Update on REDbird’s Death & Switching to Bluebird/Serve
Two days ago I was one of the first bloggers to cover the eventual demise of debit card loads to REDcard (REDbird). At the time it seemed unlikely that Amex & Target would block all debit cards, but that is exactly what happened. Yesterday I saw a memo that confirmed Target REDcard loads are cash only and Frequent Miler even posted a copy.
Thankfully there is a way forward. Yesterday in my REDcard Postmortem, I explained ways to liquidate the cards you have and looked at a strategy going forward. In that post I linked to a number of resources and I highly recommend giving it a look.
One of the things I talked about was switching from REDbird to Serve. I just made a switchover and wanted to share the process in more detail and also pass along some new information I learned.
Switching from REDbird to Serve
Clearing the money out
Before switching from REDbird to Serve you must bring your account balance to $0. You can do this by transferring money out to your bank account, paying a bill, or sending money to another Amex card through the “Send Money” feature (probably the quickest and easiest way).
Note that Amex won’t allow you to close the account until the balance is at $0 and all transactions have cleared. Sometimes it can take a couple of days for this to happen.
To close your REDbird account, simply go into your profile. You can find a link to it by clicking “Settings” in the menu on the top right. You should then see a tab labeled “Profile”. Click it and the “Close Account” option will be at the very bottom of the page. If all of your transactions have cleared and the account has a $0 balance, you should be able to close REDbird without issue.
Before you close the account you will see a message informing you that the closure cannot be undone. Once the account is closed you will also receive confirmation that you can still login for 90 days to view your transaction history and get your statements. Congratulations, you are officially in limbo, but not for long.
As I mentioned yesterday, I believe the One VIP version of Serve is the best, although you should read more about the different versions and come to a conclusion for yourself. As soon as REDbird is closed, you can head to the Serve site and sign-up. You do not have to wait.
Which Email to Use & CAUTION!
Yesterday I originally said that you need to use a different email for Bluebird/Serve than the one you used for REDbird. That used to be the case, however it apparently has changed. I was just able to successfully change a REDbird to Serve and use the same email for both accounts. There is one huge drawback though.
Since both the Serve and REDbird sites use the same backend, if you use the same email address to register Serve, you will not be able to log into your old REDbird account. (Or at least that has been the case for me.) This means you won’t have 90 days to access statements or look at transaction history. If you need this information, make sure to download it before opening a Serve account or use a different email for your new account.
Waiting for Serve
It usually takes about 7-10 days for the new card to arrive. This means that you should be able to get the new card before the end of the month if you make the switch in the next couple of days. You will have the full load limits available, even if you maxed out your REDbird before the change.
One of the coolest features of Serve is subaccounts. While I don’t use my subaccounts too often, each one is eligible for its own Amex Offers, so I make sure to have four subaccounts (the maximum) on every Bluebird and Serve I manage. Just in case you are wondering, it is possible to have a subaccount in the name of the primary account holder. You know, to separate expenses and all of that.
Credit Card Loads
Serve allows up to $1,000 per month to be loaded from an American Express card. The key is to find an American Express card not issued by American Express since Amex issued cards do not earn rewards. Be careful when doing this though, because the transaction can code as a cash advance. Doctor of Credit has a great reference discussing which third party Amex cards are available.
If your REDbird account is at $0 and all transactions have cleared, it takes less than 5 minutes to close one account and sign-up for the other one. With the memo now posted showing that Target is cash-only, I felt confident enough to switch over my remaining REDbird cards to Serve. With that said, take your time and wait until you are comfortable.