Trouble Opening a Checking Account? Try This…
This kind of blew my mind...
Did you know that more than 17 million Americans don't have a bank account?
There's all kinds of reasons why, but one of the biggest obstacles is a pesky report called Chexsytems. It's similar to your FICO score, but instead of tracking your credit, it tracks your banking relationships. And if you've ever over-drafted your bank account or bounced a check - it's probably on your Chexsytems report. That's extremely problematic, because many banks won't approve you for a simple checking account if you've got a single ding on your report.
Another huge problem for many Americans is that checking account fees have gotten out of hand in some areas, with many banks getting rid of free checking all together. That leaves many Americans in position where they can't afford to bank at all.
But check this out. There a way to get around all of that...
Just open an American Express Bluebird Account. Here's how it works.
What the heck is Bluebird?
Bluebird is an American Express product and it's marketed as an alternative to regular checking and debit accounts. It has no monthly fees, no overdraft fees, and no minimum balance requirement.
Bluebird is an account that allows you to add checks via direct deposit or their 24/7 smartphone app (you just have to take a picture of the check on your iPhone or Android). You can also add cash to your account by depositing it at any Wal-mart checkout register.
You can then spend your card anywhere American Express is accepted or you can use AMEX's free bill pay service. You can also write checks for the things you need, such as rent, a doctor's visit, or school fundraiser. Just pre-authorize the check online or with the mobile app before you write it, and you know the check will be covered when cashed. Plus, you never have to spend time balancing your checkbook, since funds are immediately deducted from your account when you pre-authorize.
How much does the damn thing cost?
Here's what's so freaking cool about the Bluebird account - there are virtually no fees. There's no monthly fee, no overdraft fees, no inactivity fees and no fees for depositing cash/checks into your account.
There's also no ATM fees if you have direct deposit and use one of their MoneyPass ATM's, including the Money Center Express machines at Wal-mart. Out of network ATM's are $2.
You can sign up the kids too...
Bluebird also allow you to create up to four separate sub-Accounts for anyone you choose, such as your teenager—add money for allowances—or college student—transfer money for books and incidentals.
Every Sub-Account holder gets a Card with their name on it. You can easily manage Sub-Account activity by setting daily spend limits, turning ATM access on and off, and receiving email alerts.
Want to give it a try?
Go check 'em out here. You can sign up for an account with that link or you can watch a cool video they put together that explains the account in even more detail.
Good luck Penny Hoarders!