Testing American Express Bluebird: Will It Work For A Family Like Mine?
American Express has a new financial product called Bluebird and they think I’m going to love it. I’m intrigued and hesitant, because it’s a different product than I’m used to banking with. The part about having this site that I enjoy is trying out new things, so I’ll give it a go.
What Is American Express Bluebird?
American Express and Walmart have partnered to bring consumers a debit card that functions like a checking account where you can make:
- Deposits via iPhone.
- Direct deposits.
- Bill payments online.
- Sub-accounts to transfer money to your college student, for example (this feature seems handy).
- Free ATM withdrawals at MoneyPass ATMs.
The card can be loaded at Walmart using a cash or debit card. Load it online via a checking account, too.
Benefits That Come With Bluebird
All you need to do to get the card is stop into Walmart (where it costs $5) or sign up online and wait a few days to receive it for free. Here are some of the account benefits.
- No credit check to apply for the card.
- No hidden fees. The only fees I can see are if you make an out of network ATM withdrawal or overdraw your account. Otherwise, there are no annual or monthly fees.
- Purchase protection protects items for 90 days after purchase should they be damaged or stolen.
- Roadside assistance for emergency car trouble. They arrange for the assistance, but you pay for it.
- Entertainment access for discounted and advance tickets to music, theater and sporting events. This isn’t actually valid in San Diego, unfortunately, but you may benefit in certain coverage areas.
- Fraud protection.
- Global assist which offers medical, legal or financial assistance when over 100 miles from home.
- Easy-to-use online banking.
I like that the card comes with roadside assistance and that there are some other worthy travel benefits (to be discussed in a future post as I learn more about or test them myself) that make the card worth keeping. I also like the user-friendly website. It’s very easy to read, log in, check balances, transfer money, set up bill pay and more.
I do have some concerns and since most of you are likely in my same demographic, you may have the same ones. First, I’m worried that I won’t be able to maximize my airline miles like I normally do with credit cards. However, I have a miles earning debit card which I understand can be used to load Bluebird at Walmart. I’m worried that what I just described is redundant, but we’ll see. I am not normally a Walmart shopper either. I am concerned that my family is not the demographic that this program targets, but I have a feeling I’m wrong because American Express did the research and selected me to test drive it.
You never really know whether or not you like something until you try it. So, far it’s been pretty easy, but I just received the card. Would you try it?
*Thanks to American Express for sponsoring this post! All opinions are mine. Decide if Bluebird is right for your family.