In the end, I’ve decided to keep American Express Bluebird in addition to our regular accounts. Here is my list of pros and cons.
Why I’m Keeping It
There first two are BIG reasons:
- I use it to earn airlines miles on transactions that I otherwise could not earn miles for. Airline miles are extremely valuable to my family.
- I like that I can use it overseas without extra foreign exchange rate costs that are common on other credit cards.
- I can pay certain bills by check online. Bluebird writes the checks and they seem to be received within a few days. I ran out of checks and kept forgetting to order more, so this feature actually saved me in the interim.
Aside from the above, it’s an easy card to use. Just swipe and pay.
It Can’t Replace Our Current Checking Account
You are only able to load $10,000 per month on to American Express Bluebird so my family could never exclusively use it as an alternative to checking. Direct deposits can’t exceed $10,000, nor can the balance at any given time. Therefore, it needs to be kept in addition to our regular checking account. Yes, it’s one more account to keep track of but the airline miles are worth it.
Transferring Money Takes 5 Business Days
I personally think that taking 5 days to transfer money from our regular checking to Bluebird is too long. It’s tough for me to think that far in advance. I like using the Vanilla Reloads instead, even though they have a small fee on them.
The iPhone App Is Easy To Use
Our primary checking account has a mobile app but it doesn’t scan checks. The Bluebird app does and it’s a VERY cool feature. The only thing I’d suggest is definitely password protecting your phone, if you use a banking app like this.
It Can’t Replace Our Banker
The truth is that we have certain transactions that can’t be handled via smart phone or a customer service line. We are tech-savvy people who value walking into the bank and having our needs handled by people who know us by first name.
Works For Households With Monthly Incomes Less Than $10,000
If you don’t have to worry about the $10,000 per month cap, then it’s worth considering American Express Bluebird for the cool features like purchase protection, travel benefits, sub-account creation and easy banking through your computer or smart phone. To avoid ATM withdrawal fees, you will need to use direct deposit.
American Express Bluebird was created based on consumer feedback. It’s so interesting to see how banking has evolved and I can only imagine how much easier it will get in the future.
*I was compensated for testing American Express Bluebird. All opinions are my own