272 thoughts on “OMG You can now Load AMEX Serve at Walmart with Visa/MasterCard Gift Cards

  1. Rusty

    Ok thanks for the quick reply Grant.

    Is anyone a member of Flyer talk and can ask in that thread?

    If it were somehow possible to just sign up with a case then ditch it…it would be totally worth the hassle. I know that there is at Least $40 in rebates just for buying the isis case itself (plus another $1 back per isis transaction per month up to $50 for a limited time, plus lots of other promotions) so at worst you’ll only be out of pocket like $30 for the case even if you decide not to use it. And if you do use it, it should more than pay for itself in addition to the huge limits boost.

    Reply
  2. RJP

    Finally found a Walmart with a (working) MoneyCenter kiosk. Was also presently surprised to find that US Bank MasterCard GC’s work through the kiosk. What I could use some help with is how to do a single load to GoBank on a Kiosk with multiple GC swipes – ie “how do I do a load of $1000 or $1500 as a single transaction?”

    Thanks!

    Reply
      1. RJP

        That’s what I did this AM, but it didn’t seem to want me to do a third transaction on my GoBank. Could be a few things, I suppose:
        – how many transactions per GoBank or BB allowed per day?

        – dollar limit on GoBank loads per day? Couldn’t have been that, as first two cards were only $200 each.

        – dollar limit on GoBank loads per month? The third transaction would have put me over $5000 for May. Thought I read there wasn’t a monthly limit? Or there was an unknown/vague limit?

        Thanks!

        Reply
        1. Mike

          Grant:

          Why is GoBank mentioned about 3% as often as BB and Serve? They shut me down within a month of opening. But, I can’t believe I’m like others. Why isn’t GoBank more popular or even barely mentioned?

          Reply
          1. Grant

            I’m not sure why. Bluebird and Serve control 90%+ of the market. Go Bank is good if you don’t get shut down. Their bill pay service is a bit strange. I feel like Bluebird would buy them.

          2. RJP

            Look at each service from a marketing perspective: they are each coming from different business models and are seeking to serve two very different customers.

            Walmart (a customer if mine fir many years) and AmEx (a vendor of mine for many years) are experts at making money on a low-margin, high-volume transactional basis. And their JV – BlueBird – is designed for that. It’s targeted at unbankable” people. BB makes money by getting lots of people to put money in and take it out… often.

            GoBank is… well… a bank. The main source of their income is derived from interest/return on deposit balances. Their customer is someone looking for an online bank. A place to KEEP money, and access it when needed.

            In the end, travel hacking MSers are not a target customer of either… but we LOOK like a BBird customer, and don’t look like a GoBank customer. This is why BBird puts up with us, and GoBank shuts us down. (Some of us, anyway…)

          3. Mike

            Those are great points. I knew most of that. My question was toward the explanation of why these boards barely mention GoBank since money is money and MS is MS.

          4. Grant

            I think the fact that you used to be able to load VRCs to BB and everyone had BB. Go Bank just wasn’t easy to use compared to Bluebird.

        2. Eric C

          Are you kidding me? Serve/Bluebird always had a $5K/month limit on cash loads. Who said it was unlimited? HA…fat chance.

          Reply
          1. RJP

            Looks like someone needs a new prescription for their reading comprehension glasses. :-)

  3. RJP

    Aaron – I’d say that the answer to your question is really “the system is not hard-coded AGAINST GC’s” but do note that is NOT the same thing as “officially allows.”

    Reply
  4. RJP

    Mike wrote: “My question was toward the explanation of why these boards barely mention GoBank since money is money and MS is MS.”

    I think the answer is that it became a self un-fulfilling prophecy. Meaning, when GoBank came on the scene typical bullheaded MS’ers charged into an account, shoved $5000 down that poor little dog’s throat in two days, and then on day three they pulled the $5,000 out of that poor little dog’s @ss. This behavior does not look like the behavior of a “bank” customer – it looks like the behavior of a money launderer or other fraudster – so accounts got shut down. (ie the second or third time that poor little dog sees you coming with $5000 of gift cards in your hand… he’s probably going to bit you.)

    Since the typical bullheaded MS’er also tends to be a loud-mouth MS’er… they posted about their account getting shut down. They posted this early, often, and indignantly.

    The net result of this is that the immediate perception became that GoBank will shut down your account and leave your money in limbo for 30 days.

    I’m trying to take the approach of camouflaging myself as “a bank customer” with my GoBank account. Sure, I pump $5k into each account monthly (my wife has one too) and I take about that amount out each month. But I also deposit my work expense checks there, send some checks to the landscaper and pay my sewer bill. I use the ATM for normal cash needs, and pay credit card bills in non-round number amounts (ie I don’t send a $2000 payment to Chase within fifteen minutes of swiping four $500 gift cards. The net result is that I’m getting maximum throughput on liquidating manufactured spend through GoBank… but the untrained eye would not conclude that at a glance. At a quick look, my statement would look like the ordinary financial habits of the typical American… a guy who puts money in the bank, takes money out of the bank, and am lucky enough to have a few bucks left over at the end of the month.

    Reply
  5. Prince Johnson

    With ISIS / Serve, I was able to get Serve card after cancelling BlueBird within a day. I did the SSN trick. I “accidentally” put in the wrong SSN on the last digit. I was also advised to use a new email and phone number. After the wrong SSN, your info gets into their system and you can call the number Grant provided and they will ask you to fax/scan your SS card with the correct number. I scanned/emailed within an hour and called back. They approved me while I was on the phone. Now still waiting for the new Serve card to arrive. I got the $25 ISIS promo via t-mobile in my Serve account already.

    Reply
  6. Aris

    Can i simply use any Visa/Master/Amex Gift Card to reload my Amex Serve? Or I have to use Vanilla Visa Card?

    Reply
  7. Aris

    Thank you for your post… But I tried the exact same cards to reload my serve. But it did not work through. It does not matter if the card has a PIN or not. Either way, I can’t load my serve card with these vanilla cards….

    Reply
    1. Grant

      You can load $5,000 per calendar month of gift cards via Walmart Money Center ATMs. If you have an iPhone, you need to buy an ISIS case. If you have an android phone, download the ISIS app.

      Reply
    1. Grant

      I don’t have ISIS, so I don’t know. I think ISIS is a digital wallet, so you would have to load funds to a card in your ISIS wallet.

      Reply
  8. jarleesa

    If somebody wants to add money to my serve card without having my card can they just use my card number

    Reply
  9. Chris

    May I know what’s the phone number to call? “After the wrong SSN, your info gets into their system and you can call the number Grant provided and they will ask you to fax/scan your SS card with the correct number.”

    Is it possible to load AMEX Serve at CVS with Visa/MasterCard Gift Cards except OVGCs and VGCs up to $5000 per calendar month?

    Thank you Grant

    Reply
    1. Grant

      Just call the number on the back of your Serve Card. You cannot load credit, debit, or gift cards to Serve Card at CVS, the system is strictly cash. I tried this last week. Hard coded for cash only.

      Reply
  10. Charlotte

    Which prepaid gift cards are Walmart currently accepting to load AmEx Serve? I understand OneVanilla is no longer accepted. What about other Visa/MC gift cards that can be purchsed online through a gift card mall? Or Simon Mall gift cards?

    Reply
        1. Grant

          Yes, I have tried it last week and it worked. I was able to load 3 out of 4 OVGCs, but the last one just never loaded. I tried multiple times on different days and still got an error message. You have to do the payment workaround to get the OVGCs to read as debit cards. Good luck!

          Reply
          1. rubu

            Grant I tried to use a OV to load my ISIS and it did not work. Agent said I can’t load credit cards. Is there a trick which needs to be done here? to load via MC? is OVs only allowed in Kate? If that is the case what kind of GC are allowed?

          2. Grant

            You need to click the change payment button on the screen immediately after swiping the OVGCs and then you will be able to load it to your Serve Card.

  11. purcitron

    @travelwithgrant
    just got an enhanced SIM for my phone so i can use softcard..$1.5/month.
    any idea how to actually load 1.5k please?
    via mobile app only? serve app or isis app?
    thanks!

    Reply
  12. Cardbeagle

    I load $500/day x 3 days each month directly in the Serve app. The app stores the credit card you used the first time so if you always pull from the same cc it is very quick. My preferred card for this is the 2% cash-back Fidelity AMEX.

    Reply
  13. james

    Great thread, thanks for the info. I just activated my Serve acct and wanted to ask — is it still possible to load it using GCs at Walmart? And if I use a CC to load it, will I receive points/miles on the card? I read on another article that some will not earn points for loading Serve. Thanks!

    Reply
    1. Grant

      Some gift cards can be loaded to Serve, but it also depends if your local Walmart will let you. As for credit card reloads, use a Chase or Barclays credit card, those will earn miles/points. Most other credit card companies will charge a cash advance fee and you will not earn any miles/points.

      Reply

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