The Target REDCard is AWESOME! With two trips to Target a month you can easily earn 5,000 points and it will only cost you a one time fee of $5. Over the course of the year this will get you 60,000 points which, for example, can get you a free flight to Europe! I’ve written about this card a few times in passing, but haven’t really dedicated a full on post to it. So here you go…
What is the Target REDCard? It is a prepaid card where you are able to load money onto the card using a credit card and use it as a regular debit card, to shop at Target (and get a 5% discount), or most importantly pay bills! For paying bills, this means you can pay any bill or person – even your credit card bill that you used to load the card! For example, you can use your Starwood credit card to load $5,000 a month onto the card, then pay your Starwood credit card bill with your Target REDCard. You are doing a full circle without paying anything extra, but getting 5,000 Starwood points! This is of course not the intent of the card, but it is feasible to do it that way. You can also pay your bills with the card, such as your mortgage, landlord, electric, car payments, etc. Of course some cards will give you even more points (i. e., Club Carlson, Hilton, Barclaycard Arrival, etc.) but the majority of cards give 1 point per dollar spent at Target.
What does the Target REDCard cost? You will first purchase a temporary card in store that will cost $5. This is a one time fee and there are no other costs associated with having or loading the card going forward.
How much can you put on your Target REDCard monthly? You are allowed to load up to $5,000 on your card per month when using a credit card. Although you are limited to $2,500 per day and $1,000 per load. That means to maximize, you must go to a Target twice a month and during each visit load three times ($1,000 + $1,000 + $500).
Where can you get a Target REDCard? Only select stores cary it unfortunately (you can check all stores that sell the REDCard here). In participating locations, cards are typically kept at the front of the store near the cash registers. You will be purchasing a temporary card initially. You will then need to register the card and a permanent card with your name on it will be sent in the mail within 1-2 weeks. The temporary card looks like this:
Can I purchase a Target REDCard for someone else? Yup! When you purchase a card you need to give your license and fill out the required information which includes your address and social security number. The person you are purchasing the REDCard for can either give you their social security number or you can enter a fake number. When the person then activates their card and sets up the account they can edit their information, including their social security number. You can only purchase one REDCard a day.
When purchasing this card is there a hard pull on my credit report? No! There is no hard pull which happens when you apply for a credit card. This is a soft pull so will not affect your credit report.
Can I load money onto a REDCard at a Target that doesn’t sell the card? Yes! Even with a Target that does not sell the REDCards, you can still load the card at the store. Typically at these stores they require you to make this “purchase” at customer service and not a regular cashier.
How does the bill pay feature work? You can go to the Target REDCard site and set up a payee. You can search for many pre-loaded business or enter your own persons information. It takes a few minutes to set up the first time and is then saved in your account thereafter. They then send the check to the payee for you. In my experience bills are received and processed within 2-3 days.
What is the best credit card to use for the $5,000 maximum a month? I personally dedicate my Starwood American Express to load the $5,000 a month to my REDCard. By dedicating one card and not putting on any other expenses it helps me keep track of everything and pay my monthly bill seamlessly. I also like using an American Express over other card issuers as it is easier to deal with fraud alerts which I get quite often when making such a large purchase at Target. I also highly value my SPG points so for me this was the best choice. I did an entire post a month or so ago on the best card to use specifically for the Target REDCard so make sure to check it out. There are specific cards that also help you earn status, free nights, and other benefits by spending a certain amount on the card.
Are there any other restrictions? To activate the REDCard you cannot have a Bluebird or Serve card. Unfortunately you are limited to one of these three prepaid cards. Also, The Target REDCard is not eligible for the Amex Offers that I write about often.
Are there any good features of the card? Points and miles aside, it is actually a great card for those that shop at Target. With the card you get 5% off all purchases, free online shipping, and an extra 30 days for returns.
Overall… This is a great card to have to increase your points and miles! Although it does take some work, if you live close by to a Target to only have to go twice a month is pretty easy. Let me know if you have any questions!