Well, it was an easy few points while it lasted… It looks as if the American Express Serve card will no longer be accepting credit cards loads effective April 16. (H/T: Frequent Miler)
Note: Starting April 16, 2015 you will only be able to use an American Express® Card if you want to load your account with a credit card. Discover, MasterCard and Visa credit cards will no longer be supported after April 16.
Loading your serve via a credit card would require 5 separate $200 transactions, and then a $1000 transfer into your bank account of choice to then pay off your credit card. On 1 point per dollar reward earning credit cards, this was an easy 1,000 points. For me, I chose to use my Barclaycard Arrival+ World Elite Mastercard, since this gave me $22 of free cash to spend on travel, which is always needed (2x per dollar, plus the 10% rebate). With a 1 point per 1 dollar earning credit card, you were guaranteed 12,000 points a year, with no fees and no catches, which was quite nice.
How can you maximize Serve until this benefit goes away?
Make sure you load $1,000 during March, and then another $1,000 in April, prior to April 16. You’re still able to get in April’s load, if you do it prior to the end date. Make sure to start this process before April 12th, since you can only transfer $200 per day.
With online credit cards going away, will this card be any different than Bluebird?
No, not really. Essentially, they’ll become the same cards. The one thing that separated Serve from Bluebird was online credit card loads. The only surviving credit card load vehicle of the “bird” family will be the Target Redcard, which can be loaded in-store.
If I have a Serve, when should I switch to Redcard?
Wait until you’ve loaded $1,000 in the month of April, and then transferred that back to your bank account. Once you’ve done that, and maximized your $5,000 worth of debit card load for that month, you can then cancel your Serve card, and activate a Redcard. Keep in mind that you can only have one type of card, so you cannot have both a Serve and a Redcard – you can only have one. Maximize the benefits of the Serve prior to shutting it down.
Can I continue to load my Serve with an American Express card?
Yes, however you won’t earn any Membership Rewards points for doing this. Further, since you’re loading an American Express product with an American Express product, this can be seen as suspicious, and possibly trigger a financial review. I’d suggest not doing this. At only 1,000 points a month, or 12,000 a year, I’d consider this not worth it for causing a financial review, or worse, card shut down.
Will I still be able to load my Serve with a debit card?
Yes, so long as it is branded either Visa or MasterCard.
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