check" but's it grayed out. Maybe due to my zero balance?

Thanks for the heads-up.

Originally Posted by bangkokiscool View Post
Bluebird checks are finally here! Just ordered mine online, they are free for now, up to 100 checks.

Checks have to be "preauthorized", amounts over $2000 take 1-2 days to preauthorize.

Finally, a surefire way to pay taxes!

Looks like BB is FDIC insured now, and annual limit is 100K a year although the 5K/mo VR limit still applies.
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Old Mar 26, 13, 1:45 pm
  #4  
 
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I imagine you'll have to order checks first, which you can do by hovering over "my account" at the top right and then "order Bluebird Checks". You pay for the checks - $19.94 plus $5.94 shipping for 50 checks, $26.94 plus $6.94 shipping for 100 checks. Plus sales tax.
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Old Mar 26, 13, 2:04 pm
  #5  
 
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Originally Posted by frozyn View Post
I imagine you'll have to order checks first, which you can do by hovering over "my account" at the top right and then "order Bluebird Checks". You pay for the checks - $19.94 plus $5.94 shipping for 50 checks, $26.94 plus $6.94 shipping for 100 checks. Plus sales tax.
Fees are waived until 5/21. I just ordered, total charge is $0.
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Old Mar 26, 13, 2:12 pm
  #6  
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
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Ordered.
No charge for 100.
Thanks!
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Old Mar 26, 13, 2:50 pm
  #7  
 
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Originally Posted by msc75 View Post
Fees are waived until 5/21. I just ordered, total charge is $0.
Good deal. Thanks for the heads up!
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Old Mar 26, 13, 3:15 pm
  #8  
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
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I'm curious how much in VR purchases people are putting on a single credit card. I've been avoiding doing more than $1k per month on any given card for fear that it would raise some red flags. Given the new availability of checks, I'm thinking of paying some bigger expenses with BB that previously had been difficult to pay with BB (for lack of trust in BB's delivery). For example, I had been using WP to pay rent sometimes, which along with BB/VR has made it pretty straight forward to hit even high annual spend bonuses. However, if I converted this WP spend to VR/BB spend, while it would be the same amount of spend, it would be far less diversified spend. Of course, I could just diversify this increased VR spend across issuers and even up to $5k per month would likely not be suspicious, but then it wouldn't be as much help in meeting large spending thresholds.

So, how high have people gone without problems with the various issuers? I know this is a YMMV issue - contingent upon your own credit profile, income, etc - but I am curious if people are using similar self-imposed limits like I have.
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Old Mar 26, 13, 3:26 pm
  #9  
 
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Article in the Washington Post here.

"In the six months since Bluebird debuted, more than 575,000 customers have signed up, placing more than $275 million into their accounts."

"Nearly half of Bluebird cardholders are under age 35 and use the card for everyday expenses, Schulman said. The prepaid card has allowed American Express to tap into a broader segment of the market, as 85 percent of account holders are new to the company."
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Old Mar 26, 13, 3:37 pm
  #10  
 
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Originally Posted by CFFrost View Post
I'm curious how much in VR purchases people are putting on a single credit card. I've been avoiding doing more than $1k per month on any given card for fear that it would raise some red flags. Given the new availability of checks, I'm thinking of paying some bigger expenses with BB that previously had been difficult to pay with BB (for lack of trust in BB's delivery). For example, I had been using WP to pay rent sometimes, which along with BB/VR has made it pretty straight forward to hit even high annual spend bonuses. However, if I converted this WP spend to VR/BB spend, while it would be the same amount of spend, it would be far less diversified spend. Of course, I could just diversify this increased VR spend across issuers and even up to $5k per month would likely not be suspicious, but then it wouldn't be as much help in meeting large spending thresholds.

So, how high have people gone without problems with the various issuers? I know this is a YMMV issue - contingent upon your own credit profile, income, etc - but I am curious if people are using similar self-imposed limits like I have.
Well, I have excellent credit and I have NEVER had a fraud alert or FR from using Amex to buy VR cards (Hilton, Starwood, and Platinum). I also use my Chase Visa and MasterCard cards and never had a fraud alert or other inquiry. The one bank that is a royal pain to deal with is Barclays Bank - I simply stopped using them for VR purchases after they denied my very first $500 VR purchase.

But I do agree that it's wise to vary the CCs you use each month so that you don't put more than $2K on any one card per month. I might just be overly cautious, but it's better than being reckless.
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Old Mar 26, 13, 4:05 pm
  #11  
 
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Originally Posted by robbert View Post
Article in the Washington Post here.

"In the six months since Bluebird debuted, more than 575,000 customers have signed up, placing more than $275 million into their accounts."

"Nearly half of Bluebird cardholders are under age 35 and use the card for everyday expenses, Schulman said. The prepaid card has allowed American Express to tap into a broader segment of the market, as 85 percent of account holders are new to the company."

If the info in this article is true, FTers and those interested in the miles game are a drop in the bucket, and the product has otherwise been extremely successful.


Originally Posted by DCBob View Post
Well, I have excellent credit and I have NEVER had a fraud alert or FR from using Amex to buy VR cards (Hilton, Starwood, and Platinum). I also use my Chase Visa and MasterCard cards and never had a fraud alert or other inquiry. The one bank that is a royal pain to deal with is Barclays Bank - I simply stopped using them for VR purchases after they denied my very first $500 VR purchase.

But I do agree that it's wise to vary the CCs you use each month so that you don't put more than $2K on any one card per month. I might just be overly cautious, but it's better than being reckless.

I've had similar experiences, and I think a similar risk tolerance (though I have not yet used Barclay). It kills me to pay WP, but I've been using it to meet the $25k spend threshold on my UA MP card. I've just set WP, insurance, and a few other smaller recurring payments to bill to my UA card. Then once a month I buy a couple VRs. I'll hit the $25k threshold without even using the card for any "daily" expenses.
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Old Mar 26, 13, 4:23 pm
  #12  
 
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Originally Posted by robbert View Post
Article in the Washington Post here.
and American Banker here.
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Old Mar 26, 13, 4:44 pm
  #13  
 
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Originally Posted by vodkashine View Post
Ordered. [Bluebird checks]
No charge for 100.
Thanks!
+1
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Old Mar 26, 13, 4:48 pm
  #14  
 
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Sorry for the basic question, but no one is speaking directly to the elephant in the room that I can't figure out: doesn't all this assume that you live near a Wal-Mart where you can load BB without a fee? Loading it online costs money. What do those of us who don't live in suburban Wal-Mart-opia do?
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Old Mar 26, 13, 4:58 pm
  #15  
 
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Originally Posted by Zeffer View Post
Sorry for the basic question, but no one is speaking directly to the elephant in the room that I can't figure out: doesn't all this assume that you live near a Wal-Mart where you can load BB without a fee? Loading it online costs money. What do those of us who don't live in suburban Wal-Mart-opia do?
Maybe I missed something here, but is this the first time you looked at this thread? Many of us are buying VR cards (mostly at CVS) with credit cards and getting points/miles that way. The cost of VR cards is below the value of the points/miles earned (usually) and VR card purchases help meet minimum spending limits for bonuses on some cards. Others are buying gift cards at office supply stores with a 5x bonus using Chase Ink cards and exchanging them for VR cards. There are HUNDREDS of posts in this thread with all the gory details. No one in their right mind would load funds directly online with BB using a debit card that carries a $2 transaction fee and a $100 limit per day.

Last edited by DCBob; Mar 26, 13 at 5:04 pm
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