How to cancel Bluebird online

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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

UPDATE 9/28/2015: Amex has added the ability to close Bluebird online directly, so the “hack” below isn’t needed anymore.  Instead, simply: 1) log into your Bluebird account; 2) Go to Profile; and 3) Click “Close Account”

Bluebird is a great product.  For those without checking accounts, it’s a reasonably good fee-free alternative.  For those who like to earn credit or debit card rewards, its awesome.  Bluebird allows up to $5,000 per month (max $2500 per day) to be loaded at Walmart via debit card, for free.  And, it’s possible to earn credit card rewards by first buying debit cards in the form of gift cards with PINs (see “Best options for buying Visa and MasterCard gift cards”) and then use those to reload Bluebird at Walmart.  On top of that, you can add another $1000 per month with a debit card (but not gift cards) online.  So, why cancel?

Better options, for some

Despite being a big fan of the Bluebird card, I think that for most people the Amex Serve card is better.  And, for some, the Target Prepaid REDcard is better.  And, you can only have one.  Bluebird, Serve, and REDcard all run on the same technology stack, and Amex allows each person to have just one.

To see why you might prefer Serve, please see: Earn miles automatically, with Serve.

To see why you might prefer the Target Prepaid REDcard, please see: The Target Prepaid REDcard.

The one big advantage Bluebird has over the other two options is that it offers paper checks that you can write yourself.  All three options, though, have a no-fee online bill pay service that can be used to mail a paper check to anyone.

Cancel by phone

If you want to switch from Bluebird to Serve or REDcard, Amex wants you to call to cancel.  Bluebird does not have a visible option to cancel your account online.  In fact, their FAQ says: “A Bluebird Member can suspend, reactivate, or cancel the Account simply by calling us.”  The number they give is: 1 (877) 486-5990.

The key to cancelling online

I manage my wife’s account.  To do research for this blog, I wanted to switch her from Bluebird to the new REDcard.  I didn’t really want to call and pretend to be my wife.

Too bad she didn’t have Serve.  Serve allows users to cancel online….

Remembering that Serve and Bluebird are on the same platform, it occurred to me that I could get the URL for cancelling the card from Serve, and then apply that to Bluebird.  I logged into my own Serve account, right-clicked on the cancel button to get the Cancel URL, and applied the URL to my wife’s Bluebird account.  It worked!

Cancel Bluebird online, step by step

Step 1: Empty the account

One fast and easy way to empty your account is to send money to another user (max $2500).  You can send money to a friend or relative who has any of the three related cards: Bluebird, Serve, or REDcard.  As soon as they have confirmed that the money transfer is complete, you can safely cancel your account.  Other options include bill pay, ATM withdrawals, or withdraw to bank account.

If you have any family accounts, clear out the money on those as well.

Step 2: Cancel family accounts

One by one, go to each family account’s settings page and copy the browser’s URL to a text editor like notepad.  It should look something like this:

https://secure.bluebird.com/Account/SubaccountSettings?subaccountId=[long jumble of numbers and letters]

After the word “SubaccountSettings” and before the question mark, add the text: “/CloseSubaccountEdit”.  Your new URL should look like this:

https://secure.bluebird.com/Account/SubaccountSettings/CloseSubaccountEdit?subaccountId=[long jumble of numbers and letters]

Copy and paste the new URL into your browser, and press enter.  You should then see a sad face and text indicating that you’ve closed the family account.

Step 3: Cancel primary account

This is the easiest one.  Make sure you are logged into your account, then enter the following URL into your browser (or, click the link):

https://secure.bluebird.com/Profile/CloseAccount

You should then see something like this:

Cancel Bluebird online
Cancel Bluebird online

That’s it, you’re done!  You can now register for a new Serve or REDcard account.

Notes about registering for a new account:

  • You should use a different email address to register your new card.  If you use Gmail, an easy way to use a new email address is to simply add a period somewhere in your existing email.  For example, if your email address is someonecool@gmail.com, you can use someone.cool@gmail.com instead.  Emails sent to either address will go to the same inbox.
  • REDcard registration can be done immediately after canceling Bluebird.  I only have one data point of this so far, but my experience was as follows: I bought a REDcard temporary card at Target under my name and SSN.  At home, after cancelling her Bluebird account, I registered the REDcard card to my wife’s name and SSN.  I had no problem opening the account in her name. She can now log into her REDcard account.
  • Serve offers two ways to setup a new account: enroll online or start with a purchased temporary card and register it online.  It used to be tricky to setup a new Serve account immediately after closing Bluebird, but apparently that’s no longer the case.
  • With either card, you have to wait until you get the permanent card in the mail before you can activate it.
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leslie martinez

Dear Greg, i am literally in tears my social security is direct deposited into my bluebird account and i had to order new card because mine stopped working. Here is my problem, i cant activate ive been trying since the 26th and now they have locked my account. What can i do?

Joshua Duck

Hi. I would like to cancel my blue bird account but I have a few problems. Wile I was in america I created a blue bird account a few years ago but I am now back home (in South Africa) and do not remember what my account password was. I also do not have my card. Not to sure how to go about canceling my account as I can not log into my account but still get the email statements. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Jill

I inadvertently registered for a Bluebird card when I “thought” I was cashing in my Savings Catcher balance on Wal-Mart’s app. It arrived in the mail and I have not activated it. I can’t find anywhere online that allows me to cancel the card without first registering. Their toll free number hangs up on me if I don’t activate my card. So – if I do nothing (don’t activate, don’t register), will it just go away? 🙂

Anonymous

Target Redcard is HORRIBLE. They have monthly transaction limits, and they wont tell you what the transaction limit is. I bought $300 worth of items on Sunday, and needed to buy $50 worth of items on Monday, and my red card was denied, even though I had THOUSANDS of dollars in my account.

Terry

I too used the “close account” button on BB. I then went online to open Serve VIP account. I used a different email address and it said I still have another open account. I called the help number, which by the way wants you to put in your 15 digit acct number…I used the option 1 to report a stolen card and immediately explained why I was calling…got a really nice helpful guy in the Phillipines..he said to use the same email I had on BB and that did the trick.

chris

just fyi, at least as of sep 2015, the close account link is working perfectly.

Ryan W

The link does not work anymore, but I still managed to close my account. I logged in and went to profile. The close account button is at the bottom. Very smooth process.

Ben

Yep, I just used this to close a Bluebird account as well.

Tom C

Just closed my dad’s account by phone. Seems relatively painless. Just make sure you have last four and DOB ready.

Mystiqz

I tried canceling my BB account via the online method and the link did not work. Has anyone gotten it to work recently? Thanks.

Larry

I think it is unfortunate that you are required to cancel the BB account (which is already set up with a link to your bank account and a supply of checks) so that you can set up a Redcard account. It would be nice to have both. I did try the online BB cancellation method and found as reported the link is not working. I cancelled on the phone and once I was able to get a live CSR the card was quickly cancelled and the CSR said the cancellation was effective immediately. I’m hoping that registering my temporary Redcard will not get hung up because I had a Bluebird account first and just cancelled it. Some folks are reporting that it is necessary to use a different email to register without a delay or problem. Others are saying they had no problem using the same email. What if I try first with my normal email and get blocked? Will I then have the option to get a new email and try again or will the registration just be delayed because of first trying to use the same email I had with the ( now closed) Bluebird account?

ed

As others have noted, the link to close a bb account no longer works. Usually, when these type of backdoor abilities are publically outted it will eventually be no more when that ability is removed by the product owner. Not that this particular thing should not have been made known. It’s too bad the bb online techs don’t set up an online cancellation ability like those in charge of Serve. They’re both from Amex, so it’s strange bb is set up different. I guess they learned from bb and improved Serve with more online ability to close it by the consumer. BB’s current way of having to call means more money they must spend on phone support. Having to call is so archaic for what’s supposed to be an online-only account.

Vali

It’s not working for me other. Just got a redbird and was going to sign up for it but had forgotten to cancel bluebird. So I just zeroed out the account by paying some $ to a family member. I will call later and try to cancel by phone.

Also, FYI, I called one of the Tucson, AZ Targets last week, as I might be there for business in the next month. They said only one Redcard (Redbird) per person. That store was one where they are free. That’s the best answer I could get by phone, from only one of the Tucson stores.

Jon

Just a heads up.. It is a pain to cancel on the phone.. Walking throught the IVR is so annoying, but once I got to a representative they took care of it in 2 minutes.. The call itself took 8 or 9.

Anne

I, too, am sent directly to the dashboard. Looks like it’s no longer possible to close Bluebird online?

Carlos

The link stopped working today. Yesterday I was able to cancel 1 card. Today I had to call and cancel second card

Tracey

(Assuming you cancelled to open a REDbird) did you have any issues registering since you had to call in? I know FM has referenced difficulties/delays when people have cancelled by phone.

carlos

the link to close account is no longer working

Steve

Found this also. It just goes back to the account dashboard with no explanation.

Pam

Closed my BB account and tried logging back in a few minutes later to download my statement and I can not log in. Download whatever info you need before closing it down!

Miles

One caveat: A couple of days after I closed my Bluebird account I tried to log in to download my most recent statements. I could not (in spite of something on the website indicating that statements would be available for awhile).

Pam

If I use BB bill pay, can I close my account immediately after paying bills or do I need to wait for them to clear?

SB

Worked like a charm!

Mona C

Worked for me!

Cancelled my mother-in-law’s and my BB online. Signed up with a different email address to create new Serve account online. Verified email addresses. Will wait for the cards in the mail.

Thanks!

Dave

Hey, so I just closed my BlueBird account online and downloaded the ISIS app to my iPhone 5s. I have the Incipio Cashwrap ISIS Mobile Wallet case for Verizon. I tried to sign up through the app for an account and I used a different email address (added a . in my gmail). Used same cell phone that was on my Bluebird. Got through the process and received the text to activate, but then received the error “Isis is experiencing a problem activating you account. Please try again. (error 7013).” Any idea what I should do next?

bob tan

Probably missing something here… how to close an account if it is not a family account? There is no “subaccount” under the settings page of an individual account. Any help would be appreciated.

jpgisbd

Just used the link to cancel my dad’s account and it worked. It did make me give a reason to cancel but worked fine. He will hopefully be picking up RB in the next couple of days. Thx!

LauraPDX

I just closed my BB account with your link and it worked just fine. I will try to register the RB later today.

5280 Miles

Got this message today trying to close bb via online.
The page you are looking for might have been removed, had its name changed, or is temporarily unavailable.

Sumiko

So, I have no idea whether this was a random audit but… I used your method to cancel my BB and register for a Serve (using different email) and got flagged for ID verification in their system. Now dealing with Account Protection Services to try and get this done today, but it’s a bit frustrating since I have multiple AmEx accounts 🙁

kasia

This post is so timely for me – I just emptied my BB card 2 days ago in preparation for a change to Serve. Thank you for saving me a call to Bluebird!

iahphx

Thanks for the help. I went ahead and cancelled my Bluebird card using your above-mentioned link — it couldn’t have been simpler. I then went to serve.com to activate my temporary card obtained at CVS. That was also easy, although here are two silly tips. Scroll down on serve.com to see the “activate temporary card” button, and peel off the small blue strip on the front of your temp card to see the card number and security code.

Without issues, I registered the exact same email that I was using for BB for my new Serve account. Activation email came immediately, so now I’m just waiting for my permanent card to come in the mail.

Has anyone done a quick post on how to set up and use Serve if your a former Bluebird user? It looks like the interface is the same, so I’m assuming everything works the same way. I guess I’ll have to figure out how to set up the automatic debit and credit card loads. I’m also guessing that the Walmart cashiers will be a bit clueless about the card, but that I can tell them it loads just like Bluebird.

wise2u

Other than being able to slowly add another $1000 by CC online, BB has everything the other 2 flavors do. I’m too lazy to research serve so a few questions: Can you transfer money between serve accounts? can you deposit to your linked bank account from serve? You mention they will send a check for you, I prefer to send it myself to make sure it gets to the right person, at the right address, on time. Other than the authorization limits BB has been hassle free with this…not everyone is found with the billpay, and for those bills that don’t take credit or debit card and aren’t found by billpay, a BB check is the best option. I can even hand it to a contractor or landscaper without delay. So is everyone jumping for the new flavor of the day/week/month/year? or are there significant advantages in getting a new product?

Dave P

From my understanding, in order to get the $1500 CC load capability, the Serve account must be opened via the Isis app on the phone. Existing Serve accts cannot be \upgraded\ after downloading the app. The app request must come first.

My issue is this…I have an iPhone 5s, still running iOS 7 = compatible with ISIS app and eligible for new accts. However, I cannot seem to find the Cash Wrap verizon case anywhere which allows for the older iPhones to enable NFC payments. They are not online anywhere! Can I use just any NFC case such as the ones available on Amazon, or do I need to buy one at Verizon as there is a secure SIM card included?

In addition, Softcard says they are working with Apple to allow compatability for iPhone 6 and iOS 8, but not likely until 2015.

More importantly, will Blue Bird ever get on board and allow CC loads just like Serve? Why one but not the other? I’d like to move to serve for this purpose alone, but am having difficulty pulling the trigger to close BB, open a serve to only later have BB allow CC, or worse yet, CC limits be raised to all cards rather than only via the Softcard (Isis) app.

Alex

I’m not following the process for the Serve-Softcard… Are you saying that we need to request a new Serve card through Softcard?… or… that as soon as we receive our permanent card (requested one for my wife yesterday, should arrive in 7-10 days), we must then register our Serve card with Softcard on OUR phone and NOT register it thru the Softcard website?

I purchased the serve card in CVS, was unable to request one online because I had just canceled my wife’s bluebird. If everything should have been submitted online, then I’m out of luck…

Thank you! Any clarification will be appreciated!

purcitron

but then do you have to do the credit card loads through the isis app?

iwantmoremiles

I can only add $1000/month to my serve even though I have softcard. Customer service states this is because I did not get it through my phone. I have to cancel and open another Serve. How do I do this?

purcitron

same boat. from what i understand… must close serve. then open serve anew, through the isis app.
but i still dont know how the limit goes up to $1500… no one seems to have actualyl gotten that far.
i might try

Gene

-anyone with isis/softcard actually been able to load $1.5k/mo via credit card only?
-does having isis on your phone magically allow your serve acct to receive $500 extra/mo?
-or do you have to somehow load via credit card thru mobile device?
thanks

Lisa

For another data point, I just closed my BB account online after reading this post using the instructions above. A few minutes later, I tried registering for Serve. I did not purchase a temporary card; I just went on the website and registered. I used a different e-mail address but everything else was the same. It looks like everything went through fine. I received the confirmation email to verify my e-mail address, and now my account says to expect my permanent card in the mail in 7-10 days. Provided the permanent card eventually arrives, it looks like this worked.

Thanks, as always, for the informative posts!

goheerow

I see the BB checks have a preauthorization # that you write on the check. Does the recipient have to call the number to verify that the check is good or is it just there as an option? I want to write a check for tuition, but I don’t want to trouble them by telling them to call the number. Thanks.

iahphx

Thanks. Went to my local Walgreens. No Serve cards. Trudged to CVS. Serve cards (hooray!). Tried to load $500 with credit card; employee said they had a new manager and said she’d have to ask whether that was possible. Manager said I could load $100. Register wouldn’t allow it; said cash tender only. As my objective was to just get the card, I loaded $10 in cash. The package says there’s a $2.95 card, but a sign in the store said the cards were free, and I wasn’t charged that fee at the register.

I now plan to cancel my Bluebird and activate my Serve, but I just completed the final $1000 of my $5000 monthly BB load, so I figure it might be wise to have that money get to the right places before I cancel the card. Better safe than sorry, I guess.

Alex

Well – I just logged out of the account, and when I logged back in, it asked me to “activate” the permanent card when received after 7-10 business days… So the answer to my question above has been answered!

Thanks!

Alex

Well, I did the experiment this morning. I closed my wife’s account early in the am, purchased the Serve kit loaded $500 with credit card in CVS ($0 charges for loading), and was able to successfully create her account online. I am able to see the full balance loaded of $500…
HOWEVER… I cannot “activate” the card online, I’m starting to think it’s the permanent card that I need to activate… Hence, I cannot link a bank account, or link a credit card (or debit card) to the account… Anyone know if the “activation” is for the permanent card?
Thanks!

MJC

Not sure why there’s any issues with closing Bluebird and getting Serve. I just switched 3 accounts last month, and per Flyertalk, for a long time now you didn’t have to wait or use different emails to sign up or anything. I closed the accounts over the phone, and 5 minutes later, successfully signed up for Serve with identical email addresses, phone numbers, everything.

Dave

My understanding is that you don’t need to wait any longer to open a Serve account after closing BB. I closed a family member’s BB account a couple months ago over the phone and asked if I had to wait a month. The CSR said no. I applied for Serve the next day, and sure enough, it went through fine.

tpat

Hi Greg, a couple questions:

1) I noticed the regular Serve card allows Barclays Arrival+ loads, but the Softcard version states that it allows credit card loads from Amex, Wells Fargo, and only certain Chase cards (from https://www.paywithisis.com), which seems to exclude the Ink cards. Are Barclays card loads not an option with Softcard?

2) Given the higher load limit on Softcard, are there any reasons not to get it instead of the regular Serve card?

iahphx

Great timing on this thread — I was going to try to complete my October Bluebird loading today, empty the account, and then switch to Serve.

From your previous posts, I know to go to a drugstore to buy a temporary Serve card. In addition to CVS, I could do this at Walgreens as well? I read somewhere that the temporary card will cost me 4 bucks. When I go to the drugstore, do I load money onto the Serve card at that point? And do I have to cancel my Bluebird card before buying the Serve card (it sounds like some sort of registration occurs at the drugstore).

It then sounds like I might have to make a phone call to AMEX to sort it all out.

Kat8mouse

Thanks so much for this. It worked. I wanted to close my husband’s account and get him a Serve, but didn’t want to call.

Alex

Thanks for clarifying the steps…

Jakob

Thank you! Just closed my wife’s and my Bluebird accounts

Greg N

@Alex
I have the same problem. I closed my Bluebird August 11 and still have not been able to sign up for Serve because my Bluebird is not permanently closed yet. I have called customer service multiple times. At first they said i had to wait 31 days to switch, so i did. Now they don’t know why it won’t let me sign up. I have tried different phone and email, but it still rejects me. So frustrated.

Alex

They don’t know why you can’t sign up? Now that’s odd!… How about just getting a kit in CVS?… Hmmmm

Alex

What an awesome idea! I have been searching online how to cancel my wife’s Bluebird online until I got your tweet… it was cancelled successfully HOWEVER, I cannot create for her a new Serve account, I used your tip to add the dot in the email address but to no avail. It says my wife needs to call Bluebird because she’s an existing cardholder… are there any workarounds? Looking forward to automating her credit loads with the Arrival Plus…