The Value of Bluebird

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Bluebird is one of the most popular manufactured spending methods available right now. However, with the loss of our beloved Vanilla Reloads at CVS, I’ve been contemplating skipping Bluebird all together and buying money orders instead. Ultimately, this idea comes down to the CPP. Because my local Walmart is far away, I’m taking gas into account.


Bluebird can be loaded with $1,000 per day/$5,000 per month at Walmart. That means I would have 5 trips to Walmart (16.6 miles round trip) every month. I regularly go to Meijer for money orders and groceries, so I do not always take the gas into account. For the sake of convenience, let’s say I go to Meijer 5 times (7.4 miles round trip) every month and buy 2 – $500 money orders for $1.30.

5 (trips) * 16.6 (miles) = 83 miles
83 / 22 (MPG) = 3.77 gallons
3.77 * $3.70 (price per gallon) = $13.95
Bluebird Loads: $0
Loaded: $1,000
CPP at 5X with a $4.95 GC fee: 0.47 cents
5 (trips) * 7.4 (miles) = 37 miles
37 / 22 (MPG) = 1.68 gallons
1.68 * $3.70 (price per gallon) = $6.22
$1.30 (two MOs @ $0.65/ea)  * 5 (trips) = $6.50
Money Orders: $1,000
CPP at 5X with a $4.95 GC fee: 0.45 cents

My monthly Walmart trips would cost a total of $13.95 while my monthly Meijer trips would cost only $12.72. So, buying $5,000 worth of money orders is $1.23 less than loading the same amount to Bluebird every month.

No more trips to WalmartMore fees - $0.65 per $500 money order
Lower CPPBanks may be sketched out by the large amount of money orders
No limits

Here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • If you already have a trip planned for Meijer or Walmart, you do not need to take gas into account. The MS you can do at stores you already needed to go to, have a much lower CPP that way.
  • If you have more than one Bluebird to load at Walmart, it will be more profitable to continue loading Bluebird than buying MOs.

For this example, let’s say I have three Bluebird accounts (which I do) that will be loaded on my trips to Walmart, instead of just one. And I will buy $3,000 worth of MOs per trip to Meijer.

Gas Cost: $13.95
Bluebird Loads: $0
Loaded: $3,000
CPP at 5X with a $4.95 GC fee: 0.09 cents

Gas Cost: $6.22
$3.90 (six MOs @ $0.65/ea)  * 5 (trips) = $19.50
Money Orders: $3,000
CPP at 5X with a $4.95 GC fee: 0.17 cents

As you can see, since I have more Bluebird accounts to load at Walmart, the CPP is better than buying money orders. I will not be forsaking Bluebird, especially since there is a new Walmart being built only four miles away from my house.

How about you? Do you have plans to leave Bluebird in favor of Serve or money orders?

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