Since Bluebird was launched a little over a week ago, it has been receiving A LOT of publicity. A heck of a lot.
People go crazy when there’s a new way to earn miles & points on purchases you wouldn’t normally be able to. And when there’s 5x points earning potential, people go boy band crazy. Think ‘Nsync at their prime.
Recently I discussed the basics on Amex’s & Wal-Mart’s Bluebird, so check it out if you haven’t had a computer for a couple of weeks.
Basically, Bluebird is an online checking account with a prepaid card. You can deposit or fund Bluebird in a variety of ways- cash, debit cards (there are some reward debit cards), etc. You can’t fund Bluebird with credit cards, though. Sad face.
However, things get better. You CAN fund Bluebird with Vanilla Prepaid Reload cards. Yes! And since you can buy Vanilla Reloads at Office Depot with a credit card, you essentially are earning miles & points to fund your Bluebird account.
(Huge hat tip to Frequent Miler, who made Vanillas famous at last years FTU and this year’s Chicago Seminars)
Warning: I wouldn’t buy more than $2,000 in Vanilla reloads per card. There’s no need to get in bad standing with the banks. Also, mix in other purchases besides the ones that earn you 5x points.
Once your Bluebird account is loaded, you can then use it for daily spending, pay your mortgage, transfer money to another bank account, credit card bill, utilities, withdraw money from an ATM ($500 daily max), pay a person, and many other functions for $0. See the value?
Has Bluebird killed Vanilla Reloads?
A s@#$ load of people have seen the killer value in using Bluebird with Vanilla reloads. What does this mean? It’s getting increasingly harder to find Vanilla reloads.
I had to go to three Office Depots before I found any Vanilla sweetness. Just be prepared that Vanillas are in high demand, so if you find some, take advantage of it, but don’t go too crazy. Moderation, people.
This is what you’re looking for (the cards on the right middle).
I now know where every Office Depot is within an hour of me. I guess that’s a good thing? Side note: Don’t trust the new Apple maps on the iPhone. I’m pretty good at following directions, and I was led to places that weren’t Office Depots. Far from it, actually. I don’t want to talk about it.
Anyway, there’s a mad rush to get your hands on Vanilla cards from Office Depot, because you can buy them with your credit card.
But can we practice moderation? Don’t overextend yourself by floating more money than you’re comfortable with. Don’t buy more than $2,000 a month on a specific card, and always stay within your means.
Once you’ve funded your Bluebird, be responsible and pay off your bills, etc. Remember, It isn’t free (points, yes) money, and there’s some managing that goes into this.
If you aren’t planning on using Bluebird for big purchases, and can’t find Vanillas, then you can stick to the $500 Visa gift cards from Office Depot. You can still earn 5x points per $1 with them, and they can still be used for daily spending. That’s what I was doing before Bluebird- $500 Visa gift card at a time. Still not a bad option.
I’ve heard a few rumors of how Office Depot wasn’t restocking Vanillas after they sold out, but that hasn’t been confirmed. Some readers have reported buying Vanillas at gas stations, and convenience stores, but my searches have come up empty.
One thing that’s for sure is that this deal won’t last forever, and I’m praying that Bluebird didn’t kill Vanillas at Office Depots.
Loading Bluebird with Amex Vanilla cards
Once you’re able to buy some Vanilla Prepaid Reloads, and you have your permanent Bluebird card, it’s game on.
It’s uber easy to load Bluebird with your Vanilla reload.
1. Go to Vanillareload.com
2. Enter your Bluebird card # in the first box & your Vanilla Reload in the second box.
After submitting, I went back over to my Bluebird account and the funds were there instantly. Too easy. Once you have your Bluebird loaded, then you can pay your bills, or use it for your daily spending, etc. Remember, you can load Bluebird with $1,000 a day from Vanilla and $5,000 in a month.
Well, I’m off to go searching for some sweet Vanilla! I’ll keep you posted on my findings. And please comment if you’ve been able to locate Vanillas, too.
— Noob Master