Tuesday, October 9, 2012

The Bluebird Card Challenge - Part One

As a consumer protection attorney, I have a front row seat to the circus sideshow that has become our once-respected American banking system.
www.bluebird.com

That's why I was excited to learn an alternative to traditional banking is being introduced next week by Walmart and American Express.

Part Honey Boo Boo, part Paris Hilton, the prepaid Bluebird card can be activated at any Walmart location and used at ATM's and anywhere American Express is accepted.

Bluebird is being advertised as an alternative to the banking system for low-income consumers looking to avoid hidden fees and transaction charges. But have the odd bedfellows of Walmart and American Express really created a product free of the fine print and red tape we've come to know and love from the big five Wall Street banks?

I've decided to find out first-hand.

All my bank accounts are now closed. Starting Monday, I will use only the Bluebird card from my local Walmart and old-fashioned cash for all my personal finance needs for the next 60 days.

My next post in this five-part series will review my experience activating the Bluebird card and using it for the first time.

Bluebird Post #1
Bluebird Post #2
Bluebird Post #3
Bluebird Post #4

The third post will breakdown Bluebird's terms and conditions in plain English and the fourth will focus on the realities of using Bluebird and cash as an alternative to traditional banking.

My final post will grade Bluebird on an A to F scale.

Wish me luck as I spend the next two months off the grid. I'll try to be as honest and fair as I can in evaluating Bluebird as a potential consumer-friendly alternative to traditional banking.