Best options for Serve online loads


UPDATED 11/30/16

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

Among the trio of similar Amex prepaid reloadable cards, Serve has an advantage over Bluebird and REDbird in that it can be reloaded online with a credit card, up to $1,000 per month.  Unfortunately, as of April 15 2015, Serve added a new restriction: Only Amex credit cards can now be used to reload Serve online.  And, as before, Amex credit cards do not earn rewards when loading Serve.

Serve online loads

Serve with Softcard (no longer available to new applicants), does not currently appear to have the Amex only restriction (see the comments in this post).  For everyone with regular Serve, though, their remains at least one way to earn rewards through online credit card loads.  The key is to find rewards based American Express cards that are issued by banks other than American Express…

The best Amex card options issued by other banks…

U.S. Bank FlexPerks® Travel Rewards American Express® card:  You’ll only earn 1 point per dollar when using this card to load Serve, but points are worth up to 2 cents each when used to purchase flights (see: Maximizing value from the U.S. Bank FlexPerks Travel Rewards Card).  Plus, cardholders get 3,500 bonus points when they spend $24,000 in a year on the card.  Serve can be used to get you half way there.  For reference, this card also earns 2 points per dollar for gas, groceries, or airline purchases (whichever is most each billing cycle); 2 points per dollar at restaurants; and 3 points per dollar for charities (I especially like to use this card for Kiva loans).

BBVA NBA TripleDouble Rewards American Express: This card earns 2X at gas stations and supermarkets and 3X for NBA purchases.  So, most of the time, this card will only earn 1% cash back when loading Serve.  However, the card earns 5X on all purchases during the NBA All-Star Weekend and two weeks of the NBA finals.  So, twice a year its possible to earn 5% cash back when loading Serve.

Personally, I’m not a big fan of this option.  I like to setup my Serve accounts to load automatically, so I wouldn’t want to worry about changing the timing of the loads to match up with NBA events.

Fidelity Investment Rewards American Express Card:  The Fidelity Investment Amex card offers 2% cash back and no annual fee.  By loading $1,000 per month to Serve with this card, you can earn $240 cash back per year.  UPDATE: Unfortunately, the Amex version of this card is no longer available, and existing cardholders will be switched to the new Visa card by June 2016.

Other options (as found in this Doctor of Credit post):

  • PenFed Defender American Express Card: Earn 1.5% cash back. Must be in military service, the National Guard, the Reserves, or an honorably discharged Veteran of the United States Military to apply.
  • BOA Accelerated Rewards American Express Card: 1.25%.
  • FNBO TravElite Credit Card: 1.5% ($99 annual fee)

Reasons to consider Amex issued Amex cards

UPDATE 11/30/2016: Serve loads with Amex issued cards no longer count towards minimum spend requirements or big spend bonuses.

If you don’t have any of the above mentioned cards, you might still find a use for loading Serve with Amex issued cards even though they won’t earn points for these loads:

  • Meet minimum spend requirements: When you signup for a new Amex card, there is usually a requirement to spend a certain amount with the card within 3 (sometimes 6) months in order to receive the signup bonus.  According to many reader reports, you can meet that spend requirement with Serve online credit card loads even though you won’t earn points.
  • Meet big spend bonus requirements: A number of Amex credit cards offer bonuses for big spend.  For example, the Delta Platinum card offers 10,000 bonus miles (plus 10,000 medallion qualifying miles) when you reach $25,000 spend within a calendar year.  According to reader reports and my own experience, you can use Serve online credit card loads to help meet that big spend requirement.
  • Waive $1 monthly fee: Serve charges $1 per month (except in New York, Texas, and Vermont), but waives the charge if you load at least $500.  Amex issued credit card loads can be used to waive that fee.

Important: Serve loads do not help to meet billing cycle spend requirement for EveryDay cards: I’m a fan of the Amex EveryDay and EveryDay Preferred cards (see why here).  The EveryDay card offers a 20% bonus on all points earned when you make at least 20 purchases in a billing cycle.  Similarly, the EveryDay Preferred card offers a 50% bonus on all points earned when you make at least 30 purchases in a billing cycle.  Unfortunately, according to multiple reader reports, Serve online loads do not count towards the required 20 or 30 billing cycle purchases.



How to use the money that’s been loaded

Once money has been loaded to Serve, it’s very easy (and free) to make good use of it:

  • Pay bills that can’t normally be paid by credit card: Log into your Serve account and pay anyone. If the recipient isn’t found, you can enter their name and address and they’ll be sent a check in the mail.
  • Withdraw from MoneyPass ATMs for free
  • Withdraw to your bank account: You can find the option under: Settings… Withdraw Funds.
  • Use as credit card: Your Serve card can be used as a credit card anywhere that American Express is accepted, but I don’t recommend it.  You will not earn extra rewards this way.  It’s better to use a rewards credit card if at all possible.


If you have general questions about Serve (or Bluebird and REDbird), please see: The complete guide to Bluebird, REDcard, and Serve.

Chase's 5/24 Rule: With most Chase credit cards, Chase will not approve your application if you have opened 5 or more cards with any bank in the past 24 months.

To determine your 5/24 status, see: 3 Easy Ways to Count Your 5/24 Status. The easiest option is to track all of your cards for free with Travel Freely.
Chase 5/24 semantics ("Subject to" vs. "Count towards"): Most Chase cards are subject to the 5/24 rule. That means the rule is enforced in making approval decisions. In other words, you probably won't get approved if your credit report shows that you opened 5 or more cards in the past 24 months. Meanwhile, most business cards (such as those from Chase, Amex, Barclaycard, BOA, Citi, US Bank, and Wells Fargo) are not reported on your personal credit report. These cards do not count towards 5/24.

Example: Chase Ink Business Preferred is subject to 5/24, so you likely won't get approved if over 5/24. If you do get approved, it won't count towards 5/24 since it won't appear as an account on your credit report.
Amex credit and charge card limits: If you apply for a new Amex credit card, you may get turned down if you already have 5 or more Amex credit cards; or 10 or more Pay Over Time (AKA charge) cards. Both personal and business cards are counted together towards these limits. Authorized user cards are not counted. See also: Which Amex Cards are Charge Cards vs. Credit Cards?
Applying for Business Credit Cards

Yes, you have a business: In order to sign up for a business credit card, you must have a business. That said, it's common for people to have businesses without realizing it. If you sell items at a yard sale, or on eBay, for example, then you have a business. Similar examples include: consulting, writing (e.g. blog authorship, planning your first novel, etc.), handyman services, owning rental property, renting on airbnb, driving for Uber or Lyft, etc. In any of these cases, your business is considered a Sole Proprietorship unless you form a corporation of some sort.

When you apply for a business credit card as a sole proprietor, you can use your own name as your business name, use your own address and phone as the business' address and phone, and your social security number as the business' Tax ID / EIN. Alternatively, you can get a proper Tax ID / EIN from the IRS for free, in about a minute, through this website.

Is it OK to use business cards for personal expenses? Anecdotally, almost everyone I know uses business cards for personal expenses. That said, the terms in most business card applications state that you should use the card only for business use. Also, some consumer credit card protections do not apply to business cards. My advice: don't use the card for personal expenses if you're not comfortable doing so.
Manufacturing Spend Caution: Many, many things can go wrong when manufacturing spend. If you suddenly increase credit card spend, your accounts may get shut down. If you cycle your balance often (e.g. spend to your limit, pay the bill, repeat) within a billing cycle, your accounts may get shut down. If you repeatedly pay your credit card bill from an anonymous bill payment source, your accounts may get shut down. If you buy lots of gift cards you may lose money due to gift card fraud, theft, loss, or simply mishandling those gift cards (e.g. maybe you thought you already used a gift card and tossed it into your “used” bin). If you rely on only one method to liquidate gift cards, you may be stuck unable to pay your credit card bill when that method gets shut down. In other words, don’t try this at home unless you know what you’re doing, and you understand and accept the risks..
Chase Ultimate Rewards points are super valuable and super flexible. At the most basic level, points can be redeemed for cash or merchandise, but you'll only get one cent per point value that way. A better option is to use points for travel. When points are used to book travel through the Ultimate Rewards portal, points are worth 1.25 cents each with premium cards (Sapphire Preferred or Ink Business Preferred, for example) or 1.5 cents each with the ultra-premium Sapphire Reserve card. Another great option is to transfer points from a premium or ultra-premium card to an airline or hotel program when high value awards are available (see this post for details). If your points are tied to a no-fee "cash back" Ultimate Rewards card, then first move those points to a premium or ultra-premium card before redeeming them in order to get better value.
Amex Membership Rewards points can be incredibly valuable if you know how to use them. In general, if you use Membership Rewards points to pay for merchandise or travel, you won't get good value from your points. One exception is with the Business Platinum card where you'll get a 35% point rebate when using points to book certain flights. This gives you approximately 1.5 cents per point value, which is pretty good. Another exception is with the Business Gold Card where you'll get a 25% point rebate when using points to book certain flights. This gives you approximately 1.33 cents per point value. If you don't have either card, then your best bet is to transfer points to airline miles in order to book high value awards. More details can be found here: Amex Membership Rewards Complete Guide.
Marriott points can be redeemed for free night awards, travel packages, airline miles, or experiences. 5th Night Free Awards: When redeeming points for free nights, the 5th night within a single reservation is free. Airline miles: Points can be converted to airline miles at a rate of 3 points to 1 mile. A bonus is added on when you transfer 60,000 points at a time, such that 60,000 points transfers to 25,000 miles. Also, you'll get a 10% bonus when transferring points to United Airlines.

Everything you need to know about Marriott's rewards program, Bonvoy, can be found here: Marriott Bonvoy Complete Guide
Editor’s Note: This guest post was written by the same guy who showed you how to fly round trip to Africa (DC to Senegal) for 50,000 points, how to book business class to Europe for 80,000 miles roundtrip, and more. You can find John’s website and award booking service here:
-Greg The Frequent Miler

Amex Application Tips

  • Safe to Apply: Amex is the safest bank for trying your luck at earning a new welcome bonus offer. They don’t usually issue a hard pull when denying your application, and if you already have an Amex card, they won't usually issue a hard pull when approved for another one. Plus, they’ll now warn you during the application process if you’re not eligible for the bonus.

  • Lifetime Rule: If you've ever had the same card before, you are most likely prohibited from earning a welcome bonus offer for the card if you apply now. Fortunately you'll be warned during the application process if this is the case. Amex is known to "forget" that you've had a card after about 7 years.

  • 90 Day Rule: You can get at most two credit cards within 90 days. This rule does not apply to Pay Over Time (charge) cards.

  • 5 credit card max: Amex usually won't approve applications for new credit cards if you already have 5 or more Amex credit cards or 10 or more charge cards.

  • Better Offers: You may be able to get a better offer than the best available public offer. Details here.

  • Hard inquiries combine into 1 when approved same day

Check application status here.
If denied, call reconsideration: 877-399-3083 (new accountholders); 866-314-0237 (current accountholders)

Chase Application Tips

  • Shut-Down Caution: Signing up for new Chase cards can lead to Chase reviewing your accounts. This may lead to Chase shutting down all of your accounts if you appear to be a credit risk. See this post for details and recommendations: Why Chase shutdowns have increased and how to avoid them.
  • 5/24 Rule: With most Chase cards, you won't get approved if your credit report shows 5 or more cards opened in the past 24 months. Details here.
  • 24/48 Month Rule: With most Chase cards, you can get the same card and bonus again 24 months after having received the bonus as long as you no longer have the card open. With Sapphire cards, you must wait 48 months. No wait is required for Chase Ink cards.
  • 30 Day Rule: It is tough to get approved for more than 2 Chase cards within 30 days
  • Get Same Card Again: You can get the same exact card and again if you first cancel the older card and follow the 24/48 month rule. Ink cards are OK to get again without cancelling previous card if you apply with a new business.
  • Better Offers: You may be able to get a better offer than the best available public offer. Details here.
  • Hard inquiries combine into 1 when approved same day (not always true when mixing business and personal)

Call (888) 338-2586 to check your application status
If denied, call reconsideration here:1-888-270-2127 for both personal and business cards

Citi Application Tips

  • 24 Month Rule (ThankYou Cards): To get bonus on any ThankYou card, you must wait 24 months after receiving a new cardmember bonus or closing any ThankYou card account. Applies to Preferred, Premier, Prestige, and Rewards+.
  • 24 Month Rule (Expedia Cards): To get bonus on any Expedia card, you must wait 24 months after opening or closing any Expedia card account.
  • 48 Month Rule (AA Cards): With Citi AA cards, you have to wait 48 months after receiving a bonus for the same exact card.
  • Velocity Rules: Max 1 personal card per 8 days. Max 2 personal cards per 65 days. Max 1 business card per 95 days.
  • Get Same Card Again: Citi allows getting same card again (even if card is still open) as long as you follow the 24 or 48 month rules and velocity rules (above).
  • Hard inquiries DO NOT combine into 1 when approved same day

Check application status here.
If denied, call reconsideration here:800-695-5171 (personal); 800-763-9795 (business)
If reconsideration # doesn’t work, try the Citi Credit Card Executive Office: 423-477-6858

Bank of America Application Tips

  • 3/12 or 7/12 Rule: You won't be approved if you have opened 3 or more accounts, with any bank, in the past 12 months. For those with Bank of America deposit accounts, the rule changes to 7+ accounts.
  • 2/3/4 Rule: Max 2 consumer cards per rolling 2 months, 3 per rolling 12 months, and 4 per rolling 24 months.
  • 5 card limit: You will not get approved for a new consumer card if you already have 5 consumer BOA cards open
  • Get Same Card Again: With some BOA cards, must wait 24 months after either opening or cancelling, depending upon the card.
  • Hard inquiries are usually combined into 1 when initiated within 30 days but there have been reports of TransUnion not combining.

Click here to check your application status
If denied, call reconsideration here: 800-354-0401 (8am-7pm ET Mon-Fri); 866-695-6598 (business cards);

Barclays Application Tips

  • Get Same Card Again: Must wait at least 6 months after cancelling previous card (with some accounts Barclays requires waiting 24 months).

  • Hard inquiries are combined into 1 when approved same day. Most inquiries issued through TransUnion.

Consumer: Click here to check your application status
Business cards: Click here
If denied, call reconsideration here: 866-710-2688

Capital One Application Tips

  • 6 month rule: Must wait 6 months after applying for a Capital One card before applying for another one.

  • 2 card limit: Conventional wisdom and user experience has been that you can have at most 2 Capital One consumer cards, but according to application terms it may be possible to have up to 5. You may be limited to 2 of their rewards cards. Note that this limit does not apply to Capital One co-branded cards like the Kohl's charge card.

  • Get Same Card Again: There is no known rule against getting the same card and bonus again even if you still have the card open.

  • Hard inquiries usually get issued through all 3 credit bureaus

To check application status, call (800) 903-9177 or (877) 277-5901
If denied, call reconsideration here: (800) 625-7866

Discover Application Tips

  • 2 card limit: You can have a maximum of 2 Discover cards.

  • 12 month rule: Must wait just over 12 months after previous card was opened before applying for another Discover card.

  • Get Same Card Again: No known rules against getting same card & bonus again.

Click here to check your application status
If denied, call reconsideration here: 888-676-3695

TD Bank Application Tips

Call (888) 561-8861 to check your application status

US Bank Application Tips

  • Get Same Card Again: Depends on the product. For example, with the Altitude Reserve card you cannot get the bonus again. The terms state "The bonus is not available to Cardmembers who currently have, or had, a U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve Visa Infinite account."

  • Hard inquiries may be combined into 1 when approved same day.

Call (800) 947-1444 to check your application status.
If denied, call reconsideration here: 800-947-1444 or 800-685-7680

Wells Fargo Application Tips

  • Bank first: Wells Fargo usually requires having a bank account open before you can apply for a credit card.

  • 16 month rule: Limit of one signup bonus per 16 months

  • Get Same Card Again: No known rules against getting same card & bonus again.

  • Hard inquiries are combined into 1 when approved same day.

Check application status here.
If denied, call reconsideration here: 1-866-412-5956 (consumer) or 1-800-231-9244 (business)

Under certain circumstances consumer Visa cards don't work with Plastiq. The following payments are fine:

  • Rent (residential rent, HOA fees, and commercial rent)
  • Taxes & government fees
  • Utilities (electricity, cable, internet, and telecom)
  • Tuition (including daycare and camp)
Payments outside of the above list are subject to the following limitations:

  1. Payments using personal Visa cards issued by Chase are subject to a limit of 20% of your credit limit.
  2. Payments using personal Visa cards from other issuers (other than Capital One or Wells Fargo) will code as a cash advance. That means you’d incur cash advance fees and wouldn’t earn any credit card rewards.
  3. The following types of Visa cards are not affected by these changes: Capital One personal Visa cards, Wells Fargo personal Visa cards, Visa business credit cards, Visa corporate, debit and prepaid gift cards.
In order to meet minimum spend requirements, people often look for options to increase spend in ways that result in getting their money back. These techniques are referred to as "manufacturing spend". American Express has terms in their welcome offers that exclude some manufactured spend techniques from counting towards the minimum spend requirements for the welcome bonus offer. For example, most new cardmember bonuses have terms like this:
Eligible purchases to meet the Threshold Amount do NOT include fees or interest charges, purchases of travelers checks, purchases or reloading of prepaid cards, purchases of gift cards, person-to-person payments, or purchases of other cash equivalents.
That said, many techniques for meeting minimum spend are perfectly fine. Here are some techniques that are safe for meeting Amex minimum spend requirements (click each link for more information):

Marriott Bonvoy credit cards are issued by both Chase and American Express.  If you're interested in getting more than one Chase or Amex Marriott card, it's important to consider the complex rules they have put in place:

We have added this to our running list of Black Friday deals, which will be constantly updated through Cyber Monday with a mix of gift card deals, merchandise deals, and travel deals. Check back often.
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Will the AAdvantage Citi Amex credit card award miles when you use it load the Serve card online?


Hi Greg,
do you know if loading Serve with the Old blue cash Amex will count towards the first $6500 you need to spend in a reward year to activate the 5% cashback? I currently have 4 Serve accounts and, if these loads count, I plan to load $6500 across those 4 counts (max $1k per account per month) so that in 2 months I’ll be done with it. Do you see any problems using the same CC to load those 4 accounts? Both the 4 Serve accounts and the CC are in my name. Thanks


My questions is whether one can use a kiosk (if available) rather than the money center to reload with the GC. BB has been shut down was my understanding…am i to understand that this is still possible for MS?


My heads spinning with all these info. Let me get this straight. I go to Wal-Mart and open up an account called BB. I buy gift cards from my CC to meet minimum spend and deposit it into BB. So my CC thinks I went and paid my bills from wherever but in fact I just bought say 3,000 worth of gift cards. Now I wait for the bill and pay them with my check that I have from my account at BB or does BB cut a check to them on my behalf? Right now I’m thinking of paying my rent [1040.00] using CC to cover minimum through Plastiq which charge me 2.5 percent [26.00] Help me,my head is spinning. Nate


Thanks for your quick response. Okay, AMEX just emailed me saying my card is coming.When it arrives, I activate it. Is my account active at this point? Now I purchased Loew’s GC [200×5] When it arrives, I go to Walmart and deposit those GC into my BB account? Any specific place at Walmart. I hear mention of a kiosk. I haven’t seen one but maybe it’s because I wasn’t looking for one. Now these cards are in my account with a value of $1,000.00. My rent is 1040.00 so I add 40.00 more and tell them to cut a check to my landlord?
Right now, I pay my rent using Plastiq an/or Radpad to cover for my minimum sign up bonus but I wouldn’t pay my rent for the fee [26.00] You mentioned risk in using BB? What risk? I don’t get it. Please explain. Nate


So do you have any suggestions on how to liquidate my Loew’s cards short of actually using them [wasn’t planning to] or go to Loews and hope someone will help me unload through their purchasing. But the cards you mention that may or may not work, is that the ones I saw at Office Max with some black strip on the back? Is that the pin numbers. Is that the one that turns this card into a debit card?? I also read to make sure that the GC is from US BANK or some other bank. Another problem I’m having is the cost of this cards. By the time I pay for those cards and all, Plastiq may be easier to pay my rent and fulfill my minimum requirement. If I need more to pay for, say 4,000.00 minimum, I’ll just pay my sons rent for 2 month [2,100.00×2] which cost about $110.00 through Plastiq, I thought there was a less expensive way to do it.


I have a $4000 expense to make with my new chase ink, and I was thinking to use it to buy a lot of visa gift cards at staples (so i earn 5x dollar) and load them into a serve or bb and then make the purchase.
Which card (serve, bb…) will let me swipe $4000 in one time?


[…] Best options for Serve online loads – … – You can’t load Serve online with MasterCard or Visa credit cards but excellent options remain. I’ll show you how to make the most of Serve online loads […]

[…] Best options for Serve online loads […]

[…] Best options for Serve online loads […]


I confirm, SPG does not earn any rewards or points when loading serve

josh hill

What about the Minimum spend? Does it work for that?


What about the BBVA NBA Amex card? I am guessing that would work too, right?

Kevin Hou

Don’t see why not. It should also earn you 1% back in points (with the exception of the All-Star weekend coming in February and the NBA Finals which is months away). I signed up for this card about 2 weeks ago. Tried calling to expedite and it was pointless as others have mentioned. Still waiting to see if the card comes in the mail.

[…] Many people currently use the Fidelity Amex to load their prepaid Serve card online, for free, up to $1000 per month (or $1500 per month for those who signed up with Softcard Serve when it was available).  If you do not have the Softcard version of Serve, then you are limited to Amex-only loads.  So, this switch to Visa may be a problem for you.  I think that the next best option for Serve online loads is the U.S. Bank FlexPerks Travel Rewards American Express card.  For more details, see: Best options for Serve online loads. […]


Can confirm SPG card earned min spend towards sign up bonus but no miles.


So, has there been a definitive signal that this strategy will or won’t meet minimum spend requirements on “mainline” AMEX cards? (there are conflicting comments on this)

I used my Old Blue AMEX for this late in 2015 to meet the minimum $6.5k on my Old Blue AMEX card (my anniversary for this card’s new year was October), but know of no way to see if it counted until I start seeing 6% back for grocery/drugstore spend (and I am waiting for their one-month lag to see if I am now getting this rate).

In 2016, I was going to switch to using my Delta Plat AMEX to meet the min. spend for bonus MQMs (and it should be easy to see whether this works on statements when I start), but wondered if anyone has been having success with that?



I can confirm as of last month that it does meet the minimum spending requirements for the AMEX EveryDay card. Just doesn’t earn any of the 20/30 purchases bonus points benefit nor any points from reloads.

[…] Serve prepaid product.  In April, they began restricting these loads to Amex cards only (but… there are still good uses for this feature!).  And, Target used to allow in-store credit card loads to REDbird (the Target Prepaid REDcard).  […]

Brad Meyer

I have an AmEx card from First National Bank of Omaha. Wonder if that would at least earn the 1% from loads?

Brad Meyer

Right. I did a test transaction of $10 for the test. So far my cash advance limit hasn’t decreased, so I’ll see what happens. Next dumb question: What if I load $200 on the card and withdraw the money to a bank account a few days later to pay student loans. Wonder if that would throw up a flag? Even 1% back on paying my student loans is better than nothing.

Brad Meyer

Indeed. That is my PREFERRED way, but I don’t know if the idiots at Navient are intelligent enough to apply it correctly. 🙁

Bob Bornstein

Just an FYI concerning Serve –
New Monthly Fee & Fee Waiver
Starting on January 6, 2016, there will be a $4.95 Monthly Fee for your American Express Serve Softcard Account. This fee will be waived if you Direct Deposit money onto your Account during a monthly statement period.


Can I use the same Wells Fargo Amex to load different serve cards? (Obviously I will create different AU)


They don’t. So, need number of different Amex not issued by Amex. I think BoA have separate numbers for their business Amex AU


I’ve been loading my wife’s Serve with my FIA Amex cc $1000 every month. I closed Redbird and just got Serve One VIP for myself. Can I load my Serve the maximum $1000, in addition to my wife’s, with my FIA Amex?


What if wife’s Authorized Card has a different number? It does.

Nathan Drake

I’m just 1k away from meeting the spending requirement for the Amex HH surpass. Would an online credit load this help me get there? It’s the serve one vip.


Would this work to spend the 30k on the spg card you think? Otherwise I am trying to see what is cheap to finish the spend by year end…any help would be so appreciated.


Thanks. What else can I do?


I have a Amex AA from citi bank, would I get rewards by loading Serve?


Not sure if anyone is looking at this thread anymore but I have a big question:

Can you load Serve online with American Express Gift cards? I cannot seem to find any info out there about this.


Never mind! Should have kept scrolling down through the comments and I would have seen the answer!

[…] Serve allows Amex online credit card loads.  Please see: Best options for Serve online loads. […]


I Just got a Blue Cash everyday card and it has a 200$ statement credit for the first 1000$ Purchase….At the same the eligible purchases are described as below.

Eligible Purchases means purchases for goods and services minus returns and other credits. Eligible purchases do NOT include fees or interest charges, balance transfers, cash advances, purchases of travelers checks, purchases or reloading of prepaid cards, or purchases of other cash equivalents. Additional terms and restrictions apply.


If I use the reloadable feature and add $200 a day from my SPG Amex card to my serve card will that help with the 30,000 requirement to get Gold status? Trying to get Gold status ASAP. Thanks


fwiw I’m experiencing not receiving minimum spend credit when using my Delta Amex to load. Will try it for another billing cycle.


At bottom of Delta Amex statement is a monthly and year-to-date tally of earned miles. And in smaller print underneath is the running total spent for the MQM threshold. On my last statement, those two numbers are identical, as they’ve been all year thus far. And the base miles earned is the exact amount of the Serve loads less than the total charges for the month. Meaning the Serve loads were not counted in the miles earned nor in the minimum spend.


Hi I would like to know whether I can use amex gift cards to load Serve?


There are two types of Serve cards…….the American Express Serve card and the American Express Serve FREE Reloads. which one should i get?

naveen medisetti

May be you can sign up for this One Vip Serve. May be this will help

$1 Monthly Fee (no fee in NY, TX and VT)
$0 Monthly Fee if you do any of the following during each monthly statement period:Receive a Direct Deposit or Add $500 or more to your Account.
$0 with Direct Deposit.
$0 Cash Reload at CVS/pharmacy®, Walmart® and participating 7-11 locations.
$0 to add Checks using the American Express Serve® Mobile App.
$0 from a Checking or a Savings Account.
$0 using a Debit or an American Express Credit Card.


ATTN: Will S, Yes it will count. Just got through doing this over the last month (1st of 3 months) and have already achieved my 5k minimum spend and got my points right away due to paying the bill through SERVE. Go for it!


Just wanted to check if I add funds from the Amex Premier Rewards Gold card to Serve would it count towards the minimum spending requirements. Adding $1000 a month would go a long way in meeting these spending requirements. Thanks for the input.

Will S

Hey Jack, from the original post, yes, that would be presumed to work. However, I’m wondering anew with you, esp. after doubts were raised last week via the “points/w/a/crew” forum. You’re right that the 1k per month would be a great help — for me too. But sure would like to be sure it’s going to count towards my 5k minimum spend now, rather than at the end of the 3 months. (when it’s too late to do something else)

Edward Miller

Another use for Serve is the Amex deals where you get x Dollars back for Y spending.

Many of these are available on other Amex cards, but sometimes you may want to use them multiple time.

One I saw on them was $10 off an order exceeding $50 at It was available via Serve, but not via other Amex cards of mine. is a new grocery site, and seems to have very attractive price (probably to build business, even at a loss).

I felt this was a good enough deal to load the card from my bank account (via direct deposit instructions) just to take advantage of this. Because setting up a bank account load takes time, and then it takes time for money to get there, it may be worth while setting it up to load from your bank debit card just for this,so next time it can be done quickly.

They tell me that they won’t accept the same bank account number for two cards, which can be a problem for couples with a joint account. Possibly, one couple might set it up for loading from the bank account via ACH, and another for loading via a debit card.

I suspect they will be other occasions where AMEX offers on the Serve will be attractive (notably Small Business Saturdays).


I’m sorry but loading the Serve card with an AmEx Everyday Preferred card for “transaction credit” doesn’t work. I had 5 $5 loads and even after they all posted to my AmEx account it still says “0 Purchases” on the graph. 🙁


I have an FIA Amex and use it to fund my Serve. I have added a family member to my FIA account to load their Serve card, but I get an error message when I try to add the card to their account. FIA does not generate a unique card number for AU, do you know if Serve logs the number then blocks it out of other accounts? Thanks for any help you can give me.


Did you not verify on the AU card that it has the same exact card number as your account? I mean Amex is not dumb and can filter on the card number and not by name. AU cards almost always have the same card number as the main account holder.


I did a small test load from an Everyday card to Serve. On my Everyday account I was charged a $1 fee in addition to the amount transferred. Is this unique to me or is this charged for every transfer? So 20 loads would be $20 (for the 20%) or 30 loads = $30 (for the 50%) in order to get the extra points. In other words, the total spend on the Everyday would need to be high enough each month in order to cover the $1 transfer fees. Am I wrong here?

I have a PenFed AMEX in my proverbial sock drawer. I got it years ago when you got more than a 5% rebate on all airline ticket purchases. Now the bonuses are un-exciting, so I typically use the card one time a year: Small Business Saturday.

But if I could get even a 1% rebate for doing basically nothing by loading Serve, I’d do it. Does anyone know if it will work?


Does anyone have any results from an experiment with the basic no-fee Amex Hilton card? I’m an infrequent leisure traveller that already pays too many annual fees and would like to maintain the Gold status via that card – it requires $20,000 in spend per year, and making my car payments and a few other bills via Serve would be beneficial if only to meet that goal. It would make me feel like I was still getting something extra for paying those bills via a third party instead of standard payments.

I made a test $20 transfer to Serve from my Amex Hilton, but I just missed my statement date, so I’ll have to wait a whole month to see if it counts as “qualified spend” toward the required $20,000. Hoping someone else can confirm in the meantime…


Hi, Cath,
How to check if it is “qualified spend” toward the $20000? Thank you.


What are the disadvantages of doing smaller transactions using square? I would figure if you keep it under $5k it shouldn’t quite flag anything. Right now they are giving $1k of free processing. This way you don’t lose the 2.75% essentially slowly recycling.


They’ll likely shutdown you down even before you complete your first $1000 if you swipe mostly GCs like AGCs. If you’re lucky, you may be able to dodge their radar but for sure they’ll catch up with you if you just swipe GCs. They say it’s a violation of their T&C.


What do you think about these FT rumors of no more GC loads to Red Card come May 16?


Sounds legit to me. Target has a generally higher class of shopper than Walmart, and I suspect they found most of their regular shoppers were not interested in a prepaid card (you get the 5% discount with the Target cc and debit card anyway), so what they ended up with for redbird users with a vast majority of MSers, particularly because of the cc loading ability. Although the swipe fees for debit are lower than cc, loading with debit takes somewhat longer than loading with credit (especially with $200 debits, thank you ODP/OMX), and most redbirders are buying little or nothing at Target anyway, so I’m thinking a soft kill of the redbird program is in order, and the next step would be to eliminate gift card loads to knock out all of the MSers. The delay to May 16 is due to reprogramming of the POS to add the ability to distinguish debit cards between gift cards and bank cards. So finish your May loads by Friday!! And everybody back to serve or bluebird!!!


Well, check out the last line of this FAQ, which I believe is new:

“How do I add money to my Prepaid REDcard Account?

You can add money to your Prepaid REDcard Account in many convenient ways:
•Direct Deposit — an easy and free way to add all or part of your paycheck or government benefits check to your Account.
•Cash — a convenient way to immediately add cash to your Account. ◦Free Cash Reloads at the Target register: Add cash for FREE at any Target location in the U.S.8 You can add as much as $1,000 or as little as $0.01 for FREE to your personalized card. Just give your Prepaid REDcard and cash to the cashier and your money is immediately added to your Card. It’s that easy!

•Bank Transfers — add money from any U.S. issued checking or savings account.
•Debit Cards — add money from your debit card at the register or by linking it to your Prepaid REDcard account online. Please note: Gift cards cannot be used to add money.”

Could be a reference to Target gift cards, but I don’t think so.
Of course, this could all be wrong – until we have some confirmation, it is just my best guess. (But I finished my May loads today to be safe.) But it feels right to me – compared to Walmart shoppers, Target shoppers are generally not interested in a prepaid product. So they started with a more limited potential market, and then Target shot themselves in the foot (although I thank them for doing so) by offering a feature that no other competitor has to my knowledge (except in a limited amount for Serve), that being cc loading. Every sale of a redbird on ebay was to an MSer. I was hearing about MSers doing roadtrips and going out of their way on travels to pick up redbirds at the available stores. Virtually every MSer probably piled into multiples of this card.
And I thought I read somewhere that the plan was to rollout the redbird nationwide earlier this year, so its hard to understand why that has been delayed. I don’t think their NC problems would have been enough, whereas the product not meeting their expectations, combined with a river of cc fees from all the loading by MSers, would change their rollout plans. I certainly hope they keep the debit loading (I much prefer target over walmart), and I am holding onto my 2 remaining redbirds just in case, but I don’t think its likely.


I want to be in denial that the GCs mentioned are referring ONLY to Target GCs and not all prepaid GCs with DEBIT in them. But that is wishful thinking. If the rumors are true that there’ll be no acceptance of ANY debit prepaid GCs as of May 16, I’ve also completed my $5K on just one RB. I have more Serve and just one RB, I had a feeling the free CC loads were TGTBT and won’t last long. I was right so I’ll continue to follow my gut feel.


I finished my May loads with VGCs a couple weeks ago. Any new news on the ban on GCs?


Ameriprise AMEX considered “mainline” or “3rd party” amex? Can it be used to load Serve and received points?


Are Amex Giftcards able to load Serve, online or otherwise?


No to both


If I load Serve with my Amex SPG card, would I earn points & minimum spending ?


Dude, read the article:

“And, as before, Amex credit cards do not earn rewards when loading Serve”


If I use a softserve and load with a non amex CC online, will it still earn points? Or will it be used just to meet a minimum spend? Thanks!


afaik, amex co branded CCs will earn points/miles/cb when used as funding source on Serve BUT if amex CCs are used, no MR or RD earned but funds loaded will qualify to meet min spend.


Is there any problem loading amex gift cards to serve online?


Ameriprise considered “mainline” or “3rd party” amex? Thanks for any insight!


It’s my experience that loading Serve with DL Amex Reserve last Nov. did NOT earn miles OR count toward annual spend. Anyone have different results now?


It’s probably the best to use 3rd party AMEX. Some cards are reported not to work with real AMEX like Old Blue Cash, Serve loads do not count toward $6.5k.


New Serve user here, and have to report that I’m experiencing the same thing – online Serve loads with my Delta Platinum Amex are not counting towards rewards (ie Delta miles) nor minimum spending requirement.


I do have a question about Serve and I didn’t see any answer. Let’s say, if I add my wife as an authorized user of my Amex EveryDay card, is she able to add funds into her Serve account using this card?


Works just fine on another card. So I assume your card work as well.


Do you think Serve load will it work w/ Amerprise Amex (new offer)? As in, it will earn rewards AND count towards min spend? Thanks.


No. The Ameriprise Amex Platinum is an Amex issued card. It will earn points towards minimum spend but not rewards otherwise.


I have successfully loaded my Serve card with the Wells Fargo Propel World card (40k points, $100 airline incidentals and $600 of cellphone replacement insurance if you pay one cellphone bill with it). I haven’t received my bonus points just yet but I talked to one of their reps who confirmed I would be getting my bonus next billing cycle. I find this card to provide a lot more value than the cards listed above.


Be patient. Bonus points will arrive.


According to the T&C’s at Wells Fargo, the $600 coverage (with $25 deductible) is only valid starting the 1st of the calendar month after your first payment AND only continues while you continue to pay your bill. So one bill payment wouldn’t do it.


I have a serve softcard with a non Amex card linked to it, does anyone know if I can switch it to another non Amex card? Or will it only work with the card that is already linked?


Enjoy it while it lasts. People of FT are afraid of changing it because technically that shouldn’t be happening.

John Domingo

There are no issues with loading with Amex cards? I assumed it would code as cash advance…

Can you use to pay your credit card bills?


You can use Amex-issued cards like the SPG or Hilton Surpass or whatever but apparently none of them will earn you points or miles. They don’t code as cash advances though. So as FM points out you can apparently still use them to put spend on the card if you need to for minimum spend or whatever, so you may get the bonus but you won’t get any extra points. Amex cards NOT issued by Amex (Fidelity, Wells Fargo, Citi AA Amex etc) do earn points so far.


Has anyone tried an old Citi AAdvantage Amex?


People of FT say it works.


Thank you!


Is it possible to use the Fidelity Amex to load, if it is an AU card?


If your FIA AMEX card # is different from your AU’s card #, then yes. I believe the system allows only 1 CC # associated with 1 account. I tried it, did not work.


The Fidelity Amex like the Wells Fargo Propel Amex apparently uses the same number for both the original and any AU cards so you can use it for AU loads but only if you are not also using the main card for Serve loads. You can’t have the same card number on two different Serve accounts.


Pissed that I converted from my softserve over to redbird 2 months ago only to have the cc loading end (we all knew it was a matter of time but it still sucks!)

Any idea if one can close their redbird and then “reopen” their old softserve? I have plenty of kates around me, and the online loads are a net win (for the reasons you highlighted above).


Same thing here – closed my softserve in mid-April, got redbird in time to load via credit card in April and May- was hoping to switch back to softserve by mid-May, as I thought it could be done within 30 days. Well, it turns out you do have 30 days to reestablish a closed serve account, AS LONG AS you did not open bluebird or redbird using the same email address that was used for the serve. Of course, I used the same email, so as soon as I opened the redbird, my softserve was “permanently closed”, and could not be reopened even within the 30 days. So now I have a regular serve. Here’s how I look at it: I lost the ability to load $500/month @ 2% (Fidelity Amex) = $10 loss per month. But I doubled up my MS in April and should be able to do it again in May (as the permanent serve card should be here in plenty of time to load $5K for May), plus the $500 initial loads on both cards = $11K of extra MS for making the switch. At say a 4% profit, that’s $440. So my $10/ month loss going forward is covered for 44 months by the doubled up MS for April and May. I doubt this particular strategy even has 44 months of life left, so I’m fine with the result (although I still would have preferred getting my softserve back, for both the extra cc load limit as well as not having to reenter all of my bill payees.)


For reason #1 – you can just drop your serve balance to $0 to avoid the $1 fee. It’s in the terms, and I’ve had it that way for a couple of months and every month it says “monthly fee waived”. Then it’s still open when I need it for gift card loads. I do like the idea for the Everyday cards though.