Old Oct 25, 13, 12:21 pm
FlyerTalk Forums Expert How-Tos and Guides
Last edit by: JAXBA
Read the wiki before posting a question.
It's a literacy test that's easy to pass.

This is the Serve thread. Post questions or information concerning other topics in the appropriate threads elsewhere in this forum.

For additional information on using prepaid debit cards, see PIN available now for Visa/MC prepaid debit cards.

Mentions of Softcard (formerly ISIS) are purely incidental to setting up and using Serve/Softcard. Softcard does not hold money, and you cannot load to it.

You cannot make an ACH pull from Serve. The direct deposit account and routing numbers are for deposits only.


If your card doesn't say "debit" on the front, it isn't a debit card.

Loads at 7-11 and CVS are cash only. Debit cards are NOT allowed.

Loads at Walmart have been confirmed with debit cards. Self checkout does not work for loading Serve. Many Walmart stores are enforcing a rule against the use of prepaid debit cards when loading, even though the register and the MCE do not enforce. Do not make your prepaid debit cards visible. Show them a bank debit card if asked, then discreetly use your prepaid card when asked to swipe. Otherwise, you may be asked by management to never visit the MC (Walmart Money Center) again to load.

Debit loading at Family Dollar appears to be limited to $500 per day per store total (not per person or per account). Whoever gets there first gets the load for the day. Troubleshooting loading problems at FD

Normal Serve
  • Serve loading via VR/MP or WM/FD load: $2,500/day and $5,000 total per calendar month
  • Online Debit Card Load - $200/day and $1,000/month (NOT a gift card with a PIN that some people call a "Debit card")
  • Online Credit Card Load - $200/day and $1,000/month
  • Checking/Savings Account - $2,000/month
  • Checks - $2,000/day and $10,000/month
  • ATM Withdrawals - $750/day and $2,000/month

You can combine the three methods above and load a total of $7k/month to a single Serve account for miles/points earning purposes, but beware that you're also subject to a $10,000/month add money limit which also includes check deposits, ACH transfers, and Serve transfers.

Serve/Softcard Check if your phone/network is compatible
  • Serve loading via VR/MP or WM/FD load: $2,500/day and $5,000 total per calendar month
  • Online Debit Card Load - $500/day and $1,500/month (NOT a gift card with a PIN that some people call a "Debit card")
  • Online Credit Card Load - $500/day and $1,500/month
  • Checking/Savings Account - $2,000/month
  • Checks - $2,000/day and $10,000/month
  • ATM Withdrawals - $750/day and $2,000/month

You can combine the three methods above and load a total of $8k/month to a single Serve account for miles/points earning purposes, but beware that you're also subject to a $10,000/month add money limit which also includes check deposits, ACH transfers, and Serve transfers.

The SD card in the iPhone case used for Softcard is account specific. Once an account has been registered to a card, it cannot be used for another.

Temp Serve
You can only load a maximum of $500/day, $1000/month on a temporary card. Once you get your permanent card, then you can load more. The initial $500 when you purchase the temp card doesn't count against the $5,000/month load limit.

Online Credit Card Loads
Only one card can be linked at a time.

As of 10/09/14, coding of credit card loads changed. In general, Mastercard and American Express cards post as before; see below for information on point earning. Visa cards transact as a cash advance and, therefore, require available CA limit; although most cards post as a purchase.

The Chase Ink Bold is a charge card and has no cash advance ability.

Treated as purchase, earns cashback/points/miles:
  • Bank of America (FIA) (MasterCard, American Express)
  • Barclaycard (Mastercard, Visa)
  • Capital One (Mastercard, Visa)
  • Chase (MasterCard, Visa)
  • Citi (MasterCard, American Express)
  • Discover

Treated as purchase, but doesn't earn points/miles:
  • American Express (May count toward minimum spend)

Posts as a cash advance:
For online CC/DC loads, the name on the Serve account is supposed to match the name of the primary or joint cardholder. So using someone else's CC/DB card to load a Serve account is not allowed.

Several people have reported no problems with loading with an AU card in the Serve account holder's name. Increase your chances by making sure the AUs social security number is on file with the Credit Card. YMMV.

When adding a new card you will usually need to call Serve Account security (1-800-555-4318) for verification of the new card on the second load try. This verification usually requires uploading of a photo of your ID and the credit card. You may pre-emptively avoid the error by going to the above website, logging in, and uploading a scan of a photo ID and the card you are trying to add. You may call back to expedite approval.

Online Debit Card Loads
For online debit load, only use of bank-issued cards is allowed. The use of pre-paid debit cards (Netspend, Paypower, Univision, Paypal*, etc.) and VGC/MGC/AGCs is not allowed. While initial transactions may work, your account will eventually be flagged.

Switching to Serve or Serve/Softcard
Helpful instruction post, latest. Thanks raeneye.

Also see this thread: Switching from Serve to BlueBird - 31 day wait???

Switching to Serve/Softcard
  1. Call up Bluebird or Serve and close account. Make sure your account is at $0.00 before calling. Just close it, don't ask for a temp Serve or anything. CSR will say account is now closed and you have 30 days to change your mind should you decide to re-open it.
  2. Download the Softcard mobile app from Apple App Store or Google Play Store. If you're an iPhone user you have to buy the NFC CashWrap case from your carrier store.
  3. Launch Softcard Mobile App and create Softcard account. You'll be asked if you want to open a Serve account; Yes you do. Start the registration through Softcard mobile app for a Serve account, once you are finished you will be told you will receive an Email from Amex with your account approval. I waited a few hours and called Serve customer service like the wiki says and completed the registration.
  4. Once I got off the phone with Serve I received an email from Serve where I verified my account and email; at this point Amex Serve is open.
  5. Launch Softcard Mobile app again click add new
  6. Activate card with Softcard and select Amex Serve. Follow the instructions & you're good to add. Once this is complete a Serve Card will populate in Softcard. Must activate physical card to get full load limits. Check account status and it automatically credits to your serve account based on who you signed up with. (Verizon - $25, T-Mobile - $50, AT&T - $30 (For AT&T: Get $15 w/activation. Earn additional $15 w/account replenishment))

Switching from BB to Serve
  1. Login to BB account, bring account balance to Zero, (By Bill Pay, Send money, etc..)
  2. Call BB, tell them that you want to open a serve account and close your current BB account. after they check everything they will say something like: "Your account will be permanently closed after 31 days, you can reopen it within 31 day if you change your mind, and you can apply for your new Serve account now, just make sure use the exact same register info from BB."
  3. at this point BB is closed. next morning, goto CVS and get a temporary Serve card (only with cash), load $500, ($2.95 waived, Yeah!!)
  4. get back home, register temporary Serve online, First error: "phone number already registered, please try a different number" could be the my BB's ghost account still showing up on their system, could be my info is not match my BB's registration? i'm not really sure at this point. What I did is keep the same number but change from Cell phone to home phone. and registration went through
  5. after the register and login, second error: "We're still processing your application. Please check your email for an update"
  6. I have see people on the thread reported waiting for weeks for the same message, So, I pickup the phone and called them, ask them to speed up the process.
  7. CSR, told me that my account went to "account security protection department" transfer me to them.
  8. at account security protection department, they told me need to call back on my phone number which I registered to verify.
  9. after the call back of verification, CSR told me that my new Serve account is active now, email address verification will be send with in 5 minutes, permanent card will be received within 7-10 days.
  10. CSR also told me the I can load and spend on the temporary card, but not bill pay.

The number to call to approve your registration after closing Bluebird: Serve Account security 1-800-555-4318

Loading with debit card at Walmart register
Loads at register over $500 will sometimes trigger ID requirement. There is a limit of four swipes per transaction; this means your card plus three payments.

Training a WM cashier:
  • If the WM cashier doesn't know how to load the card, advise them to enter "70" then press "action code".
  • If you are using a temp card that doesn't have your name on it, you can swipe the card from your side of the terminal. The WM rep never has to touch any of your cards. The screen will say "enter account." That is your prompt to slide the card.
  • The terminal will ask the WM employee if you are loading in multiples of $2000. Advise them to enter "no."
  • Avoid saying gift card. Always refer to your card as a debit card.

Error Messages:
Received when I used a card I thought I had activated but hadn't.

Received when the card's monthly load limit had been reached.

Card was incorrectly read, or wrong PIN entered.

Connection problems. The GC may be drained but the transaction should reverse itself, and funds will become available again. Try again later.

Using Serve
For online bill pay
  • You can pay the credit card that you used to buy VRs/GCs
  • Error 1302 means that you have 1 pending payment the same amount as the one you just submitted. For example, 1000 bill pay to sapphire preferred from Friday and then on Saturday you submit another bill pay for 1000 to sapphire preferred, you will get this error.
  • Tip: if using online bill pay to the same place multiple times, vary your amounts by $0.01 to make it easier to track since your confirmation number does not match the tracking number on your credit card statement

For bank transfers
Under Settings --> Funding & Transfers --> Bank & Cards --> U.S. Bank Account, you can add your bank info and transfer funds from your Serve card directly to your bank. The bank account must be verified, either by the standard "deposit 2 small sums into your account, such as $0.23 & $0.42" method, or doing an "instant verification" by actually logging into your bank account while still logged into Serve.

People with an apartment address can find helpful information quoted in post #8530
Print Wikipost

Serve - Another Paypal/Amazon Payments.

Old Dec 30, 14, 10:39 pm
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: 212
Programs: Marriott Titanium, Hilton Gold, UA Silver
Posts: 502
Originally Posted by savedbyhim01
Thanks. Sending a picture is still not too convenient for me since a relative receives my cards and I am often overseas.

Interestingly, the last card I added, I never had to send any additional info.

BTW, can I use my Serve balance to pay off the same credit card I loaded Serve with? Has anyone done this successfully for a while without getting shut down?
I do it all the time.
Songer5 is offline  
Old Dec 30, 14, 10:48 pm
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: ATL
Programs: AA, AGR, DL, MR, WoH, UA
Posts: 951
Originally Posted by sbft77
Note that even though the buttons on the Add Money page only go up to 200, you can type 500 in the box.
Or you can click 200 twice and 100 once. I think that's a lot easier.
sechs is offline  
Old Dec 31, 14, 4:35 pm
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 465
Originally Posted by uTalk
re-read wiki

real debit card that tied with your checking account
does your usb buxx have checking acct? you can answer your own question
Thanks but ppdmc works and that is not tied to a checking account either.
ChuckMango is offline  

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