Amex Bluebird changes deposit limits. Don’t panic.

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Note: On January 8, 2015 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

If you are a Bluebird account holder, you should have received an email today titled “Important Change to your Bluebird Account”.  The body of the email reads:

We are writing to inform you that we are making a change to your Bluebird Account for added security.
The Bluebird Member Agreement has been modified to reflect an update to the amount of funds that can be added to your Bluebird Account from a linked checking or savings account. Effective immediately, the limit for this type of transaction has been reduced from $10,000.00 to $2,000.00 total per month.
You can review this update in the Bluebird Member Agreement by clicking here.

Don’t worry

If you load your Bluebird card via Swipe Reloads at Walmart or with Vanilla Reload cards, the limits haven’t changed (at least, not yet!).  Here is the relevant section of the updated Member Agreement:

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Notice that the only change is to loading Bluebird via a checking or savings account.  Everything else is the same.  Some people are thrown off by the listed debit card limits ($100 per day; $1000 per month).  This applies only to online loads via debit card (which is a bad deal since they charge $2 per load that way).  If you use a debit card at Walmart to reload Bluebird, that is considered a Cash Swipe Reload and it is still free and it still has the higher limits ($1K per day; $5K per month).

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audisfo

Greg, do you know the $5K limit per month is per calendar month or physical month? Everything reset from 1st of each month??

FrequentMiler

Calendar month. Yes, everything resets each month

Nancy

Hi Greg. Is the cash swipe reload at Walmart using a debit at $1k/day $5k/mo the same limit as the VR limit of $1k/day $5k/mo, or is it in addition to the VR limit? I’ve been trying to figure out whether there is an additional way to load BB indirectly w/credit cards in addition to VRs. Thanks so much.

FrequentMiler

Nancy, it is the same limit so you can’t do $5K of each. Sorry. The only other mile earning option is to use a mile earning debit card to load up to $100 per day and up to $1K per month online.

J Dozer

Has anyone else had a problem signing up for a Bluebird account? I tried to register twice and each time said they were unable to verify my personal information and denied my account. Thoughts?

FrequentMiler

JC: It depends how you use them. Gift cards are swipe reloads if you use them at Walmart to load bluebird. If you load bluebird online with a gift card, then it is a debit card load.

JC

Are gift cards constituted as swipe reloads or debit cards? The chase gcs TC indicate to use them as debit you need a pin. Interesting wording.

FrequentMiler

Preacher: Yes, I think it does limit deposits from those sources.

Preacher

This change of limits doesn’t apply to deposits from Google Wallet, PayPal or Amazon Payments, does it? I just applies to regular Bank checking/savings accounts, right?

FrequentMiler

TravelBloggerBuzz: Heh, heh.
Grant: No, I published early enough. Sometimes the automated tweets take several hours before they post.

Grant

I’m glad you posted this story so quickly, it must be passed your bed time tho Greg, so thanks for staying up late and keeping us informed. Hopefully no more late breaking news stories from Bluebird for a while…

afterbang

Ed – haha, nice one. Check your spam folder maybe? And apologies to J, who didn’t mention receiving the email in comment #2.. my love for being right outweighed my reading comprehension. Haha!

TravelBloggerBuzz

When I first saw the headline I almost had a heart attack. Then I saw your “Don’t panic” and I know things would be all right. Maybe place “Don’t panic” first next time, gracias!

Ed

@afterbang, Let me throw a curveball at you and be the first to say “I DIDN’T get that e-mail.” Thanks for the heads up, though.

NYBanker

They’re reacting to a problem. That’s why changes get made. Nearly certainly, someone (or group of people) were doing unauthorized draws from bank accounts and then quickly spending the amounts on their card.

Charlie

The thing that made me nervous was that it took affect immediately – no warning. I don’t transfer any money FROM my checking to Bluebird, so it didn’t affect me. But, I hope that is not how they announce all policy changes. Can you imagine – effective immediately, all Vanilla reloads will be subject to a $1,000 limit per month. THAT would be bad!

afterbang

How did I know the comments would all say “I got that email too!!!” Wasn’t expecting to see the “so I panicked and called customer service!” comment so quickly tho…

RedHat

Yep.. same here, got the same email as well. Called and verified with customer service.
I never loaded funds to BB from checking nor savings acct.

J

All I hope is that this not be a precursor of things to come…

t(-_-t) Everyone pray to the bluebird Gods…

DFW

Yup got the email and initially thought they saw load, unload and so were crippling my account. Quickly realized what had happened, so no worries.