July 5, 2013
Today I have some miscellaneous stuff to report about credit card and prepaid card shut downs:
- Citi ThankYou: In May I reported that Citibank was shutting down accounts of ThankYou Preferred cardholders (see “ThankYou Citi, can I keep my points?“) who were capitalizing on one year of 5X earnings. Since then, a few people have reported that their accounts were restored, and I haven’t heard any new reports of shut-downs. Maybe it’s safe to go back in the water?
- Serve / Bluebird: Some people had previously managed to get around the Amex limit in which each person can have either a Serve card or a Bluebird card, but not both (see “Bluebird vs. Serve“). Recently, though, Amex has cracked down on this and has instructed those customers to pick just one.
- GreenDot, GoBank, AccountNow, MyVanilla prepaid cards: There have been many reports of people having these accounts shut down when they are used primarily to manufacture spend. Thankfully, I have not heard of anything similar happening with Bluebird. See also this Jason Steele post from The Points Guy: What To Do If AccountNow Closes Your Account – And An Alternative From H&R Block.
- Bluebird gift card debit loads: Via email, The Miles Professor told me that Amex is no longer allowing gift cards to be used for online debit loads. I’ve never been a fan of loading that way, in any case, since they limit you to $100 per day and charge $2 per load. However, it may be a warning sign that the end is near for the much more lucrative option of using gift cards for debit loads at Walmart (see “Gift card PINs” and “Bluebird swipe reloads via ATM“). I hope not.