New to American Express Serve? Here’s What You Need to Know

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If you’re new to American Express Serve or are considering switching to Serve from a Bluebird account, you might have questions about how Serve works.

Serve is a prepaid card and is similar to Bluebird in many ways, but there are some differences.  But many of the features will be familiar to you if you’ve had Bluebird before!

New To American Express Serve Heres What You Need To Know
You Can Use American Express Serve to Pay Bills and Earn Miles & Points

What Can You Do With Serve?

Link:   American Express Serve

Link:   Sign-Up for American Express Serve

American Express Serve has many of the features of an online bank account.  You can add funds, direct deposit, pay bills, deposit checks, transfer money, and withdraw cash from ATMs.  And you can create sub-accounts for your partner, kids, babysitter, or anyone you’d like.

1.   Add Funds

Link:   Add Funds to Serve

You can add money to your Serve account in several different ways.  Most of us are looking for ways to add fund (to pay bills) that involve directly or indirectly using a miles and points credit card.  The good news is, Serve lets you do both!

a)   Cash, Debit, or Gift Cards Loads at a Store

If you want to reload your Serve account, you can do so at the following stores:

  • CVS (cash only)
  • 7-11 (cash only)
  • Walmart (cash and debit only)
  • Family Dollar (cash, debit, AND gift cards)

Many folks have been switching to Serve now that Family Dollar allows loading with PIN-enabled gift cards.  But you’re limited to $500 per day.

Walmart also lets you load Serve with some gift cards (Vanilla Visa gift cards do not work).

You can buy gift cards with a miles-and-points earning debit card at places like office supply stores, malls, CVS, and online.

Note:   You can also load Serve with Vanilla Reloads, but most stores will no longer sell them with a credit card.

The limit for loading Serve with cash, debit, gift cards, or Vanilla Reloads and MoneyPaks is $2,500 per day or $5,000 per month.

However, folks have reported that trying to load more than $500 in 1 day at Family Dollar with a gift card results in the 2nd transaction being declined!  This Flyertalk thread has a lot of good information on the Family Dollar situation.

b)   Load Serve Online From Your Bank Account, Debit Card, or AMEX Credit Card

You can also directly load your Serve account from your bank account, debit card, OR AMEX credit card online!

New To American Express Serve Heres What You Need To Know
Add Funds to Serve Directly From Your AMEX Credit Card, Debit Card, or Bank Account

You’ll need to link your bank account, debit card, or AMEX credit card to your Serve account before you can add funds.  Do NOT try loading a gift card online, because it will freeze your account!

The limits for adding funds in this way are as follows:

  • From your checking or savings account$2,000 per month
  • From your debit card:   $200 per day and $1,000 per month
  • From your AMEX credit card:   $200 per day and $1,000 per month

You must use your own credit or debit card to load your Serve account, not your partner’s.

c)   Add Checks or Direct Deposit

You can deposit checks to your Serve account using their mobile app (for iOS and Android devices).  You take a photo of the check using your phone and it deposits into your account!

New To American Express Serve Heres What You Need To Know
Use the Serve Mobile App to Deposit Checks and More

You can also set up direct deposit, much like a normal bank account.

The limits for adding checks or making direct deposits to your Serve account are $2,000 per day and $10,000 per month.

Note:   There is an add money limit of $10,000 per month TOTAL to your Serve account.  This includes transfers, direct deposits, and adding money from your bank account.

2.   Withdraw Funds

Link:   Serve ATM Withdrawals

Link:   Serve Bill Pay

Link:   Serve Transfer Funds

You can remove funds from your Serve account by ATM withdrawals, bill pay, and transferring money to other folks with Serve accounts (or to your own bank account)!  And remember, Serve is like a debit card, so you can make purchases in-store or online anywhere American Express cards are accepted.

a)   ATM Withdrawals

You can withdraw cash at any ATM that accepts American Express cards.  And in the US, if you use a MoneyPass ATM, there are NO fees.  Otherwise, the fee is $2 at other ATMs.

New To American Express Serve Heres What You Need To Know
Withdraw Money for Free at Over 24,000 ATMs in the US

Here’s the MoneyPass ATM locator if you want to see where the nearest 1 is to you.  You’re limited to withdrawing $750 per day and $2,000 per month.

b)   Bill Pay

You can pay almost any bill online (even things like rent, handymen, or babysitters) with Serve.  Once you’ve added your payee details and the amount you’d like to send, Serve will process the payment and either send it electronically (for registered payees, like credit card companies) or by mail (like to your landlord).

This is a great way to pay bills!

New To American Express Serve Heres What You Need To Know
Pay Almost Any Bill Online Using Serve Bill Pay
Note:   One of the disadvantages of Serve is that they do NOT issue paper checks like Bluebird does!
c)   Transfer Money

You can transfer funds to other Serve account holders from your computer or mobile device.  And if you wish, you can transfer funds back into your own bank account.

New To American Express Serve Heres What You Need To Know
You Can Send and Receive Money Between Serve Account Holders, or Transfer to Your Bank Account

3.   Create Sub-Accounts

Link:   Create Serve Sub-Accounts

You can create sub-accounts for family members or other folks you need to pay on a regular basis.  Perhaps your kids are at college and you’re giving them an allowance, or you have a regular babysitter you’d like to pay.  Each sub-account comes with its own card, but you can see where the money’s being spent.

New To American Express Serve Heres What You Need To Know
Pay Your Babysitter or Kid’s Allowance by Creating Sub-Accounts

Serve also lets you create separate reserve accounts you can use for saving for a big purchase or a trip.

Are There Fees?

Link:   American Express Serve Fees and Limits

You’ll pay minimal to no fees on your Serve account.

If you buy a temporary card at 1 of the following retailers, you’ll pay ~$4 for the card:

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

Once you register your card online, you’ll get a permanent card in the mail in 7 to 10 days.  You can use the temporary card, but you won’t have access to many Serve features like bill pay and credit card loading online.

If you choose to sign-up online without buying a temporary card, it costs nothing.  You’ll still wait 7 to 10 days for your new card to come in the mail.

You’ll pay a monthly fee of $1 per month (except in New York, Texas, and Vermont).  If you receive a direct deposit, add more than $500 to your account, or have your card in Softcard (a device that lets you pay with your phone), the fee is waived for that month.

Everything else is free, unless you withdraw cash from a non-MoneyPass ATM.  In that case, you’ll pay $2 per withdrawal.

What About Softcard (formerly Isis Wallet)?

Link:   Serve and Softcard (Isis Wallet)

Note:   Isis Wallet has been renamed Softcard.  American Express is in the process of updating their graphics and websites with the new name.

Softcard (formerly named Isis Wallet) is an app you can download to some smartphones that allows you to make contactless payments with your phone.  If you have an iPhone, you’ll also have to buy a special case that allows you to use Softcard.  Other phones have the technology built in.

New To American Express Serve Heres What You Need To Know
Link Your Serve Card to Softcard to Make Contactless Payments

When you register your Serve account with the Softcard app, you’ll be able to make contactless purchases directly from your Serve account using your phone.  Not all retailers allow Softcard payments, so check their location finder 1st to see if it makes sense for you.

But most folks are interested in Softcard because it increases the online debit card and AMEX credit card load limits to your Serve account.  Normally, you can only load $200 per day and $1,000 per month using a debit card or AMEX credit card.

Serve with Softcard allows you to load $500 per day and $1,500 a month using a debit or AMEX credit card.  So if you need to meet a lot of minimum spending requirements, Serve with Softcard could be a better option for you.

Bottom Line

Serve is a prepaid card account, much like an online bank account, with many similar features to Bluebird.  You can add and withdraw funds, pay bills, and transfer money to yourself or other Serve account holders.

You may find Serve useful because you can load it directly with an AMEX credit card online to help pay bills and to earn miles & points.  And now you can use gift cards (bought with a miles and points earning credit card) to load Serve at Family Dollar stores.

There are no paper checks with Serve like there are with Bluebird.  And you may pay a $1 monthly fee, or $2 for withdrawing cash at non-MoneyPass ATMs.  But otherwise, there are no fees.

Have you used Serve or recently switched from Bluebird?  How do you like it?

Editorial Note: We're the Million Mile Secrets team. And we're proud of our content, opinions and analysis, and of our reader's comments. These haven’t been reviewed, approved or endorsed by any of the airlines, hotels, or credit card issuers which we often write about. And that’s just how we like it! :)

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1 month ago

By far the worst experience using this type of product/service ever! Customer service is god-awful couldn’t believe what happened when I tries this product out. Wouldn’t recommend using or purchasing this prepaid service to anyone!

Ivy Suggs
4 months ago

I don’t have a card

Jivan sunar
4 months ago

My sevre card is not activated….. When went to CVS an atm to take money didn’t work……

William Murray
4 months ago

ATM I need pin number

Dorothy Phillips
4 months ago

I am just curious. I have transferred money a week ago and it still has not been added to my bank. Is Serve having a problem.

Jeremy Noel
Reply to  Dorothy Phillips
3 months ago

I have the same problem, been 4days now and nothing in my bank tho they debited my account and in transaction histories it just disappeared and nothing there anymore. What’s going on Serve Amex?

Stevie Booker
5 months ago

I have a American express serve card .How do I transfer money from my serve card to my money network debit card?

Jay Griffin
5 months ago

Verified my email address and card has been locked ever sense. When I call it’s has kept me hold up to 3 hours only to disconnect. I can not talk to a human to get it unlocked and I have bills to pay. This card sucks don’t use ir

suzan p
Reply to  Jay Griffin
4 months ago

I have my card since 2013 and then they mailed me out the one with my name that linked to my address and I created a pin , so I had never have any problem pulling money, you can use the ATM in 7-11 or CVS OR ANY ATM THAT HAVE THE “MONEYPASS ” SYMBOL

Melissa Dow
5 months ago

I cannot get my money off my card due to them freezing my account for too many attempts online and can’t seem to talk to an actual person for help getting my tax refund plz help I need my money

Laurence cruz
5 months ago

Ive tried to call 24he line i get to the end then it hangs up on me???. I have my card fully loaded and cant spent it or withdraw??

6 months ago

How long does it take for someone to directly deposit money into your account

Takeitha smith
6 months ago

My card will not let me deposit my work check and customer service keeps saying there isn’t a problem obviously there is if I can’t use this feature

6 months ago

Hey there nprom. On. Line nabout. Pay. For. Card nok. Not n let. Me. Pay nut. On. Line.

Letitia Weaver
7 months ago

It doesn’t tell how you can get all your money at once.

7 months ago

Do not get this card!! I had to report my card stolen. I paid five dollars when i should have paid the $20 for a new card. Its been 11 days and I haven’t received my card yet. Plus I can’t spend or withdraw any money until I have the security codes on the back of the card. Customer service sucks big time!!!!

11 months ago

I purchased a serve card with a sub account for my son. I deposited money on mine and transferred to sub account but it didn’t proceed.
Now I can’t get money back and can’t contact customer service for help.

Jody McKinley
1 year ago

This is my 2nd Amex Serve Card and as always more than totally satisfied with my Amex Serve Card.

Andrew Wan
Reply to  Jody McKinley
1 year ago

Happy to hear 🙂

1 year ago

Only got this card because it said you can use gift cards to load the card which I did 3 temp cards now you say you can’t online a gift card is prepaid you should be able to use it anyway you want bullshit if you ask me its all a scam this card don’t even do what you say it does that’s a scam false advertising bbb should be involved

1 year ago

$200/day and $1000/month?
What the hell good is this card?

1 year ago

I wanted to purchase something from party city and it was only 50 cents. I obviously had the money on my card… I tried to scan my card and put in my pin but it didn’t work. Is the pin supposed to be the same pin as my ATM one?

1 year ago

I’ve left my card in atm my utilities get shut down to day anyway to get money out of my account with out the card

1 year ago

Why can’t I withdraw money from my card at the ATM? I have money in my account & my purchases using the card we’re accepted. It doesn’t even give me the option to get cash back when I swipe my card & it also doesn’t ask if the card is credit or debit. I wasn’t even required to type in my PIN number when making these transactions. Someone could easily get access of my card & max it out.

Elizabethe Moses
1 year ago

Can I move money from my serve card to my Wells Fargo bank without using atm withdrawals?

Bounnhaegg kham
1 year ago

I just filed my taxes and was getting a little bit worried cause Jackson Hewitt gave me a serve card but want to know if you can send a note to my Gmail wen funds are available thanks for your help

Bounnhaegg kham
1 year ago

I need a pin number for my American Express serve card

Reply to  Bounnhaegg kham
1 year ago

Me too. But I only know about the ATM one and that one doesn’t work with purchases….

1 year ago

I tried to take money off of my card anf it wouldnt let me i would like to transfer the funds from mu card to my cgecking account can u help me with that

Stacey L Cogswell
1 year ago

What if you don’t want to use Ingo. And want to deposit a check thru moneypass ATM onto your serve account. Is this possible are what?

Stacey L Cogswell
1 year ago

Can you deposit a check thru moneypass atm

Stacey L Cogswell
1 year ago

Can you deposit a check thru moneypass atm

1 year ago

I went to an ATM to take money out it did not let me. why

Reply to  pete
8 months ago

How can I get more money off my card after the 750

Reply to  Lajoi
6 months ago

Walmart moneypass

Reply to  Lajoi
7 months ago

You can’t. You can’t even due cash back at a grocery store. The only way you can is by sending money to someone you trust, via Walmart or someone with the same card.

Reply to  pete
1 year ago

I need cash cnt get it cause i dont have a pin number

Reply to  MariaDavis
1 year ago

I have the same problem

Helen Hart
1 year ago

Where is my money??!!!

2 years ago

i have the green serve card and it wont let me withdrawl my funds at the atm i checked my card and my money is there but atm keeps declining it