[UPDATE 5/12/2015: You can no longer load your REDcard with a credit card. HOWEVER, you can still load your REDcard with gift cards.
All you have to do is follow Steps 1-5, skip Step 6, and then follow steps 7-8.]
The Target REDcard (frequently referred to as a “Redbird” card due to it’s similarity to Walmart’s Bluebird card) is far and a way the best tool for anyone who wants to:
- Meet a minimum spend requirement on a credit card.
- Pay bills that you can’t usually pay with a credit card (mortgages, student loans, rent, taxes, etc.).
- Or simply earn extra frequent flyer miles and points on your credit card.
Because it’s easy, and most importantly, totally free!
Here’s exactly how to do it:
Step 1: Find a Target that sells REDcards
The first step is actually the hardest, and that’s because at the moment only certain Target stores sell the Prepaid REDcard.
Target is slowly rolling it out to more and more stores, but it’s still in its infancy.
To check which stores currently sell Target Prepaid REDcards, click here.
If a Target near you sells Prepaid REDcards, great! Skip to Step 2.
If you don’t see a store near you listed, I’d call ones in your area and ask if they have them.
Make sure you are asking for the Target Prepaid REDcard. Stress the PREPAID part!
If a Target Near You Doesn’t Have a Prepaid REDcard:
If not, you’ll need some help to getting one. Here’s how to do that:
- 1. Find someone who lives near a Target who will purchase you one.
- 2. When that person goes to Target, have them buy an extra one for you (or many extra for multiple people).
- 3. When it comes time for the person to enter the birthday or social security number, they can either enter your information or enter fake information. It doesn’t matter, because you’ll have to enter your real information when you register it later.
- 4A. Have them send you the temporary card in the mail OR
- 4B. Have them open the REDcard and tell you the card number and the security code on the back.
Step 2: Buy the temporary Target Redcard
When you buy the card at Target, it’ll be a temporary card.
There are a few options, so make sure you get the Prepaid REDcard. It looks like this:
DO NOT BUY A TARGET DEBIT CARD OR TARGET CREDIT CARD! Get the Prepaid REDcard pictured above.
At the register, you’ll go through this process:
- When asked how much you want to load – Make sure to load at least $1. You can load up to $500. Personally, I loaded the max ($500) so I could get more points.
- Hand your driver’s license to the cashier.
- Enter your birthday, social security number and phone number on the keypad.
Step 3: Register Your Temporary Redcard
If you have an existing American Express Bluebird card or Serve account you have to close that before you can register your Redcard. You aren’t allowed to have both.
Take your temporary REDcard home and open it.
Then, go to https://secure.prepaidredcard.
Remove the sticker from the front of your temporary REDcard.
Enter the 15 digit card number and 4 digit security code that is on your REDcard. Then enter your birthday.
After that, you’ll be prompted to enter all your information.
If you had someone else buy you a Target REDcard, make sure to enter YOUR information.
You’ll get a confirmation screen saying that your permanent card is on its way.
Step 4: Use Your Temporary REDcard OR Wait For Your Permanent Card
If you want, you can use your temporary card (which only has the money you initially loaded on at Target) wherever American Express is used.
Your temporary Redcard cannot be reloaded, used at ATM’s, or used for online functions like paying bills or sending people checks.
To do all of that, you have to wait until you get your permanent card.
For that reason, I recommend that most people just wait the 4-7 days it takes to get their permanent card in the mail to start using it. This cuts down on any confusion.
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Step 5: Get Your Permanent REDcard in the Mail and Activate It
Once your permanent card arrives in the mail, you’ll have to activate it.
You can do it by calling 1-855-306-7395 or by going to target.com/prepaidredcard/activate
Now that it’s activated, it’s time to move on to the good stuff!
Step 6: Load Your REDcard at Target with a Credit Card
This is the easy part. Just take your permanent REDcard to Target and ask them to load it at the cash register. Here’s what’s crazy:
You can load it with a credit card, and it doesn’t cost a thing!
Currently, you can load $2500 per day and $5000 per month.
If you have a credit card that you need to make a minimum spend on, this is a great way to do it. You can knock out $5000 in just two days.
If you’re not trying to make a minimum spend, just pick the credit card whose points you want to earn and use that to load the REDcard.
Make sure you’re picking the type of points that are most valuable (you can see my rankings of the best and worst frequent flyer miles here).
Step 7 (Optional): Load Your REDcard at Target with Gift Cards
Want to get really crazy? You can also use gift cards to load the REDcard.
Why is this important?
Because you can earn even more frequent flyer miles and points!
If you have the Chase Ink Plus card, you’ll earn 5x per $1 spent at office supply stores.
That means that if you buy a $200 Visa gift card at Staples or Office Depot, you’ll earn 1,000 Chase points. Buy the gift card that looks like this:
Then, you can take that gift card and use it to load your Redcard instead of using your credit card to load your REDcard.
But why stop at one?
If you buy $5,000 worth of Visa gift cards from Staples (the amount that you can load on your REDcard each month), you’ll earn 25,000 Chase points per month.
25,000 Chase points are enough for one roundtrip ticket anywhere in North America on United!
Each $200 Visa gift card costs $6.95 to purchase. So, you’re paying $6.95 for 1,000 Chase points.
If you extrapolate that out, you’re paying:
- $173.75 for 25k Chase points – a roundtrip flight in North America
- $417 for 60k Chase points – a roundtrip economy flight to Europe
- $556 for 80k Chase points – a roundtrip economy flight to Australia, NZ, or SE Asia
If you know how to use frequent flyer miles effectively – especially if you are taking advantage of stopovers and open jaws to get 2 vacations for the price of 1– this can be an incredible deal.
Step 8: Use Your Online REDcard Account to Pay Any Bill
Now that you have funds in your REDcard account, you can easily pay any bill you’d like from this account – including things like your mortgage, rent, student loans, or any other big expense that doesn’t normally accept credit cards.
That’s because you’ll be sending a check from your REDcard account, and almost everyone accepts checks!
If you’re struggling to visualize this, just think of your REDcard account as a bank account. It operates in the same way as a regular online checking account – it just happens to be tied to Target.
Here’s how to do it:
- Login to your REDcard account
- Go to Pay & Transfer and hit the Pay Bills button on the dropdown.
- Hit Pay a Bill on the next screen.
- Pick whether you are paying a business or a person (if it’s a mortgage or student loan, they may have your company preloaded in the business part).
- Enter the information. If it’s a person, you won’t have an account number. Hit “Save and Pay”
- On the next screen, enter how much you want to pay, then you’ll hit “review”.
- On the last screen, you’ll have to enter the PIN you set when you registered the card.
- After that, hit “submit” and a check will be sent to whoever you are paying!
Step 9: Repeat Each Month and Rake in Points
Every calendar month, you’ll be able to add $5,000 on your Redcard.
As long as you have a Target near you, this is by far the easiest way to rack up miles and points and it doesn’t cost a cent.
If you did this for a year, you’d have 60k extra points, which is enough for a free roundtrip ticket to Europe!
A Few Frequently Asked Questions
1. Do you know where I can get a Target Redcard?
Click here to see where they are sold. If you don’t see a store near you, make sure by calling and asking if they sell Prepaid REDcards.
2. Do you know when all Targets will start selling REDcards?
3. Do you know when or if Targets will stop allowing us to load REDcards with credit cards and gift cards?
Nope, but I imagine they won’t let it go on forever. I’d take advantage of it as much as you can while it’s available. Personally, I’m loading the $5,000 a month max each month.
4. Can someone else buy me a Prepaid REDcard?
Yes. If you know someone who lives near a Target, they can buy you one. Then, have them either send you the temporary card in the mail or give you the card number and security code. After that, you can register it online and get a permanent card sent to your home address.
4. Is buying Target REDcards for other people illegal?
5. If I’m going to buy more than one for other people, what should I say?
I simply told the cashier that I lived in Philadelphia and had driven all the way down to Maryland to get them because we didn’t have them up there yet.
I then said that my friends and family had heard about the REDcard and wanted them as well and that I was buying some for them too.
She totally understood and said she realized that only a few places had the REDcards and that it was nice of me to do that for others.
6. If someone else buys me a REDcard, do I need them to actually send me the temporary card?
No. They could open it up, give you the card number and security code, and you could “register” for your permanent card without ever actually having the temporary one in your possession.
7. How much can I load at a time?
$2,500 per day and $5,000 per month. You can only load $1,000 per swipe of your card, so if you are loading $2,500, you’ll have to ask the cashier to do it three separate times ($1k, $1k, $500).
The Target REDcard is an absolutely amazing way to meet minimum spends, get points for paying bills that you can usually pay with a credit card, or just rack up points very easily.
I highly recommend you start doing it as soon as possible, as there is no telling how long it will last.
And if it sounds a little confusing, trust me, it’s not. As soon as you do it once, you’ll realize how easy it is.
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FURTHER READING (POSTS HANDPICKED FOR YOU…BY US!)
None of that automatic “read more” stuff you’ll see everywhere else on the internet!
If you liked this post, then you’ll love these as well:
- The Complete Guide to REDbird (from Frequent Miler, whose posts were an incredible help to me)
- Which Airlines Charge Fuel Surcharges and How to Avoid Them
- How to Get to the Maldives (or Anywhere Else in the World) Using Frequent Flyer Miles
Hello Thanks for the article . I have a question. Why did you say that we should not get the Target Debit Card to try and do this? are there limitations?
Second, can we still load these Prepaid red card you talked about with gift cards? Any kind of gift cards?
@jacqueline – you can’t really do this anymore. Sorry.
Target Prepaid Redcard discontinued
Anyway to take this post down? It’s such a disappointment to spend time on it only to find out that none of it works any longer.
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Note: As of October 13, 2015 the Target REDcard (REDbird) can only be loaded with cash in-store at Target.
@Timothy Joe- Yeah, bummer.
I would make you my best friend if you could mail me a Target Pre-paid Red Card.
There are no participating stores in TX and I dont know people in states that have those :(
@Gabriel – Sorry, it doesn’t work anymore.
Any new ways of accomplishing this now that Redcard is dead?
@Jason – None at the moment, unfortunately. I’d follow Frequent Miler though – he’s always on top of this stuff!
I don’t think these red cards exist anymore. I asked everywhere around and they do not sell it anymore.
@Fabiola- Yeah, you can’t do this anymore, unfortunately.
Prepaid REDcard website says that gift cards cannot be used to add money. You can find this under the link Add Money, then under Debit Cards the last sentence reads Gift cards cannot be used to add money.
@David Oliver – You are right, this option is now dead.
I don’t believe you can use gift cards to load the REDcard with money any longer as stated on the REDcard website FAQ Add Money section “cannot be done with gift cards.”
Unless Visa gift cards are seen as debit cards?
Never mind, just saw previous comments confirming this is true.
More succinctly stated below:
Objective limited to saving fellow travelers from arduous task of clawing back cash out of overtaken by events (OBE) manufactured spend (MS) strategy.
Internal MeMo cited from millionmilesecrets.com:
Tender Accepted Select Reloadable Prepaid Cards
Effective Oct 13 cash is the only tender guests can use to reload select prepaid cards (listed below) in store.
•Prepaid cards falling under this restriction include: REDcard, American Express for Target, Green Dot MasterCard, Green Dot Visa, NetSpend Visa and MyVanilla Visa
•POS will prompt if a payment type cannot be used.
•If applicable, credit or debit cards can be used to pay the card fee.
•Follow POS prompts. If POS displays a message that the tender can only be used for a certain amount or not at all, ask the guest for another form of payment.
•If the guest inquires about the tender restriction, advise: “Target has made the decision to only allow cash reloads for this card. This decision aligns with other retailers who also only accept cash for reloadable prepaid cards.”
•Target policy: refer guests to Target Guest Relations at 1-800-440-0680
•Reloadable prepaid card questions: Refer guest to the card issuer contact information on the back of the card.
Hey, they unfortunately neutered the RedCard. You can now only do $200/day or $1000/month via Debit cards (Visa gift cards). You can still deposit higher amounts via other ways (check, cash, etc), and the possibility of using this to buy Chase points/ pay mortgage via credit card at a discounted rate is definitely worth investigating.
However, with the $1000/month limit on debit cards the technique as it stands is unfortunately a lot more limited.
@David – Yeah, it’s quite a bummer. Oh well, let’s hope for the next thing to come around soon!
Can I buy the Redcard with my Chase card, then buy gift cards with my chase card, then load the money from the gift cards onto the Redcard, and finally pay my monthly Chase Card bill with the Redcard?? Does Chase accept that instead of a bank draft?
@Nina- Unfortunately, not anymore. You can’t load gift cards on to the REDcard anymore.
Based on the Target website it looks like cash is now the only way to load the Prepaid card – can anyone confirm that gift cards no longer work?
@Julia- Yeah, just cash unfortunately now.
I have read almost one years worth of posts on this forum and it is amazing that Travis and others are so willing to disseminate their knowledge and experiences. At this point in time however it would seem that the game has changed and the information that was pertinent in Jan 2015 is now not obsolete, but different as it relates to the process.
Would it be possible to let me know what exactly that I would need to do if I am starting from scratch, which I am, to acquire and use the Prepaid Redcard to pay my mortgage,rent etc. Can it still be loaded with a CC? I have been able to glean much information from the posts from the last 8 months, so it is really just that I need a refresher on the basics of how to get the card and load it with a CC.
As the game has changed, I just want to know that it is still reasonable to find significant benefit in going through the process.
Than you in advance for your patience and kindness
@Michael in NH- Yep, the game has changed for sure. At this moment, it seems like most Targets are not allowing you to pay load your REDcard with gift cards or credit cards, meaning that you can no longer do this. Bummer, but hopefully something else comes up.
Can I use target gift card to load money on target prepaid card?
@kadva- No, you can’t
IMPORTANT UPDATE: AS OF 1ST OCTOBER, REDCARD TELLS ME THEY HAVE DONE A MAJOR SYSTEM OVERHAUL/UPDATE AND WILL NO LONGER ACCEPT DEBIT CARDS (PREPAID) TO TOP UP – THEY WILL ONLY ACCEPT CASH. I found this out because last week I had 3 onevanilla cards ($500 each), went to Target, ran the first one – it spat out a “this transaction cannot go through” receipt. The manager said let’s try again – did so – it accepted it (took off the $500) and spat out another receipt “this transaction did not go through”. I called onevanilla to check the balance – $0. So I figured it must have gone through. Ran the other two cards, both times the first receipt said “payment accepted etc.”, then a secondary receipt said “transaction did not go through”. I called again to onevanilla, all three card balances were at $0, so I thought I’d go on the internet – the redcard website was down – so I thought I’d call redcard – got an automated recording – OUR SYSTEMS ARE DOWN. YOU CANNOT TALK TO ANYONE, YOU CANNOT DO ANYTHING, PLEASE CALL LATER. Click. So, not too concerned, I went home, and next day I checked my redcard account. There was only $500 there! A total of FOUR credits were made (even though I’d only had three onevanilla cards) – so it had put $2000 onto my account – AND THEN HAD REVERSED THREE OF THEM! no explanation – just reversed them, so I only had $500 on my account, and all three onevanilla cards had zero balance. Called redcard in a flap – spoke to the most unhelpful and abrupt man on the planet (Mike) – who could not have cared less – basically said “no, you only put $500 in your account. I’m not showing anything else.” I told him what was showing on the website – he argued with me that I was wrong. I called onevanilla and got someone on the phone to talk to Helpful Mike, and SHE explained that they had absolute confirmation that target had ACCEPTED three times $500! And that there was now a $0 balance on each card – she gave me all the confirmation numbers – but HM ignored that, and rudely told me there was nothing to be done, he’d open an investigation and someone would get back to me. It is now 5 days later, actually 6, and the money is FINALLY in my account – but I called redcard again, spoke to a nice guy this time, Harvey, and he explained that there was a major overhaul, no more prepaid debit cards – the only debit cards accepted would be bank debit cards, that had your name on them and were linked to your account – or cash.
Whether or not this is true, I don’t know – I just know I”m very reluctant to try again after this fiasco. So people, please beware – as of 1st October, they tell me, only cash or real bank-affiliated debit cards. I would recommend you just try one to begin with – if that works, then great – but don’t go buying $2500 worth of debit cards, they may not work and you may be stuck with them, or worse, “lose” the money in their system for a week.
@charlie- Thanks for sharing your experience. Yes, things are changing, and I’d be very careful buying a ton of Vanilla cards with the hopes of putting them on the REDcard. Seems like each Target can be hit or miss, and that right now, there is no “national” consensus as some people are not having any issues, but…again, I’d be careful. Don’t buy so many that if you get stuck with them, you’re in a bind.
Awesome article and website! I understand buying multiple Redcards to give to other people, but what is the purpose for getting more than one Redcard for yourself? Is it so you’re able to increase spending limits? Thanks for your help!
@Age- The multiple REDcards is if you have significant other or friends or family members and you want to load up their REDcards too, so you have more spending limits. You can only have 1 per social security number, but if other people want to get in the game with you, it’s a way to create more manufactured spend.
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@Age- Great, let me know if I can help in any other way!
Loaded up $1500 across 3 $500 vanillas….all good here!
Tried to load Redcard at two differesnt target stores.= in MI on Aug. 7 and 9th. At last store (clerk seemed to know what she was talking about) said you can no longer load a prepaid redcard with a “gift” debit card since the chip was introduced. Before it was just Target gift cards you couldn’t use. Now it is all gift cards. My Visa debit gift cards were denied. Anyone else have similar experience.
Hi all, I wrote a step by step guide on how to load Redbird with the newly upgraded registers (K8): https://plus.google.com/u/0/+NoonRadar/posts/82eSPgNCGi5
If you’ve already loaded with the new POS, please take a look at my post and if you see something that I missed, or if you had a different experience, let me know via a comment there. Thank you.
Hello, just a quick reminder that I still do provide temporary activated Redbird cards info via email for a small fee. I’ve done it for hundreds, see this fore details & reviews: https://plus.google.com/u/0/+NoonRadar/posts/DTLVuZFe3Bp
In the next couple of days I will also update the guide to loading Redbird with gift cards, it will include step by step instructions on loading Redbird at registers with the new software after the POS upgrade: https://plus.google.com/u/0/+NoonRadar/posts/QZ1eCSFrdCG
Can you still load a visa debit card and pay rent/mortgage/student loans without a monthly fee? Or is the gig up?
@ernieg- You can buy gift cards that act as debit cards and then load them on the REDcard. Extra step, but still doable.
Does anyone know if this method still works? I noticed on the FAQ on the RedCard site that you can no longer use gift cards to load the RedCard. But I believe it has been like that for a while correct? I would just need to buy a prepaid debit card and load the RedCard using the prepaid debit card correct? Thanks!
@Birdman- It has said that for a while, but if you get the gift cards that act like a debit card (i.e. have a PIN), you can still do it.
Need more information on how someone else can obtain one of these for you. I tried to have an out of state friend obtain one. They said it made them swipe their ID and then it would not accept a random social security # for the temp card. Anyone know what the problem is?
@adrenaline- Have him put in his real social security next time. Then, when you get it, you’ll register with your information online.
It would be easier to just get a job.
I had a friend try to buy a target red card in Indiana for me. They asked to scan his ID and enter his social and D.O.B. before getting it. He told them it was a gift for someone else but they said they needed to scan his ID and enter his info. If he does that can I still register the card with my info online?
@Alex- Yep, you can still register it with your information when you get it.
Did anybody found any loophole to reload REDCARD with credit card?
Is there any other option like REDCARD?
@Kedar- The only way to do it is to buy gift cards with your credit card, then load your REDcard with those gift cards. But you can’t do it straight from credit card to REDcard anymore.
I’ve read through many comments, and seen that you insist the target red card is better than the bluebird card. However, since one has to buy gift cards now to load it because Target changed their policy, what makes it still better than the Bluebird card? Also, since the RedCard isn’t available in my area, is there any reason I can’t just do the same thing at Walmart? Thanks!
@Dan- Now, they are basically the same. I’ve never been able to get my Walmart to allow me to load the Bluebird with gift cards, so if you are able to, then yes, the Bluebird is your best bet.
Are there other cards similar to the prepaid redcard?
@Ghandi- No, not really. The Amex Bluebird is similar, but its not as good.
My local office supplies stores (5 to be exact) have run out of VISA GC’s completely but there are PLENTY MasterCard GC’s available (U.S. Bank issued). You are able to add a PIN to this card by dialing the automated number on the back of this MasterCard GC–FYI. I’ve never tried to load a MasterCard GC onto my RedCard as of yet (I’ve only used VISA GC’s), will this work? Has anyone tried it? How about with AMEX GC’s at office supply stores? Thanks in advance!
Question. Is there a points system that allows you to fly for less than 12500 points one way? I have advantage citi card that uses 12500 points for one way trip which means I have to spend $150 in visa gift cards (25-$500 cards at $5.95 each = $148.75) to get 12500 point or $125.00 worth of flights. So it does not really seem to make since for this card. Which cards gives double points or more per dollar for personal cc spending? It is my understanding that the chase ink card is a business only card.
@Andre- Depending on where you are flying, BA points allow you to fly for less than 12,500 sometimes because it’s distance-based. Here’s a good article on it.
The Ink Card is your best bet for getting 5x at office supply stores, but it is only a business card. No other cards that I know of give 2x points at places you can get gift cards.
Capital One has a card that pays 2 miles/$1 on anything you purchase with it. There’s an annual fee ($50 I think?) after the first year. So, $2500 of your purchases will go towards that fee… $2500 x 2 points = 5000 points; 5000 points = $50 of travel miles to spend. That’s the way C1 does points: Take the # of miles you have, move the decimal 2 places to the left and that’s what you have in cash to use towards travel. And you can simply go onto your C1 account online, go to the redeem section, see “travel” purchases you’ve made, and select which purchase you want to have $XX erased from.
@BC- Yep, it’s a good card.
On recycling through cards etc. Me and my wife have always just used a 3 month rule. Once we get our card(s) and get the bonus we usually give it three months and cancel the card. With the exception of our chase ink and citi aa business card. Is that a good rule to follow or does it really matter? Once we meet the reqs for whatever card I should not matter too much when to cancel correct?
I wouldn’t recommend canceling a card that quickly. It is better to wait until it has been one year and cancel it before you have to pay the annual fee for the next year. Here is a post we wrote about when to cancel a credit card.
Why can’t you use the MyVanilla card for this? It’s a debit card, too. Can you not reload with a credit card?
@pPat- MyVanilla doesn’t work, as far as I know. You need to use a Vanilla gift card.
more updating! Went to a different target, this time the cashier had to go and find TWO managers, they looked as confused as anything, and told me absolutely not, could not use the visa debit card to load red card. A third manager came up and said well, is there a pin number? I said yes. She said that’s fine then. So the cashier pressed the button and voila, it went through. The next day I went to the same target, the same cashier on duty at customer service, he said oh, I know you! Big smile – no problem running the onevanilla visa debit card – piece of cake!
Today went to walgreens to buy the VDC. Was told can only buy one per day worth $500. I said but last week I bought 5. She said basically no you didn’t. It’s Walgreens policy. You can’t do that. So I said um, yes I did. She said “you couldn’t have.” I said “but I did! no problems! 5 cards with $500 each.” She said Walgreens won’t let you. I could see it wasn’t going anywhere so I said well I DID, this very store. She said “must have been a mistake.” anyway I then went to a CVS,and was told that only $2000 per day can be loaded on these cards. So I purchased 4. Strange how a couple of weeks ago at a different CVS I had no problem doing 5. TOday she said “it’s the government – they have restrictions – they won’t let you.” sigh…. every store gives you different information. I tried purchasing these at a 7/11, and they will only take cash. So be prepared to shop at different places to get your onevanilla visa debit card. Once you have them, then go to target and load your red card – make sure you tell them that it’s a DEBIT card! that you have a PIN number….. and be prepared for a lot of blank confused looks, denials, refusals etc… but be nice, polite and stand your ground. It’s NOT a gift card, it’s NOT a reloadable card, it’s a PREPAID VISA DEBIT CARD (and say you put cash on it).
good luck everyone!
Hi Charlie, is your method still working out? I noticed that office depot offers the one vanilla VDC for even more points on chase ink plus.
So how does the Prepaid REDCard earn you miles? How much do you earn through the REDCard?
@Joe- You earn points because you are buying gift cards with a card that earns points, and using the gift cards to load the REDcard. So you don’t earn points for the REDcard, you earn points by buying gift cards with a credit card.
So I had an interesting experience at Target today. last week, at CVS, I purchased 1) a $20 VANILLA GIFT CARD, (it says visa debit on it), and paid the $4 or $5 fee on it – paid by credit card. I also purchased 2) a ONEVANILLA prepaid visa card, silver and black one, using my cc, at CVS, also just a $20 card. These were test cards.
So today I trolled into Target, and told the young lady at customer services I’d like to load my red card with the ONEVANILLA card. She said it wouldn’t work, that I couldn’t pay with a gift card – but I said this is a debit visa card. So she ran it, the option to enter a pin number showed up under debit, i typed in 1234 (yes I know, I’m creative), and voila, it went through. She was surprised and said she didn’t think it would work – no gift cards work for red card – so I said well, this is a debit card, and it’s not a gift card.
Now here’s where it gets interesting. After I scrabbled through my cluttered bag trying to find the other one, I then tried the other card, the VANILLA GIFT CARD…. and it started going through nicely – asked for my pin number (I typed it in – this time, to fool the system, I put in 4321) and it said “waiting” (or something like that). All she had to do was press the button her side and the transaction would have gone through – but she refused – saying she wasn’t sure it would work. I said I’m sure it will work, you just have to complete the transaction your side. I said “well, just try it! You have nothing to lose.” She refused – called for help from a Manager on her walkie talkie (no manager around) – called again – left the desk, went running off obviously panicking, desperate to find a manager (because, after all, I was trying to run the massive amount of $20 prepaid card) – and when eventually the manager DID show up…. this young lady said to her (in earshot of me) – “this customer wants to pay her red card with a gift card – I’m not saying she’s lying – but…” (and her voice dropped to a whisper, so I didn’t hear the rest of it.) “NOT SAYING SHE’S LYING”???? EXCUSE ME? What would I be lying about!!!!?
The manager said to her “is it a debit card? has she put in her pin number?” I called out “yes, I did”, and the manager came up, pressed the button, and transaction was completed.
Obviously this poor young lady has been so harshly trained that she’s terrified of making a mistake, and even though I said to her “listen, if it won’t work, you’ll just see a message saying “declined” – it’s no big deal” – but she was not going to take that chance.
So, maybe it’s a compliment that I look “shifty” and could be lying… I just felt sorry for the girl. She kept saying “you can’t do this with one of these cards.”
all I know is that from now on I will NOT be using the VANILLA GIFT CARD (in case I”m hauled off into the backroom and interrogated) but will be using the ONEVANILLA PREPAID VISA CARD….
bottom line is, both cards worked, you can buy these cards up to $500 each, with a small fee – they are NOT reloadable by the way – once used, you toss them out.
@charlie charlie- Thanks for sharing the data point. Just goes to show you it totally depends on the cashier you get. If you do plan on doing it over and over, I try to get the same cashier as I did before because then they know what the deal is. Good thing you weren’t “lying”. Haha!
What is the fee on the ONEVANILLA prepaid visa card?
And which one is better to use the black or the silver?
Love the site but was gonna ask, You recommend using a $200 gift card from staples to load the redcard but the redcard site says no gift cards can be used to load. Is the gift card used with a pin and thus like a debit?
@Phil- yep, a gift card with a pin is in essence a debit and can be used still (although that may eventually change).
Love the site. Thanks for putting out the content.
I went online to load my gift card (er, debit card) and it seems like it doesn’t work. I’m guessing that you need to do it in person at a store. I’m going to go to Target tomorrow to try out a $200 card, but can you confirm that you have put a couple thousand on at the store at the same time. I’m nervous of buying a few thousand worth of gift cards only to get shut down. Thanks.
@Dave- I’d try it with one or two gift cards first, get the hang of how it works, and then go back and buy a couple thousand. But check it out with only a minimal amount first.
Just out of curiosity, I know this is probably not a good idea but maybe it is. My wife runs a business selling antiques. Would I be able to buy something from her through paypal using my cc to meet requirements on spending for a bonus? Such as buy something from her through her store via paypal? Just thought about this.
@mike d.- Don’t see why this wouldn’t work, but…you will have to pay the paypal charge, right? Because you’d be paying with a credit card.
very true. Thank you
TRAV said.. he bought $4000 in target gifts? to reload to the redcard. I though you can not use target gifts cards.
@Elle- You definitely cannot load the REDcard with a Target gift card.
Tried to load with target gift cards today. They are no longer accepted. Now I have $4,000 in gift cards I have to figure out what to do with.
@Mike- Uh oh. Is this confirmed that you can’t do it at all?
Mike, you said “Tried to load with =Target= gift cards today…” It is my understanding that Target gift cards are the only ones that were never accepted for loads. Others may still work.
What do you guys think about a navy federal go prepaid card as the new vehicle to load for points. Go card charges no fees to load from a navy federal credit card online. Then load your go card onto a target card and then use the target card Amex to pay back the navy card. Navy gives 2:1 on spends and isn’t as flexible with transferring rewards points but can be a option to keep the gates open.
@Mharlem- hmmm…sounds interesting, for sure.
Please help me understand how to load my target prepud using the gift card for points. Why does it make sense to spent $6 per gift to load $5k
@Mharlem- It’s because you get points for buying the gift cards. So you’ll get points for buying the gift cards, which negates the fee. Then you load them on to REDcard.
disregard my last comment on NFCU, you have to be a member of credit union – Sorry :(
Prepaid visa card w/ no purchase fee but you have till June 1st after that your not allowed to purchase VGC w/ CC.
don’t despair just yet….. check this out – how to load with gift cards. It means you have to pay a small fee, but you can purchase them with your credit card (get the miles/points etc.) – and then load your red card with them – I think you have to use it as a debit card. Anyway, check this out
@Joanna- Thanks for the link, that’s a great article. I’ll update this to reflect the changes.
Not sure if this is still effective. I tried to load my perm card for the first time today and ir displayed a message on the POS terminal saying third party credit cannot be used to load this card. I tried four different cards with the same message. Has anyone had the same issue? Thanks.
@Upad36- You can’t use credit cards, but you can use gift cards, which work as debit cards.
Is there a gift card that does not charge a fee that will work for loading the target red card?
@Andre- That I’m not sure of. Don’t think so.
In New Jersey same issue, no more credit card payment. Debit – ok
IT’S OVER sad to say. JUST ANNOUNCED, effective immediately, they will no longer accept credit cards. All other payment methods are OK, just no credit cards. Three days ago, I used credit card. Today, it’s rejected due to payment method. I called them and they confirmed, no more credit cards. Very very sad.
If anyone knows any target in Miami or Fort Lauderdale where they haven’t cancelled credit-card method, do post it here. But cc was rejected at two targets, and a supervisor at Red card said no more cc.
Yep! Buuuuuuuuuumer! Went today to do my May loading of my card and my wife’s. First time they had seen that error at Target. The message they got on the register is, “third party credit cards will not be accepted”. I found the quote, “Target has made the decision to stop accepting credit cards in order to align with all other merchants where prepaid cards may be reloaded” – probably because they had to pay too much for the interchange fees for credit card processing on these transactions.
@Christian Nommesen- I’ll be updating the post to reflect this, but remember, you can still use gift cards to load them, and gift cards can be bought with credit cards.
@Joanna- Yep, but…you can still use gift cards to load them up. So buy gift cards with credit cards, and then load REDcard with gift cards. Same thing, just add a step.
Our of curiosity. We have a chase ink card as well a citi aa advantage card. Which would be the better choice to use or transfer points to? We travel in the us no so much abroad? Opinions, thanks
@Mike- Well, Chase points can earn you United or Southwest points if you transfer them, whereas Citi AA only earns AA. Do you have both United and AA near you? If so, I’d prefer Chase points a bit more over AA, but both are really good.
Are you going to update this blog post to reflect the new change of not being able to load up a redcard with a credit card and having to buy gift cards with the credit card instead to get miles/points?
@Josh- Yep, just did.
Redcard is dead. Loaded $2500 last night, but today is a no go. In Georgia. Oh well, had a good 2 months (better than nothing).
Trav, you have probably answered this question a thousand times, but here it goes – I keep seeing posts about loading the Redcard with gift cards. My sole purpose of this Redcard was to get frequent flyer miles (loading up my Redcard with my credit card). So if I buy gift cards with my Chase Ink, will that work? Will Chase give me points for buying gift cards? Is it still worth it if you have to pay a few for the gift cards? Thanks in advance :) :)
*fee* not few :)
@Rick- Yep, it will work. In essence, you buy gift cards and from those purchases, you get points. Then you use them to load up REDcard. So it’s one extra step, but you are still getting frequent flyer miles because you are getting them for purchasing the gift cards. So it’s definitely still worth it.
What kind of gift cards do you suggest? I know AMEX is out, so buy Visa/MC. Do they have to be pin enabled? How much of a fee can I expect to pay? Thanks! Also, will Chase cards give points if they know the purchase is a gift card?
@Johanna- You should definitely get the Vanilla gift cards that are debit cards. Yes, they have to be PIN enabled. Fees depend on the store you buy them from, usually $3-6. Yes, Chase will give the points for gift cards.
Seems the statements are true. No cc for reload, which is fine, was good while it lasted. Now its just a matter of finding another way. Few questions, what about using a staples vgc to reload redbird, can we still do that, anyone tried yet?? Or perhaps going a crazy route and using CC to buy Staples VGC – Convert to Cash – Deposit in bank – Pay CC, repeat?
Mike – there are several folks on flyertalk that have confirmed that loading using VGC still works – so that is good. That is actually how I’ve been loading my RedBird for the past 3 months, because I get more points for shopping at office stores. ;)
Looks like this got shut down today. Just tried my normal target and declined at both register and customer service. Rep told me they got notice today that cc no longer accepted. Boo!
seems tomorrow is the last day RedCard will allow CC loads … not sure about VGC …
take a look here: http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/manufactured-spending/1644836-prepaid-redcard-target-2015-a-412.html
Now that redcard is dead, feel free to use this link for free $2000 credit card processing via square reader https://squareup.com/i/F69CFCCD
I got plenty of Redcards for sale if anyone is in a state that doesn’t carry them! Just $20! Will give instructions and guidance if needed. Many satisfied customers on different forums. Can txt or whatsapp me 2485080871. Fast and friendly service :)
Im in California. So, I did the whole thing. My brother bought it for me in Pittsburgh and sent it to me. I registered it and days later received my permanent card. I went to target to load $100 with my Amex Blue Sky (which ive had for years and spend a lot with it) just to see if the transaction was as easy as I’ve read. It worked! And in deed the charge shows in my Amex Blue Sky statement as a Target purchase.
However, I went in today to Target to load $2000 again with my Amex Blue Sky. After loading $1000 with no problem at all, the second transaction for the next $1000 DID NOT go through. The girl tried it again 3 more times and it was unsuccessful.
What is happeing? I will go back tomorrow to attempt another $1000. I hope it works. I wonder if it’s taking it as if I was paying with a debit card (limit is $1000 per month).
I hope not because I need to load way mote to be able to pay my mortgage.
Anyone with this issue?
What do you all think?
@Whitney- It could be because of your credit card denying the charge. That is what happens to me sometime. You’ll have to call up the credit card company, tell them it’s you charging it and you want to authorize it, and then you can do it. That has always worked for me.
sometimes if your going to make multiple big purchases with any card. Its best to call your card company and let them know. Ive done it for years and have yet to have a problem. One phone call can make all the difference in the world :) Hope that helps
You guys were right. I called Amex and told them I did want those charges and it worked.
However,today they denied me again. And this time the screen said “$0 can be added with this type of payment”.
Is the fairy tale over?
@whitney- yeah, the fairy tale is over. Although, as others have mentioned, you still can load with gift cards at the moment.
@Mike- Totally agree.
Can I use my credit card to reload my redbird card. Transfer to my bank account from my redbird and then use my bank account to pay my credit card? Just a question I wanted to bring up as I have not seen that asked or answered before.
@mike- Yes, but I’d be very, very careful about doing that. I’d pay other things off with REDcard as well, i.e. mortgage, student loans, etc.
Thanks. We plan on using it for mortgage and everything else. We just got the chase and aaadvantage so we want to get the rewards out of the way quickly if anything. 3k in 3 months for each card anywho. We don’t exactly have much for bills so lol we have to do something to spend that much. Thanks for the info. I just hope they still take a credit card for redbird here in my town. I called, they said yes but I hope it doesn’t change, seems like it is coming soon.
April 28, 2015: Can anyone confirm this is still a viable mechanism? The Target Prepaid RedCard website doesn’t list credit cards as an option to reload and specifically says gift cards cannot be used.
Can I simply apply online for the Target Redcard Debit card and have them mail it to me if there aren’t any Targets nearby that sell them?
@Derek- Unfortunately no, you can’t.
if you would like I have plenty for sale. Can whatSapp me 2485080871
“”25,000 Chase points are enough for one roundtrip ticket anywhere in North America on United!””
How so? I went through the chase portal and I can’t find where it’s $25000 for a round trip!
correction: $25000 should read simply 25000 points.
@CARS- If you go through the Chase portal, it depends on the actual price in dollars to determine how many Chase points it costs. You are using Chase points “as cash”. However, if you transfer Chase points to United, it is 25k United miles for any roundtrip ticket in North America. Chase points transfer to United at a 1:1 ratio.
Ah ok. Got it. Thanks!
Hi, i would prefer not to deal with the whole gift card aspect. What credit card gets max points when reloading at a Target? Once you acquire a red card, can you reload at any target? Does The 6% cash back on groceries count when you use the Amex blue cash preferred card to reload the red card?
Thanks again for your help!
@Rory- No cards that I know of get extra points at Target, so I would pick the card whose points you want the most. For example, I love Chase points, so I use my Chase Sapphire Preferred to load it most of the time. I do not think you would get 6% because I don’t think it counts as groceries, but different Targets could code differently. Try it and see, that’s the only way to know for sure.
Heads up — I have done dozens of reloads to my Redcard using Credit & Gift Cards with no problems, until today… Attempting to use a US-Bank issued VISA GiftCard (purchased at Kroger) – the register each time displayed “Advise Customer – Payment Method Not Allowed”
Being persistent, I then used a VISA GiftCard purchased online at GiftCards.com and that worked perfectly. Whew! I then asked to try the US-Bank VISA GiftCard again – same message “Advise Customer – Payment Method Not Allowed.”
This is in Redmond, WA. Have not tried other stores, but I’m taking this as a sign that US-Bank has put pressure on Target to not allow prepaid cards to be used for reloads.
Experience from others around the USA..?
Anybody know of a location selling them near houston tx?
I haven’t been able to find them down here. I had to have my friend who lives in Virginia drive out to her target (30 min away) and buy me one. If you do find them though, please post it here. I would like to get another.
is it normal that before activating the card, they ask for SSN card and ID to verify identity?
I live in South Texas lol, so I don’t have access to those gift cards and the closest place is 1 day drive lol, however, I do have couple of targets around my area. Can anyone help me get the relodable prepaid card?
I’ve been trying to figure a way to accelerate my mortgage payoff. I’ve been wanting for years to use CC to help do it. I’m glad I found your site thanks for the info. Now I just have to get a card from out of town. NYC targets don’t have. Hopefully they can reload with cc once I get. Does anybody know about NYC locations can we reload with cc?
Hey Trav, so I bought two $200 VISA prepaid debit gift cards from Staples and was wondering how I convert that money to my target redcard? Do I have to physically go into the store itself or can I do it online? If I have to go into the store, I just tell the cashier I want to reload my redcard and then just swipe the prepaid VISA debit card for $200 and that should work? Thanks and great site by the way!
@Al- Yes, you have to go to the store. And yes, you have to tell the cashier to load your REDcard, tell them how much, then swipe the gift card. Glad you like it!
As far as loading Redbird with gift card, I wrote a detailed post on how to load multiple gift cards (or gift cards + a credit card) in one Redbird load transaction, for anyone who is interested: https://plus.google.com/u/0/+NoonRadar/posts/38p5P2Jsr11
@NoonRadar- Great, thanks so much for sharing!
I have found success doing this with Am Ex gift cards. I bought the Am Ex gift cards for c. 4% off using the technique described here:
and then loaded the funds onto my Target Red Card and my wife’s Target Red Card; no problems.
@Thomas- Thanks for sharing. Nice trick!
I was looking today and I saw that staples.com sells target gift cards with no additional charge. The code is emailed to me. Can I use a credit card that gives me 5x points at office supply stores to buy $5000.00 in gift cards every month, charge the REDcard with those gift cards, and pay off the credit card?
@Mike- Usually, you don’t get the bonus on gift cards if you buy them online. This isn’t always the case, and I’d try it out. If you are getting bonus points, then go big!
@Trav – Thanks for all the great information you provide.
I was able to get a prepaid redcard at my local target in Longmont, CO. Seems like they only carry the ones with a $5 fee. My guess is the $0 ones were an introdcutory offer.
I was able to use my brand new Mileageplus explorer card to load $500 on the redcard. Some folks were doubtful if this was still working, so yes it still works.
Here is a picture of my receipt from this morning. http://postimg.org/image/rc2zpkyy7/
@DB- Awesome, congrats, and thanks for letting us know it worked still in Longmont. I’ll be in Boulder shortly, so right in your neck of the woods.
Great info here – just had one thought to ask/add..
If the prepaid redcard can send a check on demand, that check has an ABA routing number and account number on it (tied to your specific redcard)
What’s stopping you from setting up automatic payments FROM your mortgage funded by that ABA/account pair? Does redcard not allow ACH-out?
It’s not like the ABA/account pair is a secret, just have redcard send yourself a $1 check
Just to check my understanding:
1. obtain an awesome-bonus credit card from the list (call it the magic card)
2. obtain a prepaid redcard (free or $5)
3. swipe the magic card to fund into the prepaid redcard (earning points)
4. pay the mortgage using redcard funds
5. backfill the magic card from the regular checking account i would have otherwise paid my mortgate with
@Bryon- Yeah, that’s the strategy. Pay with REDcard, which is funded by credit card, and pay credit card off with what you would normally pay mortgage with. Voila, points for paying your mortgage!
Just wondering.. Can I buy American Express gift cards and then load my Redbird with them as debit? Or would that classify the same as a credit card reload? My thinking is to load $5000/month with credit cards and the other $1000 with gift cards.
@Ryan- It’s $5k a month, regardless of how you load it. So I don’t think it matters what it counts as.
Thanks for this post! Okay, just so I’m getting this straight, because I’ve probably read one too many blogs about RedCard! Example: I get approved for ‘New Credit Card’ with $5000 signup bonus. In very simple terms, in using RedCard…
1. Load $5000 from New Credit Card –> RedCard (via Target); then,
2. Pay $5000 from RedCard –> back to New Credit Card
and, of course, using New Credit Card for other expenses as well. Am I understanding this correctly?
@Mel- Yes, that’s right. I’d also recommend using the REDcard for other things as well, such as paying off mortgage, rent, or anything else you can send a check for.
Received my card on Friday, activated it and went to Target on Saturday and loaded $200 using my credit card. I’m only allowed to do $200 per day up to $5k per month.
No questions asked I went to teller and said I want to load my prepaid card and she did just that. I was done…
I am attempting to have two Redcards in my name – one under Jacob, Ive been using for 3 months, and a new one, under Jake. I am running into confusion with my temporary card. During registration, am I submitting MY information or the fake info I used in Target? If I use my information, won’t my existing information be found and flagged? TY
@Jake- I would not recommend having two REDcards in your name. I think this will cause you to run in to major issues and possibly get both suspended.
Thank you for the heads up and I am not moving forward with the second card. I am just rather confused how people have multiple cards. The Target I go to check my Redcard with my DL at the POS before loading. If I had multiple cards in family member names, I would think at some point those cards would be inconvenient? Is there another work-a-round to 1 person, having more than one card? As you can imagine, that would double the points on my CC
@Jacob- People have multiple cards but not in their name…in other people’s names. That’s the only way to do it!
Been using RedBird for about 3 months now, and just earned enough points from that alone for a RT flight from DC to NOLA :-)
I also grabbed a few extra cards while visiting a MD Target. Each one is pre-loaded with $1. Feel free to email me for one: firstname.lastname@example.org
$25 each and you’ll be able to activate it right away after I send the information over.
@Stephanie- Awesome, thanks!
When you guy the temp card in person, do you need driver’s license or any State Issued ID will work? I live in NYC will will be traveling all the way to Baltimore to get this. Please let me know. Also, the initial load at the time of purchase can be made using credit right right? Is the any fees associated with the load?
@Ronen Meishar- A State ID is fine. Some charge $5 for load, other charge nothing. Depends on the Target store.
They won’t let me fill with a credit card. This was my original first thought but I keep getting rejected. In person it is a hard no and online it auto rejects the CC number and asks for a debit card.
@Ahley- Weird…maybe try another Target?
I would try another store too. I just reloaded mine yesterday (April 14th). Two “loads”: one with my Chase Sapphire, one with my Amex PRG.
I live in Utah, but will be out in King of Prussia in 2 weeks. Where in the area did you get your Red Cards? I figure this is my best chance to get some. All the PA stores look to be about 4 hours away. Hoping not to have to drive that far. :)
@Chris- Ah, King of Prussia, my hometown. I got mine in Elkton, Maryland, actually. There are some people I know selling them though, that might be a better option for you. Check above this comment in the thread, you can get one for about $25.
Thanks Travis. I don’t mind the drive and I was hoping to pick up a couple so I’d prefer not buying them online. I don’t see Elkton listed as a location that sells them though. I guess Baltimore is not too much further away and then I can stop by Matthew’s Pizza!
i hv a cpl questions. first, if redcard doesnt technically allow cc loads. when u go to register to load ur card do u tell cashier u want yo load with a debit?
2nd question is does redcard now allow for gc with pin loads?like the gc from staples that i can currentky liad to my bb…bc if they dont then iam confused what the benefit is from having a redcard over bb bc most cc only earn 1 point at target while i can buy a gc for say 5% at staples with ink and then liad that gc to bb earning 5% instead of 1% loading at target directly with a cc
@jo- Just tell them you want to load with credit, it’s allowed. If you can still load your bb with a gift card, then keep doing that. That’s a great way to do it, most people can’t get the Walmart to let them do it anymore.
Can I load my Redcard with an Amex Gift card?
@Don- Yep, should be able to.
Trav, if people don’t get it by now I would stop. It be a shame to lose this good opportunity by continuing this thread. It won’t be long before these CC institutes catch and do away w/ a good thing.
I would even deleted this website.
@RichJ- The REDcard is no secret at this point. It’s been publicized around the web on tons of different websites, and I’d hate to not help someone else learn something I learned. I appreciate your concern, but this will die when Target or the cc companies decide, which was probably at a preordained time long before they even rolled it out.
Just wanted to keep this thread going. After the (minor) hassle of having to drive over an hour to the adjoining state to get the Redcard, everything else has gone smoothly.
I have done two loading sessions. The first was done at the register. The second time they referred me to the customer service desk. Both times the loads were done without any issues.
As mentioned in a prior comment, it would be nice if one could schedule payments instead of having them go out as soon as you finish. But, it’s a minor thing. (I set up reminders in my google calendar so I wouldn’t forget).
Being paranoid, I sent the payments for my mortgage and (two) car payments out 10 days early. I checked a week later. All three payments were received by the mortgage and finance companies two days after they were sent.
@Richard Ryan- Good news…congrats on getting those done. I’ve been able to successfully load over the last few days too.
LOL… That’s the real question (why skymiles?) We live in Atlanta, and Delta has a hub here. That is the ONLY reason. But I am definitely open to ideas, esp. after seeing what a rip off Delta skymiles are. I just opened a Chase Business Southwest card (for the 60k points). I would like to get a SW companion pass. But again, any suggestions would be welcome!
P.S. I bought 12 extra cards. They are preloaded ($1) and activated. If someone is interested, they can email me at email@example.com. The cards are $27.50 each, and I will attach the picture of the cards as well as detailed instructions. Paypal would probably work best.
Thanks again for your site! Great info.
@Maria- I’d love to give you credit card suggestions. The easiest way for me to do that is for you to fill out the short form on this page: http://www.extrapackofpeanuts.com/free-credit-card-consultation/. I’ll help you find the miles that make the best sense for you.
@Maria- Well…If you have a hub, I guess it’s worth it. Thanks for the info on the REDcard, I’ll pass it along to anyone who asks.
I got my Redcards this past weekend, very excited! Had to drive out of state, but hopefully it was worth it (BTW, I bought extra cards and activated them for $1; if anyone out there needs a card, let me know!)
My question is this: What is the big deal about Visa debit cards? I got the redcards to rack up skymiles, so I will be loading my cards with my credit cards. Sorry if this is a “dumb” question – I am a newbie! :)
@Maria- Awesome, glad you got them, they are definitely worth it. How many extra do you have? I know a lot of people have been asking me about them.
As far as the debit cards, the reason people go that route is that they buy the Visa gift cards at a store that gives them bonus points, then they load the REDcard with the gift card. It’s an extra step, but it can earn you more miles. However, I’d just stick with loading it with a credit card at the moment. Easier, and works well.
Only question- why Skymiles?
I ordered Red card from Maria . She email it to me the same day and I already registered it .Thank you Maria! Ptcmaria@hotmail.com
@Monika- Great, thanks for letting us know!
I still have a few left for sale if anyone needs any. The are activated with $1 on them. I am asking $27.50 per card. Simply use my address to pay on paypal. Once that’s done, I will promptly mail you a pic of your card along with detailed instructions. I have had several people from this site purchase cards from me, and they all seem very happy! :)
A word of warning, I would avoid using this card. The people working on this project in my opinion released this service before all the bugs were worked out. These guys owe me several thousand dollars right now, the tech support team as nice as they are keep screwing my claims up and now I will most likely need to go to my credit card to resolve the matter. I just got a $60 late fee on my mortgage because after 10 days of my mortgage payment being paid AMEX reversed the payment somehow and put it back on my card. I then had to pay my mortgage twice. Now I will need to go make a 400 withdraw from this stupid card for a week straight to put this money back into my bank account.
@John D- Oh geez, that’s a nightmare. I haven’t had any issues, or heard of anyone else having them, but man, if that is the case for you, it’s definitely not worth it. Thanks for the heads up, I’ll keep my fingers crossed things keep working for me and turn around for you.
Just got my temp card today. When i was reading over the faqs while registering i noticed it said you can only reload with cash or debit card…have they changed the rules officially yet or can you still use credit card to do it. Anybody have any problems lately?
@Ryan- Still can do it with credit cards, according to most accounts. Some people are having issues, but I think it’s still possible for most. I’m going to try in a few days.
Regarding using gift cards to load the RedCard: if I wanted to load $1000 in gift cards purchased from an office supply store with my Chase Ink card, is there a limit to how much I can load to my RedCard per day using gift cards? When I had my Serve account I would upload the gift cards at the register of my local Family Dollar store, but there was a $500/day load maximum so I always had to make 2 trips over 48 hrs to load the full $1000. Just wondering if there were similar limits with loading these at the register at Target as I’ve heard conflicting accounts. Thanks!
@Kelli- You can load $1,000 per transaction, $2,500 per day, so you’ll have to do different transactions. Shouldn’t matter if it’s gift cards or credit card.
Just got mine today. They were absent around the Minneapolis area weirdly, but for some reason just popped up. Can’t wait to activate it. What’s interesting is that you can’t add money to it with a Credit Card on the site, but they make you go into the store and do it. Fine by me as I have about 10 Targets all around me. Now the next step is to try and test the mortgage payment when I get the official card. Thanks for the write-up.
@Nate- No problem, glad it popped up in your area. Mortgage should work fine, just make sure you have them send a check to your mortgage company.
First of all,THANK YOU for sharing this info.
I just found your site.
Using this strategy will allow me to:
“Pay bills that you can’t usually pay with a credit card (mortgages, student loans, rent, taxes, etc.).
Or simply earn extra frequent flyer miles and points on your credit card.” -actually for the 1.5% cash back for my card.
@Sven- Yep, pretty cool!
Anyone use this card to pay a US Bank Mortgage? Right now I have auto-pay setup on my mortgage so I’m assuming I would disable that and send a check via redcard to US Mortgage?
@Ty- Yeah, you’ll have to do it that way. A bit of a pain, but worth the points.
SUCCESS!!!! found a Target that actually knows what this is AND sells them (in Michigan)…. will list it below. Only allowed one per customer – scanned drivers license, asked for date of birth/social security number…. so only allowed one per customer (they were adamant, says it’s amex’s rule, not theirs). BUT WE HAVE ONE! Well, a friend, bless his little cotton socks, got it for us, gave me the information, I have signed up online and now just waiting for the permanent card.
THIS IS THE TARGET THAT DEFINITELY SELLS THEM. Canton South 47330 Michigan Ave Canton MI 48188-2310 (734) 714-2012
@joanna- Awesome, thanks for the data point. And congrats on grabbing one and helping others do the same!
Frustrated. Live in fort lauderdale, Florida. Had my mate in Michigan (where apparently they have these cards), go to FOUR stores. They don’t have them. I called some more stores (all the ones on the website) – they don’t have them. I even called a Target in Fort Lauderdale, spoke to someone in Customer Service – she said YES! WE HAVE THEM! I said are you sure? Explained the wording, the picture, everything in details – YES! WE HAVE THEM. Drove up there – of course they don’t. They have Target debit cards and target credit cards and gift cards galore, but not this one, even though she said they did. The lady at customer service said oh you mean This one? https://amex.serve.com/prepaidredcard/ ? these are the locations my friend actually went in person to – and they don’t have them. So I’m really confused! Do they actually exist? Even the people in customer service said yes, they’d SEEN them, they’d seen a customer come in and LOAD one, but they don’t sell them and don’t know where. My mate in Michigan is also confused. The stores listed should sell them, but they don’t. Anyone? Anyone?
@joanna- Ugh, that stinks. They were very easy to find for me in Boulder, Colorado and in Maryland, but that was also 3 months ago. They might be becoming scarce as more people get in the know. Not sure what else to do other than to keep calling and ask them to specifically look for prepaid ones.
Are Visa gift cards considered debit cards? Because I have called several targets in LA and they dont allow credit card or gift card loads for Redcard…They only allow cash or debit.
@Daniel- Hmmm…not sure what they’d code out as. I’d go to a Target and ask them to try to run it as a debit card and see if it works.
Do I have to go into target to load them or can I do it online? My target is 30 minutes away and I never get out that far.
@Casey Stubbs- Have to load at the Target.
Thanks I got one anyway it is probably worth a trip twice a month.
I am just getting into this game and found your site. Very impressed and will be following directions from you guys. Thanks for sharing all your info. I also found the redcard in Tucson only. Drove from Phoenix to pick up several. The only bad thing is that in Tucson they have a one time purchase fee of $5. Just wanting to let the guys out here in AZ know that. Looking forwarding to learning allot and start traveling in 6 months. Thanks EPOP guys.
@Jv- Glad you like it, and let me know how else I can help. Hit the REDcard hard now, who knows how long it’ll last!
p.s. sorry! Forget to say I love your site, and thanks for all the great info you provide to us.
I loaded my new REdcard with $2500 from my SPG Amex credit card. No problems. Loaded my husband’s card with $1000 from my SPG AMex Business Card (just to mix it up a bit) and again, no problems.
I have also done some bill pays to utilities and to my Chase CC to add in some different transactions other than load via Amex and then pay to AMEX,
I have linked my checking account, and will send some $$ back to the account, and then pay it to the CC, and also do some smaller payments to the CC from RedCard.
Just trying to mix up the transactions so it looks like we are not using it just to earn points on AMEX.
I also bought a SimonMall Visa Debit Gift Card on my Chase PresPlus M/C (and after having trouble unloading it at Walmart), I loaded it to my Redcard without a problem.
This is my first foray into MS, and I hope the Redcard stays alive for a while so I can rack up some SPG points! I just burned through 60,000 to stay at a fabulous hotel in Venice, Italy and so I need to recoup those points! Also, as Costco is dropping AMEX next year, I will lose a lot of points earning from there!
@JB- Yeah, the REDcard is certainly awesome. Let’s hope it still stays this way!
I’ve found some interesting posts on other websites regarding the red card. I read that we should be careful when purchasing the gift cards. Is there anything wrong with purchasing $5,000 worth of visa gift cards a month and loading them directly onto red card each month, transferring that money back to your bank account and then paying off your credit card? Would this be considered money laundering in any way? Just curious.
@Ross- They could shut down your account if they think you are doing that stuff, but it’s not illegal. However, I always suggest that you actually buy other stuff with your credit cards as well, and use your REDcard for other things vs. just transferring it back to your bank account.
Can’t wait to try this!! Planning on getting Red Card this week. Question though, so I am clear, I will be able to pay my mortgage using this Red Card account, and can do so month after month? As well as auto lease payments, utilities etc to get rewards from my credit cards? My plan would of course be to load the red card with my credit card, then pay my credit card off each month to avoid the interest. Thanks for all your tips!!
@jay- You can’t set it up to autopay, which is a bummer, but you can pay each month. You just have to go in and manually send it each month.
Just loaded 2,500 a couple days ago with my new Citi AAdvantage card in Georgia…no issues. This site Rocks!
@hary- Nicely done, and glad you like the site!
Just had a friend buy me a Redcard in Tucson. This one has a $5 purchase fee (original pic from Trav had $0 purchase fee in top right corner). Tried to load with $1 and clerk made my friend load with $5 minimum. FYI
@Troy- Awesome, this is good to know.
My wife and I love your website. We’re from California and had a friend that lives in South Carolina go to Target and get us a few of the red cards. We’re just waiting to get the permanent card in the mail. Cant wait!
I have a question regarding the $200 visa gift card idea you had…. I have a chase ink plus business card. I looked on the chase website to see what stores are connected to the points bonus. The only store I saw with 5x bonus points which would most likely carry the visa gift cards was walgreens. Anyway, on the chase website it says the bonus points are redeemed for “shopping online through chase”. Does this mean I can’t go into a physical walgreens store and get the 5x bonus points?
Appreciate your help!
@Ross- Cool that your friend could pick up the REDcards for you. Walgreens is 5x? I’m stunned by that…I thought it was only office supply stores. If a place is coded out as an “office supply store”, you can get 5x for the purchase there.
Redeeming points means that you will be USING them on Chase’s site when you go to redeem. The 5x is for EARNING them.
Semi-related question: I got my permanent Redcard yesterday and promptly set about setting up my payees. The “problem” I’m seeing is that there does not seem to be a way to schedule payments. It looks like the only option is to input a payment and hit ‘send’. Not a big deal, but it would be nice to be able to schedule the payment to go out on a certain date.
@Richard Ryan- Yeah, the big issue is that you can’t autopay, so you have to make sure you go in and pay each time. Stinks, but small price to pay.
Thanks Travis. You’re right, it’s a minor point, but no biggie.
Even if you could load the red card with a credit card, wouldn’t this be considered a CASH Advance which has its own set of fees (usually a very high %). For people who have loaded this card using a credit card, how does the transaction look on your credit card statement and is it considered a cash advance??
@anon- I’ve never had it code out as a cash advance. It comes through as a regular purchase from Target.
I just charged my red card with $2500 on credit card. I sure hope things aren’t changing!!!!!!!!
@Robert- Ok, good. Let’s hope it’s just a glitch for some people.
I’m in the Sacramento, CA area and only . recently got a REDcard, but I’m already encountering problems with loading via credit card or gift cards such as Visa or Amex. I’ve been to three stores and all tell me the same thing, and none allow loading at a register, only at customer service, and only with cash or a debit card.
@Tracy- Weird. I don’t know what to say other than keep trying. It can go away at any moment, so let’s hope this isn’t the beginning.
I think the problem is that you found an amex Target card, which is not the same thing. We are in Sac, also, and were under the impression we had the right card, but not yet. The amex Target card cannot use online bill pay – our main purpose.
@Carole what does the amex target card look like? Is it blue or does it look exactly like the one pictured in this post? Just wondering, I want to purchase one but don’t want to pick up the wrong card.
Is anyone else running into a problem where certain Target stores are requiring a Debit card to load the REDcard? I’ve gone to 2 different Taget Stores and I am being told that I NEED TO use a debit card to load. =/
@John- Hopefully things aren’t changing. I’m not in the States, so I can’t confirm. Can anyone else?
Just loaded my prepaid card today, $500, with my AmEx credit card in California …
@Nero- Good to know, thanks!
Same here. I had to drive to a Target an hour away, but the process was very straightforward and I loaded the card with $500 via my Amex right there at the register.
Even if they do stop taking CC to load, you can still buy those Visa gift cards using your CC and load your prepaid card that way, correct? Also, I saw an option for a $200 to $500 visa gift card with only a $5.95 service charge here in San Diego. I could do that as well, right?
@Nero- Yep. I do think that if they stop taking credit cards, they’ll probably stop taking gift cards as well. Just speculation, and I hope I’m wrong!
I think that the Amex Serve Card does the same thing! I just spoke to a rep and here is the convo…
Thank you for choosing American Express Serve®. A Customer Care Professional will be with you shortly. For quality assurance, this chat may be recorded and monitored. For your security, please click “END CHAT X” to close this chat window before leaving your computer unattended or when chat is complete.
You are now chatting with Christine.
Christine: Hi, this is Christine from American Express, how can I help you acquire your Serve card?
You: Hi. In order to reload, I have to go to a center in my area, or can I re load online?
Christine: Hi, there.
Christine: I will be happy to answer your question.
Christine: Do you have a card with your name on it?
You: Not at the moment, looking for the most convenient thing
Christine: Let me then answer your question.
Christine: You have several reload options like direct deposit, bank account, person to person transfer, debit card,credit card, cash reload, mobile check deposit and vanilla reload pack.
Christine: Out of which you can reload your card online if you link your card to your bank account, credit, debit card.
Christine: Also if you download the Serve app on your phone, you ca take a picture of your check and deposit that way as well.
You: Ok, so I could go to say, CVS or Walmart and add money with my credit card or cash?
You: If I do that, will this act like a bank account? So I will have a checking and routing number of sorts?
Christine: If you wish to reload in stores, you can use your debit card or cash.
You: but I can do it online as well
You: I dont have a debit card, so can I use my discover if I wanted?
Christine: Is discover your credit/debit card?
You: credit card
Christine: Then in that case you can link this card online to your Serve account and then reload your card online.
You: oh nice
You: ok, and if I have to pay something online that requires a checking and routing number, will i have that?
Christine: There is an account and routing number generated in order for you to set up for direct deposit.
You: but can that also be used to bill pay
You: Where do I get a serve card?
Christine: If you have to use the card online, you just need to provide your card details, since the account and routing number is only for direct deposit.
You: oh I see
You: that might not work
Christine: I can send you a link to apply for the Serve card.
You: some of my bills, like electric and gas, dont take credit cards
You: or debits
You: only checking info
You: Thank you for your help though! I really appreciate it
Christine: However we also have a bill pay feature through which you can make payments online, here you need to enter your payee’s information.
You: oh ok
Christine: You’re welcome.
You: if I can have a link, I will look into it
Christine: So let me provide you information on Bill pay.
Christine: If the payee is registered with American Express we send the funds electronically within 1-2 business days, however if they are not registered we send them a check within 4-5 business days.
You: ok makes sense
Christine: Do you want me to send you the link to register?
You: yes please
Christine: One moment please.
Christine: Please click on this link to register
You: Thank you again
Christine: Were you able to complete the registration?\
Christine: You’re welcome.
You: just about
You: last question
You: does it cost anything to apply
You: or are there any fees other than ATM?
Christine: You’ll be glad to know that the card is free of cost.
You: sorry was trying to read the mumbo jumbo lol
Christine: Yes, let me explain about the fees.
You: ok please
Christine: One moment please.
Christine: There’s a currency conversion fee of 2.7% per international transaction.
Christine: If you use the card at Moneypass network, there is no fee to withdraw, however if you use the card at any other location, there is a fee of $2.50 charged by American Express and the ATM owners will charge their own fee.
Christine: There is a $1 monthly fee for Serve. The monthly fee will be waived if you do one of the following during the monthly statement period: receive a Direct Deposit, order/add your Serve card to the Softcard app or add $500 or more to your account. Additionally, there’s no fee for residents of NY, TX and VT.
Christine: These are the only fees that you would incur.
You: ok I can set up a dd, so thats fine, but at the same time, like today if I apply, I can add a credit card for money into my serve account, right?
You: It’s just like a purchase?
Christine: If you apply for the card today, you need to wait till you receive and activate your card.
Christine: After which you can reload your card with a credit card.
Christine: Only after activating your card, you can reload and use it.
You: right ok
DO YOU guys think I am missing something?
AMEX Serve has a similar website, so I’m guessing it is a similar service – mostly a difference in branding. Has anyone used a credit card to fund a Serve card? Are there cash advance fees?
So I’ve received my card and activated it but I see no option to transfer money to my bank account. I’ve set up my account and it will let me load money from my bank to the card, but not from the card to the bank. Am I missing something?
Strike that. Just got it. Sorry for jumping the gun there
I noticed almost only Target stores in rural areas offer this prepaid Redcard. Do you have any suggestions for someone who does not have any friend living closed to such stores?
@Larry- You can try to buy them off of Craigslist, Flyertalk, or Dans Deals. All comes with a little bit of risk, but that’s the only way right now.
I was wondering if there is any advantage to getting the temporary card (except maybe to have it available immediately) than to just apply online?
@Carrie Worlf- You can’t get a prepaid REDcard online I don’t think, can you? If you find a place you can, let me know, but I’m pretty sure it’s not available right now.
I went online and noticed many forums are stating 5k load limits per month with the Redcard but on AmEx’s site the load limit appears to be 1k per month. I currently have a Serve which clearly shows 2k limit and states CC’s can be used to load but I don’t see that listed anywhere for the Redcard.
I’m looking here:
Before I go and cancel my Serve to get the Redcard I want to make sure the 5k limit by CC is valid. Can someone confirm where they see this stated?
@Derek P- I can confirm that it is a $5k limit right now. I have personally loaded 5k on both my account and Heather’s account.
Also Derek, its listed ($5,000) in the limits section under FAQs.
I just went to reload $1000 to my RedCard with a brand new JetBlue Amex Credit card with a $10,000 credit limit. It didn’t work. Can you only use Visa cards to load the RedCard?
@Feroz Khan- Do you know why it didn’t work? I’ve loaded with an Amex before no problem. It might be because it’s a new credit card. I’ve had issues with a new credit card and loading because they credit card company thinks it’s fraud since they don’t know your spending habits yet. Maybe call up Amex and ask why it was denied?
Would it be possible to load (lets say $500 at a time)the REDCard with my Suntrust Delta Debit MasterCard and earn points, then withdraw $500 cash from the ATM inside the Target store with no fees and continue this process over and over?
@Robert R- You can only withdraw money from Allpoint ATM’s, but at the moment, there are no fees for doing it. So yes, you could do that, but I would make sure to use your REDcard for other stuff as well (paying bills, etc.).
Just a heads up- the System DOES go down from time to time, at least in Cleveland (Not sure if its a centralized DB or what.) For those who don’t live near a ‘Target Market’ for this roll out, they seem to go for $45 on Ebay and $39 ish on Craigslist: http://pittsburgh.craigslist.org/for/4895970029.html
@Chris- I know some people who have bought them from other people online and it has worked out. I would just be careful.
Beware of sending checks from REDCard….the one I sent my husband took about 12 days to arrive and the one he sent me is at about 14 days and counting, and we’re sending payments to our P.O Box which we thought would be quicker than sending them to the house, He called and reported the check missing and they said it would take 3 days to refund the money to his account, but somewhere we heard or saw it can take up to ten days for the refund. Payments sent to our credit card companies electronically were much quicker, like 2-4 days. They don’t seem to process any payments on the weekends, so factor that in when making a payment.
Is there any need to be strategic about using this method? I have a Citi AA card on its way that requires $3k in spend. Is it ok to charge 3 $1000 redcard loads in the course of 3 days? Or is it better to mix this kind of spending with other kinds (regular every day purchases) over a longer period of time?
@Lauren- I’d definitely mix up other spending and use it naturally as well. I wouldn’t worry about doing $1k in 3 days in a row, that should be fine, but I wouldn’t make those my only spending. I’d sprinkle in other stuff as well.
1) Can I unload this at an ATM?
2) If not, can I use billpay to write myself a check?
1) Yes, you can withdraw from ATM’s but they have to be Allpoint ATM’s. There is no fee for doing that.
2) You could possibly do that, although I’d warn against it. Might be constituted as suspicious activity and they might close you down.
I was just checking out the FAQs on the prepaid redcard site (https://amex.serve.com/prepaidredcard/faqs/) and it says you can only load $200 per day and $1000 per month with a debit card. – It doesn’t even say you can use a credit card. Have they changed it recently or can you still load $5000 per month on a credit card?
@Hayden- For some reason, what they say on their site is totally different than what the reality is. You can still load $5k a month via credit card.
just got mine this weekend. Super excited! Waiting for my permanent card to come in. You say using the bill pay to pay off the card might throw up a red flag, but you don’t foresee any issues with loading say $500, transferring $500 to bank account, then using bill pay from bank account to pay $500 to the card?
@Wes- I wouldn’t do it in exact numbers. So maybe put on $500, pay $433 off on a credit card, etc. Things like that.
I live in washington, and Target doesn’t have the red card here yet. If I get one in another state, will I be able to load the card where I live?
@Hayden- Yes, you can load at any Target, whether they sell it or not. Might have to talk them through it the first time, but you can load it at ANY Target.
Just to verify–have you tried this? I want to be sure, because the Target where I can get a prepaid Red card at is a fair commute away. It would be great if I could load at my local Target…
Am looking to switch because Serve.com is now dead for this purpose.
@jim_e- I loaded one month ago and it worked fine, no problem at all. I’ve been international for a month now, but heading home in a day or two, so will try again. All other reports I’ve heard said it works fine.
Trav – this is an epic share. Just got my brother to get me one from Memphis, TN. Getting my perm card and going to Target that day to load $2500 to pay my mortgage payment at the end of this month. How long does it usually take for a check to get where it needs to get?
@Nero- Nicely done. Check takes approx. 2-5 business days.
My question didn’t get posted… I’ll try again. The red card says limit of 200 per day or 1000 per month. Is that a change in policy or do you gier around that? If so, how do you do that? Thanks, enjoy your blog!
@Robert- That might be for another form of deposit? If you do it at the store with a credit card or gift card, it’s $2500 a day or $5k a month.
love this site…quick question the Redcard says it has a $200 per day or $1000 per month deposit limit. How do I get around that to deposit from my credit card? Thanks
@Robert- That might be for another form of deposit? If you do it at the store with a credit card or gift card, it’s $2500 a day or $5k a month.
Any clue if AmEx will block using the redcard to meet min spend on a new Platinum card? Or same question with Chase Sapphire Preferred?
@Tim- Doubt it. It shows up on account as a Target purchase, so they won’t know it’s a REDcard.
Does your credit get hit when you register this card?
@Holly- Nope, no credit hit since it’s a prepaid card.
Attempting to pay wells fargo home mortgage with prepaid redcard and error msg – it won’t take account number (mortgage number) – error msg wrong account number so need assistance – how to pay monthly mortgage payment with the prepaid target redcard. any tips are greatly appreciated. what account number should i enter?
@blacjchman- If it doesn’t work that way, you’ll have to pay your Wells Fargo mortgage with a check each month. I used to do it that through Bluebird, worked fine.
Funny you say that, Wells Fargo was my 3rd ‘BillPay’ option – and the other 2 went through fine… But WF (using my CORRECT Account #) Did NOT Work, for reasons unknown.
IMO, since money is ‘neutral’ – you’re just as well off writing yourself a check for your mortgage amount, and continuing to auto-debit via your checking.
Trav can you link your GC debit visa where it says link debit card and do transactions staying home in the increment of $200.00 please adv.
@Sammy- I honestly have no idea. My thought would be no, but give it a shot. If you can, that’s a major score. Please let us know if it works!
why did you say this? “DO NOT BUY A TARGET DEBIT CARD OR TARGET CREDIT CARD! Get the Prepaid REDcard pictured above.”, what’s difference between DEBIT CARD(like http://www.target.com/redcard/main) and the card in this article?
@CooperWu- You can’t load a Debit card with a credit card. The beauty of the Prepaid card is that you can load it with a credit card, thereby getting credit card points.
Can we transfer fund from the REDcard to a bank account? So the process would then go buy redcard with cc then transfer the 5k back to a bank acc?
@Aziz- Yes, you can. You need to sign in, then go to settings in the top right corner. From there, hit withdraw funds. Then hit transfer to bank. You’ll have to link up a bank account first, but once you do, you can withdraw to that account.
BLUF: In a direct miles-to-dollars Miles program, you need to be in a program offering 3.5 miles per $1 spent, just to pay for the $6.95 gift card fee, right?
I’m sure you guys agree that anyone considering this should really work out the math in detail to ensure this doesn’t COST them $, or that what $ they save is worth the time and effort. The more complicated your miles program is, the harder it will be to do, especially with those programs that don’t equate miles directly to dollars but instead list specific flights or rooms for XX,XXX miles. But for sake of an easy example and for those of us that use a direct miles-to-dollar program (as in move the decimal point on your miles to the left 2 places, and you have that much $ to redeem towards travel – this is how Capital One does it), I believe the break even point is if you’re earning 3.5 miles per $1 spent. If you’re not getting at least 3.5, you’re losing $. That’s because a $200 gift card purchase means you’d get $200 x 3.5 points = 700 miles; 700 miles = $7 in travel $. $7 just covered your $6.95 gift card fee, so you’ve just broke even. Did I do the math on this right?
I am looking at the Target Redcard site and it is saying the card can be reloaded with a DEBIT card but doesn’t specifically say a credit card. Is anyone seeing that it can be reloaded with a credit card?
Julia in Woodinville, WA
@Julia- Yeah, it doesn’t explicitly say credit cards, and I’m guessing at some point they won’t allow it, but for now, they do!
Thanks, Travis – I guess we use it as long as we can. Now if I could just get my hands on one. (Washington State doesn’t have them yet.)
Sorry for the 2nd post but is there anyway to setup automatic monthly payments from the account for recurring expenses like your mortgage?
@Mike- Unfortunately, no. That is the one major downside (and was the downside to the Amex Bluebird as well). You’ll have to remember to go in and send a check each month for your mortgage or recurring expenses. Small price to pay for the points though.
Can you load the card with your Target store credit card and get the 5% discount they offer? I would think that would be the best “return” for a rewards card?
@Mike- I’m not sure. It explicitly states that you CAN’T load it with a Target gift card, but I’m not sure of the Target credit card. If you try, let us know what you find!
Does the Target Prepaid Redcard supply you with checks that you can write out yourself with an authorization code like Amex Bluebird? Can I also transfer funds to another person who also has a Target Prepaid Redcard?
@Sharon Pearson- I’m not sure if they do or not. I haven’t requested any. Yes, you can transfer funds.
Can you only get one per person or can you get multiple cards per person??
Do all credit card companies accept checks (any checks) as payments?
@Bobby Weaver- One account per person. As far as I know, all credit card companies accept checks.
Hi Trav, I know this might be a stupid question, but I have to write a check to an after school program that limits what they will accept for payment. Are you saying that “they” will send a paper check (similar to any bank check) via mail to said program as per my instruction on the on-line payment system? I would really like to see what the check looks like if anyone has one. Thanks!
@David- Yes, your REDcard account will send a check, similar to any bank check, in your name, from your account, to whoever you want.
I live in CA where they don’t have these cards. But my brother lives in PA and could get me one. Now, can I register it with my California address? Or does it have to be with the PA address? Also, once I get the permanent one, can I use my OTHER Amex card (Blue SKY) to load the Red card?
@Whitney- Yes, you can register it with any address, doesn’t matter where it is bought. And when you get the permanent one, you can load it with any credit card or gift card, so yes, you can load it with your Blue Sky card.
We bought our cards at Target the other night. My husband tried to buy a second one right away in a second transaction but the register stopped the clerk after she scanned his driver’s license, saying he already had one. I guess you have to decline the license scan on the second transaction? We live in Md and I could read the screen the cashier had and it directed her to Ask if she could scan the driver’s license. Also, any knowledge of grocery stores in the mid-Atlantic region that will sell $500 Visa gift cards and let you pay with a credit card? The Chase Freedom card is paying 5% back at grocery stores but excludes all Target and Walmart stores. I was excited to see $500 Visa gift cards at Shoppers, but when I tried to buy one today the cashier said all Visa, MC and AmEx cards have to be paid for in cash. :-(
@Lisa- I had issues getting a 4th one the other day. I bought 3 no problem, but then they wouldn’t let me buy any more. So I’m not sure what is going on at the moment.
I don’t know any grocery stores in mid-Atlantic that sell $500 Visa gift cards, but if you find one, please let us know. That’d be a HUGE score!
Can someone upload a picture of what the “check” looks like? I’d love to use this method to pay my landlord each month, but she is old-school and might be confused as to why she’s getting a check from Target. Would it have my name on the check?
@Kate- Hmmm…I don’t have an image of the check, but if someone would upload it, that’d be great. I’m assuming it would have your name on it, but I could be wrong.
Kate – The Check has YOUR name on it as the ‘From’ and THEIR name as the ‘Made Out To’ Part. Its a 100% normal, regular check… Comes from one of those Payroll Processing Companies and took 1 week to arrive. I paid my wife (landlord) $1,400 and there didnt seem to be any problem.
@Chris- Awesome, thanks for the data point.
First, thank you so much for this post!! When paying “people” will the site send a physical check to the person or do they need to have someking of Target/American Express account??
@Isabel- They will send a physical check.
They wouldn’t let my relative buy one for me at the Target in SE Michigan (I live in KY, they don’t offer prepaid Redcards here yet). Target said they needed a drivers license # (and have the person with the license #) and a SSN of the person whose card it was for…anyone run into something like this?
@Logan- I just tell them “I’m buying these for my friends and family who don’t live here, they can register their own details after they get this temporary card. I’ve done this before at other Targets.” That has always worked for me. If that cashier doesn’t let you, maybe have your relative go to another one? They should allow it.
I have my parents in another state out buying a REDcard for both myself and my wife. Can’t wait to get them!
Here’s what I think is the best deal,at least for me:
1. Find a Target that is categorized as a grocery story by your credit card. AmEx doesn’t normally put them in this category, but Visa often does. Check this link to see if your Target is categorized as a grocrey store by Visa.
2. Get a Visa that gives a category bonus for Groceries. Here’s a list.
3. Looking over the list, there are only two Visa cards without a spend limit in the grocery category: US Bank FlexPerks Travel Rewards Visa Signature card and the Golden1 Platinum Rewards Visa. FlexPerks earns points you can redeem towards travel, while the Golden 1 Visa earns a flat 3% cash back on groceries.
4. If you value Chase points at around 2 cents per point, then earning 3 cents with the Golden 1 card is generally better. If you spend the max of $5,000/month, then you’ll spend $60,000/year and earn $1,800 cash back just for visiting the Target store a couple times a month!
Hoping this deal doesn’t die too fast but just in case, I’m going to rack up all the cash back I can. :)
@Kent- This is an awesome comment, thanks for doing all the hard work for us. I think you’re right on….if someone has the Golden 1 card and can get 3%, $1,800 a year is pretty nice. If you do it for two people, even better!
Well I just searched for every state that I know I have someone living in, and Ohio is the only one that has it available. Sadly it is only in the Cleveland area, and my friends live in Columbus. No way I can talk them into making that journey for a card. If anyone is feeling generous and wants to buy one and mail it to someone, I would be forever in your debt.
Stuck in South Texas, Away from All the Fun Stuff
@Wesey- Ah, bummer. You can try to find some on the Dan’s Deals forums. Seems like some people are selling them there. Unfortunately, I don’t have any idea when they are rolling them out to the rest of the country either.
Where do you refill the redcard at target… Customer service? The cashier?
@charles d- You can refill it at either.
I had my friend get me a temporary prepaid redcard, however I can’t figure out how to register it online. The link you gave is sending me to a page that is no longer available and I am only finding debit and credit card registrations on the target website. I tried to register it under “debit redcard” but no cigar. Any ideas on what I can do from here?
@Kylie- I just checked and it seems like that part of the site is down right now. Not sure why, but hopefully it’s just a tech glitch. Keep checking, and I will too. That link is where you go to register your temporary card.
The card has a reload limit of $2,500 in one day, can this be accomplished in 1 transaction? I thought I read you could load up to $1000 in a single transaction, and up to $2,500 in a day. Do you know if you can do $2,500 in a single transaction? Thanks!
@Brian- You’ll have to ask them to do it in a few swipes. So no, not on one transaction. But you could ask the same cashier to do 3 separate transactions. $1k, $1k, $500.
Great, thanks for the clarification! Didn’t want to look like an idiot when I try to reload it.
Just had my SIL buy our card down in Indy yesterday. Yay! Do you happen to know how the $5,000 “per month” max is calculated? For example is it per calendar month? Or does your “month” start from the date you purchase/activate the card? Just trying to figure out how that works. Thanks!
@Beth- Per calendar month. So you could load some on January 30th and 31st, then again on Feb. 1st and Feb 2nd.
Can I do the same with a BlueBird card from Walmart? Vermont has Walmarts but no Targets.
@Claudia- No, unfortunately you can’t. You can buy gift cards and load up the Bluebird card, but it’s a much bigger hassle than being able to load it directly from a credit card.
Thank you! Bummer
Great post! Will I earn 2x using American Express Everyday
@Tom- Does that card give 2x at Target? If so, yes.
What’s the difference between this red card and Amex serve?
@Michael- Similar cards, but REDcard is tied to Target and allows you to load more per month.
I purchased a card and was unable to register it because it stated I had an open bluebird card. I closed the card a week prior, but found out (after an 2 hours on the phone and multiple calls) that my card wasn’t “permanentaly closed” and wouldn’t be for another month. Alas, I have to wait a month to take advantage of this great deal.
Know of anyone else having this problem?
@RG- Hmmm…I closed my Bluebird account, and I was able to open up my REDcard immediately. Is there a way to ask them to close it permanently immediately?
this is amazing because i was just racking my brain, trying to figure out a way to pay rent, utilities, etc with my credit card to reach minimum spend. thanks for this post!
just want to clarify though – you need to visit target each time you want to load the prepaid card? can it be any target (including those that do NOT yet sell the redcard)? no locations near me are selling the card yet so wondering if I have to trek to one for each refill….
@Susan- You can load it at ANY Target, even ones that don’t sell it yet. But yes, you do have to go to a Target to load it. So hopefully you have a Target close!
Feel free to delete my earlier comments, I posted like crazy in my haste and excitement. AmEx does allow you to reload REDbird, but AmEx doesn’t categorize Target as a grocery store, only Visa does. So you’ll need a Visa card offering grocery store bonuses to really rack up the miles. Sorry for the spam. :P
@Kent- Ahh, good to know. Yeah, seemed too good to be true, but hey, glad you figured it out. Sometimes, you get lucky, and it really is too good to be true, so thanks for doing the digging for us!
The Amex site doesn’t say you can load the card with a credit card. Any sense of how long it takes them to catch on? Did you try purchasing something and loading the card in the same transaction? Just wondering if it would make a difference in how the cashier reacts.
@Lisa- The site doesn’t say it, but it is definitely allowed. No clue how long it will last, but I’m guessing not for tooooo long. Take advantage while you can! I didn’t purchase anything, just loaded, and worked fine.
Can you send me one? LOL We don’t have any Targets in California that sell them yet.
@Rob- I’m working on buying some, but not sure if they’ll let me buy in bulk. Sorry.
Hmm, nevermind, the Hilton Honors Surpass is an AmEx so that probably won’t work. But there are a few Visas on the list that should. Am I right?
Hey Trav- Got excited reading your post and did a little digging. FrequentMiler has a post that talks about how to determine if a Target store near you qualifies as a grocery store. Looks like one near me does! It then has another link that shows which cards give bonuses when used at grocery stores. If this works the way I think, can I load my REDcard with the Hilton Honors Surpass for example, which offers 6x at grocery stores, to earn 30,000 Hilton points per month or 360,000 Hilton points per year!? If so, then #MindBlown!
Hey Trav – Will any Target store allow you to reload your REDcard, even if they don’t sell the REDcard in that particular store? Thanks!
@Kent- Yep, they will. You might have to walk them through it, but I’ve done it, it’s easy. Have them swipe the REDcard, then just tell them how much to load, have them pick credit, and swipe your credit card.
Trav – have you checked Target stores in SE Pa (Philly area) to see if any have the Red card?
@Jason- Closest ones I know of are in MD, right across Delaware border. I got mine at Rising Sun Target in MD, but haven’t checked in about 2 weeks for anything closer.
I got mine in pikesville MD
@ell- Yeah, Maryland is stocked with them.
Once you get the redcard, can you load it at any Target location, even ones that do not sell the red cards?
@TJ- Yep, you can load them at any Target, regardless of if they sell them or not. You might have to talk the cashier through it though, as they may be unfamiliar with it.
What is the difference between this card and American Express for Target prepaid card?
@Daniel S.- The Target Prepaid card from Amex is the REDcard, so they are the same thing.
Amex for Target is a completely different product, with different rules, limits, very inferior to the Redcard. It has a gray color, amex logo and easy to find, costs $3 to load but does not have Billpay, I use ATM to unload, but with fees (free once a month)
@walterj @Jason- Ok, thanks, really appreciate it. Did not know that ATF existed.
Trav – I think Daniel refers to the “AMEX for Target card (AFT)” https://www.americanexpress.com/target which is NOT the same thing as the PREPAID Recard from AMEX, if I am not mistaken? You can have both AFT and BLUEbird, I have done that.
Please clarify; thanks!
Could you pay your credit card bill with the REDcard? Because, I have less than $5000/Month in expense…
@Nessa- Technically, you can pay ANY bill you want since you can send a check from your REDcard account to anyone who accepts checks. This includes mortgages, landlords, student loans, etc. This would also include credit card companies, however, I would suggest you be very careful with this if you decide to do it. You could get your credit card or REDcard account closed if they find you are simply putting money on your REDcard from a credit card and then using that to pay it off.
I assume that since this is an AMEX product, we can click “settings” and send $$ back to our bank account, much like BB?
@Geoff- Yes, you can transfer the money back to a bank at no charge.
Nooo. I just looked and there are NO stores in Minnesota that sell these. How is that possible when Target is based here? You’d think we’d pilot this program locally… Anyway, I just moved and got a million Target gift cards as house warming gifts. I have a REDcard and like to get 5% off, so I was researching a way to repurpose these gift cards to get the most money. This looked like the way to go. But my hopes are again shattered. Please let me know if you’re aware of another workaround!