How to open an American Express Bluebird account

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The Bluebird checking account from American Express is a valuable tool in the miles and points world.  This account allows you meet minimum spend on new cards and spend thresholds for maximum rewards on other cards.  Also, you can pay bills you normally couldn’t pay with a credit card, while still earning points.

This is the first post in a series about how I use my credit cards and the American Express Bluebird to earn over 120,000 miles and points each year:

  1. How to open an American Express Bluebird account.
  2. How to add money to American Express Bluebird with Vanilla Reloads
  3. How to pay your bills using American Express Bluebird



What is American Express Bluebird account?

The Bluebird account was designed for the “unbanked,” a collection of people who, whatever reason, do not have an account at a traditional bank (think Chase, Wells Fargo, Bank of America, or even a local credit union).  Many don’t trust the banking system, while others are denied by the banking system due to being on CheckSystems for past bad behaviors (ie: unpaid bounced checks).

American Express BlueBird card sample


Features of the Bluebird account

There are no monthly fees and no fees to deposit money into the account, both of which are key!

Beyond that, it works much the same way your traditional checking account would work… you can have Direct Deposit into it, pay your bills online, and even deposit using your phone by taking a picture of the check.

Additionally, you can deposit into your account by going to a WalMart checkout aisle or to a kiosk.


Why Bluebird?

Miles and points people quickly picked up on the Bluebird account because you can buy gift cards and deposit those gift card balances into this account, then pay your bills with it.

That’s what I do.  But, instead of taking the gift cards I buy into WalMart, I purchase Vanilla Reloads with $500 on them, plus a fee of $3.95.

Vanilla Reloads

You are allowed to deposit up to $5,000 in gift cards per month into your Bluebird account.  My wife and I both have an account with Bluebird, so that’s $10,000 in additional spend… or 10,000 miles we can earn per month!!!

With the money we deposit into American Express Bluebird, we pay our mortgages, our daycare, my student loans, our gardener and pool man, and, with the leftover money, we pay off our credit cards to zero out this account each month.

Doing things this way certainly makes hitting the daunting $5,000 minimum spend within 90 days of some credit cards seem really easy to do… all for $79 a month ($10,000 / $500 per card = 20 cards * $3.95 per card = $79).


How to open an American Express Bluebird account?

  1. Click here to go to American Express Bluebird.
    American Express Bluebird register now
  2. A new window will pop-up.
  3. Enter your basic information — name, address, phone number
  4. Next comes vital account information:
    1. Choose a username
    2. Enter your email address, date of birth, Social Security number
    3. Create a password and pin
    4. Select a security question and answer, in case you lose password or pin
  5. Click Submit and your account is created!


Your pin is very important.  When you submit online bill payments, they will always confirm the transaction by you entering your pin code before the payment will be sent.


What Now?

An American Express Bluebird debit card will arrive within 7-10 business days.  You will use this card as a primary method to get money into your account, either online or at WalMart.

Now that your account is created, it will be time to fund the account once your debit card arrives in the mail.  I’ll post next time on how to deposit money into your American Express Bluebird account.



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