New Amex Prepaid Debit Pays Back In Cash

American Express has announced the availability of Serve Cash Back, a prepaid debit option, beginning immediately.

The payments company said on Wednesday (Aug. 19) in a press release that it is launching the program, which will earn its account holders 1 percent back on purchases. Those consumers who spend in line with the 2012–2013 U.S. Department of Labor national averages, according to Amex, could earn more than $400 annually on items that include dining out, groceries, clothing, transportation and gas.

In the statement detailing the new debut feature, Stefan Happ, American Express chief commercial officer of enterprise growth, said that “we know consumers are looking to stretch their budgets and get more from every dollar they spend. With the American Express Serve Cash Back Card, we are defining a new standard in the prepaid industry and rewarding our customers where they’re already spending — on everyday items such as gas, groceries and clothing.”

In tandem with the cash back benefit, American Express said that its consumers will also have use of other Serve features, such as free direct deposit on checking accounts and the ability to receive paychecks up to two days before actual payday. The company is also offering free online bill pay, with fraud protection and free withdrawals at ATM locations.

In reference to the fees attached to the program, American Express said the Serve Cash Back platform carries a monthly $5.95 charge, with no minimum balance mandated to be tied to the checking account.

Amex has been rolling out rewards programs in recent months. In May, the company unveiled its Plenti program, through which customers can choose (via an app) the merchants from which they want to earn “Plenti” points and will earn those points for rewards across a variety of transaction types, from debit to credit to cash.

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The How We Shop Report, a PYMNTS collaboration with PayPal, aims to understand how consumers of all ages and incomes are shifting to shopping and paying online in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our research builds on a series of studies conducted since March, surveying more than 16,000 consumers on how their shopping habits and payments preferences are changing as the crisis continues. This report focuses on our latest survey of 2,163 respondents and examines how their increased appetite for online commerce and digital touchless methods, such as QR codes, contactless cards and digital wallets, is poised to shape the post-pandemic economy.

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