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]


5/21/2019 another round of Serve and Bluebird shutdowns.

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 Jan 29, 17, 10:35 am
  #46  
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Whittier
Posts: 23
Originally Posted by signofthefourwinds View Post
Trying to load at FD today and they wanted to charge me to load from a Meta. Did something change?
Apparently so, we went to load Serve at FD and were asked to pay a fee! We paid $3.95 just to load which I found ridiculous. Oh well...
papilini05 is offline  
Old Jan 29, 17, 10:55 am
  #47  
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: USA
Posts: 136
Originally Posted by papilini05 View Post
Apparently so, we went to load Serve at FD and were asked to pay a fee! We paid $3.95 just to load which I found ridiculous. Oh well...
What version of Serve do you have?
dothemath is offline  
Old Jan 29, 17, 1:19 pm
  #48  
 
Join Date: Jan 2016
Posts: 97
Originally Posted by dothemath View Post
What state/city is this?
Overland Park, Kansas (a suburb of Kansas City)
kciflyer is offline  
Old Jan 30, 17, 8:15 am
  #49  
 
Join Date: Jan 2016
Programs: Ink/Sapphire/Freedom/SPG
Posts: 296
Whenever faced issues with load , just walk out has been the Motto for the circle of MS friends here.

Since all the Machines are gone , we need to deal with Kate, but why ask for trouble with split payments. We can always ask for another load or go to another queue , normal checkout queues for loading each card.
2 or 3 a day is advisable , trying 2 from same person is YMMV, you need to take a call on the go.
Many people make their own rules, stay away from trouble, too much argument will put you on radar, they call couple of people and all together they ban all load transactions in WM, we cannot do much.
Now a days i see a lot of people frowning on using GiftCards..
rocky_nnc is offline  
Old Jan 30, 17, 10:50 am
  #50  
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 1,790
So apparently TaxAct will give you your tax refund on a Serve card:
https://www.taxact.com/american-express-serve/

I'm wondering if their arrangement with Amex could somehow bypass the ban that some people have on their SSNs. TaxAct isn't an option for me for various reasons, but it may be worth looking into for others (assuming this isn't some kind of high-interest refund anticipation loan).
bobert24 is offline  
Old Jan 31, 17, 10:01 am
  #51  
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 59
Tried to load a us Bank card to serve at FD.

I had a brain fart and input the wrong pin twice. The card was then blocked with "Too many incorrect attempts".

I left to go to another FD down the street after acting as fi something was wrong with my debit card.

Second FD also had the same prompt "Too many incorrect attempts".

My questions:
1.) Is the card permanently tagged at all FD's?
2.) If not, what is the timeline for this error to clear?

Note: Serve thread seemed the most appropriate to put this in as there is no Family $ thread.
chippy111 is offline  
Old Jan 31, 17, 10:38 am
  #52  
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Posts: 95
Originally Posted by chippy111 View Post
Tried to load a us Bank card to serve at FD.

I had a brain fart and input the wrong pin twice. The card was then blocked with "Too many incorrect attempts".

I left to go to another FD down the street after acting as fi something was wrong with my debit card.

Second FD also had the same prompt "Too many incorrect attempts".

My questions:
1.) Is the card permanently tagged at all FD's?
2.) If not, what is the timeline for this error to clear?

Note: Serve thread seemed the most appropriate to put this in as there is no Family $ thread.
Did you call the number on the back to have them unlock the PIN? If not, do that. Then reset your PIN
bargainhunter3 is offline  
Old Jan 31, 17, 2:20 pm
  #53  
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 59
Originally Posted by bargainhunter3 View Post
Did you call the number on the back to have them unlock the PIN? If not, do that. Then reset your PIN
Thanks for the heads up.

I'll give it a whirl.
chippy111 is offline  
Old Feb 2, 17, 3:39 am
  #54  
 
Join Date: Jan 2017
Posts: 11
Hey, I am new to this and have been reading up here on FT as well as on reddit. I am not looking to go heavy MS, but just want to get some rewards for my monthly rent/bills and figured I'd used Serve for billpay. Is there any DP on whether serve reloads still work here in the CA Bay Area or am I only left with VGC > MO route?
Also does PPBDC reloading Serve still give 1% CB? Last comments I've seen w/r to this is that it was working in Nov 2016. Does PP crack down super hard on Serve reloads?
hiya83 is offline  
Old Feb 2, 17, 5:42 am
  #55  
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 3,699
Originally Posted by hiya83 View Post
Hey, I am new to this and have been reading up here on FT as well as on reddit. I am not looking to go heavy MS, but just want to get some rewards for my monthly rent/bills and figured I'd used Serve for billpay. Is there any DP on whether serve reloads still work here in the CA Bay Area or am I only left with VGC > MO route?
Also does PPBDC reloading Serve still give 1% CB? Last comments I've seen w/r to this is that it was working in Nov 2016. Does PP crack down super hard on Serve reloads?
yes. read the full TOS and limitations on loading both online and in-store. everything you want to know is there.

no, but you can do MO if you wish;

no, 1% CB from PPDC loads to prepaids are long dead. you may get a warning from PP if they notice you're loading prepaid.
Mamibear is offline  
Old Feb 2, 17, 9:59 am
  #56  
 
Join Date: Feb 2017
Posts: 41
Originally Posted by bobert24 View Post
So apparently TaxAct will give you your tax refund on a Serve card:
https://www.taxact.com/american-express-serve/

I'm wondering if their arrangement with Amex could somehow bypass the ban that some people have on their SSNs. TaxAct isn't an option for me for various reasons, but it may be worth looking into for others (assuming this isn't some kind of high-interest refund anticipation loan).
I don't know if it could bypass the ban, but I will tell you that even a shutdown card can get money on it when it is transferred from another serve card. I Can load DW serve card and then then transfer to my shutdown serve. Then I can use the money on my serve for DD into bank accounts that are in my name.
12HRS is offline  
Old Feb 2, 17, 11:57 am
  #57  
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Whittier
Posts: 23
Originally Posted by dothemath View Post
What version of Serve do you have?
Standard version
papilini05 is offline  
Old Feb 2, 17, 4:55 pm
  #58  
 
Join Date: Feb 2017
Posts: 4
Can you load Serve at Dollar Tree?
thundervsokuni is offline  
Old Feb 2, 17, 5:19 pm
  #59  
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Whittier
Posts: 23
Originally Posted by thundervsokuni View Post
Can you load Serve at Dollar Tree?
You sure can but as I mentioned, there's a fee involved now.
papilini05 is offline  
Old Feb 2, 17, 9:51 pm
  #60  
 
Join Date: Jan 2017
Posts: 11
Originally Posted by Mamibear View Post
yes. read the full TOS and limitations on loading both online and in-store. everything you want to know is there.

no, but you can do MO if you wish;

no, 1% CB from PPDC loads to prepaids are long dead. you may get a warning from PP if they notice you're loading prepaid.
Thanks for the reply. I went through the ToS like you said and apparently MO's are a no go as a reload option for Serve. If that's the case, there's really only the 1k per month debit reload that can be done by VGC right? Given my bills are about 4k per month, it probably doesn't make sense then? or is the 1k per month only for online debit reloads and we can still do VGC debit reloads in store? I apologize if these are dumb questions.
hiya83 is offline  

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