Posted by William Charles on February 11, 2020
Manufactured Spending

Published on February 11th, 2020 | by William Charles

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New Round Of American Express Serve & Bluebird Shutdowns

Today I’ve heard from a few readers that American Express has shut down their Serve/Bluebird accounts. This is the first of shut downs this year (but had three last year MayOctober, November). The difference between these and previous shut downs is previously they just restricted loading your account, whereas now they are permanently suspending access to your account.



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debit
debit

Survived again.

Can’t shutdown what i don’t have. New game plan with amex.

Puzzles
Puzzles

No email yet.
Been using Serve for about 10 days, loaded $2000 in VGCs so far at FD.
Loaded with CC earlier today in the app, went through fine.

MrObvious
MrObvious

Doesn’t sound like you’ve had it long enough to even count yet…

Ron
Ron

Puzzles If you load serve with CC it codes as purchase ? Which serve and which CC you used ?

JB SanDiego
JB SanDiego

Amx means business and I would tread water very carefully.

MrObvious
MrObvious

Why tread lightly, if that’s the case? Just use it as long and hard as you can. It’s inevitable that all will be shut down at some point. “Better to have played hard and lost than barely to have played at all…”

Joe
Joe

Even though I’ve been shut down I still agree with this advice

Llb
Llb

Probably because it could negatively effect your other relationships with the company

MrObvious
MrObvious

Highly doubtful. Amex actually sold their prepaid portfolio to another bank years ago. It’s not actually Amex shutting you down, but the other bank.

Brian Felberbaum
Brian Felberbaum

These shutdowns are different..previously they would restrict your ability to load. These are just permanently suspending access to your account.

Aggie
Aggie

What typically happens when you swipe a shutdown bluebird? I just went to walmart, swiped my bluebird, but when i swiped 2 different debits I got “card read error” message.

And if this is a dreaded shutdown…how do i get my money out. Is it frozen, or can i still withdraw?

tennismenace3
tennismenace3

If you’re getting to the payment step, I believe that means your Bluebird was fine.

Aggie
Aggie

You just made my day…regardless if what you say is correct. :). So if it was shutdown, would i get an error as soon as i swiped the bluebird?

I log in to my BB account and all seems to be well.

Tim
Tim

Wait, Bluebird and Serve are STILL alive!? I thought they already banned everyone?

Can you sign up again if you were banned way back?

Kyle
Kyle

P2 still has Serve. I rarely use it though as MO fees are significantly less.

JR
JR

Serve has no fees if you opened the right type of account.

Lantean
Lantean

Which one is that?
Thanks.

Curmudgeon
Curmudgeon

The Green Serve card has no load fees. If you don’t have a balance on the statement date they don’t charge a monthly fee. Therefore, totally free card.

Russ
Russ

Give it a try. You might be pleasantly surprised, especially if you make a typo.

Brandon
Brandon

Russ
Does the ban not happen on SSN level?

scott
scott

It seems that way. I was shutdown back in 2016 and was able to get both BB and Serve last summer.

Henry
Henry

what’s the use of bb nowadays? Did vanilla visa load at Walmart several years ago, but never used it again since it was not doable anymore.

CtownBin
CtownBin

There are plenty of other Visas that still work at Wal-Mart just fine- MetaBank, Sunrise, Blackhawk, Giftcards.com, Simon Mall etc.

Henry
Henry

Didn’t know that, I thought walmart loading was long gone, maybe just the walmart I went to. So Simon Mall $1k GC works? I haven’t done MS for years, but need to spend $2K on a CC before the end of this month. Guess I’ll pick up this old BB method again this weekend.

CtownBin
CtownBin

Yup, Simon Mall GCs are fine. The only ones that the system is hard-coded not to accept are Vanilla-branded GCs.
Of course, I’m just talking about the hard-coded system issue. There are, unfortunately, many Wal-Marts who don’t accept gift cards to buy money orders or load Bluebird. Really just depends on the individual store or even on the individual cashier. Although in my experience loading BlueBird is more likely to be accepted than buying a Money Order. Remember also just to say you’re using a debit card (don’t say gift card), which is completely true- they all have the word “debit” on the front.

CtownBin
CtownBin

If I’m shut down, will I still be able to access the account online? What has been showing up for those that try to log in who were shut down?

Brian Felberbaum
Brian Felberbaum

I am unable to login to my shutdown accounts

Samosa
Samosa

P2 got shutdown, mine survived. Both cards were always loaded exactly same way, at the same time (one after the other), with same amount per day/per month. May be I too will receive the dreaded email soon.

I must say it was fun while it lasted. Just wish it had survived one more month so I could easily keep liquidating Citizen’s 5% CB promo.

Lisa
Lisa

Any difference between P1 and P2 in withdrawing money from serve/bluebird? ie methods, timing, frequency,etc? Any difference between P1 and P2 in length of time to receive funds once requested from serve/bluebird? Thanks.

Samosa
Samosa

P1 (survived): 8 month old. Never used for a purchase. Funds mostly drained via paying CC, utility, car payments. Occasionally ACH to checking account.

P2 (shutdown): 6 month old. Never used for a purchase. Have checkbook (cost $20), funds drained by writing monthly checks for rent payments, and rest ACH to checking.

No difference in receiving funds via ACH, never requested via any other method (except of course above mentioned payments).

Funny thing is this weekend did ACH from both accounts. P1 ACH is “processing”, of course P2 can’t log in. Will see if P2 ACH posts to the receiving account.

Lisa
Lisa

Thanks.

Jorge Ramos
Jorge Ramos

Samosa which CC’s did you pay with Serve? – I’ve been hesitant to pay any because I thought that was a sure way of getting shut down, I’ve just had BB and Serve for a couple months now.

Samosa
Samosa

I used BB, not Serve.

Paid Chase, Cap1, Citi, Discover, Citizens, Toyota Financials, but never paid an Amex CC. No problem yet, but YMMV so do it at your own risk.

Dennis
Dennis

You can contact them 1 (800) 660-2454

Samosa
Samosa

Dennis Dennis Do you mean contact BB at that number and they may remove the suspension? Have you successfully re-activated a suspended BB by calling them? If yes, that would be an extremely useful DPs.

Jenny
Jenny

As someone who has been maxing out BB & Serve reloads for so many years without being shut down, I think the key to avoid shutdowns is using the cards for shopping once in a while. Also, I don’t zero out my Green Serve cards before their monthly cycles end, and leave a dollar or two towards the fee. So, I’m not very unprofitable for InComm.

OffByOne
OffByOne

Green serves have a $4.95 fee. Are you thinking of an older favor, perhaps?

CtownBin
CtownBin

They actually have a $6.95 fee now. But, if your balance is less than $6.95 at the time of the month that the fee is due to come out, they just drain your balance to zero- they don’t put you into negative. So a lot of people have been zeroing out their account the day before the fee is due each month, to avoid paying the fee altogether. Jenny was saying she leaves a dollar or two in there when the fee is due, and therefore at least pays that dollar towards the fee (albeit not the full fee amount).

Dan
Dan

How can you still use serve/bluebird for reloading with gift cards? All stores in my state, including Walmart, Family Dollar, Dollar General only accept reloading with cash. They said it’s their company policy. The enforcement started about a year ago.

Moosey
Moosey

Change your state, problem fixed!

Curmudgeon
Curmudgeon

Because it’s YMMV depending on where you live.

dayTradeIt
dayTradeIt

Wow that stinks. Which state is that?

Kid Lightning
Kid Lightning

If you are shutdown does this impact the relationship with Amex CC’s?

Jenny
Jenny

No DPs to support that it does, but read the data-sharing agreement to see if Amex RAT can possibly acquire any information in the future.

AKJohnny
AKJohnny

i was shut down last year and still get updates on my account with them.. ugh

John
John

I am unable to pay Chase Credit Card since they updated the payments in December. Only option is Chase Commercial Card, so that kind of stinks now with these.

scott
scott

Looks like I survived. I’ve been loading several thousand a month to my Serve card since last summer. I have a Bluebird as a backup in case the Serve gets closed.

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