American Express Bluebird Card Review

I got my American Express Bluebird Card in the mail a few days ago so just thought I’d share what I like and hate about it.  There aren’t many things I hate about it but there is room for improvement; lots of room.  I want to start off by saying I hate conventional banks (story why I hate them here), I had a horrible experience with Well’s Fargo when I was forcibly switched to them from Wachovia when the banks went down back in 2000-whenever.  I needed a mobile bank that moved when I moved and didn’t rely on high monstrous fees just for holding the card, being nickel and dimed to death, or me  going inside the bank just to complete some transactions, or anything else.

So one day I was tinkering on Google Play Market and I applied for the American Express Bluebird pre-paid card.  Amazingly I found it functioned more like a free checking account than a pre-paid card where you do most of your banking, deposits and withdrawals at any Walmart center or at any Moneypass ATM.  And not only that but you can cash your checks with the mobile app or go inside Walmart and cash the check and request to have the funds deposited to the card with no fees.  Pretty much if you have direct deposit, every transaction on the card is free.

Some info:

  • How much cash can you load up with bluebird AMEX?

You can load a total of $10,000 a month to the card no matter which method you use it to fund it, but depending on the method you are loading it, via bank transfer, cash or with another debit card, these individual amounts will vary.

    • If funding it with another debit card, you can load up to $100 per transaction, $100 per day and $1,000 per month.
    • If funding it with cash, you can load a total of $1,000 per day and $5000 per month.
    • If funding it from another Bluebird account there is no limit, you just can’t exceed $10,000 a month.
    • Remote check capture, $2,000 per check.

Pros:

  • No daily spending limit.  As long as you have the money there you can swipe all day long

Now the cons which are clearly stated in their Terms & Conditions:

  • No cash back at ATMs
Now the things AMEX Bluebird does not advertise on their site that you don’t find out until you try to use the card is:
  • SMS doesn’t work with Google Voice.  As usual when you go to verify your Google Voice number, you won’t get the code.
  • No ACH debit, meaning you can’t pay a bill by giving your AMEX Bluebird biller your routing and account number; if you try, AMEX will decline the transaction. BUT Bluebird does have online Bill Pay so you can pay anyone
  • Does not send an SMS of deposits or purchases made.  You will only get notifications of that if your transaction is between another AMEX Bluebird account. Lame.
  • Cannot see your transactions in real time.  For example I put $30 in my Bluebird account and then switched all my monthly billers to my card.  Today I saw $20 on my Bluebird balance so I was like wtf!  I checked my transactions and low and behold I saw no transactions, just a missing $10.  So I called up AMEX Bluebird and told them hey I have $10 missing from my account but it doesn’t show online what I have pending.  The AMEX rep was able to tell me it was a $10 charge from USPS for my post office box.  And that’s a whole nother issue in itself because they charged me early; they weren’t suppose to charge me for another 5 days but whatever.  I guess it doesn’t show what the charge is until it clears. But yeah, if you want to know what a “mystery” transaction is, you have to call them and find out.  They do have text SMS for your transactions, however it will only text you the history of the same crap you can see online and not pending purchases.   Omg that is so 80’s.

Overall, besides those small peeves, I love the American Express Bluebird card and will probably be using it for a long long time rather than utilizing a conventional banks that love to throw in a whole bunch of “gotcha’s”.  I still have my Netspend savings account to take advantage of the 5% APY so I think I’m pretty much set for my banking alternative.  I’d recommend the American Express Bluebird card whoever is looking for the same.

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