Amex serves up new version of Serve [developing story…]

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Note: On January 8, 2016 American Express sent out a notice to a large number of Bluebird & Serve cardholders informing them that loading capabilities on their accounts had been terminated. For more information, see: Amex kills Bluebird and Serve for manufactured spend

As reported by Doctor of Credit, American Express is now offering two versions of their prepaid reloadable card, Serve.

Amex Serve Green Card

It appears that the blue version of Serve is the same card we’ve known and loved all along, but its possible that there have been some changes that I’m not aware of.  The green Serve card (not to be confused with the “Us” Green card from FirstCayman Internet Bank), though, is new.  Unlike the blue card which waives the $1 monthly fee any month in which you load $500 or more, the new green card with “FREE Reloads” offers a dandy new $4.95 monthly fee (except in TX, NY, and VT).  What’s not to love?

The weirdest part of the new green Serve card is that they advertise FREE Reloads as the differentiating feature.  They specifically list free reloads at CVS, Family Dollar, Walmart, and participating 7-Eleven locations.

Amex Serve Green Card

Why do I find that weird?  Those are the exact same stores that are already fee-free for Serve reloads.  See, for example, this press release from 2014.  Why would anyone want to pay $4.95 per month for a card that offers the same features of a card that costs only $1 per month and where that $1 fee is easily waived?

What’s going on?

It’s possible that the stores listed above will start to impose reload fees on blue Serve.  That would increase the relative value of green Serve.  Or, Amex will simply use “FREE Reloads” as a marketing tactic to get people to voluntarily pay them $4.95 per month despite the equally good, and cheaper, alternative.

Credit card reloads?

One of the features that distinguishes Serve from the completely free Bluebird card is that it allows online Amex credit card loads, up to $1,000 per month.  Nothing on the Serve.com home page shows that feature anymore, but their Help pages continue to list credit card loads as an option without distinguishing between Blue and Green cards.  This makes me think that Amex credit card loads are available for both cards, but I’m not at all sure about that.  For details about online loads, please see: Best options for Serve online loads.

Developing….

I’ll report more about these cards as more becomes known.

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Jerred

So If I live in TX which card should I go for as I see three options now?

Linds

How do o find balance available on my green SERVE card?

Scott

Worth noting:
“For customers who registered online before 8/5/15 with cards starting in 3727 41, For customers who purchased a Temporary Card starting in 3751 71, For all customers with One VIP™ Card from American Express Serve” – Anyone with a card is grandfathered, new applicants can get old rules with the One VIP version.
“For customers who registered online on or after 8/5/15 with cards starting in 3727 42, For customers who purchased a Temporary Card starting in 3777 72” – New blue card applicants will have the new rules.
According the agreements themselves amex credit card loads are unchanged.
One VIP: https://www.serve.com/onevip/
Legal page: https://www.serve.com/legal.html?intlink=us-serve-marketing-home-customer-sku2015-footer-legal

Scott

Also worth noting from the legal agreement page:
“For customers who registered online before 8/5/15 with cards starting in 3727 41, For customers who purchased a Temporary Card starting in 3751 71, For all customers with One VIP™ Card from American Express Serve” – The rules are staying the same.
“For customers who registered online on or after 8/5/15 with cards starting in 3727 42. For customers who purchased a Temporary Card starting in 3777 72” – Rules are changing for new applicants.
If you read the agreement amex credit card loads are still good on all serve cards.
Looks like you can still get the old rules for a new applicant if it is the One VIP version: https://www.serve.com/onevip/
Legal page: https://www.serve.com/legal.html?intlink=us-serve-marketing-home-customer-sku2015-footer-legal

Scott

That’s weird this comment had disappeared for me so I re-added it. :s

Uh Oh

“MMS acted like the $1/month fee is new, but its not.” – FM

“Acted like”? Are you boys fighting? Is there tension between you two? Fighting for readers?

[…] Amex serves up new version of Serve [developing story…] – American Express has revamped their Serve card lineup with the launch of a brand new Green card that carries a $4.95 monthly fee. […]

Bradley Wyatt

The post states you can load a Serve with a Credit Card, however per MMS this feature was removed since April 16,2015. Correct me if I am wrong, but I don’t see it when I go to load money on my serve.

Bradley Wyatt

Never mind… I read the link.

newbie008

FM:
Look at MMS’s post. A new “Silver” serve card will be coming with 1% cashback. Also he says, those who have current serve will be grandfathered just like the good old “serve-soft card”.

Eric

Who is MMS? Do you have a link to that article?

Jeff

Does loading Serve using American Express Credit Cards earn MR points?

Kevin

Not if it’s from American Express directly. Yes if you have the card through another bank like Fidelity Investment Rewards.

Puneet

If you visit serve.com using a browser not previously used to login to a Serve account (or you clear browser cache), you can see the difference between the two versions. Click on Features & Fees. The table shows that the cash reload fee for Serve Blue is “Upto $3.95 (varies by retailer)” where the Serve Green has $0 cash reload fee.

Eric

Since when does Serve allow free loads at CVS and 7-11? That is news to me.

Will

cash loads — not relevant to us