Published on October 14th, 2015 | by Chuck67
Death of REDbird: Current Best Options & To-Do Checklist
REDbird is Dead
Tender Accepted Select Reloadable Prepaid Cards
Effective Oct 13 cash is the only tender guests can use to reload select prepaid cards (listed below) in store.
- Prepaid cards falling under this restriction include: REDcard, American Express for Target, Green Dot MasterCard, Green Dot Visa, NetSpend Visa and MyVanilla Visa
- POS will prompt if a payment type cannot be used.
- If applicable, credit or debit cards can be used to pay the card fee.
- Follow POS prompts. If POS displays a message that the tender can only be used for a certain amount or not at all, ask the guest for another form of payment.
- If the guest inquires about the tender restriction, advise: “Target has made the decision to only allow cash reloads for this card. This decision aligns with other retailers who also only accept cash for reloadable prepaid cards.”
Which Prepaid Card is Best?
Now that REDbird is no longer a tool for manufacturing spend, most of us will want to switch over the Serve or Bluebird which can be loaded with PIN-based debit cards at Walmart.
We previously introduced the One VIP Serve and explained why it’s the superior version of Serve, see Six Different Flavor of Serve and How to Remain Fee-Free. For some Bluebird will be better since it has no monthly fee at all.
Here’s the best option available…
- OneVIP Serve – For many people, this will be the best option. It does have a $1 monthly fee, but the fee is waivable with $500 loaded per month. We’ve confirmed that even online credit card loads have been working to waive this fee, despite the fact that the terms are a little vague on this.
- Bluebird – If you don’t plan on loading at Family Dollar and you don’t plan on doing online credit card loads (for example, if you are managing a card in someone else’s name and you don’t have any credit cards in their name), choose Bluebird instead of Serve. This card has no monthly fee at all and free reloads at Walmart.
- GreenServe – If you live in NY, TX, or VT, get GreenServe or OneVIP Serve. People in these states don’t have a monthly fee and would do better taking Serve over Bluebird for the added ability to load at Family Dollar and to do online credit card loads.
- Empty REDbird account. The optimal way to do this is by sending the money over to a Serve/Bluebird account, e.g. a friend’s account. The transfer is instant and you are then assured that no money is tied up in the REDbird system. Alternatively, you can initiate a bill payment or an ACH withdrawal which will take a few days to process and then close the account.
- Notate the exact Profile details in you REDbird account. FrequentMiler recommends opening the new account with exact profile details of the old one, especially the same email address. This worked for me as well. Mark down the email, phone, and address of the REDbird account or take a screenshot of it. These can be found by going to Settings>Profile.
- (Optional) Download the statements from REDbird. Download all the statements in your REDbird account for future reference. They do allow you to login for 90 days after the account is closed, but you won’t be able to do so if you use the same email address for the new Serve account since that email will then be associated only with the new account (HT: Milestomemories).
- Close REDbird account. Amex makes it very easy to close the REDbird account online. Go to Settings>Profile>Close Account (at the bottom of the page).
- Open the new Serve or Bluebird account. Whichever option you choose, you can open it immediately after closing out the REDbird account; just use the same profile details, as noted above. You’ll choose a password, PIN, and security answer as part of the account opening.
- Add four subaccounts. Once you receive the card and activate it, you can then add up to 4 subaccounts. The big advantage of Serve and Bluebird over REDbird was always that they can be used for Amex Offers which many find very lucrative. Hopefully, you’ll have friends or family members you can add. You don’t need their SSN, but you do need a name,
DOB, address,phone, and email address. The email and the phone numberneed to be unique – you can’t have two Serve/Bluebird accounts or subaccounts with the same email.
- Sync the 5 cards to Twitter. You can add Amex Offers to your Serve accounts and subaccounts, but you’ll have to login to each one separately to do so. Far easier is to take the time once to sync the five cards with Twitter and you can then automate adding the offers to all the cards or you can add it easily to all cards at once via Tweetdeck.
- (Optional) Open new REDcard debit card. If you do ordinary shopping at Target, the prepaid REDcard was useful to get 5% off on all Target purchases. If you don’t already have a Target REDcard consider signing up for one. You can opt for the credit card version which will come with a hard credit inquiry. Or choose the debit card version which is only a soft pull. (There is a Chex inquiry for the debit version.)