Update, 10am: Bluebird has just extended the free checkbook offer through 01/01/14!
Bluebird is the best thing since sliced bread. It acts as a checking account without all of the headaches of a traditional checking account. You can signup for free online and be ready to go as soon as your card comes in the mail.
There are no monthly or annual fees, there is no credit check/hard pull to get it, no overdraft fees, and no inactivity fees like other accounts have.
Plus it’s easy to fund it.
-You can buy Vanilla Reload cards from stores like CVS with your credit card and then use vanillareload.com to transfer them onto your Bluebird card. With a $3.95 fee per $500 that’s just 0.79 cents per mile, or $15 for a night at the Le Meridien Dead Sea, $35 for a BA one-way short-haul award, or $474 for a United one-way business class flight to Israel. That’s on a regular credit card purchase, but if you’re meeting a spend threshold the rates are a small fraction of that. You can buy up to $5,000 of Vanilla Reloads per day though you can only fund $1,000 of cards onto one Bluebird card per day and $5,000 per month.
-You can load it at WalMart stores for free from a debit card or gift card. The WalMart ATM Money Center is an excellent way to load those cards onto your Bluebird. I’ve had no problem loading my card with regular cashiers at WalMart as well though not all stores allow this with cashiers so you’ll want to head for the ATM. Chase sells gift cards with no fees and free shipping that can be transferred to Bluebird this way. Office Max and Staples sells Visa gift cards that earn 5 points per dollar on cards like Chase Ink Bold, Ink Plus, and Ink Cash Card that easily outweigh their fees as well.
From your Bluebird account you can pay your bills just like you can from traditional checking accounts like paying off your credit card bill, paying your mortgage, sending a check electronically, and transferring money into another checking account.
Through today, 08/13 only you can also order up to 100 checks for free. Just login to your account, hover over “My Account” and click on “order Bluebird checks.”
You do have to pre-authorize Bluebird paper checks online before they are cashed but other than that they function like any other checks.