Author Topic: Explain Serve to me  (Read 15083 times)

newton86

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Explain Serve to me
« on: February 04, 2015, 10:38:19 AM »
I recently signed up for the SW credit cards, and I am trying to use the AmEx Serve card to manufacture spending. Before I activate the card (I am unable to use the soft card version) I want to make sure I understand. My understanding is that I will use a credit card to load the card, in $200 increments up to $500 a month. My real question is using the funds now on the Serve card to pay off other credit card balances? Is this how it is done? Will it give me a "bank account/ routing #" to use to pay off other cards?

CptCool

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Re: Explain Serve to me
« Reply #1 on: February 04, 2015, 06:52:43 PM »
Yep. Serve is pretty much the same as any other bank & debit card, except it allows you to load $500 online by credit card and $5K credit card-->visa/master card gift card-->serve shenanigans

You simply choose "pay bill" in your serve account and pay off your credit card from there. Make sure you don't do load serve from a Citi-branded card (and possibly Barclays or USBank as well, can't remember) as they'll charge it as a cash advance. The SW credit card is issued by Chase so you should be good on that front

kpd905

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Re: Explain Serve to me
« Reply #2 on: February 04, 2015, 07:00:11 PM »
You can load $1000/month online, not $500.

arebelspy

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Re: Explain Serve to me
« Reply #3 on: February 05, 2015, 12:24:31 PM »
Picture Serve as an online bank account.  The serve card is a debit card connected to that account.

The way to get money into that online account is by "loading" it via a CC on their website, via debit cards in person at various stores such as wal mart, or via transferring funds from your existing bank account.

People use the first method (cc load) to "spend" money on their cc, which is really just transferring it into that online serve account (from which you pay bills via their bill pay service), use the second method to "spend" money on their CC by buying visa debit gift cards and loading them to serve, and the third method funds the account but isn't CC spending.
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boarder42

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Re: Explain Serve to me
« Reply #4 on: February 05, 2015, 01:39:43 PM »
Yep. Serve is pretty much the same as any other bank & debit card, except it allows you to load $500 online by credit card and $5K credit card-->visa/master card gift card-->serve shenanigans

You simply choose "pay bill" in your serve account and pay off your credit card from there. Make sure you don't do load serve from a Citi-branded card (and possibly Barclays or USBank as well, can't remember) as they'll charge it as a cash advance. The SW credit card is issued by Chase so you should be good on that front

your cash advance cards is flat out wrong ... its primairly chase and Amex

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/manufactured-spending/1617380-chase-may-coding-amex-serve-cash-advance-not-confirmed.html

boarder42

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Re: Explain Serve to me
« Reply #5 on: February 05, 2015, 01:41:02 PM »
a more comprehensive list

http://www.reddit.com/r/churning/comments/2itvb9/data_amex_serve_cash_advance_confirmations/

looks like the only bad CITI card is the hilton card

FarmerPete

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Re: Explain Serve to me
« Reply #6 on: February 05, 2015, 02:58:33 PM »
It's just a prepaid debit card that you can load using various techniques mentioned above.  You can also deposit checks to it via mobile deposit.

I have 5 automated transfers of $200 every month.  I do this on the 3/5/7/9/11th of the month.  On the 15th (or so), I log on and send a bill payment to my mortgage company for ~$950 ish.  I let the remainder sit there until I have use of it or pay it towards paying a credit card bill.  If you get aggressive, you can buy SOME prepaid debit cards from brick and mortar stores with your credit card, and then load the debit card to your serve at a local walmart.  Some walmarts wont allow this, but others will.  Mine do.  You'll pay an activation fee for the debit cards, but typically, the cash back is higher than the fee.  For example, I can buy a $200 visa gift card from Staples for $206.95.  I then load $200 to my Serve account.  I then pay off a different credit card's bill for $200.  In a month, I'll have earned $10.35 in "points" from my debit card purchase.  That means a profit of $3.39 per $200 debit card.  Since my local Walmart has a self-service KATE, I can load 9 $200 cards and make $30.57.  Total time from office store to Walmart is maybe 30 minutes.  Just whatever you do, always start small.  Unexpected fees are much less annoying when it's small.

boarder42

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Re: Explain Serve to me
« Reply #7 on: February 06, 2015, 06:05:50 AM »
walmart is a PITA to load these now.  your best bets are family dollar i just did it yesterday and it went flawlessly.  The issue with FD is that you can only load 500 a day.  Luckily i can detour my route home from work very slightly and pass by a FD

NinetyFour

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Re: Explain Serve to me
« Reply #8 on: February 06, 2015, 06:29:30 AM »
Following.

johnny847

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Re: Explain Serve to me
« Reply #9 on: February 06, 2015, 06:40:33 AM »
Yep. Serve is pretty much the same as any other bank & debit card, except it allows you to load $500 online by credit card and $5K credit card-->visa/master card gift card-->serve shenanigans

You simply choose "pay bill" in your serve account and pay off your credit card from there. Make sure you don't do load serve from a Citi-branded card (and possibly Barclays or USBank as well, can't remember) as they'll charge it as a cash advance. The SW credit card is issued by Chase so you should be good on that front

your cash advance cards is flat out wrong ... its primairly chase and Amex

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/manufactured-spending/1617380-chase-may-coding-amex-serve-cash-advance-not-confirmed.html
If you read through that thread you will see that Chase does not charge a cash advance fee. The transaction initially codes as a cash advance, but when the transaction posts it posts as a purchase.

In addition to the list boarder42 mentioned, there is another list here
http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/manufactured-spending/1644834-serve-another-paypal-amazon-payments-2015-a-23.html

boarder42

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Re: Explain Serve to me
« Reply #10 on: February 06, 2015, 07:02:28 AM »
and these only post as cash advances if you go thru the typical 1k loading you can do online.  if you go to a store and purchase the gift cards it makes it simpler and will post as a CC transaction and you will receive points.

For those looking to manufacture spend for CC bonus's using Serve.  Here are the steps i use with Family dollar (FD)

1. go to walgreens or CVS and by Vanilla Visa Gift cards (load with 500) there is a 4.95 fee per card
2. go to FD go to the cashier tell them you would like to load serve
3. tell them 500
4. swipe your serve card
5. swipe your vanilla visa gift card
6. enter PIN (Note: any four numbers will work if this is your first transaction, since you're offloading the full card there is no need to remember them)
7. check your email you should have one from serve stating you loaded 500 dollars
NOTE DO NOT LOAD OVER $500 per day PEOPLE HAVE BEEN GETTING MONEY LOST IN CYBER SPACE AND HAVE TO SPEND HOURS TALKING TO SERVE TO GET THE MONEY LOADED

8. to offload money simply use it to pay off the CC you bought the GCs with.  Note: you will have to add more money to serve to pay the full bill and or pay from your bank account to make up for the 4.95 fees

You can get as many AA Citi cards as you want a year.  as long as you monitor your credit and it isnt affected you can get 150k points a month with AA citi Mastercard right now.

nanu

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Re: Explain Serve to me
« Reply #11 on: February 09, 2015, 02:02:56 PM »
posting to follow thread

J'onn J'onzz

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Re: Explain Serve to me
« Reply #12 on: February 09, 2015, 02:20:09 PM »
and these only post as cash advances if you go thru the typical 1k loading you can do online.  if you go to a store and purchase the gift cards it makes it simpler and will post as a CC transaction and you will receive points.

So, are you saying that any time you load this online it will be posted as a cash advance? Is that true no matter what CC you are using or only from certain banks?

johnny847

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Re: Explain Serve to me
« Reply #13 on: February 09, 2015, 02:47:27 PM »
and these only post as cash advances if you go thru the typical 1k loading you can do online.  if you go to a store and purchase the gift cards it makes it simpler and will post as a CC transaction and you will receive points.

So, are you saying that any time you load this online it will be posted as a cash advance? Is that true no matter what CC you are using or only from certain banks?
This is only true of some credit cards. This month I loaded $1000 onto my Serve with my Capital One Visa online, without any cash advance fees.
See
Yep. Serve is pretty much the same as any other bank & debit card, except it allows you to load $500 online by credit card and $5K credit card-->visa/master card gift card-->serve shenanigans

You simply choose "pay bill" in your serve account and pay off your credit card from there. Make sure you don't do load serve from a Citi-branded card (and possibly Barclays or USBank as well, can't remember) as they'll charge it as a cash advance. The SW credit card is issued by Chase so you should be good on that front

your cash advance cards is flat out wrong ... its primairly chase and Amex

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/manufactured-spending/1617380-chase-may-coding-amex-serve-cash-advance-not-confirmed.html
If you read through that thread you will see that Chase does not charge a cash advance fee. The transaction initially codes as a cash advance, but when the transaction posts it posts as a purchase.

In addition to the list boarder42 mentioned, there is another list here
http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/manufactured-spending/1644834-serve-another-paypal-amazon-payments-2015-a-23.html

MsFrugalista

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Re: Explain Serve to me
« Reply #14 on: February 09, 2015, 03:05:48 PM »
Following as well.

I have one question: I had a Serve card awhile back (~2 years ago?) and cancelled it to get a Bluebird. I cancelled my Bluebird last year (after Vanilla reloads died) and was wondering if I'll have a problem obtaining a Serve card again. Any thoughts?

Thanks!

nanu

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Re: Explain Serve to me
« Reply #15 on: February 09, 2015, 05:27:39 PM »
According to everything that I read today, you should be fine. However, I don't have any experience with that myself.

jasonthelee

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Re: Explain Serve to me
« Reply #16 on: March 16, 2015, 09:32:16 AM »
Just received an email from Serve stating that by April 16th, you will only be able to load using Amex.  At least I got a few mortgage payments in before it goes into effect.

boarder42

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Re: Explain Serve to me
« Reply #17 on: March 16, 2015, 09:49:04 AM »
still many ways to manufacture spending if you need to. 

arebelspy

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Re: Explain Serve to me
« Reply #18 on: March 16, 2015, 10:06:28 AM »
Just received an email from Serve stating that by April 16th, you will only be able to load using Amex.  At least I got a few mortgage payments in before it goes into effect.

Correct.  And if you do load via an AmEx card, you don't earn points (though it does count for minimum spend bonuses, is the current word).

So if you haven't done your March load, do it now, and then do one last load (over 5 days, natch) in early April.  :)
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JackieTreehorn

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Re: Explain Serve to me
« Reply #19 on: March 24, 2015, 08:43:41 AM »
Given what arebelspy/jasonthelee has to say above, any recommendations going forward?  It seems as though Vanilla reloads are no longer a go (at least at CVS), and seems pointless to sign up for serve now as I don't use Amex (I'm a chase saphire preferred/freedom guy mostly).  Also, I'm in NYC where the Target RedCard is not available, and there are very few family dollars.  Also, no walmarts.  Anyone have any recommendations?  I am a noob at the credit card churning/manufactured spending game.  Thanks.

boarder42

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Re: Explain Serve to me
« Reply #20 on: March 24, 2015, 09:10:31 AM »
YOU GOT SERVED

if you dont have a family dollar near you i'd go buy a Target radcard and go from there and cancel my serve card.

johnny847

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Re: Explain Serve to me
« Reply #21 on: March 24, 2015, 09:21:27 AM »
Just received an email from Serve stating that by April 16th, you will only be able to load using Amex.  At least I got a few mortgage payments in before it goes into effect.

Correct.  And if you do load via an AmEx card, you don't earn points (though it does count for minimum spend bonuses, is the current word).

So if you haven't done your March load, do it now, and then do one last load (over 5 days, natch) in early April.  :)
You're confusing Amex the issuer with Amex the payment network. Amex issued cards do not earn points for serve loads.

People on flyer talk have reported receiving cash back for the Fidelity Amex when loading serve.

fartface

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Re: Explain Serve to me
« Reply #22 on: May 19, 2015, 07:59:42 PM »
DH can no longer use his CC to reload the Target prepaid red card.

Is the Amex Serve the next best option? I'm reading old/conflicting reports. If the only card I can use to load Serve is my Amex then I'm not interested. I have to manufacture some spending on the Chase Ink and Capital 1 cards.

Thanks if anyone has current info on manufactured spending!

arebelspy

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Re: Explain Serve to me
« Reply #23 on: May 19, 2015, 08:03:42 PM »
Yes, Serve changed to only allow Amex CC loads. Doesn't work for cash back stuff, but I believe it still works if you're trying to hit a minimum spend signup bonus on an Amex card.

I'd check if you can load Amex gift cards (simple Google search should tell you), and if so, buy those with your Chase & Capital One cards and load them to Serve.
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nanu

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Re: Explain Serve to me
« Reply #24 on: May 19, 2015, 08:20:44 PM »
For hitting minimum spend while using a Target Redcard, you can buy Visa/Mastercard gift cards using your credit card and load those to the Redcard.
I'm not sure if Amex gift cards (AGC) can be loaded to Serve but I would imagine not (they can be used to buy VGC/MCGC and then those loaded to Redcard though)

I think arebelspy is right though - loading Serve with a CC still counts for the minimum spend on Amex card, but not rewards, unless using a non-Amex issued Amex card (such as the Fidelity one).

Davin

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Re: Explain Serve to me
« Reply #25 on: May 19, 2015, 09:15:44 PM »
DH can no longer use his CC to reload the Target prepaid red card.

Is the Amex Serve the next best option? I'm reading old/conflicting reports. If the only card I can use to load Serve is my Amex then I'm not interested. I have to manufacture some spending on the Chase Ink and Capital 1 cards.

Thanks if anyone has current info on manufactured spending!

I just got the serve card today based on the understanding that it could be loaded with Reloadit cards from Safeway, Although I didn't get the chance to try it yet. does anyone have any up to date info onthis? By the way, I was able to get it free online from their website instead of buying a temp card first.

fartface

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Re: Explain Serve to me
« Reply #26 on: May 20, 2015, 06:28:02 AM »
Yes, Serve changed to only allow Amex CC loads. Doesn't work for cash back stuff, but I believe it still works if you're trying to hit a minimum spend signup bonus on an Amex card.

I'd check if you can load Amex gift cards (simple Google search should tell you), and if so, buy those with your Chase & Capital One cards and load them to Serve.

Good ideas, Nanu & ARS, thanks!

Of course, buying Visa gift cards means a fee...BUT to meet the minimum spend, I guess I'll have to eat it. Stinks that we're not SUCKA CONSUMERS....we got nothing to buy!

nanu

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Re: Explain Serve to me
« Reply #27 on: May 20, 2015, 07:36:58 AM »
fartface (interesting choice of name...), what you could do is:
(1) Buy Amex GC (AGC) online - you can earn cashback on this through Topcashback (my referral link is in my signature, if you find my advice useful), or other sites. Tomorrow SimplyBestCoupons will have 2-2.1% back on AGC (my referral link - http://www.simplybestcoupons.com/?refid=45485) which means you end up with a small profit even after fees (make sure you read the notes on what purchases qualify. ask if you need help with that).
(2) Use AGC to buy VGC/MCGC - the fees eat into your profit, but you can still come out slightly ahead, or at least break even.
(3) Load VGC/MCGC to RedBird
(4) Withdraw money to bank account / pay CC bills / whatever you want.