I have been reading a lot about Serve by American Express – especially the part about directly loading it online with a credit card. You are limited to loading $1,000 per month ($200 per day) unless you link your Serve card to Isis. (which I am not doing)
I opened the account in my husband’s name because you cannot have a Bluebird account AND a Serve account at the same time. Since I like the convenience of being able to write Bluebird checks to people and businesses that I cannot pay electronically, I am still a BB girl.
I did a $200 test load with Matthew’s new Citi AAdvantage Executive card. I kept my fingers crossed that it would work because I am still trying to bang out that $10k spend!
It loaded with no problem and I waited a couple days and made some payments.
But the real test was whether the charge posted as a regular charge or a cash advance. Citi is notorious for posting such things as cash advances. You cannot buy American Express Gift Cards directly from American Express with a Citi card or they will post as cash advances. Anything posting as a cash advance will not count toward your minimum spending requirement and you’ll have to pay fees and interest!
Knowing that, I was not sure how this $200 charge to Serve would post. I was not able to log onto our Citi account online, so I had to call. (the horror) I did not want to come right out and ask about the Serve charge specifically, so I just asked the agent to go over the recent charges to my account. He read through the list that included “$200 to American Express Serve”, wedged between “$20 to Soft Touch Car Wash” and “$7.30 to The Noodle Company”. Good news! I made a point of asking about a couple pending charges that I knew were coming up, just to keep the call as innocent as possible. I also did NOT ask for my cash advance limit to be lowered to $1, as so many people do. I just think that is rather suspicious and I like to keep my activities as benign as possible.
As long as I am able to continue to load Serve directly with a credit card, I think I will keep it for a while. I don’t think it will completely replace Bluebird for me, but it will be a nice companion and an additional way to meet Minimum Spending Requirements. Serve does charge a $1 fee per month unless you set up a Direct Deposit or load $500 during your monthly statement period. I don’t think loading the $500 will be an issue. Apparently you can also withdraw cash with no fee from MoneyPass ATMs. Apparently the US Bank at my local Kroger store has a Money Pass ATM. Next time I am there, I will have to try to withdraw some cash and verify that it works.
Does anyone else have any experience using Serve? As a Serve “newbie” I would love to hear your opinion!