As a young adult, my mother instilled within me the importance of managing my money wisely. She showed me how to budget, open a checking/savings account, “balance” a checkbook, and open a credit card account. It is her principals of striving to live debt-free, within my means, that I have kept with me through the years.
For many still trying to recover from our fragile economy, opening a credit card account is not an option and opting for a debit account is cost prohibitive given the exorbitant fees often tacked on for everything from over-drafting on your account to not achieving the minimum balance.
American Express and Walmart recently introduced Bluebird, a checking and debit alternative. With this account, users can make direct deposits, pay bills online, deposit checks via their smartphones, and set up Sub-Accounts to manage family spending.
To open an account, you can either apply for a free personalized card online (which can take a week or more) or pick up a kit for $5 at your local Walmart. Then you simply add money (in-store the minimum amount is $1) and set up your account online.
For those wary of using a new service, there is comfort in knowing that Bluebird is backed by two reputable businesses…American Express and Walmart. I can see several benefits to using this card, particularly for those who are not able to open up a credit card. I have had friends in this situation and I can only imagine how challenging that is. Here are some of my favorite features.
1. It’s easy to set up an account
2. The fees truly are minimal. There are no annual, monthly, overdraft, minimum balance, foreign exchange or card replacement fees
3. Bluebird can be used to make purchases or withdraw money from an ATM any location that accepts American Express
4. Bluebird offers purchase and fraud protection
5. You can create sub-accounts to manage family expenses
In the coming weeks, I’ll share more of my personal experience with Bluebird.
To set up an account or for more information, just visit their website.
I participate in the Walmart Moms program and am compensated for my time and honest opinions.