How to determine which gift cards work to load Bluebird/Serve at Walmart

Introduction

Note: On January 8, 2016 American Express sent out a notice to a large number of Bluebird & Serve cardholders informing them that loading capabilities on their accounts had been terminated. For more information, see: Amex kills Bluebird and Serve for manufactured spend

American Express has two prepaid products that can be loaded at Walmart with pin-enabled gift cards. Called Bluebird and Serve, these products are loaded either by going to a register or at a kiosk known as the MoneyCenter Express. In this guide I will detail exactly which pin-enabled gift cards work at Walmart to load these cards and which ones do not work.

For further reading, see: Beginner’s guide to buying & liquidating Visa & Mastercard gift cardsBest options for buying Visa and MasterCard gift cards.

Cards that work

Metabank Visa

gift cards load bluebird serve walmart

Metabank Visas come in a variety of different packages. The package shown above is sold at a number of popular retailers. To determines who issues a card, simply look at the fine print on the very bottom of the back of the package.

Loads:
  • MoneyCenter Express Kiosk – Works normally.
  • Register – Works normally.
Pin:
  • Last 4 digits of the card number

Note: Cards purchased from Macerich Malls, Simon Malls and GiftCardMall are issued by Metabank and work as described above.

U.S. Bank Visa

gift cards load bluebird serve walmart

U.S. Bank Visas come in a variety of packages. The one shown above is for a variable load card. You can determine the issuer by looking at the small print on the package.

Loads:
  • MoneyCenter Express Kiosk – Works normally.
  • Register – Works normally.
Pin:
  • The pre-assigned pin comes in the package or call 866-952-5653 to set the pin.

U.S. Bank Mastercard

gift cards load bluebird serve walmart

U.S. Bank issued Mastercards do work at Walmart, however they aren’t quite as easy as Visas. When loading Bluebird/Serve at the Walmart MoneyCenter Express kiosk these cards work just like normal.

If you are trying to use them to load at a register, you must quickly hit the “Change Payment” button after swiping the card. If not, it will be processed as a credit transaction and fail. The “Change Payment” method is a bit tricky and is better described in this post.

Loads:
  • MoneyCenter Express Kiosk – Works normally.
  • Register – Must quickly hit the “Change Payment” button.
Pin:
  • The pre-assigned pin comes in the package or call 866-952-5653 to set the pin.

Sunrise Bank Visa

gift cards load bluebird serve walmart
Looks very similar to Metabank packaging.

Sunrise Bank Visas sometimes come in packages very similar to Metabank’s. Just like with Metabank cards, you can determine the issuer by looking at the fine print on the back.

Loads:
  • MoneyCenter Express Kiosk – Works Normally
  • Register – Works Normally
Pin:
  • Last 4 digits of the card number

Other Issuers

Some local banks and smaller credit unions issue their own Visa prepaid gift cards. As long as these cards are pin-enabled and not issued by a bank whose cards don’t work at Walmart (see below) they should work. Consult the documentation for those cards regarding how to set a pin and then load them either at the register or at the MoneyCenter Express kiosk.

Cards that may or may not work

Vanilla Branded Visa Cards/Incomm

gift cards load bluebird serve walmart

Visa cards issued by Incomm which include a wide variety of cards carrying the Vanilla branding, will not generally work at Walmart, but there may be a workaround. Many people have had success loading Bluebird/Serve with these cards in denominations of under $50, however this doesn’t seem to work for everyone.

It is probably not a good idea to purchase these with the idea of liquidating in small amounts until you have tested this for yourself. Also, keep in mind that these cards do work to load REDbird in any amount, so that may be a better option.

Loads:
  • MoneyCenter Express Kiosk – May work in denominations of $49.99 or below.
  • Register – May work in denominations of $49.99 or below.
Pin:
  • Any four digits that you choose on first use.

Note: Cards purchased from GiftCards.com are issued by Incomm, but seem to work normally at Walmart.

Cards that don’t work

Other Prepaid Cards

Many prepaid gift and rebate cards have the word “Debit” on them, but are not pin-enabled. If the card does not have a pin, then it cannot be used to load Bluebird or Serve at Walmart.

Summary

  • Metabank, Sunrise Bank and U.S. Bank issued Visa gift cards all work to load Bluebird & Serve regularly at both the MoneyCenter Express kiosk and at registers.
  • U.S. Bank issued Mastercards work normally at the MoneyCenter Express kiosks, but require you to quickly press the “Change Payment” button at the register.
  • Visa gift cards issued by Incomm may work in denominations under $50.
  • Pin-enabled Visa gift cards issued by smaller banks and credit unions generally work at Walmart to load Bluebird/Serve, however it is always a good idea to do a small test.
  • Gift cards that do not have pins will not work at Walmart to load Bluebird or Serve even if they have the word debit on them.
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