| Last updated on December 13th, 2023
Bluebird® by American Express
Bluebird® by American Express
At a Glance
Bluebird® American Express is a prepaid card Amex offers in conjunction with Walmart. The card is similar to a Walmart and Amex prepaid gift card, but it offers far more than any reloadable gift card ever could. The card gives users the flexibility of shopping at any merchant that accepts American Express while also allowing for the withdrawal of cash at ATMs, similar to a debit card.
- Best Benefits
- Rates & Fees
- Why Should You Apply?
- Send and receive money, link your debit card to your Account, and add funds via direct deposit
- Enjoy American Express cardmember benefits like purchase and fraud protection, as well as roadside assistance, exclusive access to entertainment and sporting events a more
- Free (and Flexible) Direct Deposit, no monthly fees and no overdraft fees, and free Bill Pay
- Use your card to shop anywhere American Express is accepted
- You want a card with virtually no monthly fee, annual fee, minimum balance, or minimum deposit
- You don’t want a hard pull on your credit history
- You aren’t sure whether to choose a gift card vs. a prepaid card
- You want credit card features (purchase protection, fraud protection, roadside assistance, etc.) without the risk of overspending
- You don’t have a bank account but want a repository for direct deposits
Bluebird By American Express Review
If you’re rebuilding credit or lack access to traditional banking, the Bluebird® by American Express is a banking and credit card alternative that combines the convenience of a credit card with the cash withdrawal convenience of debit cards – no credit check required. Prepaid cards function as debit cards but offer several traditional credit card perks such as purchase protection, fraud protection, and Amex Offers through the portal.
Bluebird vs. Traditional Banking
Bluebird offers several advantages over traditional banking, making it a compelling choice for individuals seeking a modern and convenient banking experience. Here are some key differences between Bluebird and traditional banks:
No Monthly Fees
Unlike many traditional banks that charge monthly maintenance fees, Bluebird is completely fee-free. This means you can save money on unnecessary charges and expenses, allowing you to keep more of your hard-earned money.
Unlike traditional checking accounts, the Bluebird prepaid card requires no minimum balance or deposit. Additionally. cardholders will never be penalized for using the entirety of their prepaid balance.
As a prepaid card, Bluebird does not offer cash advances or balance transfers; funds must be added before use – fortunately, the Bluebird card offers multiple ways to do so. Funds can be added to Bluebird via direct deposit, mobile check screenshot technology, or even at Walmart checkout registers.
Accessible and User-Friendly
Bluebird’s mobile app and online banking platform provide a seamless and user-friendly banking experience. With features like mobile check capture and easy money transfers, Bluebird allows you to manage your finances anytime, anywhere, from the convenience of your smartphone or computer.
Budgeting and Saving Tools
Bluebird offers a range of budgeting and saving tools that can help you take control of your finances. From tracking your spending to setting savings goals, Bluebird provides the resources you need to manage your money effectively and make progress toward your financial objectives.
Free MoneyPass ATM Withdrawals
If you need to withdraw at an ATM, you can do so for free at specific MoneyPass® locations (there are over 37,000 of them). Otherwise, a small fee is incurred at any other automated teller machine. In addition to adding and withdrawing cash, you can send funds through the Bluebird2Walmart Money Transfer service and for free between Bluebird accounts.
This prepaid card is a great alternative for those with bad credit who want the protection of a credit card but cannot afford a credit inquiry. It has many benefits, making it more convenient than a traditional debit card.
Prepaid Card Comparison
|PayPal Prepaid Mastercard®
|Bluebird® by American Express Prepaid Card
|American Express Serve®
|The card features easy loading and reloading, a helpful mobile app, and some fees to consider.
|Send and receive money, link your debit card to your Account, and add funds via direct deposit.
|Access and manage your account on the go via your phone.
|Up to $4.95
|$3.95 ($3.75 at Walmart)
|$0 in network, $3.95 out of network
|Fee-free ATM network
What We Like About the Bluebird By American Express
There is plenty to love about the Bluebird Card – not least of which is the lack of fees for many of the charges you typically find with similar cards. There is no annual, monthly, or activation fee, all mobile features can be used at no cost, withdrawals at approved ATMs are free, and cards can be used abroad or replaced for no additional charge.
Bluebird provides comprehensive ATM access through the MoneyPass® network. The MoneyPass network comprises more than 37,000 fee-free ATMs across North America, making this another great feature of the prepaid card program.
Another great feature is the full suite of protections and benefits Amex provides prepaid cardholders. Bluebird won’t offer the extensive coverage of a card like the Platinum Card from American Express, but the features are more than enough to keep you safe – and more! Bluebird cardholders enjoy Roadside Assistance coverage, Emergency Assistance, Purchase Protection, and more through American Express.
Even better, additional programs provide extra savings, such as access to Amex Offers, American Express Experiences, and more. Amex Experiences provides exclusive access to presale tickets in certain cities when you use your Bluebird card. Perhaps the unique feature of the Bluebird prepaid card is the Walmart Buck$, which acts as a reward that is applicable for use at Walmart stores nationwide.
Things to Consider
Like most products, the Bluebird Card has some limitations you need to consider before getting it. For starters, American Express’ customer service with prepaid cards is less than impressive. Sure, Amex provides first-class customer service for cardmembers with credit or pay-in-full cards, but that doesn’t appear to trickle down to the prepaid market. Many negative reviews for the card with the Better Business Bureau or Trustpilot focus on poor customer service.
Other things to consider with the card include the fees for select transactions and delays for things like free checks or direct deposits. Finally, there are limits on cash reloads and other transactions with the card, so carefully review the terms and conditions first.
Speaking of fees, here is a breakdown of the fee schedule for the Bluebird by American Express:
|$0 (in-network); $2.50 (out-of-network)
|$3.95 ($3.75 at Walmart)
|Mobile check capture
|Money in Minutes
|1% or 5% of check ($5 min fee)
|Bluebird2Walmart Money Transfer powered by Ria®
|Up to $16
|Cash Pickup powered by Ria®
|Up to $9
|$0 (standard); $20 (expedited)
Is a Secured Card a Better Bet?
However, the simplicity of the Amex Bluebird is also its only negative. Because it is a prepaid card, the Bluebird won’t help those looking to boost their credit score or even establish credit for the first time.
For those individuals, a secured credit card provides greater value, as the deposit acts as a line of credit, and not just a pre-loadable balance. Since secured cards are much easier to get than other types of credit cards, they make a great shopping companion for those with bad credit – or new to credit.
For those after a simple, convenient, prepaid card, however, the Bluebird from Amex is a great choice. Add to that a Bluebird mobile app, mobile check capture, and the ability to quickly receive your tax refund, and you have a winner in the Bluebird from Amex.
American Express Ratings
How does American Express rate as a bank and issuer? Here is a selection of ratings for the bank from consumers and experts:
Should You Apply for the Bluebird American Express Prepaid Card?
Regarding prepaid debit cards, there are few options better than the American Express Bluebird. The card is a reloadable Walmart gift card and prepaid debit card in one unique package.
Reloading funds is simple – and one of the reasons that makes the Bluebird card such a great prepaid option. All you need to do to add money is transfer funds from an existing debit account (or savings account), set up a direct deposit or mobile check deposit, or go into any Walmart location and add funds at the customer service counter or at the register. Adding a direct deposit lets you get your money up to two days earlier than with a traditional bank!
The Bluebird is such an exceptional value because it lacks many fees with a prepaid card. These include activation fees, reloading fees, or a monthly fee. Added with the purchasing power and protection that comes with an American Express credit card, the Bluebird is easily preferable to a Walmart gift card – and makes it the perfect choice for those who want the purchasing capabilities of a debit or credit card and want to forgo a credit check.
All information about the Bluebird® by American Express Prepaid Card has been collected independently by BestCards.com.
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