UPDATE: It appears that Serve is no longer safe with some cards. Please see this post for more details: Some online Serve credit loads now posting as cash advances.
In the last few days there was a bit of a panic in the miles and points community with regards to Serve online credit card loads. For some people, the loads appeared to be processing as cash advances. We didn’t know at the time, though, whether those charges would really be handled as cash advances once they moved from pending to actual. Yesterday, I urged people not to panic (see “Serve cash advance? Don’t panic, and don’t call.”). We’ve seen this happen before where pending charges are handled as cash advances at first, but then are treated as actual purchases once they move out of the pending stage. We now have good evidence, that the same has happened here.
People who previously reported that their pending charges were handled as cash advances are now reporting that the cleared charges are coming in as purchases. See this thread on Flyertalk for many examples.
Serve is safe
- If your Serve load is being rejected you may not have a large enough cash advance limit on your credit card. You may be able to correct this by calling your credit card company to increase the cash advance limit. The danger with this, of course, is that you might get hit with cash advance fees for other transactions, so use your judgment as to whether or not to go this route.
- Continue to load Serve with a credit card. Don’t use a card from American Express, though, since you will not earn credit card rewards from those transactions. Amex cards issued by other banks should be fine, though.
- To learn how to automate and maximize Serve loads, please see “Earn miles automatically, with Serve”