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Which American Express Serve card is right for you?

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Choose from three prepaid cards in Serve’s suite: a basic prepaid card, a card with free reloads or another with cash back.

  • Get this card if… you want a prepaid debit card with helpful features and no fees.
  • Pick something else if… you’re looking for a traditional credit or debit card.
  • These are prepaid cards, so all credit scores are welcome.

$6.95

Monthly fee

$0

Monthly fee with a direct deposit

Details

Card typeDebit
Card networkAmerican Express
Monthly fee$6.95
Monthly fee with a direct deposit$0

The Basics

Credit cards aren’t all that American Express offers. Serve from American Express is a prepaid debit card that offers the convenience of Amex without monthly billing statements or overdraft charges.

These prepaid cards come with no credit checks, no minimum balances and no annual fees; however, there is a monthly fee, which can be avoided on the basic American Express Serve card when you use direct deposit. Amex offers three Serve cards with varying monthly fees, reload options and benefits to suit your individual needs.

Compare American Express Serve Cards

You can sign up for each of these cards online for free or purchase them at select retail locations for up to $3.95.

All three cards come with free direct deposits, bank account reloads, online bill pay and subaccounts. Other fees and benefits vary by card, as shown below.

American Express ServeAmerican Express Serve FREE ReloadsAmerican Express Serve Cash Back
Monthly fee ($0 in Texas, New York and Vermont)$6.95 or $0 with a $500 direct deposit monthly$6.95$7.95
Cash backNoneNoneUnlimited 1% cash back on purchases (rounded up to the nearest dollar)
Cash reloadsUp to $3.95 (varies by retailer)$0 at more than 45,000 locationsUp to $3.95 (varies by retailer)
ATM withdrawal fee$0 at MoneyPass® ATMs $2.50 at non-MoneyPass ATMs. ATM operator fees may apply.$0 at MoneyPass® ATMs $2.50 at non-MoneyPass ATMs. ATM operator fees may apply.$0 at MoneyPass® ATMs $2.50 at non-MoneyPass ATMs. ATM operator fees may apply.
ATM transaction decline fee ($0 in Vermont)$0.75$0.75$0.75
Foreign transaction fee2.7%2.7%2.7%
Mobile Check Capture$0 for Money in 10 Days. For Money in Minutes, a 1% fee on payroll or government checks with preprinted signatures or 5% fee on other checks; $5 minimum fee applies.$0 for Money in 10 Days. For Money in Minutes, a 1% fee on payroll or government checks with preprinted signatures or 5% fee on other checks; $5 minimum fee applies.$0 for Money in 10 Days. For Money in Minutes, a 1% fee on payroll or government checks with preprinted signatures or 5% fee on other checks; $5 minimum fee applies.
Cash Pickup Powered by RiaUp to $9.49 per withdrawalUp to $9.49 per withdrawalUp to $9.49 per withdrawal
Serve Money Transfer Powered by RiaSend up to $2,500 for $16.99 per transactionSend up to $2,500 for $16.99 per transactionSend up to $2,500 for $16.99 per transaction
Replacement Card Fee ($0 in Texas, New York and Vermont)$5 per card$5 per card$5 per card

The Perks

Serve comes with the reputation and customer service of American Express and options based on your spending needs.

  • Three card options.

    Choose from basic prepaid, free reloads or cash back with varying fees and benefits.

  • No credit check.

    Since these are prepaid cards, you don’t have to worry about your credit score when applying.

  • No hidden fees.

    You won’t get any fees that aren’t covered in this review, allowing you to accurately budget your card balance.

What to watch out for

Most prepaid debit cards lack the conveniences of typical credit cards, and Serve is no exception. Keep in mind these factors when considering whether to apply.

  • Many fees.

    What you’ll pay varies by category, but these cards come with many fees that can cut into your balance and bottom line.

  • Limited ATM options.

    To avoid a $2.50 fee per withdrawal, you’ll need to use one of 24,000 approved ATMs nationwide.

  • High foreign transaction fee.

    If you intend to use this card overseas, it could be pricey at 2.7%.

Guide to American Express credit cards

Compare with other prepaid cards

Name Product Signature transaction fee PIN transaction fee Monthly fee
$0
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$9.95 per month (or $0 with a $1,000+ direct deposit)
Customize your Visa prepaid card to fit you, and pick from two plans to fit your budget.
$0
$0
$9.95 per month (or $5 with a $500+ direct deposit)
Trusted by more than 7 million people.
$1
$2
$0
With Netspend, you get a convenient way to manage your money on a prepaid card that is packed with features.
$0
$0
$4.95
Use the no-cost direct deposit service and have access your funds up to two days faster than what traditional banks offer.
$0
$0
$4.95
Earn rewards towards free groceries and fuel savings. Choose between a Visa or Mastercard prepaid card. Plus, get a $10 bonus added to your reloadable card when you sign up for free direct deposit.
$0
$0
$4.99
ECARD is built on a powerful SmartWallet concept that focuses on four major features: simple application, travel power, member-friendly rewards and cross-border payment card solutions.
$0
$0
$7.95 per month (or $5.95 with a $1+ direct deposit)
The Sequin KLS Prepaid Visa RushCard can add some glitz and fun to your wallet. Aiming to help improve your financial future.
$0
$0
$9.95
The AccountNow Gold Visa Prepaid Card is a debit card that allows cardholders the convenience of direct deposit without having to open a checking account.
$1
$1
$0
The AccountNow Prepaid Visa Card gives you quick access to your money, and is a convenient alternative to traditional bank accounts.
$1
$1
$0
The 24k Prepaid Visa RushCard offers online and in-store purchasing without a credit check.

Compare up to 4 providers

What should I know before I apply?

To apply for American Express Serve cards, you must be:

  • At least 18 years old.
  • A U.S. citizen or legal resident of the U.S.

You’ll need to submit personal and financial information that includes:

  • Your full name and personal contact information.
  • Your date of birth and Social Security number.

What credit score do I need?

Because Serve is a prepaid card, no specific credit score is recommended.

How to apply for the card

  1. Find the Serve card you’re interested in and click Open an Account.
  2. Enroll with your name and contact information, including your Social Security number and date of birth.
  3. Once you’ve received your card, register it online as noted in your accompanying letter.

How long will it take to be approved?

You’ll be approved in about a minute after submitting your enrollment form.

I got the card — now what?

  • Registering your card. To begin using your Serve card, you’ll need to first register it online. The process takes only a minute.
  • Managing your account. Each card comes with online account access to monitor your spending.
  • Funding your card. Because Serve is a prepaid card, you’ll need to fund your balance with bank deductions or at participating stores.
  • Avoiding fees. Avoid cash reload fees of up to $3.95 by signing up for automatic direct deposits to your card.

Bottom line

American Express Serve cards offer the flexibility of prepaid cards, the reputation of a well-known company and options that can save you money based on your needs. Serve is an ideal option for working up to a traditional credit card through careful spending and on-time payments.

Common questions about the Serve Cards

Images: AmericanExpress.com

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11 Comments

  1. Default Gravatar
    Karen
    May 5, 2019

    Can I take money from one of my American Express serve card and add it to my other American Express serve card

    • AvatarStaff
      nikkiangco
      May 7, 2019

      Hi Karen,

      Thanks for getting in touch with Finder!

      Yes, you can add and withdraw funds, pay bills, and transfer money to yourself or other Serve account holders from your computer or mobile device and if you wish, you can transfer funds back into your own bank account. Just log-in to your account and follow the steps in transfering funds. Take note that the limit for loading Serve with cash, debit, gift cards, or Vanilla Reloads and MoneyPaks is $2,500 per day or $5,000 per month.

      Hope this helps!

      Best,
      Nikki

  2. Default Gravatar
    Jason
    January 30, 2019

    Do any of the American Express Serve Cards come with the chip?

    • AvatarStaff
      Val
      January 30, 2019

      Hi Jason,

      Thank you for leaving a question. For pre paid cards, they usually do not come with a blanket protection. For your question, none of the American Express Serve Cards come with the chip.

      American Express Serve cards offer the flexibility of prepaid cards, the reputation of a well-known company and options that can save you money based on your needs. Serve is an ideal option for working up to a traditional credit card through careful spending and on-time payments.

      Regards,
      Val

  3. Default Gravatar
    Deb
    January 27, 2019

    How can I deposit a American Express travelers check on to American Express serve account

    • AvatarStaff
      johnbasanes
      January 28, 2019

      Hi Deb,

      Thank you for reaching out to finder.

      You can conveniently add checks directly to your American Express Serve Account using the American Express Serve® Mobile App2 on your iPhone® or Android device. Don’t have the American Express Serve Mobile App? Download it for free from the App Store or Google Play. Hope this helps!

      Cheers,
      Reggie

  4. Default Gravatar
    Leo
    December 9, 2018

    Can I reload this card with my bank account?

    • AvatarStaff
      nikkiangco
      December 12, 2018

      Hi Leo,

      Thanks for getting in touch! You may certainly link your bank account, debit card or credit card to your online account. Bank accounts can transfer $2,000 a month; debit and credit cards can transfer $1,000 a month. You can also load this by going to stores such as CVS, 7-Eleven, Walmart and Family Dollar. All locations accept cash, but only Walmart and Family Dollar accept debit cards as well.

      Hope this was helpful. Don’t hesitate to message us back if you have more questions.

      Best,
      Nikki

  5. Default Gravatar
    Sheila
    October 15, 2018

    How to enroll online access my mobile?

    • Default Gravatar
      joelmarcelo
      October 15, 2018

      Hi Sheila May,

      Thanks for leaving a question on finder.

      To enroll to American Express Serve® online banking, please click HERE.

      Please send me a message if you need anything else. :)

      Cheers,
      Joel

  6. AvatarStaff
    Ash
    September 21, 2018

    Hi Ash,

    Thank you for contacting finder.

    Yes, you may use the American Express Serve® Card for International purchases though you need to take note of the 2.7% Foreign Transaction Fee.

    Please make sure to read the eligibility criteria, features and details of the card, as well as the relevant PDS/ T&Cs of the card before making a decision and consider whether the product is right for you.

    I hope this helps.

    Please do not hesitate to reach out again to us if you have additional questions.

    Cheers,
    Ash

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