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Wal-Mart's New Banking Alternative - Bluebird

BluebirdI have been writing for a couple of years about the large number of people who are ditching their bank account for simpler and lower cost options.  In this week's article, I want to share a brand new option- Bluebird. Bluebird is a new account being offered through a joint venture between Wal-Mart and American Express.  It is a debit card that provides a simple alternative to a bank checking account.

From the Wal-Mart press release -

“Our customers tell us that they’re tired of navigating a complex maze of dos and don’ts to avoid the ever growing list of fees found on checking products. Bluebird solves this problem and we believe it’s the best product on the market to help customers affordably manage their everyday finances,” said Daniel Eckert, vice president of financial services for Walmart U.S. “At Walmart, we are always looking for ways to make a difference by using the strengths that come with our size, scale and reach to take on the challenges that matter most to our customers. Reducing the costs and frustration that come with high fees is one of these issues.”  

I think Wal-Mart is really on to something here.  Personally, I have not written a check in ten years.  I have a checking account, but exclusively use my debit card or online bill pay.  I really don't expect checks to be around for many more years. As the Wal-Mart press release aptly puts it, people are tired of dealing with the ridiculous fees and rules that have now become commonplace in today's banking industry.  Take a look at the fee summary below and I think you will agree that there is a lot to like about this account.


More from the press release -

"The only fees consumers will ever pay are clear, transparent and within their control, such as out of network ATM withdrawals for a consumer that does not have direct deposit. 

Bluebird customers can get access to cash at a network of more than 22,000 MoneyPass® ATMs nationwide. Cash access through MoneyPass' network is fee free and surcharge free for Bluebird customers enrolled in direct deposit. For customers not enrolled in direct deposit, each MoneyPass ATM withdrawal is just $2. For out-of-network ATMs, each withdrawal is also $2, though additional ATM operator fees apply. "

I think Wal-mart has a real winner here.  If you have dropped out of traditional banking and are using an alternative such as Bluebird, please use the comments section below to share your own story and we can start a conversation.

Helping you make the most of God’s money!

James L. Paris
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