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 Jul 30, 18, 2:38 pm
  #481  
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 3,665
[QUOTE=el_pistolero;30027417
1. Get the green AMEX serve
2. Buy VGC from GCM.com
3. Go to walmart and unload the VGC on serve.

Does this sound correct, if not please correct me.[/quote]
FYI, you will NOT earn cashback wyb VGC at MOST portal (even Mastercard CBs are getting clawed back via portals making the fees very expensive) so it's best to buy them a grocery store. If you're after the benefit of your name printed on the GC and wish to proceed, just find other venues where you can get them cheaper without paying for shipping. IF, by chance, you're trying to meet min spend for CC bonus, know that it won't work for Am3x. These usually post as GIFTCARDS so there's no guarantees you'll get your bonus once your account is scrutinized. Other than that, they still work to load Serve/BB but with updates going on at WM, no one can tell if and when they will disallow all types of GCs from being loaded or purchasing MOs so you must drain them ASAP.
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Old Jul 31, 18, 1:09 pm
  #482  
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: SF Bay Area
Programs: AA Plat; DL Silver; UA Silver; IHG Plat
Posts: 82
got denied at 3 diff WM in bay area sadly. manager or more experienced store employees asking to see my cards.. all 3 of my "debit" cards.. i show one real one and as soon as they see one visa GC they immediately say i can't load it on my serve.. i did load one card a while ago at one of the 3 mentioned WM but doubt i can go back for same trick.

any advice?
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Old Jul 31, 18, 7:45 pm
  #483  
 
Join Date: Feb 2018
Posts: 2
What's the best way to verbalize to a Walmart CSR that you want to do a split tender Serve load?
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Old Aug 1, 18, 9:25 am
  #484  
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Posts: 74
Guys, how common is to load your Serve/BB at the regular register? I really need the extra volume as my local store checks debit cards if you ask for more than one swipe and I only bring two cards (1 BB and 1 Serve) to stay under the radar.. With this OD deal it will take me a month and a trip every day to WM to liquidate all the GC.
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Old Aug 1, 18, 9:41 am
  #485  
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: Northeastern United States
Posts: 328
Originally Posted by skanchur View Post
Guys, how common is to load your Serve/BB at the regular register? I really need the extra volume as my local store checks debit cards if you ask for more than one swipe and I only bring two cards (1 BB and 1 Serve) to stay under the radar.. With this OD deal it will take me a month and a trip every day to WM to liquidate all the GC.
It's mostly dependent on your WM's policy. I have multiple WMs near me and there are different policies at some of them.

- Some WMs let me load any value at registers and MC.
- Some WMs only let me load up to $100 at registers and all other amounts at the MC.
- Some WMs only let me load at the MC and not at the registers.

Most of this hobby has or is going the way of YMMV. Best bet is to bounce around and find a WM that works best for you.
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Old Aug 3, 18, 9:25 am
  #486  
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Los Angles
Posts: 2,092
I have promotion from my Credit Union (Bank) to use their debit card ($750) for free $20 gas card. what is the easy and simple way to do? does MetaBank VGC from Albertsons works to load my BlueBird at wmt? or any other?
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Old Aug 3, 18, 9:57 am
  #487  
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: Northeastern United States
Posts: 328
Originally Posted by prasha11 View Post
I have promotion from my Credit Union (Bank) to use their debit card ($750) for free $20 gas card. what is the easy and simple way to do? does MetaBank VGC from Albertsons works to load my BlueBird at wmt? or any other?
Is there a reason you can't just use their debt card via Paypal or Venmo to send a family member the $750? Seems like less of a headache and cheaper than going the VGC to MO route.
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Old Aug 3, 18, 10:25 am
  #488  
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 209
Family Dollar Now Charging $3.95 Per Load?

So my usually reliable FD now has a $3.95 fee to load the Serve One VIP card. Has anyone else encountered this?
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Old Aug 3, 18, 11:35 am
  #489  
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Posts: 53
Originally Posted by rjs11 View Post
So my usually reliable FD now has a $3.95 fee to load the Serve One VIP card. Has anyone else encountered this?
Just got this today for the first time (with the fee-free Green Serve Card). Not my usual FD, so I figured it was just a glitch or they didn't know how to run the transaction. DG didn't have any issues with it though.
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Old Aug 4, 18, 10:38 pm
  #490  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: SFO
Programs: United 1K, Marriott Platinum, SPG Platinum
Posts: 1,951
Hey All, Apologies for being out of the loop. I had a Serve One VIP card back in the day, and I still have it... What is the current MS opportunity with this card? I'm thinking about closing it, but I haven't been in the loop for a while. If there's a good way to start MS'ing on this, LMK!
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Old Aug 5, 18, 6:01 am
  #491  
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: Northeastern United States
Posts: 328
Originally Posted by hungarianhc View Post
Hey All, Apologies for being out of the loop. I had a Serve One VIP card back in the day, and I still have it... What is the current MS opportunity with this card? I'm thinking about closing it, but I haven't been in the loop for a while. If there's a good way to start MS'ing on this, LMK!
Nothing has really changed. Buy VGCs or MCGCs with a CC and use them to load Serve at WM or other locations then bill pay it to your CC account.
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Old Aug 5, 18, 8:14 am
  #492  
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Programs: AA,BA,JB
Posts: 9
Originally Posted by rjs11 View Post
So my usually reliable FD now has a $3.95 fee to load the Serve One VIP card. Has anyone else encountered this?
Yeah, got this yesterday at my usual FD. They were surprised too. Went to another one today, they said they’re not loading anymore - something about ‘ locked out of the system’.
wondering if there’s some system wide update rolling out..
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Old Aug 5, 18, 9:43 am
  #493  
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Los Angles
Posts: 2,092
Originally Posted by Prometheus77 View Post
Is there a reason you can't just use their debt card via Paypal or Venmo to send a family member the $750? Seems like less of a headache and cheaper than going the VGC to MO route.
The offer is for "Qualified purchases" I am guessing paypal transfer may not be.... I am thinking of buying Meta VGC at Albertsons and going to WMT load my BB, I think wmt refuses MOs. I am not current with MS but back in a day was heavy MSer.
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Old Aug 5, 18, 12:35 pm
  #494  
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Posts: 116
It's been BAU for me for the last few days on green serve at FD/DG. Free reloads so not sure what's going on for others...
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Old Aug 7, 18, 1:31 pm
  #495  
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Posts: 306
Originally Posted by rjs11 View Post
So my usually reliable FD now has a $3.95 fee to load the Serve One VIP card. Has anyone else encountered this?
Loaded my One VIP card this morning at FD. No fee. Hopefully yours was just a one-time glitch or is that particular FD only.
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