American Express Serve Opening Bonuses

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Updated. American Express has a product called Serve – a combination of their prepaid credit card and a Paypal-like online payment service. No credit checks, no monthly fees, and one free ATM withdrawal per month (the ATM itself may charge a fee).

The current live promotion is a $25 account credit on any single $25+ load, valid through December 31st, 2012. Basically a free $25 if you’re new, you could just transfer it back into a bank account, use it to buy an Amazon gift card, or just do a split transaction on a larger purchase (put $50 on the Serve card, and the rest on another credit card).

You can load funds from a bank account for free, and Serve is also waiving credit card and debit card load fees until March 15, 2013 but it warns you that your card issuer may still classify it as a cash advance. Last I checked, the limits on credit card loading were $100 per day, up to a cumulative $250 to $500 per month. May be handy for meeting spending requirements on credit card bonuses, especially if you have access to a fee-free ATM. I used this tactic on my Chase Sapphire Preferred card earlier and it worked as a purchase.

Offer expires December 31, 2012 and is not available to existing Serve accountholders or any person that has previously canceled his or her Serve account. To receive the $25 from Serve, you must open a new Serve account (subject to approval) and add $25 or more, which must post to your new Serve account on or before December 31, 2012. In some instances, it may take several days for added funds to post to your account, so please allow sufficient time for that process to occur. Serve will provide a one-time credit to your Serve account of $25 within thirty (30) days of you satisfying the above requirements. Funds loaded via person-to-person send/receive money transactions will not satisfy the account funding requirements. Limit one (1) $25 credit per new Serve account. Subaccounts are not eligible for the credit. Offer subject to change or cancellation at any time and cannot be combined with any other offer(s).

Expired promotion links:
$25 account credit on any single $25+ load
$25 back on $25 purchase
$10 back on $25 purchase
$25 back on $50 purchase
$25 back on $100 purchase

My Money Blog has partnered with CardRatings and may receive a commission from card issuers. Some or all of the card offers that appear on this site are from advertisers and may impact how and where card products appear on the site. does not include all card companies or all available card offers. All opinions expressed are the author’s alone, and has not been provided nor approved by any of the companies mentioned. is also a member of the Amazon Associate Program, and if you click through to Amazon and make a purchase, I may earn a small commission. Thank you for your support.

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  1. Thanks for the heads up…..I’m $20 richer this morning

  2. This serve deal has been around for a bit. Those of us that have tried using it have been unimpressed. Transactions are refused with no notice or explanation (even under the limits). At times it seemed completely random. I certainly wouldn’t want to use it for any serious purpose.

  3. Got it and signed up. Thanks for free money.

    FYI, is running special on 3 Subway card and 3 gift card worth $25 for only $35.90. It is not a great deal but decent to save few bucks.

  4. i signed up but have not yet seen the money in my account. can anyone tell me when it shows up?

  5. @Steven, I saw the $10 bonus in my account immediately, but I have yet to see anything from the action.

  6. Signed up. Got the $10. Thanks. Still waiting for the $10 of game.

    Had a question though: Regarding charging up serve account using credit card, with no fee till January 1, 2012, the fine print reads:
    ² Serve load fees waived through January 1, 2012.
    ³ Keep in mind your credit card company may apply additional transaction fees.

    What kind of Credit Card Company transaction fees are they talking about? Will this come from the credit card as a purchase or a cash advance?

    Anyone done the loading up of serve using credit card?

  7. Definitely not worth the risk for making merely $5 (for $250 in purchase = recharge serve account @ 2% cashback), the Serve FAQ reads:

    Will I be charged a cash advance fee if my credit card is charged for a purchase I make with my Serve card?
    Your issuer may impose a cash advance charge for loading money to your Serve account from a credit or debit card. To avoid the possibility of cash advance fees you may want to load money from your linked bank account. Please refer to Section 10: Schedule of Services and Charges for details.

    Another FAQ reads:

    How do I add money to my Serve account?
    You can add money to your Serve account directly from your linked U.S. bank account or from any of your linked credit cards or debit cards or from a MoneyPak®. Simply log in to your Serve account and click on the Add Money tab. Serve does not impose a fee for adding money to your Serve account from your linked bank account; however, fees may apply for adding money from a credit card or debit card. Please refer to Section 10 of the Serve Consumer User Agreement: Schedule of Services and Fees for details.

  8. I wonder if I can double dip with this offer and fund my account with a master card

  9. Thanks Aaron. I’ll shoot them a message about my $.

  10. money hasn’t arrived yet. any one seen $20 on their account yet. i am seeing only $10.

  11. I loaded money with my Chase Sapphire a few weeks ago with no cash advance fees. I don’t know about cash advance fees on Citi. I wonder if PayPal has some of the similar language, I’m pretty sure they have to say something to that effect.

  12. Upon further thought, the best use of the $250 funding limit might be to qualify for the spending requirement of a credit card sign-up bonus. Otherwise, I agree the $2.50 to $5 probably isn’t worth the bother of having to check for any cash advance reclassifications. It did go through for Chase Sapphire for me $100 + $100 + $50.

    The Money Mover $10 came for me within 24 hours, but not immediately. I got an e-mail notification of payment sent to me.

  13. Ah, if only they allowed a higher limit! Could knock out some credit card spending requirements more easily.

  14. Another question: Any refer any friends that signed up? You’re supposed to receive a $5 for each friend that signs up. Some of my friends did sign up immediately, but I am yet to see any $5 referral credits to my serve account.

  15. @ Jonathan
    I just tried to load my new Serve account using a credit card. When I cilcked on the review button, a pop-up said, “Your issuer may charge you a cash advance fee for loading the serve account using a credit card”. Did you too get that pop-up? … and you were still not charged for Cash Advance?

  16. Serve actually used to be called Revolution Money Exchange, which you posted about in 2008. They had a $25 promo at the time, which I don’t think worked out too well for them. It’s interesting that they are trying this again.

  17. In case someone was as curious as myself to use Credit Card to charge Serve Account, here is the response, from the horse’s mouth:

    Response :
    Thank you for the excellent question! Using a credit card to fund your Serve account would post as a purchase on your credit card, and not as a cash advance. Keep in mind, Serve will not be charging any fees until January 1st, 2012. We hope this answers your question. If you need more immediate help, please call us at 1-800-954-0559. Serve Customer Service is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

  18. Just used my Citi AA to add money, we’ll see if it shows up as a cash advance or not. I’m currently trying to meet the minimum spend on two cards, and anything helps. Thanks for the heads up.

  19. They asked me for a copy of my social security card to sign up. No thanks. This effort will surely fail. We already have paypal.

  20. @Mary – me too. Signed up yesterday, today they want proof of my SS# and my address. Nope! Way too much work for (not enough) free money. 🙂

  21. @Jonathan
    i got the $10 in my account today so i have $20 in my account. How do i request the check for $20; i did not see that option you mentioned in the post.

  22. Oh an sometimes they do fundmyfriday on twitter giving u the chance to win 25$ so i was 45 dollars richer 🙂

  23. @anu
    Go to My Account –> underneath your wallet, you will see two links Add and Withdraw
    Click on Withdraw, there will be 3 options: 1. Bank Account (free), 2. Request a check (free), 3. ATM withdrawal (1 free per month, subsequent $2 fee)

  24. I signed up for the serve account & the $10 was in the account immediately. It took 24 hours for the other $10 from Money Mover to show up. I received an email which prompted me that “someone put money in my serve account”, and I had to accept it, but as soon as I did, the whole $20 was there. Thanks for the free cash!

  25. I’ve used a variety of CC’s to load my account and it’s never been treated as a cash advance, FWIW.

  26. My experience was the same as Vanessa’s. You have 7 days to accept the money from your serve account or you will lose it. I was not asked for my Social Security number except for the last 4 digits. I have also signed my husband up so that is $40.00 between the 2 of us.

    @Johnathan, thanks for the tip about loading up the serve acct. to meet the Chase Sapphire spending requirement. I am working on that now. 🙂

  27. @Jonathan, would sending a paypal payment to a “friend” using the Chase Sapphire card count towards the spending requirement? I’ve got a month left and have a whole $1800 left to go.

  28. @ Victoria, if you need ways to satisfy your spending requirements you might consider purchasing gift cards from stores you shop regularly (Ex. WalMart, Target etc.) Also, you could pay ahead on some of your bills and receive a credit on your account. I would call each business first to make sure it’s O.K.
    Happy spending! 🙂

  29. I was credited the $20 no problem, but my boyfriend did not get his $10 sign up bonus yet… mine was posted immediately… his still says $0.00 any clue why?

    Also, when will we be able to see our referral credits/how many friends accepted?

    Can I request a check immediately and then close the account?

  30. It’s been almost 2 days and I haven’t received my other $10 after playing their trivia game.. Any ideas?

  31. Same here. Didn’t get the $10 for the game. Played again, and it said, you have already received the $10 for the game, please check your Spam folder for an email from us. Checked Spam, nothing there 🙁

  32. @Jonathan
    So….how does this work? We link up the account with our Chase Sapphire card, load up the account with the cc, then request a check mailed to us in the amount of $260 (10 bonus + 100 + 100+ 50)? Can we cash out our own funds this way?

  33. @Jason
    I just got an email about $10 credit from serve (Your friend just sent you $10). Had to login and accept.
    I hope you get yours too soon Jason.

  34. @ Andy

    my wife opened the account but did not get her opening bonus. She did get the email for the $10 from the game but while trying to claim it she gets asked to add a bank account. I have emailed them to ask about it. I will keep you guys posted with their response.

  35. @anu

    Go to the main (My Accounts) page. Click on your name (top right). In the drop-down, there’ll be a link called Profile, click on it. Scroll down check your details (email, phone, address, etc.). One of them will be saying pending verification. If you do the verification for that, you’ll get the $10 opening bonus and will also be able to withdraw your (total $20) using check (without linking bank account). My friend was having the same problem. After multiple attempts to verify the unverified items, she gave up. I got the $5 referral bonus for her, but poor soul didn’t even get the $10 opening bonus! I feel sorry for her. Btw, she also tried multiple times to contact their 24×7 customer service. Nobody answered!

    Their customer service is better with email responses though. Every time I contacted them, they replied within a few hours.

  36. Green Lantern says

    All of my personal profile information appears to be verified but there is no opening bonus in my account, they emailed me asking for proof of my SSN and address, and they want me to add a bank account or credit card to get the $10 game bonus. I would recommend that other readers not waste their time on this promotion. It’s more trouble than it’s worth and even banks don’t ask for a copy of your Social Security card when you open an account!

  37. @Andy
    Thanks, I too received an email this morning. For anyone else who is wondering about the money mover game.. It took me about 2 days to receive my remaining $10.

  38. I am hesitant to do this. They say on their website that there is no credit check. However, they do say in the privacy agreement “These inquiries may include inquiries to credit reporting agencies, check databases, or other consumer reporting agencies.” Not sure if its worth $20 to add an inquiry to my credit report. What does everyone else think about this?

  39. Hey guys. I signed up but I still haven’t received my instant $10 and the trivia $10 that I won. I was wondering when will I be able to get it? Thanks.

  40. @Mahamoud
    Just wait a couple of days.. I received my confirmation email about 2 full days later.

    Any word on whether your Citi AA coded as a cash advance?? I need to meet a minimum spending requirement for one of my Citi cards as well. Thanks!

  41. @Jason

    I made several payments using credit cards. I used Citi Thank You Premier Card and an American Express. Both went through as purchases. Remember though, Serve will allow maximum $100 per day and maximum $250 per month (albeit using multiple cards even within one day). All went through as purchases. No extra charge was there. They have waived the fee till January 1, 2012.

  42. @Andy
    Thank you so much for responding so quickly.. I really appreciate it! I too need to meet a requirement with that same Citi card, and this should work perfectly!

  43. You’re welcome Jason! At least $250 of your spending requirement is now covered!

  44. @Andy
    Yes, this works out perfectly… I just need to spend $200 more on that card.. Now to work on the Chase Sapphire Preferred 🙂

  45. So does someone have to have an account with serve in order to send me money?

  46. @Andy- Are we allowed to add $250 per credit card, or is it $250 total?

  47. So the Chase Sapphire has been confirmed that they didn’t charge a cash advance fee?

  48. @Victoria

    Their monthly recharge limit from Credit Cards is $250 (all cards combined) and daily limit is $100 (all cards combined).

    I have not used Chase Sapphire in particular, but I was told by their Customer Service directly that all recharges to the Serve Account from a Credit Card are charged to the card as a “Purchase” (read my previous comment above, where I have copied-and-pasted their Customer Service’s message) and not as a cash advance.

  49. Thanks Andy! I’ll wait till Jan 1 to reload another $250!
    And we can cash out in the end with a check? No Fees?

  50. Oh wait, fees to load with cc start Jan 1…

  51. Chennaivaasi says

    Hello Jnathon,

    Serve has waived the cc load fee until 1st June, 2012. Looks like we can get some more money ahead and also some cash back (even if it is 1%) from the credit cards.

    I am using it for reaching the 6500 spend limit on my Bluecash card and start racking up 5% rewards sooner.

  52. Captain Cheapo says

    Got my $20 and ACHed it over to my checking account. Maybe we’ll celebrate at Friendly’s tonight??? 😛

  53. Diana Foster says

    @ Captian Cheapo….I got my card too! How were you able to transfer it to your checking account?

  54. @ Diana, login to and look under the ‘my account’ tab. Under your ‘wallet’ info there should be add/withdraw links on the far right. Kinda of hidden in plain sight I guess. You may have to add/verify your bank account before starting a transfer though.

  55. I can not get my bank account linked with serve for nothing…. never get the deposits and serve does not answer my emails. ?????????????

  56. I was wondering if anyone has used a Discover card to load Serve, or any similar pre-paid product recently, and whether that was classified. My understanding is that the credit card company decides whether or not to classify a transaction as a cash advance, regardless of what Serve customer service may have said in the past.

    Jonathan, you recommend that this be used to fulfill credit card spending requirements; do cash advances normally count towards those?

  57. Wow, easiest $25 I ever made. Don’t even need to wait for the card to arrive. I just funded my account with a debit card $25, almost immediately saw the $25 bonus, then withdraw the whole $50 to a linked bank account. Sweet!

  58. Awesome!

  59. Follow up (see my previous post):
    I checked my checking account today, SERVE did deposit the $50, but then debit my credit card for $25. What the heck? No free lunch I guess?


  60. Just wondering if anyone has funded their Serve account with another American Express credit card, and if it went through as a purchase or cash advance. Thanks.

  61. MW, are you sure you didn’t have a funding source set to automatically fund the Serve account when it hit $0?

  62. Deymond, the $25 bonus was credit immediately after I created my account and I saw my balance in Serve which was $50, that’s why I made the transfer. It shouldn’t make any difference if I have a auto. fund account or not. Did you/anyone experienced this?

  63. MW, Serve has an option to automatically add money to your account each time the balance falls to zero. I was questioning if perhaps such a setting is enabled on your account (if that is the issue, you would have $25 in your Serve account right now, presumably). I did not have this issue; I funded and received the bonus, made an $11 purchase four days later, and then withdrew the balance two weeks after that at the beginning of this month, with no problems.

  64. Deymond, I checked, the “Auto Add Money Settings” is not on.

  65. I haven’t read into this in any great detail but from my understanding the easiest thing to do here is to load a “serve” account or card with $25 from an existing bank account and then get the $25 credited. Spend the $50 and don’t look back. I did look into the terms of this serve account and it looks like AE shares your info with many many companies which can potentially become an overwhelming amount of spam in your e-mail, postal mail or phone. Can anyone confirm this? i mean I like the idea of a 100% gain but the hassle of a million unsolicited contacts is not appealing.

  66. @Deymond or someone else who can help

    In your post from Sept. you asked if anyone has ever loaded their Serve acct. with their Discover Card and if Discover Card charged a fee. I was wondering if you tried using your Discover card and what the result was. I have spending limits to meet the next 3 months to get a cash bonus.

  67. Has anyone successfully loaded a Serve account with a prepaid Visa, Mastercard or Amex card? I tried and kept getting a message that the billing address did not match the address on the card, even though I had registered the prepaid cards with my correct address.

  68. It tends to lock your money with no explanation whatsoever. Customer service is terrible. It takes hours to get someone on the phone and when you do, they are alwas very unresponsive. Cannot see a reason why I would want to keep this account.

  69. DO NOT EVER USE AMERICAN EXPRESS PREPAID PRODUCTS!First, let me say that I am a permanently disabled person who receives SSDI. I got suckered in to using their Serve card and moved the balance of my checking account to the card and everything seemed okay, until today.

    I needed some cash, so I went out to use the card at the ATM like I had many other times. Despite the fact that there was no activity on my account other than my phone bill, they said my account was suspended for suspicious activity.

    While on the phone and on crutches following a recent hip surgery, they refused to let me use my card until I faxed a copy of my social security card and photo ID, even though there was no suspicious activity on my account and the representative admitted that.

    So, they left me in the pouring rain during a massive thunderstorm, on crutches, with no concern for my pleas for assistance, and still refuse to release my account even though I have since faxed the information they requested. Now, I have no access to my own money until I get paid via my checking account on Tuesday, injured myself getting home because I could not afford a cab, and have left me moneyless for three entire days. American Express Prepaid does not care about their customers at all!

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