Monday Musings: RIP Serve/Bluebird, Recommended Blogs, Last Call for Hilton Status Match & More

Monday Musings have returned after a two week hiatus. As a reminder, Monday Musings is a weekly series where I rattle off a few thoughts I have that mostly relate to points/miles, travel and I might highlight other posts/news/nuggets I found interesting from the past week. For those that are football fans and read Peter King’s MMQB, think of this as similar to his “A Few Things I Think I Think” section.

1. Let’s get the big news from Friday out of the way since I haven’t commented on it – the massive, widespread Serve & Bluebird shutdowns. This day was inevitable as this manufactured spending method lasted a lot longer than I ever thought though I am surprised how quickly the end came about with absolutely no warning signs. This was “easy” MS for many and with its demise, I see a few ways this plays out with how people proceed.

  • Turn to reselling – I agree with this post that reselling is the new more “mainstream” MS item for 2016.
  • Network/Join a MS group – The best MS methods are underground and will never see the light of day on the blogs. It won’t be easy finding them but networking your way into a group will present itself with the best MS opportunities.
  • Retire – Personally, I think there will be a lot of people who loved the ease of Serve/Bluebird who won’t look for additional MS methods unless another similar easy approach comes up (such as Redbird a few years ago).

Goodbye Bluebird

Adios Bluebird/Serve!

I should note some people still have access to their accounts (myself included) as you either didn’t heavily MS on it or didn’t load it online with a credit card. The timing is sort of funny for me as I literally received my new BBVA Compass NBA card on Saturday which can load Serve online. I guess the play is to hit it as hard as possible before I’m shut down? I’ll be the guinea pig and report back how long I’m able to keep my account alive.

2. Adding to the MS troubles this week, the limits on the Nationwide Buxx have dropped to the point where it makes no sense to continue using this as a viable MS method. You used to be able load $500 a week from your credit card for a $2 load fee and you could easily liquidate it by paying your Citi credit card or withdrawing from certain ATMs. The limit has now dropped to $200 with the same $2 load fee so this is another “easy” MS avenue that is now basically dead. Last week was a rough week for MS’ers.

And goodbye to you too NW Buxx!

And goodbye to you too NW Buxx!

3. I’m catching up on some older items but this post from Mile Nerd is a must read – What To Look for In a Blog in 2016. He makes a solid case on what to look for in a blog and I’m honored to make his recommended list. He only listed a handful of blogs, all of which I have been reading for years and I agree with him they are must follows.

4. Today (1/11/16) is the last day for the Hilton Status Match. Instead of emailing Hilton, you can now do this online at this link. If you have top tier status at another hotel chain, I highly recommend matching to Hilton even if you don’t have any Hilton stays planned. I matched my wife’s account even though I doubted she would have any Hilton stays but something came up and she will be using it for the first time in April. So lesson learned – always match when available.

5. Sometime later this week or next, I plan on posting on my latest App-O-Rama and some cards that hit the chopping block. These posts are always popular with readers even though I’ve made the argument you shouldn’t follow what I do since we are in different places with respect to the points/miles game and most likely have different travel goals. Either way, keep an eye out for these posts.

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2 thoughts on “Monday Musings: RIP Serve/Bluebird, Recommended Blogs, Last Call for Hilton Status Match & More

  1. Re: buxx – why is 1% no longer worth it for sign up bonuses? Vgc’s were 1% + with bb/serve.

    Re: serve – was online load really against the rules if they specifically allowed it? I don’t understand why people aren’t writing letters to Amex requesting clarification or reversal. Perhaps I’m being naive. It seems to me that they may have thrown out the baby with the bath water.

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    • I guess for signup bonuses it could be worth it – I was more talking in general how I don’t plan on using them to accumulate miles outside of signup bonuses.

      For Serve, there are plenty of reports on Reddit and the like of people who only used online loads with credit cards but were still shutdown. Amex updated the terms to basically give leverage to shut down accounts for any “unusual” activity – I think it is a waste of time to plead your case to Amex.

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