Can I Pay My Mortgage With a Credit Card?

Want to earn more credit card rewards points for free travel? You need to pay your mortgage with a credit card! Check out our complete guide inside!

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Can you pay your mortgage with a credit card? The short answer is yes, and it really isn’t that difficult. Of course, you need to do it the right way and for the right reasons. Keep reading to learn how!

For years, my family has been using credit card rewards to travel the globe for (almost) free. We’ve visited places like Rome, Paris, London, Athens, numerous Caribbean islands, and more. Using credit card rewards has saved our family tens of thousands of dollars, allowing us to travel anywhere we’ve wanted for pennies on the dollar.

So, if you love points and miles like I do, you’ve probably wondered if it’s possible to pay for big ticket items with a credit card to earn more rewards. You know, the big stuff – your mortgage, daycare, and car payment.

Fortunately, you can! In fact, I’ve actually used credit cards to pay over $100,000 on my mortgage to earn additional points. Through the process, I discovered a few ways to get the job done with minimal hassle and expense.

Still, you must tread carefully. Playing the credit card rewards game can be dangerous, especially if you’re considering paying your mortgage with a credit card. Do it right, and you’ll earn thousands in free stuff. Do it wrong, and you’ll end up in a complete financial mess.

If paying your mortgage with a credit card sounds too risky, just close this page now. There’s no shame in knowing your limits. However, if you want to earn extra points, have the discipline to do it right, and have the guts to take the plunge, keep on reading!

How to Pay Your Mortgage With a Credit Card: The Basics

Paying your mortgage with a credit card isn’t super difficult, but you should consider reserving this tactic for special occasions —like earning a signup bonus. Let’s take a look at how to do this properly so you can get the most bang for your buck.

  • Pick a card – Choose the rewards card (or cards) that offers the best signup bonus and fits your goals. Find our favorite cards here.
  • Grab a signup bonus – Before you use a credit card to pay your mortgage, you need to make sure the math works. Because extra fees may be involved, this tactic works best when you are attempting to earn a signup bonus.
  • Choose a payment option – Most lenders will not allow you to pay them directly with a credit card. Thus, you’ll need to use a third party to handle the transaction. We’ve included a few options for you to consider below.
  • Pay mortgage with a credit card – Use your rewards credit card to pay your mortgage (or other legitimate bills like your rent, health insurance, car payment, etc.)
  • Pay it off – You don’t want to cut into your rewards earnings by paying interest. So, pay your credit card bill in-full at least once a month.

Ta-da! There you have it. Not too tough, right?

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2 Ways to Pay Your Mortgage With a Credit Card

Although there are several ways to pay your rent with a credit card, unfortunately, most mortgage companies don’t offer this option. Paying your mortgage with a credit card does take a little work, so you’ll have to get a bit creative.

Luckily, there are several third-party options available. Here are 2 ways that you can pay your mortgage with a credit card and start earning some massive points.

Oh, and one last time: Do this at your own risk!!!

1) Plastiq

Plastiq is our favorite way to pay your rent or mortgage with a credit card. This has been our “go to” option, and you can count us impressed.

Frankly, Plastiq is a great way to pay ANY big ticket item – like your mortgage, student loans, and more. We’ve used it to pay off our house AND a new addition that we built.

Again, you can use it any time, but it’s most valuable when trying to meet minimum spending requirements. (Please note, you can no longer pay mortgage bills with Visa or American Express through Plastiq. Other brands and types of bills are still good to go though!)

To get started, simply create a free account, connect your favorite credit card, and direct them who to pay. Plastiq will then send the money via paper check or bank transfer before the due date.

The biggest downside to using Plastiq is that they charge a fee of up to 2.5% on each transaction. Because of this, it’s really only a good option for most people if they are chasing a signup bonus.

To put the fee into perspective, if you’re trying to meet a $4,000 minimum spend, you’ll end up owing $100 in fees. That might seem like a lot, but some signup bonuses are worth up to $500 in gift cards. They’re worth even more if you book travel and or experiences through credit card portals. So, even with the fees, you usually come out ahead – especially when meeting a minimum spending requirement.

With that said, Club Thrifty readers can use our special referral code to get $500 in “fee free” transactions. Just use the code “671741” when you sign up using our link below.

2) Money Orders

If you’re able to buy PIN-enabled gift cards in your area, you can also use them to buy money orders, provided you can find a store that will allow it. My local Kroger couldn’t care less how you pay for money orders, but CVS is kinda a stickler. Try taking your PIN-enabled gift card anywhere money orders are sold and see what you can (discreetly) get away with.

If your mortgage is with a big bank like Chase, you can simply take your money orders into the bank and pay your mortgage in person. If you need to mail your money orders in, make sure to save your money order tracking numbers!

Pay Mortgage With a Credit Card: Rules of the Game

How to pay your mortgage with a credit card - kids on mountain

Now that you know where you can pay your mortgage with a credit card, let’s cover some things to watch out for.

As you probably know, the credit card company isn’t giving you a signup bonus just to be nice. They want to make some money off of you. With the signup bonus, they are hoping to whet your appetite just enough so you’ll continue spending on the card.

You need to understand that, while the credit card companies make money every time you swipe your card, the real money is made when you carry a balance. They want to suck you in and get you addicted to their drug, so they offer you this fancy free gift so you’ll take your first sniff.

See Also: Europe for Cheap: How to Travel Abroad for $200

Always remember, you want to use these rewards to create more freedom for yourself, not less. As such, your job is to avoid falling for their trap at all costs.

If you don’t think you can handle it, DO NOT play the game.

To get the most out of your rewards points, you need to make sure to follow 2 simple rules:

1) You Can Never, Ever Pay Interest…Ever

Was that clear enough? By using a credit card to pay your mortgage, you are attempting to earn points that will help make things cheaper. Paying interest on your purchases does not help the cause.

When you carry a balance and end up paying interest, you pretty much defeat the entire purpose of chasing points. Besides that, your mortgage payment has interest wrapped into it already. Carrying a balance means you’ll be paying your mortgage at a much higher interest rate. This causes a mess of problems that will restrict your lifestyle rather than improve it.

Remember, your goal is to get free stuff by working the system, not paying more for the stuff you already have.

2) Don’t Buy More Than You Would Without the Card

Spending money on junk you wouldn’t normally buy just to hit a minimum spending requirement is just plain stupid. For example, spending an extra $500 on a bedding set you weren’t planning to buy means you haven’t saved any money on that $500 hotel room stay. See what I mean?

Use the card to pay for stuff you’d normally buy or already have plans to buy. Don’t use it as an excuse to overspend. Again, you are trying to get stuff for free, not buy more junk that you don’t need.

See Also: Learn How We Booked a Jamaican Spring Break for 4 on Points Here!

Frequently Asked Questions

Still not sure if you want to pay your mortgage with a credit card? Use the FAQs to answer some of your questions.

Final Thoughts

Before you start using this method, it is important to ask yourself if it even makes sense. In other words, are the points and miles you’re trying to earn worth more than the fees you’re paying?

The fact is that paying your mortgage with a credit card should only be done when you have a lot to gain. For most people, the math simply doesn’t make sense. In my personal experience, doing this has only been worth it if I’m earning a sign-up bonus…and only in an emergency.

Thanks so much for reading. Be careful, have fun, and good luck!

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  1. Almost makes me wish we had a mortgage so I could get cash back rewards. 😉

    1. whoever wrote this is an idiot. credit cards don’t allow you to pay your mortgage with your credit card.

      1. Preston Kutz says:

        Maybe you should actually read the article before writing a comment. She clearly states that most mortgage companies don’t allow you to pay with credit cards. This is an article that helps you get around that obstacle with loops around it that are legal to do. But hey, you would actually know that had you actually took the time to read it, and saved yourself the embarrassment of being the actual idiot.

          1. HI HOlly, I had a question TIO….. if you use them to pay your mortgage…let’s say
            its thru CHASE mrtg…..

            It won’t be a cash advance?
            Also, what does the credit card statement says… TIO or Chase…what?

            I was curios about that part.


          2. Mariah Elizabeth Fullmer says:

            HI holly I was wondering how you know if making a payment through plastiq will show up as a cash advance or not. I am trying to get a couple different sign bonus through sapphire preferred and barclay have you used both and gotten the sign on bonuses after using plastiq?

        1. True Preston, it was stated several times in the article; most mortgage companies do NOT allow you to pay a mortgage with a credit card. RIF.

          1. i really thought about this, but didnt know from where to start. I pay my mortgage every month and i dont mind to earn some points on my Credit card.

    2. Hi. Wouldn’t this transaction be consider at cash-advance from the CC company, which also comes with its own fees?

    3. Question in your articles it says Plastiq no longer takes VISAs, on their website they say they do. Is this a change since you wrote this article in May?

      1. Sorry for the confusion. You can no longer pay rent or mortgages with Plastiq using Visa. But Visa still works for some other bills.


        1. Hey Holly. I just paid my rent via Plastiq on my Southwest Premier Visa for the last 3 months. I will try my Amex in December.

          1. was that to a mortg company tho??

    4. how can one delete a comment from here?

  2. Sounds like a solid idea, only if you can pay it off in full at the end of the month. All about you behavior, you you can’t follow that rule don’t even attempt it.

  3. Of course there are no Calif. Targets with this card. Why so many in Indiana? Aarghh! You guys have all the luck!

    1. I would be happy to get you a redbird if you let me know! I have probably bought ten for other people already. They cost $5 at Target and I load them with $5. So $10 and it’s yours. I’m nice like that.

      1. None in Illinois either. If you were to purchase one for me, am I able to reload it at Targets or do I need to use someone every time I want to put money on it?

      2. I sent my previous message to early – I saw on the Target website that you can add money to it at any Target. That said, in all the different sections, it says “use cash” to reload the card…doesn’t say “any form of payment” or anything like that…we can use a credit card to load the Target prepaid card?

        1. Yes, you can definitely load it with a credit card. Even though it doesn’t say so explicitly.
          When someone buys one for you out-of-state, they simply send you a picture of it with the card numbers. Then you register for a permanent one in your own name and with your own info. You use that card to load it with credit cards at your local Target.

          1. Sounds great – are you still offering assistance for those of us away from Indiana?? If so, how may I get in touch with you?

          2. You can email me at holly at club thrifty dot com

  4. Awesome!! But as usual, there’s no Hawaii offering for this type of prepaid card :(. WE WILL BE WAITING. On a happy note, I am going to three countries in Asia in two weeks using my credit card points (flights and hotels for two weeks) and all I had to pay was $382 in taxes! Thank you points!

    1. I would be happy to get you a redbird if you let me know! I have probably bought ten for other people already. They cost $5 and I load them with $5. So $10 and it’s yours. I’m nice like that.

      1. Lisbeth Maldonado says:

        Hi Holly!
        If your still offering, can you please please help me get one??? if so, please let me know what you need from me.

          1. Suzy Lewis says:

            I am not so concerned with rewards, just want to try to pay off mortgage with no interest credit card offers in increments of say 15000.00 +or-. can you tell me how to do this please. Thank you

    2. We do have the bluebird. I was cashing in big time at longs before they stopped allowing us to pay for vrs with credit. That was a sad day 🙁

  5. I just finished paying the last or our property taxes, quarterly estimates, and life insurance with Bluebird and I need to take a little break for a while. We don’t have a local Target and no kiosk, so I feel like I need a shower after time I go in Walmart. It was a good run though. 75,000 Membership Rewards, 100,000 AA miles and 50,000 Citi Thank you points! Well worth all the trips to Wal Mart!

  6. I prepaid my mortgage for years. When I was getting close to paying it off, I borrowed the balance due on our mortgage – about $11,000 on a credit card and paid it off. They had a promotion with a cash advance with 0% and NO FEE. This was about 8 years ago. I don’t think I got any rewards other than the normal cash back. I did pay that credit card bill off very quickly – I think it was a few months. I know this could be risky for many people but it worked for us. We don’t pay interest on credit cards. This was our second home. We paid our first home off when I was 23 and my husband was 27.

    1. Yep, we heard that too. We just updated the article to reflect the new changes.

      1. I am looking on option 2 (Bluebird). If I load a prepaid Visa card using my CC, will it be considered cash advance or regular purchase?

        1. Hey Raqs, to our knowledge it is a regular purchase.

  7. I know this post is a few days old but just in case anyone likes to go back for reference like I do…I just left Target. While there, I spoke with AMEX customer service directly through the number on the back of my card. Walter confirmed that as of yesterday, credit cards will no longer be accepted for reloads. This is across ALL Targets. I was in line trying to load the REDcard with my shiny new IHG Chase MasterCard to get my 70,000 points. Terrible timing but even as other bloggers have noted, not surprised it didn’t last.

    1. Hey Angela,

      We heard that too. Ugh. Sorry about your luck. That sucks.

      However, you can still use the Redcard in the same way as the Bluebird. Simply use your card to purchase pin activated debit cards, and load the Redcard using those.

      We have updated the article to reflect the changes.

      1. I have also called AMEX regarding the Target REDCard. Gift cards are also not acceptable for loading the card – so it looks like there is no way to load it with your credit card, even by proxy.

        1. Does this still work for the Bluebird card? Meaning, can we still sign up for the Bluebird card and load it with VGCs that were purchased via a CC?

          Unfortunately I’m very late to the party and it appears like I missed out on all the REDcard benefits. I do have a target located about an hour away that sells the prepaid redcards but it doesnt sound like that is the best option anymore, sounds pretty much equal to the bluebird.

          1. There seems to be no problems with Bluebird at this point.

  8. If you can’t load the redbird directly from your credit card anymore, I don’t see how you get the CC points…am I missing something?

    1. You need to use the REDCard in the same way that you use the Bluebird – purchase a pin-enabled Visa gift card with your credit card, then load your REDCard with the gift card. The REDCard and the Bluebird are now essentially the same thing, except the Bluebird card is free. I’d choose whichever card is most convenient for you to load – REDCard for Target, Bluebird for Walmart.

  9. If you have to go through the 2nd option (AE’s bluebird) and load the card up with prepaid gift cards that max out at $500, which cost around $5 per card, is that $5 per card only occur when you purchase it OR is it a reoccurring fee every time you load it up?

    Just to clarify:
    So if my mortgage was $1,500, I would need 3 of those cards which max at $500, which would cost around $15 dollars the first time around, but would that $15 dollars disappear the 2nd time around? IF not, I don’t really think its worth my time to with the net points I gained.

    Thanks! 🙂

    1. Loading your bluebird card at the machine or at a register is free. You only pay for the gift cards when you purchase them! I hope that makes sense!

      1. Yep so only a 1 time purchase fee for the gift cards.

        Thanks Holly!

        1. I think the question is do you need to pay the gift card fee every time you buy at the grocery store. Unless i’m missing something I think the answer is yes. So for $1500 mortgage I would need to pay $15 in fees every month or about $180 yearly. Depending on the rewards card this may or may not be worth it.

          1. Can you use the same gift/debit cards- just keep adding money to them without having to pay the fee?

          2. Does anyone have experience with buying the pin enabled visa debit cards in Florida using their rewards cc? I am considering doing this to pay my mortgage to get the bonus points on my Chase Sapphire card. We don’t have a Kroegers here in Florida. We do have Publix, Winn Dixie, CVS, Wal-Greens. Does anyone know if any of these places will allow you to purchase the pin enabled visa debit cards with a cc? Thanks.

  10. Holly-

    Thanks for the super informative post. I understand this was posted a while ago, but are you still offering to purchase Redcards for random people? 🙂 If so, I would like to take you up on that. Please let me know and thanks again!

  11. Hi,

    When I visit the Bluebird site and choose the ATM Locator option, it lists several local banks with “Money Pass” ATMs. Am I right in assuming that I could then load my account with the prepaid visa pin debit via these ATMs instead of heading to walmart?? I hope so…



    1. Jardiel Sanchez says:

      Same here. Were you able to load your Blue Bird using the ATMs listed on the ATM locator link???

  12. Awesome post! I just recently got the Barclay Arrival Elite card and was so bummed to find out that I couldn’t pay our mortgage on it. So…I will definitely be looking into the Bluebird account and Visa Prepaid cards. I never thought of that! We do buy giftcards with our credit card for our local grocery store since we will be spending that money on food anyways. Thanks for the tip! I’m a new reader over here! 🙂

    1. These methods no longer work.

    2. Awesome. Thanks AJ! Glad to have you aboard. And despite what the other CJ says below, these methods still work fine.

      1. Hi Holly,
        Can visa gift cards be loaded onto Bluebird directly from the Bluebird online site?
        It seems there is a lot of talk of going to a physical kiosk, is this always necessary or did I miss something? Thank you

        1. Oh, I wish. Nope, you have to haul your butt into Walmart and use the MoneyCenter kiosk. I have a picture of what it looks like in this post. Before you invest in money orders, I would make sure your local Walmart has one, too. Out of the 4 or 5 Walmarts near me, only two have the machine at all.

          1. Thanks Holly!
            Which one do you like better? Bluebird or the Redcard?

          2. I think bluebird is better IF you have a kiosk at your local Walmart. With the Kiosk thingy, you don’t have to talk to people. You can just run in, load your cards up, and leave!

          3. Hi Holly,
            Are there any other prepaid cards that are over $500 to purchase that will load to Bluebird?
            My mortgage is 5 of those :/

          4. Hi there!

            No, I wish. It would be nice to buy like a $2,500 pin-enabled gift card instead!

  13. Other than using the service you mentioned, are you sure you can use credit cards to pay your mortgage? I don’t think I’ve seen that option when I check Bank of America mortgage account.

    1. Most mortgages do not allow you to directly pay with a credit card. That is why you have to find a work around (like the Bluebird) if you wish do so.

  14. This method does not work anymore. Both Bluebird and RedCards are not available .
    What about Changesmart?
    This page should be updated as many people could royaly hurt themselves by trying these methods out only to find that the money they put into the cards is worthless.

    1. Huh? Did you even read the post? Bluebird and RedCARDs are both still available. We already updated this post to describe how to pay your mortgage with both methods. And we wrote a whole paragraph about Chargesmart already. Please read the post and try again!

      1. No they are not , First Redcards are not available in the state of Texas. Second, Redbird has Since May 15 , 2015 stopped the ability to load with a creditcard. So has Blubird . Bluebird no longer allows funding with a credit card. Do your research. Both of these are now defunct.

        1. Please re-read the article before you start spouting off! You clearly haven’t read it.

          You don’t fund Bluebird or Redbird directly with a credit card. You use your credit card to buy pin-enabled gift cards and use them to load your bluebird and redbird cards. Seriously, read the post! Also, you can use redbird in any state – even if you cant buy it in your state. You just have to get someone from a state that sells them to send you one, or you can buy one off ebay.


          1. Hi Holly,
            Can you point me to the paragraph about Changesmart? Is it in another post?
            I was looking into this too and don’t see your information on it on this page.

    1. Read the post! Can you read? Copied and pasted from the REDcard section:

      “Loading Your Target REDCard

      Unfortunately, as of May 6, 2015 you can no longer load your REDCard directly from your credit card. Originally, this was a major perk of the card, but alas, it has been discontinued. I’m sure some folks took it too far and ruined it for everybody, but what are you gonna do? On the bright side, you can still load your REDCard with a pin activated debit card, so that is a plus! The steps are almost exactly the same as the steps we detailed above to load your Bluebird card. If you need a refresher, here you go:”

  15. awesome post guys
    can I easily purchase any pre paid visa pin card. with my rewards credit card do some stores have any restrictions for this ?

    1. Depends on your store! I have had good luck buying pin-enabled gift cards at grocery stores. The picture of the gift cards I buy is in this post.

  16. Will this work with amex starwood preffered guest.?loading pre paid cards?I was reading eligible purchases do NOT include
    fees or interest charge
    balance transfer
    cash advance
    purchases of travelers checks

    1. Yes it will. You’ll be fine. Just buy your prepaid cards at the grocery store. I have never had a problem!

      1. Elizabeth J. says:

        So if you buy the “Prepaid” cards are the grocery store, there is no cash advance fees?
        If so is it because it is listed as a purchase from the store is what I am guessing? We sold prepaid cards at a business I use to work for and thought that loading the card with a credit card would incur cash advance fees which could be expensive.

  17. anybody wanna answerrrrrrrr
    thank you

  18. Wow! so I found this thing called NetSpend through my local grocery store: HEB in Texas. The lady at the refill counter told me I could fill it up with a credit card with as much as I want ! I will report back once I have tested the process…. sounds too good to be true.

      1. Hi! I will first in going to load $5 from my cc to it and investigate if it is a cash advance or a charge… Will keep you posted!

    1. Today I used a prepaid card with a pin in the amount of $25 to load the NetSpend account. That is step one.
      I did find out that the representative was wrong, she said you could fill it up with a credit card. This is not true.
      I will continue to investigate how the payment goes and if my mortage company can be one of it’s bill payee’s. ..

      Stay tunned

  19. Holly,
    Can you explain how to pay off the CC balance with the BlueBird account? I don’t know address of my CC company or what other info might be needed to initiate my payment to CC co. Or would it be easier to load the pre-paid VISA cards to BlueBird at WM and then go home and move that money from the bluebird account back to my checking account and pay my CC off?

    Could you also tell how the cards are loaded at the money kiosk at WM? Any special steps to know like the account number of my bluebird account or anything else? You make it sound very easy, but since I hardly ever use ATM, who knows if I can handle a machine at WM.

    Lastly, I’ve read about redbird, bluebird, or whatever bird, but if I’m not mistaken, there is some kind “VIP bird” like a new bluebird and the old version is discontinued. Do you have a clue what I’m talking about here? I think I read it on the FrequenFlyer’s blog a week ago.


    PS. I wish I knew where $500 cards are sold in my big city. If I find it and if I really can pay CC co. , I’ll look into opening a bluebird account as I don’t have other big bills :-).

  20. Hi,
    I’m back..
    Still investigating everything. I wanted to add my two cents ( no pun intended ) on other visa gift card specialty sites . Here’s one I looked into . When I did a mock check out ,Here’s the message I got:
    ‘If paying by Credit Card, a Large Denomination Fee is applied for each VISA card in your cart that has a value over $250.00. The Large Denomination Fee is calculated by charging 2.5% of the difference between card value and $250.00.’

    So much for that option. My apologies if this was already determined. I just didn’t see it mentioned in the post why the sites only selling gift cards were not mentioned . or were they?
    Nonetheless, this beats some of the options , like paying with which charges 2.95% of your charge , eek! But at least you can pay your mortgage with a credit card…
    Apparently the other one : changesmart is dependent on the institution you are paying.
    Well, at least I’m learning all the options.
    It looks like the cheapest option for me to pay my $2200+ mortgage is going to be with netspend and loading it with the highest vanilla cards I can find. Unfortunately this will take making several stops just to get the payment done.
    still in progress….
    You can load them with as much as you want for a one time fee. For those of us with mortgages of 2k and up, it seems to be the best bang for our buck if we can minimize the cost of buying 4-5, or even 6 gift cards at $5 -$6 each.

    1. Well that was interesting.. The first day I purchased my Netspend card, I grabbed a visa gift card to test it out with and fill it up. That particular HEB store I was at only had up to $200 gift cards.
      Since I was doing a test I put $10 on the gift card, then immediately loaded the new Netspend card. I could have easily maxed out the gift card to $200, which cost me about $4.95 to buy.
      So…fast forward to tonight:
      I went to a different HEB that had $500 max gift cards. I took 4 to the register, whereupon I was told I was only allowed to buy a certain number of them up to a certain amount. I was not given the right amount because the reps did not know , however they had just been briefed about the new ‘Federal Regulations’ whatever that means about purchase limits at ‘their’ store on gift cards.
      So I said, Ok, I’ll buy 1 gift card for $500.
      Pulled out my credit card. and … NOPE!
      NO DICE , They do not accept credit cards to pay for the gift card.
      Now I find this hard to believe, given that the first store seemed to have no problem with me purchasing the gift card with the credit card. However, that store had a maximum of $200 gift cards , which means I’d have to pay the $4.95 fee on 12 cards, not to mention the fee to load to NetSpend per card, whatever that is.

      I then proceeded to Walmart. Brought 4 different cards to the counter and asked which one could I buy 4-5 of.
      I was told there was a limit per store of purchasing one at the max amount of $500. Really do I have to drive to 5 Walgreens to get 5 $500 gift cards????
      What am I missing that everyone else isn’t???

      Back to square one, or square two however I look at it:
      1.Going to go to yet another HEB with different reps , see if they have a more knowledgeable working shift staff and /or more ignorant working shift staff who will accept my attempt to buy another $500 gift card.
      2. Then off to Walmart to see if they have a new ‘limit on gift card purchases’ or limit with buying them with a Credit card as did Walmart and HEB Grocery.
      3. What next?

  21. Cynthia Wisniowski says:

    I’m almost positive you cannot use Visa gift cards to load money into the prepaid Red card

    1. Hi, you can. It has to be a gift card with a pin enabled on it.

      1. The debit card must be in your name.
        The billing address associated with your debit card must match the billing address on your Bluebird Account profile.

        That is directly from the Bluebird website, and a similar statement on the RedCard site. I’m assuming that means a pin enabled card will no longer work.

        1. Pin enabled gift cards work fine with Bluebird, as of now. Just use it like a debit card. Many, many, many people have used it. So, Bluebird is still a go.

          It has also worked with the REDCard for months. However, as of 10/13, the REDCard has changed to CASH ONLY. Again, the REDCard is cash only. This has been reflected in the piece.

  22. I may have missed this in the comments already so please forgive me is this is redundant. I am interested in the VGCs. If I were able to find an HEB that I could load enough money on to pay my mortgage, and use my rewards CC to pay for the VGC…am I looking at approx $5 per card each month? Or once I buy a VGC I can reload with my rewards CC for little no other fee? I am struggling to see how paying approximately $15 in fees each month adds up to a “win”. Please break this down for me. Thanks! *Sidebar: I currently have the Southwest CC and would most likely use the HiltonHonors CC for my mortgage, car payment, etc.*

    1. It simply doesn’t make sense or work. The Visa cards only go up to $200 with a $5 fee. By the time you have bought enough fees to pay your mortgage, the Bluebird card can only be reloaded with a debit card with your name. Obviously, this must be a new rule, because no one on here seems aware. The only way to do this is by money order, and after all the fees, I don’t know if it makes sense.

      1. Hey Cynthia, I don’t think you’re doing it right. There is a picture of a Visa gift card in the post that you should try to be using. It allows you to load up to $500. You can load it at any Walmart Money Center Express, also shown in the post. If you don’t want to use the ATM, bring it to the cashier and don’t ask permission. Just do it. We’ve done it several times. It still works as of now.

    2. Hey EMD,
      As we mentioned in the piece, this is a tactic that really should only be used if you are trying to fulfill the requirements of a sign up bonus. You’re right…the fees don’t make sense if you are just trying to build points on one card. However, if you’re trying to spend $3,000 in 90 days to get a 50,000 sign up bonus, the math makes sense. If you use your rewards card for your regular monthly spending, you should only need to put one or two mortgage payments toward the bonus. So, you’re going to spend $15-30 to get hundreds of dollars in rewards travel or cash back due to the sign up bonus.

      Hope that clears it up!

  23. I am eager to try this, but would like to know if it still works. Maybe I just need to go to Walmart and try it out . Thanks for being so thorough! Here is what I read today on the Bluebird site:

    Debit Card or Debit/Payroll Card (“Debit Card”) to your Bluebird Account so that you can add funds online or through your Bluebird Mobile App. You can also add funds from your Debit Card at a Walmart register. Fees and Limits apply to adding funds with a debit card.

    How do I link a debit card to my Bluebird Account?
    Your debit card must be verified before we can link it to your Bluebird Account. To do this,

    Log in to your Bluebird Account online or through your Bluebird Mobile App
    Click on “Add Funds” and then “Add New Source”
    Provide your debit card information
    Verify your billing address
    You can link 1 debit card to your Bluebird Account, but the same debit card cannot be linked to more than one Bluebird Account.

    To successfully link a debit card to your Bluebird Account:

    The debit card must be in your name.
    The billing address associated with your debit card must match the billing address on your Bluebird Account profile.
    Verification of your debit card is immediate. Once verified, your debit card is linked to your Bluebird Account, and you can add funds immediately.

    1. There’s also netspend. People should consider this as an option too.

  24. Do you know if the bluebird method you described still works for getting Amex delta skymiles bonus points?

  25. As of today, my Kroger said they do not carry the prepaid gift cards with a pin 🙁

    They said too much fraud, whatever that means

    1. Are you sure? They look like the picture in this post. My Kroger is still selling them as of yesterday!

  26. I’m back, and here’s my update … it’s a long one and it’s still not over . I have to verify the payments were sent successfully with the NetSpend account and on time! I’ve started a blog because this will be a long journey:


    Ok, first my points overview – I want to get to Europe to be with my sweetie. I want to get there free! or nearly free …

    So today I tested out my new NetSpend account to see how difficult / or easy it could be to use this method to pay my whopping $2230 mortgage payment (don’t worry – I have renters)

    Technically, I don’t pay a dime for my mortgage so I’m justifying the five times $4.95 charge per card to buy PrePaid Vanilla Visa / Mastercard gift cards to load my mortgage payment onto my netspend account. I view this $25 payment as a self discipline method to ensure I will travel. Look at it like a (gross) time share investment – it makes you go!

    Here were my goals:

    Only buy $500 prepaid cards
    Buy 5 prepaid cards to load to my NetSpend Account
    Schedule my mortgage payment with NetSpend at the end of the day

    Today I went to 3 HEBs a total of 4 times. Three 7-elevens. Three Walgreens, Target and .. I’m sure I’m forgetting one. Let me explain.

    Attempt 1: 7-eleven on Airport and 38th 1/2 where before I had seen NetSpend prepaid visa/mastercards for up to $500. The were out and directed me to the Bolm road 7-eleven.

    Attempt 2: 7-eleven Bolm & Airport – Great place! Super trashy so none of the workers will care about the ‘rules’ , i.e. nobody cared if I was a prostitute being secretly forced by my pimp to purchase the gift cards and hand them over to him. ( this is what HEB thinks…it’s real) I successfully purchased 2 $500 prepaid Vanilla Mastercard gift cards. Yay!! They looked at me a little funny but ultimately welcomed my big spend business. I kept the last 3/5 of my payment regretfully to try elsewhere.

    Attempt 3: HEB Mueller business center – First I noticed that the highest gift card amount was only $200. HEB doesn’t carry $500 amounts. This was frustrating. I asked the CS rep before proceeding if I could pay with a ‘debit card’ , which my Vanilla Mastercard is – a debit card that starts it’s PIN by entering it on the first purchase. As soon as I swiped it, she said ‘ oh no, you can’t use prepaid Credit Cards’ . So I tested her with ‘Really? let’s see if it goes through’ ( I can be a brat sometimes to get my way) Whala! It went through! Whereupon she promptly canceled it. I had to stand there and call the card to make sure she gave it all the money back that I just attempted to load. It was there. Moving on

    Attempt 4: HEB Hancock – All the lines were super long on my planned dull day Tuesday. However I approached the ladies in the center who monitor self checkout – they looked young and active – by active I mean they were the kind of girls who couldn’t wait to check their phone and get back to their life outside of work. Which meant less anal than the lady at HEB Mueller – Success! These girls could care less that it was a gift card and loaded half of my mortgage amount onto the NetSpend account. Now I just needed to find a place to purchase the rest. I was afraid if I went back to the first 7-eleven, I would be prevented from purchasing more.

    Attempt 5: Walgreens Guadalupe & 45th – I brought 2 $500 gift cards to the counter. Making sure they had the word debit on the tiny image of the card on the front of the package. At the counter was an older lady. Probably not in any hurry to go and check her phone. She denied me buying 2 cards and told me there was a 1 card limit for the amount of $500. Fine. I purchased one.

    Attempt 6: 7-eleven guadalupe and 51st or 50th? – a bomb! I walked up grabbed my cards and they told me I wasn’t able to buy them with a credit card. Whatever, I already did before at the first 7-eleven.

    Attempt 7: Target I35- another bomb! First of all Target has weird cards and no particular organization in the store of where the cards will all be located. On one isle there was a $500 card and another there was only cards up to $100. I grabbed the two $500. I got confused with what the CS told me, something about the card had to be $500 . I don’t think it was a load as much as you want from $20 up to $500 but a flat $500 . I’ll have to go back and take a picture of these cards to show you guys. She gave me a schbiel about it being expensive to load. whatever. I left. Time was getting short.

    Attempt 8: Walgreens near Target I35 – Success! The awesome girl at the counter definitely had a smart phone hidden away and could care less that I brought 2 cards to the counter wanting one to be $500 and the other to be $240. Simple transaction. Now I just had to get back to the HEB to the same girls with phones and load more onto my NetSpend account
    * one reason I chose NetSpend was because of my high mortgage and it’s no limit per day load. The other accounts similar to NetSpend, BlueBird – Redbird , had ( I think) a limit of $1000 per day. With all these trips I’ve made, I don’t need 2 days full of this just to rack up points. ugg

    Attempt 9: HEB 7th St – my work wasn’t over yet. I had an additional payment pending on my NetSpend account and needed $10 extra in there before it transacted. I stopped here to try out their girls with phones. Success! but … alas it was just with cash that I was loading the account. It was , however after the ‘business center hours’
    *note – I called HEB Mueller to ask when their business center closed and if the regular check out isles could load NetSpend accounts. I was told no- that Mueller did not allow the checkouts to load NetSpend – only the business center. weird. Alright won’t be going there again, It looks like my stores are:
    1. trashy 7-eleven at Airport & Bolm
    2. semi-trashy Walgreens at I35 near Target
    4. non fancy HEB at Hancock
    and forget the business center people, they are too rigid and will probably not allow using ‘visa / master card debit credit gift cards’ for loading NetSpend. But the middle check out people do!!!

    back later for if it all went through. ..

  27. Hi! I’m new and just started looking at getting new credit cards so I can start traveling. I have never done this traveling with mileage so this is new? What are the best credit cards and is Bluebird easy to use? Thanks so much!

  28. Hi Holly,

    I have some questions about the Money order option at Kroger. I understand that you pay $4.95 to buy $500 Visa Gift Card. How much you have to pay to get the money order at Kroger? Also does it work with MasterCard Gift Cards as well as I see several MasterCard Gift Cards that can be loaded $20 – $500 at my local Kroger?


    1. Hi Nimal,

      Money orders at my Kroger are .70. With the money order fee and the $4.95 gift card fee, it’s only worth doing this is you’re trying to meet a minimum spending requirement in my opinion!

      If you want to avoid the money order step, you can load pin-enabled Visa cards to your Bluebird card and use that money to pay bills. That’s what I do. I have never used Mastercard gift cards – just Visa. The kind I buy are pictured in this post. Does that answer your question?

      1. Yes. Thank you for the quick response.

  29. Hi Holly,
    I am new to this and getting ready to make my first deposit at Walmart with a $500 pin enabled VGC just like the one in your article. Does this require that I actually call the number on the card and set up a pin before I hike over to Walmart Money Center to make the deposit into my Bluebird account? Having not tried this yet, I am wondering if their machine would accept it with a simple swipe without providing a PIN. Your thoughts?

    1. Hi Larry!

      When you open your gift card, there should be a pin number in the packaging. I always use that one. If it doesn’t work for some reason, then yes, call the number on the back of your card and change the pin. I’ve never had a problem using the pin on the card. Let me know how it goes!

      1. Thanks! I will give it a whirl.

      2. Thanks! Complete process worked like a charm. Even got to use the Walmart Money Center kiosk machine :-). My local Kroger charges 5.95 for these Visa debit gift cards ($500.00 load limit); not bad considering the promotional bonus travel points I’m currently earning. But I am wondering if you or anyone has tried purchasing any other type/brand of one time, loadable debit card, or if there is one that will accept a larger amount loaded to get more value for the buck (of course the cheaper the better). I have read where Vanilla Visa brands limit debit transfers to Bluebird accounts only up to $50, and reloadable Visa cards require cash only to purchase. Another interesting twist I have noticed is occasionally some cards on promotion will even be labeled “no activation fee”. Also curious to know if anyone has figured out a way to get fuel points at Kroger with these types of purchases. My local store does not add fuel points for any Visa or other type of reloadable card; only specific vendor cards like Starbucks, Shell, Applebees, etc… Your thoughts? Thanks!

        1. I purchase the Visa Gift cards at Kroger where I live in Texas with my American Express Blue Cash Preferred, along with some groceries at the same time. I put the full $500 on the VISA GC, pay for it all with my AmEx, and the purchase all rings as groceries. The gift card does not ring as a gift card. AmEx Blue Cash Preferred gives 6% cash back on groceries and 3% cash back purchased with AmEx… and Kroger gives full points for large purchase of groceries, so I get a lot of Kroger points for such a large ‘grocery purchase, as well as cash back for all that purchase on the AmEx. At end of month, I use my Kroger card at a Kroger gas station to get all fuel points off accumulated, like up to the full dollar off usually, and also use my AmEx to pay for that gas purchase to get the 3% cash back for gas on that purchase. I then use the VISA GC I purchased to pay bills.

  30. I am in the process of doing the Bluebird method (more updates to follow). So far I got the temp card from Walmart and loaded it with $1. Also purchased the $500 Visa Debit Gift Card. Tomorrow, I will get WalMart to move funds the Visa card to Bluebird. The only new thing that I learned (and it was not stated here) was that Walmart charges you $5.00 setup (not “activation”….but rather “setup” fee…all marketing terms) for the Bluebird card. So be prepared for it – I was not and was shocked when the cashier asked for $5 for the BlueBird card. Rather, I called and confirmed with Amex that they charge not a activation fee, but rather a setup fee – which by the way is NOT listed anywhere on their packaging! Sneeky!

    1. Should have done it online. It is completely free. I did it myself.

    2. Larry is right. You can order the Bluebird card online for free. You just have to wait a while for it to arrive if you go that route =)

  31. Teri Felix says:

    I went to Walmart two days ago and attempted to purchase each and every pin related Visa card or Amex card with my rewards credit card. Each and every card came back “transaction cannot be processed “. I asked for a manager, and was informed that it is their policy NOT to be able to purchase Visa cards or Amex cards with a credit card, I could only pay cash or use my debit card!

    I have two mortgages totaling $5200 (no renters) and want to gain these points on my card next year.. There has got to be a way!

    1. Hey Teri,
      Try another store to actually purchase the pin enabled gift cards. Not every store will allow you to buy them with a credit card, so it may take a few times to find a store that does. Then, return to the Walmart money center and load them onto the Bluebird. Voila!

      1. Hi Holly, can you post another photo of the PIN-enabled GC’s you’re talking about? I see similar ones, but haven’t been able to get this process to work.

  32. Hello – I receive my Bluebird card today and noted that the limits are now $200 / day for gift card funding, or $1000 / month. This doesn’t meet my needs given the mortgage payment size is 2.5x larger. Is this individually mandated, or a change in their policy? Also, was surprised that Amex gift cards can’t be used, but only MC/Visa ones. Thank you for your thoughts.

    1. I just saw this on their website also about the $200/day limit. I’m hoping that’s not the actual case at the Walmart Money Center because I just opened the Chase card! Hope someone can give insight.

    2. Hey David (and Kelley),
      The $200 limit is for online debit card funding only. According to the information we currently have, the limits are still $500 per transaction and $1,000 per day when using the ATM in person.

      1. Hi Greg, do you have to register the prepaid cards before using them at the ATM? I tried to link a VISA prepaid debit gift card to my bluebird app and the card was declined. I went online and registered the card with my name and address (exactly as it appears on the bluebird account) and tried again, still declined. Any tips on the app? I’ll try going to an actual walmart tonight to use the ATM.

        1. No, you do not have to register the card. The kind of card we buy (mentioned in the post) has a pin number inside the packaging. Use it at the ATM.

          Also, I should mention that the reason it was probably declined is because you tried to upload it online. It appears that you can not use the online debit option unless you connected your bank account and Bluebird prior to October 28, 2015.

      2. Greg, the information that Kelley is talking about seems to come from the website and it doesn’t mention anything about online vs in person at all. It just gives the limits which she mentions. Would love to know what the limits are too. Following.

        1. Hey guys,
          I just bought some debit cards and went to Walmart in order to clear up any confusion on the limits. From my experience, as of right now, the limits for loading a pin activated gift card in person or at the ATM are still $1,000 per day. The $200 limit is for online bank debit cards only. Thanks for following!

  33. I was able to purchase two prepaid visa gift cards with $500 each on them and attempted to load my Bluebird account at multiple Walmart locations yesterday and the transactions were declined automatically by the POS system each time, even with using the PIN that was included with my prepaid card. I have not been able to find a Walmart location with the Walmart Money Center Express kiosk anywhere around my area and have read that Walmart has been replacing the Walmart Money Center Express kiosk centers with regular ATM’s without the ability to load your Bluebird cards on them. I’ve also been reading other people’s accounts of getting their prepaid visa gift card load attempts automatically declined at the register. I believe Walmart may have hard coded into their systems to not allow loads from prepaid gift cards even with PINs anymore. Does anyone else have any thoughts on this? Has anyone had any success with this very recently at the register?

    1. I’m curious if anyone else is having these same issues? I want to try the Bluebird route, but it seems it may no longer work.

      Any update from the experts?

    2. Hey Kathyrn and Scott,
      There are several reports about Walmart stores not allowing you to load them at the register any more. It is totally a store by store basis. Our Walmart does not allow loading from regular cashiers and requires you to go to the money center.
      Also, I want to make sure that you have bought the correct cards. Just to clarify, the card MUST say debit on the front or it will not work.
      For anyone who is interested, I’m going to be updating this piece in the next few days with some more step-by-step instructions on the debit cards themselves and how to direct cashiers to load them at the register.
      Thanks for following along!

  34. Holly is the $1000 dollar a day still the limit for debit cards on Bluebird? Looking at the Bluebird website, it seems to indicate you can only do $200 per transaction, $200 per day and $1000 per month in adding money through debit cards.

    1. Hi Bart, we’re going to try to confirm this today for sure. Greg went to Walmart last night but the Money Center was closed. We keep hearing mixed reports about the daily load limit – will report back tonight!

    2. Hey Bart,
      I verified this myself tonight with my own cards. The $200 a day is for online debit card loads only from a linked bank account. In person, the limits on the pin activated debit cards are $1,000 a day and up to $5,000 a month. Also, I want to be clear that you need to use your Bluebird account to pay real bills. You can’t just turn around use it to pay your credit card off. People are being shut down abusing their accounts.

      1. Yeah, I wasn’t planning on doing that because i would assume that would raise suspicion. I’m just gonna pay the mortgage and those points. Thanks so much to you and your wife. This is a great way to get some points for new credit cards. Thanks for confirming the limits. 😀

  35. Hi Holly,

    Thanks for writing this article. I’m looking at getting an Amex card that has a spending requirement within 3 months to get bonus points. Can I fund Blue Bird to pay my mortgage with this Amex to meet the spending requirement or will this not be a qualifying purchase?


    1. Nope, that should work! Just remember that a lot of Bluebird cards have been shutting down lately, mainly because people used the funds to prepay the same credit card. It’s much smarter to pay a mortgage or regular bills.

      1. I went over to to create an account and I don\’t see a credit card option under \”Add Funds\”. Am I missing something?

        1. Hey John,
          You can’t fund the account directly with a credit card. You need to first purchase a pin enabled gift card that works like a debit card. Check out the steps outlined in the piece, and that should get you on the right track. Hope that helps!

          1. I want to try this for all the bills we can’t directly pay with our cc but I see a $2,500 monthly max for “send money transactions. Does that mean I couldn’t pay a $3K/month mortgage?

      2. Holly, I was surprised to encounter this article still claiming that BlueBird (& Serve) were viable options for paying off mortgages…. Congratulations if you and your fellow small band here have indeed escaped the axe that hit most of us…. Are you still a survivor? Still able to pay your mortgage with bluebird?

        Above, you suggested that those getting shut down were closed because they were paying credit card bills with BB…. (and thus implying that these might be the same cc’s that bought the gift/debit cards that funded the bb’s — never mind that’s nowhere forbidden in the pre Jan. 2016 rules)…. Yet you’ve drawn an interesting conclusion……

        In my case 95% of my payments with bluebird also went to non cc bills…. for mortgages, taxes, electricity, etc, yet I too got the shut down…. If what your saying is true, I’m wondering if AMEX would permit me to get say a SERVE product — and if I only paid non cc bills with it, would I escape shut downs?

      3. Holly, just to be clear of the reference, above, you wrote:

        “Just remember that a lot of Bluebird cards have been shutting down lately, mainly because people used the funds to prepay the same credit card”

        Do you actually know this for a fact? Can you cite an AMEX spokesperson or document that indicates exactly what you’ve concluded? (as the reason for the blue friday? (the mass slaughter/shut down of bluebird & serve accounts)

        As far as I know, while I did at times pay some of my credit card bills with the bluebird, never once did I “prepay the same credit card” from whence the funds came for funding bluebird…. Yet I am curious that perhaps you’ve picked up that the amex computers simply went thru and “culled” any and all bluebird accounts that ever were used to pay a cc bill…. As such, that raises a glimmer of hope that by golly, you may be on to something, that opening up a new bb or serve account for narrowly defined purposes of paying mortgages and any other non cc bills just might….


        Serious questions — be grateful for your response. Thanks.

        1. Hi Will,

          First of all, you seriously need to relax. We aren’t talking about ISIS or the Flint water crisis here. We’re talking about MS, which is gaming the system for financial benefit. If you want serious answers from me, it helps to not be so accusatory in your comments. Just sayin!

          I am happy to answer the questions you have posed here and in your other comment.

          1. We all have access to the same information. No, I have not personally interviewed an American Express representative to ask how they chose the accounts to close. That is a really dumb question. We are all making assumptions based on what we do know – I do know that I have read dozens of comments on all sorts of websites and blogs where people complained of getting shut down but also mentioned they used their Bluebird to MS heavily – many of them also said they used the funds to pay off the same credit card they used to buy gift cards.
          2. My husband and I still have our Bluebird cards. Our accounts were never closed and we never got the dreaded letter. That’s despite the fact that we have used both of our Bluebird cards to pay mortgages after loading them with pin-enabled Visa cards many, many times.
          3. I wondered if it would still work after all those accounts got cancelled, so I sent my husband out to buy $1,000 in gift cards and load his bluebird last week. It worked fine, although the Walmart Money Center ATM was down so he had to load his card at the Money Center. So to answer this, “Congratulations if you and your fellow small band here have indeed escaped the axe that hit most of us…. Are you still a survivor? Still able to pay your mortgage with bluebird?” Yes, I can still pay my mortgage with Bluebird. I know plenty of other people whose accounts were not closed as well.
          4. I don’t think anyone knows for sure what will/will not get your account closed down, so I can’t offer you any advice on that.

  36. So help me understand this process.

    1. Go to store which sells the Debit (Gift Card) and purchase the card and load it with your “rewards” credit card, like a southwest airlines credit card?

    2. Use this loaded Debit(gift) card to load up your blue bird account at walmart.

    3. Use your Bluebird account (Which I assume has an account and routing number associated with it) to pay all the bills which require account and routing numbers?

    Is this basically it? (of course, making sure you are paying your bills at the right time, and credit card bills on time to avoid interest is assumed)

    1. Yep. You got it. The trickiest part is finding a store that sells the pin-enabled gift/debit cards and will let you load it with your rewards card!

      1. Gotcha!!

        So, here’s another question. It appears and correct me if I’m wrong, but the most people are able to find are “debit” cards that let you load up to $500. You will use this(apply it) on your AE account and then trash this card? Is this correct?

        If that’s the case, can’t “re-loadable” cards be used? I was at CVS just today and saw “re-loadable” “debit” MasterCards. Can’t these be used?

        1. They typically can only be purchased with cash, thus negating the benefit of using credit cards for the purchase. These institutions have been trying to cut down on the public’s ability to spend for credit card purchases. In some comments, you can see that this method is also waning in some places.

  37. When I look at the Bluebird sign up site, it shows a limit of $200 from a debit card daily/$1000 monthly. Have the terms changed recently?

  38. Instead of the Visa pin enabled gift card you suggest can you use a Western Union Netspend prepaid master card? My rewards card gives me 3 times more points for gas station purchases and the WU netspend can be purchased at 7-11 gas stations. I can’t find the Visa pin enabled gift card at any gas stations. Just wondering if anyone has tried this with the WU Netspend yet and if it worked okay.

    1. Some CC with rewards on gas purchases estipulate in the fine letters something along the lines of “purchases at the pump” so I suggest you do the research with your CC company to avoid a dissapointment.

  39. I just attempted to purchase a Visa pin enabled gift card from Walmart and they would not let me purchase it with a credit card. Has anyone else encountered this? The cashier indicated that it was not Walmart’s policy, but Visa’s policy.

    Where do you all buy your pin enabled gift cards?

    1. Try a different cashier

    2. I buy them at the grocery stores – they never have them at Walmart where I live. The type I buy is pictured in this post. I hope that helps!

  40. I have not heard of chargesmart before that’s a good tool to put in the arsenal. 2.85% on my mortgage isn’t bad, especially since my payment will cover the sign up bonus for most credit card offers. I’m starting to get into the money order game since my Serve account was shut down. Thanks for the info!

  41. In most stores you cannot use a credit card to buy a Pin-enabled GC. Even in Kroger you have to give them your drivers’ license to buy Visa gift cards. The only store to buy them now with a credit card is Kroger/Safeway and you’ll need your driver’s license.

    1. That’s true, David. You do need your driver’s license at Kroger. With that being said, it has never bothered me to let them enter my DL number when I buy a gift card. I’m not breaking the law and it’s none of their business what I’m buying them for.

  42. Hello all, I’m new to this website and I tried to catch up most of the information which other users had provided above.. for the newbie, do you guys have any step by step information? for me should I start with purchasing Amex serve card from Walmart?

    1. Like Most Noob’s, don’t be lazy. Everything you need to know is listed on this page. Try reading like the rest of us have. More importantly, my post about 5 posts up showing 3 steps.

  43. Holly

    Is it worth trying to pay my mortgage with this method if I already will reach the $4000 spending requirement in 3 months to get the 50,000 bonus from Chase Sapphire preferred? Just in groceries we will spend $4100 in 3 months. Just wanting your opinion. We have a big family so we can meet it pretty easy. I think I read that doing this method only is needed when trying to get the bonus. I need to go read your article on cc hopping to get more than one sign on bonus. I am interested in the 80,000 sign up for marriot also. We just got our chase sapphire yesterday so we are starting with that bonus.

    1. Hey! You are absolutely right. It only makes sense to pay your mortgage with a cc if you’re trying to earn a signup bonus in 99% of cases. If you’re going to spend 4K on groceries in 3 months, I wouldn’t bother doing it the hard way =) We spent about $1,400 per month on credit now so we basically do the same- our credit spending consists of money on groceries, gas, misc. health insurance, gymnastics lessons, etc.

      I have the new Marriott offer on my top rewards page if you want to sign up through my link! If you signed up for the Chase Sapphire Preferred though, I would probably have your spouse sign up for the Marriott card. You’ll want to space your applications out at least 91 days.

  44. Just signed up for Bluebird online and the terms of service state a 200 a day, 200 a transaction with a 1000 monthly limit for debit card loads. I cant find any mention of the 1000 a day limit I read about here…. The terms of service read “last modified Feb 19, 2016”. Has anyone had an experience with Bluebird in the last week or so? I just finished paying for a wedding so it was easy to meet the bonus spending requirements of many cards but now I need another method. Looks like money orders and a fee based bill pay service may be the only way to go now. Thanks!

    1. It has said $200/day for a while now. I think that’s for online debits or something. I can try the whole Bluebird thing this week and report back!

    2. I’d encourage you to read the other comments as this question has been asked several times now 😉 That limit is only for online funding. In-store doesn’t have that limit.

        1. Thanks I did read the whole page.. I will try it when I get my card in the mail and report back.

          1. Went to a Houston Staples and could not find any VGCs at all.. Next I went to office depot and they had 200 dollar VGCs. I got one of those as a test run and went to kroger to get a money order. First lady asked to see my card then said I couldn’t use a “prepaid card.” Tried another krogers and got a MO no problem. Also, I have two Simon malls near me so I will be getting some 500 VGCs to load up my bluebird when it arrives. Right now I am just giving my wife the MOs to deposit. We recently married so she hasn’t changed her name yet and we do not bank together.

            A quick question: In your opinion would it be better to get the 500 dollar simon gift cards and incur less fees, or order several 300 gift cards from staples online? I have a Chase Ink Plus card so I would get 1x points from simon but 5x points from Staples. I need to hit 5000 in three months to get the bonus.

  45. I bought a Vanilla Pin enabled GC at HEB (Texas) just like the one in the picture with my Saphire card no problem. The issue I have is the Bluebird loading phase at the money center machine at Wal-Mart. I was able to go through the load without issue until the machine processed the payment then the transaction was denied. I did some Googling and found MANY (1) star reviews of vanilla GC and some people saying you have to register it in your ZIP before it will work, so I did. I went back to Wal-Mart and got the same error code (93) “denied by bank”. It was only successful when I did $10 which would be ridiculous to load $1000 that way.

    1. Try registering it and let us know what happens.

    2. Hey!
      I never buy the Vanilla kind – only the kind pictured in this post. I’m not sure how Vanilla GCs will work in this case. Yes, please report back when you get a chance.

  46. Thank you! I just loaded my prepaid Visa debit card to my Bluebird and it worked great. I noticed several reloadable Visa debit cards at Wal-mart and wondering if these would work to load the Bluebird card to save on the fees. Is there a reason you don’t recommend using those?

  47. Hi Holly,
    I like this idea, and thank you for the tips. Although I got a new BofA bankamericard a few months ago, I have been using the 0% APR on purchases for first 12 months to park sudden unusual expenses (e.g., relatively expensive family dental work including crowns and cavities), so that I can break up payments into small manageable amounts scheduled every few weeks in order to pay off the total balance well before the end of promotional 0% APR on purchases period.

    However I’ve been thinking about the possibility of using the 0% APR on purchases to finance a $4800 home improvement project, namely structural foundation support, if I know I can secure the option to transfer the balance at the end of the introductory 0% APR on the current card to another 0% APR on balance transfers card with 0% APR on that balance for that new card for at least another 12 months. Needless to say, I would continue to make at least $200 monthly payments to the card, with the goal of paying it all off by the end of introductory period of this 2nd card.

    My question is, how likely will it be for me to secure a 0% APR card at the end of the intro period of my current one if my current credit scores avg 777 and provided I maintain the same or better credit standing up until the time I need the new 0% APR on balance transfers and on purchases card?

    Thanks in advance for your thoughts.


  48. Hi Holly,
    How long would you recommend waiting before paying off the credit card balance from a single mortgage payment without raising eyebrows, if that’s even a possibility?


  49. Hi,
    Does it really benefit you if you were to buy 4 of the gift cards a month for paying off a rent/ car payment equal to $1704?
    When you think of all the fees your racking up a year close to $240, each time you pay to get the card loaded theres a $4.95 fee. Really, the only way i see this benefitting at all would be in the first year. Your able to get the bonus points which equates to $$ AND the yearly fee is waived in year one. Beyond that i feel that all the hassle you have to go through is pointless considering you now have to pay for the yearly fee on the card which varies from 60-200$.

  50. So I bought 4 500 Simon gift cards from a local mall and successfully loaded them onto my bluebird with the kiosk at Walmart. I am using bill pay to pay off my wife’s credit card that I used for a bonus. I also loaded some cash to make some various retail purchases to hopefully stay under the radar. I noticed that you can buy money orders from the Walmart kiosk as well… Has anyone had any luck with that? The bluebird website shows a limit of 5000/month for swiped debit card loading… I will more than that for my goals.

  51. Hi Holly,

    I am also a fellow Hoosier. I am interested in using a bluebird card to pay my mortgage so I followed your instructions. Unfortunately, I was unable to load my bluebird card today at Wal-Mart with $25 (I wanted to start with a small amount to make sure it would work for me). I started by loading a visa debit gift card at Kroger (the exact same one pictured here). Next, I took my new bluebird card and debit gift card it to the money center at Wal-Mart and the transaction would not go through. Everything seemed normal until I typed in my 4 digit pen for the debit visa to complete the transaction. At that point an error code of (75) popped up telling me the transaction was unauthorized. I called the number on the debit visa to confirm the card was ready for use and loaded with money. I also confirmed my pen code. Do you have any other suggestions? I’m really at a loss here. Thanks.

    1. Hello Joe. Sounds like you just got the card, so hopefully it’s an opening setup issue. Check your email though…. Just yesterday, AMEX lowered the boom for an even broader net of Bluebird card holders. (google Round 2! Amex is shutting down more Bluebird accounts) Would be terrible if you got caught in that drag-net without even getting started. (hope not)

      Holly, are you still escaping the Amex culling of BlueBird? If so, I’m “relaxed,” even if envious/ admiring. I’d been hoping to get back into the bluebird “game” — and restrict my spending entirely to mortgage/utility bill payments. Wondering though if this latest shut down is affecting even those of you not paying credit card bills with bb)

      1. Will, our Bluebirds haven’t been shut down as of today. However, I haven’t loaded it with a gift card since last month.

        1. Glad to hear Holly, and happy for you. (You’d know if Amex had closed your account by a ominous bad news email they’ve sent out to many, on Jan 8th, and again yesterday. check spam filters too) If you and others here indeed have been spared, it does hold out the glimmer of hope that if family & friends ever try bluebird or serve anew or again, that if they eschew any payments of cc type bills with them, and stick just to payment of non-cc bills, that the bluebird just might continue to fly — albeit at lower altitude. 🙂

    2. Hey Joe,
      Did you use the PIN included with the gift card? Honestly, I would try again. Occasionally they have glitches or problems with their system – it has happened to me multiple times!
      You also have to make sure you’re following the prompts correctly at the register. Some of the cashiers aren’t familiar with the process and it’s fairly easy to muck up. Basically, you:
      Tell them you want to load your Bluebird. The cashier should push buttons on their register to prepare it.
      Then the cashier will tell you to swipe your bluebird card. Then they will ask how much you want to load.
      When you tell them the amount, the cashier will type it into their register.
      Then you need to confirm the amount on your end. THEN you swipe your debit card and choose debit for payment.
      Please report back and tell us how it goes!

      1. Update. There was apparently an issue with the pen code on the gift debit card. Once I reset it the kiosk did accept the gift debit card. With that said, I was told by multiple cashiers at two different Wal-Marts that they could not process any transaction at a register with the debit gift cards unless they were run as credit. I did not try again at a register after I fixed the pen code problem so take it for what it’s worth. I may try again. Regardless, I am hopeful about the kiosk. Oh, and just discovered the grocery store I am purchasing the debit cards from will allow me to also get fuel points which will more than offset the fees associated with the denit cards!!! Thanks again.

        1. I wouldn’t disclose you’re using a “gift card” for the debit purchase. Simply walk up, say you want to fund with a debit card, and use the card machine and PIN facing you in the checkout line. I’ve never had them check my debit card to see if it’s a gift card.

          As for the fuel points, they typically exclude VISA GC’s from this promotion. I’d be amazed if they’re offering fuel points for a VISA GC purchase. If that’s the case, you better get while the getting’s good! That got shut down at Safeway and Kroger years ago.

          Glad to hear it worked.

          1. At my Kroger in Texas the VISA GCs ring as groceries still, and I put the full $500 on the VISA GC, get some groceries along with it, and put it all on my AmEx Blue Cash Preferred. I get all the Kroger Fuel points for the large purchase every time still. I just paid $1.35 for gas with all my fuel points accumulated this month.

  52. Looks like our buddy Holly has abandoned us right around now when it looks like amex is starting to restrict bluebird from even loading the visa pin-enabled gift cards suggested in this blog entry. I was about to do what Joe did and try getting a low denomination gift card and then seeing if it loads onto bluebird at the money center kiosk at Walmart, but it looks like that isn’t even working. So, paying my mortgage of 3K doesn’t seem like it’s close to working. Any evidence to the contrary?

      1. Especially the same questions asked over and over again:P Read everything Lee. Guaranteed your questions are there and are answered. Otherwise get out there and start trying this stuff yourself.

  53. Hi Guys,
    I’m wondering if anyone is in Austin , TX and knows where to purchase $500 + gift cards other than 7-11 . I can’t find them anywhere! Target and Walmart here now have a cap on them to no more than $200.

    Thank you JC

    1. Staples sells them up to 300 online. Also Simon malls sell 500 cards. See if there is one of their malls near you.

      1. THANKS! I do have a Simon Mall, I’m assuming they will be sold in a kiosk in the middle of the mall?
        I hope it’s the same Simon Mall you’re referring to. In Austin it is the brand of the entire mall, which is huge.

        1. You would need to call and ask but yea usually it’s a kiosk. They did ask me to fill out some form saying what the cards are for which I didn’t care for but MS is not money laundering or illegal in any way.

  54. I have read comments on the internet recently that Bluebird machines will not allow gift card deposits anymore, as of Jan, 2016. I honestly have not tried this in several months, but some posts here and elsewhere indicate this is most likely true. I am wondering if Amex only shut down heavy users, or if it is completely across the board for everyone with an account. I actually only did this on one occasion to earn some extra reward points. It would be interesting to hear anyone’s comments relating to recent, personal experiences with this. Thanks!

    1. I used an Office Depot GC, and a bunch of Simon GCs to load at a Walmart kiosk as well as at the register. I did not have any problems. I am doing billpay as well as buying money orders and I am also throwing in some retail spending. Ive only had bluebird a few weeks bit so far so good.

      1. Thanks for reporting back, Eric. Where are you located?

        We appreciate the updates because we haven’t checked in at Walmart for a few weeks.

    2. LCC, perhaps you may be conflating issues here. Since early January, there have been two massive waves of Bluebird and Serve shutdowns…. that is, where accounts received notice that prevented them from any loading of any kind (and then account holders told to close their accounts)

      On the other hand, if you’re bb account hasn’t been shut down, did you see something that you were being prevented from loading functioning BB’s via Kate machines at WMT? that too would be news indeed.

      ps to Holly, I presume then your BB accounts were spared in this latest culling? (as per question above) You’d know if you got one of the infamous amex emails.

      1. Neither of our accounts have been shut down – yet! With that being said, we haven’t loaded a gift card into Bluebird at Walmart for several weeks.

      2. It could be told through a number of things. If you load your account each time from a different debit card number (as you would when using GC’s) that’s a red flag. If you always load $500 on the nose each time, that’s another red flag. If you don’t do direct deposit, etc, that’s another red flag. I’m pretty sure the VISA GC’s are assigned a certain number range too (notice how all the VISA GC’s start with the same 4-8 digits?). A few data analytics guys could probably have a list of everyone who does this in a relatively short time. It’s probably safer to say that if you use more of their non-MS services, the more likely they’ll keep your account on.

  55. Does anyone have experience with buying the pin enabled visa debit cards in Florida using their rewards cc? I am considering doing this to pay my mortgage to get the bonus points on my Chase Sapphire card. We don’t have a Kroegers here in Florida. We do have Publix, Winn Dixie, CVS, Wal-Greens. Does anyone know if any of these places will allow you to purchase the pin enabled visa debit cards with a cc? Thanks.

  56. Hi Dan,
    It looks like most or all of those red flags are ones outlined in this blog as necessary to make this work:
    1. If you load your account each time from a different debit card number (as you would when using GC’s) that’s a red flag.
    2. If you always load $500 on the nose each time, that’s another red flag.
    3.If you don’t do direct deposit, etc, that’s another red flag

    Perhaps the secret to keeping bluebird open is, as Eric mentioned and Dan implied, doing some retail spending and money order spending in addition to the bill pay outlined in this blog in order to not raise suspicion.

    Eric, what proportion of your spending for your mortgage (on any one given occasion) at Walmart is each of the above types of spending? I will be trying to buy gift cards totaling $3000 for mortgage, but am wondering what types of extra spending (e.g., groceries, money orders) and how much extra to spend for each one so as to fly under the radar.

    Also, I recall reading here and elsewhere that you can’t of load the same gift card twice. So, D, that part seems unavoidable. But, buying gift cards and loading them with different denominations (e.g.,$463, $480 on day one; $477, $438 on day two), etc., is doable.


    1. Well I’ve only had bluebird for a few weeks so it’s pretty much speculation on my part. So far I’m doing about 1k of billpay with mortgage and car note. I am also doing a few hundred dollars in random retail using money I load from my real debt card or real cash. I did notice that GC loads show up on my account as cash load. I am going to keep it like that on a monthly basis and see how that goes. I already hit my 5k ink bonus promotion so I might slow down a bit until I need to take another flight. 1800 dollars of GC from staples nets me right under 10k chase rewards point. Honestly I am more worried about chase shutting me down and taking my rewards then I am about losing bluebird.

      1. Sincerely wish you “luck” Eric with your thinking and random strategies. Alas, quite honestly, I’ve read credibly reports of hundreds, if not thousands of BlueBird users getting shut down. (by contrast, it’s been rather rare to hear of Chase shutting down INK cards — and when it does, speculation seems to suggest wild spending far beyond stated income.)

        In any case, there are web sites where folks have tried to tabulate, assess, and discern just whose BB’s & Serves were shot down and why. If I had weeks to go back through the flyertalk threads, we could find you anecdotal accounts of folks thinking they would avoid the amex culling, by strategies similar to your own, (including those doing lots of “swipes” — retail) but then they too did not survive the recent second round bird slaughter. One of the common denominators among those getting the axe the second time was simply that (like you) there accounts were newer. Again, may you be spared, two months from now (on the next speculated shut down cycle)

        I remain intrigued (and hopeful) that Holly’s apparent strategy of avoiding credit card billpay with bluebird might indeed be a safe harbor.

        And so, we will await your experience Eric, to see if you indeed are one of the rare birds who can show the rest of us how to fly…. that is, if we e’re permitted to get airborne again. (one way, or the other)

    2. I am also considering diverting a small percentage of my direct deposit to my bluebird account.

    3. Lee, I’m not saying I know exactly what they are targeting to shut down accounts. It could be they’re shutting down Serve/Bluebird overall and are shutting it down in waves, but if I were looking to isolate MSers, I’d start isolating that data. You can certainly load less than $500 at a time and you can definitely use other Bluebird Services. The loading from a different debit card number each time is the hardest one to avoid.

  57. Has anyone had any luck buying money orders with their BB card? I’ve previously gotten MOs with pin enabled debit cards from Kroger, but when I tried to use my BB card today it kept going thru as credit and gave me no option to do debit. I went to a Moneypass kiosk but of course it was out of order. I did not try the Walmart service desk because there was a huge line. Several gas stations and check cashing places around Houston sell money orders but they are cash only.

  58. My Wal-Mart will no longer accept the pre-paid Visa Gift cards to load Bluebird. Does anyone have any suggestions.

    1. Hi Lisa,

      Did a cashier or Money Center employee tell you that? Or, did you find the the registers were hard coded not to accept them?

    2. The registers and bluebird terminal accept them. They may have been instructed to not take them. I’ve never had a problem, but I make it a habit to not take any cards out of my wallet until prompted by the card reader. If you walk up to the counter with bluebird in one hand and a VGC in the other you are asking for problems. Honestly the last two times I have loaded the terminal wont take my card. When I get to the part where it asks me to swipe my BB card, it says authorizing for a long while then gives some type of error message and tells me to goto the counter. I think it is a kiosk problem though since I have no trouble loading from the register. All the other kiosks near me are always out of order.

  59. Why not just use plastiq to pay your mortgage using your CC. It looks like there is a 2-3% fee for doing so, but this is approximately the same in fees you’d be paying by buying 6 VGCs to fund BB, serve, or to buy a money order if paying a 3k mortgage.

    1. Not sure where you’re getting your math wrong, but $3000 x .03 = $90. Buying (6) $500 GC @ $5 each == $30. So, you’re paying $60 more. Even at 2% , you’d be paying $30 more.

      1. Ha, yes, I think it was wishful thinking and that I’m tired…
        .. But thinking about it now, even with 2% fee and even only a $100 bonus, you’d still net $40.

  60. I just got the Starwood SPG CC and am looking forward to redeeming the promotion miles

    Does anyone know if the following terms for getting the 35,000 promotional reward miles will be possible if I pay my mortgage with VGC purchased money orders?

    Eligible purchases can be made by the Basic Card Member and any Additional Card Members on a single Card account. Eligible purchases do NOT include fees or interest charges, balance transfers, cash advances, purchases of travelers checks, purchases or reloading of prepaid cards, or purchases of other cash equivalents.

    Does purchase of “other cash equivalents” mean that purchasing money orders won’t count?

    Please advise.

    Thank you in advance.

    1. Lee, you’re not purchasing money orders directly with your Starwood card, right? You are using gift cards to buy money orders, right? If so, how would Starwood know?

      1. Hi Holly,
        Right, I am using VGCs to pay for the money orders.

        I meant to ask whether purchasing the VGCs with it will count towards the promotional 35,000 points. The terms and conditions appear to say that eligible purchases do not include prepaid cards.

        Another question: With all of these new cards, I’d like to use a reliable and convemient method of paying the accounts in full every month. Do you have them set up to pay the full amount automatically every month from your checking account on each of the cards’ online sites? BTW, I’ve created a spreadsheet like you mentioned to keep track of deadlines for reaching paying minimum amounts to reach promotional rewards, payment due dates, promotional points or cash to be earned, card open date, card close date.


        1. Where are you buying your gift cards? At the grocery store? I have never had a problem with gift cards not counting toward minimum spending requirements when purchasing them from a grocery store. It’s not like AMEX is going to get ahold of your grocery store receipts to find out what you bought.

  61. I mean, it looks like purchasing VGCs for whatever amount won’t count:

    purchases do NOT include…purchases or reloading of prepaid cards.

    1. Unless your buying them from gift card mall or something I don’t know how they could know what you purchased. So what if I spent 2000 at staples or 800 at krogers.. Thats all it shows up as. I’ve never had a problem as of yet.

  62. Ah ok, doesn’t show up as “gift cards”, thanks…maybe also interspersing with real grocery purchases for some odd numbers and cents will also be a good smoke screen.

    Ok, I’m ready to go play this game-I’m planning this month to buy and use 6 total VGCs to buy MOs for mortgage to total about 3k (across multiple trips to different grocery stores, etc). Wish me luck.

  63. Yes, when they say no purchasing using gift cards, it’s as if they have a way of finding out whether that happened or not…

  64. David Golden says:

    Does the method of the visa gift card still work? I’ve read several posts that it no longer works.

    1. Where did you read this?

      1. David Golden says:

        I just tried this at walmart myself with two different Visa debit card gift cards, and it did not work. I tried using my southwest card for purchase and it gave the the cashier an error “not allowed”.

        1. Hey David,
          Can you give more details? Why type of visa debit cards were you trying to load at Walmart? How did it “not work?”
          Also, where were you trying to buy a gift card with your Southwest card???

          1. David Golden says:

            Hi Holly, maybe Im not understanding this right. Is the point not to buy a vanilla gift card with your credit card to earn points And load your blue bird card with the vanilla to pay bills?

          2. Yes and no.
            First of all, I have never loaded bluebird with a Vanilla gift card. I only use pin-enabled gift cards as pictured in this post. Second, if your credit card won’t let you buy a gift card, you’re doing something wrong.

          3. David Golden says:

            Both cards I tried purchasing were pin enabled. I also went to our grocery chain called HEB, and tried there with a couple of different pin enabled visa gift cards and I was told i had to use debit or cash to purchase those.

          4. I tried it also at 2 different Walmart stores a couple of days ago and today using a pin enabled US Bank visa/debit card I purchased at a grocery store. The money order purchase was denied and I think the screen said use an alternate method of payment.

  65. My mortgage company does in fact allow me to make mortgage payments using multiple MOs. I did it yesterday.

    Also, I checked to make sure that any MOs I give them will go towards the next minimum due and not simply towards principal as an additional amount. For example, my next mortgage due date is on 4/1/16. I went in yesterday with $1000 spread across three MOs. They applied the MOs to my minimum due payment on 4/1/16. So, now after the $1k payment, I will only owe $2k on my $3k monthly payment. But other mortgage companies/banks don’t allow early payments to go towards the next minimum due, and instead would only apply my $1k MO payment to the overall principal balance and not towards the $3k monthly amount due.

    What I haven’t found information on, however, is if there is a risk I am taking when I pay my mortgage in multiple MOs totaling about $3k every month, in a similar way that buying and depositing multiple MOs for “large” amounts and depositing them into my banking bank (which is different than my mortgage one) is.

    Does anyone have insight into this?


  66. Hey Holly,
    I purchased 6 different onevanilla cards from Walmart on 6 separate occasions to purchase 6 different MOs on 6 different occasions from USPS. Worked great to pay my mortgage. But, if USPS shuts down MO purchases due to purchasing MOs by too many people for the same amounts, I’d like to have the bluebird account as a backup option….

    What has been your experience with Bluebird lately? Does it work for you still?


    1. It is still working for me. Billpay works great and posts within 1-2 business days. I have not had any luck buying MOs with my BB card however.

      1. Great to know! Thanks Eric.

        Remind me, to be as inconspicuous as possible with this, are you doing direct deposit into your bluebird account and/or buying other items (e.g., groceries) at the same time you buy a Visa gift card at Walmart?

        If I arrange some of my monthly income to be direct deposited into my bluebird account and pay bills online with it, then I can’t use my credit cards to make those purchases so I can get points for them. But, if I don’t do at least that, then I fear they’ll shut down the account after I purchase 6 VGCs every month and load them onto bluebird to pay mortgage…Perhaps in addition to the $3k mortgage that I’m using bluebird to pay every month, I can also pay two or three other $50-$60 bills every month…Of course this is all contingent on making sure that the one Walmart somewhat nearby has a money express machine… What do you think?


        1. Honestly I’ve only had BB for less than 2 months. I moved 2k of VGC so far and used it to pay mortgage, a car note and even withdrew some cash at am atm to pay my CC. I do a small amount of retail spending on it too. I don’t do direct deposit but that would be a good idea.

        2. How much was the associated cost of each Gift card and the MO?

          1. Each gift card was for $500 and each associated MO was for an odd value just under $500 (e.g., $489.23).

    2. Sorry for not being more clear. I was curious about the cost of buying each GC and each MO. Usually the GC I buy is 5.95 to activate. I wonder how much was your Vanilla GC and MO fees.


      1. Each VGC cost $4.95, and each MO cost $1.25. So for mortgage that month, I payed a total of $37.20 in fees.

    3. Hey Lee! It still worked the last time I loaded Bluebird at Walmart, which was a few weeks ago. I’ll do another round once I get time and report back, I promise!

  67. Well after about a month and a half Amex emailed me to let me know my loading capabilities are terminated… It was good while it lasted. I might get a bluebird card for my wife and try to squeeze a bit more out of them.

    1. Haha, I just got the same email. Will follow up with them on it.

      1. Looks like the only trick I have left is to buy staples VGCs with my chase INK card and use them to buy money orders. The 5x points will be the only thing making it worth it.

    2. Did u consistently deposited the same amount, e.g., $500 ?

      1. I would deposit >$500. I’m not sure if this is what caused it. I’d do $500 from the GC and then whatever cash was in my wallet at the time, so it could be $528, could be $700. I didn’t do $500 on the nose though.

        1. I did a ton of 300 VGC loads at walmart and a little loading here and there with my debit card online to support retail spending.

        2. Thanks.

          That’s a detail I am mindful about: deposit different amounts > and < of $500, also pay more than the mortgage with the BB account.

  68. Thanks for your input Eric M.

  69. Does anyone know if I have to prove business ownership to get approved for the Chase Ink Plus Business card?

    Thanks in advance.

    1. Hey Lee, If I remember correctly you just need to use your business tax ID number.

      1. Thanks Greg,
        We were actually thinking of my wife applying for the card. But what’s confusing here is that I file jointly with my wife, and I don’t earn income via a business. However some of her income is via private clients, which essentially us tantamount to a business. So, if I don’t have a business, but my wife does, and we file jointly every year, then will our tax ID number accurately reflect the business component of our expenses that we would like it to for the purposes of this getting approved for this card? And if not, how should I approach it to get approved? I hope that made sense.

        Thanks in advance.

        1. KEVIN HOFFMAN says:

          All you need to do is register using your SSN and “your name SP” as the company name (sole proprietorship). I was just approved for $10k on this card with no business. I just sell a few things here and there on eBay

  70. I live in Canada, Montreal to be exact. Is there any other way around this?
    I just got a CIBC credit card with reward points, however I am thinking of cancelling it. In order to get any kind of worth while points you have to be spending at least 1000$ and up on your card MONTHLY.
    I have daycare fees that I pay monthly. 1400-1700 per month. But guess what they don’t accept credit cards. (only cash, debit, personal cheque or money order) I have partial mortgage fees of 750 a month. Guess what, they don’t allow credit card payments. I started back school and have to pay 1400 next semester. Same thing. Sorry we don’t accept Credit Cards. That Bulebird and Redbird card doesn’t apply to Canada. So I think I will cancel my card. The only big ticket items I could purchase on my card would be a trip (not happening ) and or renting a car or buying a big screen T.V (also not happening) and as usual there is always an annual fee to hold the card (mine was 120$ which was waived for the first year) I really wanted to try and play this rewards game,I have good credit, I always pay my bills on time and in full. Again I repeat, I really wanted to play this rewards game, but if I play it, I will be the one getting played.

    1. I also pay for child care monthly, about $600, as well as mortgage. I learned that another way that has worked for me using a credit card is to buy $500 Visa gift card with CC, and then buy money orders to pay day care and mortgage.

    2. This makes sense to me.

      You could try starting a side business selling things online to legitimize the purchases. If you spend $1k/month on inventory and sell those things for at least $1k (or hopefully a small profit), you can meet your spending requirements and reap the benefits of those rewards. I do this with a few cards.

      On the other hand, buying and selling products is a legitimate spend. If you do it right, you can spend quite a lot in a year this way.

      I hope that helps.

  71. Thanks for the comments. Something to think of @ Lee, and as for David good option too but too complicated for me personally. Kind of sucks because the money that I would like to spend on a credit card is my honest hard working money but like you said David the companies don’t do anything in the best interest of the client. It’s about making money for them not getting free points for you.

    1. Perhaps the post office or another chain store in Canada sells money orders as they do in the US. Ideally it would be for a minimal fee. You could use a Visa gift card to buy it.

    2. This is true. Plus, if you consider that the benefit of a credit card is that you’re basically getting a free ~30 day loan (the difference between when you purchase and when you pay), you can factor that into the benefit of a card.

      With some of these people buying GC’s and then money orders, you pay fees on both ends typically, when you buy the GC and when you buy the M.O.. For me, it’s not worth it. For example, you could use the Square credit card reader to cash out GC’s to yourself. However, you’ll pay a $5.95 fee for a $500 GC, and then a ~2.5% fee to Square to process the transaction. Overall, for a $505.95 CC charge, you’re paying (5.95+[2.5%*500])= $18.45 in fees. When it’s all said and done, that $505.95 in credit card spend costs you 3.6% in fees to complete. The Bluebird method costs you slightly less at 1.2%. This is all assuming the card itself has no annual fee. Either way, unless you have credit card rewards that exceed this benefit (such as a 1-time offer sign on bonus), you’re best to use a no-fee card for the money you’d normally spend, and keep your cash in a high-interest online bank (such as Ally).

      1. “Overall, for a $505.95 CC charge, you’re paying (5.95+[2.5%*500])= $18.45 in fees. When it’s all said and done, that $505.95 in credit card spend costs you 3.6% in fees to complete.”

        Thats simply false, although it is nice to know about an option to liquidate a Visa gift card if there’s a time when I can’t get a money order with a VGC. For every $500 VGC, it costs $4.95 for the VGC + $1.20 for the money order at USPS = $6.15, which is only slightly less than 1.3% total.

        The Ally idea sounds great, thanks for the info. I wonder, what are the fees associated with the Ally high interest account? Is there a minimum amount for that account? What about restrictions on how much and when you can get disbursements from that account?

  72. Right, paying bills is not MS.

  73. Holly and Greg,
    As I and my wife get approved for more and more cards, I’m concerned that at some point, my chances of getting approved will diminish. What steps should I take to prevent that from happening aside from keeping all accounts in good standing (i.e., never leaving an unpaid balance on the card into the next billing cycle)? We have been lowering our credit limits of the cards just as soon as we open them (e.g., just recently, approved for the Amex Hilton Honors card, and immediately lowered to credit limit $30k to $10k). Do you also lower the credit limits on your cards to make room for more lines of credit on future cards?

    Thanks in advance for your insight into this.

  74. But, if after lowering the credit limits on cards to no less than $10k, I decide to put balances on 0% APR cards, just in case too high utilization may become a factor negatively impacting my credit score, would making sure to always use less than 50% of my credit limit on any card preempt an associated negative impact on my credit score?

  75. pixelrogue says:

    Bit new to this: Looking to pay mortgage with new credit card – but do NOT want to incur cash advance fees. Not finding clear information on how this works, payment that is not a cash advance fee. Thank you for any insight.

      1. Hey pixelrogue,

        In our experience, if you purchase the gift card/debit card and load it at the store, it is not a cash advance. It is considered a purchase. Hope that helps.

        1. Pixelrogue says:

          Thankbyou for the response. So this would mean going out and lurchasing enough gift cards to pay the mortgage payment. Each gift card capped at $500 so racking up fees for each lurchase as well?

          Fast forward, assuming there are now enough visa prepaid cards, go to Wellsfargo online and then use each card adding them together to pay the bill? Expecting such efforts would get flagged and not allowed (muktiple visa oerpaids to pay a mortgage)

          No access to Amex Serve account, anyone know of Serve like accounts which will take visa prepaids and then use to oay normal bills?

  76. I’d like to try to make the BB work for paying my mortgage. One detail in not clear on: do you have to buy new VGC each month or can you use your CC to re-load the ones you already purchased?

    1. Hey Nathan,
      The VGCs are one use only. So you have to buy a new one each time you reload.

      1. I was wondering the same thing. Thank you. Just to be clear. If I need $2,000/month to pay my mortgage I will have to buy 4 $500 VGCs each with $4.95-ish fee (which will also get me points on cc) and load them to BlueBird on 2 separate occasions (they only allow $1000/day). Correct?

        1. Yes. That’s it. It may not last forever, but it currently still works for many.

  77. It states in your article that you can deposit $5,000 a month in a Bluebird account, however, on their website, it says you can only deposit $200 a day/$1,000 a month via debit card. Is there something I am missing there?

    1. The directions on the website aren’t very clear. That is for online only.

  78. For anyone who is following the comments section, I loaded my BB account yesterday using the steps provided. So yes, it does still work.

    1. puxelrogue says:

      When Amex prepaids are not an option, what alternatives exist for an account you load with vppdc?

      1. As outlined above, if you don’t have access to a Bluebird account, you can try money orders or Chargesmart. There are a few others we are checking out but can’t recommend quite yet.

        1. Tomwillsell says:

          Is the pin enabled GC still a viable option to load BB?

          1. The short answer is yes. I’ve loaded mine within the last week.

  79. Hello,

    I have been just recently reading up the potential of paying my mortgage with a credit card. I tried buying Visa gift cards (pin enabled, mostly issued by Metabannk or Sunrise) in my location (Bay area) and none of them seem to allow buying through a credit card. Some allow debit card and some only cash. Any recommendations on how to buy them locally? Also, I see there are options to buy them online. Are they expected work as stated above in loading up the bluebird account?

    1. Hello, I don’t know if you have Kroger Grocery stores where you live, but if so, this is how I do it – At my Kroger, they carry the VISA gift cards, and they take American Express credit cards as form of payment. I purchase a VISA w/ pin gift card (that goes up to $500) along with some groceries. I say to put the full $500 on the VISA Gift card, and pay for it all with my American Express. At Kroger, VISA Gift Cards ring as groceries, not gift cards, so the purchase always goes through as groceries. (I do this on my American Express because groceries purchased with American Express give 6% cash back. Then I use that $500 VISA gift card to pay bills online, then I get cash back for the large ‘grocery’ purchase on my AmEx).

      1. Pixelrogue says:

        Actively seeking a non-amex (cost effectice) option that will allow loading account with vpc, and paying bills. Money orders a partial option. Anyone with aome newer less popular/known methods please email at gmail.

  80. Cousin Cornbread says:

    The ChargeSmart option sounds like the most efficient option. I have a $1800.00 mortgage which comes out to about $52/ payment, but that $52 will get me points as well, and I can avoid using gas and time driving from staples/grocery store, to the post office, and then to the bank to pay my mortgage. I can’t see any drawback to the chargesmart option. So basically if you end up paying a few extra hundred dollars in fees during the year but that nets you a free airline ticket or points to pay for hotels/ toys or whatever, why would you stop at just the 3-month (or however long)promotional mega-bonus bonus period?

    1. Snow Shoes says:

      Cousin Cornbread; that is exactly what I do with my mortgage! I did RedBird before it was shut down and it was always a pain to run to store, buy gift cards (hoping the store had some so I wouldn’t have to go to ‘another’ store) run to Target, load it, problems with the cards loading ….

      So when Redbird got shut down, I started using chargesmart ; no more wasted gas & time, I get extra points on the charge and no more stress about being shut down.

  81. You people are jumping through way too many hoops to save just a few dollars a month. I am a master at maximizing my cashback rewards, but you people have to draw a line somewhere. Seriously.

    1. Hey Ryan,
      Thanks for stopping by. I think you’ve kind’ve missed the point of why you’d want to do this. It’s not about generating extra cash back. The math wouldn’t work out in your favor.

  82. I will have to buy a couple of VGC soon so that I can hit a sign up bonus for a credit card and I was wondering if I should go ahead and try and deposit them via Bluebird or to just liquidate them by purchasing money orders. I’m not exactly sure which one is the safer route since I want to keep using my Bluebird account and want to avoid getting it terminated.

  83. I have created a pre-launch of an app called Mortgage Pay. It allows you to pay your mortgage using your credit card. Please check it out, it’s a free download, and will eventually allow you to enjoy the rewards and perks from using your credit card, which can be frequent flyer miles, cash back! Don’t waste any further time, and check it out! I am working with different Mortgage Companies to fulfill the needs of everyone.

    It’s currently only available on android devices. Iphone will be coming soon.

    1. Email me when it’s functional and I’ll add it to this post and write about it elsewhere.

    2. What is the latest on your Android app called Mortgage Pay?

      1. Mortgagepay is still in the works. I am changing the business model a bit and seeing if I could process with bitcoin, because all merchants refuse to work with the current business model

  84. pixelrogue says:

    What us the busibess model for the app?

  85. Too bad I didn’t know about this when I paid my mortgage off with a credit card. It was a no fee, no interest deal, and I put about $11,000 on my credit card and paid it off in a few months to be mortgage free! This was about 9 years ago. Your blog has been very helpful!

  86. This post was absolutely frickin hilarious….and you managed to teach me a whole lot! I thought it would he impossible to earn rewards by paying your mortgage. Thanks for getting me hip to the game!

  87. This is THE BEST post! I personally have not done this yet but I really really want to. I just refinanced my mortgage at my local bank though…so I need to find out what they will accept as payments.

  88. Holy crap you have a ton of comments on this post! Just reading through it I can tell you spent a lot of time putting this post together, so nice job! I’m bummed there isn’t a great option out there, but it’s also not surprising. I feel like mortgage companies don’t really have to compete for your business in the same way other companies do. I actually like the plastiq option. The fees aren’t great and are even higher than quarterly estimated tax payments with credit cards, but it IS profitable. I’ve paid the fee twice now for quarterly taxes. It’s profitable so I don’t really see myself NOT paying with a credit card in the future.

  89. Really well written Holly. I’m really glad I stumbled onto your post as I came across some of my bills didn’t allow for payment from credit cards directly (Mortgage being the big one). Before reading this I had already planned on doing something like this where I paid all my bills through credit cards and would pay the full amount each month. But before I can do that I need to get my credit cards all back to $0 (currently sitting at $9000 in credit card debt). Like I said I got a plan on how to bring the debit down. Needless to say I’ve found that I have about $460 monthly that I don’t spend, so I’m going to use that and balance transfer cards with 0% APR (its only an into 0% APR so will be getting new BT cards every couple moth) to pay my $9K debt down to $0 and avoid paying any more interest. I figure it will take me a year to do it (as long as I stick to my plan, discipline required), and only cost me about $6K to eliminate $9k of credit card debt (There’s actually more money getting spent, the $6k is money not being spent originally, the extra money I plan to add is the minimum payments of each card that is currently in use. So figure why not continue it in circulation after each card is brought to a $0 balance to make it faster). By the end I’m looking to have increased my credit score somewhere between 700-750 (currently at 600), double or triple my credit line limit (currently $24000), lower my overall credit card debt to $0, and figure I will have saved myself somewhere over $18000 in interest payments over the next several years. I plan on doing a full write up of everything I do, so others can follow, but now I think maybe it be best to start it now and update monthly so others can follow along and start sooner if they wish. Only reason for wanting to do this, is because I was looking for a way to help my clients that are doing Rent To Own properties from me, I feel this will help them out drastically, and get them into buying the home faster with a better credit score. Thank again Holly, your post helped me out a lot and gave me some ideas to make my plan work better and more favorable.

      1. Preston Kutz says:

        Welcome Holly. BTW, just came across this article on using square to transfer balance from a gift card to your bank account. After reading the steps a few times it hit me that we could avoid the use of gift cards all together and could use it to move money from a credit card to our bank account to pay for our mortgage and make it look like a “purchase” so we get the rewards. Give it a read and let me know if you come to same conclusion. If so, I think this would be the best way to pay your mortgage with credit cards in my opinion.

  90. Christopher says:

    You cant purchase blue bird cards with a credit card it requires cash or debit.. And so do the debit enabled gift cards. So how did you make it work?

    1. First, bluebird cards are free. You don’t have to purchase them at all.

      Second, you can definitely purchase many pin-enabled gift cards with credit cards. Lots of people do it all the time. Certain stores prohibit buying gift cards with credit, but not all.

      1. Christopher says:

        Sorry didnt mean to come off as rude.. But I was just at my local hellhole im sorry I meant wal mart. The cashier there said it would be $5 for the card and whatever additional amount I wished to add. So are you saying through there online subscription the card is free?

        1. No worries! I think you can still order a Bluebird card online for free with this page:

          Just click where it says “Not a Bluebird Member Yet?” You’ll have to wait a week or so for your card, but it does beat another Walmart trip! =)

          1. Christopher says:

            Thank you for the advice. And any suggestion as to which stores allow pin enabled debit card purchased with a credit card? Like albertsons or vons.. Etc?

          2. You’re welcome!
            Grocery stores and convenience stores are your best bet. I buy mine at a grocery store called Kroger. You can also buy them at Simon Malls! Just make sure to buy the right kind =)

  91. Excellent post! I never thought about doing this before. But now I will!! But first, I need to get me one of those fancy rewards cards! 😉

  92. I use to be so into airline miles and hotel points but have backed off in recent years! Thanks for reminding me about Bluebird. I still have an account open but I lost the card long ago. I hope they don’t have a monthly fee!

  93. I’m interested in paying my mortgage with Bluebird but my local Walmart states that I cannot load any money from a pin-enabled gift card to a Bluebird account. Are they right? I need to know if the rules have changed before I go down this road of paying for $2500 worth of cards with the airline miles reward CC.

    1. Hey Mikelli,

      How did you find out that they don’t allow you to do this? Did you ask? If you ask, they are definitely going to say no. You kinda need to keep it on the DL. Never tell Walmart you are using a gift card. If asked, you need to tell them you’re using a debit card – not a gift card.

      That being said, I would test it out first. Instead of buying thousands in gift cards, just load $20 and see if it will work at your particular Walmart.

      1. How is the rewards credit card connected to the bluebird account?

  94. Current Bluebird limits are $200/day and $1000/month and not what’s mentioned in the post.

    1. This is for debit card loads.

  95. Does it still work with Bluebird – I just came across this info today and was doing more research on it, but it sounds like everyone’s card gets shut down. Should I try?

    1. All I can say is that it is still working for us. Some have had their accounts shut down, but we have never had a problem.

  96. Why not skip the Bluebird step and deposit the VGC into my regular bank account and pay my mortgage as usual? Thanks in advance.

    1. Most banks (if not all) cannot do cash advances on gift cards, so it wouldn’t work.

    2. Most banks (if not all) cannot do cash advances from gift cards.

  97. Cynthia Meyers says:

    So you buy and load the pin enabled gift card with whatever credit card you want points on?

  98. Eric P Rich says:

    Very detailed and helpful article. Thank you for putting this together. Makes so much sense to gain those rewards with the high mortgage bill. I’m a newbie to mortgages, my first payment is next month. I want to get the most out of this process that is possible, and with what you’ve outlined for us, it looks promising.

    Just to be clear, you must physically go to your local walmart every month to make this happen? My mortgage is just over $1,000 on a 30 year, I was thinking of online loading the $1,000. I’m hoping that I can set up some auto charges, but you’d still have to go to the store anyhow to purchase your debit card load right?

    With my 1.5% rewards I’d only get $180 at the end of the year. I know value and time are subjective, but would you personally consider that worth your time?

    Thanks again for the help!

  99. I tried to purchase a VISA debit card and a MasterCard Debit card with my United Mileage Plus card. It would not allow me to do it with a credit card. The cashier told me I have to use “real funds”, not credit, to purchase them because they are debit cards.

    I just got my Bluebird card in the mail and I’m hoping I didn’t get it for nothing?

    Am I doing something wrong? Is there another way I can pay my mortgage and receive mileage points? Any help will be greatly appreciated.

    1. Only certain stores allow you to purchase gift cards and debit cards with a credit card. You’ll need to find one that allows you to do it. Make sure that you get a pin-enabled card as well or you won’t be able to load it to Bluebird.

      1. Thanks Greg,

        I tried Walmart. Do you know of one or some stores which will allow this?

        1. Try a grocery store. People usually have more luck there. If you comb through the comments section in this piece, there are some tips on where you can buy them in certain areas of the country.

          1. Greg,
            I bought a $500 card at CVS last night. It worked just fine.

            I can only load $200 per day onto my Bluebird account from a debit card. Is there an alternative to Bluebird?

            Thanks again.

          2. You can load up to a thousand dollars a day in person at a Walmart Money Center. Or, you can skip the gift cards and Bluebird altogether and try one of the other options mentioned in the piece.

  100. ronald

    I have tried to pay my mortage with my credit card that i got from chase but the mortage companies want let me use a credit card how do we get around or can we? I even tried to use to pay my car note but no luck they keep asking for a checking router number or a debit card.

    1. Hey Ronald, mortgage and loan companies won’t let you use your credit card to pay directly. That’s why you have to use one of the work arounds suggested in the piece.

  101. Has anyone successfully done this without buying a gift card/pre-loaded debit card? Specifically, has anyone gone up to the register and loaded their Bluebird with a credit card?

  102. So to summarize, I open the Bluebird account and buy a PIN enabled debit (actually gift) card.

    In order to load my Bluebird account from my PIN enabled debit card, I use the Bluebird account at Walmart Money Center and it’s free to transfer funds in this direction.

    The PIN enabled debit card load is when I actually use my credit card and receive points/miles at it.

    I don’t quite understand how to load a PIN enabled debit card [with the credit card], because all the gift debit cards I have seen state “no reloadable”, “no reloads possible”, etc. at their back.

    Please advise about the latest.

    Thank you!

  103. thanks for providing this information WRT how to pay mortgage via CC… BUT

    from what i understand in part based on this article… the best option (bluebird) is still near 1% loss (PIN-enabled Visa gift cards cost $49.95 per $500 purchase). CCs will only give you 1% for the purchase of Visa gift cards. therefore, you gain 1% rewards and you lose 1% rewards.

    thus, i fail to see the benefit of doing this UNLESS you factor in the BONUS from the CCs. i already have too many credit cards ~ 25 so i have no interest in getting another CC which is when BONUS is offered.

    am i missing something?!

    1. It was my understanding that one has to buy that debit card only once for $4.95 and then load it up to $500 multiple times.

      Was I wrong?

      1. Unfortunately, you have to buy a new debit gift card every time you want to load $500!

        1. I have the credit card that gives me 2% back on everything, and my mortgage payment is a little bit less than $1000/month. It looks like I need two prepaid debit cards a month for $4.95 each, and if I pay $1000/month, my rewards 10 cents less are eaten by those two $4.95 payments, which literally means $1.20 cash back per year. Looks like it is only worth when I need to meet spending requirements to get a sign-up bonus and in no other case. But thanks anyway for the article, maybe it will be worth when (actually if) I find a cheaper way to top up the Bluebird Account with the credit card.

          1. My fault – in this case I would anyway have 1% back, because the credit card gives me 2% back and 2 debit cards will compensate a little less than 1%, so another 1% is mine..

      1. Getting the sign up bonus is what I want to do but the terms for the bonus specifically say that cash advances don’t count towards the bonus. It also says that gift cards and money orders are considered cash advances.

        Also just heard that Plastiq will no longer make a mortgage payment using Visa cards so that is no longer an option.

        Any way around that to get the bonus?

        1. Yeah, just found out about Visa and Plastiq. Bummer!

          You can buy gift cards to earn a signup bonus, regardless of what the fine print says. If you buy them at a grocery store, for example, it just posts as a grocery store expense. Just DONT buy gift cards to earn points with Amex. Amex has been known to claw back points and shut down accounts.

  104. Hi Holly,

    Do you use the Blue Bird/loading VGC workaround every month to pay your mortgage and bills that won’t take credit cards? or do you only use it for meeting min spend on sign up bonuses? I’d hate to miss the opportunity to accrue miles every month from my Mort and Car paymts, but wondering if it’s worth doing this every month or how you handle it yourself?

    Also, I tried to subscribe to your blog but the email link sign up (updates via email) is not working?

    Thanks, Leslie

    1. Hey Leslie, we do not use it every month. We only use it when pursuing a bonus. We don’t get enough value in points to cover the costs otherwise. Thanks for letting us know about the broken link. I added you to the list manually. Thanks again!

      1. Ok, thanks for getting back to me : ) So do you use the Blue Bird for anything else that involves accruing miles on a monthly basis or just the straight credit card for all other expenses?

  105. So bluebird is like an onlinc checking account where you can pay things like your mortgage, utility bills, car payments, etc. Got it. So why don’t you just load the gift cards into your own personal checking account? Why have to create another account like bluebird that essentially does the same thing as a personal checking account and deal with the added fees.

    Thank you!

      1. that was fast, thank you Holly 🙂

      2. What about using American Express Gift Checks for mortgage payments? Gift Checks can be purchased with a credit card.

        1. When I purchase theAmEx gift checks with a credit card, do I earn the rewards? Ot this is treated as cash withdrawal?


  106. Sorry forgot to add, so after loading the gift cards into your own personal checking account, then using that to pay off real bills like mortgage, utilities, etc.

  107. Hi, as a test I tried to load a $25 MasterCard gift card onto my bluebird account at the Walmart customer service desk. The MasterCard says debit on the front. The message the rep told me was “tender not allowed” and I have to use a bank debit card… blah blah. Does the loading to bluebird only work with visa debit cards? or did Walmart stop allowing gift cards to be used all together?

    1. Mastercards are tricky. As soon as you swipe, you literally have to immedietly hit the yellow on the pinpad but to change payment type from credit to debit. For this reason I stopped buying Mastercards.

    2. Since Plastic and ATT method to pay mortgage to earn rewards will be over next month, I will probably purchase GC and then use Bluebird to pay my mortgage. Does anyone know the daily in person load limit? I’ve read 1,999 every 10 mins (with KATE) while Bluebird website says 2500. Also curious what strategy people use to max out daily loads (multiple reloads from different cashiers / money center).

  108. I would love to know if this really works. I did some simple math, using 3rd party services such as Western Union and Plastiq, and taking plastiq’s fees into this example:

    MTG: $2000 + 2.5% Plastiq Fee = $2050. That’s an extra $50 a month *12 = $600 a year in just fees.

    And, let’s say you have a Capital One Venture card that earns unlimited 2X miles per dollar on every purchase with an annual fee of $59.

    Using the example above with just the monthly $2050 mtg payment, that equals to annual rewards AFTER the first year (where we don’t count the sign-up bonus) of $492. Then, you subtract the annual fee of $59 from $492, leaving you with a net rewards of $433. So, if you subtract the $600 yearly fees from the $433 rewards after the first year, this leaves you with a $ -167.00 in the red.

    If there wasn’t a fee from the 3rd party processor, then I would see this working. Otherwise, I just don’t see how this transaction can yield any gains. I welcome comments and suggestions as I would love to see this working.


    1. Hey Andy,
      Yes, this really works…BUT, like we say in the piece, it should only be used as an option to meet signup bonus requirements.

      1. TIO still an option to pay mortage using a Visa?

  109. Hi! Awesome article! One thing is still not clear not me. Is Bluebird a checking or savings account? My mortgage company only allows payment in three different methods, #1 Savings Account #2 Checking Account and #3 Personal Check.

      1. Thank you, Greg! I’ve read most of the comments and people were having issues over a year ago with BlueBird. Do you know if people are still having the same issues? Any additional issues? In contrast, have the issues been ironed out? Is it a smoother process?

  110. A few months before I planned to pay off my house, I took about an $11,000 cash advance on a card I had at the time that had a promotion with absolutely no fees or interest, to put towards the balance. Too bad that was before I had miles/hotel cards. 🙁 It is definitely great to have my house paid off though. This was over 10 years ago.

  111. I’m not sure if I am misunderstanding you about BlueBird, or I am misunderstanding BlueBird’s conditions to load money through “debt card”. I understood in BlueBird’s webpage that the limit is $200/day and $1,000/month, and the debt card has to be in your name. Can you, please, check that? Seems to me that they changed the system.

  112. As of December 1, 2017, Tio has been suspended due to security breaches

  113. Also, because I purchase the debit/gift cards at Walmart, I have discovered that I need to register them at the Walmart website before I am able to add them to my Bluebird account.

  114. I have been using the Bluebird/Walmart VGC strategy very successfully for almost a year now. I don’t love going through the customer service folks but I was never able to figure out how to use the Walmart ATM machine. Do you guys have any tips on that? Thank you guys for all you do to provide money saving tips to travel cheaper!!!

  115. Does this method still work? Who here successfully uses this method in the Los Angeles area?

  116. My brother recommended I might like thi website.
    He was entirely right. This post truly made my day.
    You cann’t imagine just how much tike I haad spent for this information! Thanks!

  117. Amazing who would have known!!

    Is it possible to do this outside of the US?

    I am from the UK but live in Qatar currently. It would be amazing to pay rent like this even with a 2.5% charge.

    Thanks for sharing

  118. Hello Holly,

    Thanks for updating this blog. I’ve take. Your advise before and bought debit cards to you’d then to buy money orders to pay my mortgage. I stopped because one time I went to the post office to buy a money order with 2 $500 gift cards and the lady told me they “weren’t taking them anymore as payment”. I gotta little worried since I had $1000 on gift cards. Luckily I went to another post office and didn’t have a problem.

    1. Does this still work?
    2. and also what is the usually monthly limit to buying debit cards before the travel credit card shuts down?
    3. Lastly, this is perfectly legal, correct?


    1. Sorry for the typos in the beginning of my last comment. I was racing to comment before takeoff on a bumpy taxiway.

  119. Hi, such an informative article. I really appreciate the quality work and efforts that you have put into this article. And I also feel glad that I reached here. Thanks for posting. Keep sharing. Best wishes for your upcoming articles.

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