Bluebird prepaid debit card review
Offers most of the standard features with no monthly feeBluebird 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.
Monthly maintenance fee
Heather Petty is a writer at Finder specializing in banking, investments and insurance. She's a self-proclaimed word nerd who worked as a technical writer and editor for the casino systems industry and is an internationally published young adult mystery author. Heather earned a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Nevada, Reno.
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:
- Go to the provider’s site and follow the steps to apply.
- From the Bluebird website, click Open an Account.
- Enter your personal information.
- Create a username, password and ATM PIN.
If you purchase a Bluebird card from Walmart:
EligibilityBluebird 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
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
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.