American Express Serve Card: When you need a prepaid debit card with no credit check, no minimum balance requirements, and no secret fees, the American Express Serve card could be just what you’re looking for.
Serve from American Express is a prepaid debit card that offers the convenience of Amex without monthly billing statements or overdraft charges. There are three Amex Serve cards to choose from — each with varying monthly fees, reload options, and benefits to suit your individual needs.
What Is American Express Serve?
American Express Serve is a prepaid, reloadable debit card that can be used virtually anywhere American Express is accepted. For example, you can use the card to pay bills, shop online, withdraw cash at MoneyPass ATMs, or pay for everyday purchases.
If your friends or family members have to Serve accounts, you can also use your card to send and receive money with no fee.
AMEX Serve Card Pros & Cons
Good for people who want a simplified checking account with little to no fees
No credit check – easy approval
$1 annual fee (no fee if you load $500 or more on to your card every month)
Offers simple account management tools and services
Surcharge if you make a withdrawal at a non-MoneyPass ATM
Every transaction has a spending limit
High foreign transaction fee
AMEX may not be accepted at every merchant
Features of the American Express Serve Card
The American Express Serve card has a lengthy list of features and benefits. We’ve highlighted the ones that we think hold the most appeal for prepaid card users:
Low monthly fee
It’ll cost you just $1 each month to maintain your Serve account. The fee drops to $0 if you load $500 or more to your card each month via direct deposit.
No minimum balance
Some prepaid cards penalize you if your balance drops below a certain amount. American Express Serve doesn’t require you to have a set amount of cash in your account.
Mobile check deposit
It’s easy to add money to your card using mobile check deposit. To use this feature, you just need to download the free American Express Serve app to your smartphone.
Free ATM withdrawals
There’s never a fee to withdraw cash with your American Express Serve card at a MoneyPass ATM. The fee for withdrawals at non-MoneyPass ATMs is $2.50 per transaction.
Free reserve account
If you want to save up for a big purchase or a weekend getaway, you can park extra cash in your reserve account until you’re ready to use it.
This is a separate account that’s linked to your American Express Serve card and it’s free to transfer money in and out.
If you want to add other users to your Serve account, subaccounts are the answer. You can set up a subaccount with its own Serve card for anyone over age 13. As the main account holder, you’re able to set limits on spending and review each card’s transaction history.
Free budgeting tools
American Express Serve members can use the Insights feature to track and categorize their spending. If you have trouble sticking to a budget, that can be a huge help.
The American Express Serve card is fee-free for the most part but certain transactions will cost you extra.
For example, adding cash to the card at a participating retailer will cost you up to $3.95 each time. You can load cash at thousands of places nationwide, including Walmart, Rite Aid and Family Dollar.
If you’re using the card for an international purchase, a 2.7% foreign transaction fee applies. Finally, if you use your card to get cash at a Walmart store, you’ll pay up to $9.49 for each withdrawal.
How to Apply for an American Express Serve Card
Follow these steps to apply for an American Express Serve card online:
Go to the American Express website and click Cards.
Click Prepaid Debit Cards.
Find the Serve card you’re interested in and click Open An Account.
Enroll with your name and contact information, including your Social Security Number and date of birth.
Once you’ve received your card, register it online as noted in your accompanying letter.
You’ll be approved in about a minute after submitting your enrollment form.
To apply for American Express Serve cards, you must be:
At least 18 years old
U.S. citizen or legal resident
You’ll need to submit personal and financial information that includes:
Full name, email address and phone number
US residential address
Date of birth
Social Security number
Serve is a prepaid card account, much like an online bank account. You can add and withdraw funds, pay bills, and transfer money to yourself or other Serve account holders.
You may find Serve useful because you can load it directly with an AMEX credit card online to help pay bills and to earn miles & points. And now you can use gift cards (bought with a miles and points earning credit card) to load Serve at Family Dollar stores.
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