American Express Serve Review: A Good Prepaid Card for 2016?

Although they don’t improve your credit, prepaid cards do have some perks. You don’t have to have good credit or a bank account to get one. The amount loaded on the card gives you strict spending ceiling. And you still get to make purchases online and avoid carrying around cash.

The biggest drawback? All prepaid cards charge fees. In fact, some are absolutely riddled with them: There’s often a fee for getting the card, another for making a call to customer service and more for adding money. However, if you’re going to go the prepaid route, the American Express Serve card is a good low-cost option that can be virtually free if you play your cards right.

Serve is offered by American Express, a CreditCardForum advertising partner. Here’s what you need to know about it:

It has low fees compared to the rest of the industry

Like all prepaid cards, the American Express Serve has fees. But at least it keeps the nickel-and-diming to a minimum.

The chart below shows a run-down of the common fees reloadable prepaid cards charge – and where the Serve falls compared with other cards in the space:

AmEx Serve fees
AmEx ServeOther prepaid cards in the industry
Card purchase feeFree online; $2.95 in stores$0 to $9.95
Monthly maintenance fee$1 (see exceptions below)$4 to $9.95
Fee to add money$0 (third-party fees apply if using MoneyPak or similar)$0 to $2.50 (not counting third-party fees)
Customer service fee$0$0 to $2 per call
U.S. ATM withdrawal fee$2.50 ($0 at MoneyPass ATMs)$1.95 to $2.50 (usually free within card's own ATM network)
Foreign transaction fees2.7%2% to 3.5%

As you can see, this card leads the pack when it comes to keeping certain fees low – and, at worst, it falls in the middle.

Pay particular attention to the monthly fee. At $1, it’s already low, but you can eliminate it entirely by doing one of the following in a given month:

  • Receiving a direct deposit on the card.
  • Adding $500 or more to your account.
  • Adding your card to your Isis Mobile Wallet

Those hurdles are pretty low, and, even if they aren’t convenient for you every month, you’ll pay $1, worst-case scenario. Also, keep in mind that there are no monthly fees in N.Y., Vt. and Texas.
In addition to the monthly fee, another fee you can expect to pay on a regular basis is an ATM withdrawal fee. If you’re not near a MoneyPass ATM (there are 24,000 of them nationwide), you’ll be paying $2 per withdrawal, plus any fees charged by the bank that owns the ATM.

You might ask how AmEx is making any money off this card if the fees are so low. Each time you swipe, the merchant gets charged a processing fee. So, if this becomes your card of choice, AmEx will make money off of you (well, your purchases, anyway), even if you’re not paying much in fees.

Reloading the card is easy, but can get expensive if you’re not careful

Some prepaid cards will let you get direct deposits onto the card for free and then gouge you if you want to reload from a bank account, debit card or credit card. Others won’t let you load from a debit or credit card, period.American Express Serve

The Serve card offers a number of cost-free loading options, however. You can top off your card free with cash at participating 7-ELEVEN and CVS locations, with direct deposit, by depositing checks through the Serve mobile app, by drafting funds from your checking or savings account, or by transferring money with a debit or credit card.

The only time you’ll pay to load the Serve card is if you choose to purchase a MoneyPak or Vanilla Reload — and that’s where things can get expensive. If you reload $100 via a $4.95 MoneyPak, you’re spending 5 percent of your own money for the privilege of … spending your own money. It’s easy to criticize people who get trapped in that cycle, but remember: A lot of people are drawn to prepaid cards because they don’t have bank accounts. MoneyPaks and Vanilla Reloads (available at a ton of discount chain stores) would be the most convenient way to get money on your card if you don’t have a bank.

It has protections and money-management tools

One of the biggest advantages of credit cards is that they come with all kinds of extra protections, from purchase protection to travel insurance coverage. While the Serve card can’t compete with the most perk-laden rewards credit cards, it does kick in some extras, including:

Purchase protection: If you buy something with the card, and it gets lost or stolen within 90 days, American Express will reimburse you, up to $1,000 per occurrence. It’s a common benefit on credit cards – but extremely rare among prepaid cards.

Protection for the money you load: If the money you put on the card is gone as soon as a thief steals it or if the bank holding it fails, you might as well just carry cash, right? Luckily, you can consider the money you load onto your Serve card safer than bills in your wallet.

These days, FDIC protection for the funds you load onto prepaid cards is par for the course with reputable financial institutions. With the Serve card, things are a little different because American Express is not a bank, so any funds placed with it are not FDIC insured. AmEx gets around that by placing your funds into custodial accounts at FDIC-insured banks, according to the card’s website. There is some fine print to be aware of, however: It takes AmEx about a day to put your funds into such an account, and during this limbo period, they’re not FDIC insured. Still, you can consider your money pretty safe unless AmEx happens to go insolvent the very day your funds are in limbo.

But what happens if you lose your Serve card or it gets stolen? The card advertises its fraud protection – if a thief uses your card you simply get refunded after you call American Express to report the unauthorized purchases. Be careful, though —That protection is available only to those who have registered for a Serve account with American Express. If you’ve just purchased a temporary card at a retail location, loaded it up with some cash and haven’t yet signed up for a Serve account (and a card with your name on it), you won’t be refunded for any fraudulent transactions that happened before you called customer service, so it’s just like losing cash in that type of scenario. In fact, it’s in the fine print:

Amex Serve fine print lost stolen card

Money-management tools: This is another common perk among prepaid cards. Most of them have ways to track your spending and set limits. The Serve card uses a program called “Reserve.” Essentially, you have the ability to move funds from your available balance to a special Reserve account that acts as a savings account for big purchases. That way, the funds stay out of the way – you can’t spend them unless you transfer them back to your regular Serve account.

Money-sharing tools: You can send money to anyone with a Serve account via your desktop or via the mobile app.

Roadside assistance: This is another rare perk among prepaid cards, but it’s not as good as it sounds. You have the privilege of calling American Express’s roadside assistance hotline, and they’ll send you a tow truck or locksmith. But AmEx isn’t paying for it – you’re responsible for whatever the help costs.

Access to the Global Assist Hotline: This hotline will help you navigate any medical or legal emergencies you run into while you’re more than 100 miles from home. As with roadside assistance, you’ll have to pay for whatever help you need. But this perk can be helpful if you’re in another country, in big trouble and can’t speak the language.

The bottom line

While prepaid cards offer the convenience of plastic, they won’t help you improve your credit. If you’re seeking out prepaid cards because you’ve been rejected for credit (and want to build up your credit rating), check out the secured card offers here.

If, however, you want a re-loadable prepaid card for whatever reason, the American Express Serve is a good one. The fees are low compared to its competitors (as long as you rely on the free methods of reloading), and it has a generous suite of extras that are rare among prepaid cards.

Updated February 2016

 
Comments
The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

If I was you, I wouldn’t dare get a Serve card. On black Friday, the whole system was hijacked and customers were left w/o access to their funds.. It’s day two and I was told yesterday when I called ” The technical team is working on it and should have it up in four hours” I was given a generic reference code and told to call back in four hours, I gave until the next day and guess what? You got it, my funds are still not in my account and now they are not answering the phone at all. I held for one hour and 43 minutes only to have someone pick up the phone and hang up. It’s unbelievable! Someone could be in an emergency situation, stuck and need gas or anything and their money is not where it should be, no one will take your call and no one knows when you can expect to have this issue resolved. Sure they don’t charge you a fee when you have direct deposit but I don’t know about anyone else, I’d rather pay and have peace, security and access to my funds 365 days a year than to have a maintenance fee waived and have to deal with this at random. If you are in search of a prepaid card to use thinking its safer for shopping think again, a lot of retailers don’t take the card, you can’t do a debit at stores and here’s another problem, they play musical ATM’s with you. One day the ATM is the one they tell you is free to you in your area and the next day you use that ATM, You get hit with fees via Amex and the ATM’s bank owner so if you don’t already belong to the group of unfortunate cardholders, do your self a favor and do not get one of these cards. At least you can’t say you were not warned.

What time does AMEX put your direct deposit into your account? I typically get paid on Friday and some of my coworkers money is on their debit cards today… So if I got paid two days early, it should be today, but around what time should I expect to receive it?

I have a Serve card and have had no real issues until recently. I scheduled a payment with Cox Communications, but the rep accidently charged me $416 the same day. When I discovered this a few hours later, I called Cox, and found a Rep to reverse the charge. AmEx received the cancellation/reversal but “THE SYSTEM” will not process a reimbursement until 8 DAYS after the transaction. I spoke with 2 different reps and a “supervisor” who could not help. Not even a partial credit adjustment is available. “This is the same for all of our customers”, said the supervisor. This is ridiculous! AmEx Serve has the cancellation from the merchant explaining this was an error by the merchant, and still I have to wait 8 DAYS to receive my money??!! What’s the point of holding my money for so long. I can’t tell creditors I have to wait 8 days to pay bills.

Hey can I use my Serve Card for a car rental?

Stephanie Wallace

Did it work?

BE WARNED WITH THIS CARD if you like or need to use cash, ever, this is not the card for you. You CANNOT get cash back with this card. Period. Not $20 back at the grocery store, nothing. And if you like the added security of needing a pin for your debit card that’s another feature this card doesn’t have, it only asks for your pin if you’re using it at an ATM($2.50 per transaction+whatever the ATM charges, usually another $3-4). Everything else goes through as instant approval like credit, only without credit’s extra security of a signature. If you like paying $6 to get at your own money and the security that comes with knowing any Joe shmoe can swipe your card no questions asked than this might just be the card for you! Also about half the times I try using online features you can’t log in due to “technical difficulties”, some transactions take a LONG time to show up unlike most debit cards where it shows up instantaneously, and there are NO automatic text alerts (which I think is by far the most useful tool to track spending). I would highly recommend the prepaid vision card, that’s definitely the best one out there, or the netspend card over this one. Vision comes with easy bill pay, text alerts, roadside assistance, 3% cash back at gas stations, and savings account with 5.65% apy. Close runner up is the netspend card. Also has a savings account and text alerts. If you’re a saver this one is great, it pays 5% apy up to your first $5,000. I’d recommend just about any card over the one debit card that won’t give you cash back, but those two are the best on the market in my experience. Also, I’ve noticed no matter how many awful reviews this card has so many websites are still saying it’s “great!” Yeah, right. Amex sure has their marketing budget on point! If the card was half as good as they say they wouldn’t need to pay websites to get the word out, people would just recommend it. Which I would not. To anyone.

There are so many inaccuracies in this post that I wonder if this person even owns the Serve card.

#1 You can get FREE cash withdrawals from Moneypass branded ATMs. There are thousands of these locations around the country.

#2 Everytime I use my card at the pay-at-the-pump it asks for my ZIP code.

#3 Card has a “Reserve” account feature which protects your balance from theft. It can not be used unless you move it to your main account.

#4 Ifyour card is used without authorization, you will not be responsible as you get the same protections as a credit card

I’ve had American Express Serve card for around 3 years and it’s been very useful since I no longer have a bank account. I have also saved $500 because they offer many cashback offers just for using the card. But recently they have been rejecting all my check deposits blaming Certegy. So I have had to pay a fee to cash them at Walmart. What is strange is that Walmart also uses Certegy to verify checks yet they don’t seem to have a problem cashing my checks. So I am sure American Express is rejecting the checks on their own because they want to charge me the monthly fee. But I will continue using it because it’s only $1 a month and cash deposits are still free.

I want to start off in saying Ive had this card for about 2 years now and up until this point I have LOVED it. It served its purpose and never caused me problems. I was able to load money when I needed it and use it for all my online shopping without the worry about someone getting my bank account info.

Now here comes the bad. I loaded quite a bit of money onto the card knowing that in the next few days I was going to make a large purchases online. However before I was able to do that a charge (not from me) appeared on my card and was “on hold” for all but $2. Now I wanted to stress again that I DID NOT use my card yet for the intended purchases and the website which it came through has no record of any transaction by me (which i already knew) leading them to believe that someone stole my card info.

When I decided to contact AMERICAN EXPRESS SERVE they transferred me to a fraudulent claims SUPERVISOR who proceeded to tell me that even though I claimed that it is fraudulent that since it is “on hold” he can not do any thing for 7 days until the retailer takes the money.

I am upset with them since I am trying to PREVENT the unauthorized charge and help them not have to pay me money that someone else is clearly trying to steal. Again they said that there is nothing that they can do and that maybe I should get a hold of the retailer and have them stop the charge (again was he not listening when I told him I already did and that they have no record of me purchasing anything) and to top it off I had to wait on hold for 25 min to even begin a conversation.

Overall I am NOT happy with the customer service that I was provided (said that he was the supervisor and there was no one else for me to talk to). If you dont need to speak to customer service and are hoping (willing to take the risk) that you might not get your money back than this card will do its job. However if you ever need customer service ( I spoke with two others before the supervisor none of them were helpful) I would NOT recommend this card.

Serve allows you to create a “Reserve” account which “holds” the money you transfer into for safekeeping. So if a thief steals your card and tries to go on a shopping spree the money in the reserve account can’t be accessed unless you transfer it back to your main account. I love this feature.

this is the worst card i have ever had. spent an hour trying to register kept getting error message and then was told unable to register. so i called and first rep was NOT helpful. not curtious either. offered no help other then try different browser? i used 3 different ones. same thing. and she said well then u cant register give it as a gift card..are you kidding?? i bought it for me to use online and i cant?! FALSE advertisement. DO NOT GET THIS CARD. when i caled again superviser said my accounts in review?? what account it said i couldnt register!!!! .

The key to any card is read all the terms and cons a lot of the negative reviews I’ve read are mostly covered online and in the envelope that the card arrives in.
it tells you to use Serve card inside at gas stations and not at pump because it charge a overage percentage, the gas stations discretion.
serve card is free at cvs, walmart.
I never paid 4.95 Direct deposit comes from government with no problems.
it tells you if used at a tip based restaurant tip would be automatically added until they get signed authorization from merchant example.
my Chinese food came to 19.00 so 22.80 was charged
which was 3.80 tip if I put 0 tip on it refunds the 3.80.
s as me for car rental takes the amount of rental plus 20%.
So I SAY READ before joining Serve or using

I have had the serve card for about 2 months yes they do have a couple things negative. But they were very helpful and cleared the issue up within 5 days. I really enjoy the card and will continue using it. I know I have to pay $3.95 to reload it but no other fees to purchase anything.

You can reload for free at Walmart, 7-11 and Family Dollar.

You can reload for free at Family Dollar

Be careful with this card. I had a Serve account for about 3 years. On Thursday, 11/12 I received 2 emails from Amex Serve telling me that my account had been locked due to possible fraud. I called as soon as I saw the emails, about 7:00pm. Since then I have called 10 times…a combination of customer service and fraud protection. I cannot speak to a supervisor. A supervisor was supposed to call within 48 hours. To date (Sunday night, 11/15) no one has called. No one can tell me why it was closed. I have no idea if someone used my card fraudulently. I can’t access my account. I have no idea if or when I am getting my money back (there was about $900 on the card). I have tweeted. I have called the executive offices. No one is willing to help.

I applied for this card over several years ago when it went by ISIS. They could never get it to work properly so finally just told them to cancel it, never used my card, tore my card up and thought that was the end of it. Then today I get an email telling me I will be charged $4.95 a month. I called to cancel and after being on hold about 15 minutes, I spoke to “Lovely” which I doubt was her real name. She took my email address, last 4 digits of my soc. sec., my account number and then told me it was $1.00 in the account and it could not be cancelled until they refunded that which would take about 5 days. I asked if that meant I would have to call back then and she said yes, and I asked if I would be on hold again and she said yes. I asked to speak to a supervisor and was put on hold while she transferred me. 30 minutes later I hung up. I don’t know how they plan to bill this $4.95 if I can’t get it cancelled – anyone have any ideas. I will call my regular American Express tomorrow and see if they can help me. These people are so inefficient that you wonder where they find them. I would advise anyone to not use this card because you can’t seem to get rid of them and their customer service is the worst. I call my regular American Express card number and they are always helpful – I don’t understand why they would want to be connected in any way with this group. This is about like some scam, ripoff – Help would be appreciated from anyone who knows what to do in this case.

This is literally the WORST card in the world. I swear to god their customer service is so bad it is laughable, and you have to call them repeatedly JUST TO SET JT UP. Yes, that’s right: you have to call them twice, upload your drivers license, and bank statements, and then deal with actual idiots who can’t read or understand English. I have never, ever in my life seen something so heavily marketed that is truly so dysfunctional and horrible to use. IT IS HORRIBLE.

It is a HUGE pain in the butt to have to prove your identity; unfortunately that’s the world we live in today. I had to do the same thing when I opened my card. Amex just wants to be sure you are who you say you are. It’s for your own benefit. If someone opened a card in your name and committed fraud, you would be wondering why the heck it was so easy for someone to use your information without having to prove themselves.

As far as the overseas customer service, I agree with you. Amex call centers are in the Philippines. And the language barrier is horrendous. It sucks.

DO NOT GET THIS CARD UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES UNLESS you have money to throw away!! A couple weeks ago, I made a purchase for gas at a shell station on which American Express placed a $75.00 hold. Later that day, I checked my account and realized that they had placed this same $75.00 hold on my account twice. I waited for 2 days (thinking that the funds would leave their pending status with at least ONE of the $75.00 holds being released and returned to my account). That transaction had NOT occurred so I called American Express to tell them about what had occurred. I was then told that it was a mistake and that the hold should be released within 24 hours). 24 hours later and no release. I called again and told them that I needed to have the funds placed back on my card immediately and they obliged. Funds were placed back on my account immediately. So, I walked around in the clouds thinking that “this actually could be a great card after all!” On 8/18, I purchased airline tickets in the amount of $364.00. Well, I tried to purchase some items for my trip in the amount of $107.00 and the transaction was declined. I immediately checked my Serve account and realized that American Express had once again placed a hold on the funds I charged TWICE. I immediately called American Express to find out what was going on and was told that USAirways charged my card twice, had received TWO authorization codes for both transactions; however, one of them had already posted. I explained that I had only made ONE purchase for the cost of the tickets for $364 and the rep stated that that one had posted TWO DAYS AFTER the original transaction date. I confirmed that it was correct and that it made sense to me that it would post, She then informed me that the hold was still pending the other one and would be released within 24-48 hours (that call took place on Friday, 8/21/15 at 9:15am). At 9:15 this morning (8/23/15), I checked my account again only do discover that the funds had NOT YET been released and returned to my account. I called American Express again to request the immediate return of the funds and was told that because USAirways charged the account twice, it was THEIR fault and that I had to wait for 8 DAYS before my funds were refunded. I asked to be transferred to a supervisor because clearly something was wrong and that someone above the rep could surely assist me with this issue that CLEARLY was not mine. Peter (or Peta…the Supervisor) informed me that there was nothing he nor anyone else could do to help me because “THE SYSTEM” would not allow them to refund anything valued at more than $1.00. I already KNEW THAT WAS A LIE because just a couple weeks prior, I had $75 refunded to my card. I am writing to American Express corporate. This “spinoff” card is not worth the name and, to me, is not worthy of bearing the AE logo. I was GOING to say that the only thing it’s good for is making small purchases. After THIS debacle, I think I’ll go back to putting my money in another “place” where I can control it. Pre-paid or not, if a customer has a dispute about a transaction, the company should be willing to at least temporarily return the funds until their investigation has been completed. I would NEVER send any money to this account via direct deposit and would absolutely discourage ANYONE from using this card as a primary source for directly depositing your paychecks, SSI checks, tax refunds, etc. Just stay away from it altogether!

So it is 7/30/2015 I had complained about my account showing unauthorized transactions, i call Amex serve and file the complaint. They send me the proper paper work so they can do their investigation. Once I am done on the phone the rep tells me this can take up to 45 days to investigate and for releasing the funds. It took them 4 days to get back to me and yesterday 7/29 i received a new card (Since the old one was cancelled). I activate the new one and instantly after I activate it I get an email from amex telling me that they have come across some activity on my account (The new card I just activated) and have closed my account. Now the F&!k Holes are sending me a check. I am pretty sure they were just waiting for me to activate the card so they can literally cancel the whole thing. Amex serve is by far the most horrible service ever and I have read multiple reviews of others dealing with account closures for ridiculous reasons.

Never again.

A copy of my response to a survey from Amex Serve: On 6/11/2015 I made a reservation and was charged 30.00 overage for what your company called “incidental charge” and this charge was blamed on the resort. Within 4 daays my money was credited back. That was fine. Upon check in, we were also charged another 15% overage but only had the exact amount and spoke to another rep for over 10 minutes who once again tried to blame it on the resort. After informing this rep that we were physically in the office and the owner verified that they have never pre authorized, your rep then admitted that it was Amex Serve charging the 15%!, reading the terms of agreement. OK, I get that too. The resort folks were not so favorable of you. We were on their phone as you blamed it all on them. So they were kind enough to let us stay as we actually had to obtain a ride due to our automobile being disabled at the last minute. We agreed to pay the balance upon check out with a guarantee from your rep that we would NOT be charged the 15% for a third time. We went 2 days unable to feel comfortable, feeling somewhat like “squatters” and on 6/15/2015 the money was once again posted.. We wanted this debt resolved so instead of waiting for check out we decided to go ahead and take care of it so that we could enjoy our vacation. Once again, 15%!, and the rep telling us that the resort was the one charging. We finally paid with our checking card, which was reserved for getting us ho!e and I spent a hard worker for vacation stressed out! We immediately obtained a copy of the rental agreement, legal statutes and notorized document from the owners stating that they have never pre authorized ANY of their guests because it is all inclusive and incidentals, even tax insurance and gratuity are included. This is irresponsible on your part and the fact that the owners of an operation that accepts your card heard 2 of the 3 conversations mentioned, disturbs me.n 6/11/2015 I made a reservation and was charged 30.00 overage for what your company called “incidental charge” and this charge was blamed on the resort. Within 4 daays my money was credited back. That was fine. Upon check in, we were also charged another 15% overage but only had the exact amount and spoke to another rep for over 10 minutes who once again tried to blame it on the resort. After informing this rep that we were physically in the office and the owner verified that they have never pre authorized, your rep then admitted that it was Amex Serve charging the 15%!, reading the terms of agreement. OK, I get that too. The resort folks were not so favorable of you. We were on their phone as you blamed it all on them. So they were kind enough to let us stay as we actually had to obtain a ride due to our automobile being disabled at the last minute. We agreed to pay the balance upon check out with a guarantee from your rep that we would NOT be charged the 15% for a third time. We went 2 days unable to feel comfortable, feeling somewhat like “squatters” and on 6/15/2015 the money was once again posted.. We wanted this debt resolved so instead of waiting for check out we decided to go ahead and take care of it so that we could enjoy our vacation. Once again, 15%!, and the rep telling us that the resort was the one charging. We finally paid with our checking card, which was reserved for getting us ho!e and I spent a hard worker for vacation stressed out! We immediately obtained a copy of the rental agreement, legal statutes and notorized document from the owners stating that they have never pre authorized ANY of their guests because it is all inclusive and incidentals, even tax insurance and gratuity are included. This is irresponsible on your part and the fact that the owners of an operation that accepts your card heard 2 of the 3 conversations mentioned, disturbs me.

They are so bad I hate to merit any stars, but they make me. They are a bunch of lying crooks. Four holds were put on my card totaling over 200.00. I was told that there would be an 8 day hold unless they spoke to the merchant. Well I did a conference call and the merchant clearly stated to release the hold. I was told 24 to 48 hours and it would be credited back to my card. Two days went by and nothing. I then called back and was told that it wasn’t true, that the tech should have never told me that, and that it would be 8 days no matter what. At this point I had talked to 8 different people, 4 of which told me 24-48 hours. They are a headache, they repeat the same thing over and over, you wait for a supervisor forever. In fact, one of the techs told me they were getting one and there was no hold music. Come to find out I heard him BREATHING on the other end! He wasn’t getting anyone at all! I do not recommend these people AT ALL! Terrible terrible institution!

Our decision was based in whole or in part on information obtained from Certegy Check Services, Inc. (“Certegy”). Certegy is a nationwide specialty consumer reporting agency that provides authentication and risk management services to merchants and businesses nationwide.

Certegy is unable to tell you the specific reasons why we denied your request. However, you have the right to obtain a free copy of your consumer file disclosure report from Certegy if you request it from Certegy no later than 60 days after you receive this notice. In addition, if you find that any information in the consumer file disclosure report you receive from Certegy is inaccurate or incomplete, you have the right to dispute that matter with Certegy.

Have had my Serve card for a month and a half. Great for direct deposit and purchases, but terrible for depositing (or trying to) checks via the mobile app, one of THE MAIN reasons I got the card to begin with.

Like I said, I had the card for around 6 weeks and so far I’ve tried to deposit 4 personal checks from for different people, issued from four different banks and ALL FOUR have been declined due to some “Certegy Check Services, Inc.” outfit which apparently thinks every personal check ever written is fraudulent. Don’t even try to get explanations from Certegy Check Services, Inc. or American Express.. it’s a lesson in futility, I’m serious, you will literately get NO information as to why you can’t deposit checks… they even tell you when they decline the check….

“Our decision was based in whole or in part on information obtained from Certegy Check Services, Inc. (“Certegy”). Certegy is a nationwide specialty consumer reporting agency that provides authentication and risk management services to merchants and businesses nationwide.

Certegy is unable to tell you the specific reasons why we denied your request. However, you have the right to obtain a free copy of your consumer file disclosure report from Certegy if you request it from Certegy no later than 60 days after you receive this notice. In addition, if you find that any information in the consumer file disclosure report you receive from Certegy is inaccurate or incomplete, you have the right to dispute that matter with Certegy.”

Do not get this card I did not realize that this card was not excepted everywhere its very embarrassing to get to the check out counter and they reply oh we don’t except american express cards. My check is direct deposited to this card so all of my money is on it that means I have to walk out the store without my items even the utility company didn’t except it so unfortunately my utilities were cut off because i couldn’t make it to the ATM and the payment center before they closed and this was a Friday VERY DISAPPOINTED I AM STOPPING ALL TRANSACTION TO THIS CARD.. No point in having it if I can’t pay important bills online

It’s not Amex’ fault that you didn’t do research on the company and where it’s accepted. Everyone knows that Visa and MC are accepted pretty much everywhere, but American Express isn’t. Thankfully the places I shop at the most do accept it. To blame Amex for this is ridiculous.

Is it possible to attach “square” to the serve card? I have both the routing # and account # that Amex. Supplied me. Any thoughts.

I was wondering the same thing. I can’t find any information anywhere about it.

Has anybody ever used the mobile snap check to deposit a check and if so, how long did it take for the money to become available?

Hate this card!! Transferred funds from my checking accounnt to help set money aside for my sons birthday..did not received until a week later. .as in days AFTER his birthday. And now trying to cancel my account will be another week til i see my monney (card is lost) . customer service did not help anyway! !

What do you expect them to do if you lost your card?? Sounds like you’re frustrated that you’re not getting your money NOW but it’s your fault you lost the card.

I had this card for a coupe of months now and I must say it was a mistake to get it. Yes, reloading the card is somewhat easy – Seven Eleven etc… But if you try to do something advanced, like getting a money transfer from someone not in the Serve system, you’ll be disappointed. No such option exists. The Direct Deposit option is no good for this (and frankly, it wasn’t any good for my employer, who refused to do a Direct Deposit because “Serve” is not a “real bank” and their direct deposit info is not accepted by most corporations when it comes to payroll). So, if you are looking for a truly versatile prepaid card, keep looking!

Your employer was wrong to decline using your serve account for direct deposit. Your card is funded through American Express Centurion Bank out of Salt Lake City, and does have an actual routing and account number attached to it. There is even an option to print a direct deposit form from the serve website when you’re logged in. It’s your employer’s bad, not Amex’s.

This is the Best damn prepaid card ever. I have nothing but praise about
it. It costs almost near nothing to use this card. I am very pleased with
this card.
Thank You American Express for my Serve Card.

I couldn’t agree more about the convenience and ease of use. I don’t understand all of the negativity about this card. I have had the account for over a year. My nephew lives out of state and I created a sub account for him. I simply transfer money and can monitor the spending. Thank you American Express….

Yes, I would agree. I see all these horrible reviews, and I’m in my second year using my card. Never really had a problem.

I was wondering if you ever had fraudulent charges how long did they take to refund you?

Hello I want to know if anyone has had their tax refund deposited on their card? If so how long did it take for your funds to post.

I was wondering the same thing. I been reading a lot of bad reviews. Got me really worried.

On the irs refund page Said my taxes was sent to do on the 6th and it’s the 12th and still no funds

It’s because of tax refund fraud. Verification of your identity can take some extra time.

I haven’t got mine yet either

Same here. I called Serve and they say it takes at least 48 hours. It’s already been over 48 hours and all he said was try back tomorrow!

I use my serve card every year for my tax refunds. It hits the morning of the IRS’ deposit schedule.

Being a senior person with limitations I find that the American Express
serve prepaid card is the best for me. I love it. I carry very little
paper or coin money because I tend to lose mine if I carry a lot.
I just take the card, swipe, and go, simple and easy.
I never use my bank ATM card anywhere other than the bank for fear of fraud.
It costs nothing to load and $1.00 a month for maintenance. I live in Tex.
so I pay nothing. This is the best prepaid card for me and I have never
had any problems.
Thank You American Express Serve

Is there a monthly fee if I get only the temporary card?

Not worth the effort

I got the Serve card so I could pre-load travel money for foreign use. Come to find out that my money is held for an additional 8 days after the transaction. I can see that the transaction has cleared, but now I am waiting on the additional hold to clear. Had I known about this process in advance I would have never gotten this card. 2nd, you can only pre-load 1000.00 cash per day, they mention the card can be loaded at 7-11 locations, this is U.S locations only, Cash withdraw at ATM’s in a foreign country are impossible. This card will not be part of my foreign travel financial plans in the future. Very disappointed with the serve card

Have been using the card for over a year now and havent came across any problems at all.

sabrina arreola

just put 50 dollars and it says i have .70 cents why

AVOID THIS CARD AT ALL COST!!!!! If you rent a car, or book a room with this card, SERVE will add an extra 15% to the pr-authorization. For example, the past three times I rented a car from Enterprise. They(rental company), pr-authorization my card $200. My Serve account showed an active transaction for the sum of $230. I returned the car the next day with a total rental charge of $83.33. It took SERVE weeks release the difference. And, at the time, I really needed MY money! It gets much worst! I recently made a purchase, for what should of been $153.00. A simple miss communication with a merchant.A bad cell phone connection, caused the merchant to make a totally honest mistake and charge my card $1530.00. Within less than 60 seconds, the merchant realized his mistake, and voided the transaction. SERVE has held MY $1530.00 for 10 days now. Serve has given both, the merchant and I, the run around via the phone, many countless times. In one phone conversation Serve even, slandered the merchant! The merchant does not have my money(fact). I do not have my money(fact)! $1530.00 represents more than 98% of my current balance. Part of these funds were budgeted for groceries to feed my family! WTF am I to do now?

Read your Serve customer terms of service – “you may not use this card for car rentals.” it is a prepaid card, not a credit card. This is why you have run into so many problems.

Beware, American Express confiscates your money with notice.

what does this mean?

Can it be used at gas pumps? Or do you have to go in like most of the prepaid cards, to pay for gas?

Do NOT use it at gas pumps.. It will authorize $150 and hold it. If you have a low balance, it will put the difference from your linked account. You will of course get your money back when it is released, but it will not just authorize what you spend. Take it to the window and have the clerk run the exact amount.

Very bad customer service and account will suspended frequently if you load from a credit card. Very bad prepaid card. Have much better experience with Chase Liquid and Walmart money card.

Is there a way to block your Card Bali to show on your transaction Receipt, this is a huge Lack of Security.

AMERICAN EXPRESS CHARGES 2.95 DOLLARS EVERYTIME YOU USE THE CARD IS THIS TRUE IF SO I WILL BE CUTTING MINE UP

This is absolutely not true. American Express does not charge you for standard point-of-sale purchases. $2.95 is the initial cost to purchase the card in a store. However, it is free to obtain the card online.

There is a fee ($2.00), though, for making cash withdrawals from an ATM that is not a part of the MoneyPass network.

Do not get American Express Serve Card, You will regret it. I am still trying to get my money they jacked from me. Its all around a shady, sketchy experience.

This HAS to be the biggest inconvenience of a card EVER:
It’s an AMEX so it’s taken everywhere
It’s an AMEX so many retailers don’t allow you to use it as a debit card ( especially important when paying bills)
The cash withdrawal limits are waaaaaaay to low
If you want a free ATM you basically have to walk into a Walmart ….and all of them don’t have the right ATM Machine
Activating your sub accounts is a huge hassle HUGE
When you pay with this card, your ending balance is shown on the receipt for anyone to see

I could go on, but if you are looking for freedom and flexibility, this card is NOT it!

I agree with most of your complaints, but the daily cash withdrawal limit of $500 is actually better than most bank account debit cards.

Absolute worst pre paid card ever !!! Sure they claim atm fees are free if you use certain atms … Yes they don’t charge you 1 time a month but they will the 2nd time … Plus you will pay the atm owner too.. I can go on and on … Sorry I got involved with this card . My bank card
Is much better

Everytime I try to reload my Serve card with cash at different cvs’ it decline’s the transaction, the reload is disallowed & the cashier get’s a prompt specifying I need to pay the activation fee, or take card away from point of sale??? Has anyone else had this problem, and do you have a resolution?

Ive been able to load for free at CVS with no problem but the irs did deposit my tax refund on 2/20/2015 they said it will be deposited the in 24 to 48 hours so I will see and I will let yall know

Does anyone know if AMEX reports the consumer’s activity of Amex SERVE card to the 3 credit agencies? From what I’ve read above, Amex SERVE is not a card to use to try to rebuild credit. And that Capital One Secured card is the way to go…can anyone confirm? Thanks

Concierge Robert

Sorry no. this is not a credit card so they do not report your usage to any of the credit agencies.

CAN U RENT A CAR WITH IT @ ANY MAJOR AIRPORTS?

Prepaid debits are not acceptable to rent the car. A debit through a bank is the only debit cards that work. Here’s the thing when renting out a car, rental agencies only take an authorization at pick up. An authorization on a debit through bank would tie up funds for about $150-$200 over amount of your estimated rental period. They do not take the actual payment until you return the rental. The reason why there is no payment until the end is because if you bring car back earlier or later, it will change the total. This is why they get an authorization for more then estimated total. Car rental agencies love credit cards at pick up because it will not tie up your funds like a debit would through the bank. Prepaids don’t affect your credit like a debit card would that’s through a bank. The reason comes down to the fact that they are giving you a new car that’s worth $10k,20k, 30k, or more and if car was not returned or I’m condition rented, they can go after damages, affect your credit score. So, if u have a credit card use it at the pick up time and then at the return time tell rep to charge your prepaid debit, which they can because now they are closing out rental and taking the charge. Nothing will be put on your credit card, only on prepaid.
(Rental agent, I know policy)

Not true very few prepaid card are accepted , I work for one .

Concierge Robert

I have a Serve card that I use to save money for entertainment/ mad money. I put a set ammount into the account from each paycheck and that’s all I use to go out with. If I don’t have money in the account, I don’t go to the movies or out to eat. It helps me spend less. I’ve een doing this for five months and it works pretty well.
my bank has only two ATN’s in my town ut there are 9 MONEYPASS ATM’s
The only problem is it takes about a week for the money to show up on the account.
R

Is there a limit to how much money you are allowed to put on your card? Do you need to wait for a 1099 or report saved money to the IRS ?