On my mind


Evening posts

This week I’m trying something new.  I usually publish a new post early every morning, but this week I’m trying out evening posts instead.  It seems as if evening posts generate more social network discussions, especially on Twitter.  I plan to continue this experiment through Friday and then I’ll decide whether to go back to morning posts or keep to an evening schedule.  What do you think or prefer?  Comment below or send me a Tweet @FrequentMiler.


In yesterday’s post, “The next mad challenge,” I described a new contest that I’ll be judging in which people will use manufactured spend techniques in hopefully efficient, ethical, and creative ways.  The reaction to the announcement has been interesting.  Many readers are excited.  Many others are enraged.  The latter group believes that this contest will shine a spotlight on techniques that should be kept quiet.  And, they believe that once that happens, the opportunities that currently exist will dry up.  Our intent is not to do that.  We don’t plan to give out instruction manuals.  Think of this more like the show Top Chef.  The competition itself is interesting even when the contestant’s recipes are not given in detail.  As I said in yesterday’s post, I will use my judgment to decide what things to post explicitly, what should be veiled, and what shouldn’t be mentioned at all (see “Blogging the line“).

Questions?  Check out the evolving #milemadness FAQ, here.

Serve vs Bluebird

I’m thinking of switching from Bluebird to Serve.  American Express is currently running two nice promotions for Serve cardholders: 1) Sign up for direct deposit and make two deposits of $250 or more and get a $50 credit; and 2) Send your federal tax refund to your Serve account and get a $20 credit.


By itself, $70 of free money is appealing, but maybe not enough to make me want to switch from Bluebird.  However, these are just two examples of many other ways in which Serve seems to edge out Bluebird these days.  For example, Serve cards are eligible for Amex Sync promotions, but Bluebird cards are not.  And, Serve can be reloaded at CVS and 7-11, but Bluebird cannot.  Serve doesn’t offer paper checks that you can write yourself, but otherwise has almost identical features and limits as Bluebird.  Serve does charge a $1 fee on any month in which you didn’t load at least $500 to the account, but that is unlikely to be a problem for me.

Unfortunately, each person is only allowed to have one: either Bluebird or Serve.  Has anyone tried converting to Serve?  What was the process like?

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