Serve or Bluebird?


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

American Express Serve and Bluebird are two nearly identical products.  Both are nearly no-fee alternatives to checking accounts.  Both can be reloaded with Vanilla Reload cards.  Both support bill pay by check.  Both support transferring funds to your own bank account.

Unfortunately, each person is only allowed to have one or the other.  Bluebird or Serve.

Bluebird has a few advantages:

  • No monthly fee (Serve has a $1 monthly fee unless you load at least $500)
  • Reload at Walmart with debit cards (via “Swipe Reloads”)
  • Paper checks

Serve has a few advantages:

  • Online credit card loads (up to $1000 per month)
  • Eligible for Amex Sync offers
  • Reload at CVS or 7-11 at the register


Has anyone tried cash reloads with Serve at CVS or 7-11?  Do they allow credit card payments?

Which card is for you?

I don’t like the $1 per month fee that Serve charges if you don’t load $500 to your card.  Otherwise, Serve looks really attractive.  Have you thought about which one is best for you?  Comment below.

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