UPDATE: This round may be limited to people who somehow opened a new card on March 4th after having their old card frozen. See post comments for details.
Amex has again sent out emails to Bluebird and Serve cardholders to let them know that their accounts are essentially frozen. The emails read, in part:
…we have observed unusual usage patterns on your Bluebird [or Serve] Account. Because of this, effective immediately, you will no longer be able to add money to your Account.
Hat Tip: @chase_points and @purplegunk1, via Twitter
Bluebird and Serve Freeze Wave 3
This is the 3rd wave of Bluebird and Serve freezes. The first came on January 8th 2016 (see: Amex kills Bluebird and Serve for many). The second came exactly 9 weeks later, on March 4th (see: Amex lowers the boom on Bluebird and Serve again).
Many people who had their accounts frozen did not receive emails. The only way to know if this has happened to you is to try reloading your card. If it doesn’t work, there’s a good chance that your account is frozen.
In the last wave of attacks, I speculated that Amex’s pattern was to freeze accounts every two months, or 9 weeks. I wrote:
Wave 1 occurred on Friday January 8th. Wave 2 occurred on Friday, March 4th. It’s too early to know for certain if there’s a pattern here, but I see two likely possibilities (assuming there is a pattern):
- Amex is sweeping through accounts once very 9 weeks; or
- Amex is sweeping through accounts every two months, on the first Friday of the month which is not a holiday.
If either of these patterns is right, May 6 will mark the next Birdpocalypse. After that, the 9 week pattern brings us to July 8 whereas the every 2 month rule brings us to July 1. Time will tell.
Clearly, I was completely wrong. The latest batch of emails went out today (March 29th). This was only 25 days after the last round. So much for the idea of closing accounts before each shut down and reopening them after. That’s not going to work.