While conducting our Bluebird prepaid debit card review, we discovered that the Bluebird prepaid debit card is not technically a bank account. The service they offer is a prepaid debit card similar to the sort of thing third-party money companies offer, such as PayPal with their PayPal access debit card, and the Google Wallet card. The Bluebird prepaid debit card is ideally for people who want an alternative to their current bank’s debit card because their current debit card comes with too many fees.

Bluebird Prepaid Debit Card Review – Benefits And Features

  • They have over 24,000 ATMs in their free MoneyPass network
  • Banking/account transactions are free
  • You may write checks with this prepaid card
  • They have five methods with which to check your credit balance
  • A family can share a single card and a single account
  • Online Bill Pay and mobile Bill Pay transactions are free
  • They send you the same offers they send American Express cardholders
  • Some of Bluebird’s prepaid card benefits may include roadside assistance
  • It is free to open a mobile account and an online account
  • Purchases have theft protection

Illustrating theft protection with bike wheel chained to pole

Perks And Downsides

[+] It is a pre-paid card, which means there are few fees
[+] They have an extensive ATM network
[+] Maintained and managed by American Express
[+] You may transfer money to your card in several free ways
[+] They have cross-sell promotions with American Express
[+] Purchases are protected for from theft and damage for up to 90 days

[-] Only as widely accepted as a card as American Express credit cards are
[-] Merchants will not agree to give you cash back with this card
[-] Use an out-of-network ATM and it will cost you $2.50
[-] You have to link a debit card and cannot link a bank account
[-] Mobile check captures can take up to ten days to clear

Checking Accounts

Our Bluebird prepaid debit card review found that there is no checking account, but the reloadable pre-paid card acts a lot like a checking account. For example, you may check your balance online or at a cash machine, you may use your debit card to buy things in stores, and you can link your account to other online accounts to make paying out easier.

Savings Accounts

You can put money into your BlueBird account and save it, but you are unable to earn interest on your money. Your BlueBird prepaid card account is not a savings account, it is more like a substitute checking account. But, even if you shouldn’t save money in your account, it is a good place to rest money before you decide which savings account you are going to put it into.

Guy with piggy bank - image for Bluebird prepaid card review

Putting Money On To Your Card

If you go into the Wal-Mart, you are able to put as much as $1999 onto your Bluebird Prepaid debit card. While writing our Bluebird prepaid debit card review, we were not charged any money for adding cash to our BlueBird card. What’s more, once the money was handed over and a receipt was given, I was able to walk outside to an ATM and see that the money had been added to my account already. You do not have to hand over cash at Wal-Mart, you can add money to your BlueBird card with your bank debit card if you wish.

Just like with a bank account, you may have your employer pay you by direct deposit into your account. You may also have your tax refunds put into your BlueBird Prepaid Debit card too without having to pay deposit fees. You may add money to your BlueBird account with checks too, and their mobile app allows you to electronically deposit checks of up to $2500.

A Card For Sharing With Your Family

Unlike a bank account, you can share your BlueBird prepaid card account with your family. Our Bluebird prepaid debit card review found that a primary account holder may open a BlueBird prepaid card account and then set up four sub accounts. Each sub account may be named whatever you wish, and you may order a card for each sub account. You may even set spending limits for each account/card.

The sub accounts are considered to be one account. Think of it a little like having your money in a box, and the box has five sections. The money is in one box, but it has one big section and four sub-sections. I have described it like that because the FDIC insures your money, but they cover all the money as one account. The FDIC insures your money for up to $250,000 in your account. If you set up a sub account, they cover your combined money; they do not cover you for $250,000 for each sub account.

FDIC Covers Bluebird prepaid card accounts

You may have your main BlueBird account and set up four sub accounts. You may share these accounts with your family. Maybe giving one to each of your children. You may fund the accounts from your main account, and you may name each sub account too. That means you may use your sub accounts for budgeting, such as one for food, one for bills, one for holiday savings and so forth. You don’t have to set up sub accounts to give your family their own accounts. You also don’t have to have a card for each account either.

Bluebird Prepaid Debit Card Review – Biggest Selling Point

The idea that the Bluebird card is a substitute bank account is a good selling point, but it isn’t much of a replacement. Ergo, their biggest selling point is the fact you can set up different sub accounts for your family members. It is not a common prepaid card perk.

Bluebird Prepaid Debit Card Review – Fees And Charges

They will not charge you to add money to your Bluebird Prepaid Card if you do it at Wal-Mart. Mobile check captures are free, but they take around ten days to clear unless you are willing to pay a fee to have it cleared the same day. There is no charge for linking a debit card, but you cannot link a bank account.

Who Should Take Note Of This Bluebird Prepaid Debit Card Review?

couple sawing piggy bank for our Bluebird Prepaid Debit Card ReviewIf you currently have a bank account, but you are tired of paying transaction fees, ATM fees, and whichever other fees your bank has imposed, you may like to take a look at the prepaid card described here in our Bluebird prepaid debit card review. The company that issued the Bluebird prepaid debit card and maintain its accounts we determined to create an account and card that charges as few fees as possible. That is why the Bluebird prepaid debit card is a good second card to have if your primary bank charges too many fees for using its debit card.

Another reason people want the Bluebird prepaid debit card is that they do not have a bank account at the moment. If you are working on your credit rating in order to correct a mistake you made, and you do not have a bank account, then the Bluebird prepaid debit card may be helpful during that process. You may not have a bank account, but at least you will have an online account to store your money, and you will have a card to use in stores, with ATMs and online.

User Comments And Reviews

[+] You are able to shop online with the Bluebird prepaid card if the online merchant accepts American Express.

[+] There are no minimum balance requirements, and you can keep just one cent in it for months and they do not charge you or close your account.

[+] You can find free ATMs in Wal-Mart, which is convenient if you are a Wal-Mart shopper.

[+] The company does not charge you for reloading the card with money, which is what some prepaid cards used to do before companies such as PayPal started offering prepaid cards with no reloading fees.

[+] They have very few fees. They have fewer fees than most banks, so you have to take the rough with the smooth.

[-] Some people have complained that they have trouble registering their card online.

[-] The customer services are a joke if you are having a serious problem such as if you need money crediting because your card was stolen and used.

[-] Many of the customer support staff have very poor English skills and are unable to understand simple concepts such as who is the main account holder.

[-] They put a 30-day hold on money that was refunded by merchants. For example, a hotel may hold incidental money when you check in and then return it. You will have to wait 30 days for Bluebird to release it back to you.

[-] American Express is not accepted everywhere, so you may have to find alternate ways to pay if you have a Bluebird card.

Conclusion – Bluebird Prepaid Debit Card Review

Overall, it is probably better to get and have a bank account or credit union account rather than a Prepaid card. Nevertheless, if you cannot get a bank account, or you would like a prepaid card, then the Bluebird prepaid debit card is a suitable option for you. If you choose this card, then make sure you change your passwords to make them as strong as possible, keep up to date with current card scams, and don’t expect much help from their customer service department if you are robbed or hacked.