I like to maximize my cash or points anyway I can, but sometimes finding ways to earn more points/cash back takes a little work. I don’t mind doing extra work if I can earn more! My antics can easily be justified, when I say earn extra cash or points paying bills with my reward credit cards. I’ve learned I can use my credit card and earn more on bills that typically don’t accept credit cards or require a fee.
For example, paying my electric bill, it cost an extra $3.00 a month if I pay through the electric company website with my credit card. I don’t earn enough points/cash back to justify paying an extra $36.00 a year to use my rewards credit card. Start adding on other bills and the benefit (points/cash back) doesn’t outweigh the cost.
Fortunately, I can earn rewards and pay this bill without paying extra fees associated with paying directly through the electric company. This can be done a few ways, but I’ll talk about the American Express Serve today.
The American Express Serve is a prepaid card that is loaded by credit card or cash at CVS, Family Dollar, Seven-eleven and even Walmart. You can also set up direct deposit, deposit a check via phone, withdraw money from an ATM (fee free at Money-Pass ATM) and transfer money to other people with Serve accounts. The best part, you can load this from your reward credit card right from your computer or phone and earn points/cash back on paying bills!!
If you registered for a Serve Card through Soft Card (formerly ISIS), you can load up to $1,500 a month. Also, if you link your Serve Card to Soft Card, you’ll be able to receive other special offers as well. Currently you’ll get $1 back when you use your Soft Card on purchase $1 or more, up to $50 a month, at participating retail stores.
If you received your Serve directly through American Express or at a retailer (like Walmart or CVS), you can load up to $1,000 a month. You can load gift cards on to them too, but that takes more time and effort. I’ve done it in the past, but it was time consuming and not worth the extra effort since I can load $1,000 a month from my phone (Apple doesn’t allow Soft Card). You can only load $200 a day, so it takes a few days to reach your monthly maximum, but well worth it! If you want more information about loading with a gift card, leave a comment, and I’ll explain it.
**There are reports of people being charged Cash Advanced Fees with certain cards, many of which are Chase credit cards. You can find more info here on Flyertalk.com about which cards are charging Cash Advance Fees or not. I personally don’t use any card unless the Cash Advance is set to $0, so I never have to worry about it. I would recommend you do that too, Cash Advance Fee = no points, which defeats the purpose. Not to mention cost you more money!**
When you register your credit card to add money, you might be asked to contact customer service. They will send you an email and you will need to take a picture of your license and credit card you wish you use. You MUST be the card holder of that credit card to add money to your account, being an authorized user will not work. You can call back to expedite the process or wait a few days and it you should receive an email saying you’re good to go.
After you have loaded money onto your Serve card,you’ll need to add your bills to pay. If you load $500 or more a month onto your card, the $1 monthly fee is waived.
When you select “Pay Bill,” you’ll select “Add Payee” on the following screen. You’ll then be at the screen above. You’ll type in a business, such as Chase:
You can pay your Chase auto loan, Chase mortgage and even your credit cards with the Serve! And many more accounts as well! So, if you want to pay your Chase Sapphire Preferred, you can do that!
If paying a credit card, your account number is your credit card number. After you save it, you can add more to pay as well. Always do a small test transaction of a few dollars to make sure it is linked correctly.
**Some people will load their Serve with a credit card and pay that credit card with their Serve. I don’t do that, although people have been successful, I don’t want to get shut down for doing that. The choice is yours if you want to “rinse and repeat,” but you’ve been warned.**
A nice perk of the American Express Serve is the “Amex Offers.” Amex Offers are extra ways to save some money doing normal everyday shopping. You will be offered a statement credit with you meet the requirement, such as this current offer, “Spend $100 or more at Columbia.com and get $20 back.” These are always changing and a great way to save your self some extra money. Also if you use these with cash back portals you will save even more and possibly triple dip your earnings/savings!! You’ll need to register for these offers through your phone, either the mobile app or through social media, Twitter or Facebook (these are linked to the right page for the offers).
This is a super easy way to earn extra rewards to pay your everyday bills you couldn’t normally pay with your credit card. I’ll keep using this until American Express starts charging a fee to load or when the credit card companies all charge cash advance fees. This is just another way to help you earn points or cash back for your next trip and make it lighter on your wallet!
What bills will you pay with your American Express Serve card? Which card will you load it with?