Bye, Bluebird: My Experience Getting the Serve Card

Yesterday, after writing the post about how to best manufacture spend post-Vanilla, I went ahead and dumped Bluebird. I’ve heard of many ways people have done it, and the different sequences of opening/closing, and all the conflicting rules about switching from Bluebird to Serve.

Here’s how did it:

  • Applied for a Serve card by following this promo link to get a $50 credit after two direct deposits of $250 or more (I plan to do this with Amazon Payments in May)
  • Yes, WITH my Bluebird account still open
  • Of course I got an “account being reviewed” message because you can’t have a Bluebird and a Serve account at the same time
  • So then I called Bluebird CS to close account
  • Then Serve CS to open the pending account
  • Seconds after I hung up, I got a “Welcome to Serve” email

Some details:

  • I did NOT use the exact same registration information. Address yes, but different email and phone number
  • It took multiple representatives to approve and confirm the account (all sounded outsourced)
  • They gave me zero hassle about it
  • There was no mention of any waiting period
  • But they did tell me I could not have both accounts simultaneously
  • My account had to be manually approved by a CS rep
  • I was on hold for-ev-er. I’m talking nearly two hours!!! I put it on speaker and played Scrabble online – so clear out a chunk of time when you call!



My ridiculous hold time. And, incidentally, the Serve toll-free number.

My ridiculous hold time. And, incidentally, the Serve toll-free number.

Now, when I log into the website, it says I will receive my new Serve card in 7-10 days, at which time I can add payees and do my first load with a credit card.

I plan to try using different cards from different banks to see if I get charged any cash advance fees. I will start with small amounts. Some banks are talked about on Flyertalk, others not. I want to try Chase, Barclays, US Bank, Amex, FIA, and Citi, and Capital One.

I will do a test payment to a CC and to a manually added payee to test out the Bill Pay function (should be the exact same system as Bluebird).

I do not expect this to be the points-generating machine that Bluebird was. I will, however, load up to the maximum each month to pay my rent and a couple of small utility bills. In that regard, I am still earning points on regular bills.

More updates after the card is in hand, activated, and loaded up! Bye, Bluebird.

Also see: this post from Travel with Grant to read about a similar experience converting over.

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About Harlan

Just a dude living in Memphis, traveling, and working toward financial independence.

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