How to get one: Shell out $5 at your local Walmart if you need a Bluebird card immediately. They’re usually sold in the Money Center, which is where you cash checks and buy money orders. Some stores have them at the service desk or near the cell phones.
If you can handle waiting approximately 10 business days for your card to arrive, you can request one online for free.
Who accepts it: You can use Bluebird pretty much anywhere that accepts American Express cards. A handful of cardholders say they’ve had issues paying their electric bill or making monthly payments to credit card companies with their debit cards, but we’ve discovered a workaround. You can have Bluebird mail the payee a check via online Bill Pay, or you can write a preauthorized check and give it to a company or individual yourself.
Features: When it comes to features, we feel like nothing compares to the Bluebird card. This is the only prepaid card we’ve found that lets you write checks, and we love that they send you several checkbooks for free.
Depositing checks is simple. Instead of limiting you to direct deposit or forcing you to mail in paper checks, Bluebird has a convenient mobile upload option. If you need funds ASAP, you can pay a small fee to access them. If not, you can wait 10 days for funds to clear - free of charge.
Fees: If you’re of the “if it’s free it’s for me” mentality, Bluebird is the card for you. There’s no activation fee, no monthly fee, and no annual fee. It’s free to upload money with a debit card, add cash, or deposit checks. There’s no charge to withdraw money from a MoneyPass ATM, pay bills online, or write paper checks. Cash Pickup Powered by Ria is the only feature we’ve found that isn’t free, and that costs between $3 and $9 per transaction.