Some online Serve credit loads now posting as cash advances

Note: On January 8, 2016 American Express sent out a notice to a large number of Bluebird & Serve cardholders informing them that loading capabilities on their accounts had been terminated. For more information, see: Amex kills Bluebird and Serve for manufactured spend

I posted earlier today that US Bank has started charging cash advance fees for Serve online credit loads.  In response, several people informed me that the same is true for Citibank.  In fact, PointsCentric tweeted a screenshot of his online statement:

CitiServeLoad

This is a new phenomenon that began recently, around October 8th.  So far, my loads using Barclaycard Arrival Plus still appear to be purchases.

Note that some banks are known to treat these loads as cash advances while the payments are pending.  Once they move from pending to actual, they are treated as purchases.  With US Bank and Citi, though, recent loads are being treated as cash advances even once they are no longer pending.

Please report below your experiences with Serve loads since October 8th.  Please only include transactions that are no longer pending.  Thanks!

Safe List

Here are cards that were reported by readers to be safe, along with the most recent date of purchase:

  • Barclaycard
    • Arrival Plus, October 9
    • Priceline
    • US Airways, October 9
  • Capital One Venture
  • Chase
    • Freedom
    • Southwest Premier, October 11
    • Sapphire Preferred, October 9
    • Marriott Business, October 11
    • Ink Plus, October 10
  • Fidelity Amex, October 12
  • Nasa FCU Rewards Visa, October 11

Unsafe List

The following cards were reported to charge a cash advance fee for Serve reloads.  Most recent reported date is listed:

  • Citibank, October 9
  • Bank of America
    • Bank of America Travel Rewards
    • Alaska Signature
    • Travel Rewards
  • Emigrant Direct Visa, October 8
  • US Bank
    • Club Carlson, October 9
    • LifeMiles, October 30

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Last updated on January 29th, 2016

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J Logan
Guest
J Logan

Nasa FCU Rewards Visa; Oct 8; treated as purchase. MCC=6051

Nasa FCU Rewards Visa; Oct 6; treated as purchase. MCC=7278

A MCC of 7278 for Serve loads had been the historical norm.

Faye
Guest
Faye

Citibank $200 Serve load, done online
Transaction Type: Cash Advances
Posted Date : 10-09-2014

Rob P
Guest
Rob P

$500 Serve/Softcard load on 10/9/2014 with US Bank Club Carlson card…no longer pending and there’s a $20 Cash Equivalent fee. 🙁

trackback

[…] today, Greg the Frequent Miler reported that some of his readers have been getting charged cash advance fees for Serve online loads made […]

Marlon
Guest
Marlon

Fidelity AMEX-$500 on October 9th
Chase Southwest Premier -$200 on October 9th
Both posted and treated as purchases

yugi
Guest
yugi

Barclays Priceline
Description changed to QUASI CASH – MERCHANT, before it was BUYING/SHOPPING SERVICES, CLUBS. Both posted 1000 points for $500 transfer to Serve.

steve J
Guest
steve J

Go figure, Citi is GARBAGE. I just did a Chase SW load, will let you know in the morning. That RED card is looking better and better.

Casey
Guest
Casey

Chase Freedom is still posting as a purchase.

ME
Guest
ME

Emigrant Direct Visa charged a $20 cash advance fee for “taking $200.00 cash out” of Serve on 10/8/14.

MileHighBug
Guest

Barclay Arrival Oct 10 and 11; will let you know the outcome as they are still pending.

JustSaying
Guest
JustSaying

Freedom. Purchase

Maximizing My MS
Guest

My Serve $200 reload with a Citi Hilton Visa is pending for a couple days. I just called Citi and had the cash advance option set to $0.

Jesse
Guest
Jesse

CapOne Quicksilver has always processed as a purchase.

senthv
Guest
senthv

$400 Serve/Softcard load on 10/11/2014 with Bank of America card and there’s a $20 Cash Equivalent fee.

JustSaying
Guest
JustSaying

Freedom. 7th. purchase
Sapphire Preferred 8th & 9th purchase

Dave
Guest
Dave

I made Serve loads on 10/3, 10/6, 10/8 from my USB Club Carlson card, and all have posted as purchases without fees.

Steve j
Guest
Steve j

Chase sw serve load on 10/11 purchase.

Nate
Guest
Nate

10/7 and 10/8 Citi Double Cash both posted as purchases, albeit the MCC changes from 10/7 to 10/8. Still have a 10/10 load pending.

trackback

[…] SERVE is still allowing credit card loads, and even though there was a scare, most credit card companies are not posting as cash […]

Diane O
Guest
Diane O

Barclay – US Airways card – safe 10/09/14 posted as purchases.

yugi
Guest
yugi

Barclays Priceline Visa safe. My statement closed today, there are no CA fees.

yugi
Guest
yugi

Barclays Priceline load date 10/08 posted as quasi cash merchant.

Adam
Guest
Adam

Chase United Explorer was ok – most recent load on 10/8
BoA Better Balance Rewards was ok – most recent load on 10/3
Fidelity Investment Rewards was ok – most recent load on 10/3

Terry
Guest
Terry

If you all posting results read the blog posting above asking for input, only Oct 9 and beyond is of concern. Prior to Oct 9 is not in question.

senthilv
Guest
senthilv

Called Serve and BOFA on the cash advances. Below are updates from them. Please advise on whether I should open a dispute on these transactions with BOFA?

Update from BOFA: Serve is keying the transaction as a cash advance and they have no control over that but previous transactions were coded as normal purchases. The merchant is suppose to notify the customer if they are keying the transaction as a cash advance. If they have not notified, they can open a dispute on the transactions

Update from Serve: They do not know how the transaction is coded as a “purchase” or a “cash advance” and that is up to the bank or credit card. They can’t do anything about it.

RR
Guest
RR

The Serve credit card load screen says:

Funding Source
Cash advance fees for credit card loads may apply; please check with your credit card issuer for details.

I wouldn’t recommend further calls to either Serve or BOFA.

RR
Guest
RR

Chase Marriott Business:

10/10 transaction, 10/12 post date — Sale (not CA)
10/11 transaction, 10/12 post date — Sale

Both transactions initially resulted in a reduction of the Cash Advance Available balance, which increased back to normal today, 10/13, and no CA charges resulted.

Despite the 10/12 post date, neither post showed until 10/13 after 9pm Pacific time. The expense category is different than last month: last month it was Recreation, and this month it is listed as Finance & Other.

Antonio
Guest
Antonio

Chase Ink Plus safe 10/10 transaction. Authorized as a cash advance, then posted 10/12 as a purchase.

Ecason
Guest
Ecason

Noticed on my Arrival transactions that the loads prior to 10/8 show Merchant Category as “BUYING/SHOPPING SERVICES, CLUBS” and loads after show as “POI FUNDING TRANSACTIONS(EXCLUDING MONEYSEND)”. No indication of a cash advance fee yet.

Allison
Guest
Allison

My AAdvantage Citi on 10/8 and 10/9 showed up as purchases with the merchant category “POI FUNDING TRANSACTIONS(EX MC MONEYSEND” – changed from “BUYING/SHOPPING SERVICES, CLUBS”. Not charged any Cash Advance fees.

bt
Guest
bt

Exact same experience as Allison with Citi AAdvantage card for Serve load on 10/10/14. No CA fee posted.

Mike
Guest
Mike

Fidelity Amex: Load 10/12 Post 10/14 Purchase

Neo
Guest
Neo

My Citi Thankyou Premier: Transaction Type: Cash Advance; Category: MORTGAGE CO/NONFINANCIAL INST/TRAVEL CHK (on 10/10 and 10/12).

I did not see the associated CA fee though. However, I need them in the right category for the sign-up bonus ($1000 short now), right?

What could I do?

trackback

[…] Some online Serve credit loads now posting as cash advances. […]

Matt
Guest
Matt

Capital One Venture loads post as a purchase, but the MCC is different. Now classified as a “other service” instead of merchandise.

No CA fees though.

naren
Guest
naren

serve rejected Barclay CC add money, called them, i have load photo of my CC and license, any thoughts

trackback

[…] And then the whole thing blew up again.  Please checkout this post to see which credit cards are safe, and which are not safe, to use to load Serve: Some online Serve credit loads now posting as cash advances. […]

trackback

[…] 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. […]

Gene
Guest
Gene

@frequentmiler
any idea if redbid on-line CC loads are also processing as cash advances please?
thanks

Gaurav
Guest
Gaurav

Tag for updates.

Raghu Narayanan
Guest
Raghu Narayanan

Hi
After reading your post, I wanted to protect myself and went ahead and set my cash advance limit to 0 for my Chase Ink Plus and Chase Freedom cards (on my wife’s account). Now however online load from thses cards fail as they are being coded as cash advances. Any pointers on what I should do. Call serve or remove the cash advance restriction and hope that it gets coded correctly by Serve
Thanks
Raghu

trackback

[…] 和 https://frequentmiler.boardingarea.com/2014/10/11/some-online-serve-credit-loads-now-posting-as-cash-… […]

Curtis
Guest
Curtis

Chase Ink Bold does not work and will not work. It gets declined. I spoke to chase and they said that Amex recently changed how they are processing the transaction and because the ink bold is a charge card, it will not work. He also mentioned that even the ink plus card may not work.

AL
Guest
AL

well what do you know ,arrival + gave this message when added to serve :

You have the following errors.

CARD ISSUER DECLINE TRANSACTION CODE

so arrival + is a NO NO.

JDK
Guest
JDK

Chase Marriott Rewards Premier (VISA Signature):
10/21 transaction, 10/22 post date — Type: Sale (not Cash Advance).

GUNYOUNG
Guest
GUNYOUNG

10/15~ 19 Chase Freedom, each days 200, posted as purchased.

trackback

[…] UPDATE:  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. […]

Diane
Guest
Diane

US Bank Avianca LifeMiles Visa can be added to the Unsafe List (10/30/2014). I wish I had read this post first.

Traylor
Guest
Traylor

Chase Ink Bold. Spoke to CSR about Serve 200$ loads on October 27,28,29 and Nov. 1. Even though my account online lists it as a ‘sale’ she said that they will go through as ‘cash advances’, 15$ charge for each one. Still waiting for my statement to post. Not Cool : (

Traylor
Guest
Traylor

Chase Ink Bold Plus Business (Sorry) ^^

Henry133864
Guest
Henry133864

Did you find out if you were charged a cash advanced fee on your Ink Bold statement? Please share the final result… I had set my CA limit to the lowest they would allow ($1) and because of that Chase had rejected my $200 Serve load attempt. Wanting to know how it actually shakes out in the end…

JustSaying
Guest
JustSaying

Chase Sapphire Preferred showing up as 0 against cash advance in pending charge from 11/2.

Chase Freedom showing up as using $200 of cash advance funds on 11/2 pending charge.

Will update as available.

dan
Guest
dan

anyone knows the discover it card will be safe or not? thanks!

dan
Guest
dan

on the chase ink plus business, anyone has seen any recent cash advance fee on the monthly statement? thanks

Mike
Guest
Mike

Attempted to use Chase SWA Biz Premier for my first load on the serve website. Transaction was declined. I called and the CSR said that it was declined because it was coming up coded as a cash advance and they didn’t want to approve it without me knowing that. CSR said it depends on how the terminal codes it, and it seems as if the “internet” terminal is coding as cash advance?

Sharon
Guest
Sharon

Used Citi AA, first month in Sept was fine. Transactions in Oct showing up as Cash Advances – MORTGAGE CO/NONFINANCIAL INST/TRAVEL CHK, and the statement adds $55 fees. No cool…

ZP3
Guest
ZP3

Loaded $200 to Serve via Citi AA Biz card (before I read the cash advance warning here) and is showing as a purchase (not cash advance). Transaction is still pending but all seems ok. My cash advance limit is set to zero…Will report back

JDK
Guest
JDK

HSBC Premier World MasterCard reports is safe. I used the card Nov 21st for Serve charge, and it reports the transaction as an ordinary one.

Gunyoung kwon
Guest
Gunyoung kwon

Loaded $200 each days to Serve via Citi AA Platinum Master version from 7th to 14th.
No CA fee charged and I got a all the point. I think master version is OK!

ZP3
Guest
ZP3

Mine is the Citibusiness World Mastercard. Charges are now firmly posted and no cash advance fee charged

Jerm
Guest
Jerm

I realize using amex cards to load serve doesn’t earn points. But does anyone know if that spend counts toward meeting spend for signup or threshold bonuses?

Rick
Guest
Rick

@Jerm, my Delta Plat Amex did not earn either points or count toward anuual spend when loading Serve. As a result, I suddenly realized I have more to spend this year to meet my annual spend than I thought I did.

Marc
Guest
Marc

On AMERICAN EXPRESS CARDS:

I have confirmed with calls to Amex CREDIT CARD customer service that, even if Amex Serve loads are counted as regular purchases (not cash advances), those loads still do not count towards spending thresholds or points/miles/etc. If you look carefully at your Amex bills, you may notice the number of points or miles you have been awarded each month do NOT include your Serve load transaction totals.

On CITIBANK:

I called Citibank and they said that American Express began reporting the Serve load transactions differently — they used to come through as “purchases” and are now being coded as “quasi-cash”, and Citibank had always considered that a cash advance. So it’s not really true that Citibank has changed its policies, the change was at SERVE.

Citibank was nice enough to undo SOME of my transaction fees after some very persistent prodding. YMMV.

Anne
Guest
Anne

What about Chase SW bus? will it treat as “purchase” and earn miles? Is it really true that Amex will not count to meet min spending?

Peter
Guest
Peter

How about other Chase cards such as Chase IHG and Chase Milage Plus?

GoodMXguy
Guest
GoodMXguy

I have the same question that Peter has. I am in the fence about using the visa signature Chase mileage plus with Serve.

GoodMXguy
Guest
GoodMXguy

Hi. I have the same question than Peter. Can you please clarify or help? Anyone? thanks in advance

GoodMXguy
Guest
GoodMXguy

FrequentMiller, do you have any advice about the visa signature Chase mileage plus with Serve? Is it safe to load serve with it?

PennAdam
Guest
PennAdam

FrequentMiler,

I set the cash advance limit to $100 in my Chase card linked to serve.

I’ve been loading serve with $100 at a time every two or three days or so. I pay all other bills except any of my Chase accounts, to avoid the perception of cyclical transactions.

Do such routine $100 charges, raise a flag at Chase?

Does it raise a flag at Amex ?

If so, how best to do this safely under their radars?

maifriend
Guest
maifriend

I lowered my cash advance to $100 but load random amounts, i.e. $490.66 or $277.12 but always end the month near $1,500 because I applied my serve account through softcard. I use my cc to pay purchases with little $$$ amount so that it shows I pay retail purchases with it and stay under the radar.

PennAdam
Guest
PennAdam

maifriend, Thank you.

But if your cash advance is $100, how can you load amounts greater than $100?

Dck
Guest
Dck

So is chase freedom card still safe to be used? I charged 200 dollars and my cash advance limit was reduced by 200. But once the transaction was posted, it was listed as sales and earned points. I am confused. Would love some clarification.

Shawn Coomer - Senior Editor
Member
Shawn Coomer - Senior Editor

That has been my recent experience with Chase cards as well. I haven’t tried since December and it wasn’t the Freedom, but my cash advance limit was lowered, but it posted as a purchase.

RicK
Guest
RicK

Does Citi cards really count as cash advance when posted? Please advise!
THANKS!

Nick
Guest
Nick

After recently switching from Bluebird to Serve I have been unable to upload via credit card. Error message stating “We’re sorry, something went wrong! Please try again.”

This is with Arrival and us airways cards. Chase cards show as been declined by the bank. Any suggestions would be much appreciated.

Thank you

RicK
Guest
RicK

I loaded a chase card on Feb 14th and posted as purchase. What are your load dates? You must know that they can only store one credit and one debit card in the system. Once you use a different card you must verify with amex. I would call AMEX SERVE!

Wass
Guest
Wass

Does anyone know if it’s safe to use a Chase Ink BOLD card with Serve?

Thanks for all the info everyone! I’m looking to get a Serve card, but I want to make sure I can actually use it first.

If not, perhaps I should just switch to a Chase Sapphire or that allegedly amazing Bardclays card.

Thanks!

cyp
Guest
cyp

I was just trying to attach my usairways barclays mastercard to my serve account, I notice it won’t take it. The site is acting like it doesn’t understand the account number. testing out other cards numbers for visa/amex/mastercard, all work, but the first few digits of the us airways card seems to confuse it, but arrival mastercard doesn’t. (bank of hawaii business mastercard seems to have same issue)

any thoughts?

Jay
Guest
Jay

Sorry, couldn’t find info for Discover IT card. Does that charge cash advance fee with Serve reloads?

John
Guest
John

Someone reported that Fidelity AMEX Serve loads count as cash advance now.

Gaurav
Guest
Gaurav

Based on Doctor of Credit’s recent post, has anyone tried loading serve with the Citi AA AmEx recently?