As you know, many people received emails yesterday that their Serve/Bluebirds have been terminated. This emails were sent out on a large scale and they clearly targeted people that were manufacturing spend using Amex’s prepaid cards.
However it’s not clear what type of activity was the deciding factor for the termination. Not everyone got these emails. There’s a spreadsheet here collecting information, but nothing jumps out as a reason for shutdowns.
UPDATE 1: Here’s some interesting facts from the spreadsheet mentioned above.
Serve/BB Card Open Date vs Shutdown % (n shutdown/n opened):
- Dec 2015: 0% (0/35)
- Nov: 13% (5/39)
- Oct: 55% (29/53)
- Prior: 74% (81/109)
I manage five cards in total, three Bluebirds and two Serves, and one Serve didn’t get an email. This Serve card was opened in late November and only loaded with about $3K in December, which was all used to make two credit cards payments in the same month.
There’s a few reports of recently opened Serve/Bluebirds that didn’t get an email. Some even had max loads is the few months they were opened. A similar case here, where they even tried loading after the emails were sent out without a problem.
The interesting thing is that loading at Walmart and other locations has been working. I loaded two $200 VGCs this morning on my surviving Serve and there were no problems and didn’t receive an email. Someone even more courageous reports to have loaded $2K last night. On FT they report loading the full $2,500 today with no problems. Bill pay also works, even on the accounts that received emails.
As we wait to find out more information, it looks like not everything is over. Those who survived should definitely tone down the MS and probably start doing some more actual spend with the card. That’s one way for Amex to make a profit, from transaction fees.
What to do if you received email?
Calling and asking for information about the termination won’t help. If you want information, you have to write a letter to the address in the email. I read this on reddit and FT and also tried calling myself to receive the same response.
I suggest keeping the accounts open for now, since they’re not being automatically terminated. Even if you have a balance, you can leave a small amount in there that you can use for Amex Offers. Once more information comes in, we might know the next steps.
Please add any data points, ideas or theories you might have in the comments below.