September 9, 2013
It has long been the case that Bluebird’s Member Agreement has stated that MoneyPass Network ATMs are free for Bluebird cards receiving direct deposit. Specifically, the Member Agreement says, “To qualify, at least one Direct Deposit payment must have been received in the thirty (30) days before the ATM transaction.”
Until recently, though, the direct deposit requirement was not enforced. Previously, as long as you used a MoneyPass Network ATM your withdrawals were free. I described this in my April 2013 post: “Bluebird: Are direct deposits necessary for free ATM use?“
Yesterday, though, I received a Tweet from Jose A:
@FrequentMiler I had not made a direct dep to my BB in months and was not charged an atm fee until 2 weeks ago. Just an fyi.
So, I ran out to my nearest MoneyPass ATM and tried it out myself. Sure enough, Jose A was right. After withdrawing cash I logged into my Bluebird account and found the $2 fee:
Set up Direct Deposit
To avoid ATM fees, you need to setup direct deposit to your Bluebird account. To do so, simply log into your Bluebird account, then go to “my account… funding sources”. There you’ll see your Routing Number and Account Number to be used for direct deposit. While American Express would like you to setup automatic direct deposit from your paycheck, there are many other options you can use. For example, you can use the routing number and account number to push money to your Bluebird account from services like Amazon Payments and Google Wallet. I’ve also had success with a transfer of cash back from TopCashBack to my Bluebird account. With any of these methods, the trick is remembering to push money to your Bluebird account monthly (or at least several days before you plan to withdraw cash).
- You can find MoneyPass Network ATMs here. Note that you can also find Walmart kiosks with this web page by typing “Walmart” into the top textbox.
- Bluebird has extended the option to order free paper checks through January 1, 2014.
- The ability to transfer funds from Bluebird to a bank account for free is not gone, it’s just hidden. Readers showed me how to find it as I described here: Where did Bluebird’s Transfer Money button go?
- Wondering why we care about Bluebird? See “Bluebird takes flight and changes the game.” Also see “Vanilla Reloadables” and “Gift card PINs.”