American Express Serve - How to Apply for a Reloadable Prepaid Debit Card

If you want a prepaid debit card that is reloadable, has low fees, and is accepted by anyone that accepts American Express, then the American Express® Serve® Prepaid Card is your choice.

It can be reloaded in a few different ways, and it comes with membership benefits and security. 

Prepaid cards don’t help with building credit, because they do not extend any line or credit, neither do they report to any credit bureau.  

FEATURES of this Card

The Serve card is backed by American Express and is one of their prepaid debit cards. Being a prepaid account, you can only spend the amount of money that you previously deposited and not a penny more. There is a backup option, though. You can link another account to your card.

The Serve has a fee of $6.95 per month. If you make direct deposits every month of $500 or more or live in New York, Vermont, or Texas, your monthly fee will be $0.

American Express has two other Serve prepaid cards - the Serve Cash Back Card and the Serve Free Reloads Card. Both cards are very similar to the Serve Card.

The American Express Serve Free Reloads Card offers free cash reloads at more than 45,000 locations. The Serve Cash Back Card offers 1% cashback for any purchase, which is not common with prepaid cards.


Most prepaid cards have features that they charge for. Sometimes, they don’t have any features at all. However, the Serve card offers many features for free. One example is that it has the “reserve” option, which is like a savings account, allowing recurring transfers to build up to achieve a future goal.

Cardholders are not charged for transferring money or adding money to “sub-accounts" for their children or other payees. Also, it is free to make online bill payments or replace cards. 

Balance inquiries are made online free of charge, at MoneyPass ATMs or through the app, although some fees may apply at the ATM if it's an out-of-network ATM. Users can reach customer service by phone 24 hours a day.

Eligibility and How To APPLY

The applicant of the Serve prepaid card should be at least 18 years old and have no payment defaults and good credit history. If the person applying for the card is self-employed, then the company should have at least 12 months of trading

A good CIBIL (also known as CIR - Credit Information Report) score will also be needed, even though this is not a credit card. You can apply for the American Express Serve card by accessing their website here

If you are struggling with debt consolidation and need some tips, take a look at this article for some pointers.

FEES and Interest

The Serve card has a very low fee amongst other prepaid debit cards. The maintenance fee is very low, costing only $12/year for the monthly maintenance taxes. For those living in Texas, Vermont, or New York, the monthly maintenance service is free.

There is no fee for the purchase if the card is ordered online, and it has no inactivity fee. The monthly maintenance tax costs just $1, which can be dropped if your monthly direct deposits exceed $500. If you choose to buy the card from a retail location, then it will cost as high as $3.95.

Other prepaid cards have more transaction fees than the Serve card. If you want to spend your money without paying any fees, you will have to pay by PIN or signature, or you can withdraw your money from a MoneyPass ATM (they have over 24,000 ATMs in-network).

Fees can be avoided if you use an electronic feature to reload your card. If you want to load cash on your card at other retailer locations, such as CVS, Rite Aid, Dollar General, 7-Eleven, or Wal-Mart, then you will have to pay a fee.

Serve users can reload their cards free of charge with mobile check deposits, direct deposits, and online bank transfers.  


The Serve card is a very good prepaid reloadable card to have, as it is a very low-cost prepaid card. Coming from American Express, it adds a lot of access and benefits. Cardholders will benefit from a lot of other features for themselves and sub-accounts, as well as special offers.

Note: There are risks involved when applying for and using credit cards. Consult the institution's terms and conditions page for more information.

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