Amex Bluebird & Serve Shutdowns 2017
Over the past year American Express has cracked down on the use of Bluebird and Serve cards to generate spend. Specifically they have shutdown (or made it impossible to load) accounts where they see people loading prepaid gift cards and then paying bills. This activity is prohibited in their terms and they feel people doing this aren’t using the product as intended.
Shutdowns have all come in waves with everyone receiving an email at the same time. I believe Amex must run a report and then shutdown accounts that trigger their algorithm. Well, today yet another wave of shutdown letters are coming. Several people on Reddit are reporting receiving the letter stating that they can no longer load their accounts.
My Bluebird Lives
As I have posted about previously, my family still has one Bluebird account that lives on. This account is over four years old and somehow survived all of the previous waves. I did throw it in the sock drawer for awhile, but have been using it again the past few months. It seems to be immune to shutdowns or more likely we have gotten lucky.
With that said, we have been leaving a balance on the card after loading and thanks to the recent lucrative Amex Offers, we have done a fair amount of spending on the main and sub-cards as well. Hopefully this activity is viewed as favorable by the Amex gods. At least it lives to swipe another few months!
Amex Bluebird/Serve are no longer a long term viable way to generate spend. You might be able to have fun with them for a few months, but more often than not they will cut you off eventually. Did you receive the dreaded email today? Share your experiences in the comments!
HT: Doctor of Credit