Announcing the “Us” card: a Bluebird, Serve, and REDcard competitor!

Yesterday, a reader sent me an advance copy of a press release from FirstCayman Internet Bank, where she works in human resources.  The press release introduces a new prepaid card that is directly intended to compete with Amex Bluebird, Serve, and the Target Prepaid REDcard.  She asked me if I thought this card would offer MS (manufactured spend) potential.

There are still too many unknowns at this point to be sure, but on the face of it, the card does look incredibly promising.  Here is the press release (which should be widely available at some point today):

George Town, Cayman Islands., April 1, 2015 – FirstCayman Internet Bank announces the launch of the “Us” Card, an alternative to popular products from American Express such as Bluebird, Serve, and the Target Prepaid REDcard.  The “Us” Card has been developed for the millions of people worldwide who are looking for checking account alternatives and advanced capabilities such as no-fee bill pay, fee transparency, and no minimum balance or overdraft fees.  Where the prepaid American Express products are limited to those living the United States, the “Us” Card is available worldwide.  And, unlike the competing American Express products, the “Us” card runs on the Visa network and is therefore accepted almost everywhere, worldwide.

“The Card for the rest of Us”

FIB’s Senior Vice President, I.M Leighing says “Our customers tell us that they want prepaid cards like Bluebird, but they do not have US addresses or Social Security Numbers, both of which are required by American Express. Our product matches Bluebird feature by feature, but without the exclusionary requirements imposed by Amex.  The ‘Us’ Card truly is the ‘Card for the rest of Us.’”

Us_Visa_Card

The “Us” Card will initially be marketed as the “Us Visa” card from FirstCayman Internet Bank.  FIB is concurrently test marketing another version of the card that will compete with Bluebird and REDcard not just feature by feature, but by name as well: the “Us” Green Card.  According to Phil Aufschidt, FIB’s Director of Sales and Marketing, “initial test results have indicated a huge swell of interest in the Us Green Card throughout the Americas.”

Us_Green_Card

Funds deposited to FirstCayman Internet Bank’s “Us” cards are fully insured by the Foreign Deposit Insurance Co (FDIC).

In reading through the Us Card’s Cardholder Agreement, it does look promising.  Here is a summary of what I found:

  • Both versions of the card (the Us Visa card and the Us Green card) share the same Cardholder agreement, so they appear to be the exact same product with different names.
  • Anyone can sign up for this card.  There doesn’t appear to be any age or location restrictions.  I also don’t see any restrictions that would limit each person to have only one card the way Amex does.
  • The card has an initial $19.95 purchase fee and a $9.95 monthly fee
  • The monthly fee is waived in any month in which the cardholder deposits $1,000 or more.  It is unclear whether this is based on a calendar month or a rolling 30 days.
  • Money can be added online to the card via bank accounts, debit cards, or credit cards.  Credit card loads are explicitly restricted to Visa and MasterCard credit cards (i.e. you can’t use Amex or Discover cards).
  • There is no load fee, even for credit card loads.
  • Credit and debit loads are limited to $15,000 per month.
  • There is a $2 fee to withdraw from ATMs.  That is in addition to any charges incurred from the ATM itself.
  • Bill payments are free.  It is unclear at this point whether it will be possible to bill pay credit cards directly, but the language makes it seem that you can bill pay anyone.
  • Wire transfers are “discounted”.  It is unclear what this means exactly.

Too much is still unknown about the card, but on the face of it, it appears to be an amazing tool for manufacturing spend.  It appears that one can load up to $15,000 per month fee-free and cash out through bill pay fee free!  A very important question that remains is whether online credit card loads will count as purchases or cash advances with our credit cards.  I expect that some banks will treat it as a purchase and others may treat it as a cash advance.  As soon as people get this card and try it out, I’ll report results.

I wrote this post yesterday (March 31) and scheduled it for publication today.  At the time I wrote this post, the website to sign up for the card wasn’t available, but I’ve been told that it will be available today.  If you’re interested, here’s the link (and hopefully it will be live): uscard.fib.com.

About Greg The Frequent Miler

Greg is the owner, founder, and primary author of the Frequent Miler. He earns millions of points and miles each year, mostly without flying, and dedicates this blog to teaching others how to do the same.

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45 Comments on "Announcing the “Us” card: a Bluebird, Serve, and REDcard competitor!"

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Charlie
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I hate you! 🙂 lol

Marc
Guest

Ooohhh…(looks at calendar)…uuhhhh.

Ugh
Guest

This is never, ever funny and hasn’t been since first grade.

Dave
Guest

Yet you read through it? It’s good fun.

Paul
Guest

Nope, caught myself after about 30 seconds. Then scrolled to the comments.

RL
Guest

Wonder if this classifies as assets held in a foreign account when you file your taxes. I have my reservations if I load this card based on the issuing bank and the “FDIC” is Foreign and not Federal. This seems too good to be true. All the signs point me to stay away from this product, at least in the beginning.

RL
Guest

Nice, It’s April 1st.

Mike
Guest

Typical bankers putting restrictions on it that make it useless to the targeted user. Only $15,000 a month, good grief, that would not even generate enough miles for one airline ticket. Worthless offer. Maybe the Korean banks can step it up.

Steph
Guest

Son of a……

Preacher
Guest

You had me at…”April Fool’s!”

Izzy
Guest

i.m. Leighing. Lol!

eddie
Guest

“Phil Aufschidt”

LOL

Michael B
Guest

I’m ashamed to admit that you had me….until I started reading the comments and realized what day it is. But this borders on evil…..

mrredskin
Guest

a lot of people need to learn how to spell “gullible” 🙂

Carlos
Guest

were is the link to apply 🙂

ChoiSum
Guest

Last year’s one was better.

pawtim
Guest

Did you hear the one from the Mayor of Boston a couple weeks ago?

This winter has been so bad that Mitt Romney left his money here and sent himself to the Csayman Islands!

pawtim
Guest

Oops, typo, wish I could edit — Cayman.

OceanBreezes
Guest

Got me….

JustSaying
Guest

Wow reading this post is almost as good as sex!

Josh
Guest

Is this Kate accessible? I am not willing to give her up.

PointsForLater
Guest

This card is expected to be widely popular in border towns across the country, especially Arizona, where it can be presented as a valid form of identification during routine “stop and check” searches.

Ford
Guest

F**ker!

Patrick Mc
Guest

The abbreviation of the bank name is FIB and still people fall for it…haha. If only this were real though. Love the humor Greg, I had a feeling you would have a post like this today. 🙂

Travelling Rabbit
Guest

Should have made it from the First Bank of Nigeria. “Load your $100,000 per month via your credit card after an initial wire transfer of $1,000!”

Tom
Guest

Haha. I bet MSers would fall for that scam.

CJ
Guest

I woke up knowing this would happen and yet I still fell for it! LOL!

NoonRadar
Guest

Funny indeed, it put a smile on my face and made me feel a bit better about the sad Redbird news: https://twitter.com/NoonRadar/status/583122338092167168

Mommytraveler
Guest

Hahahahahahah! Love it! Love the URL … “fib.com” LOL!

MickiSue
Guest

Man, you bloggers are like little kids, aren’t you?

Happy April 1 to you, too.

The Cayman Islands was my first clue….

James
Guest

That was cold man…real cold

Gisele
Guest

Is is the Festivus card? ‘Card for the rest of Us.’ LOL

Robert F
Guest

Nicely done!

ed
Guest

As soon as I saw they might call this “Green Card” I knew it was too good to be true. Those 2 words are never good marketing due to the fact there’s already a ‘green card’ that immigrants use. Best April Fools joke I’ve seen for a long time. Good one.

linda erdely pierce
Guest

April Fool’s Day gets crueler by the year.

wise2u
Guest

Happy April Fool’s day…I like that FIB was the abbreviation for the bank.

Dr. Bob
Guest

This one was better “I.M Leighing ” for the Senior Vice President.
Nice one!

Travels Well
Guest

Good one!!

Speaking of manufactured spending, has anyone bought from these guys online? I think they are called Target Prepaid Redcard Resales. They are offering the card for pretty cheap.

Drew
Guest

Funny thing is that multiple cards existed up until recently that were online loads up to $75k a month (B&G) and another CU one with $50k. So I totally believe the title.

Vitaly
Guest

Got me there for a second

howard
Guest

Well played.

David
Guest

Let’s see… after speed reading this post on April 1st, I told myself I’d get one of these cards when I had time to fool with it. For the PAST FOUR DAYS, I was excited about its possibilities. FOUR DAYS. Then tonight, I stumble across these comments. Lol

eric
Guest

I purchased one of these “US Green Cards” at CVS a few days ago. What is the best way to load this card?

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[…] have been some changes that I’m not aware of.  The green Serve card (not to be confused with the “Us” Green card from FirstCayman Internet Bank), though, is new.  Unlike the blue card which waives the $1 monthly fee any month in which you […]

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