Last Day to Order Free Amex Bluebird Checks (Update: Extended Until 8/13)

by on May 21, 2013 · 22 comments

in American Express, Amex Bluebird

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Update: You can no longer purchase Vanilla Reload cards using a credit card and Vanilla Reloads are no longer available in Office Depot.

Since its introduction last year, the Amex Bluebird card – a reloadable card that is hybrid credit card-debit card-checking account – has been one of the most powerful tools in every points collector’s aresenal thanks to the ability to purchase Vanilla Reloads using points-earning credit cards and load the amount from the Vanilla Reload directly onto the Bluebird card then use those funds to pay bills and expenses that you can’t usually use credit cards for such as mortgage and car payments.

However, there are a few limits to the Bluebird’s usefulness including being able to spend just $10,000 a month using its Bill Pay feature (only $5,000 to unregistered payees), only $2,500 per transaction and per month with its Send Money feature, and the fact that you’re limited to loading $5,000 per month onto the card using Vanilla Reloads.

However, a couple months ago, Bluebird added a couple new features that increase its usefulness including the ability for account holders to get actual physical check books.

These checks come in books of 50 ($19.94 + $5.94 shipping) or 100 ($26.94 + $6.94 shipping) usually. But until the end of the day today, May 21, 2013, you can actually get one free book (of either 50 or 100 checks – so just go for the 100 book) and only pay shipping.

You order these books by logging into your account, clicking on the “My Account” tab and then selecting “Order Checks.”

Bluebird checks

With Bluebird, you are limited to spending $100,000 per year including via these new checks and your total account balance is limited to $100,000 (when first launched it only used to be $10,000), although keep in mind that funds added by methods other than check by mail and direct deposit are still capped at $10,000 of your balance.

There is a little bit of a process to writing a check from Bluebird which includes pre-authorizing the amount online in your account and getting an authorization code which you need to write onto the check itself. When you spend $2,000 or more that authorization can take about 2 business days, so you need to plan ahead in some cases.

Still these checks are useful tools for most of us since instead of using the card’s Bill Pay function, you can now also just write the check yourself for whatever bill you are paying.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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  • Mark

    Now on the order page:
    “Checkbook order fees are waived until 08/13/2013. While fees are waived, you are limited to one order.”

  • Brian C

    No shipping fees either.

  • Evan

    Is there a link to explain on the Bluebird account works?


  • Fishing4Deals

    My Bluebird checks just arrived. The pre-certification process was painless. With money in the account, the first check I wrote was instantly verified.

  • BenH

    thanks…for some reason I thought they were only free if you had DD set up. Ordered mine just now.

  • Lazer

    Got mine free of shipping as well

  • Pingback: » Last Day to Order Free Amex Bluebird Checks | The Points Guy()

  • Deal Hunter

    I don’t see order check option under my account. Targeted offer?

  • LJ

    Thanks so much for this heads up! I almost missed paying certain bills (rent) because my apartment doesn’t let you know what utilities are until close to due date and the snail mail time cut it close! Good to know that (free-ish) paper checks are an option!

  • LJ

    sorry for the !!!! TPG gets me excited!

  • RT

    does the person depositing the check need to do anything with the authorization code? or can they just deposit the check like any normal check?

  • mistermongo

    Thanks for the tip, Brian !

  • wtfci

    Sweet. Thanks Points Guy. Most useful post.

  • Robert P

    I had to link my bank account before it would show up.

  • DWG

    I logged on today, the day my BlueBird AmEx debit card arrived in the mail. As such, I don’t yet have money loaded onto the card. So when I logged on to request free checks, it showed $0 account balance and no charge for shipping. …Perhaps they just don’t charge for shipping if you have no money in the account. WM and AmEx may simply want to avoid any hurdles that would deter folks from participating in this checking account program, which will also increase foot traffic into WM.

  • Concerned with no banking

    What if you don’t have a bank account or direct deposit? Will it still allow you?

  • Linda

    Not sure I understood it. The vanilla reload cost $4 each time to reload, by the credit card, you earn maybe 500 miles or $5. I do not see whole lot of earning benefit, or am I missing the big picture?

  • Baburaj

    Caution: Bluebird checks cannot be deposited to a account, can only be encashed. I paid rent using Bluebird which came back with a return code “Cannot locate account” and the leasing office charged me $25 check return fee and $50 late fee. Leasing company was electronically processing the check.

  • guest

    You probably forgot to pre-authorize the check online prior to sending it out. Each check must be pre-authorized for the exact amount and the pre-auth number has to be written into the check.

  • Baburaj

    No thats not the case and this is not my first Bluebird check to go out. Two Bluebird representatives specifically told me checks has to be encashed and cannot be deposited to an account.

  • Meagan


  • Auggie721

    Free checks extended again until 01/01/2014

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