Not Happy with Your Bank? Try BlueBird

I have had a crazy month with my bank.  I started getting charges for not having direct deposit set up, charges to use my ATM, and charges for depositing from my mobile phone.  All of this after years of not paying any fees!

It was the perfect time for me to explore other options for managing my money, and Walmart gave me the opportunity to try BlueBird, the new money card that's very light on the fees.  Here is the scoop:
  • You can either order one online, and pay no fee OR
  • Grab one in your local Walmart store, and pay a $5 fee
I chose the latter, because it was so convenient to grab a starter kit in my store. I then went to the checkout, where they loaded it with cash.  I was able to load just $1 on it to get it activated, then I also paid $5 for the kit.  Note: you have to use cash for the "loading" part.  My cashier didn't know that you don't have to open the package to activate the card, but you don't have to remove the card to get started.

Next, I went home to open my BlueBird account online.  When I entered my info, it showed that I had $1 on it!  The process was pretty seamless, and I can now load more money on it from the checking account that I have linked, load money at my local Walmart, or load via the Walmart special machines that look like ATMS. (Fees vary by method.)  I am getting a personalized card in the mail with my info on it, as well, and this should take a little over a week.

We have been having a time budgeting, mainly because we have really grown accustomed to using checks; the BlueBird card may be a good choice for us, since most stores don't take checks, anymore.  Also, while I won't be retiring my credit cards anytime soon, I do like the ability to deposit funds onto my card.  As a self-employed person, my income is sporadic, and a regular paycheck deposit can't be set up like someone working for an employer.  This was one of the reasons why my bank had imposed the fee on me, and I'm looking forward to using the BlueBird card as a possible alternative to the one account with the extra fees.

Note:  If you have a Serve prepaid account through American Express, you cannot open a BlueBird account (which is also powered by Amex).  You will have to close the Serve account first.  I learned this the hard way, when I tried to first activate my card.  I didn't even remember having a Serve card; I must have received it as a gift.  Regardless, the old Serve account had $10.50 on it, and before I could close it out, I had to withdraw the money.  Before I could withdraw the money, I had to link it to a checking account.  Before I could link it to a bank account, I had to wait 5 days for small deposits to be placed in my checking account for me to verify.  All of this greatly increased the time it took me to activate my BlueBird card, so be sure to close out your Serve account BEFORE getting your Bluebird card!

Learn more about BlueBird at the official website.  Then, stop back here in a few weeks to see if we enjoyed using the card!

*I am a participant in the Walmart Moms program. Walmart has provided me with compensation for my time on this post. Participation in this program is voluntary. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.