The manufactured spending world is currently blowing up – it appears that many people who have either Bluebird or Serve accounts for manufactured spending got an email that looks something like this (this one came from a reader of mine who was wondering)
We are writing to let you know that we have observed unusual usage patterns on your Bluebird Account. Because of this, effective immediately, you will no longer be able to add money to your Account.1 We have made this change in accordance with Section 22.d of our Member Agreement, which you can view here.
Please be aware that you continue to have full access to the funds on your Account and can withdraw them at any time.
Once your balance reaches $0, please close your Account online via your Profile page accessible here. Scroll down to the Close Account section and click “Close Account.”
If you have any questions or would like to inquire further about this issue, you may write to us at the following address:
C/O Customer Relations 02-04-40
4315 S 2700 W
Salt Lake City, UT 84184-0440
The Bluebird® Team
Other coverage of Bluebird / Serve shutdowns
Right now this is breaking news, and we’re still figuring out who is affected by this and what it means. Here are a few other places where people are talking about it
- Miles to Memories – BREAKING: American Express Shutting Down Bluebird & Serve Accounts for MS: What We Know & What We Don’t
- Travel with Grant – AMEX Serve Card Mass Account Closures Effective Immediately (1/8/2016, Section 15.d)
- Saverocity Forum (requires login / registration) – PSA – Your Serve/Bluebird is shutdown Consolidated thread
- Points of Life – You’ve Been Served: Amex Closes Mine Too
- Doctor of Credit – RIP: The End of Serve & Bluebird & SoftServe for Manufactured Spend + What’s Left
- Frequent Miler – Amex kills Bluebird and Serve for manufactured spend
I do have a Serve account, and I did NOT get an email like this. I did also verify that I WAS able to log in to my Serve account this morning and there was no messaging.
Here are a couple of thoughts I’ve had about my account and why I might not have gotten a shutdown email.
- I don’t use it super frequently (I don’t think I ever max out my account monthly)
- My account is fairly new (I re-opened it in November)
- I’ve been loading $200 and $100 cards rather than $500
- I only have one account
- I also am not super vigilant about clearing out my balance (for instance, I currently have $2900 in the account that’s been there for awhile)
- I also have not done any online loading (one of the commenters in the reddit thread suggested that shutdowns might be related to online loading)
I have no idea if any of these things is a factor, or some combination of them or none of them at all. I’m definitely interested to hear your experiences in the comments, ESPECIALLY if you have a Serve or Bluebird that was not shut down and EVEN MORE SO if you also have any of these characteristics. Hopefully we can find a pattern of some sort!
(UPDATE: For more information on trying to find a pattern see – Finding a pattern in Bluebird / Serve shutdowns?)