American Express Shutting Down Target Redbird Accounts

Reader J. who asked not to be further identified forwarded this email that he received, shutting down his Redcard account. (It’s often referred to colloquially as ‘Redbird’ rather than its proper Redcard name because of its similarities to the American Express Bluebird cards co-branded with Walmart.)

American Express apparently decided they didn’t like his loading the card at a Target register using a credit card (to earn miles and meet minimum spend requirements) and then immediately pulling the funds off the card.

Click to enlarge:

Has anyone else received a similar message?

Update: another reader sent in the letter they received:

Update 2: There are a bunch of people out there who feed misinformation about deals, to confuse people into not taking advantage of them. I find it shameful.

And it’s entirely possible that’s the case here. It does seem strange that the letters are so specific, and name specific amounts, that doesn’t seem like what American Express would do.

But if it’s a hoax, it’s an elaborate one, with several different emails being produced and sent from multiple email accounts and multiple names being used to comment from to bolster the claim this is happening.

I’m not sure it should change anyone’s behavior either way (other than perhaps to load and unload in different amounts, and certainly as a reminder never to put more money on cards like this than you can afford to have held for 2-3 months before you recover it).

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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