The American Express Serve Card Review for 2019

The American Express Serve Card Review for 2019
Lauren Ward
on June 5, 2018
Read in 2 min

The American Express Serve Card is a reloadable prepaid debit card that comes with upfront fees so you know exactly what to expect – and what’s expected of you.

Plus, since it’s branded with American Express, you can use it at any store or website that accepts this major credit card company.

Keep reading to find out how the account works and what kind of fees you’ll pay to make sure it’s the best fit for you.

American Express Serve Card Account Basics

One of the biggest perks with the Serve Card is that there’s no credit check and no minimum balance you have to maintain in your account.

That makes it accessible even if you don’t have a ton of money in your savings account.

And since there’s no required credit check, your history with previous credit cards doesn’t impact your application.

The card also comes with a few free services, including early direct deposit, online bill pay, and ATM withdrawals at over 24,000 MoneyPass ATMs.

Fees

What kind of fees come with this card?

There’s a monthly fee of $1 unless you set up your account to receive direct deposits of $500 or more each month, then the fee is waived.

You also don’t have to pay any fee at all if you live in Texas, Vermont, or New York.

The foreign transaction fee is 2.7%, which is something to consider if you frequently travel outside the U.S.

When you’re ready to reload your card, you have two free options and one that will cost you.

Cash reloads at retailers are convenient, but the fee varies depending on where you go.

The highest fee you’ll experience is $3.95 per reload.

If you choose to receive direct deposits or add money from a bank account, there’s no charge for either service.

Account Limitations

It’s great that you can access ATMs in the MoneyPass network for free, but you’ll pay double fees if you ever need to take out cash at an ATM that’s not within the network.

American Express charges you $2.50 for each out-of-network withdrawal, plus you’ll have to pay any additional fees from the ATM operator.

Also, there’s no rewards program associated with this card.

If you’re looking for a way to accumulate points for your purchases, you’ll need to look elsewhere – most likely for a credit card program.

Conclusion

How does the American Express Serve Card stack up vs other prepaid debit cards?

It’s a strong contender if you have access to income through direct deposit or you have an existing bank account you can use to load your card with.

If you’re relying on loading your card at retailers, you may end up spending a lot of money, especially when you view it as a percentage of the amount you put on the card each time.

But with the right resources, it can end up being a convenient, low-fee card you can use on a daily basis.

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Lauren Ward Finance Journalist

Lauren Ward is a freelance content writer focusing on personal finance, real estate, and lending.

Her work has been featured on Huffington Post, CBS News, and Kiplinger.

She previously worked at the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond as well as several national non-profit organizations.

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