Earlier, Amex announced that Visa, MasterCard and Discover Credit cards will not be allowed to load Serve. This is a big blow to Serve as this is a easy and no cost way of spending $1,000 per month on your credit cards.
When looked at the alternate options, Serve can still be useful to unload Visa gift cards. (A post coming soon on how to unload) you can unload up to $5,000 per month. But, there are some challenges with this approach.
1. Visa gift cards come with a fee ($5 – $7)
2. Not all Walmart’s allow Visa gift cards to load Serve. Some Walmart’s ask for a Debit card with your name
3. Walmart ATM’s can also be used to load Serve with Visa gift cards, but not all Walmart’s have the Money center ATM’s, even if they do, there is no guarantee that they will work.
Another alternative that emerged recently is Target REDcard. This is similar to Amex Serve, but you can load REDcard with any credit cards up to $5,000 per month. Note that only one of these 3 products (REDcard, Serve or Bluebird) – are allowed per SSN.
So if you already have a Serve, you need to close the Serve account before registering for a permanent card. (You can still buy a temporary REDcard in store, while your Serve account is open)
The only challenge right now is the availability of REDcard. REDcard cannot be ordered online, you have to buy a temporary card in a participating store and register online for a permanent card.
Where to find a REDcard?
You can use this tool to find a participating store, however this is not really accurate. Even though this tool mentions that there are no participating stores in California, I was able to buy a temporary card at a Target store in California.
Since this is a new product, the inventory keeps on changing, they may be available today and once they runout of stock, there is no guarantee that they will comeback again.
Per this Flyertalk thread, you can find a REDcard in the following states at select stores.
California (some locations)
Pennsylvania (west PA only)
- When buying a temporary card, you need to provide Name, Address and SSN. But this can be changed later.
- You can also buy for a friend or request a friend to buy one for you
- Some stores may charge you to buy a temporary card, but it is well worth it.
- You need to close your Serev or Bluebird account, before you register for a temporary card.
Target REDcard can be a good alternative to Serve. Starting April 16, 2015, Serve will not allow loads with Visa, MasterCard and Discover Credit cards.
REDcard can only be found at participating stores in select states and it is not a guarantee that the store will let you use a Credit card for loading REDcard, but so far it is a success in most stores.
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