Amex Serve master thread (2017 onwards)

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This thread is a continuation of the 2016 Serve master thread located at Amex Serve (2016) [Many shutdowns starting Jan 8, 2016]


10/25/17 another round of Serve and Bluebird shutdowns. Prior to this round, the most recent shutdowns were in January 2017.

On January 8, 2016, most Serve cards that were being used for MS were closed by Amex due to "unusual activity". Recurring waves of shutdowns have continued.

As of April 16, 2015 regular Serve cards will only accept American Express network cards for online credit card loads.
Softcard Serve accounts are apparently grandfathered in the old system and continue to work as before, being able to load Mastercard, Visa, and Discover (see below).

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

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

https://www.serve.com/#/add-cash

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

Loads at Dollar General - Works with Vanilla VGC and Metabank VGC. Able to load $1,500 per card per day. Vanilla MC may work, not tested.

Regular Serve
  • Serve loading via VR/MP (Vanilla Reload/Moneypak) or WM/FD load: $2,500 per card per day; $5,000 total per calendar month each card; $10,000 total each calendar month all Serve cards combined
  • Online Debit Card Load - $200/day and $1,000/month
    • Online Credit Card Load (AmEx only) - $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.

Softcard Serve
Softcard has shutdown and there is no longer any way to apply for this version.
  • Serve loading via VR/MP (Vanilla Reload/Moneypak) or WM/FD load: $2,500/day and $5,000 total per calendar month
    • Online Debit Card Load - $500/day and $1,500/month
      • 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.

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.

OneVip Card: (Mucho gracias, AndrewTheMan)
This card is essentially just like the regular, fee-free, "old" serve. You may reload this card up to $2,500/day; $1,000/transaction at Walmart (not impacted by Blue Bird daily limit change). Have not tested FD or anywhere else. KATE takes this no problems..
You can use this to load the FIDO AMEX up to 1k a month.
Amex stopped taking applications for OneVip at the end of 2017. Cards acquired before then still work.

Limits for online debit card and credit card loads reset at 9 PM PST/12 AM EST

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

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.

A few report no problems 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.

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. One person with a Serve/Softcard account reported being sent to the main Serve number for this process.

https://www.serve.com/help/#add-money-5

Regular Serve Credit Card Loading

Regular Serve can only load from American Express network cards. In addition to those issued directly by American Express, this includes the following:
  • AAA Rewards AmEx
    • Alitalia AmEx
      • Bank of America Accelerated Rewards AmEx
        • Bank of Hawaii AmEx Card with MyBankoh Rewards
          • Bloomingdale's AmEx
            • Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select AmEx
              • Citi Dividend AmEx (not obtainable unless specifically requested)
                • Citi Thank You Preferred AmEx (not obtainable unless specifically requested)
                  • Dillard's AmEx
                    • FNBO AmEx
                      • FNBO Graphite AmEx
                        • FNBO Platinum AmEx
                          • Macy's AmEx
                            • Penfed Premium Travel Rewards AmEx
                              • SavingStar AmEx
                                • Travelocity AmEx
                                  • US Bank Flexperks AmEx
                                    • USAA Cash Rewards/Rewards Plus AmEx
                                      • Wells Fargo Propel World/365 AmEx


Softcard Serve Credit Card Loading

If you are fortunate enough to be grandfathered into a Softcard Serve Account, you can also load other credit cards beside American Express cards. Softcard Serve is not available to new applicants anymore so you'll need to get one of the other Serve options if you don't already have one. In general, Mastercard and American Express cards post as purchases. Visa cards transact as a cash advance and, therefore, require available CA limit; although most cards post as a purchase.

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
              • Wells Fargo Propel (American Express)
Treated as purchase, but doesn't earn points/miles:
  • American Express issued (Counts toward minimum spend -- see post #434) but does not earn points. Example: For the Delta Amex card, Serve counts towards min spend DL miles sign-up bonus, but that spend and subsequent trials of spend on Serve will not earn points. Don't do it, man!


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

A few report being unable to add the Chase IHG MC.

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
Helpful instruction post, latest. Thanks raeneye.

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

Switching from BB to Serve
  1. Login to BB account, bring account balance to Zero, (By Bill Pay, Send money, etc..)
    • 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."
      • 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!!)
        • 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
          • after the register and login, second error: "We're still processing your application. Please check your email for an update"
            • 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.
              • CSR, told me that my account went to "account security protection department" transfer me to them.
                • at account security protection department, they told me need to call back on my phone number which I registered to verify.
                  • 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.
                    • CSR also told me the I can load and spend on the temporary card, but not bill pay.


Switching from Redbird is presumably similar. See the RedCard thread for more information.

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:
DEBIT NOT AVAILABLE
Received when I used a card I thought I had activated but hadn't.

DEBIT NOT APPROVED
Received when the card's monthly load limit had been reached.

TENDER NOT ALLOWED
Card was incorrectly read, or wrong PIN entered.

HOST TIMEOUT
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 #7
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Old May 5, 18, 6:51 pm
  #391  
 
Join Date: Jan 2017
Location: EWR/PHL/BWI
Posts: 1,423
Originally Posted by radonc1 View Post
I presume there is an answer somewhere which I can't find so I will ask......

If you have been banned from BB, I presume that the ban will extend to Serve as well. Does anyone know if the ban is ever lifted (I am assuming that one will use the previously banned SS# although the email address certainly could be changed as well as the old BB home address. The name could be modified slightly to include a middle name such as from John Jones to John Paul Jones.)
I do not get real experience, but I figure if the ban is on the SSN, then the only way you can do is to borrow the SSN from a family member or close friend. Name and email address mean nothing.
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Old May 7, 18, 6:44 am
  #392  
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Posts: 53
Originally Posted by asot550 View Post
Was approved for one bb on April 19, then two more on the 20th. Got the we can't approve you for an account message on the 4th. I've tried every few days since and still haven't been able to sign up for more (or any serve accounts). I've activated all 3 bb but have only loaded one of them. I can still load that one no problem. Any idea when I'll be able to sign up for more? Does applying but getting denied reset the clock on your cooldown period? I've seen people mention a cooldown period of one week, two weeks, ten days, three weeks, etc. so it seems inconsistent across accounts.
Give it a couple of weeks and try again. I opened 4 Serves and 3 BBs across a 2-week span before I ran into issues. I waited 2-3 weeks and got approved for my 5th Serve.
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Old May 7, 18, 6:50 am
  #393  
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Posts: 53
Does anybody have experience with using MCGC (Metabank) to load serve at DG/FD/WM?
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Old May 7, 18, 9:16 am
  #394  
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 4,165
Originally Posted by jsl_313 View Post
Does anybody have experience with using MCGC (Metabank) to load serve at DG/FD/WM?
No different from VGC except for at WM with the change payment trick.
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Old May 7, 18, 11:46 am
  #395  
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: PDX
Programs: Don't think it matters...
Posts: 4,925
Can Visa Everywhere GC load to Serve ?

Hi,
Was wondering if we can load Visa Everywhere (Grocery Everywhere gc's) to Serve in WM ? Thinking whether to use the current OD offer for free Visa Everywhere GC's.

Thanks
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Old May 7, 18, 2:31 pm
  #396  
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 4,165
Originally Posted by abhilife2001 View Post
Hi,
Was wondering if we can load Visa Everywhere (Grocery Everywhere gc's) to Serve in WM ? Thinking whether to use the current OD offer for free Visa Everywhere GC's.

Thanks
Yes..
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Old May 7, 18, 2:59 pm
  #397  
 
Join Date: May 2016
Posts: 3
My recent FD just told me only cash for Serve loads after I've been using them for a year or so for GC loads. I'm hoping this is just one guy acting out and not the beginning of the end.
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Old May 8, 18, 7:43 pm
  #398  
 
Join Date: Jan 2017
Location: EWR/PHL/BWI
Posts: 1,423
Reloaded 3 $500 VGCs today at a local DG. The Green Serve is great, no fee.
Also visited one FD and two other DG stores. All other folks have no ideas, or require cash to re-load. It needs some homework to find the right place.
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Old May 10, 18, 5:39 pm
  #399  
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: PDX
Programs: Don't think it matters...
Posts: 4,925
Originally Posted by Superorb View Post
Yes..
Thanks, worked nicely.. always helps to get gift cards free of cost .
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Old May 10, 18, 5:41 pm
  #400  
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: PDX
Programs: Don't think it matters...
Posts: 4,925
Originally Posted by Superorb View Post
No different from VGC except for at WM with the change payment trick.
+1.. though I now see that I need to press the cancel option multiple times (3/4 ) to reach the options to select "Debit", but yes it works.
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Old May 10, 18, 5:45 pm
  #401  
 
Join Date: May 2016
Posts: 35
Loaded a $500 OV at a DG last week. Went back today with another $500 OV, but a different cashier was working. She said you can only load cash 🙄. Went to another one and got it loaded with no issues.
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Old May 10, 18, 6:21 pm
  #402  
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 4,165
Originally Posted by Ryn996 View Post
Loaded a $500 OV at a DG last week. Went back today with another $500 OV, but a different cashier was working. She said you can only load cash 🙄. Went to another one and got it loaded with no issues.
Ya cashiers at DG like to make rules up all the time.
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Old May 10, 18, 7:39 pm
  #403  
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Programs: Continental Onepass, Hilton, Marriott, USAir and now UA
Posts: 2,947
Originally Posted by radonc1 View Post
I presume there is an answer somewhere which I can't find so I will ask......

If you have been banned from BB, I presume that the ban will extend to Serve as well. Does anyone know if the ban is ever lifted (I am assuming that one will use the previously banned SS# although the email address certainly could be changed as well as the old BB home address. The name could be modified slightly to include a middle name such as from John Jones to John Paul Jones.)
Tried to sign up for a Serve card 2.5 years after being banned from BB. Still on the DNF (Do not fly) list with Amex
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Old May 11, 18, 9:04 pm
  #404  
 
Join Date: Jan 2017
Location: EWR/PHL/BWI
Posts: 1,423
I can fund my Serve card with Wells Fargo Propel AmEx card, no fee and receive 1 CPP. I'm not sure if it is worth it and risk getting shut down. At $2,000 load/month, the points are just worth $20 (still free).
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Old May 12, 18, 10:39 am
  #405  
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Posts: 116
Originally Posted by asot550 View Post
Was approved for one bb on April 19, then two more on the 20th. Got the we can't approve you for an account message on the 4th. I've tried every few days since and still haven't been able to sign up for more (or any serve accounts). I've activated all 3 bb but have only loaded one of them. I can still load that one no problem. Any idea when I'll be able to sign up for more? Does applying but getting denied reset the clock on your cooldown period? I've seen people mention a cooldown period of one week, two weeks, ten days, three weeks, etc. so it seems inconsistent across accounts.
Tried applying again today 8 days after previous denial and still no go. Going to wait 15 days before my next application. Feels like I'm tempting fate on this one though... I'm at the max on the first bb I opened and I'd really like to cycle these if possible. Much easier to liquidate than MO since you can go to the regular wm cashiers instead of only mc.
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