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 Feb 2, 17, 10:02 pm
  #61  
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: USA
Posts: 136
Originally Posted by papilini05 View Post
Standard version
What does standard version mean? Not all versions load for free. Were you able to load yours for free before at that same location?

Last edited by dothemath; Feb 2, 17 at 10:10 pm
dothemath is offline  
Old Feb 2, 17, 10:09 pm
  #62  
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: USA
Posts: 136
Would paying one non cc bill per month from my Serve account fly under the radar or is this something I shouldn't try?
dothemath is offline  
Old Feb 3, 17, 7:21 am
  #63  
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Northern Virginia
Programs: Hilton Diamond
Posts: 74
Originally Posted by dothemath View Post
Would paying one non cc bill per month from my Serve account fly under the radar or is this something I shouldn't try?
I don't think it hurts or helps based on past data points. I've been sending mortgage payments for about a year now on my last remaining serve. So far it's still alive. Personally, I think it's more important that your account is profitable to them. How you make it profitable for both parties is up to you.
amazingjames is offline  
Old Feb 3, 17, 5:40 pm
  #64  
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 3,699
Originally Posted by thundervsokuni View Post
Can you load Serve at Dollar Tree?
Dollar Tree - NO

Dollar General - YES
Mamibear is offline  
Old Feb 3, 17, 5:44 pm
  #65  
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 3,699
Originally Posted by hiya83 View Post
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.
go over the TOS again to check the limits on loading in-store. Read it carefully, everything you need to know is there and it's better for you to read it there so all your OTHER questions will be answered. Then you can decide if it makes sense to you.
Mamibear is offline  
Old Feb 3, 17, 9:20 pm
  #66  
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Whittier
Posts: 23
Originally Posted by papilini05 View Post
You sure can but as I mentioned, there's a fee involved now.
Correction I meant to say family Dollar. .
papilini05 is offline  
Old Feb 4, 17, 9:05 pm
  #67  
 
Join Date: Feb 2017
Posts: 41
Originally Posted by papilini05 View Post
Correction I meant to say family Dollar. .
I just loaded with no fee. You have still not fully answered the question of which serve do you have.
12HRS is offline  
Old Feb 9, 17, 8:53 am
  #68  
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: New Jersey
Programs: WN, AA, UA, DL, AC, CX, BA, AGR, IHG, HH, CC, UR, MR, TY
Posts: 121
Action Code List

Grocery shopping at my local Walmart the other day another slip came attached to my receipt printed with a list of all available Action Codes. The FAQ mentions using code 70 when training a cashier to load Serve. It's in the list!

AVAILABLE ACTION CODE LIST

1 = COMPLETE TRANSACTION VOID
2 = TERMINAL STATISTICS REPORT
3 = TERMINAL ACCOUNTING REPORT
4 = DEPARTMENT TOTALS
6 = PRICE INQUIRY
7 = RESET TRANSACTION NUMBER
9 = TRAINING MODE
10 = OPERATOR PERFORMANCE
13 = PAYROLL CHECK CASHING
14 = APPLICATION MEMORY USAGE
17 = REFRESH TAX TABLES
18 = REFRESH CONFIGURATION
23 = SUSPENDED TRANSACTION REPORT
24 = CSM OVERRIDE APPROVAL
25 = SHOPPING CARD CASH BACK (interesting ...)
55 = RELOAD PHONE CARDS (didn't know about this)
60 = PRINT PREVIOUS JOURNAL DATA
61 = REPRINT PREVIOUS RECEIPT
69 = Cashier Online Training
70 = UTILITY PAYMENTS (odd that prepaid cards are considered as utilities)
74 = VENDOR PAYMENT
76 = ENTER COIN VOUCHER (probably for CoinStar con-machines)
91 = TC # LOOKUP AND DECRYPTION
121 = PAY WITH CASH
127 = TLE BLITZ ITEMS
137 = P2P PED INFO DETAILS
330 = eReceipt Lookup for Returns
803 = PRINT MBL PAY QR CODE
804 = TOGGLE MBL PAY PINPAD QR CODE
805 = TRIGGER MBL PAY ACTIONS
850 = Transfer Transaction
851 = Retrieve Transaction

ENTER THE DESIRED ACTION CODE
AND PRESS THE 'ACTION CODE' KEY

Now you, too, can be a Walmart Cashier!

The abbreviations in codes 91 and above I'm unfamiliar with. Also this is the complete list, complete with obvious skipping of many numbers.

Has anyone used codes other than 70 before?
gamzarme is offline  
Old Feb 16, 17, 11:01 am
  #69  
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: SF Bay Area
Posts: 516
Does loading serve with amex still count as purchase?
Travelchurner is offline  
Old Feb 17, 17, 6:43 am
  #70  
 
Join Date: Feb 2017
Posts: 41
Originally Posted by crazytravelguy View Post
Does loading serve with amex still count as purchase?
You will not earn any points, and it will not count towards a spending threshold.
12HRS is offline  
Old Feb 17, 17, 8:16 am
  #71  
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 264
Originally Posted by amazingjames View Post
I don't think it hurts or helps based on past data points. I've been sending mortgage payments for about a year now on my last remaining serve. So far it's still alive. Personally, I think it's more important that your account is profitable to them. How you make it profitable for both parties is up to you.
What are the best ways for us to make it profitable for them? Keep a volume of cash in the account?
coffee18 is offline  
Old Feb 17, 17, 10:34 am
  #72  
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 3,158
Originally Posted by kciflyer View Post
Went to a WM I usually don't go to in order to load my Serve One VIP card with a split transaction of two $500 Simon's VGCs. After confirming the $1000 amount, I told the CSR that I wanted to split the payment between 2 debit cards of $500 each. The CSR mumbled something about not being able to do that and went back and asked her manager. She came back and said she couldn't split payments for loading "prepaid cards." I told her okay cancel the transaction. She called her manager out to cancel the transaction and then I said in both their presence, that I would just load $500 on one of my debit cards. The manager told me I couldn't. I wasn't sure of the reason, so I said what if I come back to tomorrow and try to load $500 (thinking it was some kind of Serve issue where once you try to load a certain amount and have the load cancelled, you can't try it again for few hours). Anyway, the manager says that if she recognized me she wouldn't let me load it tomorrow since I tried to split a transction with two debit cards. I told her my bank limits me to $500 on any debit card transaction and she tells me that I could call my bank and get preauthorization for one $1000 transaction. I said okay, thanks and left. I know its YMMV, but has this happened to anyone else? It's like splitting a transaction was a sign of MSing so they in effect ban that person from any more loads on cards like Serve. They never asked to see my debit cards. I went straight to my WM Neighborhood Market store and managed to do the $1000 load with no problems per usual. Hopefully this is a rogue WM and not a sign of things to come.
Did you really think that they would let you load $500 when they know clearly that you were just trying to split two $500? Once you failed with trying to load, you just gotta walk away and come back another time since they know that you are using a "preapid card".

Even the $500 "bank limit" excuse wouldn't work because if they said "OK" they would just ask to see your 2 cards and you would still be screwed.
ericdabbs is offline  
Old Feb 25, 17, 9:10 pm
  #73  
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Posts: 629
Anybody know when the last shutdown happened?
Stivelio is offline  
Old Feb 25, 17, 9:27 pm
  #74  
 
Join Date: Nov 2016
Posts: 26
Originally Posted by Stivelio View Post
Anybody know when the last shutdown happened?
My last 4 were shut down the beginning of Jan '17
shawnster1 is offline  
Old Feb 25, 17, 10:54 pm
  #75  
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Houston
Programs: HiltonH-Diamond, IHG-Plat, Hyatt-Diamond,SPG-newbie
Posts: 294
Originally Posted by 12HRS View Post
You will not earn any points, and it will not count towards a spending threshold.

will this work for SPG biz Amex?
tdrag97 is offline  

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