Compare all 3 American Express Serve Cards |February 2018

Review: Which American Express Serve® card is right for you? – February 2018

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.
Product NameAmerican Express Serve®
Card TypeAmerican Express
Foreign Currency Conversion Fee (AMEX)
Foreign currency conversion fees are charged when you make a transaction that is converted by a credit card network, such as MasterCard, Visa or American Express, from Australian dollars to a foreign currency. You’ll also incur a currency conversion fee if you make a purchase or obtain a cash advance in Australian dollars while overseas or shopping online with a foreign merchant or financial institution.
2.7% of transaction value
Minimum Age18 years of age

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.

The Nuts and Bolts

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)$1.00 or $0 with a $500 direct deposit monthly$4.95$5.95
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.
Foreign transaction fee
Mobile Check Capture$0 (fees vary between 1% and 5% for immediate transactions)$0 (fees vary between 1% and 5% for immediate transactions)$0 (fees vary between 1% and 5% for immediate transactions)
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

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 .

What should I know before I apply?

Always consider your options and your financial situation before you apply for a credit card.

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.

Compare other American Express credit cards

Rates last updated February 18th, 2018
Name Product APR for Purchases ( Purchase Rate ) Intro APR for Balance Transfer Annual fee Product Description
Wells Fargo Propel 365 American Express® Card
15.24% to 23.24% variable
0% Intro APR for 12 months (with $5 minimum, 5% balance transfer fee)
$0 annual fee for the first year ($45 thereafter)
20,000 bonus points if you spend $3,000 (net purchases) in first 3 months
Wells Fargo Propel American Express® Card
14.24% to 26.24% variable
0% Intro APR for 12 months (with whichever is greater, $5 or 3% balance transfer fee)
$0
20000 bonus points if you spend $1,000 (net purchases) in first 3 months
Blue from American Express® Card
16.49%, 19.49% or 21.49% variable
16.49%, 19.49% or 21.49%% Intro APR for within 60 days of account opening (with whichever is greater, $5 or 3% balance transfer fee)
$0
Earn rewards with no annual fee.
Blue Sky from American Express® Card
18.49%, 21.49% or 23.49% variable
18.4921.4923.49% Intro APR for within 60 days of account opening (with whichever is greater, $5 or 3% balance transfer fee)
$0
Flexible travel rewards and no annual fee.
Hilton Honors™ Card from American Express
16.99% to 25.99% variable
16.9925.99% Intro APR for 60 days of account opening (with whichever is greater, 5% or 3% balance transfer fee)
$0
Earn 50000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points after spending $1,000 or more in purchases on the Card within your first 3 months of Card Membership.
Hilton Honors™ Surpass® Card from American Express
16.24% to 20.24% variable
16.2420.24% Intro APR for 60 days of account opening (with whichever is greater, $5 or 3% balance transfer fee)
$75
Earn 100000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points after spending $3,000 in purchases on the Card within your first 3 months of Card Membership.
American Express Serve®
FREE ATM withdrawals at over 24,000 MoneyPass® ATM locations nationwide.
The Mercedes-Benz Credit Card from American Express
16.49% variable
16.49% Intro APR for 60 days of account opening (with whichever is greater, $5 or 3% balance transfer fee)
$95
Earn 10000 Membership Rewards ® points after using your new Card to make $1,000 in purchases within the first 3 months.
Plenti® Credit Card from Amex
15.99% to 25.99% variable
15.9925.99% Intro APR for 60 days of account opening (with whichever is greater, $5 or 3% balance transfer fee)
$0
Earn 5000 Plenti® points after you spend $250 in purchases on your Plenti® Credit Card from Amex within your first 3 months of Card Membership.
Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card
16.99% to 25.99% variable
16.99% to 25.99%% Intro APR for 60 days of account opening (with whichever is greater, $5 or 3% balance transfer fee)
$195
Earn 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs)
and 35000 bonus miles after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new card in your first 3 months. In addition, earn a $100 statement credit after you make a Delta purchase with your new card within your first 3 months.
Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card
16.99% to 25.99% variable
16.99% to 25.99%% Intro APR for 60 days of account opening (with whichever is greater, $5 or 3% balance transfer fee)
$0 annual fee for the first year ($95 thereafter)
Earn 30000 bonus miles after you make $1,000 in purchases on your new card within your first 3 months and a $50 statement credit after you make a Delta purchase with your new Card within your first 3 months.
Delta Reserve® Credit Card from American Express
16.99% to 25.99% variable
$450
Earn 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) and 40000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months.
Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card
16.99% to 25.99% variable
16.99% to 25.99% variable% Intro APR for 60 days (with whichever is greater, $5 or 3% balance transfer fee)
$195
Earn bonus miles and 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months.
American Express® Green Card
No interest charges because you pay your balance in full each month
$0 annual fee for the first year ($95 thereafter)
Shop with more confidence
Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express
No interest charges because you pay your balance in full each month
$0 annual fee for the first year ($195 thereafter)
More Points. More Rewards.
The Platinum Card® from American Express
No interest charges because you pay your balance in full each month
$550
Get 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel and 5X points on eligible hotels booked on amextravel.com.
Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express
14.24% to 25.24% variable
0% Intro APR for first 15 months (with whichever is greater, $5 or 3% balance transfer fee)
$0
Earn $150 back after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. You will receive the $150 back in the form of a statement credit.
Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express
14.24% to 25.24% variable
0% Intro APR for 12 months (with whichever is greater, $5 or 3% balance transfer fee)
$95
Earn $200 back after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. You will receive the $200 back in the form of a statement credit.
Amex EveryDay® Credit Card
14.24% to 24.24% variable
0% Intro APR for first 12 months (with whichever is greater, $5 or 3% balance transfer fee)
$0
Earn 10000 Membership Rewards® Points after you use your new Card to make $1,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.
Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card
14.24% to 24.24% variable
0% Intro APR for 12 months (with whichever is greater, $5 or 3% balance transfer fee)
$95
Earn 15000 Membership Rewards Points after you use your new Card to make $1,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.
Starwood Preferred Guest American Express Credit Card
16.49% to 20.49% variable
16.4920.49 % Intro APR for 60 days (with whichever is greater, $5 or 3% balance transfer fee)
$0 annual fee for the first year ($95 thereafter)
Earn 25000 bonus Starpoints® after you use your new Card to make $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months.
USAA Secured Card American Express®
11.15% to 21.15% variable
$35
You can get travel benefits (no foreign transaction fees), retail benefits and collision damage waiver coverage on your rental car.
USAA Cashback Rewards Plus American Express® Card
13.15% to 27.15% variable
$0
Get high cash back rewards on most purchases, including gasoline, groceries and military base purchases.

Compare up to 4 providers

How to apply for the card

1. Find the Serve card you’re interested in and click Open an Account.

step 1 American Express Serve card

2. Enroll with your name and contact information, including your Social Security number and date of birth.

step 2a American Express Serve card

step 2b American Express Serve card

step 2c American Express Serve card

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 debit 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

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