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Bluebird and Serve Increase Daily Load Limits to $2,500

According to Frequentmiler, the daily load limit for the American Express Bluebird and Serve card has increased from $1,000 per day to $2,500 per day. Bluebird loads at the Walmart register are limited to $1,999.99 per day, which I find odd. Why not round it up to $2,000? Anyway, the monthly load limit for Bluebird remains $5,000. For Serve, cardholders are limited to $5,000 in cash loads (aka via Vanilla Reloads) and $200 per day/$1,000 per month for debit and credit loads.

With the monthly load limit remaining the same, does this news matter? Sure it does. If you’re making multiple trips to Walmart to unload gift cards, it means you’ll only have to make two trips per month rather than five. If you have access to more than one Bluebird via a spouse or trusted friend/family member, the increased load limit allows you to liquidate even more gift cards at once. For those of you who are heavily into manufactured spending, this makes the liquidation of gift cards much more convenient. I personally may increase my manufactured spending activities back up to $40,000 per month, If I can unload $20,000 in Visa gift cards in two trips rather than seven (via four Bluebird cards).

This change is positive, though the whole Bluebird loading option seems to be at risk these days. First came news that CVS stopped accepting credit cards or Vanilla Reload purchases. Then there were issues with unloading OneVanilla cards until Bluebird finally put an end to loads with all Vanilla Visa gift cards. Now I’m getting emails from readers about Bluebird kiosks disappearing from Bay Area Walmarts. I’m sure they’ll return, but the question is, will they be reprogrammed not to accept gift cards of any kind? If this ends up being the case, there’s always Plan B. I’m going to be optimistic (or perhaps foolish) and hope for the best case scenario, which is that they’re simply fixing machines which have been plagued with issues since the very beginning.

What are your thoughts on the increase in Bluebird/Serve’s daily load limit?

Disclosure: I will earn  small commission if you sign up for the American Express Serve card with the link in this post.

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Ariana Arghandewal

31 Comments

  1. The 1999.99 sounds awfully familiar to the walmart bluebird load limit per 15 minutes. Perhaps rather than explaining to customers about waiting 15 minutes before you can load again they are just reiterating their 15 minute load limit as the daily limit

    • That’s what I thought of too. I’ve got a friend who’s going to give this a shot today and report back on what the new Bluebird limit is.

  2. Terrific news. Yes, the $1,999.99 at kiosks is odd. Leaves us with debit cards with .01 on them. Doesn’t make a lot of sense.

  3. Btw, is there only one Bluebird per SSN? How do you have four Bluebirds?

    • It is, but I have three family members who let me use theirs, so I’ve got access to four Bluebirds total.

      • My Walmart came up with a rule that I am not allowed to load anyone’s Bluebird other than my own. Plus I can only complete one load at a time (per day? per entry to the store?). They freaked out when I load at the cash register, go around and load again so as to allow the line to keep moving. (I did not point out that some stores have kiosks.) With all these new unwritten limits, I figure someone must have some great fraud scheme going on or they are losing money on each swipe.

        • That’s very odd because the cashiers never even look at my card. There is a lot of fraud in the gift card/prepaid card game, so I can imagine Bluebird is no exception.

          • It was a hovering supervisor that saw that I had two cards. The cashiers go with the flow.

  4. I just unloaded $1999.99 on 2 Bluebirds at the WM kiosk by me. The fewer trips to WM the better. As for possibly updating the kiosk software, one of my WM’s got a new kiosk. The voice is American instead of British and the machine looks different. But everything else still works the same way. I’m also happy to load more ASAP just in case WM eliminates all the giftcards. I’d love to have 4 Bluebirds, but I’m still happy to have two(me and my wife).

    • Thanks for sharing Scott! I was hoping the kiosk reload limit was $2,500 but I’m totally happy with $1999,99. One less trip to Walmart!

  5. Can not find even a single working Bluebird ATM any where in Bay Area. They are never in working condition. Any clue?

    • I’ve heard of a few being removed. Vacaville and Hilltop Mall are ok though.

  6. Any reason why you have bluebird and not Serve? With the online credit loads, I figured everyone was switching to Serve. Thinking about making the switch myself.

    • I need to make the switch over to Serve. I’ve got four cards and just haven’t had the time. But it is the better option with all these new obstacles.

  7. Yesterday I successfully loaded 1k on to serve using SGC. Today I tried again at the register and it said the pin was incorrect. Verified I had a balance and pin on the card. Hopefully Walmart hasn’t cracked down on simon gift cards too

    • Exact same issue for me today in FL attempting to load SERVE, David. I am 100% sure I am using the correct pin, but my SGC was declined for pmt at both the kiosk AND the regular cash register due to “wrong pin” This could be AWFUL.! Regular debit card via Serve website for $200 worked today.

      • Yes load through credit card was not a problem for me either on two Serve accounts.

      • I’ve heard mixed reports about this. I’m hoping it’s some kind of regional fluke.

  8. Anyone have issues with loading Simon Gift Cards at Walmart using Serve? Yesterday I loaded 1K with no issues through the register. Today going through the register again, I got an error messages that the pin was incorrect. I tried with two different cards and I verified the pin and that there were funds on the gift cards. Hopefully this is not Walmart continuing a crackdown on giftcards.

    • To expand just a bit more on my first post…I was using a Simon Visa gift card yesterday (7/2) at a regular register at WM and my $500 load to Serve with pin went thru with no issue. Today using another Simon Visa gift (same exact Simon GC product, different card), I received the “wrong pin” message though I was 100% sure my pin was correct. Today I received the error both at the MoneyPass kiosk and also at a regular register. I even got on the phone with US Bank to make sure it wasn’t something on the Simon gift card….and it wasn’t as that same card worked minutes later for a signature purchase. Not sure if the bins associated with Simon GC have somehow been blocked or if WM has truly gone cash only for Serve loads. If so, that is a fairly significant event. Would appreciate anyone else posting their experience today (7/3) using any pin based Visa/MC debit card (Simon or other) in an attempt to load their Serve card at WalMart (normal register or kiosk).

      • I had the same issue as you in 7/3. I went to a different walmart yesterday about two miles away and the same SGC worked at both a kiosk and register. Have you tried since the 3rd?

      • I had no issue 7/2 but got an error 7/3. Tried again today 7/5 at several Walmarts and this is what I’ve learned. Simon gift cards still work on the older card readers at the registers. You can tell because they are still black and white or green text. The newer ones are in color. I tried at 6 walmarts and the ones where the readers have been replaced give you a error when you enter the pin. Looks like when they replace all these that the SGCs will stop working. Can’t confirm about the kiosks as all of them don’t work in the Bay Area. Also can confirm that you can load $2500 a day. I went to several walmarts today so they weren’t all loaded back to back.

  9. I’ve read you can no longer use any gift cards to load Serve or BB at wm (especially any vanilla gc).
    Anyone have any reports?

  10. My local walmart’s registers are still only programmed to take up to $1,000. But now that I’m sitting here thinking about it, is the limit at a register $1,000 per load up to $1,999.99 per day? So I’d need to do 2 separate loads each day to reach the limit?

  11. I’m new to MS but seems great! And this site has soooo much info. But my head is spinning a bit here. I’ve been getting mastercard $500 gift cards from a supermarket stand that advertises it as ‘gift card mall’. Setting a PIN is easy in an automated phone call. A couple times I’ve bought Visa cards but it seems more convoluted, dealing with mywallet.com and all the cards on 1 page. I had a card locked a couple times because we did some purchases at a hardware store, then returns of some of the items (they could easily see store x purchase then a week later store x return). Had to wait for them to unlock the card.

    ANYWAY, Visa cards are easier (needed?) to work with serve and BlueBird? My kids college bills are coming do soon – could I buy (only Visa?) gift cards, load them to serve or bluebird (any thoughts on which is better?) then have them send checks to the schools? This will involve tens of thousands dollars per semester. Would need serve/ bluebird for each of us in the house to deal with those large numbers, to avoid hitting the monthly caps? Walmart is the only place you can load bluebird / serve with gift cards? We are here on the east coast and haven’t seen financial kiosks at Walmart. Cashiers will do it? The gift cards have to have PINs set?

    Scott above talked about ‘ unloaded $1999.99 on 2 Bluebirds at the WM kiosk by me’. Unloaded gift cards ONTO the bluebird?” or unloaded FROM the bluebird (like an ATM?).

    Any advice on this process in general would be appreciated. There’s other forums on MS where they really beat you up if you have any questions. Those forums are really more of a competition on who can be meaner to new people : )

    • Very true – they aren’t very friendly to newbies over on FT these days. You can load your gift cards at the register if your Walmart doesn’t have a kiosk. Scott is referring to loading gift cards onto Bluebird. I’ve only ever used Visa gc’s to load Bluebird and have heard of issues with MC gc’s. If you have a Simon Mall in your area, see if you can buy Visa gc’s there. They come in $500 increments and cost just $2.95 each. You can also use Visa gc’s purchased on Giftcardmall.com to load Bluebird. Keep in mind that Vanilla Visa cards can no longer be loaded onto Bluebird.

      Amex Serve is preferable to Bluebird since you can directly load it online with a credit card. I will personally be making the switch to Serve soon. Hope I answered all your questions! If not, feel free to shoot me an email at ariana @ pointchaser.cm

      • I have loaded BB at WM kiosks successfully for some time. All the mentions of Serve and Walmart I have found on FT discuss Serve being loaded at the money center or at the checkout. Are you aware of whether Serve is able to be loaded at a WM kiosk?

  12. @PointChaser, I know you run a number of BB accounts for family members. Over on FT and elsewhere there are occasional discussions regarding how Chase has shut down card members for various reasons. Would you ever think twice about paying one of your credit cards (say, from Chase) using, say, your brother’s BB account? In other words, do you think Chase cares where a particular credit card payment originates? What about Citibank?

    • I’ve done that and it hasn’t been a problem for me. I think people get in trouble when they don’t diversify their spend.

  13. ever load serve with $200 gift cards at CVS? can you load $1000 in one transaction using (5) $200 GCs? will the register auto-drain the cards?

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