Family Dollar Lets You Load American Express Serve With Gift Cards!

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Update:  Many folks are reporting AMEX has shut down their Bluebird and Serve accounts with no notice.

Update:  Do NOT load more than $500 per day to your Serve at Family Dollar.  There are reports that loading a 2nd time results in money being debited from the gift card, but NOT getting loaded to the Serve card!

Are you wondering what to do now that you can’t load Vanilla Visa cards to your Bluebird account at Walmart anymore?

You can now load MasterCard & Visa gift cards to your American Express Serve account at Family Dollar stores.  This includes Vanilla Visa cards!

In the miles and points game, things are constantly changing.  And there will always be new ways to earn miles and points.  I’ll show you how to do it!

Family Dollar Lets You Load American Express Serve With Gift Cards

You Can Load Gift Cards to Your American Express Serve Account at Family Dollar

What’s Serve?

Link:   American Express Serve

American Express Serve is a prepaid card that works in a similar way to American Express Bluebird.   Much like an online bank account, you can make direct deposits, pay bills, send and receive money, and withdraw cash for free at MoneyPass ATMs.  However, it does not come with checks like Bluebird does.

The daily and monthly loading limits for Serve are as follows:

  • Load using debit or gift cards (this includes loading at Family Dollar):   $2,500 per day and $5,000 per month
  • Online debit card load (does NOT work with gift cards):   $200 per day and $1,000 per month
  • Online credit card load:   $200 per day and $1,000 per month
  • Load from a checking or savings account:   $2,000 per month
  • Check deposit (using their mobile app):   $2,000 per day and $10,000 per month
  • ATM withdrawals:   $750 per day and $2,000 per month
  • Family Dollar Lets You Load American Express Serve With Gift Cards

    Serve Is a Prepaid Account Similar to Bluebird

But you CANNOT have a Serve and Bluebird account at the SAME time.  If you already have a Bluebird account, you’ll need to call the number on the back of the card and cancel the account before you can sign-up for Serve.  Be sure that your account has a zero balance before you cancel it.

This Flyertalk thread has a good wiki with instructions on the exact process for switching from Bluebird to Serve.

If you don’t have a Bluebird account, you can sign-up for Serve online, or purchase a temporary card at 1 of the following stores:

  • CVS
  • Duane Reade
  • Family Dollar
  • Fred’s Super Dollar
  • Office Depot
  • Sheetz
  • Walgreens
  • Walmart

How Does This Work?

The folks at Serve recently sent an email announcing free cash reloads at Family Dollar.  But this also includes using debit and gift cards to load your Serve!

You can buy gift cards with PINs (which work like debit cards) with a miles and points earning credit card, then load the gift cards into your Serve account!

Family Dollar Lets You Load American Express Serve With Gift Cards

Free Cash AND Gift Card Reloads at Family Dollar!

Update:  Do NOT load more than $500 per day to your Serve at Family Dollar.  There are reports that loading a 2nd time results in money being debited from the gift card, but NOT getting loaded to the Serve card!

Or you can pay many bills (via the online bill pay system) you can’t normally pay with a credit card (like rent, mortgages, student loans, utilities, or credit cards).

This could help you meet the minimum spending requirements to get credit card sign-up bonuses.

Here’s How You Do It

Link:   Family Dollar Store Locator

I went to my local Family Dollar to give it a try, and it worked!  All Visa & MasterCard gift cards (which let you set a PIN) should work – including One Vanilla and Vanilla Visa gift cards.

Step 1:   Find the Gift Card Rack

Go to the gift card rack and find a special Vanilla Reload card.

You don’t *have* to find this Vanilla Reload card and can just go to the cashier and ask to reload your Serve card.

Family Dollar Lets You Load American Express Serve With Gift Cards

Find the Gift Card Rack at Family Dollar

This Vanilla Reload card is the kind that can’t be removed from the store.  It looks like a regular Vanilla Reload card which you can load online  But if you turn it around, you’ll see that it isn’t.

Family Dollar Lets You Load American Express Serve With Gift Cards

Find the Special Vanilla Reloads on the Gift Card Rack

They’ll say “Do Not Remove From Store:  See Cashier to Purchase” on the back.

Family Dollar Lets You Load American Express Serve With Gift Cards

These Vanilla Reloads Are Different From the Ones We’re Used To!

If you can’t find 1, ask the cashier (just say you want to reload your Serve card) and they should have a barcode behind the checkout counter they can scan instead.  I was NOT be charged the $3.95 reload fee.

Step 2:   Bring the Vanilla Reload, Your Serve Card, and Your Gift Card to the Cashier

I went to the cashier with the special Vanilla Reload card.  After scanning the card, I was able to swipe my Serve card, then swipe the gift card (which works like a debit card).  And the gift card worked!

Note that you will have to enter your PIN to complete the transaction.

Family Dollar Lets You Load American Express Serve With Gift Cards

The Gift Card Load Was Approved!

You should keep the receipt until you confirm that the money is in your Serve account.  I got an instant email alert that the money was in the Serve account!

Out of curiosity, I tried to load my Bluebird card with a gift card using the same method.  The transaction was declined.

Family Dollar Lets You Load American Express Serve With Gift Cards

This Method Does NOT Work With Bluebird

So if you want to load gift cards at Family Dollar, you’ll have to get a Serve account.

But this is a great solution for those folks who were left with Vanilla Visa gift cards they couldn’t load to their Bluebird anymore at Walmart!  Remember, Vanilla Visa gift cards are easiest to use because you set the PIN the 1st time you use it.

Update:  Do NOT load more than $500 per day to your Serve at Family Dollar.  There are reports that loading a 2nd time results in money being debited from the gift card, but NOT getting loaded to the Serve card!

Bottom Line

You can buy Visa or MasterCard gift cards with a credit card to earn miles and points, then load the gift card onto your Serve account at Family Dollar.

You’ll need to find a special Vanilla Reload card for the cashier to scan, or ask the cashier to use the barcode they keep behind the counter.  Then you can swipe your Serve card and load it with a gift card!

Serve is a good way to pay bills that can’t normally be paid with a credit card.  And you can withdraw cash for free at MoneyPass ATMs.

Please let me know if you try this method in the comments, and mention the kind of gift card you used.

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205 responses to “Family Dollar Lets You Load American Express Serve With Gift Cards!

  1. Seems stupid to pay to get a gift card to reload…. When a cash reload is FREE for many other cards at other places