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

  1. Can you reload the vanilla gift cards using a credit card? Specifically an amexican express.

  2. I’m new at this, so bear with me. I just received my SERVE card. I have a new Amex card, which awards me 30,000 miles if I spend $1000.00 in 90 days. Can you repeat the instructions on how to buy a Visa or Mastercard gift card (must have a PIN?) with my Amex card and load the gift card to my SERVE card? I don’t understand how the Vanilla Reload card is used, but it seems that I need one for this process. Do the Mastercard and Visa gift cards have a fee to use? Also, it seems that I should load no more than $500.00 per day onto SERVE. Must the gift cards be $500.00 each? Or can they be more, but only download $500.00 per day? Thank you.

  3. Worked like a charm yesterday in Houston. I’m new to this stuff, so I’m viewing these early transactions as learning experiences. No need to get in a rush, particularly when I’m only looking to spend about $2K/mo. For those with questions, there are myriad sources to learn the nuts and bolts of this process. So I’ll just tell you what I did so far:
    1. I need to meet my $2500 minimum spend withing 4 months on a new rewards card.
    2. Went to 3-4 places (grocery & office supply stores) and struck out — cash only.
    3. I had other purchases to make each time, so the whole trip wasn’t a total waste — time is money!
    4. Purchased a $500 OneVanilla GC ($3.95 fee; not reloadable; option to set PIN on first use) at Walgreen’s.
    5. NOTE: The clerk asked if I had cash for my purchase. I did not, so he opted to complete the sale with credit card.
    6. Used $100 of the GC to pay on my student loan using Evolve Money. (Testing my options here!)
    7. Took the GC and my Serve card to FD and loaded the remaining $400 to Serve. No fee.

    The clerk at FD knew exactly what I wanted to do. He had the “dummy” reload card at the register — only ones on the card display were regular reload cards. But he also thought the process included a fee to me, and I was hoping he was wrong. I went through the steps until the purchase amount came up on his screen, and he seemed mildly surprised that there was no fee. (I, however, was more than mildly relieved.) As best I can tell, the reason for scanning the “special barcode” is because the register needs a transaction code of some kind. It seems to act as a conduit for the transaction. I have no idea if this would work using any GC other than a Vanilla Brand card. I’m sure someone else can better answer that part. If not, then I guess we need a volunteer guinea pig. 🙂

  4. So where are people currently finding they can purchase Vanilla reloads with a credit card? Report your state and the store, please. I’m sure it will help many people who are discouraged from running all over town tryign to find them. Thanks

  5. @Casey was the issue loading Serve account occurred on your 2nd reload at FD on the same day?

  6. I had no issues at Family Dollar this morning. I will say that the clerk eyed me suspiciously, but since this was my first MS ever, perhaps I was a bit paranoid anyway… I used my SPG AmEx to purchase a $500 OneVanilla Visa Gift Card (gold present/box, says Debit on the card, $5.95 fee, set PIN with first swipe, issued by Bancorp) at CVS in North Austin (TX). I also loaded my Serve account at a Family Dollar in North Austin.

  7. @Akshay It wasn’t a second reload. I’ve heard about that being an issue though. I’m still disputing with Simon GC to get the $500 back.

  8. @Casey My 1st Server load of my own card was successful. The 2nd load on my spouse card had this issue. I used OVGC.
    The issue is in FD’s POS system where they first they authenticate Debit card (OVGC) and thus deducting the amount from your account, then raise fraud alert and thus not completing Serve load transaction.
    The FD manager and FD’s Technical Enterprise Center said that its temp hold on OVGC. They said that money will be back on OVGC in couple of days.
    I have already raise dispute with OV customer service to get my money back. It may take 60 days to resolve the dispute.

  9. I have been loading $500 once every two weeks, using this helpful article.
    For love of God, PLEASE PLEASE… do not try to go beyond the suggested $500 a day at Family Dollar or the monthly limit set by the Serve. Do not ruin it for rest of us like other greedy fools who ruined BB load at WM. In fact, go below $500! since my first attempt last Sunday was flagged as fradulent when I tried to load all $500 on the card. I moved to other register and loaded $400 no problem. Please please tread carefully and don’t get greedy!

  10. Hi Daraius. I used to have the Serve card back in 2013 but closed it in Jan 2014 in order to open a Bluebird in Feb 2014 (waited the 1 mth standard time to apply for BB). Now with these latest changes, seems like Serve is a better deal. Am I able to cancel my BB and reapply for Serve? Or will it be deemed suspicious or will I get rejected since I closed the Serve back in Jan? Thx!

  11. Herme, I did the same without any issue. You can wait for 30 days to apply or use SSN trick to have them validate your application offline.

  12. HELP!!!! I just went to Family Dollar to add $500 to my Amex Serve with a Vanilla Visa Gift Card. The transaction seemed to go through fine – on the pin pad, said approved, then a few lines down, “declined.” The entire cash register shut down, the screen said “fraud alert,” etc….

    I offered to come back after another errand. When I did, I was told by the manager that they could only load $495 max, and that, due to the fraud alert, I had to come back 24 hours later. Fine. When I got home, I checked my gc balance – sure enough – $500 was gone. But it was NOT added to my AMEX Serve Account. So $500 has disappeared. I will try to call Family Dollar Corporate, but at this point, do I have any other options??? I can’t believe this has happened! And I have no receipt b/c the register shut down…

  13. Does this still work?

    I tried today in Brooklyn but was denied bc “you’re not allowed to load a serve card with a gift card”.

    Any insight you can share would be much appreciated!

  14. Pingback: AMEX Serve Targeted Offer: Up to a $25 Credit When You Make 5 Purchases | Million Mile Secrets

  15. @David Zion Try a different Family Dollar. I was able to load again yesterday. No issues.

  16. Hi Dario.

    I am trying to get miles by citi AMEX 50000 promo. I jumped in and opened a Serve account, but I am having a hard time finding the One Vanilla and Vanilla Visa gift cards. I went to Staples, CVS, Walgreens, without success… I am going to try some more, but I wanted to know if you can give us an update about the gift cards that can be loaded since I got a bit confused with the # of options available…In CVS there was some visa gift cards in either white with a “golden gift” and a “silver one” with a black and silver gift box wrapped in silver bow. Are these good to go? They are visa – vainilla and they can have pins so I am assuming the answer is yes? One looks like this:

    http://www.walgreens.com/store/c/vanilla-visa-non-denominational-gift-card/ID=prod6217704-product

  17. Do the one vanilla cards all automatically have pins with them? I saw a bunch at different stores, flipped them around, and I didn’t see anywhere on the packaging where any of them said they had pin capability. Do I just assume they all do and buy one regardless?

  18. Succeeded earlier today with a $100 load to test the waters. Used a standard Vanilla VGC, set pin at FD. Receipt shows approval and only $100 spent. Serve account showed instant cash deposit. Thanks! Now to track down cheaper 3.95 fee cards, cheapest Ive found were 4.95

  19. Pingback: Walgreens Deal: $5 Walgreens Gift Card when you buy 2 Vanilla Gift Cards 8/24-30 » Doctor Of Credit

  20. Update: Successfully loaded 500 VGC at FD no problem. Do note that the manager was required for any load as theres some sort of pin they need to enter.

  21. I am wondering a direct credit card load at a store would work IF the credit card is a PIN based one similar to one in use in Europe.

  22. Tried 3 family dollars in south Florida and it worked once. It didn’t work the next 3 time I tried. Cash only ..

  23. Khaliv Lindsteimer

    Can you use Vanilla Gift Debits to load Serve at any of the other locations? CVS, 7-11, or Walmart? Or does this only work at Family Dollar?

    To those looking to buy Gift Cards with a Credit Card I’ve found most grocery stores sell them to those using a CC. You can turn around and buy a money order with it at many of these same groceries.

    Let me know please if anyone has any luck loading the way you would at Family Dollar, at any of the other stores noted on the card where one can “add funds”.

    Thanks in Advance!

  24. Tried my local Family Dollar 8/27/14. Had been no issues since it started the program for using Debit to load Serve. Once I forgot that Amex GC’s do not let you assign a pin and felt stupid for trying afterwards, but with proper cards set up with pin and registered to me, no problem at all.

    I was rejected by store clerk before starting the transaction. CASH ONLY.
    I asked if this was this store’s policy or chain-wide. I was told it was the whole chain. I will try a different one if I get a chance as a test though.

    Any solid evidence of this new policy of cash only for the whole chain? Google did not turn up anything with my search parameters.

    They said it was due to a lot of fraud. I asked how can it be fraud if you give them your ID and they match it up and the funds must be available to be approved for it to work? They said it was very easy to fraud the system. Maybe they consider the method with Debit GC’s “fraud” in their minds, but I gave up asking questions. Idiots in my opinion.

    Not a huge problem as I can go to WM- just not as convenient.

  25. I was able to load $496!? at Family Dollar store today.
    Clerk expected I would be charged $3.95 fee but it did not happen and she verbally confirmed it. But the load was in amount of $496 with $4 remaining on my OVGC (called to check the balance).
    Any advice what to tell them to avoid having $4 left on my OVGC next time?

  26. Queens NY FD store only accepting cash to load Amex Serve. District manager for NY stores has issued an order to only accept CASH to load Amex Serve since August 28, 2014. Was not able to load Serve card using Vanilla Debit Visa Gift Card.

  27. I loaded $500 from a Simon Mall Visa GC yesterday at FD in Houston. No issues.

  28. This Serve account, how does it allow you to pay peer to peer? Do they have to have an account? Does it send checks?? Can I electronically transfer funds to their bank/account? What is the fee for peer to peer?

  29. To those with Cash only problems, I have yet to encounter this. But upon unloading 500 GC at FD on 8/28, I was told debit only and they asked to see a debit card and id. Nothing was written, but I obviously presented a card with my name on it and not a VGC. Time to test the waters at another store.

  30. Hi, The Family Dollar Store at Whittier ( Los Angeles ), California would only load cash into Serve. Any advice ? Thanks !

  31. Shelley Terrizzi

    DO NOT LOAD MORE THAN $500 PER DAY AT FAMILY DOLLAR WITH GIFT CARD/DEBIT.

    So I tried to go to family dollar and load $500 from a gift/debit card to my SERVE account. It worked….everything got loaded. Then I tried to go ahead and do it again in the same day…. Same thing happened to me that happened to Mary.

    Everything seemed to go fine, but it declined the transaction. Her computer froze and had to shut it down. So I had no choice but to leave. I got no receipt from the computer. It didnt appear to go through. Sure enough I check my gift card and the balance was $0 but the gift card showed that I made a $500 purchase at Family Dollar. So now I have to go back to family dollar and try and work this out. I called Visa and they said it would be on Family dollars “electronic journal” print out. Something that probably the manager will have to do for me. Not even sure if I can get a re-fund. Visa said that if nothing happens with Family Dollar that I can try calling them back and see what they can do but they were showing it as a purchase on their end.

    Just beware that loading more than $500 per day, it doesnt appear to work or load it to your serve account….but it will deduct from your gift card.

  32. anyone found a solution or another work around for
    1) cash only for loading at FD
    2) making large mortgage/peer to peer payments?

    thanks

  33. what is the max load amt for Serve?

    * Load using debit or gift cards: $2,500 per day and $5,000 per month
    * Online debit card load: $200 per day and $1,000 per month
    * Online credit card load: $200 per day and $1,000 per month

    so $7K a month?

  34. @DJ, For regular Serve, yes. ISIS Serve allows $8K monthly.

  35. @Casey and @Adam and others – Anyone have an update on how they got their $500 dollar refunded from Family Dollar? I am having the same problem. Your feedback is greatly appreciated. I am working with Family Dollar to get the refund since the $500 did not load into my serve, but I am playing the waiting game. Almost 3 weeks now….

  36. I just received my card in the mail. The brochure attached stated all the benefits and it only costs $1 per month. What if there is no money on the card? Do they collect it the next time money is loaded?

    I see there are a few options to have the fee waived.. and that would be to load $500 a month or have direct deposit or have the card in the Isis Wallet.

    What do you do?

    Thanks for any advice.

  37. If you online load your Serve with credit card to max of $1,000 per month you won’t be charged the $1 fee per month. That’s what I do.

  38. Which gift card do I need to buy which I can load onto the Serve card?

  39. I bought a simon mall gift card and tried to load it to my serve at family dollar. No luck. Dont try this with a gift card that does not have a pin. It wont work. Luckily ill send the 500 dollars back to myself via amazon payments.

  40. Do you get charged the Cash Advance Fee for loading $200 a day using a CC?

  41. Casey/Akshay, Did you guys have an update about the dispute with GC and Family dollar store?

  42. I had my credit show up on OV card after 3 hours.
    On denial, FD does not print anything for your reference. I have noted down Ref numbers from POS screen. The store manager had contacted back office to notify the issue.

  43. Akshay, what store did you go to? The store manager at my store says that she “cannot” get in touch with the “back office.” Calls it a “single point of contact number” that she has to call.

  44. Anyone have an update on how they got their $500 dollar refunded from Family Dollar? I am having the same problem. Your feedback is greatly appreciated.

  45. Hi, This is probably a dumb question…but why do we have to buy a gift card to load Serve? Can’t we just buy the Vanilla Reload with credit cards and load?

  46. @brian @ bishol and who ever else. UPDATE ON REFUND FROM FAMILY DOLLAR

    I called corporate. Took 3 hours transferring back and forth to different departments with
    Me and the family dollar store manager.

    Apparently the money should go back on the card in 30 days- no earlier.

    Also I just got turned down at a family dollar that I’ve been using pin gift cards. He said family dollar is only doing cash now, not debit cards. Might try another one but I think they will put a stop to it soon.

    For all of those people that it seems to be working for and have questions…. It’s different in every store. But vanilla visa gift cards are best to use. It activates once you buy it and whatever you type in for a pin the first time is what the pin sets too. Also trying loading $490 or some random amount at FD because sometimes even if someone else tried the same day before you…if it’s the same amount then it can set off the fraud alert and your gift card will be the one that gets the funds taken from and now you will have to wait 30 days to get it back.

    If you do need to call family dollar….GET
    A HOLD OF TECHNICAL SUPPORT. They seem to be the ones that can access transactions that are “pending” or “denied” and never actually went through. They did give me a case number for my particular case.

  47. @Maora

    Not a dumb question. I am a newbie too, and I think that I have it figured out: You can’t buy Vanilla Reload with a credit card anymore. The last place apparently that you used to be able to buy them was at CVS, but sometime in April 2014 they went cash only, apparently. I think it is rare find places that will sell you VRs on credit cards.

  48. @Sean

    I see! Thanks. I found those at Sunoco (gas station). Has anyone tried buying Vanilla Reload there?

  49. @Maora
    I have tried Sunoco and have been successful once. It depends on the cashier, I have not been there in a while so their systems might have been updated following in CVS’s path and made it so they cannot be purchased by CC.

  50. Unable to load using GC at FD Brooklyn, NY store. Brooklyn, NY FD stores have been told by Director of that area to only accept cash for reload. Anyone been able to load using GC since October 1, 2014 in that area? Please post. Thank you.

  51. “I tried to load $200 from my Chase United Club card this morning and the transaction was declined. After a talk with Chase, the transaction was attempted as a cash advance. I just loaded $200 yesterday on 10/1 with no problem, so it could be a very new change. Anyone else have this issue with other Chase cards?

    Update from Chase: Serve is keying the transaction as a cash advance and they have no control over that but previous transactions were coded as normal purchases.
    Update from Serve: They do not know how the transaction is coded as a “purchase” or a “cash advance” and that is up to the bank or credit card. They started a customer service ticket to look into the issue…”

  52. No sure if it has been confirmed or not.

    “I tried to load $200 from my Chase United Club card this morning and the transaction was declined. After a talk with Chase, the transaction was attempted as a cash advance. I just loaded $200 yesterday on 10/1 with no problem, so it could be a very new change. Anyone else have this issue with other Chase cards?

    Update from Chase: Serve is keying the transaction as a cash advance and they have no control over that but previous transactions were coded as normal purchases.
    Update from Serve: They do not know how the transaction is coded as a “purchase” or a “cash advance” and that is up to the bank or credit card. They started a customer service ticket to look into the issue…”

  53. No go in South Florida…..

  54. Happy to report this worked for me this morning! My first $500 VGC (ever) loaded to Serve like a champ.

  55. If I have a Serve sub account does that allow me to essentially double my load limit? Or would I need to have two separate accounts?

  56. @Miguel, I don’t believe you can add money to a Serve sub-account other than from a transfer from the master account holder. So to answer your question, you’d need 2 separate accounts to double your load limit.

  57. Loads have been failing in NJ and the funds are being lost in cyberspace. FD has instituted a limit of $500 a day per store …. not per customer. Seems that the 2nd load of the day fails. I actually had the FD computer system crash when I loaded my Serve and my Wife loaded hers. She couldn’t even get a receipt because after the system rebooted, it froze. Don’t know if this is throughout NJ but that’s the situation in my area. Been two weeks since we lost $500 and don’t know when the $’s will post back to the gift card. Another person @ the store has the same problem w/ funds being lost.

  58. Still no luck on getting my $500 back since July. Will try Tech Support at Family Dollar.

  59. Casey … Let me know who you contact @ FD w/ another post. I will contact the same department. Maybe seeing multiple complaints will help? I haven’t heard a peep from FD.

  60. Does NOT work in South FLorida (Miami/Lauderdale).

  61. Finally had $500.00 posted back to my VGC after 5 weeks. I left a message on FD Facebook and got a reply the next day. The trick in NJ is that each store only allows one load per day per store. I always ask if anyone else loaded their Serve card before I load mine. Haven’t had any problems in the last month.

  62. Why would anyone pay $5 or so to buy a gift card with your CC to get 1% back in terms of credit card points, which is one and the same?

  63. @Jaggu- The main reason to buy gift cards for a fee is to meet minimum spending requirement. If you have three cards and need to spend 10k to get their bonuses, it makes sense. Otherwise it doesn’t. Newbies don’t understand this and end up wasting their time and money.

  64. Anyone still doing this and having any issues of late? I got three $5 off visa vanilla GC at Rite-Aid coupons (fatwallet blog), and was going to load these on my Serve. I have this post set up for subscription replies, thanks.

  65. I got this to work once, at the beginning of October. I’ve never been able to do it since that day. I’ve tried multiple locations in several states. The registers report the form of tender isn’t accepted.

  66. I load $5K per month @ FD. Gets me 50K hotel points for under $100. The 50K points gets me a bogo hotel stay. My Wife has the same CC so we just got back from a 10 night Caribbean stay and our upgrade suite would have cost $700 per night. Using the other MS techniques plus Serve / FD loads, our cost was in the $30 per night range.

  67. What I know … I only use vanilla Visa pin enabled. The FD policy is $500 per day per store. If others load $500 on any day, your load will fail. I use 2 different FD stores and haven’t had any problems except a time when my Wife loaded $500 on her card and I tried mine after her. My load failed and it took 5 weeks for the $500 to be restored to my card. I always ask the clerk if anyone loaded a Serve that day.

  68. @DavidNJ, thanks. I’m going to buy 1, try it, and go from there.

  69. I’d like to report that that FD reloads are still working (in Austin). Today, I stopped in with my MCgift cards (1x$200, 1x$100) and successfully loaded them to Serve via Vanilla reload. The cashier even told me to keep the VR card for next time. haha

  70. @Dave So you loaded your Serve with MCgift cards via VR…so you bought VR with your MCgift cards? Doesnt make sense.

  71. I’ve been loading Serve @ FD Successfully for months with $200 VCGs from Metabank. Just tried with a $500 Metabank VGC purchased from AAA, and received a fraud alert & denied at the FD register. Tried re-confirming amount at VGC phone and says amount is now $0! I did not get any receipt from Family Dollar since transaction we denied (assumed it wouldn’t effect balance). I’m having AAA try to research – anyone have similar experience or suggestions?

  72. Someone else probably loaded their Serve @ that store the same day. There is a limit of $500 per store per day. It took 5 weeks until my VGC balance of $500 was restored. I dumped my Serve this month after maxing out the $5K and got an Amex Target Redbird. Can load $2,500 per day for a max of $5K per month and no fee.

  73. Thanks DavidNJ – appreciated. I also had the pleasure of having my failed Serve load hang up the FD cash register, apparently for about 30 minutes. I also couldn’t get a receipt. Thanks for the tip about posting to the FD Facebook page. I thought this whole issue was caused by a new variant of a Metabank Visa Gift Debit card, but now I’m wondering if it was a previous loader in the same store. Making me a bit gun-shy… I’ve had success in Georgia loading $400 to my card, then $400 to my wife’s in the same FD, same day. thanks again

  74. I just tried to load my Serve account at my local Family Dollar today, and I was told they can’t load Visa gift cards since they don’t have my name on the cards, it is part of their fraud prevention policy. I told him I have done it twice before at this very location with two other different clerks, and the clerk replied they should not have. He did agree to call the store manager at home, and the manager said they can’t take load a debit/gift card (American Express Serve) with a gift/debit card (Visa GC). Has anyone else had this experience?

  75. Loaded $1,200 in $100 increments yesterday at Family Dollar with no problems. All posted.

  76. @Daniel you don’t “buy” VR. It’s just a piece of cardboard with a Barcode in the back. You take it to the register, tell cashier you want to load your Serve card using your debit card (in this case it was my MC gift cards with pin) They will scan the code on the VR, then tell you to swipe your Serve card. After that, swipe your GC, enter pin and the transaction goes through. You don’t actually get charged for the VR fee.

  77. David – did you have luck commenting on FD facebook page to help get your $500 back? I’m ok waiting 30 days if I get the funds back, I just don’t know who to talk to about it.

  78. Does this still work at FD? What are the best gift cards to purchase?

  79. loaded 500 to serve at FD using one vanilla GC

  80. I tried to load my Serve card from Visa gift cards at the FD in Peekskill, NY a few weeks ago and was told they only accept cash.

  81. Yesterday I tried to load one vanilla ($500) to my wife’s Serve – it worked, then another one vanilla card ($500 ) to MY serve card right after that, this failed. I had to go to another FD to get it loaded. Looks like FD has a hypersensitive fraud detection system.

  82. This is not worth the hassle or the risk

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  84. It’s 1/21/2014 and I went to Family Dollar and they said that I cannot use a credit card to load Vanilla Reloads or buy gift cards. They said it has to be cash or debit.

    Did this change since July 2014? Also, can you buy Visa gift cards at grocery stores with a credit card instead of cash or debit?

  85. Been loading 200’s gc at FD with no problems until two days ago the system failed and the one gc I used has a 0 balance. No receipt was printed but gc shows a FD purchase of 200. Future reference don’t load more than 500, one transaction per day, make sure clerk knows what she/he is doing bc system will crash and u will loose ur money on gc and make sure no one has loaded a serve that day. I see people are recieving refunds after about 5 weeks. Ps people do ur research before asking all kinds a ridiculous questions. All u see or comment boards these days are questions instead of facts bc people are too lazy to search around for awnsers

  86. My friend and I had problems loading giftcards that were not the vanilla visa brand. We tried a different type of visa gift card(same type that lets you set a pin and everything) and it got denied. No problems with vanilla visa though(wondering if vanilla MasterCard would work, NOT willing to take that gamble though). Also we went to one family dollar and they stated they no longer do the reloads as of a week prior to the day we went in there. The second family dollar had no problem and we’ve been going and doing these reloads steady for a couple months now. We suspected they were lying to us at the first family dollar location we went to.

  87. I forgot to add that I have no problems getting vanilla visa gift cards with a credit card at CVS. Walgreens it depends on the store and the cashier. Some told me cash only while others let me use a credit card to pay no problem. This is Long Island, NY. Some poster mentioned family dollar in Queens NY not allowing them to load their serve card unless they had cash. Not the case with the location on Long Island I’ve been using. This was as of literally two days ago as well.I guess it depends on the store and who is working as my previous comment states that a family dollar I went to before said they didn’t allow reloads anymore(this location is literally a town over from the family dollar location that doesn’t give me problems using my vanilla giftcards..but only the vanilla visa brand giftcards can be used).

  88. Kyra, Which location on LI?

  89. Does it work to load Vanilla Mastercards at FD, or just Visas?

  90. Just loaded $400 on My Vanilla using VGC & Target Gift cards at the FD in La Habra I had the cards spread all in front of me deciding which to load. Cashier did not trip.

  91. I just finished loading $400 on my vanilla using target and VGC at the family dollar in whittier. No hassle no problem.

  92. Another FD data point: My $500 Serve load failed, triggered the fraud alert bc someone had loaded earlier that day, funds are in limbo. Previously, this had not been an issue in my little corner of FL, but I suspect most stores have now adopted this bizarre policy. Guess I’ll wait 5 weeks. Does anyone have best management practices they can share on what to do to ensure the money isn’t lost for good / expedite the process? Could make for a good blog post, MMS, as it seems there are dozens of comments about this frustrating issue.

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  96. American Express has shut down the ability to use any type of gift cards to reload a Serve account.

    “Debit/American Express® Credit Card — add money from your debit or credit card (cash advance fees may apply for credit card loads; check with your credit card issuer for details).

    ** Please note: Gift cards cannot be used to add money”.

  97. I was told today at Family Dollar that I could not load my Serve card with a debit card. i had a Visa debit with a pin code, but the cashier had not examined the card; she just saw I had two cards in my hand. she said Serve could only be loaded with cash by store policy. I said I had loaded it last week (which was true but at another Family Dollar) and she responded that the policy was new. I didn’t think to ask her if that just applied to that store or if it was a company policy. I then went to Walmart and loaded with the Visa Debit without problems. I’ll try another Familly Dollar next time; there are several not too far away. But I wanted to know if anyone else had run into this problem with Family Dollar.

  98. I just got a serve card and will try the local family dollar store and post results. Last week I went to Walmart to ask about loading visa debit cards and the cashier at the register flat out said NO.

  99. I tried to load a VGC in my serve card at family dollar today but it didn’t work. The machine showed it was valid because fraud protection. I called the number behind the card and the representative told me it’s no longer be able to load in serve card anymore….

  100. Same here, tried to load today and got the fraud protection error message. I didnt call the # on the back of my card though. Is family dollar reload for serve dead?