Posted by Chuck on May 4, 2016
Manufactured Spending

Published on May 4th, 2016 | by Chuck

54

We Can Now Have Bluebird AND Serve AND REDbird Accounts

American Express has changed the rules and now allows each person to have one Bluebird account, one Serve account, and one REDbird account.

Amex has three prepaid products: Serve, Bluebird, and REDcard. Previously, each person (SSN) could get one Amex prepaid product. Now, the FAQ on the Amex sites indicate that each person can have one of each.

Screen Shot 2016-05-04 at 3.15.32 PM

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REDcard Linky

Bluebird Linky

Serve Linky

Note that people who were shut down from one Amex product are usually banned from getting it again, or even getting a different prepaid version again.

Potential Uses

As we all know, Serve/REDbird/Bluebird is basically dead for manufacturing spend purposes since if you try using it such the account gets shut down. Here are some potential uses for being able to get three prepaid cards:

  • Use it for Amex Offers. Bluebird and Serve cards are eligible for Amex Offers. If I wasn’t shutdown, I’d get both cards to add to my Amex Offer velocity.
  • Someone once said, “hit it hard whilst you can.” You can try signing up for each card and hitting each for a couple months until you get shutdown. I’m not actually recommending this, but the possibility exists.
  • Each card actually has unique benefits itself. Particularly, the REDcard gets 5% off at Target and free shipping with no minimum, among a few other perks. Sure, you can get the credit or debit REDcard, but some people may prefer the prepaid. Bluebird has (or used to have?) some special Walmart benefits too. The OneVIP Serve has some concert benefits.

If you want to signup for a Serve card, check out the post Six Different Flavors of Serve and How to Remain Fee-Free to find out which is best for you.

Hat tip to gochoo on Flyertalk



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Charly Chang
Charly Chang

well, only if they allow you to have one. I was blocked completely after the first wave of shutdown in Jan.

Mordy
Mordy

Can all be loaded with AMEX CC?

dan
dan

only the serve

dan
dan

having different types of prepaid card, send & request $ feature between accts is currently not allowed

NoonRadar

I put down some details about this on a post a few days ago: https://noonradar.com/blogs/news/161372103-you-can-now-get-amex-prepaid-redcard-even-if-you-have-serve-or-bluebird

I didn’t stumble on this, a couple of people told me, they had noticed the verbiage change when you go to register for a prepaid Amex acct now. I held off posting until they got the permanent cards to make sure they could use both their prepaid cards.

Only restriction is that you can’t transfer money between prepaid Amex accounts if you have more than one (affiliated with your SSN), Amex says this is temporary while they work on improving their platform.

I’m guessing loss of business and/or profit made them ease up on this restriction.

NoonRadar

It should be common sense, but just to clarify this for people not familiar with prepaid Amex cards: If you’re not sure whether you’re blacklisted/banned or not by Amex for prepaid accounts, do not attempt to try to register for Redbird (prepaid REDcard) as your first try, because you need a temporary card to do that and once you attempt to register with a temporary card, you can’t re-use it again. Try with Serve or Bluebird first, since you don’t need a temporary card to register for them. If you are able to register for Serve or Bluebird, then you can register for Redbird also, if you want.

P.S. Thanks Chuck.

Ted
Ted

What constitutes as being banned? I received the email about “Termination Of Funds Loading Capabilities on Your Serve® Account” as well, but as of today I can still log in (though of course can’t load anymore). Is that what counts as being banned?

NoonRadar

Yes, if you can’t use your current account and can’t signed up for a new prepaid account, you’re banned, at least for the time being. The ability to login doesn’t mean anything, Amex prob lets you login so you can see and download transactions (as opposed to other banks that cut that off also).

dan
dan

at least amex has allowed to instantly withdraw $ and/or bill pay

dan
dan

can’t add any more $ from any sources

MH
MH

Are you able to go through the motions of adding money from a linked Amex card or bank account/debit?

JR
JR

i did it yesterday. i transferred money from my rushcard to myb bluebird account and everything worked fine

Ben
Ben

I’ve never seen a decent Amex Offer on my BB or wife’s Serve. Does anyone else get the good ones?

HG
HG

Hasn’t been anything good since November.

jnrfalcon
jnrfalcon

Bestbuy 200-20 and such

BD
BD

Is there a hard or soft pull for the REDbird? In the process of refinancing my home and don’t want to rock the boat.

Joe
Joe

Is it possible to get a serve if you have had a BB shut down?

Maria
Maria

“hit it hard whilst you can.”

Whilst? oh no…

P
P

I reapplied for serve one vip in February after getting shut down in January. Automatic denial. Same with bluebird in March.

Maybe my sister can sign up for both serve and bluebird and we can max it out for one to two months.

NoonRadar

Do you remember what your denial reason said when you tried to register again after they closed your acct? I’m curious if the verbiage is uniform for people that get banned.

For this reason I would differ on the advise of hitting it hard for a couple of months while you can: You risk getting banned for a long time and therefore missing out on some great regular saving venues, like stacking strategies, Amex offers etc. Some of us have been using prepaid Amex cards moderately (by comparison to the heave MS-ers anyhow) and never got banned by Amex. Not yet anyhow.

I know some believe that it’s a matter of time before all of us get shut down so it doesn’t matter, but I’d say it does, even if that is the case. During the last few months I’ve been easily meeting minimum spend with Amex while others couldn’t do that. It saved me a lot of time and hassle (compared to MO venues and such), so I’m def glad I didn’t hit it hard when people started to get shut down.

dan
dan

NR, congrats! what’s considered ‘moderate’? some examples? have u done all to the serve acct (i.e. amex cc loads, ACH transfer and/or bill pay? or excluded any?

NoonRadar

Dan, from what I recall seeing online people reporting and trying to figure out of pattern of what got you shut down with Amex and what didn’t, there wasn’t any reliable patterns that any of us coul figure out. Some people survived despite doing ach and atm withdrawals, some for doing cc billpay some for not doing so, etc. Since the shutdown waves I’ve loaded abt 40-75% of limit, no ach, billpay mostly but also some store swipes.

I am not into extreme stacking or large volumes so I look for moderate-medium venues without having to do lots of venue swapping. I wrote a post about stacking Redbird + Target GCs + Ink (http://goo.gl/t5G24y) and that is a good example of the things and venues I look for. Basically something that won’t require a lot of time or tweaking.

On the other hand many others do pedal to the metal and even reselling etc and make great money off it (some full-time), so I can see how for them it might work best to churn and burn hard & fast and move on to the next thing as opposed to try to moderately milk a venue.

dan
dan

thx NR. 1 serve acct i managed started last oct. got shutdown on 4/12 after had loaded around $3k/month, $2.5K sent to another serve acct/month, but no bill pay nor use for normal purchases.

wonder that if the acct was used like 2-3 a week for normal purchase might have saved it. Saw few reports from others that their accts still got shut down with regular uses for normal purchase. Too many factors / variables

P
P

Sorry. I don’t remember.

Jerry
Jerry

Trying to sign up OneVip Serve online, and got failed. “Unfortunately we cannot approve you for an American Express Serve® Account right now. Thank you for your interest in American Express Serve.”

Any idea why? I used to have Bluebird, but closed by myself. And now still have a working REDCard, and not being shut down.

dan
dan

saw a few notes from some folks that the acct still got blacklisted / shut down even after closing acct on their own

dan
dan

meant to say: closing acct on their own before amex shutdown or sent email

Jerry
Jerry

Thanks dan! My BB that I closed by myself wasn’t even be used to load vgc, just kept for a year and never really used. The REDCard that was used on MS, is still alive…

NoonRadar

Jerry, the one reliable indicator to make sure your prepaid Amex card is not shut down is to try to load money to it, via the allowable venues for that card. If you can’t and it’s not due to a technical issue, it is shut down. After shutting accounts down, Amex often lets people unload/use the money and login online to see and download statements and transactions.

Also, when the shutdown waved started a few months ago, many people reported their accounts being shut down despite having been inactive (i.e. they hadn’t loaded any money) in the recent few weeks at the time. Which makes sense since Amex is likely basing the shutdowns for most MS/miles enthusiasts on a patter of (previous by default) behaviors as opposed to a single ‘problem’ transaction. I.e. we aren’t charging stolen cards or whatnot, but our behaviors likely are perceived risky by Amex and they don’t want to spend investigative manpower to figure out if you and I are doing this for miles or to cover something illegal, so after a certain perceived risk level they shut the acct down and often ban the SSN for some time.

Jerry
Jerry

Thanks NoonRadar! I tested my Target REDCard and I successfully loaded $2500 cash into the card. So there is no problem with my card. The only reason is probably the Bluebird I closed by self more than 1 year ago, which never had any money reload.

Bought a serve card in Walgreens today, and failed to register online.

Dave
Dave

Hey did you ever find out why you got that message? I just got the same one when applying for a new BB after shutting my first one down. Thanks

Steve
Steve

The one perk with Bluebird and WalMart is when you use it with Walmarts Savings Catcher app. When WM refunds a price difference to you, instead of using it on walmart.com, or requesting a physical gift card, you can load it to your BB, then transfer it to your bank.

Dirk
Dirk

accdng to BB FAQs, this can only be used at walmart. how are you able to transfer it to your bank???

mike
mike

I thought that you can’t load a redbird with any gift cards?

jackie
jackie

sub

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