Guide To Loading Bluebird At A Walmart MoneyCenter Kiosk With Debit Gift Cards

93

Join over 5,000 people who are subscribed to receive a once daily email with all of our posts. Never miss out! Click here to subscribe.
Want more info? Come join our Travel Hacking & Reselling Facebook communities to get the answers!

Bluebird by American Express

How To Load Your American Express Bluebird At A Walmart MoneyCenter Kiosk

This post discusses how to load funds onto your American Express Bluebird card.  If you don’t yet have a Bluebird, you can either get one at Walmart or on the Bluebird website.  In my experience it takes about a week to receive your Bluebird card in the mail when ordering online.

When applying for the card they will ask for your social security number, but they do not run your credit. There is a limit of 1 Bluebird/Amex Serve per person. If you are new to Bluebird or have questions about it, visit our Guide To Bluebird.

Note: If you are loading a Visa or Mastercard gift card, make sure to set the card’s pin number before visiting Walmart. Every gift card issuer has a different process for setting the pin.  The documentation for setting the pin should be included in the card’s packaging.

Loading Your Bluebird

1. This is the main screen of the Walmart MoneyCenter Express Kiosk.  While there is a Bluebird button, I have found that it doesn’t always work.  To start, touch the “Walmart MoneyCard” button that sits on the top left beneath “Card Services”.

Walmart MoneyCenter Express Kiosk Main Screen.
Tap “Walmart MoneyCard” to start the loading process.

2. On the next screen you want to tap the “Reload” button.

Walmart MoneyCenter Express Kiosk - Loading Screen
Tap “Reload” to begin the loading process.

3. This next screen just informs you of how much you can load onto the Bluebird card at any given time.  Just tap “Continue” here.

Walmart MoneyCenter Express Kiosk - Load limits screen.
Tap “continue” here.

4. When the next screen comes up it is time to swipe your Bluebird on the pinpad.  The pinpad is located below the screen and looks like a typical credit card reader that you find at a Walmart checkout counter. (The kiosks use older readers so the Walmart registers in your store may have a newer model.) After swiping, the terminal will automatically bring you to the next screen.

Walmart MoneyCenter Express Kiosk - Bluebird Swipe Screen
Swipe your Bluebird card at this time.

5. This next screen is asking how much money you would like to load onto your Bluebird.  You can only load one Visa or Mastercard gift card at a time on the kiosk, so I suggest you load the entire amount of your card.  In this example, I will be loading a $100 gift card.  After entering in the amount you would like to load hit “Enter”.

Walmart MoneyCenter Express Kiosk - How Much To Load
Enter in the amount that you would like to load to your Bluebird card.

6. This is an interim screen that comes up after you input the amount.  It usually takes 30 seconds, but can take up to two minutes for the next screen to come up. You don’t have to do anything during this time.

Walmart MoneyCenter Express Kiosk - Authorization Screen
This is a waiting screen. It takes between 30-60 seconds for the next screen to automatically appear.

7. After the authorizing is complete, a screen with your load amount will appear.  As you can see, it now has my $100 Debit Load listed with a total charge of $100.  After you verify everything is correct, hit the “Finish & Pay” button.

Walmart MoneyCenter Express Kiosk - Load amount screen
Verify the load amount is correct and then tap “Finish & Pay” to continue.

8. Now the kiosk would like to know how you are going to pay the $100 that will be loaded on to your Bluebird.  Simply hit “Debit” here. (Sorry for the blurry photo.)

Walmart MoneyCenter Express Kiosk - Payment Type Screen
Just tap the “Debit” button to pay with your Visa or Mastercard gift card.

9. You have now arrived on the Finish & Pay Screen.  At this point you will swipe your debit or gift card on the pinpad.  Once the card is swiped, the kiosk will automatically bring you to the next screen.

Walmart MoneyCenter Express Kiosk - Debit Swipe Screen
Swipe your Visa or Mastercard debit gift card on the pinpad and wait for the next screen.

10. After the card is swiped, you must enter your card’s pin number on the pinpad.  If it is your normal debit card, then use your ATM pin.  If you are using a Visa or Mastercard gift card, you must look at the documentation to find out how to set the pin.  Each provider’s method of setting the pin is slightly different.  Make sure to do this before you go to Walmart.

Walmart MoneyCenter Express Kiosk - Pin Entry Screen
Enter your pin number on the pinpad and hit the “Enter” button on the pinpad.

11. After the pin is entered, the kiosk will ask if you want any cash back.  Make sure to tap “No”.

Walmart MoneyCenter Express Kiosk - Cashback Screen
Make sure to hit “No” on the cashback screen if using a gift card. Asking for cash back will cause the transaction to fail.

12. Now the kiosk simply wants you to confirm the amount.  As you can see, it is correctly showing that $100 will be loaded on to the Bluebird.  When you are ready hit “Ok”.

Walmart MoneyCenter Express Kiosk - Confirm Amount
Confirm the amount being loaded is correct and then hit “Ok”.

13. The “Processing Card” screen will take the most amount of time.  Usually it will take between 1-2 minutes to fully process the transaction.  Basically the machine is charging your debit/gift card and then loading the funds onto the Bluebird.  You don’t have to do anything here but wait!

Walmart MoneyCenter Express Kiosk - Processing card screen.
The kiosk is processing your card and adding the funds to your Bluebird. All you have to do here is wait.

14. When everything is complete you will get this final screen.  As you can see the kiosk now says there is $0 cash due and $100 paid.  This means that the transaction went through.  Make sure to take the printed receipt to verify your Bluebird balance has updated.

Walmart MoneyCenter Express Kiosk - Take Receipt
When you see that the Amount paid is equal to your load amount, then you know the transaction has completed successfully.

Conclusion

That is a complete walkthrough of the process including all of the screens that you will encounter.  In my experience it takes about 1 1/2 to 2 minutes to complete one load if the machine is working properly.  On occasion the machine can be laggy and the process can take longer.

Since you can only load one gift card at a time, it can become very tedious, but it helps you avoid dealing directly with cashiers.  I have found that some cashiers will not load gift cards on to Bluebird and many aren’t very familiar with the process.  If you do find a good cashier, they can split the tender on up to four cards which makes the process quicker. Enjoy!


This post may contain referral, affiliate or sponsor links that provide Miles to Memories compensation. Thank you for your support.

93 COMMENTS

  1. Great post and very helpful. I recenlty called Chase to let them know that I would be using my Southwest and Saphirre cards at CVS to buy VR cards. The Chase guy said warned me that using CC to buy prepaid cards would be considered a cash advance. I have never heard of this. Have you ever experienced this, espcally with the visa pre-paid cards? Thanks.

  2. Great post, especially the OfficeMax part. I left the house to go to the nearest OM only to find that 2 people had been there and bought $6k of $200 GCs, leaving only one on the display. Dejected, I started to leave when I saw another display where 5 $200’s and 5 $100’s were packaged together in plastic cases. I asked if they could open them and if I could take the $200’s. They said yes, so I used the 5 $200’s and the other one left and was able to get $1200 worth. After getting the $80 rebate, I figure I made $63 all told between the rebate and the CC. Worth the trip.

    • Yeah this is one of the better deals I have seen in awhile. Not only is it a money maker, but you get 5x points with an Ink. Let’s just say I loved the hell out of this promotion!

      • Hi. ,when you say” with an ink”, do you mean “When you buy some ink at OM?
        Love your posts! Thanks

        • I apologize for not being clearer Terri. I am referring to the Chase Ink card which earns 5x Ultimate Rewards points at Office Supply stores. Those points can then be used to transfer to travel partners like Hyatt or United.

          • does this still work? I thought ink had changed it so only certain categories would earn 5X points, and gift cards wasn’t one of the categories? maybe I should just try it!

          • This definitely still works for me. It shows up as a regular purchase and thus awards 5x points. I have earned 5x on many different purchases from office supply stores with INK including as recently as a couple of weeks ago. Thanks Colleen and please let me know if you have any other questions!

          • tried today to buy vanilla reload cards, no dice, cash only. only visa cards you can buy w/a card are one-use gift cards (I bought a vanilla gift card for $100, $6.95 fee). I can’t see that this is worth the fees unless you’re doing it to fulfill a minimum on a bonus, e.g., 20,000 extra points when you spend $3000 in the first 3 months. Am I missing something?

          • There are other ways to do it for cheaper, but they involve more work. I will be writing about some of them coming soon. For now, I think the One Vanilla is $4.95 for up to $500 if you can find a store that will sell you one with a credit card. (CVS still sells them with a credit card, but they can be hard to find sometimes.)

  3. Great post, especially now that VR’s are essentially dead.
    It appears that the larger the gift card the better in terms of % fee.
    As such, will One Vanilla or MyVanilla’s work? Also, as long as the card can take a PIN we should be good to go, right?
    It appears that AMEX gift cards are a non-starter with BlueBird.

    • You are right Geoff! Any Visa or Mastercard gift card with a pin will work. Unfortunately American Express prepaid cards do not allow you to set a pin so they don’t work. Some people buy the American Express cards and then use them to buy Visa/MC gift cards and then load them to Bluebird. Depending on the portal payouts you can usually make back the fees, but it gets a little complicated!

  4. Thanks Shawn for detail steps!
    Successfully loaded $500 into BB with OV at kiosk. However it was asking store login code so I had to get an associate enter code, from there smooth sailing. This Walmart is brand new opened on 9th April, so I was done well within 2 mins! Would like to ask you if I wanna load 2 OV ($1000) do you have to swipe both OV in same transaction or separate?

    • You can load from multiple gift cards in one transaction if you go to a register. If you are using the kiosk, then you must do one transaction for each gift card unfortunately. Thanks Adam! Please let me know if you have any other questions.

  5. Yes! This is the best article for someone who understands all the logistics but needs the mechanics worked out! I am going to walmart to use my city bonus. Can you do this at target?

  6. Can you help me understand how to load bluebird with a visa gift card? Say I buy a visa gift card for $500. The fee seems to be $5.95 on first use. How do I get a pin for this Visa gift card? Can I load the entire value only at Walmart? What is the limit to load at Walmart? I want to load bluebird with $3500 every month. Can I load 7 cards at one time? Also online can I only load BB $100 a day? Just looking for the right strategy to load BB with a visa gift card. Is there a specific visa gift card as well?

    • You can use a variety of prepaid Visa debit cards. Each issuing company has different procedures for setting the pin, so you will have to look in the packaging to find out how for the specific cards that you buy.

      The limits for loading a Bluebird card at Walmart are $1,000 per day and $5,000 per month. Loading online has been known to cause problems since they don’t like people using prepaid cards to do online debit loads. When you go to Walmart it just shows as a normal debit load.

      Essentially you will have to go to Walmart four times to load $3,500 in gift cards. Please let me know if you have any additional questions!

  7. Sorry to be dense but I’ve tried a few iterations of this. Kiosk will not take WM gift card for BB charge. The cards which I’m able to buy at OM (for 5X miles w/ink card) do not have a PIN until you use them somewhere. If I want to load $1000 on BB I’d have to buy 5 $200 cards ($6.95 fee @) and use them somewhere to buy, say, $1 item, but even then I’m not sure wal-mart kiosk would accept. Tried to use MC debit card online to load BB and it seems BB only accepts debit cards tied to a checking acct? Can you tell me exactly which card to buy at OM where it would work to load at the WM kiosk? thanks for your help; I really hope I can crack the code on this now that VR is dead!

    • Hey Colleen. I am glad to help. If you are buying the Mastercard gift cards from Officemax then they should be issued by U.S. Bank. You don’t need to make a purchase first to use them. To set the pin you just need to call 866-952-5653.

      If you are buying Visa cards at OM then they should be issues by Meta Bank. You can set the pins for these online at GoWallet, but that is not required. The pin is the last four digits of the card number. Once again, you don’t need to purchase anything first to get these to work. I have bought both of these types of cards at OM and used them at the kiosk. If you are getting cards other than what I have mentioned, please let me know who issues them and I will find out what you need to do to set the pin.

      Hope this helps!

  8. Great Job,Shawn

    The demise of buying Vanilla Reloads with our SPG Amex has hurt my wife and me. We got used to being able to churn a combined 10,000 SPG points per month. I never knew about using Visa/MC gift cards this way.

    Following your advice, my experience was great using a $500 Visa Gift Card (US Bank issued). I simply called the 800 number listed and assigned my own pin to the card. Then used the one, and only, Walmart Express Kiosk on the west side of Fort Worth to load that card to my Bluebird card. Now that we have a steady way to churn cheap points we can transfer those SPG points to American Airlines miles at a 1:1.25 ratio and travel 1st class to Hawaii again.

    Thanks for the hard work!

  9. Has anyone having issue of loading your One Vanilla with WM lately. I went there last night to load my 2 ONe Vanilla ($500 each) to my GoBank and using the method above. Everything went fine til when i ask for the pin. I set in the 4 digit(since it’s first swipe activiation pin) then it ask me for pin again for “pin for your payment” (not exact quote) and i couldnt figure it out why it ask for 2nd time. no matter what pin i put in it doesn’t go through? anyone care to share if they experience this? thanks

    • I had this happen quite a long time ago. The kiosk needs to be reset and then it will not ask for that second pin. It is a software error as far as I know. When it happened to me, a reset of the kiosk fixed the problem!

      • I tried loading my BB today in Philly. I too was prompted to enter my pin twice, tried 3 times via WM money card and twice with BB menu options. After that, went to the cashier whom told me they were not loading with prepaid cards anymore… Think a reset would fix this or is it time to find a new WM?

        • Which prepaid card were you using to load the Bluebird? Cards that are part of the Vanilla Network no longer work, but cards issued by Metabank and U.S. Bank should still work.

          • non-reloadable visa prepaid gift cards (literally says “Gift Card” on the front) from Meta Bank

          • My guess is that the kiosk is malfunctioning or having issues. I have loaded gift cards from Metabank as soon as yesterday. The cashier may have told you that because it seems to be Walmart’s official policy that they only allow the use of debit cards. Fortunately the POS system treats these gift cards as debit cards. Next time you go to a cashier don’t tell them it is a gift card, but instead say it is a debit and go forward with the transaction. It should work.

            One time I had a Metabank card which was denied and I called and changed the pin and it worked. Maybe that is another solution if you are having the problem with the same card over and over.

  10. Have the same problem, asking for the pin twice, the 2nd time wanting a 9 digit pin (had 9 underscores). Happened two days in a row now. Never worked. Tried twice over last 2 days, ended up going to cashier, no issue. Will let them know about a reset. Thanks.

  11. I was wondering what different kinds of gift cards have you used for reload BB?
    Thanks for your help and reply

  12. Loaded 2 Visa Gift Cards purchased from Staples on Sunday. Kiosk was quirky. It took three attempts. Seems like persistence might be the key to this stuff. Love the post and the responses.

    • Metabank Visa cards such as those sold at Staples and Giftcardmall still seem to be working. I was able to use them yesterday without any problems. One Vanilla Cards seem to be dead at Walmart for now. You could still try to find a grocery store that will allow you to buy money orders with the cards if you still have OV cards that you need to liquidate.

      • I had an incident the other day when loading gift cards to Bluebird. I was loading my account and my husband’s account and the manager happened to be by the register watching. I was changing registers because after I loaded 2 cards a line would form and I didn’t want people behind me to keep waiting. After I loaded $3000 she wanted my drivers license and said I needed to stop because of some Federal law. I don’t know if she was correct or not as she was very vague about it. This has never happened before, so watch out for the manager and be sure there are lots of people in the store as not to stand out.

        • Thanks Karen. It is always a good idea to avoid scrutiny even if you are not doing anything wrong. Going from cashier to cashier certainly can look suspicious to a manager.

  13. […] Perhaps the simplest way to maximize this offer is to combine it with the current $20 rebate being offered. Since that offer is 1 per household, it really isn’t scaleable if you have multiple American Express cards. If you purchase $100 gift cards, you will pay a $5.95 fee and make a $14.05 profit. Visa/MC gift cards purchased at Staples should be loadable to Serve/Bluebird. […]

  14. Shawn,

    Is this still working with the Visa Gift Cards purchased from Staples? The last time I tried a Vanilla Gift Card a couple months ago it was blocked. And thanks for the research and step-by-step instructions.

    Thanks in advance
    Ryan

      • @Shawn –

        So, I am having issues only with the Bancorp cards (sold by giftcardmall & Staples)

        The Moneypass (KATE) machine requires the 4-Digit PIN and then asks for a 9-Digit PIN.

        US Bank Gift cards have no issues!

        Any ideas, or ways around the 9-digit PIN issue?

          • In the Walmart where this happened, there is an employee station nearby with someone responsible for the machine. That person is always doing about a million things. I just told them that it kept giving me errors and asked if they could reset it. They did so without even questioning it because they are so busy.

            If you are worried, tell them this happened to you before and they reset the machine and it worked afterwards.

            I can’t say it will work for sure, but I had the same exact issue and it worked both times.

  15. Hi, Shawn,

    You said the Bluebird button, although present, did not always work. Can you please specify what exactly did not work? I stopped by Walmart with a kiosk today and tried to load a Visa GC to BB. Selected the BB button on the main screen and the machine started following me through the process. However, when it asked for the GC pin and I entered it, it asked for the pin again and again (all subsequent times showing the digits as I was typing them, not hiding with asterisks). I tried 2 GC’s to no avail. Is this something familiar to you?

    • For me it would just fail. Keep in mind I haven’t used the Bluebird button in over a year. The MoneyCard button has always worked for me, so I just go with that.

      Sometimes when the machine keeps asking for a pin like that, it simply needs to be reset. I have had that happen to me and have read reports of others having the same problem. In each case a full reset fixed it. To get the machine reset you will have to ask an employee and it takes quite awhile for it to reboot.

      • I’ve also seen the Walmart MoneyCard button at self-checkout terminals . Have you tried to load the BB there? When did you use this method (loading the BB with GC thorugh kiosk) last time? The reason I am asking is that some reps at Money centers would not take GC’s for that saying that they are not supposed to. Others, less educated, I guess would. Sorry for maybe the noob questions but I am trying to work out the optimum strategy for the highest cash back. Thank you for the answer.

  16. Other than 9 digit PIN issue I experienced recently at one of WMT locations, I also received a message says “Tender_Not_Allowed” after I swiped GC and put in my PIN and system thinks for about 5 seconds. Was it just a bad day or something else? Am in Chicago area.

  17. I just did my first reload of 3 $500 visa gift cards to Serve Vip at a Walmart kiosk. The machine loaded them successfully to Serve. But it charged me $3.74 fee for loading each card. Is this a new unavoidable fee for loading each gift/debit card to Serve or am I not setting up the load properly? I thought there was no charge to load at Walmart?

      • Even with the extra $3.74 fee for loading each $500 visa or mastercard gift card it still is worth it to get 5x ultimate reward points from using Chase Ink plus to purchase at office max. I wonder if fee for loading is only at some Walmart kiosks. Maybe I can avoid it by trying to drive to a more distant Walmart.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here