Posted by Chuck on September 8, 2015
Manufactured Spending

Published on September 8th, 2015 | by Chuck

31

Amex Serve Loads No Longer Counting for Minimum Spend?

All versions of the Serve cards offer the ability to  be loaded with $1,000 in credit card loads online, which can then be used to do things like pay credit cards bills or even withdraw the money to your bank account. See Six Different Flavor of Serve and How to Remain Fee-Free.

The big limitation here is that you can only load your Serve account with an Amex card and Amex cards don’t earn points for Serve loads. No gain in doing that.

One value some people got from their Serve credit card loads was to use this as a way of meeting minimum spend requirements on a new Amex credit card. While Serve loads don’t earn points, they’ve always worked in the past to count toward minimum spend required for a signup bonus.

This may have changed.

Two recent data points on Flyertalk (1, 2) indicate that Serve loads may no longer be working to count toward a minimum spend threshold.

Other ways to get value from Serve loads

  • Use a third party Amex card, such as Fia Amex or Flexperks Amex, and you’ll get points for the credit card loads. As an example, if you load with Fia you’ll earn $20 per month (2% of $1,000), or $240 per year.
  • If you have the grandfathered SoftServe version of Serve, you can still load your card with any point-earning credit card, up to $1,500 per month. Just be careful to avoid any potential cash advance issue (see this Flyertalk wiki).

UPDATE

UPDATE: One Reddit member also tells a similar story of Serve online loads not working to trigger the signup bonus, but many others in that Reddit thread offer recent data points to the effect that it is still working for minimum spend.

In any case, it’s probably not smart to rely only on Serve loads; you won’t be able to fight it with Amex if there is a problem. At the very least, be sure to finish the spend early so that if the bonus doesn’t post automatically, you have time to complete the spend some other way.



31
Leave a Reply

avatar
 

  Subscribe  
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
Justin H
Justin H

Can’t confirm this myself but I was informed by another reddit user that Flexperks Amex shows up as Cash Advance on Serve loads.

Greg N
Greg N

@Justin H – Do you have CA limit set to zero? Then worst than can happen is your load gets rejected.

HORACE
HORACE

Reader Harvson advised me that there was NO CASH ADVANCE for loading SERVE with the US BANK FLEXPERKS AMEX.

He was correct.

Throughout August, I happily loaded my new SERVE (ONE VIP) account with the card and incurred no cash advance fees.

I have yet to load in September, but I doubt very much that there are any cash advance fees from the US Bank Flexperks AMEX.

My suggestion — Ask you Reddit contact again what he meant because those with the SoftServe card — now not open to newcomers — like me — were able to load Visa and MasterCard credit cards to their Serve accounts.

Before US Bank issued the US Flexperks AMEX card, they had — and still have — a US Bank Flexperks VISA card.

I would not be surprised if your contact incurred a cash advance fee when loading his Flexperks VISA card to SoftServe — as he would not be able to load it to a new Serve account.

Consequently, I think the communication has been garbled like the game of telephone and I would wager that the US Bank Flexperks AMEX still incurs no fee when loading a Serve account, of any variety.

Waiting for your clarification.

Justin H.
Justin H.

Thanks for your reply Horace. He mentioned that both Flexperks cards (Visa and Amex) were posted as CA back when SoftServe was still available. It’s possible this was just misinformation, but I just took his word for it since I hadn’t read much confirmation elsewhere and there was confirmation that Flexperks Visa had previously posted as CA (they’re both operated from the same bank, so why wouldn’t they?).

It’s good to hear that Flexperks Amex works (at least on One VIP) since I can now think about applying for it on my next round of apps. I’m currently operating under OldServe so I shouldn’t run into any CA issues, at least in theory anyways. Thanks again!

HORACE
HORACE

@Justin H —

Glad the information worked out for you and that he confirmed that it was under some old system.

I read those similar posts as you did and there seemed to be issues with the Club Carlson Visa loading a Serve either online (used to be able to do it before AMEX decreed AMEX only cards).

Had not read of a problem trying to load AMEX cards — even those issued by US Bank — as a problem via Soft Serve, but who knows, the payment system that still seems to allow Visa/MC could work differently than the online version that Harvson and I have encountered — but I doubt it.

Probably he was conflating problems with US Bank VISA credit cards — Club Carlson Visa and Flexperks Visa — as posting as Cash Advances.

You are correct that one could expect that given the above, an AMEX issued by the same bank would also post as a Cash Advance — it does not, and perhaps it has something to do with the payment system it runs on — AMEX vs. Visa vs. MC.

Just throwing out the latter, I don’t really know how they work, but having read about this stuff, it appears that those are the Big 3 for credit card processing and perhaps an AMEX affiliated card is recognized by the AMEX payment system and somehow does not trigger a Cash Advance.

Anyway, as I have noted above, I have not loaded this September, as yet, so there could be a change, but I highly doubt it.

Of course, besides the Flexperks AMEX, I think that US Bank issues a Cash Plus AMEX, as well and that might fit your needs better.

Also, there is a FIA AMEX that might be on the chopping block but still works, for now!

Good luck!

Justin H.
Justin H.

Yeah, you’re right it’s possible that it’s the payment system that registers whether or not it’s a CA (which explains why a lot of Visas were getting hit with CA when SoftServe was still running – although Chase loads did eventually end up posting as purchases, so why the exception?)

I hopped onto FIA Amex when I learned Flexperks Amex was posting as CA and that OldServe was being phased out. FIA Amex still works as of September and just glad I got it before it hits the chopping block.

I couldn’t find the link or any information on the Cash+ Amex – perhaps you meant the Flexperks Select+? Anyways, FIA Amex works pretty well, but I’ll definitely give the Flexperks Travel Rewards Amex another look before my next round of apps.

Thanks again!

HORACE
HORACE

You are correct — I was wrong, there is no Cash Plus AMEX issued by US Bank, there only is a Visa product.

I was looking at the above cause my partner has huge charity contributions and the above card and the FLEXPerks AMEX (and I assume companion Visa) are cards that provide for this sort of spend.

In addition, coming late to the SERVE bandwagon, I wanted a card that might earn some points via loads, and the Flexperks AMEX hits that bill — especially since the low annual fee of $49 is waived the first year, and appears to be waived entirely by either:

1). $24,000 spend — which probably will be met at least in the initial year, and

2). perhaps by having a US Bank Gold checking account — you get the former free by having a US Bank credit card, and there are reports that having the checking account likewise appears to credit you a statement credit to remove the cost of the annual fee — this is not assured as it appears from US Bank’s rules, only Platinum checking accounts get this perk, but in practice, some have reported that just having the Gold checking account appears to wipe out the fee when assessed — I’ll see when the time comes.

thershope
thershope

This is huge news if true. I am currently waiting for my One VIP Serve card to activate and load $3K for meeting Minimum Spend for Platinum 100K offer. If I cannot do with Serve, i may need to find another way to do this.

Mark
Mark

It worked for me near the end of August for the Amex Gold Premier. Today I met the minimum spend for my SPG Amex Personal. I will post again if I am given the sign up bonus (around mid September when the statement closes)

elie
elie

do you have any recent knowledge if it does or does not?

Raj
Raj

This would really suck. Some reports say it is working, but I’m sure this is the future. Argh!

Dillon Welch
Dillon Welch

I signed up for the One VIP Serve mid last month. I used it at the end of the month to meet the minimum spend for the Amex Hilton 60k offer floating around. I just checked today and the 60k points have been deposited into my HHonors account. Maybe the switch was flipped in September?

Leo
Leo

This also worked for me in August. If this change is in fact legit, it must have been made very recently.

Dillon Welch
Dillon Welch

I used the same Serve card to load my new BBVA Compass Card this month (September 1-5). I just got an email saying that my 10,000 points from the sign up bonus are on their way. Perhaps it’s only for cards directly from American Express?

J T
J T

Agreed. I don’t think Am3x has any interest in controlling rewards or min spend on cards not issued by Centurion.

MAP
MAP

This would be a blow

DP
DP

I just switched from bluebird to Serve by thinking that online credit loads will counts for minimum sped.

Daniel
Daniel

Data Point:
Loaded $200 on 8/31,9/1 and 9/2 to wife’s regular Serve from Amex PRG. Statement closed 9/3 and points posted 9/5

Daniel
Daniel

50,000 bonus points posted

dan
dan

does it show as actual or pending?

Jeffrey
Jeffrey

Remaining 1,000 of 5,000 BGR min spend was done this month Sept 1-5.. Points posted today.

Matt
Matt

I got the Amex Hilton (no fee version) last month and finished the minimum spend on 9/2 with a $500 serve load (softcard version). I just checked and the Hilton points are posted on my account.

SmithShop
SmithShop

I got the SPG Hilton last month and used $500 Serve purchase at CVS using the SPG Amex and then I loaded $200 a day using the SPG Amex for a total of $1600 spread over late August and early September. On 9/8 I was given the 30,000 SPG points after meeting the minimum spend.

So, I am just a sample size of 1, but using the Credit Card to load Serve counted towards me reaching the 3K spend.

Clint
Clint

Used Serve exclusively in August (Aug1-5)/September (Sep 1-5) to meet 2K minimum spend on Amex Delta Business Gold. Bonus miles posted on 9/9/15.

Mark
Mark

my SPG miles posted as soon as I hit 3,000$ (almost all of it via Serve) spend (9/14)

Maora
Maora

Amex Every Day, 100% serve load, 25k sign up points on pending. Card approved on 9/13, completed $2k load on 10/5.

Jay
Jay

Would this work? I have A Business Amex, with $5000 Min. Spend Requirement. Wife is “authorized user”. I have A Serve Account, and do Monthly $1G Loads. Can my wife load her Serve Card from My Credit Card, being that she is an authorized user? This way we could load $2K Monthly, instead of $1K?

Miles Hustler
Miles Hustler

@Jay: Yes, it could work. Did you try it?

rubayeth
rubayeth

Does anyone know if you get cash back from the Schwab Investor American express credit card (1.5%) on serve loads?

Back to Top ↑