Manufactured Spending

American Express Serve Discontinues Credit Card Loads

American Express Serve shutdown

Man am I glad I switched over to Redbird because according to Points with a Crew, American Express Serve will no longer allow credit card loads. While Serve has always restricted online credit card loads to $200 per day/$1,000 per month, it was an easy way to generate miles with minimal effort. During my lazy manufactured spending days, having multiple Serve cards became an easy way to keep earning miles without having to step inside a Walmart. I know for many of you who aren’t heavy manufactured spenders, it was a relatively low-risk activity.  The new policy will go into effect on April 16, 2015, which gives you at least one more load (or two if you haven’t hit this month’s limit). 

You can continue loading Serve with American Express credit cards, but as usual you will not earn points on those loads. This isn’t a huge hit (I’d say on par with the Amazon Payments shutdown) and at least there’s still Redbird for those who want to generate an easy $5,000 in manufactured spending each month. Yes, it requires a trip to Target but I’ll take the pleasantness of Target over the retail hell that is Walmart any day. 

When I make me twice-weekly trip to Target, I earn a few walk-in kicks from Shopkick (my affiliate link), pick up a drink at Starbucks, stock up on essentials, check out, then load my Redbirds at the customer service center. It’s always easier that way, since the customer service cashiers actually know what a Redbird card is and don’t give me that deer-in-headlights look when I tell them I want to reload one. 

Redbird is as easy and cheap as manufactured spending has ever been, so the loss of Amex Serve is really not a huge deal. My only concern is that some Serve cardholders will switch to Redbird, abuse the card and cause a mass shut down. Hopefully people will heed Frequentmiler’s advice on how to avoid Redbird shut-downs and we’ll all be safe. 

Does the Serve card’s new policy on credit card loads affect your manufactured spending activities?

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  1. Johnny_Bravo!

    Couldn’t you still use Visa/MC debit cards from online portals to load/unload?

    • They’re only going to accept Amex credit cards going forward. In the past, people who used Visa/MC debit cards for online loads had their accounts shut down. The same might happen with Amex gc’s – I wouldn’t risk it.

  2. “You can continue loading Serve with American Express credit cards, but as usual you will not earn points on those loads.” Why will points not be earned? Is it coded as a cash advance, or some kind of ‘AMEX-to-AMEX’ transfer? Thanks! Keep up the excellent blog!

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