Review of the American Express® Serve® Prepaid Card

Brendan Harkness

Brendan Harkness | Reviews

Feb 03, 2016

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The American Express® Serve® Prepaid Card is a reloadable prepaid debit card with low fees. It’s accepted anywhere that takes American Express.

It comes with security and membership benefits provided by American Express, and can be reloaded in several different ways.

Keep in mind, this is not actually a credit card, it is a prepaid card! Prepaid cards do not help you build credit since they don’t extend a line or credit or report to the credit bureaus.

If you have bad credit and would like to improve it, a secured card may be a better option.

American Express® Serve®

For People with
No Credit

  • Annual Fee: $1 Monthly Fee (no fee NY, TX & VT)*
  • Interest Rate:
Quick Card Facts
  • Your Full Service Reloadable Prepaid Account. (American Express Serve is not a credit card.)
  • No credit check. No minimum balance. No hidden fees.
  • FREE Direct Deposit gets you access to your money up to 2 days faster.
  • FREE ATM withdrawals at over 24,000 ATMs nationwide.
  • FREE Online Bill Pay and money management tools.
  • Enjoy American Express service and security 24/7. Shop online or off and get access to Card Membership benefits like Purchase Protection.*

American Express Serve Card Unboxing

The Rewards

There are no rewards for spending money with this card, unless you opt for the Serve Cash Back version, which offers 1% cash back on all purchases.

The Benefits

Check your card’s Guide to Benefits to learn the exact benefits available to you, and how to access them.


  • Membership Experiences

    Tickets and savings to sporting events and entertainment.

  • Amex Offers

    Special offers on dining, shopping, and more!

  • 24/7 Customer Service

    Access to customer support around the clock.


  • Fraud Protection

    Cardholders are protected against fraudulent charges.

  • FDIC Insurance

    Money in American Express Serve Accounts is eligible for FDIC insurance. Temporary card funds are not eligible.


  • Purchase Protection

    Provides coverage against theft and damage for up to 90 days for eligible items.


  • Global Assist Hotline®

    Assistance finding services during travel emergencies, whether it be medical, legal, financial, or another emergency. Examples include medical and legal referrals, assistance with cash wires, passport replacement, missing luggage and more. Cardholders are responsible for third-party service provider fees.

  • Roadside Dispatch

    24/7 help with roadside emergencies. Examples include towing, changing a flat, or boosting a battery. Cardholders are responsible for third-party service provider fees.

The Costs & Fees

Card Fee Monthly Fee Cash Reloads Direct Deposit Card Replacement ATM Withdrawals
$0 online; $3.95 in-stores $1; $0 when you direct deposit $500 Up to $3.95 $0 $0 $0 at 24,000+ MoneyPass® ATMs
Withdraw Cash at Non-participating ATMs Online Bill Pay Mobile Check Deposit Sub-accounts Foreign Transactions
$2.50 + operator fees $0 $0 $0 2.7% of the transaction
Transfer Funds Between Cards Link a Bank Account Set Aside Money in Reserve
$0 $0 $0
The Serve card can be obtained for free online, or purchased for up to $3.95 in the following stores
Walmart® CVS/pharmacy® Walgreens® Family Dollar Fred’s Super Dollar®  Office Depot® Duane Reader®Sheetz®

When you purchase the card and fund it in-store, you will receive a temporary card with limited features. The funds loaded on temporary cards can only be used for purchases from retailers who accept American Express.

Simply go online to register your account and you will be sent a permanent version of the card with your name on it, which will have the full range of card features like the ability to add funds in more ways and pay bills online.

The Bottom Line

The American Express Serve card is a good low-cost prepaid reloadable card. With the benefits and accessibility of American Express, it is a good choice for someone looking for a cheap or free type of digital money. Cardholders get this, along with the many features, sub-accounts, and special offers.

This is a prepaid card, so it won’t hurt your credit, but it won’t help it either. This makes it a good option and easy to get for someone with a history of bad credit.

American Express also offers another prepaid card, the Bluebird® by American Express®, which is created by American Express and Walmart. This card is a financial account that offers money management tools and flexible features. It offers similar benefits and fee structures to the Serve, one difference being that it has no monthly fee.

Do you have the American Express Serve Prepaid Card? If so, how do you like it? Leave your own review of the card here.

For some other options check out our picks for The Best Prepaid Debit Cards for 2015 »
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