Posted by Chuck on May 4, 2016
Manufactured Spending

Published on May 4th, 2016 | by Chuck


We Can Now Have Bluebird AND Serve AND REDbird Accounts

American Express has changed the rules and now allows each person to have one Bluebird account, one Serve account, and one REDbird account.

Amex has three prepaid products: Serve, Bluebird, and REDcard. Previously, each person (SSN) could get one Amex prepaid product. Now, the FAQ on the Amex sites indicate that each person can have one of each.

Screen Shot 2016-05-04 at 3.15.32 PM

Screen Shot 2016-05-04 at 3.06.37 PM

REDcard Linky

Bluebird Linky

Serve Linky

Note that people who were shut down from one Amex product are usually banned from getting it again, or even getting a different prepaid version again.

Potential Uses

As we all know, Serve/REDbird/Bluebird is basically dead for manufacturing spend purposes since if you try using it such the account gets shut down. Here are some potential uses for being able to get three prepaid cards:

  • Use it for Amex Offers. Bluebird and Serve cards are eligible for Amex Offers. If I wasn’t shutdown, I’d get both cards to add to my Amex Offer velocity.
  • Someone once said, “hit it hard whilst you can.” You can try signing up for each card and hitting each for a couple months until you get shutdown. I’m not actually recommending this, but the possibility exists.
  • Each card actually has unique benefits itself. Particularly, the REDcard gets 5% off at Target and free shipping with no minimum, among a few other perks. Sure, you can get the credit or debit REDcard, but some people may prefer the prepaid. Bluebird has (or used to have?) some special Walmart benefits too. The OneVIP Serve has some concert benefits.

If you want to signup for a Serve card, check out the post Six Different Flavors of Serve and How to Remain Fee-Free to find out which is best for you.

Hat tip to gochoo on Flyertalk

53 Responses to We Can Now Have Bluebird AND Serve AND REDbird Accounts

  1. Charly Chang says:

    well, only if they allow you to have one. I was blocked completely after the first wave of shutdown in Jan.

  2. Mordy says:

    Can all be loaded with AMEX CC?

    • dan says:

      only the serve

    • Chuck says:

      Serve can be loaded online with an Amex credit card, but it *may be* that they’ll shut down someone who loads money for the purposes of manufacturing spend.

      • Keith says:

        Thats what happened to me. Use it to pay rent and Amex Offers. Loaded through credit card and bank account. It lasted through the first few waves of shut down. Then out of the blue, my account was closed

        • Ron Ron says:

          That’s what Im using it for. Just loading off my SPG card to pay electric bills and rent. I hope I dont get shut down anytime soon. :/

  3. dan says:

    having different types of prepaid card, send & request $ feature between accts is currently not allowed

  4. NoonRadar says:

    I put down some details about this on a post a few days ago:

    I didn’t stumble on this, a couple of people told me, they had noticed the verbiage change when you go to register for a prepaid Amex acct now. I held off posting until they got the permanent cards to make sure they could use both their prepaid cards.

    Only restriction is that you can’t transfer money between prepaid Amex accounts if you have more than one (affiliated with your SSN), Amex says this is temporary while they work on improving their platform.

    I’m guessing loss of business and/or profit made them ease up on this restriction.

    • Chuck says:

      Thanks NR, wish I’d seen your post a few days ago. Lots of good info there.

    • NoonRadar says:

      It should be common sense, but just to clarify this for people not familiar with prepaid Amex cards: If you’re not sure whether you’re blacklisted/banned or not by Amex for prepaid accounts, do not attempt to try to register for Redbird (prepaid REDcard) as your first try, because you need a temporary card to do that and once you attempt to register with a temporary card, you can’t re-use it again. Try with Serve or Bluebird first, since you don’t need a temporary card to register for them. If you are able to register for Serve or Bluebird, then you can register for Redbird also, if you want.

      P.S. Thanks Chuck.

  5. Ted says:

    What constitutes as being banned? I received the email about “Termination Of Funds Loading Capabilities on Your Serve® Account” as well, but as of today I can still log in (though of course can’t load anymore). Is that what counts as being banned?

    • NoonRadar says:

      Yes, if you can’t use your current account and can’t signed up for a new prepaid account, you’re banned, at least for the time being. The ability to login doesn’t mean anything, Amex prob lets you login so you can see and download transactions (as opposed to other banks that cut that off also).

  6. dan says:

    can’t add any more $ from any sources

  7. Ben says:

    I’ve never seen a decent Amex Offer on my BB or wife’s Serve. Does anyone else get the good ones?

  8. BD says:

    Is there a hard or soft pull for the REDbird? In the process of refinancing my home and don’t want to rock the boat.

  9. Joe says:

    Is it possible to get a serve if you have had a BB shut down?

  10. Maria says:

    “hit it hard whilst you can.”

    Whilst? oh no…

  11. P says:

    I reapplied for serve one vip in February after getting shut down in January. Automatic denial. Same with bluebird in March.

    Maybe my sister can sign up for both serve and bluebird and we can max it out for one to two months.

    • NoonRadar says:

      Do you remember what your denial reason said when you tried to register again after they closed your acct? I’m curious if the verbiage is uniform for people that get banned.

      For this reason I would differ on the advise of hitting it hard for a couple of months while you can: You risk getting banned for a long time and therefore missing out on some great regular saving venues, like stacking strategies, Amex offers etc. Some of us have been using prepaid Amex cards moderately (by comparison to the heave MS-ers anyhow) and never got banned by Amex. Not yet anyhow.

      I know some believe that it’s a matter of time before all of us get shut down so it doesn’t matter, but I’d say it does, even if that is the case. During the last few months I’ve been easily meeting minimum spend with Amex while others couldn’t do that. It saved me a lot of time and hassle (compared to MO venues and such), so I’m def glad I didn’t hit it hard when people started to get shut down.

      • dan says:

        NR, congrats! what’s considered ‘moderate’? some examples? have u done all to the serve acct (i.e. amex cc loads, ACH transfer and/or bill pay? or excluded any?

        • NoonRadar says:

          Dan, from what I recall seeing online people reporting and trying to figure out of pattern of what got you shut down with Amex and what didn’t, there wasn’t any reliable patterns that any of us coul figure out. Some people survived despite doing ach and atm withdrawals, some for doing cc billpay some for not doing so, etc. Since the shutdown waves I’ve loaded abt 40-75% of limit, no ach, billpay mostly but also some store swipes.

          I am not into extreme stacking or large volumes so I look for moderate-medium venues without having to do lots of venue swapping. I wrote a post about stacking Redbird + Target GCs + Ink ( and that is a good example of the things and venues I look for. Basically something that won’t require a lot of time or tweaking.

          On the other hand many others do pedal to the metal and even reselling etc and make great money off it (some full-time), so I can see how for them it might work best to churn and burn hard & fast and move on to the next thing as opposed to try to moderately milk a venue.

          • dan says:

            thx NR. 1 serve acct i managed started last oct. got shutdown on 4/12 after had loaded around $3k/month, $2.5K sent to another serve acct/month, but no bill pay nor use for normal purchases.

            wonder that if the acct was used like 2-3 a week for normal purchase might have saved it. Saw few reports from others that their accts still got shut down with regular uses for normal purchase. Too many factors / variables

      • P says:

        Sorry. I don’t remember.

  12. Jerry says:

    Trying to sign up OneVip Serve online, and got failed. “Unfortunately we cannot approve you for an American Express Serve® Account right now. Thank you for your interest in American Express Serve.”

    Any idea why? I used to have Bluebird, but closed by myself. And now still have a working REDCard, and not being shut down.

      • Jerry says:

        Kinda weird, and cust rep has no clue why it’s declined and cannot find explanation in the system. No luck after trying different emails.

        And my BB was never used to load vgc before I closed by myself, while my REDCard that is still alive was used in MS.

    • dan says:

      saw a few notes from some folks that the acct still got blacklisted / shut down even after closing acct on their own

      • dan says:

        meant to say: closing acct on their own before amex shutdown or sent email

      • Jerry says:

        Thanks dan! My BB that I closed by myself wasn’t even be used to load vgc, just kept for a year and never really used. The REDCard that was used on MS, is still alive…

    • NoonRadar says:

      Jerry, the one reliable indicator to make sure your prepaid Amex card is not shut down is to try to load money to it, via the allowable venues for that card. If you can’t and it’s not due to a technical issue, it is shut down. After shutting accounts down, Amex often lets people unload/use the money and login online to see and download statements and transactions.

      Also, when the shutdown waved started a few months ago, many people reported their accounts being shut down despite having been inactive (i.e. they hadn’t loaded any money) in the recent few weeks at the time. Which makes sense since Amex is likely basing the shutdowns for most MS/miles enthusiasts on a patter of (previous by default) behaviors as opposed to a single ‘problem’ transaction. I.e. we aren’t charging stolen cards or whatnot, but our behaviors likely are perceived risky by Amex and they don’t want to spend investigative manpower to figure out if you and I are doing this for miles or to cover something illegal, so after a certain perceived risk level they shut the acct down and often ban the SSN for some time.

      • Jerry says:

        Thanks NoonRadar! I tested my Target REDCard and I successfully loaded $2500 cash into the card. So there is no problem with my card. The only reason is probably the Bluebird I closed by self more than 1 year ago, which never had any money reload.

        Bought a serve card in Walgreens today, and failed to register online.

    • Dave says:

      Hey did you ever find out why you got that message? I just got the same one when applying for a new BB after shutting my first one down. Thanks

  13. Steve says:

    The one perk with Bluebird and WalMart is when you use it with Walmarts Savings Catcher app. When WM refunds a price difference to you, instead of using it on, or requesting a physical gift card, you can load it to your BB, then transfer it to your bank.

    • Dirk says:

      accdng to BB FAQs, this can only be used at walmart. how are you able to transfer it to your bank???

  14. mike says:

    I thought that you can’t load a redbird with any gift cards?

  15. Pixel Rogue says:

    Hello everyone,

    Seeking a (non-amex) service that will allow funding via prepaid visas to pay bills. Thank you in advance for any insight.


    Had Amex Serve for ONE transaction.
    Purchased the wrong debit card using Visa, and (somehow) the return was applied to the Amex Serve. Both cards were on the counter and look nearly identical. Have no idea how the computer systems even allowed applying a return to a different card that was not used to make the purchase. Purchase was approximately February or March of 2016.

    AMEX serve shut down the account AND locked me out.
    Tried every method to communicate, including documentation with recites and written letters.
    * All calls (100% or the randomly generated calls are handled in the Philippines.
    * No one will discuss beyond reading notes from a screen.
    * Requests to escalate resulted in being stonewalled, hold times exceeding an hour or disconnected.
    * Requests to speak to US state-side representative all ignored or denied.
    * Told to write a physical letter to Utah address – never a response and Amex claims no letter on file.
    * Rinse & Repeat

  16. Jason says:

    I applied for a Red prepaid card in store and applied for a BB card online last week, received both physical cards by mail this week. I was about to sign up for the serve card today but got rejected online. So I got 2 out of the 3 so far. But why they would say ppl can have other prepaid card on the bluebird Q&A but my case is that they don’t let me get the serve?

    • NoonRadar says:

      Jason, I suggest you call Serve (800‑954‑0559), it could be something specific about you.

      I’d be curious to know what they tell you.

      • Jason says:

        Hello there, thanks for the number. I called. Spoke with a rep and he basically had no idea why I couldn’t get approved, he gave me another phone number in the tech department of AE (801-945-2180). I called again and the lady there had me verified my info, then she said she “could not see my application there because such info is not open for the employee to view therefore she could not see/tell the reason why I was rejected.” and I learned from the first rep that online application is the only way and I can tell they have no control over this auto-reject system. When I was speaking to the 2nd rep, I brought up the point that even the Q&A on bluebird site said one can have a bluebird and a serve at the same time and I was never an AE card holder, not even credit card or debit card. She has no clue at all as to why I could not get approved. I trusted her, this is really something that is out of her control or even beyond her knowledge.

        Again, a few things I want to address, I was never an AE card holder, so I didn’t have any prepaid account before. Otherwise I wouldn’t be able to get the redbird prepaid and BB. So it seems that this is not something specific about me. It’s about the serve system.

        And today, 7/17, I asked my cousin who is also never an AE customer or any prepaid card holder to try to open an account in serve, after buying the temp serve card in CSV, still, got rejected. Same message. It looks to me that serve has closed the gate for any newcomer. The frustration is killing me as the Q&A on BB site says OK to have serve.

        • PR says:

          Jason – I had a BB Serve for about 3 days. I made an innocent mistake using the card. Fixed the error asap, and provided documentation for the misyake. Amex canned the account and I had been blacklisted.

          Have made dozens of calls for months, and 99% of the random routed calls were routed th the Philippines. When using other Amex US based numbers, the call would be pushed back the Philippines. ???

          Not a single person was authorized to disiscuss the situation, nothing but read a few cryptic notes on the screen.

          Was told the only way to fix the issue was to write a physical letter to their Utah address. I sent three letters over the course of 4 months and not a single response.

          • PR says:

            Sorry all -want to delete that reeoonse I just posted and not seeing a delete option from the iPhone here …. ??

    • Chuck says:

      I don’t know, maybe try contacting them

  17. Jason says:

    If the negative comments are true in the following link, it looks to me that the problem comes inside the serve. Well but then I don’t understand that I got the BB, BB and serve are running on the same platform.

  18. lenny says:

    is this still happening

    “This Feature is Currently Unavailable
    Looks like you also have another American Express Prepaid Account. Customers with more than one Account are unable to send money while we make improvements to our site. ”

    i had both serve and bluebird i had to closed my bluebird account and wait a month so my serve can work again, i wanna know if this glitch or whatever it was got fix so i can try bluebird again ty

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