Bluebird master thread (2016 onwards)

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This is the 2016 Bluebird thread.

The original discussion. The previous 2013- 2014 megathread. The previous 2015 megathread.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Read the wiki before posting a question.

Most accounts used for MS were shut down on Jan 8, 2016. Another wave of shutdowns occurred on March 4, 2016. Using Bluebird for MS is very likely to lead to account closure.

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.

For information on switching from BB to Serve, see the Serve thread wiki.

Bluebird Load Limits:
  • Cash loading via VR or WM load: $2,500 per card per day; $5,000 total per calendar month each card; $10,000 calendar month and $100,000 per year all BB cards combined for each SSN.
  • 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

The cash load limit for a temp card is $1,500 total.

*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.
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Old Jan 6, 16, 1:52 pm
  #1  
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Bluebird master thread (2016 onwards)

If you are a Bluebird holder, you probably got today's e-mail that, effective immediately, Bluebirds cannot be used for foreign ATM withdrawals.

If you are currently travelling, the short notice might not be appreciated.
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Old Jan 6, 16, 2:37 pm
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Join Date: Feb 2014
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Originally Posted by Steve in Olympia View Post

If you are currently travelling, the short notice might not be appreciated.
yes, just got the email, one of my subaccount card holder is travelling.
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Old Jan 6, 16, 2:41 pm
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Join Date: Jul 2007
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They could have at least gave a few week notice. I would have been screwed if I was on a international trip right now.
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Old Jan 6, 16, 3:06 pm
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I mentioned this in another BB thread several hours ago. Can't believe they gave zero days' notice for a change like this.

Never smart to travel with only one ATM option, but no doubt this will affect some such people.
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Old Jan 6, 16, 4:47 pm
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Join Date: Jul 2014
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BB was a great travel card that works in a lot of countries but I always carry my Schwab DC as back up. I left the primary BB in the US and use subacct card so that I can ask mom to fill up the card in case I need more funds. I'll definitely miss BB
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Old Jan 6, 16, 10:57 pm
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Join Date: Oct 2007
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Sorry, but not very clear from the WIKI and some of the posts, but can I load this Vanilla Gift Card (VGC) into Bluebird @ Walmart?:





Thanks-
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Old Jan 6, 16, 11:00 pm
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Join Date: Aug 2011
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Originally Posted by ual902 View Post
Sorry, but not very clear from the WIKI and some of the posts, but can I load this Vanilla Gift Card (VGC) into Bluebird @ Walmart?:

Thanks-
Did you pull those pics stright off Mr Bow Tie's website?
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Old Jan 6, 16, 11:03 pm
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Originally Posted by skitch23 View Post
Did you pull those pics stright off Mr Bow Tie's website?
His wife dumped him, hadn't seen him online in months boasting his BA F flights to India LOL and its from Google Images.

But seriously.. I see posts here about VGC loading Bluebird @ Walmart, can this be done?!!!
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Old Jan 6, 16, 11:08 pm
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Join Date: Mar 2014
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Originally Posted by ual902 View Post
Sorry, but not very clear from the WIKI and some of the posts, but can I load this Vanilla Gift Card (VGC) into Bluebird @ Walmart?:
Only up to $49.99 at a time. Anything from Vanilla(Bancorp) is limited for reloads to BB and Serve at Walmart. You could load that card to a Serve VIP at Family dollar though.
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Old Jan 6, 16, 11:15 pm
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Join Date: Aug 2011
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Originally Posted by ual902 View Post
His wife dumped him, hadn't seen him online in months boasting his BA F flights to India LOL and its from Google Images.

But seriously.. I see posts here about VGC loading Bluebird @ Walmart, can this be done?!!!
Ha! I just found his blog post about it and skimmed the comments... can't believe people were so devastated about it. Emily must have finally realized she could earn just as many miles without his sorry butt lol.

What ajhardee said is correct. Its easiest to use those ones for mo's if you have friendly stores nearby.
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Old Jan 6, 16, 11:38 pm
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Originally Posted by ajhardee View Post
Only up to $49.99 at a time. Anything from Vanilla(Bancorp) is limited for reloads to BB and Serve at Walmart. You could load that card to a Serve VIP at Family dollar though.
Thanks I already loaded Serve VIP @ FD and Rite Aid, but have to fill up a $20K Spend within 3 Months for an Amex Platinum, so was thinking to load up my siblings BB, then unloading BB by having BB mail me a check.
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Old Jan 6, 16, 11:40 pm
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Originally Posted by skitch23 View Post
Ha! I just found his blog post about it and skimmed the comments... can't believe people were so devastated about it. Emily must have finally realized she could earn just as many miles without his sorry butt lol.

What ajhardee said is correct. Its easiest to use those ones for mo's if you have friendly stores nearby.
I personally think Brian TPG is worse then Bow Tie man at this point.
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Old Jan 7, 16, 12:02 am
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Join Date: Mar 2014
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Originally Posted by ual902 View Post
I personally think Brian TPG is worse then Bow Tie man at this point.
I actually have learned a lot from the points guy. He helped me get to Hawaii for free using my ultimate awards points via Korean Air. I would have never figured that out by myself. That being said, I have mixed emotions of how these websites "spoon feed" info to those who without doing the research can screw this whole MS thing up for us that are careful not to get it killed.
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Old Jan 7, 16, 7:53 am
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Join Date: May 2013
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Originally Posted by ajhardee View Post
I actually have learned a lot from the points guy. He helped me get to Hawaii for free using my ultimate awards points via Korean Air. I would have never figured that out by myself. That being said, I have mixed emotions of how these websites "spoon feed" info to those who without doing the research can screw this whole MS thing up for us that are careful not to get it killed.
There was a tutorial of sorts posting on reddit r/churning or r/awardtravel a few days before it showed up on all the blogs. But now we're getting off-topic for this thread. To bring it back, I'll just say that sometimes I take a few months off from MS for various reasons, but when I come back to it I make sure to spend the time to go over this thread and others like it to see what has changed. It's not hard work, but it does require putting in some effort.

Last edited by mattp1987; Jan 7, 16 at 8:38 am
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Old Jan 8, 16, 8:27 am
  #15  
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
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Uh-oh

Dear xxxxxxx xxxxxxxxx,

We are writing to let you know that we have observed unusual usage patterns on your Bluebird Account. Because of this, effective immediately, you will no longer be able to add money to your Account.1 We have made this change in accordance with Section 22.d of our Member Agreement, which you can view here.

Please be aware that you continue to have full access to the funds on your Account and can withdraw them at any time.

Once your balance reaches $0, please close your Account online via your Profile page accessible here. Scroll down to the Close Account section and click “Close Account.”

If you have any questions or would like to inquire further about this issue, you may write to us at the following address:

American Express
C/O Customer Relations 02-04-40
4315 S 2700 W
Salt Lake City, UT 84184-0440
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