American Express and Walmart Announce the Addition of FDIC Insurance and Worry-Free Check Writing to Bluebird®

  American Express and Walmart Announce the Addition of FDIC Insurance and
  Worry-Free Check Writing to Bluebird®

 New capabilities help government employees and other customers better manage
                                 their money

Business Wire

NEW YORK -- March 26, 2013

American Express (NYSE: AXP) and Walmart (NYSE: WMT) today announced expanded
security and funding capabilities to Bluebird, a debit and checking
alternative that provides Americans with a better way to manage and control
their everyday spending.

Bluebird Accounts^i will now be eligible for FDIC insurance, providing an
extra layer of security. As a result, permanent Bluebird Accounts will now
have the ability to receive direct deposit of government payments, such as
social security payments, military pay, and tax refunds. Customers can also
balance their Bluebird checkbook in real-time with pre-authorized check
writing, add checks to their Bluebird Account by mail and add funds up to
$100,000 annually.

“When we launched Bluebird last October, we were focused on serving the tens
of millions of Americans who are not well served by the traditional financial
services industry. The unbanked, underbanked, and the unhappily banked are
beset by onerous fees and numerous inconveniences,” said Dan Schulman, group
president, Enterprise Growth at American Express. “Bluebird is designed to
help make their everyday financial lives easier, more convenient and less
expensive. Today’s announcement, which reflects feedback from consumers,
advocacy groups and government officials, represents the next set of
enhancements that further distinguish Bluebird from other financial services

“Since launching Bluebird, we have been listening to our customers’ feedback
and working hard to expand its features and services,” said Daniel Eckert,
vice president of financial services for Walmart U.S. “Bluebird is helping
customers streamline everyday money management without the frustration of
navigating complicated dos and don’ts just to avoid fees. The enhancements
we’re announcing today make Bluebird a great option for our active duty
military personnel, government employees and other customers helping them take
greater control of their everyday finances.”

Bluebird’s new capabilities, built on American Express’ Serve® platform, are
in addition to existing premium features such as the ability to add checks via
smartphones, family sub-accounts and no fee access to cash at 22,000 ATMs for
Bluebird members who have enrolled in direct deposit. Bluebird also comes with
additional benefits such as access to Purchase Protection^ii which can provide
coverage for accidental damage or theft to eligible purchases within 90 days
of purchase, award winning 24/7 customer service and the ability to be used
virtually anywhere American Express® Cards are accepted worldwide.

More Reasons to Choose Bluebird

FDIC Insurance Coverage: Funds in all permanent Bluebird Accounts will now be
eligible for FDIC insurance, which allows members to arrange for direct
deposit of U.S. government payments. Temporary account funds will not be FDIC
insured. Other restrictions may apply. For more information see

“No Overdraft” Check Writing: Starting today, Bluebird Members will have the
ability to order Bluebird checks that they can use to pay bills and make
purchases without worrying about insufficient funds or incurring overdraft
fees because a Member’s funds are set aside during the pre-authorization

To preauthorize a Bluebird check, a customer will follow just two easy steps:

1.Obtain a unique authorization code online or through the Bluebird mobile
    app. Note: once a Bluebird check is pre-authorized, the funds associated
    with that check are immediately deducted from the customer’s balance, and
    are held until the check is presented for payment.
2.Write the authorization code on the check and give to the payee. This
    ensures for the customer that sufficient funds are available to cover the
    Bluebird check being written. The payee can confirm that sufficient funds
    are available by calling American Express.

Bluebird Members have access to one free checkbook until August 2013.
Thereafter, Bluebird Members enrolled in direct deposit can receive their
first checkbook of 50 checks at no charge, otherwise direct deposit and
non-direct deposit users can order a book of 50 checks for $26 (including

Add More and From Home: In response to customer demand, the total Bluebird
Account balance limit has increased to $100,000 per calendar year to allow
Members to add more of their paychecks and large value checks. Additionally,
Bluebird Members will now be able to add personal and government checks to
their Bluebird accounts by mailing the check to American Express. Once the
check has been successfully processed, the funds will be added directly to the
Member’s Bluebird Account. There are no fees associated with this new

Bluebird is available online at and at more than 4,000
Walmart stores.

About American Express

American Express is a global services company, providing customers with access
to products, insights and experiences that enrich lives and build business
success. Bluebird is a prepaid access account issued by American Express
Travel Related Services Company, Inc.Learn more at and
connect with us on,,,, and

Key links to products and services: charge and credit cards, business credit
cards, travel services, gift cards, prepaid cards, merchant services, business
travel, and corporate card.

About Walmart

Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT) helps people around the world save money and
live better – anytime and anywhere – in retail stores, online, and through
their mobile devices. Each week, more than 200 million customers and members
visit our more than 10,700 stores under 69 banners in 27 countries and
e-commerce websites in 10 countries. With fiscal year 2013 sales of
approximately $466 billion, Walmart employs more than 2.2 million associates
worldwide. Walmart continues to be a leader in sustainability, corporate
philanthropy and employment opportunity. Additional information about Walmart
can be found by visiting, on Facebook at on Twitter at Online merchandise sales are available at

^i All of the new features announced today, including FDIC insurance, will be
available to a Bluebird member who registers with American Express for a
permanent account. These new features are not available with the temporary
Bluebird card sold at Walmart retail locations.

^ii Purchase Protection is underwritten by AMEX Assurance Company,
Administrative Office, Phoenix, AZ. Coverage is determined by the terms,
conditions, and exclusions of Policy AX0951 or Policy PP-IND and is subject to
change with notice. This document does not supplement or replace the Policy.

Photos/Multimedia Gallery Available:



American Express Media Relations:
Vanessa McCutchen, 212-640-5445
Walmart Media Relations:
Press spacebar to pause and continue. Press esc to stop.