Bluebird, Redbird, SoftServe… Which is best?


Note: As of October 13, 2015, the Target REDcard (REDbird) can only be loaded with cash in-store at Target. Gift cards and/or debit cards no longer work to load REDcard. For more info, see: Here is the REDbird memo, “Cash is the only tender guests can use”

Note: On January 8, 2016 American Express sent out a notice to a large number of Bluebird & Serve cardholders informing them that loading capabilities on their accounts had been terminated. For more information, see: Amex kills Bluebird and Serve for manufactured spend

With the Arrival of REDcard, American Express now offers four variations of almost the same card: Bluebird, REDcard (AKA Redbird), Serve, and Serve with SoftCard (AKA SoftServe).  Each of these is useful for manufacturing spend.  And, each has its own pros and cons.  Unfortunately, American Express allows each person to have only one.  So, many people are now asking which is best.


To answer this question, I created a new page on my site (found under “Gift Cards”): The complete guide to Bluebird, REDcard, Serve, and SoftServe.  On that page, you’ll find a complete comparison of the four products.  Here, though, I’ll provide an excerpt of my recommendations:

For maximizing rewards:

  • If you want to maximize credit card spend and savings opportunities regardless of the complexity involved, then get SoftServe (Serve with Softcard).
  • If you want to maximize credit card spend and savings opportunities, but you do not have (and do not want to get) cell phone hardware and service required for SoftCard (details here), then get Serve.
  • If you want the simplest possible option for earning credit card rewards with the lowest possible fees, get the Target Prepaid REDcard.

For convenience and shopping:

  • If you frequently shop at Walmart, get Bluebird.
  • If you frequently shop at Target, get REDcard.
  • If you find yourself often in or near Walmart or Family Dollar, regardless of whether you actually shop at those locations, get Serve or SoftServe.

Further readings…

Above was just a small snippet from the much more complete guide: The complete guide to Bluebird, REDcard, Serve, and SoftServe.  Please check it out!

Also consider reading these related posts:

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