Reloadable credit cards are becoming increasingly popular with over 6 billion transactions per year. Some people confuse gift cards with reloadable credit cards but there are a couple of major differences. Reloadable credit cards are designed for long term use for a variety of reasons. Some consumers use them because of past credit problems as they do not require you to have good credit to get one. Others enjoy using them for budgeting purposes or for teenagers or college age children. This allows you to give your kids a credit card without the worry of them over-spending. The cards carry a Visa, Mastercard, or American Express logo making them accepted wherever those cards are accepted. If you lose a gift card, chances are you are out the money on the card whereas many of the reloadable credit cards protect against fraud as with a regular credit card.
When looking at the different options available for reloadable credit cards, the American Express Serve card caught my eye. The card requires no minimum balance unlike others meaning you could add $20 to the card and send your teenager to the movies with it without worrying about additional spending beyond the movie theater. While it offers the flexibility of a reloadable card, it still comes with the American Express customer service that I love. One of the main reasons that I chose the card however is because of the fees. With fees of only $1 a month, they are much lower than many of the other options. While some people shy away from the idea of monthly fees for using a reloadable card, most people are paying fees for any kind of credit card. Many cards have yearly annual fees but even those that do not, have you paying high interest rates on any purchases not paid off each month making $1 a month sound like a deal.
Another difference between Serve and many of the other reloadable cards on the market is that you can personalize it. You can purchase the Serve card either online or at a variety of locations. I purchased mine at Walgreens on the display with other reloadable cards and gift cards. Once you get a card you can register online to obtain one with your name on it just like a traditional credit card. Once you do this you can have access to all of the Serve features which we will discuss in our next post.