Wednesday, December 25, 2013

American Express Serve - Up to $250 Free

Update: A reader reports that he tried to add funds with a Citibank credit card and it went through as a regular credit card purchase, not a cash advance.  I don't have a serve account so I can't verify, but Citi cards should be safe with Serve.  Either way, send a secure message through your Citibank account and ask for the cash advance limit to be lowered to $0 so that if it does process as a cash advance the transaction won't go through and you won't be stuck with a bill.

Serve® is one of the prepaid products available through American Express.  Similar to Bluebird, its best feature is that you can use it for online bill pay.  This means that any money that has been loaded onto your card can be used to pay a credit card bill as well.

An additional advantage is that you can load funds from a credit card onto Serve with no associated fees (unless your credit card issuer counts it as a Cash Advance). You can then pay your credit card bill with the bill pay.  Not too shabby.


  • Online Bill Pay
  • Loading with a credit card for free ($1,000 a month)
  • Load "cash" at 7-11 and CVS
    • There are some reports that CVS allows you to load with a credit card and it is considered a "cash" reload - unconfirmed.
  • $50 bonus for two direct deposits of $250 or more.
    • There are some reports that Amazon Payments will work for this - unconfirmed
  • 20% cashback for any "tap purchases" using Isis Mobile Wallet until January 31st.   Up to $200 in credits ($1,000 of spending).  This works on anything, including Visa Gift Cards or Vanilla reloads!

There are a couple of problems with Serve:

  • $1 monthly fee
    • You can avoid the monthly fee by loading $500 a month or having direct deposit or having it in your Isis Mobile wallet.
  • You can't have Bluebird and Serve at the same time, it's either one or the other.

I don't have Serve because I have Bluebird and I don't want to give it up, if you are interested you can sign up for American Express Serve® here

Thank you YP for the tip!


vos iz goshien said...

I tried loading my serve card at 7-11 with a credit card and he said cash only. Do you know if certain stores accept cc over others?

Oren said...

I don't know. I don't have a serve card to try it because I have Bluebird so I am not completely familiar with all of its features.

Are you able to load Visa Gift Cards online with your serve card without having to go to walmart?

vos iz goshien said...

Yes. I actually had 1 lying around the house from last week when staples had a 15 dollar rebate for buying a 200 dollar card. I first had to upload it to go wallet so the cc would have a billing address but then I easily loaded it to serve from my computer. My next question is this: why is this not preferred over bluebird? I can buy a 200 gift card from staples for 206.95 get 1035 in points- get 300 plink points (which can be redeemed for 3 dollars at amazon). So essentially I paid 3.95 for 1035 chase points. As opposed to paying 3.95 for 503.95 Wtvr points if you buy a vanilla reload. Obviously the advantages of reload is you can buy 5000k at once as opposed to here which is only 1 plink per swipe so you'd need to go multiple times to take advantage of that. Also if you get cash back at Cvs then it could be worthwhile. But at the end of the day, which is worth more?

Oren said...

Thank you for the data points.

One advantage of Bluebird is no monthly fee. Serve's monthly fee is low and can be circumvented.

When I first got Bluebird there was no Billpay on Serve so Bluebird was much better. You had to take the money out from an ATM and pay an ATM fee. Now that Serve has Billpay, it is worth a very serious look. I might have to switch.

If you can load with a gift card so that saves a trip to Walmart. In addition, Serve can be loaded with Vanilla Reloads as well so there really would be almost no advantage to Bluebird. Hmm...

Billpay worked without a hitch? Thanks for your comments

vos iz goshien said...

I am literally a week new into this. I sent a sample bill pay to my mother for 5 bucks to see how it works and will then pay my car lease by the 21st if all goes well. Will keep you updated

vos iz goshien said...

And can you get more info from the reader who notified you that they added funds with their Citicard. Did citi charge them a cash advance?

Oren said...

It was already updated. It was not a cash advance so that is good news.

Am I assuming correctly that bill pay works for credit card bills like it does for Bluebird?

vos iz goshien said...

I can't say for sure bc I didn't try yet, but I did check and one of the payees they have on file is chase credit card....

Oren said...

Sounds good. Thank you!

vos iz goshien said...

Plink with your ink, then serve!

Oren said...

I love the phrase!

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