Amex introduces new Bluebird-like Target REDcard!

As of May 6, 2015, Target no longer accepts credit cards for in-store REDbird reloads. For more information, please see “REDbird Post Memo Answers“, and “REDbird grounded. Now what?

Thanks to a reader tip, I just learned that American Express is launching a new product similar to Bluebird and Serve.  This one is Target branded and is called the Prepaid REDcard.  I’ll do a full write-up soon, but here is what I know so far:

  • Each person can only have one: Bluebird or Serve or REDcard.
  • Like Bluebird, you may link a debit card to the account for online funding.  Like Bluebird and Serve (without SoftCard) you are limited to $200 per day and $1000 per month.
  • 5% discount at Target when you pay with this card (but there are exclusions such as gift cards)
  • No fees for just about anything.  Like Bluebird, no foreign transaction fees.  No fees for in-Target ATMs or for Allpoint Network ATMs.
  • “Cash loads” limited to $2500 per day / $5000 per month.  “Cash loads” is the name for loading at the register at Target.  There are no fees for loading at the register.
  • The Target REDcard offers Bill Pay which sounds identical to Bluebird and Serve’s bill pay functions.
  • Unlike Bluebird and Serve, this card does not appear to allow loading via Vanilla Reload cards.
  • Target offers other REDcards that are not affiliated with this one.  Besides this one there is a debit REDcard and a credit REDcard.  This one is the “prepaid” REDcard.
  • It appears that the only way to get one of these is to buy a temporary card at Target.  Details here.

Target REDcard

Quick take

I’m still absorbing this info, but my first reaction is:

  • This will be really awesome if Target allows “cash loads” via credit card (to be determined).
  • If Target does not allow cash loads via credit card, then it looks like it falls short of the capabilities of Serve in a few ways.  For example, it does not allow online credit card loads like Serve does.
  • On the other hand, if you frequent Target, but not Walmart, this might still be an attractive option.
  • I’m bummed that you can’t have both Serve and REDcard!


Adding “cash”

This doesn’t give much more info, but thought I’d add it…

How do I add cash to my Account?

Free Cash Reloads at the Target Register: Add cash FREE at all Target store locations in the US. You can add as much as $1,000 or as little as $0.01 for FREE. Just give your Prepaid REDcard and cash to the cashier and your money is immediately added to your Card. It’s that easy!

Found here.

UPDATE 1:13 PM EST: Just got back from buying one of these at Target.  Had to enter in drivers license info like when buying old Amex for Target card.  The temporary REDcard can be bought with a credit card, of course.  However, I spoke to a manager who seemed to be well informed and he claimed that reloads will not allow credit cards.  Debit cards will be allowed.

Read more about REDbird:


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    • Bluebird and Serve have similar language. The trick is that “cash” doesn’t really mean cash only. With Bluebird, for example, “cash loads” include at the register loads at Walmart (which can be done with debit cards) and Vanilla Reload loads.

  1. “cash” doesn’t really mean cash only. With Bluebird, for example, “cash loads” include at the register loads at Walmart”

    how about serve — with what and where can u “cash” reload

    • Serve: you can load $1K per month online with credit card + $1K per month online with debit card + $5K per month “cash” where cash = either load at Walmart or other stores (with debit or cash) or Vanilla Reload cards or Greendot MoneyPaks

        • I saw this om WIKI on F.T. –Are they wrong? and I can use SIMON MALL and visa G.C. — AND not get account flagged –THANKS

          “Online Debit Card Loads
          For online debit load, only use of bank-issued cards is allowed. The use of pre-paid debit cards (Netspend, Paypower, Univision, Paypal, etc.) and VGC/MGC/AGCs is not allowed. While initial transactions may work, your account will eventually be flagged.”

        • You cannot use prepaid/gift cards for the online loading but you could use them in store. Note that only the Prepaid PayPal card is prohibited, not the PayPal Business Debit Mastercard which is a popular for online loading since it generates the PayPal 1% cash back.

        • Scott’s answer is correct. Sorry I might have misunderstood your earlier question.
          No, you cannot use Simon mall gift cards with Serve (or Bluebird or Redcard) for online debit loads without getting in trouble.
          Yes, you can use Simon mall gift cards with Serve or Bluebird to load as debit cards at Walmart.

  2. Both I and spouse already hold the Target Debit (not credit) card, linked to bank account. Would we be able to hold this card as well?

    If it’s possible to dump debit gift cards into this to unload, that would be convenient as TGT is closer than WM for me.

  3. From the Target webpage FAQ under Why I should convert to a Personalized account

    Add money via cash, DEBIT CARD and bank account.

    Thanks for posting about this new card.

    • Yes, but to be clear, I believe that debit card in that context is referring to using a debit card for up to $1K of online loads per month. In-store loads are up to Target as to what they will accept. Luckily it does look like they’ll accept debit there as well.

  4. It should be interesting to see what you can do with this card. So far I am bummed that you can’t get a Serve AND a prepaid Target Redcard. I don’t the benefits are good enough to make me want to switch from Serve.

    • No, I didn’t cancel my Serve account. I was able to get the temporary Target REDcard anyway. In order to register it online, though, I would have to cancel my Serve card. I’m going to see what happens if I cancel my wife’s Bluebird card and try to register this temp card to her. No idea if it will work!

  5. Well, that died a quick death. Always better to blog and make assumptions first, then actually confirm details. Ah, I long for the good ol’ days when being first and being wrong was ridiculed…

  6. Fascinating. Look forward to more info on this. Subscribe.

    Also of note, the catpcha is an add for American Express with the text of “earn points”

  7. can one just keep buying many initial/temporary cards? You buy those at Target with a credit (mileage) card, yes?
    Can you buy several and use the same driver’s license over and over again….?

    • I don’t even know why Target even needs you to register for the card when you still have to go through the registration process on the website and can use it to register someone else under the temp card. It seems rather silly that you have to do this twice. Also you can be buying temp Redbird cards for several family members so its silly to even need that information right then and there.

  8. “Like Bluebird, you may link a debit card to the account for online funding.”

    I have my checking account debit card linked and it keeps getting declined. Something has changed.

  9. Hi there
    Just a couple of questions, 1) I thought there was a 3% load fee when loading @ Target and only online loading via bank account was free ? 2) Can I use gift cards (AMEX, VISA, MC) to load onto the card @ Target ? 3) If the answer to question 2 is yes then do you also get hit with the 3% load charge ?


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