FrequentMiler has a post today titled Better than free manufactured spend, which describes a few potential opportunities that can actually earn you a profit on your manufactured spend when utilizing PIN enabled debit gift cards. As mentioned last week, select Visa gift cards recently became pin enabled which allows them to be used as debit cards to load your Amex Bluebird card. Bluebird cards can be loaded via a debit card at any Walmart with a daily limit of $1000 and a monthly limit of $5000 and no additional fees (FrequentMiler discusses his experience here). You can also use a debit card to fund your Bluebird account online, though the limits are quite low and you’ll incur a fee (max of $100 per day or per transaction and $1000 per month and a fee of $2 per transaction). To earn money back on your manufactured spend, you’ll have to make use of one of the cash back portals.

If your time is important and you don’t necessarily want to jump through all those hoops (or wait for your cash back), consider Chase’s visa prepaid gift cards which are being offered fee free for a limited time. You’ll essentially be funding your Bluebird card for free!

The cards can only be purchased using a Chase credit (or debit) card, but they do allow pins to be assigned by calling Chase at 1.866.466.0079 once you receive the card.

I purchased my card last Thursday with my Sapphire Preferred card and received it in the mail on Wednesday, though the T&Cs state that delivery typically takes 5-7 days. I assigned a pin to my card that day without any problems. However, I’ve not yet had a chance to visit a Walmart to load my Bluebird card.

Luckily, The Points Traveler (who first broke the news), has posted a follow-up entry answering several pending questions including confirmation of a successful Bluebird reload with the card at Walmart, assurance that the transaction does NOT post as a cash advance, and confirmation of points earning when purchasing the cards. He also answers reader questions on how many cards you can buy and limits to watch out for.

I’ll be attempting to reload with the card this weekend, but I’m glad we have people like FrequentMiler and The Points Traveler experimenting for us! HT to Travel-Summary  who found the deal that FrequnetMiler blogged about.

Posted by Adam | 14 Comments

14 Responses to “Chase Visa Prepaid Pin Debit Cards – Limited Time No Fee – Bluebird Reload”

  1. adon says:

    You should give credit to the blogger FM gave credit to. It bothers me when appropriate credit isn’t given.

  2. mike says:

    live in nyc what are the options to cast them out since no walmart here??

  3. Michelle S says:

    now the only question that remains- do I dare buy these Chase gift cards using my Chase credit card? ;)

  4. P T says:

    Does anyone know if you can load a BB card with a debit card in someone else’s name?

    BTW, thanks for this post!!

  5. jason says:

    The FM is full of BS and writes a lot of fantasy stories. Good luck!

  6. Jeremy says:

    Not worth the risk IMO would only do small amounts under $1k on total that It’s almost not worth it.

  7. jim says:

    those who do these specially using chase and amex cards are GUARANTEED to get shut down. it is just a matter of time. once they shut down, they will take your points away. I know 2 of my buddies got shut down by chase when they used to frequent office depot stores and lost 300k points. STAY AWAY FROM COMMITTING SUICIDE

  8. Meghanb904 says:

    No luck using a Chase Southwest card to purchase… I keep getting an error “must use a Chase card to complete purchase”

  9. Tana says:

    Okay – I just read the EXACT SAME MESSAGE that @jim wrote written on the mommypoints blog (written as Sam). Are you just going around to all sites talking about the Gift Cards with pins and trying to scare people? I have not checked the FM blog but I am sure it is there too.

  10. SAM says:

    tana, i am the same person, i dont use real name on any blogs but my advice remains same.

  11. Elenor says:

    I can finally report scary not-so-successful experiment of my own!

    I tried to buy a $500 VISA prepaid AT Chase… EEK! The purchase seemed to go through okay, but then I went immediately to my Chase account online to check something (else) — and O.M.G!!! The current balance, balance last statement, payment amount, due date — all that stuff was: “Not available”!! And it said that for BOTH my Ink Bold and Chase Slate cards. (Oddly, when I clicked on ‘Activity’ — the usual screen came up with the list of purchases, including the “Pending” $500 purchase at Chase.)

    I called in to the Customer Support, and “no, she hadn’t heard anything about problem with the server, so try again in an hour.” Hung up, and waited a few minutes and called again: ‘no, this guy hadn’t heard there were any problems — and how weird that it showed “Not Available” — he’d never seen that. Well, give it a couple hours, and if it wasn’t all-better, here was the phone number for Internet Support.’

    So I waited a few minutes and called Internet Support. (I’ve only had my Ink Bold for a month — I’m skittish!) (Long go-round with “press 1 or 2 or 3″ … (Hung up and called back and reached someone and:) Nice Internet guy said; ‘no, they weren’t having any problems, but how weird, cause someone else had just called in with the same problem!’ I said I had just tried to buy the VISA card on the Chase site — and he said, ‘that’s what the other person had said!’

    I said I wanted to cancel that gift card purchase cause I wanted my account to go back to looking normal, and he said “that purchase was already cancelled; it didn’t go through.” “But it shows as pending in my activity page.” “No, it didn’t go through.” “‘kay, if you say so.”

    Hung up, then called back to the gift card support number — and the machine wouldn’t talk to me unless I HAD a gift card no. to put in. Called back to regular Chase Customer Support – nice guy checked and said it WAS cancelled/hadn’t gone through. And — to my relief — the account balance and due date and all were back to normal… but that purchase was still listed in Pending. (And now, – what, five hours after placing the order? – it’s still Pending, so yes, I AM going to call back in a minute and make sure it was cancelled!)

    I reported my total success with buying VISA cards at Staples (total $500), and a couple hours later loading them right onto my Bluebird (at a WalMart ATM with no hassles) as a comment on this Frequent Miler entry: Bluebird swipe reloads via ATM (April 17, 2013).

    • adam says:

      @Elenor – Thanks for the report! That’s scary indeed. I wonder if it was a coincidence that you and the other person both had recently tried to purchase the Chase cards…. In any case, I imagine your staying away from any future gift card purchases from Chase???

  12. Elenor says:

    You’re welcome Adam — yeah for now, certainly. Brand new card (just got it in March) so I want to tread VERY delicately!! The doggoned thing is STILL listed as pending on my Chase ‘activity.’ However, I’m still guessing it’s just a hold that hasn’t cleared yet. (After TWO Chasers told me it didn’t go through/was cancelled… so, I’ll just keep watching!

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