AMEX Serve Will No Longer Accept MasterCard, Visa, Discover for Credit Card Loads

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Loading your AMEX Serve account is about to get less convenient.

Miles to Memories writes, starting April 16, 2015, you’ll no longer be allowed to add funds to AMEX Serve with credit cards from Discover, MasterCard, Visa, or any credit card not issued by American Express.

AMEX Serve Will No Longer Accept MasterCard Visa Discover For Credit Card Loads

This Is Your Last Chance to Load Your Serve Account With Discover, MasterCard, or Visa Credit Cards

What’s AMEX Serve?

Link:   AMEX Serve

AMEX Serve is a prepaid debit card, like AMEX Bluebird.  You can add funds, direct deposit, pay bills, deposit checks, transfer money, and withdraw cash from ATMs.  Many folks use Serve to meet minimum spending requirements on their credit cards.

You can load AMEX Serve with cash, debit, or gift cards at stores like Walmart and Family Dollar.

But the most convenient feature is that you can load up to $200 per day (maximum of $1,000 per month or $1,500 if you have Softcard) online using a debit or credit card.  But this is changing!

What Are the New Rules

Link:   AMEX Serve Changes

If you want to add funds to your AMEX Serve account using a credit card online, you’ll only be able to use American Express cards such as:

AMEX Serve Will No Longer Accept MasterCard Visa Discover For Credit Card Loads

This Change Will Start April 16, 2015

This is not good news for folks who use their AMEX Serve account to meet the minimum spending requirement on a variety of cards.  Plus, you will NOT earn miles or cash back with most AMEX cards for adding funds to Serve online.

This is still better than AMEX Bluebird, which doesn’t allow folks to add funds directly with a credit card at all.

But there is an alternative!

REDcard to the Rescue!

Link:   Why the New Redcard Beats Bluebird & Serve

With the Target REDcard you can use any credit card to add funds directly to your account at Target stores.  You can only have 1 AMEX prepaid card (either AMEX Bluebird, REDcard, or Serve).  So this may be a good time to make the switch!

Currently, REDcard is only available in certain states, so check the store locator to see if you can pick 1 up in your area.

AMEX Serve Will No Longer Accept MasterCard Visa Discover For Credit Card Loads

Sign-Up for the Target REDcard and Use Any Credit Card to Load Your Account, Plus Save 5% at Target Stores & Get Free Shipping!

You can also load more onto the REDcard account directly with a credit card than you can with Serve.  Here’s a look at the load limits:

  • Direct deposit:  $100,000 per year
  • “Cash” (loading at Target register, currently includes credit card loads):  $2,500 per day and $5,000 per month
  • Checking or savings account:  $2,000 per month
  • Debit card:  $200 per day and $1,000 per month
  • Request & receive money transactions:  $10,000 per month
  • Send money transactions:  $2,500 per month
  • Pay bills:  $15,000 per month ($5,000 per month for unregistered payees, like individuals)
  • ATM withdrawals:  $750 per day and $2,000 per month
  • Retail or online purchases:  $15,000 per month

Bottom Line

You can currently load up to $1,000 per month ($1,500 with Softcard) online to your AMEX Serve account using any credit card.  But that’s about to change!

Starting April 16, 2015, your AMEX Serve will no longer accept Visa, Discover, or MasterCard credit cards for adding funds online.   You will only be able to use American Express credit cards.

This isn’t good news for many folks with AMEX Serve accounts.  Especially because you will NOT earn miles and points for adding funds to Serve with most AMEX cards.

But luckily there’s an alternative, the Target REDcard!  With this card you load up to $5,000 per month using any credit card at Target stores!

What do you think about these changes?  And will you be making the switch to Target prepaid REDcard?

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38 responses to “AMEX Serve Will No Longer Accept MasterCard, Visa, Discover for Credit Card Loads

  1. Possibly a new low, only 14 credit card links on this page!

  2. Question… I understand I won’t earn points/miles if I load an Amex card, but if I load Serve with an Amex card will that go towards minimum spend requirements? That is still helpful for those of us without Target’s nearby. Overall this is a BIG blow for hitting spend requirements though.

  3. Not long ago someone posted a comment on a blog (maybe on FM?) saying they were aware of an ongoing disagreement about the future of the Target Prepaid REDcard in terms of its current generous feature of loading it with a credit card up to $5K/month. The comment implied that American Express would rather see the $5K/month credit card load curtailed but Target wanted to keep it as is and was willing to compensate Amex for some of the fees it incurs.

    You never know about people posting on the internet, however the timing of Amex cutting off credit card loads from Serve does raise the question as to why now in particular. It would be interesting to see if Amex comments at all about this decision, whether directly or not.

  4. Thomas Bradford

    I often wonder if the wide publicity of gaming the system for points and cash isn’t one of the reasons the best deals get nailed.

  5. Looking for a place where I can pick-up a Red Card in the greater Los Angeles region. Any recommendations? Thanks.

  6. You note that you won’t earn points with most AmEx cards…implying there are some cards where you will earn points. Any idea on which ones those are?

  7. I can’t seem to find any definite answer on whether AMEX card loads with count toward the minimum spending requirements for the card. I am especially interested in the SPG Amex because I just opened it . Thanks!

  8. So is this just about not being able to load with credit cards online? Can serve users still load vgcs in person? It is hard to understand what the real issue is here.

  9. Crap – just opened up a Serve account a month ago! Nooo! I guess I’ll load up another $1000 before mid April deadline. Right now I mainly use SERVE to pay gas/electric, which charges a fee if I were to pay through the utility companies’ websites with a cc.

    There are no REDCards yet in my area, but I’m sure this $5000 a month cc load won’t last too long since it looks like AMEX is catching on.

  10. I have been heavily using the redcard since November. I traveled out of state to get cards. As I understood things, the Am Ex Serve system was the underlying system behind the Target Am Ex Red Card. Now I am wondering if this cut off of loading with Mastercard and Visa is going to carry over to the Red Card. I also understand that Am Ex is not stupid and they fully understand that some customers of Target/Am Ex are abusing the system by loading with credit cards and then basically unloading. Of course I am careful to actually use my Red Card for some Target and Target Pharmacy purchases and I leave a balance on the cards every month, but the main reason for doing all of this is to gain the bonus points on unused credit cards and to build up certain balances. Eventually I know that this will end too….but, while it is working, it is the very best and it does get me into Target purchasing things.

  11. Is it possible to get the REDCard out of state amd then load at any local target (in FL)? Sould it be loaded to REDCard and then unloaded with BB or Serve?

  12. I am looking to get Amex Prepaid Red card as it is not available in IL yet.
    Also Have a question. If I do get the card via some means.
    Will i be able to load the card with credit card at my current Target Store ?.

    I would appreciate the answer.

    Regards
    Jayesh

  13. RedCard is not available in Texas. If I pick one up when I’m visiting relatives in Pennsylvania, will I still be able to load it at my local Texas Target store?

  14. @ Jayesh & Rebecca You can load Redbird with a credit card in most Target stores except: North Carolina, Arkansas (unconfirmed) and a couple of individual stores like the one on Atlantic Ave in Brooklyn, New York.

    This is REGARDLESS of where/how you got the temporary activated card, and also regardless of whether your local Target store offers the temporary REDcard or not.

  15. D, can you load the prepaid Redcard with a Target RedCard credit card and get 5% off?

  16. So I can get a Redbird even though it is not available in NY? Will I be able to load it at the store? I have to cancel the Serve card first-is there a time frame between canceling Serve and getting the Redbird?

  17. Kim, you will HAVE to close Serve/Bluebird before you can register for REDcard (Redbird). Before you close it, change the phone nr and email address if you plan to use the same info on Redbird; might prevent a call to cust service.

    You can load it in NY (as in most of the country) except for the Brooklyn store on Atlantic Ave (you can load it at the other two Brooklyn stores though).

    Here’s a bit more clarification on how you get REDcard: You can only get a permanent REDcard by registering online for it and you can only register online if you have the account nr + 4 digit security code of a temporary activated REDcard card, which can only be obtained by visiting a Target store that sells them. Most stores don’t, hence you will either have to visit one that does or have someone activate and send you one. You don’t need the physical card, just its info, a front picture of the card has all you need to register. Once you register online you receive the permanent card (diff acct nr than the temporary one) in your name in 10 days, by mail. Once you activate that, the temporary card becomes disabled.

    The ability to load the REDcard is independent of whether your local store carries the temporary ones or not, or where/how you obtained the temp card info (there’s nothing personal on it, its just a token to register online).

    Currently you can’t load Redbird in North Carolina. There’s reports that you can’t load it in Arkansas either, but I haven’t heard anyone confirm it. Additionally, you can’t load it at the Atlantic Ave store in Brooklyn, this one is confirmed.

  18. Important caveat- you can still use Serve for the minimum spending on Am Ex cards.

    I have already twice successfully used Serve to load online and then bill pay using Am Ex cards, which doesn’t earn points, but is an incredibly easy way to hit the minimum spends and get the bonus points (Am Ex gold and Am Ex SPG is what I’ve done so far). Takes 15 minutes per month to do and given all the Am Ex cards out there, Serve (via the softcard 1500 per month online loading) is good for $18,000 in minimum spend on Am Ex cards, or probably about $1800 worth of miles, gift cards, etc.

    I’ll just have to find other ways to hit minimum spend on non-Am Ex cards.

  19. I literally only opened my serve account 2 weeks ago so that I could pay the mortgage while earning miles. What a blow!!!

    Does anyone know if Redbird works for mortgage payments???

  20. If I use Amex SPG card to load serve account, does it count as cash advance or regular purchase?

  21. @Nomad, yes you can pay your mortgage or rent with Redbird, you can pay anything and anyone for that matter, the same as you’d do with a checking account, via online payments.

    If Redbird doesn’t have an electronic payment agreement with the business/individual which you’re paying, they will mail out a check at no cost to you, in which case you’d want to send the payment about a week in advance.

    I know this from personal experience; among the many bills I pay online with REDcard, two are sent paper checks.

  22. Anyone know if you can reload your serve card with American Express gift cards at Walmart or on Amex online? I mean if they let you load with American Express cards, you would think that you can load with Amex gift cards.

  23. Just tried to load my target redcard in the store and both my visa and Mastercard were not accepted. The cashier didn’t have any options to choose from when adding the money (as far as cash, credit, debit) so I assume it’s no longer working here in Michigan.

  24. Mike, there’s likely something to do with your situation, people are able to login in MI from reports on several blogs.

    Make sure your credit cards didn’t deny the transaction and that you don’t exceed the daily or monthly loading limits ($2.5K/day, $5K/month) when attempting to load. When a credit card gets denied, cashiers get a specific message to that effect on their computers, but when you’re attempting to load over your limits, they just get a generic message that says can’t load contact customer service.

  25. So I was just able to load my serve with my ink plus that was already linked to my account…anyone else have any news on this? I got the confirmation email from serve saying it went through and my balance increased…

  26. Me too! Just loaded with my visa!

  27. Same here – I would nit take that card out and try to link a new one;)

  28. The RedCard at Target.. stopped letting you load their cards with credit cards as of today.. go figure I just got one… and now its no good for this purpose.. waste of time.. and money..

    sigh

  29. Just loaded both my serve cards with credit cards ($500/each). As of now, anyone that had soft card/isis got grandfathered in for free credit card loads to serve. Sorry to the people that made the change to redcard! You can also delete a credit card in profile and add a new one. Going to keep this Softcard/Serve card as long as possible…

  30. @trevor – I have a MasterCrd linked through my Foftcard/serve & loaded no problem $1,500 AT THE BEGINNING OF May over 3 days.

    How do you know that if I de-link it & try to add another visa/mastercard the system will let? Did you do it successfully?

  31. I understand it says you can’t earn any extra rewards or point, but can the AMEX reloads to Serve still be used to reach the minimum spend requirements to get bonuses? Say, if you wanted to reach the minimum spend for the SPG card?

  32. Loads with my AMEX HHonors Surpass card counted toward my minimum spending, but I did not get any points for those loads. And I tried with my AMEX SPG card and did not get any points for those loads either. Bummer!

  33. I have a former ISIS/Softcard Serve and just added a AAdvantage Executive MasterCard with no problems. Loads coded as purchases on MC. No fees on Serve. So far, so good.

  34. Jennifer Stiko

    What is I use a MasterCard to purchase AmEx gift cards through TopCashBack? Will I be able to use those to load my Serve account?

  35. My experience is you can load SMGC at WM,

    Did $500.09 yesterday…

  36. Would this work? I have A Business Amex, with $5000 Min. Spend Requirement. Wife is “authorized user”. I have A Serve Account, and do Monthly $1G Loads. Can my wife load her Serve Card from My Credit Card, being that she is an authorized user? This way we could load $2K Monthly, instead of $1K?

  37. You’re wrong. I got American express serve.. I still using a visa credit card to load my serve account.. they haven’t stop it yet.. please redo your blog..

    • Yeah but they are slowly shutting them down. I had one and they don’t even allow to just unlink the darn credit card and link another card. They just lock you out of your account and prevent you from opening up any other AMEX cards which is crazy because I wasn’t even using a credit card! I was using a debit card!