Walmart unveils new fee-free prepaid debit card

Walmart says it wants to give people a better way to manage and control their everyday finances. And it looks like it did.

There's no activation fee, no monthly fee, no annual fee and no minimum balance. And there's never an overdraft fee, because you can't spend more than what's loaded on the card.

Bluebird can be used wherever American Express is accepted. And it has some of the key features found on AmEx cards, such as purchase protection, 24/7 customer service and fraud protection if the card is lost or stolen.

Bluebird is packed with features such as check deposit by smart phone, electronic bill payment, person-to-person money transfers (online or via mobile app) and the ability to create up to four subaccounts for family friends or co-workers.

If you enroll in direct deposit, you get free access to your cash at more than 22,000 MoneyPass ATMs across the country. If not, or if you use an out-of-network ATM, there's a $2 transaction fee.

There's no fee to open a Bluebird account online. For those who don't want to wait for the card to come in the mail, Walmart stores have a $5 Bluebird set-up kit. You can load between $1 and $500 on a temporary card and use it immediately.

Remember, like all prepaid cards, Bluebird does give you the anti-fraud protections you get with a credit card and it does nothing for your credit history.

The bottom line: Bluebird is clearly a positive addition to the prepaid card market. The website just named bluebird "the best overall prepaid card" on the market today. Card Hub says Bluebird can serve as a free alternative or replacement checking account.

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Walmart wants to be your new bank