AMEX for Target Discontinuing Program & AMEX Serve $25 Sign Up Bonus

Good evening everyone, I hope your weekend is going well.  I wanted to give a quick shout out to all of you who joined me at In-N-Out Burger this afternoon for my OC miles and points meetup.  I had a great time meeting and speaking with all of you.  I will organize another OC meetup in a few months.

Anyway, a long, long time ago, the American Express Prepaid Card for Target (aka AMEX for Target) was one of the few/best MS techniques available at the time.  Back in the day, you could load up to $1,000 with credit/debit/gift cards for a $3 fee and unload the card via cheap ATM withdrawals.  You could have 2 cards in your name and load up to $5,000 combined per month.  It was far from a perfect MS technique, but it was the best we had at the time.

TargetAmex

Even though the AMEX for Target has outlived its usefulness, the program was still supported by American Express and Target… until the announcement that the program will be discontinued on May 6, 2016.  At that point, the program will no longer be supported.  This news is not entirely surprising or noteworthy, but on the bottom of the letter, there was a special offer to sign up for the AMEX Serve Card and get a $25 bonus.

Closure AMEX for Target Letter Front

There are a few hoops to jump through to get the $25 bonus, but it should be pretty easy for most people to complete.

Closure AMEX for Target Letter Back

Since my previous AMEX Serve Card was flagged by AMEX a few weeks ago (read AMEX Serve Card Mass Account Closures Effective Immediately (1/8/2016, Section 15.d)), I wanted to see if I could open up a new AMEX Serve Card using the special link in the letter (www.serve.com/AXPTarget).  Unfortunately, as soon as I submitted my application, I got an immediate denial and received the below email.  I found it strange that is says my account number on the email even though my account was not approved.  Does American Express create an account number then immediately deactivate the account?  I have no idea.

AMEX Serve Denial Account Opening Email

If you were planning on opening an AMEX Serve Card, you might as well use the above link to earn a $25 bonus.  If you have any questions, please leave a comment below.  Have a great weekend everyone!

44 thoughts on “AMEX for Target Discontinuing Program & AMEX Serve $25 Sign Up Bonus

  1. TD

    I’m relatively new to the game, I followed the hysteria as many serve/bluebird accounts were shut down. But I’m having a hard time getting clarity on something, is serve/bluebird still a viable MS option for someone who is new to the game and has never had one of those accounts or have the recent changes made it a completely unviable option and not worth even opening a serve/bluebird account for that purpose?
    Thanks for any insight!

    Reply
    1. Grant

      If you are new to the miles and points game, Bluebird/Serve are still useful tools. Depending on where you live, you might have some difficulty loading the cards with gift cards, but I would still check it out.

      Reply
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    1. Grant

      Check the URL when you click the link and you will see that it is the targeted offer. I agree that during the entire process, there is not a single mention of the $25 bonus, but I’m pretty confident you will get the bonus if you use the link in the post.

      Reply
  3. Brandon

    Now that they’re discontinuing American Express for Target, I’m concerned about the future of Serve and Bluebird. That being said, if American Express is offering a $25 sign up bonus for Serve, then that’s a good sign.

    Reply
    1. Grant

      I think Target never made any money with AMEX for Target or Redbird, so it makes sense to discontinue those programs. Bluebird and Serve must be money makers otherwise they would have been discontinued long ago.

      Reply
      1. Mohammad M

        Having Redbird has definitely made me visit Target more even after the death of redbird for MS. You should look at this from a purely financial perspective. I mean on a transaction level, they are not profiting but these stuffs build loyal customers.

        Reply
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  5. Connor

    Any idea if signing up for Serve with a different email address will result in an approval?
    I know it had worked before for me but I was recently flagged along with many others for MS.

    Reply
    1. Eric

      Different email doesn’t make a difference. I think Amex is doing SSN bans to determine approval of the cards. I wish it was that easy.

      Reply
  6. Wyle

    Even though I don’t see it at the provided like, is there any advantage on going for a Serve One VIP instead of the “blue” Serve and passing on the potential $25 CB?

    Reply
      1. Wyle

        Same $500 load fee waiver, but VIP has free “cash” reloads at walmart, family dollar, 7-11 and CVS. Its been reported that YMMV on what is treated as cash.

        Reply
  7. Jf

    Well I registered for one. Hopefully it works out! I hope the card comes fast so I can get a few friends registered and get the offer.

    Luckily have a soft serve in the house but never really used it aside from verizon offers (made/saved about 3k with all the vending machine offers spend 80 cents get $5, multiple 15 off 25 at Verizon, 50 sign-up, several 20 of 40 and tons of Amex offers)

    Would I still be able to load this new card at Walmart or family Dollar with gift cards? Are there certain amounts to make loading successful?

    It wasn’t until just a few days ago I scheduled a $500 load from my citi double cash. Foolish I know. But I think this will come in handy.

    Reply
    1. Grant

      There are certain VGCs that work better than others for Serve reloads. It will take a little experimenting to figure out which ones work best for you. I recommend loading only $500 VGCs to make your life a little simpler.

      Reply
        1. Grant

          If you signed up through the above link, you should be eligible for the promo. Serve and Bluebird approve the promos for anyone who signs up and completes the requirements, even if you didn’t receive the initial email.

          Reply
          1. jf

            Hopefully folks will chime in here when they made their first purchase and when they got reimbursed the $25! :-)

          2. Grant

            I hope so too. I’m not sure how many people signed up through the promo, but hopefully a few data points trickle in soon.

          3. Wyle

            Offer says “spend at least $25”. Any ideas if bill pay from serve.com works for this or does it need to be an actual credit card type purchase??

          4. Wyle

            I just setup first $25 bill pay. Since July 31 is deadline, I can wait a bit to see if credit shows up before actual purchase.
            I’m only 50% hopeful that this will work at all for me. I decided I wanted the One VIP card more than the $25, but spliced the tags for the offer into the url for the VIP signup when I applied. Don’t know if it worked, but it didn’t complain. Figured it couldn’t hurt.

  8. Aaron

    This application link is for the “Blue” Serve card, which has a $3.95 fee, per load ($3.74 at WM). So if you did 5 loads at WM, it would cost you $18.70 in load fees. With the free $25, you still walk away with $6.30.
    I think the best strategy is to do 5 loads, close the account, then open a OneVIP account, which has free loads. If you time it right, you may even be able to get $7500 worth of loads in one month using only one account ($2500 on the first card, $5000 on the second card).

    Reply
      1. jf

        What is the point of paying for load fees when you could easily just get money orders for less money?

        I was under the impression the softcard version and regular blue serve did not charge fees to do cash or gift card loading.

        Reply
        1. Grant

          There are a few Serve varieties that offer free loads and a few that charge for each reload.

          As for the money order route, that will cost you money, but with the Serve promo, you will actually be a few dollars ahead.

          Reply
    1. Wyle

      “Credit would normally be posted promptly, but could take up to 30 days to post”, might make that real tough.

      What am I missing?? What’s magical about 5 loads?? Why not one and done?

      Reply
      1. Aaron

        You can load a max of $2500 per day. So if you have five $500 VGCs, you could do all five during one visit to WM. You could do one load, but why would you? You’re not really maximizing your Serve card in that case.

        Reply
        1. Wyle

          Gotcha. DUH! I was thinking one load to spend $25 to get the bonus, then close and switch.
          I wonder if doing a quick open/load/unload/close on an account would stay ahead of their purges and not ding you for another round the next month.

          Reply
          1. Jf

            Yes. They didn’t either. A few other Web articles also show Walmart as no longer taking vanilla gift cards. I could care less since my grocery store let’s me purchase money orders with them.

            I also had to insert the vanilla cards into an atm to create a pin.

            I guess I could try buying dollar tree green dot cards and not have to worry about monthly fees. They are 3.95 which is a dollar less than vanilla.

  9. Aaron

    Couple of datapoints: I signed up using the $25 link, made a $35 purchase on 3/12, and was credited $25 on 3/16. I was not targeted. Also, after making 5 loads with the card, I did a bill pay and transferred the $25 out to another Serve card, then closed the account. I immediately opened a OneVIP account and was approved, using the same email and SSN.

    Reply

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