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 Oct 5, 18, 10:16 am
  #571  
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 223
Originally Posted by NeGourmand View Post
Interesting thing happened at DG doing serve load today. Did a single OVVGC and for some reason the transaction failed after drawing the money off my GC. Register said $500 due to customer. Clerk wanted me to swipe VGC again, but I elected to swipe my real debit card instead. I checked before leaving the store that it was in my bank account. Knocked off a step Not worth the hassle to do intentionally though.

I should add, I'm tempted to replace my debit card now that it has been swiped at DG.

Not sure why it didn't process correctly. GC was drained; it now shows a $0 balance. And the money was loaded to serve (shows on the transaction list and I got the email,) and then reversed.
i havenít been able to get serve loads to work at DG. Iím using serve one vip. Do certain gift cards not work? Whatís the process to walk clueless employees through? Iím more eager to do it now as one opened around the corner from work.
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Old Oct 5, 18, 12:09 pm
  #572  
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
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Originally Posted by googs185 View Post


i havenít been able to get serve loads to work at DG. Iím using serve one vip. Do certain gift cards not work? Whatís the process to walk clueless employees through? Iím more eager to do it now as one opened around the corner from work.
It's my C-list place to unload, so haven't done a whole lot there. Have successfully done meta MGCs there a few times, most recently several months ago. It's a pain, because even if it works, you can only do 1 at a time.
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Old Oct 5, 18, 1:59 pm
  #573  
 
Join Date: Aug 2018
Posts: 6
Originally Posted by googs185 View Post


i havenít been able to get serve loads to work at DG. Iím using serve one vip. Do certain gift cards not work? Whatís the process to walk clueless employees through? Iím more eager to do it now as one opened around the corner from work.
DG is my go to. They scan the barcode on the ring of cards, its usually yellow but sometimes it's just a photocopy, then they need to enter how muchto load and swipe the serve card on their keyboard. After that you can use the terminal to pay like any other debit card
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Old Oct 9, 18, 10:36 am
  #574  
 
Join Date: Apr 2016
Posts: 4
As for the 100k yearly limit, do they consider Serve and BB different, thus resulting in a 200k yearly limit?
Can the same login be used for a second Serve account? Can the same login be used for a second BB account?
For the second of each type of card, do I need to go to the store to buy a temp card or can I just sign up online?
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Old Oct 12, 18, 9:58 am
  #575  
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Posts: 53
Originally Posted by PHXPointsFan View Post
As for the 100k yearly limit, do they consider Serve and BB different, thus resulting in a 200k yearly limit?
Correct

Can the same login be used for a second Serve account? Can the same login be used for a second BB account?
Need different logins for all Serve and BB accounts as they use the same platform.

For the second of each type of card, do I need to go to the store to buy a temp card or can I just sign up online?
Sign up online.
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Old Oct 15, 18, 7:23 pm
  #576  
 
Join Date: Apr 2016
Posts: 4
Originally Posted by jsl_313 View Post
Correct



Need different logins for all Serve and BB accounts as they use the same platform.



Sign up online.
Can the same phone number and email be used for creating different logins for all the Serve and BB accounts?

I bought a green Serve in store and loaded it with $10. I created an account but it wouldn't let me do anything with the temp card and it said the balance of the temp would be loaded onto the permanent card. They sent me a permanent card but it's the blue one and the $10 isn't on there. What's the deal?

Last edited by PHXPointsFan; Oct 15, 18 at 7:43 pm
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Old Oct 15, 18, 9:06 pm
  #577  
 
Join Date: May 2018
Posts: 47
Don't buy cards, go to the serve website and open green ones. Wait til they're mailed to you. Profit.
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Old Oct 16, 18, 12:11 pm
  #578  
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Posts: 53
Originally Posted by PHXPointsFan View Post
Can the same phone number and email be used for creating different logins for all the Serve and BB accounts?

I bought a green Serve in store and loaded it with $10. I created an account but it wouldn't let me do anything with the temp card and it said the balance of the temp would be loaded onto the permanent card. They sent me a permanent card but it's the blue one and the $10 isn't on there. What's the deal?
You can use the same phone number and email. Don't spend money buying the cards in store, get the green one for free online and have them mailed to you. Have a $0 balance when the statement cuts and you won't have any fees.
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Old Oct 16, 18, 1:24 pm
  #579  
 
Join Date: Jan 2017
Location: EWR/PHL/BWI
Posts: 1,676
Originally Posted by PHXPointsFan View Post
Can the same phone number and email be used for creating different logins for all the Serve and BB accounts?

I bought a green Serve in store and loaded it with $10. I created an account but it wouldn't let me do anything with the temp card and it said the balance of the temp would be loaded onto the permanent card. They sent me a permanent card but it's the blue one and the $10 isn't on there. What's the deal?
You can register the original Serve card online and AmEx will send you a permanent card linked to the original card. The balance stays with both cards.

If you do the correct way, both cards are of the same type. You must have done something wrong.
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Old Oct 16, 18, 9:40 pm
  #580  
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Posts: 105
Originally Posted by NeGourmand View Post
Interesting thing happened at DG doing serve load today. Did a single OVVGC and for some reason the transaction failed after drawing the money off my GC. Register said $500 due to customer. Clerk wanted me to swipe VGC again, but I elected to swipe my real debit card instead. I checked before leaving the store that it was in my bank account. Knocked off a step Not worth the hassle to do intentionally though.

I should add, I'm tempted to replace my debit card now that it has been swiped at DG.

Not sure why it didn't process correctly. GC was drained; it now shows a $0 balance. And the money was loaded to serve (shows on the transaction list and I got the email,) and then reversed.
Had the same issue with my usual DG today. As soon as I swiped my debit card, it gave an error printed a receipt that said "Card activation has failed customer is entitled to an immediate refund for the amex serve load." It drained the $500 from my VGC. There's a load of $500 on serve then an immediate $500 reversal. The manager came to try to refund the debit card, so I gave him my bank debit card, but as he was doing the refund the new cashier hit "Cash" button or something and the drawer popped out and screen said to refund me $500 in cash. Refund never went back to debit card. The store didn't have $500 cash so they called the day manager in from home. He "voided" the transaction and said I should see the $500 back to my "debit" card in a few days. Hopefully, it does. Never had this happen before in a year of doing this. Anyone have experience with this? Will the funds actually go back to my card or will this be more of a pita?
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Old Oct 16, 18, 10:16 pm
  #581  
 
Join Date: May 2018
Posts: 47
Originally Posted by cwh82 View Post
Had the same issue with my usual DG today. As soon as I swiped my debit card, it gave an error printed a receipt that said "Card activation has failed customer is entitled to an immediate refund for the amex serve load." It drained the $500 from my VGC. There's a load of $500 on serve then an immediate $500 reversal. The manager came to try to refund the debit card, so I gave him my bank debit card, but as he was doing the refund the new cashier hit "Cash" button or something and the drawer popped out and screen said to refund me $500 in cash. Refund never went back to debit card. The store didn't have $500 cash so they called the day manager in from home. He "voided" the transaction and said I should see the $500 back to my "debit" card in a few days. Hopefully, it does. Never had this happen before in a year of doing this. Anyone have experience with this? Will the funds actually go back to my card or will this be more of a pita?
I also had this issue tonight at my usual WM and at my backup DG. Mine didn't go the cash/void route but something definitely up with serve loads tonight. I havent heard of your exact situation but it sounds like it should go back to the original card.
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Old Oct 17, 18, 7:32 am
  #582  
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Posts: 53
Originally Posted by cwh82 View Post
Had the same issue with my usual DG today. As soon as I swiped my debit card, it gave an error printed a receipt that said "Card activation has failed customer is entitled to an immediate refund for the amex serve load." It drained the $500 from my VGC. There's a load of $500 on serve then an immediate $500 reversal. The manager came to try to refund the debit card, so I gave him my bank debit card, but as he was doing the refund the new cashier hit "Cash" button or something and the drawer popped out and screen said to refund me $500 in cash. Refund never went back to debit card. The store didn't have $500 cash so they called the day manager in from home. He "voided" the transaction and said I should see the $500 back to my "debit" card in a few days. Hopefully, it does. Never had this happen before in a year of doing this. Anyone have experience with this? Will the funds actually go back to my card or will this be more of a pita?
Originally Posted by Hb1500 View Post


I also had this issue tonight at my usual WM and at my backup DG. Mine didn't go the cash/void route but something definitely up with serve loads tonight. I havent heard of your exact situation but it sounds like it should go back to the original card.
What kind of VGCs were you guys using?
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Old Oct 17, 18, 7:45 am
  #583  
 
Join Date: Jan 2017
Location: EWR/PHL/BWI
Posts: 1,676
Originally Posted by cwh82 View Post
Had the same issue with my usual DG today. As soon as I swiped my debit card, it gave an error printed a receipt that said "Card activation has failed customer is entitled to an immediate refund for the amex serve load." It drained the $500 from my VGC. There's a load of $500 on serve then an immediate $500 reversal. The manager came to try to refund the debit card, so I gave him my bank debit card, but as he was doing the refund the new cashier hit "Cash" button or something and the drawer popped out and screen said to refund me $500 in cash. Refund never went back to debit card. The store didn't have $500 cash so they called the day manager in from home. He "voided" the transaction and said I should see the $500 back to my "debit" card in a few days. Hopefully, it does. Never had this happen before in a year of doing this. Anyone have experience with this? Will the funds actually go back to my card or will this be more of a pita?
Originally Posted by Hb1500 View Post

I also had this issue tonight at my usual WM and at my backup DG. Mine didn't go the cash/void route but something definitely up with serve loads tonight. I havent heard of your exact situation but it sounds like it should go back to the original card.
Is this a Serve thing, or BB impacted too? I was going to hit DG with OVVGC. This makes me concerned.
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Old Oct 17, 18, 7:58 am
  #584  
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Posts: 105
Originally Posted by jsl_313 View Post
What kind of VGCs were you guys using?
MB VGC
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Old Oct 17, 18, 7:59 am
  #585  
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Posts: 105
Originally Posted by jsl_313 View Post
What kind of VGCs were you guys using?
Originally Posted by RedSun View Post
Is this a Serve thing, or BB impacted too? I was going to hit DG with OVVGC. This makes me concerned.
Seems Serve has been having issues lately. Several times this week I can't even log into my account, it would just time out. I loaded 3 X $500 VGC at an FD Monday without issues. Appears intermittent. Not sure about BB since I don't use it.

Last edited by cwh82; Oct 17, 18 at 8:04 am
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