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The mass extinction event today – many thousands of Bluebirds killed off at once. RATZ!

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Rene’s Points For Better Travel, a division of Chatterbox Entertainment, Inc. has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Rene’s Points For Better Travel and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.


email from bluebird about closing account

I, like most of you, who like to have a simple way to meet credit card spending, got the e-mail from AMEX that my BlueBird account has been closed (if not, you will most likely). A most sad day indeed that I first learned about from Frequent Miler here on BoardingArea.

However this is not the end of the world. Sure, for those who are managing maybe a dozen or more BlueBird or Serve accounts this is a major blow for you. For the rest of us, who are small time players, this is not that big of a deal really and will not have a massive impact on us.

I can tell you I never ever paid my credit cards directly with my BlueBird so as others have said it must be loading and unloading practices that got us canceled. I always swept my money out instantly or almost instantly. I am sure the BB folks did not like that.

So why not such a big deal? Keep in mind the VDGCs most of us are were using to load to BlueBird are “debit” cards so you can use them, for a small fee, at many locations to buy money orders. Now this is very different from the simple way of loading to BlueBird so you will want to study and learn more. But if done to simply meet the spend on cards and sensible deposits over a month or two you should have no issues (for now). I can absorb a tiny bit higher costs to get my spending done this way as well as normal spend.

Clearly this is a bummer day and you hate to see a beautiful bird killed off in one mass extinction event, but there are clearly other ways to keep the game afoot if you will. – René

 

 

Rene’s Points For Better Travel, a division of Chatterbox Entertainment, Inc. has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Rene’s Points For Better Travel and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.


Responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

René de Lambert is a contributing writer and the founder of RenesPoints. He is an avid Delta and SkyTeam flyer who has held Delta’s top Diamond Medallion status for many years and flown millions of miles.

20 Comments

  1. Both wife and my BB cards shut down this a.m. Across the board terminations seem to be the norm per the FT thread. Never have done the money order things or other MS methods but BB was good for $10k/month when needed. Ughh…New skills to learn now so looking forward to your guidance Rene!!

  2. They sent me an email asking to upload a picture of my ID and bank statement. I haven’t been shutdown yet, but then again, I don’t use it constantly for MS (only occasionally haha).

  3. Same here. My termination email came at 10:25 am. Luckily I had no money left on my account to hold in limbo. It gives me a very small feeling of reassurance that this was a mass extinction and not just me.
    I have tried the money order routine before, but I had to try about 5 different places before I found a store that would allow it. It is a pain, but a way to continue on. Also more expensive. I just found the Simon Mall way of getting my spend, but now I have to try the money order routine which is more time consuming and expensive. Oh well. Any suggestions from the audience is welcome.

  4. Young_Tho®ough Reply

    Double checked my bird is still soaring. Almost choked and dropped my lunch when I read this considering I had done some loading last night and this morning. No letter and the remainder of my funds (that I haven’t paid bills with yet) are still intact.

    Cut the wings off the Redbird and shot a bunch of Bluebirds in the head.
    Upside…you don’t have to go to Wally world anymore.
    RIP amazon payments.

  5. So I have a bunch of Visa gift cards from Walmart in amounts of $500. They say debit on them and require me to use a pin at stores. Can I just go buy a $500 money order? How does that work? Is the post office the best place?

  6. John Housley Reply

    I just got a BB card a few weeks ago and have not loaded/used it. Why the mass extinction?

  7. Hello Rene. Got the email this morning about my Serve card being shut down. Bummer. Where am I able to purchase money orders with my gift cards?

  8. Got my email this morning too. It was good while it lasted. In a little way, it was a relief. I hate Walmart and i always dread going in that place. I just hope Amex doesn’t have any of us blacklisted from any future applications. Should this be something to worry about?

  9. Young_Tho®ough Reply

    Maybe I spoke to soon. did a few loads this morning at the register. But this afternoon at KATE i debit not accepted…no email that I’ve seen. ut I guess my last load was before 9aEST. We shall see.

  10. Suspected something was up…had a few hiccups on BB billpays this AM and very odd error message that I haven’t seen in past few yrs.

  11. Not to mention…Amex CC spend to Amex BB churn…this isn’t rocket science for them to track correlation. On the other hand, not sure Amex is really losing much on this and the earnings airlines must be generating from CC & sell miles these days…WOW.

  12. For what it’s worth, I couldn’t–for the first time–buy AmEx-branded gift cards at Walmart on 31 December with my Delta Reserve AmEx card. Maybe this was sign of what was to come. Oddly, I could buy Visa debit gift cards, though. So, clearly, it was specific to an AmEx card being used to buy an AmEx gift card.

  13. We spoke with AmEx.

    Telephone rep said “I see nothing flagged in your account…or why you received this message. But you account was not hacked, if that was a concern….[we’re] not sure why this happened”

  14. The probable reason these accounts are getting shut down is most likely related to the fact that the activity you highlighted looks a great deal like money laundering, and the banks are shutting down the accounts based on regulatory requirements.

    • @Branson – Yep. Wide net and we look fishy even though not any kind of illegal activity.

  15. I have a relatively new BB card that I’ve used for (mostly) MS but low volume. Hasn’t been cancelled. Curious if there’s a threshold metric that the cancelled cards have been breaching, i.e., apparent MS vs. legit spending. I occasionally use my BB for a bill or two. Or maybe there’s not enough data on me yet. Could the ex-BBers care to throw out a percentage of MS vs legit spending on their BB?

    • @docflippy – From what I have seen, you need to USE your BB to buy stuff like a credit card. Not great for earning points but maybe keep if for el’cheap’o stuff like coffee etc and keep a few hundred a month in it for that? They want CC swipe fees to make you valuable.

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