American Express Serve Prepaid Card Review

American Express Serve 2015 Open up an American Express Serve account with no credit check, no minimum balance, and no hidden fees. It’s a great alternative to debit and other prepaid cards that’s loaded with great features. Account holders enjoy no credit checks, no monthly fees, and just $1 Monthly Fee (no fee NY, TX & VT)*. It has given PayPal some real competition and is seriously challenging the lucrative prepaid credit card market. While American Express Serve is primarily a type of prepaid card, it has extra features that make it a hybrid. There are many good reasons why you would need a prepaid credit card these days.

American Express Serve Card Features:

  • Your Full Service Reloadable Prepaid Account (American Express Serve is not a credit card.)
  • Get Your Tax Refund Fast—and a $10 Account credit.*
  • No credit check. No minimum balance. No hidden fees.
  • Enjoy American Express service and security 24/7. Shop online or off and get access to Card Membership benefits like Purchase Protection*
  • Add cash for free across 27,500 CVS/pharmacy®, Family Dollar®, Walmart®, and participating 7-ELEVEN® locations.
  • Free ATM withdrawals at over 24,000 ATMs nationwide.
  • *Terms, conditions and exclusions apply. (Purchase Protection is underwritten by AMEX Assurance Company.)

Summary of American Express Serve:

  • What is Serve? Serve is a digital prepaid account that gives you a safe way to pay in stores, online, and on your mobile phone. It’s free to sign up.
  • Serve is from American Express: Get a Serve® prepaid card to use everywhere American Express® Cards are accepted in the U.S.
  • Benefits of membership: Get access to benefits like 24/7 customer support, Purchase Protection, Roadside Assistance, and Entertainment Access.
  • Security: Serve uses advanced technology from American Express to keep your information and transactions safe and secure.
  • Get the app: Download the mobile app for iPhone®, Android™, and Windows® Phone to move money or split the bill on the go.
  • Link your bank account or card: Add money to your account with a bank account, debit card, credit card, or MoneyPak®.
  • Get cash at ATMs: Use the Serve® Card to get cash at ATMs. Serve will waive its $2 fee for your first withdrawal each month. ATM owner fees may apply.
  • Additional features: Send or request money with a wall post on Facebook, create subaccounts for family and friends, and use widgets to sell items online.

The biggest reason is to make online purchases. People who want to stay clear of using their Visa, MasterCard or American Express for online transactions have an ally in the American Express Serve. As a consumer, you want to have the option to use your regular plastic only for sites that you trust. For anything else, it’s safer to go the prepaid way.

While most credit cards protect your purchases, a prepaid version like the American Express® Serve is able to provide an added layer of protection. However, unlike the typical prepaid plastic, the Amex version does not have an activation fee. To illustrate, the Vanilla prepaid MasterCard will charge you a $5 activation fee on your first transaction.

This amount is deducted from the amount available on the card, which is a major annoyance for first time users of this type of plastic. Just imagine if you paid $20 for the card over the counter. Theoretically, you can only use $15. Worse, most providers will bar you from doing any further transactions, once the balance left is only 15% of the total value of the card.

As a result, there is about 30% right there that you, the card owner never get to use, which is a significant waste. Of course, this amount returns to the card provider. Another major annoyance is that prepaids expire. You may have like four months to use up the balance, or the money gets taken once again by you know who. The American Express Serve eliminates all these annoyances, which is definitely a big relief.

You will only need one card which you can keep filling up over time with money from your bank account or a major credit card. In this area, American Express Serve upstages PayPal because you don’t have to keep withdrawing from your funding sources every time you need to load up. With American Express Serve, you get to automate the process, which is a major convenience.

Just like PayPal, you can send money by email through American Express Serve, but the latter takes the convenience further by allowing you to do this via text messaging and Facebook as well. With its handy features, the American Express Serve has managed to bring back the power to the consumer with regards to the usage of the prepaid mode. Credit card providers tend to forget the fact that in going this way, you are actually using your own money, not theirs.

Hence, you deserve every bit of extra courtesy accorded by the American Express® Serve. Prepaid providers tend to emphasize the fact that getting the card does not require a credit check, without realizing that in going their way, you, the consumer is actually the one who’s fronting the money.

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Comments

  1. Yelena says

    I had this card for a couple 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!

  2. anonymous says

    After only two months I cancelled my Serve account today. As I was attempting to add money, my account was put on hold and I was requested to send a photo copy of my debit card and additional identification. In this environment with fraud, why would I photo copy my debit card number and send to Customer Service? It is my personal information (PII) and should not have to send to anyone for verification. The verification request should’ve occured initially when I purchased the product, I was informed I would have to wait 10 days for the verification process to be able to use the Card with my funds, go figure. Save yourself the frustration and horrible experience. AMERICAN EXPRESS THERE IS NO RISK AS YOU’RE NOT PROVIDING CREDIT, ON THE CONTRARY YOUR CHARGING A FEE AND OBTAINING FUNDS FROM WORKING CONSUMERS, WITH THESE PRACTICES, THIS PRODUCT WILL NOT BE SUCCESSFUL IN THE MARKETPLACE

  3. Stacey Davis says

    Although AEServe is a good alternative to a bank or pay pal account, I will be canceling my daughter’s card if they continue to put the acct balance on merchant receipts. This is a safety issue especially for young people away at college. Please change this feature and add text alerts to update balance info. Otherwise, very flexible card and I took advantage of direct deposit and received the $50 credit.

  4. Alex says

    receive a minimum of two qualifying Direct Deposit transfers of $250 or more , what does it mean? Two direct deposits of $250 or more or each of them must be more than $250?!

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