Good morning everyone, I wish I had better news to share, but it looks like American Express is up to no good today. Myself and at least 1 other person I know, received the following email that says that their AMEX Serve Card was flagged for “unusual usage patterns.” This follows on the heels of AMEX Serve Card Mass Account Closures Effective Immediately (1/8/2016, Section 15.d). Based on these 2 data points, AMEX sends account closure emails around the first week of the month, possibly every other month. Did anyone receive an email between January 8 and today (March 4)? The title of the email says: Termination Of Funds Loading Capabilities on Your Serve® Account.
As of today, all my AMEX Serve Cards are closed and I have no more prepaid cards with American Express. It has been a good run, but now it is time to shred my final AMEX Serve Card. Did anyone else get hit with an account shutdown email today? I hope the rest of the weekend goes better :)
If you want to read more AMEX Serve Card shutdown stories, head over to:
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.
Black Friday! No, not the busiest shopping day of the year, but the day AMEX Serve sent out mass account closure emails with the subject line “Termination Of Funds Loading Capabilities on Your Serve® Account.” My account was flagged due to “observed unusual usage patterns.” I will explain what I was doing below, but here is what my email looks like:
Good afternoon everyone, I hope you enjoyed my insightful/crazy ramblings in Travel Predictions for 2016 Part 1: Airlines and Hotels. If you liked that post, you will surely love my crazy predictions about credit cards and MS. Full disclosure, I wrote most of this post on my iPhone standing in front of a dryer at my local laundromat, so the train of thought might be kind of strange. I apologize. Without any further ado, let’s get started!
Chase – with the loss of Amtrak and the addition of Singapore Airlines in 2015, I think we will see some more changes to Chase’s transfer partners in 2016. I think we will see some more international airlines added (like the Citi Thank You Points program). A few guesses? Air Canada, Qantas, Air China, and Lufthansa (insert your favorite international airline). Chase Ultimate Rewards will continue to transfer 1:1 to all programs and there will be no transfer bonuses. I think there will be a newsworthy announcement for the Chase Sapphire Preferred, maybe adding free Gogo WiFi like the US Bank FlexPerks Credit Card or perhaps a new 3x category to compete with Citi Premier/Prestige Credit Cards. What about our beloved Chase Ink Bold/Plus Business Cards? I am worries that the 5x category might change to something less lucrative or the yearly cap might be lowered. I also predict Chase will launch a completely new travel rewards credit card in 2016. Maybe the Airbnb/Uber Credit Card? Lastly, I hope Chase loosens up on the 5/24 rule or completely eliminates the rule altogether. Continue reading →
Good morning everyone, I just got back from Target in San Francisco and I have some bad news to share. I brought my Chase Freedom (Visa), Citi Double Cash (MC), Bank of America Virgin Atlantic (MC), and AMEX Old Blue Cash to Target to see if any of those credit cards could load my Redbird Card.
During the loading process, I spoke with a cashier and the store manager. Neither of them mentioned any memo or said anything out of the ordinary. Both had loaded Redbird Cards before and knew the process. This is how the transaction went:
Please load $987.00 to my Target Redcard
They swiped my Redbird Card and entered the amount on the cash register
I swipe my credit card on the POS credit card terminal and the screen shows $987.00 and the signature box
Before I even sign the screen, the cash register prints out a receipt and shows an error message on the cash register’s screen, “Able to Load $0.00 with this Payment Method”
We repeat the process a few times with different credit cards and at different registers
Every time the result is the same, “Able to Load $0.00 with this Payment Method”
Some ideas and thoughts:
AMEX for Target (AFT) credit card loads are probably dead as well, but I didn’t have my AFT card with me to try
Gift cards and debit cards might work, but I didn’t have either with me to try
Cash reloads probably still work, but I didn’t have any cash to try
Where do we stand now?:
Do gift cards with PINs (Visa and MasterCard) still work?
Which gift cards still work (Vanilla Visa, Bancorp, Metabank, etc.)?
How long will gift card reloads work before Target starts blocking those (like Walmart did)?
Will there be any online loading options similar to AMEX Serve?
If you have any data points, specifically related to gift cards, please let me know below. Have a good day everyone.
P.S. NoonRadar has a great summary of what is currently working for Redbird reloads here.
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