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Target Red Card Review: Pros and Cons

Tarhet red cardTarget’s privacy issues and customer confidentiality have come under fire lately, making them headline news. However, this retail giant does offer several perks to its customers through the Target Red Card program.

Unlike a typical department store credit card, Target offers their card in two forms: as a debit card and as a store credit card. Consider both the good and bad points of these cards to make an informed decision when you’re offered one on the next shopping day.

In its debit card form, the Red Card mimics the bank debit card you use every day to pay for purchases via your checking account. The main benefit to this card type is debt control. Red Cards are linked to your personal checking account, pulling funds as you charge items at Target. You can’t create a balance on the card the way you do with a credit card. As a result, you aren’t creating a debt with the card. There’s no credit check to pass when you apply, either. That means your credit score isn’t taken into account to approve the debit card application. And because there’s no credit check, your credit score won’t be affected (which occurs whenever a credit check is processed).

Of course, with the Target Red Card credit card, you will have to pass a credit check, which will cause a temporary dip in your credit score. And a fair to excellent credit score is required. Plus, the Target Red Card credit card carries a pretty hefty APR of 13-23%, depending on your credit history. But there is no annual fee, and the 5 percent discount you’ll receive when shopping at your favorite Target is higher than the one or two percent you commonly get with cash-back credit cards.

If you shop at Target a lot, the credit or debit Red Card’s discount quickly adds up to savings. At every checkout, you receive a 5 percent discount off your merchandise. That percentage is taken off the items immediately rather than being a rebate or cash-back situation. For busy families, 5 percent off $200 is $10. Although this amount may not sound like much of a discount, weekly or monthly expenditures add up to huge savings. The discount even applies toward sales items.

Data Collection And Sharing

A major drawback to the Red Card is Target’s data collection and sharing standards. Although most businesses share consumer information to a certain degree, Target spells out their sharing processes with some alarming truths. They share purchasing information with their affiliates and even non-affiliates, making you a target for pinpoint-accuracy marketing. Financial companies can contact you because of certain purchases or shopping frequency. However, most of the data collection is mainly for Target’s internal needs, including inventory restocking and marketing future sales to the right people.

No Credit Benefits from the Debit Red Card

Although debit and credit cards look exactly the same, your debit Red Card doesn’t provide any boost to your credit score. You cannot build credit with the debit form of the Red Card because it only runs through Target’s financial institution, or specialized bank. It doesn’t work its way through the major credit card channels for Mastercard or Visa. That’s why a credit check isn’t necessary when you apply for the debit card. If you need to boost your credit history, the credit form of the Red Card, or another real secured or unsecured credit card from a major credit company, is required.

When you apply for a Red Card, you’ll be asked for a local school’s name. Each purchase you make creates a 1 percent donation to that school from Target’s funds. If you shop with them a lot, this 1 percent adds up quickly. There are schools that receive thousands of dollars from Red Card families choosing one particular school. This benefit, in particular, makes Target’s Red Card programs stand out.

When you lose a credit card (including the Target Red Card credit card), any fraudulent charges are often reversed with no affect on your account. However, losing a debit Red Card opens up your checking account to thieves. Target stipulates that you won’t be charged more than $50 if you notify them within four days of the stolen or lost card. If you don’t use the card too often, however, you may not notice the charges until after the notification period. You must diligently inspect your checking account to avoid any Red Card withdrawals you didn’t approve.

Although you can use your own bank debit card or regular credit card at Target, their Red Cards do give you some motivation to use their system. From discounts adding up to helping local schools, Target has a smart recipe for customer loyalty, but read the fine print before committing your checking account to their card or taking on a high APR credit card. Because of the APR, the Target Red Card credit card is a better fit for those who pay off their credit balance each month. If you do that, you can get the most out of the Red Card’s 5 percent discount each time you shop at Target!

For over a decade, Natalie Cooper has been writing informative content on a variety of topics. She is a contributing writer to this and other blogs and also writes email newsletter articles, press releases and web content. Prior to her writing career, Natalie worked in various fields including real estate, equipment leasing and banking. She holds a B.A. in English Writing from Rhodes College in Memphis, TN. Natalie lives in the Memphis area with her husband and three children.

I’m trying to cancel my target debit card because apparently I have some fees and I thought with a debit card it’s just like a bank card and it’s your money your spending so why do I have fees I want to cancel my card but I don’t know how

Thank you for this post. I shop T occasionally bi monthly. I read the terms and conditions word for word before seeing this post. I’ve been eying the debit card for months after learning it’s not just a credit card. I’ve decided to hold off especially since O would not benefit from it $ wise. Also I don’t like that you have no option to opt out off marketing collection info.


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Target RedCard Pros and Cons |Target Store Savings| Is the Target Red Card a Scam? |RedCard APR|

1. What is the Target Redcard

2. What is the Target Red Card Interest Rate?

3. What is the fee for late payment and return payment fees?

4. Does Target Red card have an annual fee?

5. Which Red card is better? The Debit Card or Credit Card?

6. Can I use the target red card anywhere?

7. What are the other benefits about the target red card card other than 5% savings?

8. Target extended return policy

9. Free online shipping with Target.

10. Is the Target Red Card a Scam?

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I heard it was used to increase credit score by using this card, how can i do it now ?

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That cup is amazing! chipper is on it!!

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They want you to sign up for there RedCard because it is cheaper for Target to process the transaction

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I want this card. I find myself shopping at target weekly.


Target Prepaid REDcard from American Express Review

There’s been a huge buzz around the new Target Prepaid REDcard from American Express, so I figured I’d summarize some of the features and benefits of this new offer.

The Target Prepaid REDcard works anywhere American Express cards are accepted, so you can use it to pay bills, buy groceries, and shop online.

Plus, it gives you 5% off at U.S. Target stores and online at Target.com (excluding gift card purchases) as well as free shipping on Target.com and 30 extra days to make returns.

The Target Prepaid REDcard has no monthly fees and no minimum balance requirements.

It’s free to register and use, free to add cash at any U.S. Target store (with cash, debit cards, or credit cards), free to set up direct deposit and online bill pay, and provides free ATM access at U.S. Target stores and U.S. Allpoint network ATMs.

Where To Get Target Prepaid REDcard

Right now, you can only buy the Target Prepaid REDcard at Participating Target Stores with an initial load of up to $500 that you can purchase with a credit card.

Once you purchase your temporary REDcard at a Target store, you can then register for your permanent REDcard online.

Please note that Target stores in some regions are charging $5 for a REDcard, but Target stores in other regions are providing them for free.

REDcard Available in Following States

  • Alabama
  • Arizona
  • Colorado
  • Indiana
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Mississippi
  • New Mexico
  • North Carolina
  • Ohio
  • Oklahoma
  • Pennsylvania
  • South Carolina
  • Tennessee
  • Virginia
  • Wisconsin

Eligibility to Get Target Prepaid REDcard

You can only have 1 of the following 3 cards: REDcard, Bluebird, or Serve.

If you already have a Bluebird or Serve account, then you will need to cancel that card before you can register for your permanent REDcard.

You can purchase the temporary REDcard at a Target store while you still have Bluebird or Serve, but you cannot register for your permanent REDcard while you have an open account with Bluebird or Serve.

How You Can Reload Target Prepaid REDcard

Updated May 8, 2015: Please note that you can no longer load the Target REDcard directly from your credit card.

Thank you to The Frequent Miler, we now know that you can reload your REDcard with a credit card at Target stores.

In addition, it looks like REDcard reloads will count as purchase transactions on your credit card, and not cash advances.

You can also reload your card with cash or debit cards (as well as credit cards) at Target stores, which is referred to as “Cash” loading.

You can reload your REDcard from your Checking or Savings account as well.

You can also perform online debit card loads, but for online debit loads, you can only use bank-issued cards, and not prepaid debit cards or Visa/MasterCard/AMEX gift cards.

Target Prepaid REDcard Load Limits

  • Initial Load When Purchasing Temporary REDcard – $500
  • Total Load Limit with Temporary Registered REDcard – $1,500 (includes initial $500 load limit)
  • Cash Loads at Target for Permanent REDcard (Credit, Debit, or Cash) – $1,000 Per Load, $2,500 Per Day, and $5,000 Per Month
  • Online Debit Card Loads – $200 Per Day and $1,000 Per Month
  • Checking and Savings Account Loads – $2,000 Per Month
  • Check Loads – $2,000 Per Day and $10,000 Per Month

How You Can Withdraw Funds from Target Prepaid REDcard

You can withdraw your funds from your REDcard at U.S. Target stores, U.S. Allpoint network ATMs, and via your Checking or Savings account with no fees.

For ATM withdrawals, there is a limit of $750 per day and $2,000 per month.

The card is not usable at ATMs in Target stores in Kansas City, MO.

You can also use the REDcard to pay bills online to major utility companies, phone providers, or others, like your landlord.

Target Prepaid REDcard Summary

For now, it looks like the Target Prepaid REDcard from American Express could be a great option for meeting minimum spending requirements for credit card bonuses, since you can reload your REDcard with a credit card at Target stores for $1,000 per transaction, up to $2,500 per day, and up to $5,000 per month, so you could easily meet a $5,000 minimum spending requirement in just 1 month by “purchasing reloads” on your REDcard.

In addition, if your card issuer codes your Target purchases as a grocery store and offers extra rewards for grocery store purchases, you might then earn extra rewards when you use your credit card to reload your REDcard.

Check out this FlyerTalk Forum for ongoing updates and personal experiences with the new REDcard.

I will update this article as new information becomes available, and please also feel free to post about your REDcard experiences in the comments below this article.

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too deal.. I like my serve, since with Isis it gives me 8000/month.

How much does it cost to reload redbird at target? If its free, it would beat getting OVGCs to load serve/bluebird..


Target Red Card / Redbird credit card loads – what we know

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Tarhet red cardToday has been a crazy day with lots of reports flying around different blogs of people investigating what is happening to Target Redbird credit card loads, in a “post-memo” world

Some background on Target Red Card / Redbird credit card loads

Up until yesterday (May 5th, 2015), you were able to do Target Red Card / Redbird credit card loads of up to $1000 a swipe, $2500 a day and $5000 a month. Dans Deals and Frequent Miler both reported yesterday that credit card loads were not going to be allowed any more starting today.

Reports of Target Red Card / Redbird credit card loads today

I was the first person in Target this morning to try and check out what did and did not work. No, really, I literally walked into my Target this morning as they were unlocking the doors to open up for the morning

Over the course of the day, several people have reported their results trying to do Target Red Card / Redbird credit card loads. Here is a list of some of the ones that I’ve seen

There’s also some forums / social media where folks are sharing experiences with Target Red Card

Target Red Card / Redbird credit card loads: What we know

  1. No credit cards seem to work. I haven’t seen a single report of anyone being able to do Target Red Card / Redbird credit card loads today with any type of credit card. It’s hard coded by the register and even though reports are that most cashiers are willing to try and do Redbird credit card loads, the POS system comes up with a message saying “Able to Load $0.00 with this Payment Method”
  2. Amex for Target will not load either.
  3. Vanilla Visas (like from Office Depot) and Metabank Visas (like from Office Max) seem to work as debit cards. This matches my experiences from earlier this morning. US Bank Mastercards also work. If you haven’t seen it yet, this week (and next!) Office Depot and Office Max are essentially giving away free money.

Mmmmmm…. free money

I will continue to update things as details become more concrete. If you want to make sure to stay informed, you can follow me on Twitter or Facebook, or sign up for my once-daily email with travel news and tricks.

If you have any data points to share, leave a note in the comments.



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