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 - Appears to no longer be working with any brand of VCG.

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 5, 19, 12:33 pm
  #931  
 
Join Date: Sep 2016
Posts: 170
Originally Posted by prasha11 View Post
No, my account is not banned (may be?), not make any deposits. My balance now is under a $ and able to log in. All loadable and "PURGE-ABLE" cards (used for MS) are scam (imho)
glad you're here in the MS forum contributing - very valuable - thanks!
Prometheus77 likes this.
beast7276 is offline  
Old Jul 5, 19, 12:47 pm
  #932  
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 3,699
Originally Posted by prasha11 View Post
No, my account is not banned (may be?), not make any deposits. My balance now is under a $ and able to log in. All loadable and "PURGE-ABLE" cards (used for MS) are scam (imho)
I know you're not a newbie MSer so I'm not sure if you're just trolling out of boredom.

We know (or you should know by now) that when axp shuts down S/BB accounts, they allow cardholder full access to their available balance, they can't just load their cards once shut down. IOW, cardholders do NOT lose any funds, just can't add funds to continue using the card.
Mamibear is offline  
Old Jul 5, 19, 4:22 pm
  #933  
Hyatt 5+ BadgeMarriott 5+ Badge
 
Join Date: Jan 2017
Location: EWR/PHL/BWI
Posts: 2,703
The most recent 1 to 1.5 pages of discussion does not have any value. I agree with MB that, it looks like "trolling out of boredom". All the info is here or in the Wiki.

I'd like to see some discussion that can be of some value. Move on.
RedSun is online now  
Old Jul 5, 19, 7:42 pm
  #934  
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Los Angles
Posts: 2,101
Originally Posted by RedSun View Post
The most recent 1 to 1.5 pages of discussion does not have any value. I agree with MB that, it looks like "trolling out of boredom". All the info is here or in the Wiki.

I'd like to see some discussion that can be of some value. Move on.
Originally Posted by Mamibear View Post
I know you're not a newbie MSer so I'm not sure if you're just trolling out of boredom.

We know (or you should know by now) that when axp shuts down S/BB accounts, they allow cardholder full access to their available balance, they can't just load their cards once shut down. IOW, cardholders do NOT lose any funds, just can't add funds to continue using the card.

I am not a regular MSer anymore, and I rarely post.

Last edited by prasha11; Jul 5, 19 at 8:06 pm
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Old Jul 18, 19, 6:29 am
  #935  
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Programs: Continental Onepass, Hilton, Marriott, USAir and now UA
Posts: 3,450
Although I read the Wiki and it appears that I can, I would just like to verify that I can load a MCGC onto a Serve or BB card.
(Sorry for the somewhat newbie question).
radonc1 is offline  
Old Jul 18, 19, 7:43 am
  #936  
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Posts: 711
Originally Posted by radonc1 View Post
Although I read the Wiki and it appears that I can, I would just like to verify that I can load a MCGC onto a Serve or BB card.
(Sorry for the somewhat newbie question).
it should... if still work, pin is not needed
danhouston is offline  
Old Jul 18, 19, 10:49 am
  #937  
 
Join Date: Sep 2016
Posts: 8
Odd experience today. I tried to load $1k with Serve at WM this am. Usually I just do $500 at a time to keep it simple. I swiped my Serve, she asked how much, i told her $1k. She said it would have to be $500 in two swipes. Either she messed something up with the machine or the machine acted up, but the cashier had to void my transaction. (I had swiped and entered the pin for the first card at that point, but she never hit anything on her end. She then ran it up again, for $1k, i swiped both cards, both appeared to work, at least no error was given when I swiped the first card. 2nd card appeared to go through as well. It shows on the receipt 2x $500 debit tenders from both cards, but only $500 was loaded. I didn't realize until I got back to my computer and logged in to withdraw that only $500 was loaded.

Anyone experienced this? Unsure who to contact first about this or if I just need to wait for the transactions to clear? Will one of the $500 loads that clearly did not load be refunded back to the vgc?
snork is offline  
Old Jul 18, 19, 8:52 pm
  #938  
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Programs: Continental Onepass, Hilton, Marriott, USAir and now UA
Posts: 3,450
Originally Posted by snork View Post
Odd experience today. I tried to load $1k with Serve at WM this am. Usually I just do $500 at a time to keep it simple. I swiped my Serve, she asked how much, i told her $1k. She said it would have to be $500 in two swipes. Either she messed something up with the machine or the machine acted up, but the cashier had to void my transaction. (I had swiped and entered the pin for the first card at that point, but she never hit anything on her end. She then ran it up again, for $1k, i swiped both cards, both appeared to work, at least no error was given when I swiped the first card. 2nd card appeared to go through as well. It shows on the receipt 2x $500 debit tenders from both cards, but only $500 was loaded. I didn't realize until I got back to my computer and logged in to withdraw that only $500 was loaded.

Anyone experienced this? Unsure who to contact first about this or if I just need to wait for the transactions to clear? Will one of the $500 loads that clearly did not load be refunded back to the vgc?
Not an expert at all on Serve, but I have done a bit of reading and these are the steps I would suggest
1. Check and make sure that money has not been returned on one of the cards. This can happen fairly quickly but I think waiting until tomorrow is okay.
2. If both cards are drained, then the WM you loaded your Serve card with now has $500 more in it's till than it should. You will need to go back there with your purchase receipts and cards to show the CSR at the service desk (or MC) that you were suppose to load $1000 but only got $500. They apparently do audits daily and the store should be able to work through with you and refund your money. Since you are using non-reloadable cards, they will refund you in cash.
3. If you still have not recovered your funds, then it is off to MG which, from reading, takes a lot more effort and time.

In general, I have found that simply waiting and rechecking your GC balance will show you that money has been refunded back to your card after a void is done by the cashier. In any case, don't lose your receipt.
radonc1 is offline  
Old Jul 22, 19, 12:36 pm
  #939  
 
Join Date: Jul 2019
Posts: 2
New to this thread and researching thanks for all the info guys and gals ')
Abalos is offline  
Old Jul 23, 19, 8:11 am
  #940  
 
Join Date: Jun 2019
Posts: 3
Did my first Serve loads this week at WM and then used the billpay feature to liquidate. Really pleased with how easy it was. Only question is that WM charges a fee for loading the Serve and I wasn't familiar with that before. Is that right or do I have a crappy version of the Serve?
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Old Jul 23, 19, 9:27 am
  #941  
 
Join Date: Mar 2019
Posts: 18
Originally Posted by j_d_p View Post
Did my first Serve loads this week at WM and then used the billpay feature to liquidate. Really pleased with how easy it was. Only question is that WM charges a fee for loading the Serve and I wasn't familiar with that before. Is that right or do I have a crappy version of the Serve?
Wrong version.
yaji is offline  
Old Jul 23, 19, 1:55 pm
  #942  
Hyatt 5+ BadgeMarriott 5+ Badge
 
Join Date: Jan 2017
Location: EWR/PHL/BWI
Posts: 2,703
The new Serve monthly fee has increased.
RedSun is online now  
Old Jul 23, 19, 3:14 pm
  #943  
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 3,204
Originally Posted by RedSun View Post
The new Serve monthly fee has increased.
What was the monthly fee before? Haven't been in the Serve game for awhile.
ericdabbs is offline  
Old Jul 23, 19, 4:00 pm
  #944  
Hyatt 5+ BadgeMarriott 5+ Badge
 
Join Date: Jan 2017
Location: EWR/PHL/BWI
Posts: 2,703
Originally Posted by ericdabbs View Post
What was the monthly fee before? Haven't been in the Serve game for awhile.
Green was $4.95 just months ago. I think new fee is like $6.95 or $7.95.

Not sure about Grey.
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Old Jul 26, 19, 12:08 pm
  #945  
 
Join Date: Sep 2016
Posts: 8
Originally Posted by radonc1 View Post
Not an expert at all on Serve, but I have done a bit of reading and these are the steps I would suggest
1. Check and make sure that money has not been returned on one of the cards. This can happen fairly quickly but I think waiting until tomorrow is okay.
2. If both cards are drained, then the WM you loaded your Serve card with now has $500 more in it's till than it should. You will need to go back there with your purchase receipts and cards to show the CSR at the service desk (or MC) that you were suppose to load $1000 but only got $500. They apparently do audits daily and the store should be able to work through with you and refund your money. Since you are using non-reloadable cards, they will refund you in cash.
3. If you still have not recovered your funds, then it is off to MG which, from reading, takes a lot more effort and time.

In general, I have found that simply waiting and rechecking your GC balance will show you that money has been refunded back to your card after a void is done by the cashier. In any case, don't lose your receipt.
So I went back to WM on Monday and they wanted me to wait a couple more days to see if the money would be refunded. Then today we called bhn customer service to file a dispute (chargeback) because the walmart customer service manager claims she could not refund the charge (I was watching her try). What is strange is it looks like there were two cards swiped for loading. One was my Serve card, the other just says 'Debit Load' with some random numbers. I definitely only swiped 3 cards (Serve for loading, then 2 VGCs for payment) . I wasn't sure if maybe they attempted to load to one of the VGCs, but I don't see how that could have happened.

Anyhow. I started the dispute process.. will update, hopefully to understand what went wrong / what to avoid (although for me I think I'll just stick to one load at a time)
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