Serve vs Bluebird

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Bluebird vs Serve

The battle of Serve vs Bluebird has been fought since 2012, when Bluebird was released. They are both very similar products, the only problem is you are only allowed one or the other.

Advantages of Both
As I said, they are very similar products. They both have a great bill pay system. Both are virtually fee free. Both can be reloaded via Vanilla Reloads. The full list is below:

Loadable via Vanilla ReloadsBill Pay System
Mobile Check DepositMobile Apps
Virtually No FeesPrepaid Cards (Checking Alternatives)
Sub AccountsFree ATM Access (At Certain ATMs)
Bank Account Fund TransfersPurchase Protection, Fraud Protection, ect.

Advantages of Serve

  • Can be loaded with $1,000 per month with a credit card, on top of the $5,000 Vanilla Reload limit. Bluebird only allows that extra $1,000 to be added via a debit card (cannot be a prepaid card)
  • Reloadable at CVS and 7-11 (not with a credit card)
  • Eligible for Amex Sync Offers. These are random offers from American Express that give you deals such as, “spend $75 on Amazon and get $25 as a statement credit”.

Advantages of Bluebird

  • Checks. This offers one more way to liquidate money from your account. Serve does not offer paper checks. Also, Checks are free on Bluebird until 4/1/14, so if you have a Bluebird or need paper checks get them while you can!
  • No Monthly Fee. Serve charges a $1 monthly fee, unless you load your account with $500+ a month, have direct deposit, or add it to your ISIS account.
  • Reloadable at Walmart with debit cards/gift cards. This applies to your $1,000 a day, $5,000 a month Vanilla Reload limit.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fee. Serve charges 2.7% per foreign transaction.

Bluebird or Serve Sign Up
I have a Bluebird account, but I used to have a Serve account before I started manufactured spending.What I didn’t know is that if you have one of them, you must cancel it to get the other. The customer service rep told me there is a 31 day wait between closing one account and opening another. I then tried to find some work around, because I did not want to wait 31 days to start MSing. It took a few days, but I found a workaround. I was able to sign up for a Bluebird account via their mobile app. For some reason, I had no issue doing that, but when I tried signing up online I kept getting an error. So, if you recently closed either your Serve or Bluebird, try resigning up via their mobile app and see if you can bypass the 31 day wait as well.

Which Card Should You Get?
This is ultimately up to you. If you use checks a lot and would like to use that as a method of liquidating your money, I would suggest Bluebird. If you plan to use your card overseas, definitely get Bluebird. If you don’t do either of those things, I would suggest getting Serve, since you can add an extra $1,000 worth of manufacturing onto it and still avoid the monthly fee. I have a Bluebird account, however they only recently added the ability to load Serve with a credit card, so I am thinking about switching. I love the idea of doing a little more manufactured spending per month.

What card do you prefer? Let me know in the comments!

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