The Target Prepaid 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?

Over the weekend, Target quietly rolled out a new American Express product that is strikingly similar to both Bluebird and Serve: The Prepaid REDcard.  This card opens a new option for up to $72,000 worth of manufactured spend per year.  I broke the news about the card here.  In this post I’ll share with you what I’ve learned about this card so far, and why you might care.

Target Prepaid REDcard

It’s the other REDcard

One confusing aspect about this new product is that it has the same name as the existing Target REDcard credit card and the Target REDcard debit card.

Target Prepaid REDcard

All three cards share similar benefits:

  • Save 5% off Target and Target.com purchases.  There are a few exceptions to this benefit such as gift cards and prescriptions.
  • Free shipping from Target.com.
  • 30 extra days for returns.
  • Use REDcard to help a school.  Enroll for free in Take Charge of Education and Target will donate 1% of your REDcard purchases at Target to the eligible K-12 school of your choice. It turns out that this feature is only for debit and credit REDcards.

Target Prepaid REDcard

Bluebird, Serve, or REDcard: Pick only one

The new Prepaid REDcard runs on the same technical platform as other Amex prepaid products: Bluebird and Serve.  Each person is allowed to have only one of the three products.  Here’s a rough guide as to which I think is best for different people:

Serve: For most people, this is currently the best choice since it allows up to $1K per month of online credit card loads in addition to all of the load options available to Bluebird users.  See: Earn miles automatically, with Serve.

Target PrePaid REDcard: Best for those who shop at Target often, or at least prefer shopping at Target over Walmart.  May be a better option than Serve for those who want a prepaid card with no foreign transaction fees.

Bluebird: Best for those who value the ability to write their own checks from the prepaid account.  May also be a better option than Serve for those who want a prepaid card with no foreign transaction fees.

How to get a Prepaid REDcard

If you want a Prepaid REDcard, you’ll have to go to Target.  Not just any Target will do, though, since it hasn’t yet rolled out to all Target stores.  You can find participating stores here.  At participating Target stores, you’ll find big REDcard displays at most checkout registers.  You can pickup a temporary REDcard there.

The temporary card has no purchase fee and can be loaded up to $500.  You can pay for the initial purchase with a credit card.  Be prepared to have the cashier scan your driver’s license, and for you to enter in your SSN and phone number before you get out the door with the temporary card.  Once you get home, you can register for the permanent reloadable version of the card (as long as you don’t have an active Bluebird or Serve account).

Loading REDcard

The permanent version of the Prepaid REDcard can be loaded multiple ways, but only two are of interest to the points & miles crowd:

Online debit load: Just like Bluebird and Serve, you may link a debit card to your account and load up to $200 per day and up to $1000 per month.  You may not use gift cards for these loads, so this feature is best for those with a debit card that earns rewards such as the Suntrust Delta debit card.  Unfortunately, that card is no longer publicly available.  Another option is to search for reloadable debit cards that can be reloaded with credit cards.  Even then, though, there is no guarantee that Amex will allow those to be used for this purpose.

In store, “Cash” funding: Amex calls this cash funding, but it really means “load at Target”.  Amex allows loads up to $2500 per day and up to $5000 per month in-store (although Target may impose further restrictions).  Target’s registers ultimately determine which funding sources can be used.  At this time I believe that Target will allow debit cards, but not credit cards for this purpose.  And, my guess is I have confirmed that gift cards with PINs will work.  Target accepts credit cards, debit cards, and cash for in-store loads.

Given that gift cards with PINs work for reloading the REDcard, it is possible to buy up to $5000 worth of Visa or MasterCard gift cards each month with rewards earning credit cards (see “Best options for buying Visa and MasterCard gift cards”) and then load those gift cards to the REDcard at Target.

Given that credit cards work for reloading the REDcard, you can easily use your credit card to reload the REDcard at Target and earn credit card rewards.  Credit cards do not charge cash advance fees for this.

Using REDcard

The Prepaid REDcard can be used as credit card anywhere that Amex is accepted.  If your goal is to manufacture spend (to increase credit card rewards),  a good use is to withdraw money at fee free ATMs* (in-store ATMs at Target, and Allpoint Network ATMs).  And, an even better option is to use the card’s bill pay function to pay bills that can’t usually be paid by credit card (e.g. mortgage, rent, credit card bills, etc.).  You can also transfer money directly to your bank account from the settings menu (just like Bluebird and Serve).

“*Card not usable at ATMs in Target stores in Kansas City, MO.” Weird.  I know.

Card Fees

None.

Questions and answers

Q: Can we load REDcard with Visa/MasterCard gift cards at Target?

YES

Q: Can we load REDcard with credit cards at Target?

YES
It is possible that Target has plans to change the register to not allow credit cards, but I don’t think that’s the case.  During my early botched credit card experiment, the cashier was surprised that the credit card didn’t work (it turned out that there was a fraud alert on my card).  She said that she remembered from training that loading with a credit card was one of the key benefits of the card.  She even mentioned that people should be able to earn miles with their cards!

Q: Can we load REDcard with Target gift cards at Target?

No.  When loading, the register displays a large message saying that gift cards cannot be used to pay for this transaction.

Q: What are the card’s load limits?

When reloading the card at Target, the following limits are in place:

  • $1000 maximum reload per transaction
  • $2500 maximum reloads per day
  • $5000 maximum reloads per month

When reloading the card online with a debit card, the following limits apply:

  • $200 maximum per day
  • $1000 maximum per month

You cannot use gift cards for online debit loads.

Q: Do these charges count as cash advances?

While we don’t yet have absolute proof of this, I’m confident in saying “no”.  The charges I’ve done so far fully appear to be purchases. And, previous experience with the similar Amex for Target card has shown that credit cards are safe to use for register reloads at Target.

Q: Can we reload REDcard at a Target store that doesn’t sell REDcard?

YES.  I’ve done so, and the website explicitly says: “You can add cash to your Target Prepaid REDcard® Account for free at all Target locations in the US.”  Note that when they say “load cash” they’re really referring to loading the card at the register. It doesn’t matter to Amex how you pay for that load.

Q: Can we get REDcard online?

No. The only way to get REDcard is to find a participating Target store and buy a temporary card there.

Q: Can someone else buy a REDcard for you?

I’ll give this one a tentative “yes”.  When you buy a Prepaid REDcard at Target, you have to give them your drivers license info, your SSN, birthdate, and more.  Then, you have to register the card online in order to get a permanent card.  In the process of registering online, you do need a bit of info about the original buyer (birthdate, for example), to get past the first screen, but then you can change the details on the following screens.  I did this for my wife.  I bought the card at Target and used my own driver’s license, SSN, etc.  But, when I got home, I registered the card to my wife.  I can’t promise this will work for everyone, but it worked for me.

Why does this matter?  Not many stores yet sell this new card and you can’t get one online.  You can find participating stores here.  If you have a relative or good friend who lives near a participating Target, you might be able to get them to buy the card for you.  Then, you should be able to register it in your own name online.

Q: Can we buy a temporary REDcard while we still have a Bluebird or Serve account?

Yes

Q: Can we register our temporary REDcard online while we still have a Bluebird or Serve account?

No.  You will have to cancel your Bluebird or Serve account first.  Here’s how: How to cancel Bluebird online.

Q: Can we reload Serve at Target?

Not yet.
My guess is that they’ll eventually make it possible to reload Serve at Target, but for now you cannot.  Bluebird is affiliated with Walmart so it will never be loadable at their rival Target.

Q: Can REDcard be enrolled in Amex Sync promos like Serve?

No.  I tried and the system said “Unfortunately, the Card you entered is not eligible.”

Questions not yet answered

Is the Target Amex card going away? 

My guess is that they’ll stop selling these old prepaid cards at Target or may have already stopped, but that they’ll let us continue using the cards we already have.

Read more about REDbird:



Also:


About Greg The Frequent Miler

Greg is the owner, founder, and primary author of the Frequent Miler. He earns millions of points and miles each year, mostly without flying, and dedicates this blog to teaching others how to do the same.

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154 Comments on "The Target Prepaid REDcard"

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jediwho
Guest

Does it mean the Amex for Target did not do as well as Amex and Target had hoped for?

Seth
Guest

Is there a way to liquidate the temp card without registering it? Can you purchase more than one temp card?

Brian
Guest

‘in addition to all of the load options available to Bluebird users’

I currently load my BB through WalMart, earning 300k points per year. Yes, I pay for these points. But for me a ton of cheap points is worth more than some free ones. Is THIS load option available? Or is BB still the only one allowing it?

dean
Guest

I believe you mean 250k…as that is the limit per card w/ the route you’re most likely using….or you’ll be surprised w/ loads for 2 of your months…

Brian
Guest

I have two Ink’s so am not limited by the 50k limit. So, 300k per year (actually more when you take taxes and fees into account)

PhatMiles
Guest

“*Card not usable at ATMs in Target stores in Kansas City, MO.” They knew MMS lives in that area. lmao.

dean
Guest

or that is where some skimming or ATM fraud occurred. There’s an explainable reason why one city doesn’t seem to work, and not the whole state….

Lauren
Guest
I cashier part time at Target and our store rolled out this opportunity Sunday. We don’t have all the information yet either. I’m left wondering if this is builds your credit as a secured credit card or is the purpose of the social security number is for legal/liability as the card offers protection. It’s easy availability seems as its just an advanced gift card with the possible option for exclusive benefits with Target. Also, each state will have different laws on how much denaro one can put on gift cards. Perhaps this is an exception, but I haven’t been informed… Read more »
Grant
Guest

Looks like Target has not rolled out the new cards on the west coast (CA/OR/WA) yet. Hopefully that happens soon. I currently have a Serve Card, but I will try to sign up for a Target Prepaid RedCard. If that doesn’t work, I may try to call Target and have them convert my AMEX for Target into a Target Prepaid RedCard. Worth a shot I guess…

Eric
Guest

I would love it if you could convert an AFT card to the Redbird but I highly doubt it since the system has to check your SSN for any existing BB/Serve account. I would be curious if someone can try that conversion. Since being in So Cal the Redbird card isn’t available yet for sale.

DonT
Guest

If cashiers at Target require your name on the debit card, do Targets have the equivalent of Kates at Walmart?

MickiSue
Guest

Well, Shoot.

I live in Targetland, in fact, less than two miles from the second Target ever built. And NO TARGETS in MN are currently carrying the new card.

Dang it.

El Turk
Guest

So, FM, if I am reading this correctly, for people who live in places like NYC–where stores like Wal-Mart and Target are annoying/impossible to get to, and have inconsistent policies–SoftServe( formerly Serve|ISIS) still wins over RedBird and BlueBird since you can load online via CC?

HikerT
Guest

If bluebird and serve are on the same platform it might just be possible that you can also load them at Target. Anyone try?

Grant
Guest

I’m hoping it is possible as well. I would prefer going to Target over Walmart, all things being equal 🙂

Eric
Guest
Yall need to relax on asking if the AFT card is going away. Right now the prepaid Redcard is only available in a few select states as trial run. My guess is the AFT card will be stocked in Target stores as long as the prepaid Redcard is not available nationwide. I would say though that if you were on the fence about the AFT card then its probably a good time to snatch up the AFT cards and get permanent cards now even if you plan on barely using it since it doesn’t have a monthly fee before the… Read more »
Wise2u
Guest

@El Turk I like the Redbird name for this product, to keep confusion low I think this new nickname should be adopted for this new product. For now BB serves my needs, but new options can be good, time will tell.

Greg
Guest

I am not sure if the Target Amex prepaid Redcard can be used for Cash on / Cash off. I think that might be against the terms of the card.

It would be within their rights to lock and hold your funds for months if they wish. I would caution against using a card like this as it can potentially cost you more in funds being held then the value of the manufactured miles.

Kiril
Guest

i haven’t used my bluebird account since Walmart stopped accepting vanilla GC for reload. Can you please tell me what GC are still acceptable for reload. I live on nyc. Thank you

An
Guest

Went to target in CA today. They had ads out for the red card – but couldn’t purchase it as far as I could tell. Interestingly, the display for AFT was still up – but no cards were available. I asked if they had any “in back” and was able to get one. Not sure if coincidence was empty, or of AFT is on the way out.

jim
Guest

In Illinois, I can purchase gift cards at a Simon Outlet Mall and load at Walmart.You need to call Visa and get a pin for each card. I can buy $2500 per day at Simon and can only load $1000 per day at Walmart.

You can find a mall near you at Simon mall website. But- first call them and see if they sell the visa gift cards and if they accept credit cards for payment. Some do not- also do NOT BUY AMEX gift cards- they will not load- only Visa debit work. Hope that helps.

Boraxo
Guest

NO participating cards in California – basically ignoring 20% of US market.

I don’t like the SSN requirement – are they planning to run a credit check? Why is this needed for a prepaid card? Do you really trust Target with your personal info?

Eric
Guest
@Boraxo and @FrequentMiler AFAIK the SSN is required for identity purposes and also to restrict the limit to 1 per person. Why balk at needing to give your SSN for the Redbird card while Serve, BB, PP, GD (permanent card), or any other prepaid card all require you to give your SSN? Of course nobody ever wants to give their SSN or any information for any reason even if its to apply for a mortgage or car loan but that is life. The BB, Serve and REDbird card are all controlled by Amex so you are not really giving the… Read more »
tigermark
Guest

Can these cards be reloaded at a store that doesn’t sell them? Might be worth it to pick one up when I’m traveling if I can reload it at my home store.

Alt
Guest

Do I have to cancel serve to get red? You mentioned that you can only have 1.

Carole
Guest
I canceled my Bluebird account two weeks ago, planning to open a Serve account. i used my BB to manufacture spend, with new credit cards, and then used the money to pay the credit card bills, as well as taxes, utilities, car payments etc. I am not a Target shopper, but am somewhat confused as to which I should get: Redbird or Serve. Can i download credit cards at home with Serve, or just gift cards? Can I add more money to RB than Serve. I also have an Ink bold and did not know you could load BB with… Read more »
Jason
Guest

I can only find the one with $5 purchase fee

Jun
Guest

My friend bought one for me from Maryland target store. So the only thing i need is the buyer’s birthday?

Mike
Guest

I have a friend willing to pick up one of these cards for me. What’s the process? What sort of ID will be required at Target? Is there any problem with one person acquiring the card and a different person registering it in their own name?

Kalboz
Guest

There are no participating stores in California at this time.

Jason
Guest

Is it safe to assume that Amex cards won’t earn points when used to reload the Redcard?

Miguel
Guest

Can you use REDcard prepaid to purchase gift cards in Target at a 5% discount? Is it possible with the traditional Target Visa?

Ian
Guest

Hey quick question if you’re still reading this?

You mention that the funds on this card can be withdrawn from an atm. Is this like serve where you can withdraw no problem but if you do it a lot you risk being shut down? Do you have a guess on that?

Thanks!

Stephanie
Guest

I have the Amex card for target and I got this new card too. At some stores (and even registers vary within that store) I can load my Amex card with a target gift card. I went to one store where it never works no matter the register and I was able to load my new prepaid red card with a target gift card.

Stephanie
Guest

I was saying I funded both the red bird and the anex for target with a gc,which for me just let’s me cash out gc I get

Tom
Guest

Just got my RC at Target in MA. Loaded it with my MasterCard.

School admin
Guest

hi. thanks for the post.
you write that the prepaid card is eligible for the \1% take charge of education\ i didnt see that on the website and a phone rep said its not eligible for that. on what are you basing what you wrote? i run a school thats benifits from this program and getting 1% of everyones $72k would be huge!

Stephanie
Guest

Does it only work at target ATMs? I didn’t read the brochure good enough I guess

Sabata
Guest
Can you please clarify – does the Prepaid Redcard allow a user to write checks, like Bluebird does? I am trying to figure how to pay 2 of my major monthly payees, who do not participate with Amex Serve. Since Amex Bluebird provides the ability to write checks, it is a great option to meet this need. Other alternatives for writing checks include … ChargeSmart (fees are costly) and GoBank (8.95 monthly feeO. So this Target Prepaid Redcard would be the ideal solution – but it is not clear whether they offer the ability to write checks like the Bluebird… Read more »
Brett
Guest

If I load Redbird at Target with an Amex EveryDay Preferred card, would I earn membership rewards points? Or does it only work if you load with non-AmEx cards? I learned the hard way that I don’t earn AmEx points when doing the Serve online credit card load, so I thought I’d ask in advance this time around. Thanks!

Stephanie
Guest

Says ATM limit is $750 a day but no go, declined second one

John
Guest

I know that Ink Bold is not eligible to Serve money loading. May I ask does anyone know if Red Bird accepts Bold? Thank you.

Erin
Guest

I’ve got my card all set up — yay!! I’m planning to use it to pay business rent, home mortgage, condo dues, etc. A tip I have though, is that the billpay function seems to have an aversion to the word “Bank” in the payee name field. I talked with customer service and they really didn’t know why my bank wasn’t getting accepted. They said to play around with the name. Today I got it to work by taking “bank” out of the payee name. I hope my bank will still accept the check that’s on its way!

Kirby
Guest

I’m confused. In the “in-store cash funding” section you say that Target will allow in-store reloads via debit card, but not credit card. Then, in the “questions and answers” section, you say that Target does allow in-store reloads via credit card. Can you please clarify? Thanks!

Sabata
Guest

Went through the laborious process of the temp card followed by permanent card … all registered. Went to load a credit card today, and it will NOT work. It only recognizes debit cards. So perhaps you can load a Gift Card (after converting it to a debit card)… but the system recognized my card as a credit card – and the RedBird system denied it. Any instructions to correct? Off to Tar-jah I go…

Dan
Guest

Super Targets usually code as grocery… so if one has the Old Blue Cash card, and charges 5,000 each month on Redbird… wow, I don’t know if this will stay open forever with using a CC to load.

Richard
Guest
I decided to try out this vector of the game. While I am happy that I was able to load via a cc’d I’m concerned getting the money out. I am in the process of linking my bank account via the settings. Once linked is that how I will be able to directly remove funds? Also I tired to just pay out to a family member. I put in their email address and an amount nearly 24 hours ago. So far they have not received an email with funds. This is concerning me with getting the money out that I… Read more »
Richard
Guest

Ok cancel that I’m an idiot……………I got it.

MKK
Guest

Wow Wow, Thanks for the post! I just had my wife signup for serve to MS 24k and I read this! Running off to eligible Target store!

Only problem however is DL, I only have international license and I am guessing it will have some problem with target card 🙁

James Nelson
Guest

The Target Credit Card gives 5% off Target purchases. Can I reload the Target Prepaid Card with the Target Credit Card at a 5% discount, for example loading $1000 for $950? Can I then pay off the Target Credit Card with the Target Prepaid Card?

Aaron
Guest

How you come across any CCs in which the RedCard will not allow the bill pay feature?
Thanks!

SadZieN
Guest

Hi, I can’t find any participating stores in IL on the link given above. Is there any way to just order it online? Thanks

Steph
Guest

I live in Ct and we don’t have it, so I activated mine in MA. I grabbed a couple extra. My husband was able to activate it here in CT even though they don’t sell them here

Richard
Guest

While I haven’t yet taken advantage of the bill pay feature directly to the cc’d company, because I don’t fully understand it, don’t you think doing that is bad? Wouldn’t it be blatantly obvious that you’re cycling at that time, rather than paying out to someone/transferring to your bank account? That way it doesn’t look as bad?

Steve
Guest

At my local Target, there was a target card branded with Amex logo but only said loadable at $100 with a $4 purchase fee. I am confused by what *this* card is.

Brandon
Guest

Is the Online debit-card $1,000 load per month separate for the $5,000 per month load at Target?

Chris
Guest

Can anybody please report a recent successful loading with credit card including the date and State? Thanks.

latoya
Guest

does the bank charge wire transfers fees when transfering from prepaid card to checking?

Jon Jovi
Guest

I haven’t received my permanent card yet as I just bought it from Ebay. I was wondering if anyone know if Venmo recognizes this as a debit or credit card? I pay my landlord through Venmo.

Deborah
Guest

There is not participating target near me. Has anyone tried to get a temporary card in another’s name and then switch it? Can that person then get another card for themselves after it was switched. Want to ask a relative to get for me.

Chris
Guest

Yes, they could. After you register the 1st card online, the temporary card is deactivated. Your relative can get another temporary RedCard for you, activate at his/her local Target store by loading $1 and have you register online again for another family member of yours. The buyer can purchase multiple temporary RedCards on different days (1 card per day) using the same SSN. It’s the permanent RedCard holder is subject to one RedCard per each SSN and one AMEX prepaid card product, e.g. BlueBird, Serve, RedCard, per person.

Amy
Guest
I closed my BB account several days ago (I think the 19th?) and I still cannot open Serve, so I assume it would be the same for RedBird. It keeps telling me that I have the BB account open. I called customer service for Serve a couple times, and they told me the systems haven’t updated and that it will take 30 days. I can have someone get a RedBird card for me, but I worry that I won’t be able to register/load it anyway. I thought that people were able to register for the new account pretty much right… Read more »
Moiz
Guest

I live in Atlanta, GA where there is no participating target and I want to get Red Bird card. I know some stores in Birmingham, AL does, so I could drive to Birmingham (~3 hrs RT) and get myself a Red Bird card. I can then register the temporary card online and wait for the permanent card to come in the mail. However, can I then take the permanent card to any Target stores in GA for a reload using my CC? Appreciate your advise.

Lucy
Guest

Tried to load with Amex gift card at Target today, declined!!! First time I try Amex gift cards , from what i read here Amex gift cards worked for you, was there any recent changes?

Hoang
Guest

Does RedBird has send money feature like Bluebird so you can transfer money to other having BB.

Aaron
Guest

I have the RedCard and have put about $4,000 onto my Amex Gold Business Card using this method. I just noticed that there has been a “charging suspension” on my account and when I called to free this up, they told me that I needed to speak to their “review” team. I’m sure this is in regards to these target purchases. Has anyone gone through this? What kind of questions should I be prepared to answer? Any guidance would be helpful….
Thanks

Brandon
Guest

I have 3 of the Amex Gold Businesses and completed all my minimum spending at Target and haven’t gotten any suspension or problems, under what time frame did you do the $4,000 load and what were the amounts like?

I split them up strangely like so ($912.59, $890.35, $697.06 = $2,500 total)

Perhaps you kept doing even amounts ($1,000, $1,000, $500, $1,000, $1,000, etc.)?

Howard
Guest

It appears that reloading online with a SunTrust Delta debit card will not get you SkyMiles. I have done $200 reloads though the Redbird website five days each month for two months now, and no miles for any of those loads have posted to my Delta account (and I am now past the posting date for both months). So I read the terms and conditions for the SunTrust Delta Debit Card and, lo and behold, “payments for stored value cards . . . do not qualify.” If anyone has had success with this; pray tell how.

Moiz
Guest

Howard: I have been loading my Serve card with Delta Skymiles ST debit card for about a year and I have been getting miles. I also recently did a test where I loaded my serve card at WM and it earned miles too. I am really not sure why you are not getting miles posted? It could be that American Express is posting the charges as cash advance type which is causing your ST debit card to not qualify these purchases.

Howard
Guest

Interesting. You have done it successfully with Serve, and View From the Wing apparently does it successfully with Bluebird. http://viewfromthewing.boardingarea.com/2013/10/06/earn-12000-miles-per-year-free-bluebird-suntrust-delta-debit-card/ I wonder if Target codes the debit card transactions differently from WalMart so that SunTrust tags the Target ones as “payments for stored value cards” but the WM ones as normal purchases.

K
Guest

Hello,
I have a simple question. Can I order check for my rent with Redbird? I should put landlord’s name on the payee and have the check mailed to me? Is there a limit to order check such as how much I can put on a check and how many checks I can order per month? Thnak you!

Larry
Guest

Is the load $5000 per calendar month? Or per your RedCard billing cycle?

Susan
Guest

I actually don’t understand why someone would need this? You mention it in another post for hitting spending minimums (which I have a REALLY hard time given pro-travel/anti-consumerism lifestyle). How does using this system help?

Adam
Guest

Hey, can you still pay for the initial purchase of the card or is that gone now too?

Adam
Guest

Sorry, meant pay initial purchase with a credit card!

LACLONGQUAN50
Guest

WOW.

GLAD TO READ THAT.
I AM WAY BEHIND ALL THE GOOD INFO.

THANKS A LOT.

Brittany
Guest

Is there anyway that I can get/use RedBird if my area doesn’t have it? Can I order it online and still reload it at a location that doesn’t sell it?