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Amex Serve, cousin of Bluebird, in many respects works like a checking account. It has robust bill pay and each account has an account and routing number for direct deposit. But it is not a true checking account. The direct deposit information screen clearly says, “This information can only be used for adding money into your Account with Direct Deposit. It cannot be used to pay bills on external sites.”
At some point I put the account information in a secure note and forgot about the warning. I thought why wait a few days for outgoing bill pays to arrive when I could just add it to my credit card online payments as a checking account. A rejected payment each for wife and I, one costing a $26 returned payment fee, I have been reminded of the warning. Don’t make my mistake. Only use bill pay from within Serve.
Why get Serve? Many reasons, though for the lazy or efficient, an attractive feature is that the regular version allows $1,000 credit cards loads per month at $200 per day. If you have the right phone, the Serve with ISIS version is $1,500 (not that ISIS). The loads are treated as purchases rather than cash advances by the major issuers, though loads with Amex cards do not earn points.