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Bluebird and Serve are two similar offerings by American Express that allow you to load money (including from some prepaid debit cards) and then use that money to pay bills and/or mail yourself a check. Both of those options allow you to do some manufactured spending, up to certain limits.
Serve shutdowns – wave 1 and 2
This gravy train was going on for quite some time, and I know that some people were “managing” upwards of 6 or 7 Serve cards or more, each with a $5,000 limit. It wasn’t quite as easy as the Target Redbird, which let you fund it directly from a credit card (and was shut down for credit card loads in May and debit card loads in October), but still fairly straightforward
Back in January, most people’s Serve accounts were shutdown, or rather their accounts remained open but Amex prevented them from loading money on them. Both of my accounts remained open after January, but my account was hit with the dreaded email in March
Third wave of Bluebird / Serve shutdowns?
That left me with one Serve card left. After those 2 shutdowns (January 8th and March 4th), Frequent Miler proposed two possible patterns
- Amex is sweeping through accounts once very 9 weeks; or
- Amex is sweeping through accounts every two months, on the first Friday of the month which is not a holiday.
(Note that there were some additional accounts shut down at the end of March, but it appears that these were all accounts that had managed to be reopened after the first shutdown)
Both of these patterns would point towards more accounts getting their loading privileges suspended this Friday, May 6th.
I don’t know if this Friday is another “D-Day”, but I can tell you where I will be this week just in case!