Changes Coming to Softcard Serve in 2016
Don’t you just hate when someone talks about a good product that has gone away? I have a friend who has a Citi Forward for example. It pains me every time he pulls it out to pay at a restaurant because he is earning 5X. That card also earns 5X at book stores including Amazon. Crazy and of course that is why it isn’t available any longer.
ISIS or Softcard Serve
While not nearly as good as the Citi Forward, the Softcard version of Serve was definitely the best flavor of that prepaid card and it has gotten better over time. While American Express has moved other versions of Serve off non-Amex online credit card loads, the Softcard version still allows Visa & Mastercards. Additionally, it allows up to $1,500 per month to be loaded online instead of $1,000 with the regular versions. So so nice.
Usually when companies have a product that is too generous, they will make changes or discourage its use. Apparently that is happening now. About a week ago I received notice of a new monthly fee coming to “SoftServe”. I had forgotten about it until today when Ryan sent me the same notice. I figure it is newsworthy enough to share.
Here are the changes as described by Amex:
New Monthly Fee & Fee Waiver
Starting on January 6, 2016, there will be a $4.95 Monthly Fee for your American Express Serve Softcard Account. This fee will be waived if you Direct Deposit money onto your Account during a monthly statement period.
So they are implementing a new monthly fee. This doesn’t surprise me given the split of Serve into many different versions with varying fees. Thankfully they do give us a way to avoid the fee. We need to have a direct deposit into the account at least once a month!
In the past, ACH transfers to Serve have counted as a direct deposit. The easiest way to get this fee waived is to setup recurring transfers so you don’t forget. A lot of banks have this ability. I personally am going to use my Discover Savings account for now to accomplish this. If for some reason it doesn’t work then I’ll make sure to update everyone.
To setup transfers to your Serve account, simply login and go to settings. There you should see the account and routing numbers that you’ll need to tell your bank.
For those of you with the defunct ISIS (no not that ISIS) and then Softcard branded Serve card, there is still hope of waiving that monthly fee rather easily. I personally am still glad I have the card and its ability to load $1,500 per month from a non-Amex card. That alone is worth the $4.95 per month, but why pay when you don’t have to?