Why I Canceled American Express Bluebird and Opened a Brokerage Account Instead

On October 9, 2012, I was high on the promise of American Express’ Bluebird prepaid card and “bank account.”  By November 2 of the same year, I had enough, as I mentioned in a comment on my original Bluebird review:

Bluebird is majorly sucking. On Oct. 31, during Halloween Sandy, we received an emergency email from Bluebird support that my wife’s account had been locked for “security reasons.” We decided to spend precious battery time in the middle of a power outage to call and find out what was happening. It turned out someone else was trying to login to her account and instead of locking THEM out, AMEX locked out my legitimate wife from her account! Madness! Terrible security. Why punish the innocent party by making them call in and go through a 15-minute security test when we aren’t the ones causing the login problems?

Just now, we received another freaking email from Bluebird about the same issue! My wife’s account is locked for security reasons! She hasn’t tried to login to her account for days! I’ve been trying to reach AMEX support for 30 minutes. Lines into the Philippines tech support center on this Sunday are clearly not working. What a hassle!

I’m thinking we will have to cancel our Bluebird account.

Today, I made good on my promise and canceled my Bluebird account over the phone — unlike AMEX Serve, Bluebird accounts cannot be canceled online — and the only reason I waited a few days to pancake Bluebird was because I first needed to zero out my balance with an Automated Clearing House (ACH) withdrawal to my bank account, and Bluebird, unfortunately, takes many days to process any ACH transaction.

Continue reading → Why I Canceled American Express Bluebird and Opened a Brokerage Account Instead

AMEX Prepaid Twins: Bluebird and Blue Serve

There’s big money to be made in the transparent and low-fee prepaid card niche and American Express is going nuts in on this untapped market by partnering with WalMart on the newly revived Bluebird prepaid card:

BENTONVILLE, Ark., Oct. 8, 2012 – Walmart and American Express today announced the launch of Bluebird, an alternative to debit and checking accounts designed to help consumers better manage and control their everyday finances. Bluebird has been developed for the tens of millions of Americans who are looking for advanced capabilities such as deposits by smartphone and mobile bill pay, fee transparency, and no minimum balance, monthly, annual or overdraft fees. Bluebird puts the power back in the hands of consumers and will be available next week online at www.bluebird.com and in more than 4,000 Walmart stores.

Continue reading → AMEX Prepaid Twins: Bluebird and Blue Serve

Computer Glitch Makes AMEX Serve an EPIC FAIL!

Today is April Fool’s Day, but what I am about to share with you has nothing do to with getting fooled — it is all too real and too corporate to rake any fun.  When American Express recently announced their Serve payment service for exchanging money, I was happy to sign up, just as I had done with Square last November.  I gave AMEX my banking information, a credit card and other personal identifying information.  After confirming two deposits in my bank account, I decided to take the next test step and transfer $10 from my bank account to my Serve account.  Oh, the woe that is me!

Continue reading → Computer Glitch Makes AMEX Serve an EPIC FAIL!

The Hercules GS414B A/G Guitar Stand Review

We’ve already covered your guitar-playing arse, now it’s time to properly protect your most valuable possession — your axe — from the incidental kick, the intentional shove, and the indiscreet elbow.  Meet the indispensable Hercules GS414B A/G Guitar Stand:  The best guitar stand in the history of music.

Continue reading → The Hercules GS414B A/G Guitar Stand Review