Cash Back Loading Bluebird w/ Debit Card Online

Updated 2/20/14 at 9PM PST: Updated this post with new graphics since Bluebird recently made changes to its bill payment process.

PayPal to Bluebird Logo

Cash Back Loading Bluebird with Debit Card Online

A few days ago, Bluebird sent out an email to their cardholders alerting them that Bluebird would no longer charge $2.00 per online debit card reload.

Along with the normal $5,000 monthly reload that Bluebird allows with Vanilla Reload Cards and Walmart reloads, Bluebird also has a $1,000 monthly reload limit on top of that for allowing debit cards reloads online.  However, Bluebird only allows $100 per day for debit card reloads online.

Here is a copy of the email from Bluebird:

BB Update Debit Card

My mind immediately started thinking of ways to take advantage of the offer and I remembered that my PayPal Debit Card earns 1.5% cash back on all non-PIN transactions.  I am “grandfathered in” at the 1.5% cash back rate, which has been lowered to the current 1% cash back level.  If you have a PayPal business or premier account, you can request your free PayPal Debit Card here.

PayPal Debit Card Info

My current PayPal balance is $136.37, so I can try a $100 Bluebird reload.

Current PayPal Balance

After logging into your Bluebird account, click the Pay & Transfer tab and the Add Funds link.

Bluebird Add Funds 1

If you do not have a bank account or debit card linked to your Bluebird account, click the Add New Source button.

Bluebird Add Funds 2

Then add your bank account and/or debit card to your Bluebird account.

Bluebird Add Funds 3

After adding your debit card, go back to the Add Funds page, enter any amount up to $100.00, select your debit card as the funding source, and click review.

Bluebird Add Funds 4

Verify the amount of funds you want to add to your account and click submit.

Bluebird Add Funds 5

Congratulations, you successfully added funds to your Bluebird account.

Bluebird Add Funds 6

Back at your Bluebird home page, you can see your updated Bluebird balance and view the details of your recent transaction.

Bluebird Add Funds 7

You will also receive an email from Bluebird with your transaction details.

Bluebird Add Funds 8

Meanwhile, back at PayPal, my account balance decreased by $100.00.

Updated PayPal Balance

$100.00 was immediately removed from my PayPal account.

PayPal Transaction

Here are the transaction details.

PayPal Transaction Details

To view your PayPal Debit Card cash back summary, click on the My Account Tab, then the Profile tab, then the My Money tab, and the Update link next to your PayPal Debit Card.

PayPal Debit Card Account Location

If you have any questions, please leave a comment below.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized.

About Grant

Grant is an expert in frequent flyer miles, hotel loyalty points, credit card rewards, and cash back deals. He also has a pretty cool travel blog. Find him on Twitter @travelwithgrant.

121 thoughts on “Cash Back Loading Bluebird w/ Debit Card Online

  1. Pingback: Earn up to 1.5% Cash Back Loading Bluebird with your PayPal Debit Card | Travel with Grant

  2. choi

    will this process trigger paypal account shutdown with continuous load ?
    also Grant, could you show me how to send money in BB, Thanks

    Reply
    1. Grant

      I don’t plan on doing 10 $100 reloads 10 days in a row, I plan to space the reloads a few days a part. I think PayPal earns some swipe fees on the reloads though.

      It should be easy to send money from one BB account to another. Maybe I need to write another BB post.

      Reply
  3. CB

    This is great news. I read somewhere else that it might be a new way to reach Reward Checking Accts mininum transactions. I was worried if it would be non-pin based and you seemed to answer my question.

    Reply
    1. Grant

      The PayPal debit card is strange. It is debit since you can only spend what you currently have in your PayPal account. It has a PIN so you can take money out of ATMs. But when you use it, merchants treat it like a credit card.

      Reply
  4. chuk

    It sounds to me that the Paypal debit is very similar to the target amex: both support atm withdrawls with the PIN, but both are treated as cc for regular purchases, and both are pre-loaded. So do you think that the target amex could be used to load bluebird online? I would get one if it could.

    Reply
        1. Grant

          You should get a Target AMEX before they are all gone. I’ve been to a few Target stores that have not had them. I think they will be pulled from stores soon. I will experiment and get back to you.

          Reply
    1. Grant

      I tried to load my Bluebird Card with my Target Amex, but Bluebird will only let me use a Visa or MasterCard. What a bummer. Square Cash is also Visa and MasterCard only (for now). Please remind me in a month or so and I can check to see if they will let Amex gift cards be used.

      Reply
  5. Brandon

    So, Bluebird is running the PP card as a Mastercard then? I’m a little confused as I thought that the PP card would only earn cash back when ran as a credit card (IE, no pin), but Bluebird says it has to be a debit card?

    Reply
    1. Grant

      Exactly. PayPal Debit Card earns cash back on every non-PIN based transaction. Since Bluebird doesn’t ask for my PIN, it runs it as a credit transaction, therefore I earn cash back. Strange but true. I just did it 5 minutes before you posted this comment.

      Reply
      1. Brandon

        Interesting. Now if only I could find a place to buy MoneyPak’s with a CC… I suppose flipping on ebay will have to do for now.

        If it ran it as a credit card, I suspect this is silly to ask, but did you try to add any point earning CC’s to Bluebird? It would be nice to forgo having to stop at CVS (though I suspect Chase would get wise to “Bluebird” transactions REAL fast)

        Reply
        1. Grant

          I have not tried, you can try on your Bluebird account but I have a feeling you will get an error message that says wrong card type. If only it were that easy…

          Reply
    1. Grant

      I’ve had my PayPal Debit Card for 5+ years and have earned over $500 in cash back over that time. I only use that card for Bluebird Online reloads. I have it set up for automatic weekly reloads but I also manually add money whenever I remember to.

      Reply
      1. John

        Have you tried to use PayPal Debit card to pay FIA credit card bills by calling FIA collections department.

        Reply
          1. John

            Yes. Fidelity Amex. I heard peope are using their UFB debit card to pay FIA credit card bills. I was wondering if we can use Paypal debit card to do the same thing.

  6. Judy jones

    Is this the same as the generic paypal debit card from CVS? Also how are you loading to the paypal account balance? Are you loading with VR’s?

    Reply
    1. Grant

      No, the PayPal debit card can only be ordered from within your PayPal account and will only be available if you have a business or premier PayPal account. I just do a bank transfer to my PayPal account or use the money from my eBay sales. You could use a PayPal reload pack from CVS though, but I would be careful with that.

      Reply
  7. Jocelyn

    I just did an online reload on my bb using my ppl but if I remember correctly I believe hv asked for my pin. If so I assume I wont get the ppl cash back bonus..
    .do u no if Ian right? Did bbstart asking for debit pins?

    Reply
    1. Grant

      I have my PayPal Debit Card automatically reload my Bluebird Card once a week and it always goes through as a purchase so I earn cash back on the transaction. I will let you know if anything changes. Happy New Years!

      Reply
  8. jocelyn

    your right. it did go through as a non pin purchase so i will earn the cash back. do u know if there is a $100 a day limit if i re load my bb with paypal (or another debit) at walmart? you know ive had my pp for prob 10 yrs and i just learned i was eligible for cash back. i guess i never signed up for it which iam mad about bc if i had, not only would i have been earning cash back from the start, i guess the cash back used to be 1.5% and now its 1%. do you think pp would allow me to earn the 1.5 since i have had the card for prob 10 yrs?

    Reply
    1. Grant

      I don’t think PayPal would be able to get you the 1.5% cash back rate, but you could try calling them. If you load your Bluebird Card at Walmart, you can only do $1,000 per day.

      Reply
  9. jocelyn

    oh so the $100.00 a day/ $1000 a month restriction is only when i load with debit online? if i load with debit at walmart theres a $1,000 per day ( not $100) limit? also, i see in your 1st screen shot above u are able to view you cash back rate and summary but i dont see that on my pp. what did you do to view this?

    Reply
    1. Grant

      No, you will not earn cash back if you use your PayPal Debit Card at Walmart since it will ask you for your PIN. All PIN-based transactions do not earn any cash back with your PayPal Debit Card.

      Reply
  10. jocelyn

    i was able to view thru the link ( ty) but is there a way to get ther without going thru the link? ive tried everything

    Reply
  11. jocelyn

    thanks so much! very helpful! it does state iam now getting 1%. idk about you but i generally dont have much luck when i call them and it seems impossible to get answers from them thru email. id love to be able to get the 1.5 since iam not a new customer but prob not worht the effort it takes to get someone to understand what your asking lol

    Reply
    1. Grant

      I think it is hard coded into the system, so I would think the phone reps would be unable to change that. Still, if you use your PayPal Debit Card for online Bluebird Reloads, you can do $1,000 per month x 12 months x 1% = $120 in free cash back per year.

      Reply
  12. KDY

    hi Grant,

    PP money to BB has $1000 monthly limit, does that including in the $5000 VR monthly limit or those 2 are separate thing?

    Reply
        1. Grant

          You do not purchase the Bluebird Card, you just request your free card. I would not load the PayPal My Cash card and immediately withdraw money to your bank account.

          Reply
  13. Ryan

    So you can load BB online with this thing? Serve too? Is PayPal shutting down accounts for sending the 1k month?

    Reply
    1. Grant

      Yes, you can load $1,000 per month online with a PayPal Debit Card. I haven’t been shut down by PayPal. Just load the funds slowly over the month.

      Reply
  14. Tyler F

    I have not received any cash back from PP by using my business debit card to load Serve…is it only with Bluebird that it works? Also, their menus are completely different now, I can’t find where it would tell me anyway :(

    Reply
    1. Grant

      I’ve always earned cash back. You have to wait until the end of the month to get the cash back from PayPal. Look for the link to view your PayPal Debit Card.

      Reply
  15. Tyler F

    Yeah, I figured out that it was not activated and got it activated. I have no clue how I ended up finding it, but I did, bummer that I already sent $500 to Serve lol

    Reply
  16. Nora Chase (@chasingnora)

    Grant, do you know if I can link my PayPal Debit card to more than one BB account? My husband and I each have a BB card, but we have only one PP Debit card, and we really don’t want yet another card to keep up with. That way, we could get 2K miles by maxing out the 1K debit card load per month for each BB? My MS goal is only 7K per month, and I’m trying to figure out how to replace the OVGC>WM>BB process which is pretty much dead now.

    Reply
    1. Grant

      I added my dad as an authorized user to my PPDC and got a separate card for him. I was using it to load his BB for a few weeks, but then his account was frozen and I would have to call BB to verify the name on the PPDC matched the name of the BB account and that he was the primary owner of the PPDC. I didn’t push it any further and decided not to use the PPDC to load funds to his account.

      Side note, you can each get a PPDC if you each have a PayPal account. That would be the safer thing to do.

      Reply
  17. jocelyn

    it looks like you can only add 1 debit card to your bb account correct? and has the daily limit changed from $100 to $200 ( still $1,00 monthly) ?

    Reply
  18. KDY

    does anyone here knows which ATM that charge is least amount of fee on withdrawing from the Paypal business Debit Card??

    Reply
  19. Ryan

    That doesn’t necessarily work…tons of ATMs will show up from CU’s and banks that are free if you use their branded DC. Finding ones that charge no fee for any card a lot harder that just a google search

    Reply
  20. jennifer

    OK, So I’ve started paying my rent and a couple of other bills using this method. (Buying my pal cash cards with credit card, then loading them to bluebird. I wanted to pay for a few other things using this method, too, but then after I bought 3 paypal cards for $500 each, realized there’s a bluebird limit of only $1000/month for debit cards, right? So, will I only be able to use this method with that $1000 limit? Is there any other way for me to pay bills in a similar way? Previously, I was buying the one vanilla cards and loading my bluebird at walmart, but then my local walmarts all changed their card systems and won’t run the vanilla cards as debit, only credit. thanks!

    Reply
  21. Jennifer

    Oh, and another thing, since I’ve got $1100 tied up on my paypal right now that I can’t transfer over to bluebird, I’m going to have to transfer it to my own checking account because I need that money now. But, one time of doing this shouldn’t flag my account right?

    Reply
    1. Grant

      I think you will be safe withdrawing funds from your PayPal account to your bank account. If you do it more often, you will probably get in trouble by PayPal.

      As for your previous question, yes, you can only load $200/day and $1,000/month to your Bluebird Card. You may want to switch from Bluebird to Serve so you can do the same $200/day and $1,000/month with online debit card reloads and $200/day and $1,000/month with online credit card reloads.

      Reply
    1. Grant

      You can load your Bluebird or Serve Card with cash at Walmart and CVS. You cannot transfer the balance to your PayPal Business Debit Card though.

      Reply
  22. Ron

    Outstanding information here! Some questions about implementation…

    1. Can I transfer money from the PP Debit card to my BB card at Walmart?
    2. Are the limits different in the store than they are online?
    3. Does Serve have checks?
    4. Can you pay mortgage payments with BB or serve through their Bill Pay function?

    Thanks!

    Reply
    1. Grant

      Great questions Ron. You can use your PPBDC as a debit card to load your Bluebird/Serve Card at Walmart. You will not earn any cash back though. Online debit card loads are limited to $200/day and $1,000/month. In-store debit card loads are limited to $2,500/day and $5,000/month. Those limits do not interfere with each other. Serve does not have physical checks, only Bluebird does. You can pay a mortgage with either Bluebird or Serve. If your mortgage company is listed as a bill payee in Bluebird/Serve, the process is simple. If they are not listed, you can manually add them and have Bluebird/Serve mail a check to their address on your behalf.

      Reply
      1. Ron

        Grant, thanks so much for the quick reply! I’m kind of new to this whole MS world, so here are a few follow-up questions:

        1. If I buy PP My Cash cards with an Amex at CVS, will the purchase show up on the Amex statement as a cash advance or a “product” purchase that will count towards miles and total spend?

        2. If I load the My Cash cards to my PP account, and then transfer the amount gradually over to BB at Walmart, will PP get mad and shut down my account? What if I pay some bills directly with the PPBDC and others (like the mortgage) by transferring to BB and paying from there?

        3. We have an Amex with one airline and a Mastercard with another. My thought is that we could continue to charge on the Mastercard, move the funds from the other airline’s Amex to PP My Cash to PPBDC to BB…and then use the funds in BB to pay off the Mastercard balance with Bill Pay, essentially “double dipping” for miles on two airlines by paying the balance of one affinity card with funds that ultimately came from another card. Too greedy? Will something like this trigger an alert at one (or several) of the stages?

        4. Along the same lines, couldn’t I transfer the funds from PPBDC or BB back to a checking account which I could then use to pay off the Amex that initiated the whole sequence – essentially paying the originating Amex bill with the finds we got from that same card? (Again – the same question about getting noticed and “spanked” applies…)

        Thanks again; I really appreciate your help in navigating these areas!

        Reply
        1. Grant

          Keep the questions coming. Purchasing PPMCCs at CVS or Walgreens will post as a purchase and earn you miles/points/cash back. You can use your PPBDC at Walmart to load to your Bluebird/Serve Card, nothing to worry about. I don’t really understand your third question, but you should be fine. Don’t move money directly from PayPal to your bank account, PayPal will send you a warning. Follow this approach: PPMCC -> PayPal account -> Bluebird/Serve Card -> bill pay to credit card used to buy PPMCC.

          Reply
  23. Adam

    I just started loading BB with e-gift cards I buy one of my gift card sites. It works fine for me but after loading $200 to my wife’s account I tried to load $200 more last night and I got an error, something about “Risk blaa blaa” So I called and they said that you CANNOT use a debit gift card to load BB, it must be tied to an actual bank… I asked why it worked for $200 already and now it won’t let me, and the guy had no answer. He said that it caused some sort of variance and that the computer system caught it and that that card number will NOT ever work to load like a debit on BB. So I just tried a new e-gift card on my wife’s account from the same online retailer and I got the same message. I will need to use some other way to get the extra 1k onto her account each month.

    Meanwhile I am using the same exact method on my account and I have loaded $800 already. With no problems.

    I will have to bite the fees and use these e-gift cards to buy actual gift cards and have them mailed to my house.

    Sounds like there are a few bugs in the BB debit card program to let some load and some not, so be ready.

    Reply
    1. Grant

      If you have a PayPal account, use your PayPal Business Debit Card to load your Bluebird Card online. You can fund your PayPal account with PayPal My Cash Cards.

      I’m surprised the online egift cards worked for you, the system is not supposed to allow them to go through. I guess you got lucky a few times.

      Reply
  24. Ron

    If I load my BB with my Amex directly as a credit card ($1,000 max per month?) will that show as a purchase or a cash advance? And will those count towards miles and MQM points on Delta?

    Thanks!

    Reply
          1. RogD

            What were you doing? Withdrawal straight to your bank? Or did they even limit you for loading BB after depositing the PPMCCs?

          2. Grant

            I got in trouble for loading PPMCCs to my PayPal account and using my PPBDC to load my Bluebird/Serve/Redbird. It didn’t happen at once, but I did it over months and PayPal was not happy.

  25. chis

    I dont have a paypal debit card bcuz i just opened an account. I was wondering if i could purchase a egift card from walmart pay with my paypal account then load the egift card to my bluebird card? Either in store or online. I dont want to wait the 3-7 business days for it to transfer to my bank. I figure this way i could have my funds right away to do as i wish. Is it possible? I have $250 pending in paypal that should be released tomorrow

    Reply
    1. Grant

      You could add your Bluebird account to your PayPal account and withdraw funds from your PayPal account to your Bluebird account.

      Reply
  26. chis

    I have been trying and it keeps coming up as an error. I have gotten two egift cards for $20 each but i just spent them at the store. Im in needof gas and well everything else. If i can get the bb card linked with paypal do u get the funds right away or is there a pending transaction u have to wait for

    Reply
  27. Kyle McLaughlin

    Hey Grant, you mentioned:

    I got in trouble for loading PPMCCs to my PayPal account and using my PPBDC to load my Bluebird/Serve/Redbird. It didn’t happen at once, but I did it over months and PayPal was not happy.

    I have a Bluebird card and paypal and was considering using the PPMCC to reload Bluebird to pay rent (at my apartment). Would you still recommend this strategy? My concern is with Paypal not being happy. Thanks.

    Reply
    1. Grant

      I wouldn’t buy PPMCCs. You can still transfer money from your bank and get the 1% cash back with your PPBDC for Bluebird online debit card loads.

      Reply
      1. Kyle McLaughlin

        Thanks for the quick reply. Do you know of any debit cards I can load directly or indirectly with a credit card these days?

        Reply
  28. Dave

    Thanks for the information provided above. It has cleared up some questionsregarding non-linked transfers from PP to BB, but it left me asking a couple more regarding linked accounts. Here’s my situation. I’d primarily and only occasionally like to transfer money from my PayPal account to my BB account as the latter has more flexible transfer limits and free ATM withdrawals, whereas my PPBDC is less flexible, and my area is void of free ATMs. I’m not concerned so much with cash back rewards, but that is a plus when applicable. I can easily accomplish this by loading my BB account using my PPBDC; however, my PP account currently is verified with one brick and mortar checking account linked to it, and my SSN is on file. I would like to close the linked checking account as its fees are getting too steep to justify its use, but I’m curious if I can use my BB account to keep my account verified, so I have a couple of questions I hope you can answer:

    1. I’ll assume PP spending and transfer limits will kick in if I close my only linked account (i.e. my account becomes unverified). For the purposes of linked accounts and PP verification, does the BB account act as a linked card only, or can it similarly be linked as a bank account using BB’s account and routing numbers?

    2. On 11/16/2014 you told Ron not to transfer money from his PP account directly to a bank account. Perhaps I took it out of context, but were you saying PP frowns upon transfers to a linked bank and/or credit/debit card account? If so, does that mean PP would have issues with me transferring funds from PP to BB as a linked account?

    Thanks.

    Reply
    1. Grant

      Great questions Dave. Even if you close your real bank account that is linked to your PayPal account, PayPal does not know that your bank account is closed. Your PayPal account will remain verified. Just don’t remove your bank account from your PayPal account.

      As long as you don’t load PPMCCs to your PayPal account, you should be fine to move funds from PayPal to your bank account (or Bluebird/Serve/Redbird account). Any other questions?

      Reply
  29. Dave

    Thank you, Grant. I don’t use prepaid cards at all, so I’m pretty safe in that regard. All my PP funding comes from personal sales, and family transfers which go to my PP account, and heretofore I’ve only loaded my BB using cash; however, I am looking to leverage both cards, and expand my options. Thus, I do have a couple more questions for clarification.

    Can one link each account to the other in both accounts (i.e. 2-way link), and if so, will this create any conflicts with either account? I’d like to think I’d be able to fund either account using the other card/account.

    I assume one can link a BB account in PP as a credit/debit card account (please correct me if I’m wrong), but can one instead link BB as a bank account using BB’s checking account and routing numbers? If so, would the BB account provide the same benefits as any other linked bank account and also provide redundant verification benefits, or are there gotchas?

    Thanks again.

    Reply
    1. Grant

      You should be able to link your PayPal and Bluebird account. I don’t believe you can send money from Bluebird to PayPal unless you add your Bluebird card as a debit/credit card. However, you can pull money from Bluebird to PayPal when you add Bluebird as a bank account. You can then push money from PayPal to Bluebird as a bank withdrawal. It just depends which account you authorize the transfer from. Does that make any sense?

      Reply
  30. Rolling7s

    Will I get into trouble with PayPal using a PayPal debit card loaded with NetSpend Reload Cards purchased with my credit card and then transferring the cash to BlueBird to pay the original credit card back? Sorry I am really new to this and its all just CRAZY!!! Tks

    Reply
  31. Rolling7s

    Thanks for answering so quickly, I have a Paypal personal Mastercard debit card (not business) and it says it can be loaded by or with NetSpend reload cards? I need to run $2,000 to $3,000 per month for 2 months to meet a reward quota and all of this is confusing to me? I really do not use the card for much but do not want any problems Thanks Again

    Reply
  32. Rolling7s

    Thanks I can meet the additional $4,000 monthly spending requirements on my other cards by paying my personal and house bills its just trying to spend the additional $2,000 to $3,000 without some game is hard? Thanks

    Reply
    1. Grant

      If you have a few months to spend the money, I would take it slow and find a good method to meet the minimum spend without taking any big chances.

      Reply
  33. sue

    thanks for ur quick reply!

    is this something that can shut my acct? (is it against their policy?)

    in the days it worked, whats the max i can do at a time?

    lastly, any other way to withdraw $$ from my paypal acct? (not to a bank acct)

    Reply
    1. Grant

      You can load $200 per day up to $1000 per month with your PPBDC.

      You can request a check from PayPal, but that is basically the same as withdrawing the funds to your bank account.

      Reply
  34. Bob

    If I have money on my pay pal. Can i just use my bluebird account and routing number as a bank account and then transfer the money to bb from pp? I know I won’t get the cash back. I’m wandering bc i already did this…. and it hasn’t hit my bb account yet. So I didn’t know if I need to contact them to get it back or what. Any info is much appreciated. Thank you

    Reply
    1. Grant Post author

      Yes, it should be possible to transfer money from your PayPal account to your Bluebird account. You may need to verify your Bluebird account with PayPal by having them sent to small micro deposits first.

      Reply

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