Walmart and American Express join forces over Prepaid Debit Card

The New Contender: Bluebird by Wal-Mart & Amex

The New Contender: Bluebird by Wal-Mart & Amex

Introducing the Bluebird Prepaid Card

Starting next week, the public will be able to get there hands on a new offering in the world of prepaid debit cards. The Bluebird (no relation to the Twitter bird mind you), will be available at big retailer Wal-Mart with a nominal $2 fee for ATM withdraws. According to the full card member agreement, the first withdraw each month will be free of charge.

In an article by Forbes, the card’s low fees are not only a way to attract new and seasoned prepaid users, but the result of savings being passed on. Due to the way the card is established, Wal-Mart and Amex can avoid the ever so popular interchange fees; which we are sure have a number of rival companies and some regulators already digging for evidence of wrongdoing.

For the time being, the card will offer some of the best transaction rates then most prepaid cards. For chronic users, this can equate to large savings. As we have mentioned in previous posts, using prepaid debit cards can help the fiscally responsible in budgeting, organizing and staying ahead of the curve. Most bill pay systems can be set up to withdraw from credit cards automatically and if you use a system like Dave Ramsey‘s Financial Peace University envelope system, you can ‘upgrade’ your budgeting structure to a more secure form using prepaid cards instead of cash in envelopes.

That’s not a knock at Dave, but many like the safety of knowing there is a layer of security as provided with a PIN-protected card versus traditional cash.

No details are being shared by either party concerning their relationship, but obviously there are benefits to both organization from the joint venture. Both in terms of customers, brand recognition, and financial gains. Using the trust of Wal-mart and the financial wherewithal of American Express, Bluebird is sure to be a contender in the market of prepaid debit cards.

In a press release representatives for the companies stated, “The only fees consumers will ever pay are clear, transparent and within their control.” This is something that rings well with many, including myself (for the sake of transparency), that have been burned by ‘unfair’ bank fees, late fees, over-the-limit fees on credit cards and such. Nevertheless, it is up to the consumer to stay educated to the terms of the card member agreements they consent to as well as being wise with money.

What are your thoughts on the Bluebird card?

Will you use it?

Is this a new alternative to cards already floating around or just another piece of plastic in your mind?

Learn more about the Wal-Mart and American Express Bluebird by viewing the official card member terms on American Express’ website.

About Kevin Williams

Kevin works as a independent consultant, helping people improve their financial situations. The author has a BS and Masters along with years of experience with credit cards, techniques for improving individual credit and life.

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