Month: August 2014

Chime Card Reviews

chime cardChime Card is Reloadable Prepaid Debit Card that has a logo of Visa on it. Since it is a debit card, you can withdraw cash at ATM and get cash back with a purchase where available. But, the main feature of the card is that you can earn Instant Cash Back when you make qualifying purchases with the card.

Chime Offer

There are two types of rewards you can earn with Chime card, Earned Credit and Store Credit. Earned Credit is just like Amex Offer. Spend a certain amount at certain store and you will get certain amount credit. This type of offers looks like a left picture. One thing that is different from Amex Offer is you don’t need to sync with offers. As long as you use the card for a purchase that costs more than a requirement, you will get the credit. Store Credit has no minimum requirement and looks like a right picture. No matter how much you spend you will earn the credit. If you spend less than the amount they offer, you will receive the same amount of credit as you spend. The remaining balance of credit is kept for the next purchase.

chime offer earn creditchime offer store credit

How to Add Money

There are three ways to add money to Chime card.

  • Debit Card – $100 $200 per day
  • Bank Transfer – $200 per day
  • Direct Deposit

None of them is charged a fee. Some debit cards are charged up to 3% as a reload fee. Click here to see more details about charges. If you have a reward/point earning debit card, use it. You can do it online or with a mobile app. Money is available in no time. For example, PayPal Business Debit MasterCard offers 1% cash back for every purchase. Transferring money to Chime account is treated as a purchase in PayPal statement. So, you can earn 1% cash back every time you add money to the card.

A limit of $100 per day seems a little, but all Chime offers are mostly less than $50 (e.g., spend $35, get $5). And I have never seen an offer more than $100. When you find a good offer and don’t have enough money in the card. No problem. You can use the internet or smartphone to add money in a minute.


They charge a fee for the following transactions

  • Domestic Cash Withdrawal Fee: $2.50 per transaction
  • ATM Balance Inquiry Fee: $0.50 per transaction
  • Account Maintenance Fee: $5.00 per month ONLY AFTER 180 consecutive days of no purchases, withdrawals, or deposits on your account.
  • International Transaction Fee: 3% of the total purchase amount
  • International Cash Withdrawal Fee*: $2.50 + 3% of the total withdrawal amount
  • Check Refund Fee: $5.00 per check issued
  • Express Card Replacement Fee: $25.00 per card issued

As long as you use the card for redeeming Chime offers, you won’t get charged any fees. $5 for maintenance fee is avoidable. Any transaction you made waives the fee for 180 days. It is hard to get charged!

What Else?

On the back of the card, at the bottom, it says:

This card is issued by The Bancorp Bank pursuant to a license from Visa U.S.A Inc.

It reminds me of something. The Bancorp Bank also issues Visa gift cards. Vanilla, OneVanilla, and Target Visa gift cards are all issued by the same bank. Since Walmart updated POS system, these gift cards can’t be used for reloading American Express BlueBird, Serve, or other reloadable prepaid cards (see details here.) Apparently, the problem is that these gift cards can’t be registered (or attached your name and billing address) because of their feature. However, Chime card is personalized. Your name and address are surely attached to the card so you can make online orders. And your name is also on the card. There is nothing shady to use the card for reloading BlueBird/Serve at Walmart.

So, I went to Walmart Kiosk and added $100 to my Serve card with Chime card. The transaction went through, and here is how it looks like in Chime history.

walmart swipe reload with chime card

This is great! When I add money to Chime with PayPal debit card, I got 1% cash back from PayPal. But you can bring money back to PayPal through Serve and Bank account. You can load Serve or Bluebird with PayPal debit card directly, in the same way, at Walmart, but this transaction is a PIN-used purchase which PayPal doesn’t offer 1% cash back.

I also shopped at grocery stores. I used self-checkout cashiers and got $50 (Pathmark) and $80 (Stop and Shop) cash back. ($50 and $80 are the maximum amounts for cash back allowed by self-checkout cashiers)

Aside from Chime Offer, the card can also be used for manufactured spending if you have a point/reward earning debit card. I wrote “there is nothing shady” earlier, but I think you should do these kinds of things moderately. Check all Chime Offers every week and redeem them from time to time, and reload BlueBird/Serve between these transactions.The history of Chime card shouldn’t be only Walmart and Debit Card Transfer.


Chime Offer is very good for money savings. You can see new offers every week. Each offer has a limited number, but it doesn’t fly away so quickly at least for now. As long as you use the card for redeeming Chime Offers, you won’t get charged any fee if you make any transaction within 180 days. If you add money to the card with point/reward earning debit cards, you can boost up the earning by reloading BlueBird/Serve or get cash back at registers.

You can only apply the card online. Please click here to get started.

FRN Offer Equivalent to 4% Cash Back on AmEx GC

frn bonus rewardFuel Rewards Network (FRN) currently offer a promotion. You can earn extra 5¢/gal discount for every $50 purchase made through FRN shopping portal. The promotion ends on Sep 14th. The portal regularly offers 5¢/gal for every $50 purchase, and now it’s double! 10¢/gal. Please note that the rewards won’t double on bonus reward. Some retailers originally offer 2x, 3x… reward, but you can’t earn 4x, 6x…. on this promotion. It is just that you can earn EXTRA 5¢/gal for every $50 purchase.

Deal is back now! If you buy a $500 American Express gift card, you earn $1/gal discount. In July, reward on AmEx GC purchases went down from 2x to 1x (10¢ to 5¢/gal). The same thing happened to all other shopping portals. As of Aug 13th, best portal and rate for AmEx GC is 2.7% cash back at FRN reward is redeemable up to 20 gallons. So, during this promotion, FRN reward for AmEx GC is equivalent to 4% cashback. It is currently the best rate of all portals.

After July, most portals stop paying cash back for AmEx GC purchase if you use any promo code. There is always a promo code available to waive $3.95 purchase fee. But if you use the code, there is no reward or cash back at all. I bought four AmEx GCs in July and used the promo code on every purchase. Several pending cash back appeared in my account of a portal site, but soon they got all cancelled. (click here to see details)  So, never use any code otherwise you got no reward.

I purchased $2000 AmEx GC through FRN today, and it will give me $4/gal discount. From my experience, the reward will be posted and available in approximately 30 days. It’s too bad that I can’t confirm the reward during the promotion, but as long as you read the terms and conditions, and do nothing against them, and you will earn a reward.

Use Coupon No Cash Back from BeFrugal on AmEx Gift Cards

Today, I logged in my BeFrugal account and noticed that my Total Balance got significantly lower than yesterday. I checked Cash Back Activity and found out that all pending cash back on AmEx gift cards looked cancelled. I made three orders in July, and one of orders was actually cancelled by American Express. Because I tried to use AmEx Serve for the purchase of the gift card. BeFrugal shows this transaction like this (picture below).

cash back on amex gc cancelled

But today, I got the same one on the other two orders, which weren’t cancelled. The orders had completed. I received the cards and used up already. I remembered that BeFrugal described the following in terms of AmEx GC.

If you choose to apply a coupon or deal that is not posted on, we are unable to guarantee that you will receive cash back on your purchase.

I used a coupon code to waive a purchase fee on all orders. Although I read terms, I assumed that I would earn cash back because other retailers paid before even when I used a coupon that was not on BeFrugal. And today, the terms have updated like this

Cash back not valid on any order with a coupon code applied

is befrugal going to cancel this order tooI made an order a few days ago in August. Cash Back is pending now, and I don’t see the sign of cancel. But I guess  it will be cancelled later. Now that terms is very clear, I won’t use the code that waives a purchase fee of only $3.95. Pay a purchase fee and I will earn cash back which is guaranteed by BeFrugal. This is still a good deal, and I feel comfortable because there is no need to worry about cancellation of cash back.

I wish BeFrugal updated terms eariler, but I can’t blame them. Last month, they said “we are unable to guarantee that you will receive cash back” and they had to cancel my cash back. Nothing is wrong with them. It is all my fault. Befrugal describes terms on every merchants in a detailed way. This is why I continue to use Befrugal, and it is my favorite free online shopping portal!

Walmart MoneyCard Reviews

Walmart MoneyCard is reloadable prepaid card that has Visa or MasterCard logo on it. You can use it just like as a debit card. For standard debit cards issued by U.S. major banks, you have to have enough money in your bank accounts to make a purchase with the cards. For reloadable prepaid cards, you need to add money to your card’s account. (It is also like a bank account, but it exists online only.) As its name shows, Walmart MoneyCard has benefits for people who visit Walmart often.

walmart moneycard preferred no fee for reload

Load with Visa/MasterCard Gift Card

You can load the card with Visa or MasterCard gift cards at Walmart ATM. Once money is loaded, you can make a purchase in stores and online anywhere Visa or MasterCard is accepted. Depending on stores, you can get cash back at the register. By using self-checkout cashiers, you don’t have to feel awkward when you get a large amount of cash back with a small purchase. The card does a great job for liquidating Visa/MasterCard GCs.

Pay Bills

You can pay credit cards’ bills. The single transaction is limited $1000. It is not a lot, but if you have another prepaid card that have a bill-pay feature (for myself, AmEx Serve), pay bills with both cards in turn. Paying large bills and paying too frequently with the same card are red flag, anyway. Using multiple prepaid cards to pay bills helps each payment smaller and interval between payments with the same card longer.

Basic / Plus / Specialty / Preferred

which walmart moneycard is right for you

There are four versions of Walmart MoneyCard, but I recommend only one “Preferred”. That’s because “Preferred” is the only version that offers $0 reload fee at Walmart ATM. The others charge $3 for every swipe reloads.

About Fee

monthly fee waiver optionThere is no fee when you load at Walmart ATM, make a purchase in stores, get cash back with purchases and pay bills. The card costs $4 (one-time payment for a personalized card), and monthly service fee is $3. The monthly service fee is waived if you load $500 or more in a calendar month. You can withdraw money at MoneyPass ATMs with no surcharge, but ATM owner fee would be charged. So, I’ve never withdrawn money at ATMs. Just make a small purchase and get as much cash back as possible.


Walmart MoneyCard Preferred is a great tool to liquidate Visa/MasterCard gift cards. There is no fee to load with GCs at Walmart. And the money in the card can be quickly unloaded by getting cash back with a purchase at stores. And paying bills of your credit cards boosts up your manufactured spending. You can choose between Visa and MasterCard when you apply the card. You can also add a favorite photo to your personalized card for free.

The features I described in this page are only ones I usually use. This is how I use my Walmart MoneyCard. There are more ways to load and unload. For more details, please visit

Please note that Green Dot is very strict and shutting down account without a notice. To avoid getting shut down, read the post “Green Dot Shut Down my Walmart Money Card Preferred.”

American Express Serve Reviews

American Express Serve is Reloadable Prepaid card that has exclusive features. By using full of these features, you can save money when shopping and use it for manufactured spending. First off, these are some unique features for loading Serve.

Load with Credit Card

You can load Serve with your credit card. It can only be done online. First, you have to choose a credit card and link to your Serve account. You can link only one credit card. You can change credit cards, but you need to remove the current card and then link another card. The limit is $200 a day, $1000 a month.

Load with Debit Card

The rule is the same as credit card’s. Only one debit card can link to Serve account and limit $200 a day, $1000 a month. If you have a point earning debit card, use it. As for me, I have PayPal Business Debit MasterCard that offer unlimited 1% cash back on purchases. Every month, I earn $10 cash back by loading $1000 to Serve with PayPal debit card.

Load with Visa/MasterCard Gift Card

Visa/MasterCard gift cards have a feature of debit card. You can load Serve with debit cards at Walmart ATM. As long as gift cards have PIN, you can use them at Walmart ATM for loading Serve. Limit is $1000 a day. I’m not sure about monthly limit, but combined with all types of loads should be less than $10,000. You can consolidate all Visa/MasterCard gift cards you purchase at the time of promotions, to meet requirement of sign-up bonus, etc. I can use my PayPal debit card for loading at Walmart, but PayPal doesn’t offer cash back for PIN purchase (transaction as a debit card). So, there is no meaning to use regular debit cards for loading at Walmart ATM.

These are not all the ways to load Serve, but the useful ways for manufactured spending. Once you load Serve, you have many ways to unload it.

Transfer to your bank account

With your bank account linked to Serve, you can transfer money between them. It is not only adding money to Serve, but also withdraw money from Serve to your bank account.

Pay Bills

You can pay bills of your credit cards linked to Serve account, used for purchase of Visa/MasterCard GCs, etc.

Please note that you should avoid unloading right after you load Serve. American Express may close your account if the transactions obviously show that you use Serve for manufactured spending. For example, load $1000 with a credit card and then pay exact $1000 credit card’s bill. Leave the money in Serve account for a while then unload it. More favorably, you should use some money in the account for regular purchases. Unlike reward credit cards, you can’t earn cash back or travel points through regular purchases, but Serve can sync with Amex Offer.

Save Money by Amex Offer

Serve is an eligible to sync with Amex Offer, and BlueBird is not. BlueBird is another American Express reloadable prepaid card, which has very similar features of Serve. You can’t have both of them. You have to choose one between them. If you change your mind, you can switch them, but you need to close the current account and then open another. I chose Serve over BlueBird because of Amex Offer. You can earn statement credit by using the card at certain stores. For example:

Get a one-time $10 statement credit by using your connected Card to spend a total of $50 or more in-store and online at The Sports Authority by 8/31/2014

There are always many offers, and new offers frequently keep adding. If you are not interested in any items in the store, but they sell other store’s gift card, buy a gift card to get statement credit.

About Fees

There is no fee when you do anything described above. They charge $1 as monthly maintenance fee, but you can waive the fee by loading $500 or more. So, I believe that no one is ever worried about it.


American Express Serve is a must for manufactured spending. Online load with credit and debit cards are very convenient. Plus, loading with Visa/MasterCard GCs at Walmart ATM makes it possible to create more manufactured spending. Amex Offer helps you unload Serve and makes it less obvious what you are doing (using for manufactured spending) and gives you savings at the same time.

The features on this post are key features that I think it is useful and important. Of course, there are more features that is general or may be useful to you. Please visit for full information.