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Bluebird prepaid debit card review

Offers most of the standard features with no monthly fee

Bluebird partnered with Walmart to offer a prepaid debit card and account with no monthly fee. But you can only use it with merchants that accept American Express and at MoneyPass ATMs for free.

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Monthly maintenance fee


Card fee


Card typePrepaid
Card networkAmerican Express
Monthly fee$0
Card fee$5

Review by

Heather Petty is a personal finance writer at Finder specializing in home loans, banking and insurance. After falling victim to a disreputable mortgage broker when buying her first home, she’s on a mission to help readers avoid similar experiences when managing their own finances. A self-proclaimed word nerd, her writing has been featured on MSN, and, among others. Heather previously worked as a technical writer and editor for the casino systems industry and is an internationally published young adult mystery author. She holds a bachelor’s degree in English with a minor in journalism from the University of Nevada, Reno.

Expert review

The Bluebird prepaid debit card is best for regular Walmart shoppers and those who don’t qualify for a traditional bank account. The card comes with roadside assistance and family account features.

But it may not work with merchants that don’t accept American Express and you can’t link your bank account.

How do I open a Bluebird account?

You can sign up with Bluebird in two ways.
To sign up online:

  1. Go to the provider’s site and follow the steps to apply.
  2. From the Bluebird website, click Open an Account.
  3. Enter your personal information.
  4. Create a username, password and ATM PIN.
  5. Click to accept the terms of use and click Agree and Submit.

If you purchase a Bluebird card from Walmart:

  1. Once you have the card, go to the Bluebird website and click Register Your Card.
  2. Enter the card number and security code.
  3. Enter your personal information.
  4. Create a username, password and ATM PIN.
  5. Click to accept the terms of use and click Agree and Submit.


Bluebird prepaid debit cards aren’t available in Vermont, but for all other states, you must meet the following requirements to have a Bluebird account:

  • At least 18 years old — or 19, depending on the state where you live
  • At least 13 years old to join the family account
  • US citizen or resident
  • Valid social security number

Required information

Have the following information on hand before you register your account:

  • Social Security number
  • Date of birth
  • Residential address
  • Email address


In addition to a mobile app that comes with personal financial management tools, Bluebird offers the following benefits:

  • Family account. You can have up to four family accounts, and the main account holder can set controls, such as spending limits.
  • Savings feature. Bluebird allows you to set money aside in an interest-free savings for your short-term savings goals.
  • No monthly fee. While most prepaid debit cards charge some kind of monthly or annual fee, Bluebird doesn’t.
  • Roadside assistance. The card comes with a 24-hour free dispatch service for assistance including towing, winching and battery jump-starts.
  • Emergency assistance hotline. If you’re traveling more than 100 miles from home and need assistance, call the hotline for coordination services, such as emergency legal and medical referrals, missing luggage and translation services.
  • Early access to tax return and paycheck. If you sign up for direct deposit with your Bluebird account, you can access your paycheck and tax return funds two days early.


While Bluebird has its benefits, it also has disadvantages:

  • Not accepted by all merchants. You can only use Bluebird at stores that take American Express, which isn’t as widely accepted as Visa or Mastercard.
  • High fees on simple services. You’ll pay up to 5% if you want your mobile-deposited check to clear the same day you deposit it. And if you can’t find a MoneyPass ATM, you’ll pay $2.50 to withdraw cash, in addition to any ATM owner charges.
  • No linked bank accounts. You can’t transfer money directly from your bank account to your Bluebird card.

If you want a prepaid card that lets you transfer money directly from your bank account, you’ll want to keep looking. As always, compare your options when considering a prepaid card.

Compare with other prepaid debit cards

Name Product Annual or monthly fee ATM withdrawal Features
Brinks Prepaid Mastercard
Brinks Prepaid Mastercard
$9.95 per month (or $5 with a $500+ direct deposit, or $0 with pay-as-you-go)
  • Mobile app
  • Direct deposit
  • Payback rewards
No credit check. No minimum balance. No late fees because this is not a credit card.
Netspend Prepaid Mastercard, WWE partner
Netspend Prepaid Mastercard, WWE partner
$9.95 per month (or $5 with a $500+ direct deposit, or $0 with pay-as-you-go)
  • No activation fee
  • Payback rewards
  • No minimum balance required
No credit check, mobile check load, and now a WWE partner
Control Prepaid Mastercard
Control Prepaid Mastercard
$7.95 per month (or $5 with a $500+ direct deposit)
  • Custom Card
  • Direct Deposit
  • Cash Back Rewards
No overdraft fees on card purchases. No credit check. No cost to order
Finder Rating: 4.8 / 5: ★★★★★
$3.99 per month
  • Low fee
  • Investing
  • Parent-paid interest
  • Donation options
The BusyKid Visa® Prepaid Spend Card gives your kids the freedom to spend anywhere Visa® is accepted, and parents see every transaction made.
Netspend All-Access Account by MetaBank
 Netspend All-Access Account by MetaBank
$5 per month
  • Earn cash back on everyday purchases
  • Earn up to 6% APY with an optional Savings Account
  • Receive your paycheck up to 2 days earlier with Direct Deposit
With Netspend All-Access Account by MetaBank there's no credit check and no minimum balance to open an account.

Compare up to 4 providers

Funding options

Use the following methods to fund your prepaid card:

  • Mobile check deposit
  • Direct deposit
  • Cash or debit deposit at a Walmart checkout
  • Debit card transfer

How long will it take to get my card?

You can pick up a Bluebird card from Walmart for $5 and start using it that same day. If you apply online for the card, you should receive it within seven to 10 days.

I got the card. Now what?

Once you’ve loaded your funds, take note of the following advantages:

  • Set up direct deposit. Enroll in direct deposit to access your money two days earlier.
  • Fraud protection. Report your card lost or stolen and you’re protected against fraudulent purchases.
  • Special discounts. Because this card is offered in conjunction with American Express, you’re eligible for special Amex offers savings on shopping and dining.
  • Special ticket sales. American Express Experiences offers special sales periods where you get exclusive access to tickets and preferred seating for sports and entertainment events.
  • Get help when you need it. For 24/7 customer support, call 877-486-5990.

Frequently asked questions

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