Thoughts & Considerations Regarding the Shutdown of Bluebird & Serve for Manufactured Spend
In case you have been away from the computer for most of the day, American Express began sending out notices to some Bluebird and Serve cardholders explaining that their accounts were being effectively shutdown. I covered the letter and more in this morning’s post.
It took awhile to digest the news, but now I have a few more random thoughts that I think are worth sharing in a timely manner. For that reason I decided to put them in a separate post. Here is some of what is going through my mind.
The letter this morning left the Bluebird/Serve accounts open, but limited a cardholder’s ability to fund the account further. This means that the money currently in the account is the only money that will ever be there. I know many people have a main card and four sub cards, each of which are linked to Amex Offers.
Now that loading is killed, you may want to consider leaving some money in there and cash it out as lucrative Amex Offers come out. I am not sure what I am going to do personally, but I think cashing out with spending as opposed to simply paying a bill may not be a bad solution. What do you think?
Remember that subaccounts have their own balances. I personally left some money on each of my subaccounts to use for Amex Offers purchases. The balances of these subaccounts don’t show up in the main balance, so remember to reclaim the money to the main account before closing or as I you may want to consider keeping it there until you can cash it out through spending as mentioned above.
Liquidating Cards You Have
I maintain a resource on the site about liquidating prepaid pin-enabled gift cards. You can find it here. The biggest advice I could give to you is don’t panic. There are a number of ways to liquidate (some cheaper than others) and you should find one you are comfortable with. Some of the easier options cost more, so you’ll have to decide which route is best. Either way, it isn’t the end of the world. A hassle? Yes, but not the end of the world.
Have a Card That Didn’t Receive the Letter?
If you live in a split family like me (i.e. One person got the letter and one didn’t), then the question comes up as to what to do with the card that is still alive? Do you hit it hard and pray for the best? Do you simply just leave it alone and lay low for awhile?
Obviously I don’t know the best answer as to what to do, but I personally think I will lay low awhile. I have other methods of liquidating and am glad I still have my Go Bank card as well. I still value the alive card for Amex Offers, so that is a consideration as well. I think as this progresses and we perhaps find out a pattern for the shutdowns or more information, then the decision here will be a little easier.
Things We Still Don’t Know
- Will this have any effect on your credit card accounts?
- Is this a permanent ban on prepaid products or will you be able to re-open one later?
- Are there any other repercussions to this shutdown?
Did I miss anything?