Amex makes it official: REDbird loads via cash or debit only. And, questions clarified.

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Note: As of 10/13/15 the Target REDcard (REDbird) can only be loaded with cash in-store at Target. Gift cards and/or debit cards no longer work to load REDcard. For more info, see: Here is the REDbird memo, “Cash is the only tender guests can use”

UPDATE 6/12/2015 2:11 PM: Added Targeted Prepaid REDcard memo to post and changed post title

In early May, Target stores received memos declaring that it would no longer be possible for people to pay for Target Prepaid REDcard (AKA REDbird) reloads with credit cards.  This was big (and disappointing, but not unexpected) news at the time.  Somewhat lost in the hubbub was the fact that those same changes applied to the older Amex for Target prepaid card.  I reported my experience with that card at the bottom of this post: REDbird PM (post memo) Answers.

REDbird_answers

Now, while Amex has remained silent about REDbird Amex has sent emails to both REDbird and Amex for Target cardholders to let them know about the changes.  Here is the email I received for Amex for Target:

We wanted to let you know that you will no longer be able to load your American Express® Target Card at Target stores with a Target GiftCard or a non-Target branded credit card. You can continue to load your card with cash or debit at Target stores.

You can also add money to your American Express® Target Card online through direct deposit or transfer from your linked debit or bank account.

For more information on American Express® Target Card, click here.

And, the REDbird email was almost identical:

We wanted to let you know that you will no longer be able to load your Target Prepaid REDCard® by American Express at Target stores with a Target GiftCard or a non-Target branded credit card. You can continue to load your card with cash or debit at Target stores.

You can also add money to your Target Prepaid REDcard® by American Express online through direct deposit or transfer from your linked debit or bank account.

For more information about your Target Prepaid REDcard® by American Express, click here.

While nothing in the above email comes as a surprise (except for the fact that the “click here” link on the Amex for Target email takes you to the REDcard page), I find the email interesting for two reasons:

1. In-store debit loads are official

As I’ve written about before, a few Target stores have made up their own rules about what options people have for reloading REDbird and Amex for Target.  This email makes it clear that debit loads are allowed.  I hope that this information will help to make debit loads available at all Target stores.  That said, the memo says nothing about debit gift cards. I’m sure that some stores will continue to disallow those.  Fortunately, debit gift cards still work at most (but not all) Target stores.

2. We now know what Target means by “third party credit cards”

The infamous memo (found here) that banned credit card loads said, in part:

…third party credit cards will not be accepted for reloading prepaid cards

In a follow up post, I asked:

  1. The memo specifically said that no 3rd party credit cards would be accepted.  How about 1st party credit cards?  Will they work?  What are they?  Target cards?  Amex cards?  If Amex cards work, will they earn rewards?

Then, I tested various options and reported back.  I wrote:

No “1st party” credit cards work either

I, and others, have tried paying with Target branded credit cards and/or prepaid cards, Amex credit cards, Amex prepaid cards (e.g. Amex for Target), and Amex gift cards. No luck.

I don’t have a Target branded credit card.  I personally tested with a Target branded prepaid card and found that it didn’t work for reloading REDbird.  The new email I received makes it clear what 3rd party credit cards is supposed to mean. They changed the language to:

a non-Target branded credit card

The implication here is that a Target branded credit card should work to reload REDbird and Amex for Target.  That said, I’m not sure why anyone would care.  As far as I know, Target branded credit cards do not earn rewards.

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