Don't miss out! Join the thousands of people who subscribe to our once-daily email with all the best travel news. Some links on this page may pay me a commission - as always, thanks for your support if you use them
If you were heavy into manufactured spending (what I like to call the art of spending money without actually spending money), then I’m sure you already know about the fact that many people’s Bluebird and Serve accounts were shut down a week or so ago. Or rather I should say that the accounts themselves were not shut down, but many (most?) users received notice that they would no longer be able to load money into their accounts. Since that is what most people were using their Bluebird / Serve accounts for, for all intents and purposes, the accounts of most Bluebird and Serve users are dead.
What to do now?
For whatever reason, my account (Serve One VIP) was NOT shut down and I did not receive that letter. I did speculate a little bit about what the reasons why some users were shut down and others were not, but as far as I have seen, we still haven’t figured out what the pattern might be.
I’ve read a few posts about what to do if your Bluebird or Serve account is still open. Frequent Miler suggested this was NOT a one-time thing, and people were going to continue to be shutdown if they violated whatever algorithm Amex came up with. He suggested only unloading via spend is safe. Julian the Devil’s Advocate posted over on Travel Codex that the best way to go forward is to keep doing whatever you WERE doing.
Loading my Serve card today
As I’ve said before, I am not a huge manufactured spender, and even though I am blessed to have a working Kate (even at my closest Walmart store!), I have not been in the habit of regularly loading. I had a few gift cards that I have been meaning to load – some from a recent $300 gift card deal online at Staples, some that I bought to make minimum spending on a 15,000 mile retention offer, and others meeting minimum spend on my new BBVA Compass NBA card.
When I got there I was a little nervous actually that perhaps I had missed the email and my account would not work to load, but (anti-climatically) everything worked just fine. I loaded 3 $500 cards and 2 $300 cards (taking a break in between since I didn’t want to run into the 10 minute $2000 load limit). Other than Kate SHOUTING “FIVE… HUNDRED… DOLLARS” to what seemed like the entire store, there were no issues.
What about you? Was your Bluebird or Serve account spared from #BirdArmageddon? If so, have you been loading it lately, and if so, how?