Walmart’s Got a New Prepaid Card

Photo (cc) by Dawn Huczek

The Associated Press reports Wal-Mart and American Express launched a new prepaid debit card today called Bluebird, which is less fee-heavy than some competing cards and designed to compete with traditional checking accounts…

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and American Express Co. say the card is an alternative to debit and checking accounts and will include such features as the ability to deposit a check to one’s Bluebird account by simply taking a picture with a smart phone. It will also offer the same fraud protections in an event the card is stolen or lost as other standard cards.

Our friends at NerdWallet quickly emailed a comparison of fees between the new Bluebird card, Walmart’s MoneyCard, and the Green Dot Card, which also gets most of its revenue through Walmart.

They point out that while the other two have activation fees ($5 to $6), monthly fees ($3 to $6), and reload fees ($3 to $5), the only fee Bluebird has is an out-of-network ATM fee, which is waived if you use direct deposit. Sounds reasonable – unlike cards that charge you to spend your own money, including some banks’ debit cards.

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