A couple weeks ago, the food blogger network I belong to, FoodBuzz, reached out to ask if I’d be interested in writing a post about Serve, a new card from American Express. I was all “meh” but they were all “hey, we’ll put some money on the card that you can use toward a meal.” And I was all “ok, Foodbuzz, I like to eat and I like money, you’ve got a deal.” I was actually curious to see what this card was all about – mostly I was intrigued by the food themed name of “Serve.” Also, no incentive needed for me to say nice things about American Express, I’ve been a cardholder for a few years and have nothing but raves for their incredible customer service (especially compared to the horrendous customer service that surrounds us in so many areas, especially credit cards and banks).
So what’s the deal with the Serve card? Basically it’s American Express’s answer to other mobile payment companies, but they’re taking a foodie/restaurant oriented approach to marketing it. With the card you can “settle up” your share of a bill by instantly sending and receiving money on your mobile device (iPhone, Android, and Windows Phone). The card isn’t a credit card, but rather a bit of a debit card that has to be pre-loaded with money. Setting up an account isn’t hard, and I was sent my card in the mail a few days later. It is, in fact, rather easy to transfer money from one account to another. You know, if you’re one of those people that is into that sort of thing.
Why “Serve”? I’m not sure. It’s an interesting approach from American Express, clearly targeting high-end foodies and those who are social restaurant goers who may frequently eat in groups. The card theoretically has other uses, as it is accepted anywhere American Express is, but it’s an intriguing marketing approach to a certain niche. Will this angle work? Meh, might be tough. Seems like a pretty exclusive niche. Obviously paying a bill when many people are chipping in cash can be a hassle, but to avoid that you’d need to make sure everyone you eat out with has a Serve account. Considering a lot of people already carry several credit or bank cards, good luck with that. Plus, so many restaurants are now perfectly willing to split your bill on 3 or 4 different credit cards, so it may not be necessary at all to use something like Serve. But for people who frequently eating out in social settings I could see it being handy. Or maybe not. Who knows if it’s worth your time to set up. It’s like those old commercials would say “You Make the Call!”
American Express is definitely making a push to get people to try the card, as evidenced by their outreach to me and other food bloggers (again, I’m intrigued by this niche targeting of foodies). They’re even gonna give $100 to a So Good reader. Sweet huh? So yeah, leave a comment in the next 7 days and one will be chosen to win $100 that will be added to a Serve account for you. Fun=fun? Sure, that’s fun.
Disclosure: “As part of the Foodbuzz Tastemaker
Program, I received a $250 stipend to try Serve from American Express. Sign up for Serve and receive $10 credit towards your first use. Comment below within the next 7 days for your chance to win an extra $100 credit to your account! Official sweepstakes rules and regulations may be found here.