A glimmer of hope for REDbird? No, not really.

American Express sent emails to Serve, REDcard, and Bluebird cardholders today to let them know that they will be taking away the ability to link a new bank account to fund your card.  My response was a shrug.  Who would want to fund their account that way, anyway?

However, several REDbird cardholders sent me copies of their emails which contained an interesting nugget.  The email said (bolding is mine) “You can continue to easily add money through Direct Deposit, Debit Card, and Cash Reloads at any U.S. Target store.”

That makes it sound as if debit loads at Target are allowed.  If that was true, we would be back in business with the old perpetual point machine: use credit card to buy debit gift cards; use debit gift cards to load REDbird; and then use REDbird to pay credit card bills.

REDbird Hope

Unfortunately, I do not read it that way.

“Direct deposit” is not something that is done at Target.  So, I believe that the commas are particularly important here.  I believe that the email is simply saying that you can add money through each of the following methods:

  • Direct deposit
  • Debit Card (meaning online debit loads with a real bank debit card, not a gift card)
  • Cash Reloads at Target

Whether or not Target allows debit as a means for paying for “Cash Reloads” (as they used to) is up to Target.  And, at this point I don’t see any reason to believe that Target will change its mind.

Here’s the email:

REDbird REDcard

Hello XXXXX,
We want to let you know about some changes to the terms and conditions of your Prepaid REDcard® by American Express Account:

  • Funding & Transfers
    As of October 28, you will not be able to link a new bank account to your Prepaid REDcard Account to add money. However, you will still be able to transfer money out of your Prepaid REDcard Account to a bank account.
    If you currently have a linked bank account, nothing will change – you’ll still be able to add money from that account.
    You can continue to easily add money through Direct Deposit, Debit Card, and Cash Reloads at any U.S. Target store.1
  • Early Direct Deposit
    Now you can get access to your money up to two days faster* with Direct Deposit. You can automatically add all or part of your paycheck, government benefits and federal tax refunds to your Prepaid REDcard Account.

You can also review these changes in the Consumer User Agreement here.

Thanks,
The Prepaid REDcard® by American Express Team

Customer Service
Privacy Statement

1 Reloads are not currently available at Target stores in AR and NC.

*Faster access compared to standard payday electronic deposit and subject to your employer submitting paycheck information to the bank before payday. Your employer may not submit paycheck information early

We kindly ask you not to reply to this e-mail but instead contact us via Customer Service.

See the Prepaid REDcard User Agreement for complete Prepaid REDcard terms and conditions.

Prepaid REDcard by American Express is issued by American Express Travel Related Services Company, Inc., 200 Vesey Street, New York, NY 10285, licensed to engage in the transmission of money by the New York Department of Finance and other state money transmitter regulators. Click here for information about addressing complaints regarding our money services business, lists of our money services licenses and other disclosures.
© 2015 American Express Travel Related Services Company, Inc. All rights reserved. Target and the Bullseye Design are trademarks of Target Brands, Inc.

Last updated on March 31st, 2019

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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Tony
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Tony

Have you given it a try?

SDO
Guest
SDO

Wish this were true, but that would be wishful thinking.

Rich
Guest
Rich

If you go on the website, it seems like there’s now a way to link debit card online. It says card must be in your name

HokiE36
Guest
HokiE36

i believe it was there long time ago. I added $1K per month usingmy PPDB before PayPal shut me down

dan
Guest
dan

aren’t GCs having name on the debit cards like those from giftcards.com? will adding $ that way work?

HokiE36
Guest
HokiE36

Received a nearly identical email from SoftServe just now.

will s
Guest
will s

been a nasty day in ms land….. this on top of the gutting of the Avios sweet spot.

About your shrug re. the linking of bank accounts (now ended going forward), you skip over what at times is a very useful feature — not to fund serve, but to be able to transfer cash from Serve to one’s linked bank account. Alas, that transfer process of late has become quite slow, often taking five days to a week to complete. (hardly an emergency reserve/ go-to option)

Interesting that they shut down this option (for adding new bank accounts) going forward, effective before the announcement.

Dee
Guest
Dee

I got a similar email for my Serve acct. The restriction is just for adding money from a bank account.

From the email I got:
“As of October 28, you will not be able to link a new bank account to your Serve Account to add money. However, you will still be able to transfer money out of your Serve Account to a bank account. “

Dave
Guest
Dave

Your like an addict. Even now that it’s dead you can’t stop blogging about it.

SDO
Guest
SDO

Aren’t we all like addicts in some way?

Clickbait
Guest
Clickbait

Gary is that you?
Nothing like good old clickbait to generate pageviews.

Carl
Guest
Carl

I think this is far more ominous than you either realize or state. You’re smart so I am sure you can see that what with the basically SAME letter going to red Bird and serve and Softserve, etc, that soon ALL of those cards will act the same. That includes no longer being able to load from GCs like now with the Redbird.

I suspect that within a few months the whole GC thing will be changing a lot and not for our benefit, either.

Not to mention the recent reselling shutdowns to many people from the eBay folks. Quick thinking and being able to adapt will help us, but also, personally, I think a lot too many people blat too much stuff around in a sensationalistic manner and that does not help things.

If any of us think that these companies do not know a lot of what we do out here in the hobby, then I suspect we are badly mistaken. As long as they make money, even a bit, they will turn a blind eye, but as with the recent eBay thing, once it costs them, the hammer will come down.

So, personally, I won’t be holding onto any GCs but when I get them, turn them around immediately.

SDO
Guest
SDO

What recent eBay reselling thing are you referring to?

Carl
Guest
Carl

Use the google. That will always work better for you than waiting for a reply. Several well know bloggers who are resellers as well as a lot of other people just got emails from eBay telling them to cool their jets as far as buying daily deals and such and that they need to not do so as much because they are costing eBay money. Oren’s Moneysaver is one such.

AB
Guest
AB

Has anyone given this a shot today?

fivegirls
Guest
fivegirls

I just got the same email for my husbands redbird, and an identical one for my bluebird. I hope this doesn’t mean that soon we won’t be able to load bb either!

PhatMiles
Guest
PhatMiles

Oh no. Cancelled the RedBird and signed up for Serve One VIP just now. Literally less than 5 minutes.

Jeremy
Guest
Jeremy

It (debit card )doesn’t works just tried it at target store

billy d
Guest
billy d

pretty weak sauce for writing a blog post about, IMO. of course it doesn’t work.

ozzie
Guest
ozzie

will go try loading after work…..hopefully it will be working (cross finger xxx)

ozzie
Guest
ozzie

+

Greg
Guest
Greg

Sub

Sean
Guest
Sean

I must have missed the memo. At what point did Target stop accepting debit card reloads (does this include VGC??) It’s been about a month since the last time I did it…

I never got an email saying you couldn’t do debit card loads in-store anymore, either. So where is that coming from?

Steve
Guest
Steve

Canceled 3 Redbirds weeks ago. I’m over it.

Radster
Guest
Radster

The email sent to Bluebird is almost identical, as such, it’s possible (if not likely) that the text referring to debit card loads is just an artifact from the BB email they used it as a template…. move on, nothing to see here.

Radster
Guest
Radster

Edited: The email sent to Bluebird card holders is almost identical, as such, it’s also possible that the text referring to debit card loads is just an artifact from the BB email text which they used as a template…. i.e., ‘move on, nothing to see here’.

Dave
Guest
Dave

Anyone with half a mind can tell they mean the online debit card loading option. Why do I bother commenting.

Ken
Guest
Ken

@Dave – Maybe you’re a masochist?

Earlybird
Guest
Earlybird

I tried at two Target locations(6pm CST), it did NOT work

Dave
Guest
Dave

Maybe try one more just to be safe.

John
Guest
John

I tried to load yesterday with my GC and it did not work. I thought here was something wrong at that store. I then tried again today at a different store and it didn’t work either so then I tried to load with my bank debit card and it still didn’t work. I then called Target and they confirmed Target no longer allows debit loads at the store. Now I came to read all these comments and they confirm it. So pretty much this is dead now. Even if you can buy customized GC online with your name…so that you can actually link them to your account online, you are only able to load $1000 per month so this is useless for MS.

Kiki
Guest
Kiki

What about the $1k in Citibank debit card that’s required to get the 5K American Air or 50KThank You points from their checking account? Would that work?

NoonRadar
Guest

Target was the one killing debit loads at Target, just a few days ago, so of course this wouldn’t change again so soon, and in the infinitely small chance that it would change, this change wouldn’t be announced by Amex (since Target killed it, not Amex), or at all.

On another Redbird note, has anyone tried to load Redbird with a money order or check since Oct 12th? What about before October 12th?

Juno
Guest
Juno

Greg,
Just tried to load my BB with VGC from Staples at a walmart.. The cashier wanted to know what i was loading with and flat out, and rather rudely, said that no GCs are allowed. Only debit cards with name imprinted from a real bank.

Adam
Guest
Adam

Nothing to do with Target but I tried loading my One Vip Serve at cvs yesterday and the cashier said the register was saying cash only. Anyone else have this issue? Is it easier to have the cashiers at wal mart do it?

NoonRadar
Guest

That is because you can’t load Serve with pin debit cards anywhere but Walmart or Family Dollar.

Next time I suggest you read up a bit more on each MS venue you intend to utilize, before you decide to go swiping places 🙂

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