Credit Cards

American Express Bluebird

There is a new product out from American Express in partnership with Wal-Mart and it is called Bluebird. It is a new type of prepaid product – instead of the reloadable credit cards that currently exist, it is a reloadable account with a checking account and debit cards.

American Express Bluebird

The beautiful part of about this new program is that it can be reloaded using Vanilla reload cards that are sold at multiple stores. So, you can basically get this program to use as your checking account and actually fill it by using a credit card. By doing this, you can pay bills that would normally not take credit card (using bill pay, they send a check to the person/company/organization you are trying to pay).

This was just recently introduced and for a while presented one of the greatest point earning opportunities around – you could purchase the Vanilla reload cards at Office Depot with the Chase INK Bold or INK Plus cards and receive 5x points per dollar spent on the card (thanks to the INK cards and their 5x office store bonus). With those cards, you could reload your Amex Bluebird account and pay for all of your expenses through that account (especially things like mortgage, rent, school loans, taxes, and other bills that cannot be paid with credit card). People were raking in thousands of points through this system – but that seemed to disappear today. Office Depot is supposedly no longer going to carry the Vanilla reload cards.

However, just because the 5x Ultimate Reward point / Bluebird marriage may be over does not mean that the point earning opportunities are over. Far from it! There are plenty of ways that you can use this new program to your advantage

  • Use it for minimum spend assistance – if you apply for a card with a high minimum spend (something like a $5,000 or $10,000 in 3/4 months), you can purchase Vanilla reload cards to load into your Bluebird account and then pay your credit card bills from the account
  • Use higher point earning cards at stores that qualify for higher bonuses – like the American Express Hilton that gives 6x points at pharmacies (like CVS)
  • Use it to basically purchase points at an incredible rate – for instance, Starwood points are very valuable, so you could purchase Vanilla cards with your Starwood Preferred Guest Amex card and get those points very easily.

Amex Bluebird Fee Chart

How to Start:

Go to Wal-Mart to get a Bluebird card or sign-up here at their site. Next, purchase a Vanilla reload card at one of the many stores (listed below) and follow the instructions to load your new Bluebird card. Start using it to transfer money, pay friends, pay bills, withdraw money, and any other use you can find to use it for! After that, start watching the points roll in!

Stores to purchase Vanilla cards (thanks to Million Mile Secrets for compiling the list):


Disclaimer: This content is not provided or commissioned by American Express. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of American Express, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by American Express. This site may be compensated through American Express Affiliate Program.

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About the author


Charlie has been an avid traveler and runner for many years. He has run in marathons around the world for less than it would cost to travel to the next town - all as a result of collecting and using miles and points. Over the years, he has flown hundreds of thousands of miles and collected millions of miles and points.
Now he uses this experience and knowledge to help others through Running with Miles.