Bluebird Prepaid Debit Card
The bottom line
- No monthly or transaction fees, and several free ways to add money to the card.
- Extensive, free ATM network.
- Comes with valuable perks and services from American Express.
|Purchases and withdrawals|
Here are more details about Bluebird’s fees and services.
5.0 / 5.0
Bluebird offers an impressive array of free services. You can open an account online or via a mobile device, write preauthorized checks, make bill payments, manage accounts and more. If you’re careful, you can use Bluebird without paying any fees. There are ways to load, spend and withdraw cash for free.
Purchases and withdrawals
4.5 / 5.0
Bluebird’s no-bounce check-writing privileges stand out. To write a check, log in to your account and enter the amount. If you have enough funds, the amount will be immediately deducted and you’ll get a code to write on the check. You can use the Bluebird card at any place that accepts American Express, and you can withdraw cash at MoneyPass ATMs for free.
One disadvantage: You can’t get cash back with purchases. You can withdraw cash at Wal-Mart stores, but you have to pay a fee.
You can withdraw up to $750 per day from ATMs. For larger sums, you can withdraw up to $900 in cash at a Wal-Mart, for a $3 to $6 fee.
5.0 / 5.0
At a Wal-Mart register, you can add cash in amounts up to $1,999 for free — and the money will be available immediately. You can set up direct deposit of paychecks or tax refunds for free. If you have a debit card for a bank account or a debit/payroll card, you can link that to Bluebird to add funds online or via the Bluebird app. If you’re at a Wal-Mart register, you can also add funds from a debit card for free.
You can load checks worth up to $2,500 on the card via the Bluebird mobile app. There is no fee, but checks take up to 10 business days to clear unless you pay for same-day service.
» MORE: Best prepaid debit cards
5.0 / 5.0
Families can share one Bluebird account. The primary member can open and fund up to four subaccounts, each with its own card and spending limits.
If you’re saving toward a specific goal, you can set that money aside in a separate account with a name like “Bahamas” or “new car.” You can transfer the money back to your main account at any time. Bluebird keeps your money in a custodial account at an FDIC-insured bank, so your balance is covered for up to $250,000 if that bank should fail.
Many free services
Research more before you leap: Here are some other economical prepaid card options.
Jeanne Lee is a staff writer at NerdWallet, a personal finance website. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Twitter: @jlee_jeanne.
Updated Nov. 16, 2016.
NerdWallet’s overall rating is a weighted average of each category: general account fees, transactions and funds access, reloads and other services. Factors we consider, depending on the category, include fees, ATM access, reload options, breadth of merchant acceptance, account features and limits, user-facing tech and customer service. Several Nerds contribute to prepaid debit card ratings to ensure consistency and accuracy.
What the ratings mean:
— Among the very best
— Very good; only minor caveats for most customers
— Good; issues that might make a difference to some customers
— Fair; make sure strengths and weaknesses are a good match for you
— Poor; proceed with great caution
(or below) — Best to avoid