Serve is safe


UPDATE: It appears that Serve is no longer safe with some cards.  Please see this post for more details: Some online Serve credit loads now posting as cash advances.

In the last few days there was a bit of a panic in the miles and points community with regards to Serve online credit card loads.  For some people, the loads appeared to be processing as cash advances.  We didn’t know at the time, though, whether those charges would really be handled as cash advances once they moved from pending to actual.  Yesterday, I urged people not to panic (see “Serve cash advance? Don’t panic, and don’t call.”).  We’ve seen this happen before where pending charges are handled as cash advances at first, but then are treated as actual purchases once they move out of the pending stage.  We now have good evidence, that the same has happened here.

People who previously reported that their pending charges were handled as cash advances are now reporting that the cleared charges are coming in as purchases.  See this thread on Flyertalk for many examples.

Serve is safe



Next steps

  • If your Serve load is being rejected you may not have a large enough cash advance limit on your credit card.  You may be able to correct this by calling your credit card company to increase the cash advance limit.  The danger with this, of course, is that you might get hit with cash advance fees for other transactions, so use your judgment as to whether or not to go this route.
  • Continue to load Serve with a credit card.  Don’t use a card from American Express, though, since you will not earn credit card rewards from those transactions.  Amex cards issued by other banks should be fine, though.
  • To learn how to automate and maximize Serve loads, please see “Earn miles automatically, with Serve
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Serve declined a transfer from Ink Plus today. When I called the CSP told me that this would be a cash advance transaction and listed the costs. It seems Chase is trying to warn people off. I may have missed other comments of this sort but am just adding a data point.

Tom Madison

BOA travel rewards not is a cash advance : ( Was charged 50 dollars this month


I had been using US Bank Visa Buxx to do debit card loads to Serve for September at least and had started to load again in October. Only loaded 2 times before Serve started to deny debit loads. Serve and US Bank both pointed fingers at the other. US Bank says Serve is treating debit loads as cash advances. Serve claims that they didn’t change anything, that it is US Bank that made the change. As Serve is trying to pull money as a cash advance and it went through as debit in Sept, I believe AMEX changed their process and lied when called out and asked if they had changed. I’d place the blame with AMEX, so it’s on to find a new debit card to work with Serve.


yeah. clearly serve has started doing CAs since its affecting cards from diff banks


Serve is NO LONGER SAFE at least at US Bank as of October 9!! Loaded $200 to Serve with Club Carlson Visa on 10/3 – posted as purchase on 10/6. Loaded $300 to Serve with Club Carlson Visa on 10/9 – posted as CASH ADVANCE on 10/10- $12 CA fee and no reward points! Also, the MCC codes were different, 7278 on the first one, 6051 on the second!


thanks for the heads up.
was just about to try my club carl biz card.


This title is just sad because this progression is nothing new. All this was started by some newbie without a clue.


What about if you are trying to hit a spend requirement on an Amex? If I load $1k into Serve from Amex credit card will I get credit towards spend requirement, even if I don’t get 1k pts or miles?


When people who MS deposit cash to Serve -what do the gain by doing this


People who deposit cash into Serve aren’t MSing. I assume they’re simply using their checking services the way it was intended.


Citi cards are still a no no right because of cash advance fees?

Rob P



good info.
can you do a one-time credit card fund to serve? or must you use the scheduled add $ feature?

Rob P



how can you do a 1 time load without the “Schedule Add” feature?