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Lots of folks are reporting their AMEX Bluebird and Serve accounts are getting shut down today. Especially if they regularly use gift cards to reload their accounts.
This is terrible news! I’ll explain what we know so far.
What’s Going On?
“We are writing to let you know that we have observed unusual usage patterns on your American Express Serve Account. Because of this, effective immediately, you will no longer be able to add money to your Account.
Please be aware that you continue to have full access to the funds on your Account and can withdraw them at any time. Any applicable monthly fees continue to apply.
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.”
This is awful news for those of y’all who purchased gift cards with credit cards, and then loaded the gift card balance to you AMEX Bluebird at Walmart or AMEX Serve at Dollar General and Family Dollar.
It was also a fantastic way to earn extra miles or points. And to meet minimum spending requirements.
For a long time, AMEX Bluebird or Serve has been a great way to pay bills you normally couldn’t pay with a credit card. So I’m sad to see this go away. Especially with no notice!
Who’s Being Shut Down?
Not everyone’s account is affected. AMEX seems to be targeting those who regularly loaded their Bluebird or Serve accounts with gift cards. Or who exclusively loaded their Serve accounts with AMEX credit cards.
But there doesn’t seem to be any hard and fast rules. Basically, the more you used gift cards to load your account, the higher your chance of receiving the shutdown email.
Please share your experience in the comments!
What’s Left Now?
If you have gift cards you intended to load to AMEX Bluebird or Serve, there a couple of other ways to spend them.
You can purchase a money order (which usually cost ~$1) and use the money orders to pay your bills. For example, in many cases you can walk into your bank branch and use a money order to pay a credit card bill that you have with that bank.
Or, you can use the gift cards to make everyday purchases until they’re spent.
I’ll get to work researching other ways to use leftover gift cards, and will post an update if I find anything that will work for y’all!
Today AMEX shut down lots of Bluebird and Serve accounts with no notice, especially for those who used gift cards to load their account. That left many folks with unused gift cards. Until now, you could use certain gift cards to load AMEX Bluebird or AMEX Serve.
Until I find a better way to redeem gift cards, I recommend trying to purchase money orders. Besides depositing money orders into your bank account (which may be risky), you can use money orders to pay your landlord, credit card company, etc.
Or use your leftover gift cards for regular purchases.
This is bad news for everyone who used credit cards to purchase gift cards to earn more miles and points and meet minimum spending requirements.
Let me know your experience! Did you get the email from AMEX today?