One of my hobbies since I was a wee lad has been collecting baseball cards. As the years have gone one, the hobby has become increasingly complicated and as brick and mortar hobby shops disappear, I’m left trading and buying from other traders like me online. And when it comes time to send a payment, it’s either Paypal (for which I cannot express enough contempt) or bust.
Enter Serve from American Express. Serve has partnered with Verizon to offer an online and offline payment method without the fees of the competition and I decided to sign up and give it a few week trial run to see if it’s as advertised. I also thought I’d come back to this post in a few weeks and update whether or not it’s something I’ll be using over the long run.
Serve combines a few different features from a few different online payment methods to provide the most comprehensive payment source I’ve yet to be a part of. I can pay any other serve member for free (Paypal will charge the receiver 2.9% = $0.30 to accept the payment, unless it’s a gift which means it’s non-refundable), and use my Serve card anywhere online or offline American Express is accepted.
Loading funds is free using a bank account or debit card, but if I load using my credit card, that pesky 2.9% + $0.30 applies. Withdrawing funds is also free when using a bank account or requesting a check; and if I request cash at an ATM, the first withdrawal each month is free (fee applies after that).
Here’s how I signed up:
- Filled out an application online using this promotion link to receive $25 after loading $25 onto my card (before September 30th)
- Added a bank account and debit card to my account, so funds can be transferred in at no charge
- Waited for my card to come in the mail, then activated it and starting making a few minor purchases (acts just like an American Express card online, so good anywhere AMEX is accepted)
I’m going to check back in around mid October to write a follow up on my experiences with this online/offline payment method. I encourage you to leave any comments you have about the Serve platform and possibly compare it to Paypal.