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Use Bluebird to Pay Bills with a Credit Card

At any given time, I have stacks of gift cards purchased on my Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express [1] to earn the 6% cash back.

I experimented with Serve [2] to Cash Out Gift Cards via ATM [3] and consolidate cards to minimize fees while Paying Taxes with Credit Cards [4].

However, I needed something a little bigger with some added functionality. Bluebird [5] has been around for awhile, but because I like to buy my gift cards at the grocery store (since it’s convenient) I avoided it. That is, until the new PIN functionality was added [6] to the grocery store cards, opening up the possibility of using Bluebird to stretch my gift card strategy even further.


The Bluebird [5] account is similar to the Serve card as a reloadable account, but it has an additional feature that opens up a lot of possibilities. It has a checking account. The checking account option opens up the door to pay many bills that don’t otherwise accept a credit card payment.

To get started, you can open a Bluebird [5] account for free on their website. However, in order to open my Bluebird account, I had to close my Serve [2] account first. Another small hurdle was that the signup process also recognized the old Revolution Money Exchange [7] accounts we had and converts them to Serve first. You will also need to cancel any converted Serve accounts to open a Bluebird account.

Bluebird Strategy to Pay Bills

Once my Bluebird account was finally set up, here’s the strategy that I’m using to pay bills that otherwise don’t accept credit cards (to earn cash back):

  • Purchase gift cards (with the new PIN feature) with the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express [1] to earn 6% cash back and gas rewards [8]. My cap hasn’t kicked in yet, but you could also use the Citizens Bank 5% Cash Back Credit Card [9] too if you’ve already maxed out your annual limit on the Blue Cash Preferred.
  • Load the gift cards onto the Bluebird account. You can do this for free at Wal-mart.
  • Use the Bluebird checking account to pay bills you normally can’t pay with a credit card. Including the mortgage!

More on Bluebird

Maximum load limits. You can load $1000 per day and $5000 each month to the Bluebird in cash or gift cards.

Meet Spending Requirements. This is also another good way to meet my spending requirements from my last credit card application spree [10].

Do the Math

Here’s the breakdown on the total cash back earned stacking all the rewards for the month:

  • Purchases: $5000 in Visa gift cards
  • Fees: $59.50
  • Gas Rewards: $100
  • 6% American Express Cash Back: $303.57

Effective Cash Back: 6.9%. The total cash back with this strategy is $344.07 per month or 6.9% cash back paying bills!

More on Earning Cash Back with Gift Cards