REDbird PM (post memo) Questions

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”

The Target Prepaid REDcard, also known as REDbird, has been an amazingly awesome tool for manufacturing spend.  For the past 6 months, we have been able to load the card in-store and pay with a credit card, for free.  Then, we could withdraw the cash for free or pay bills for free (including paying the credit card bill that was used to load REDbird).  Along the way we would earn credit card rewards, meet minimum spend requirements for new signup bonuses, etc.  It was a very rewarding card.

Then came the memo.

Yesterday, news broke about a memo that was sent to Target stores stating that credit cards would no longer be accepted for prepaid card reloads.  See: Confirmed: REDbird credit card loads will not be allowed as of May 6, 2015.  I, and many others, rushed out to load our REDcards — most likely for the last time via credit card.

What’s left?

Do any good uses for REDbird remain besides the nifty 5% discount at Target?  Today, we’ll get answers.

REDbird PM

Here are the questions that I hope to learn the answers to today:

  1. Is the credit card ban in effect in all Target stores?
  2. Is the new policy hard coded into the register or left to the cashier to enforce?
  3. 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?
  4. Can debit cards be used as payment?
  5. Can Visa/MasterCard gift cards be used for payment?  If so, which ones?

Finding answers

I’m looking forward to hearing from readers about their experiences today, both good and bad.  And, you can bet that I’ll be out  seeking answers as well.  See you at Target!

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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RedBird, Credit Cards, StarWarsDay, @AmericanAir's 787, Mortgages, Interviewing @GLeff, and Airline Wifi – Tagging MilesAmex makes it official: REDbird loads via cash or debit only. And, questions clarified. - The Frequent MilerCarlSophieBrian Recent comment authors

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Johnny
Guest
Johnny

Thanks for all of your great info. If REDbird is done, what is the next best place to manufacture spend?

Aaron
Guest
Aaron

Can I spoon feed anything else to you while we’re at it?

Sophie
Guest
Sophie

Why?….Why bother?…being an a** gets you nowhere.

Johnnny JOker
Guest
Johnnny JOker

Do you expect to get spoon feeding from your mama. Figure out yourself on the MS and if its too difficult- take a stroll and quit this game

Nick H
Guest
Nick H

Or instead of being jerks, you could explain how to find the information and why it isn’t publicized… Nah, lets be anonymous jerks, it’s much more helpful.

Entertained by Jerks
Guest
Entertained by Jerks

Aaron and Joker…It must be difficult to go through life holding so much information in your head. I’m sure it makes you feel smug and superior to blow off the little silly people who know so much less than you. Unless you were born with all the wisdom of MS, you were each a beginner in this game at some point and probably, like most of us, used forums such as this one – and the help of non-jerk strangers- to get better and more knowledgable. I imagine most of us using RB had the same “Oh darn, now what” thought when we first saw this news. Wouldn’t be nice if you either offered some useful guidance to the original question or just kept quiet?

Carl
Guest
Carl

Perhaps what their in-eloquent reply failed to communicate was this:

This hobby (cc apps, MS, award travel etc) is a complicated process. Some previously successful things have been shut down due to individuals participating because they shouldn’t have been (didn’t understand, didn’t have the right polite demeanor etc).

It demonstrates a certain hubris to come on to this thread as Redbird is being shut down and essentially demand new MS techniques.

Individuals that demonstrate they have put time in to read and research and understand the issues and nuisances are individuals who are unlikely to accelerate shutdown of techniques. Individuals who come on a thread like this and immediately demand a replacement are not those individuals.

Additionally, there are successful techniques that are only successful with low volumes of people doing them. Once the volumes increase, they are no longer remain.

Bob
Guest
Bob

Hope you will be doing a post on best manufactured spend strategies post-redcard.
Btw I frequent go through your affiliate clicks since your posts are the most objective and honest out of all the bloggers!

Janet
Guest
Janet

Yesterday when I spoke with the customer service person at Target she said that they had experienced too much fraud with credit card loads to redbird. Target apparently lots of calls saying they didn’t use their credit card to load the prepaid card. Also they were having a problem with international credit cards. I say a sad farewell to such a great way to meet minimum spend.

Daniel
Guest
Daniel

I’m still manufacturing spending with Simon Mall gift cards. Looks Like Ill have to get another Bluebird account back again. This sucks.

Terrance
Guest
Terrance

I wish people wouldn’t abuse manufactured spend. Greed, stupidity, and impatience is going to ruin it for those of us wanting the marathon vs. the sprint.

Andrew
Guest
Andrew

+1 Terrance

What’s amazing to me is all the idiots on FT that brag about MSing 40k per month and other ridiculous numbers like that, and then those same people have the nerve to blame the bloggers for “ruining manufactured spend” by talking about it publicly.

Jim
Guest
Jim

40K a month? Lol. Thats nothing

Carl C
Guest
Carl C

I’ve done 45k so far this month and it is only 5/6 … I’m on a roll!

m
Guest
m

All of that was MS or legitimate spending?

AZTravelGuy
Guest
AZTravelGuy

Bragging is pointless. There is ALWAYS someone who is doing more / has more / is better / et al than you.

Jsifusl
Guest
Jsifusl

Maybe you; I’ve done the most.

JL
Guest
JL

My brief review of the Serve card shows that one can load up to $1,000 it via the FIA AMEX and get 2% back if you put those funds into a Fidelity brokerage account. I plan to get 3 Serve cards, load each with $1,000 and pay my mortgage each month and still get 2% back. I can also load the cards online so no more in-store loads. All in all, the possible demise of the Redbird will actually work out for me in a better way.

Steve
Guest
Kirk Washburn
Guest
Kirk Washburn

Wouldn’t 3rd party credit cards be a card that is in someone else’s name? If they were allowing someone to load a redbird using a card in someone else’s name, that would certainly lead to fraud.

ShlockDoc
Guest
ShlockDoc

Has nothing to do with name. They mean third party to target and the customer such as Chase or Amex

ShlockDoc
Guest
ShlockDoc

Just loaded at target. Bad news and good news. Credit cards are no longer accepted but debit cards are. On the screen that used to say No Target Gift Cards now says No Target Gift Cards or Third Party credit cards. She tried for me any way and it wouldn’t accept the CC. But VGC with PIN worked fine.

ShlockDoc
Guest
ShlockDoc

To clarify, even though there was the no third party cards message on screen I attempted with an Amex and it failed. A Vanilla Visa then succeeded.

Gene
Guest
Gene

What state is this Target store in?

Steve
Guest
Steve

United States

Dan @ PointsWithACrew
Guest

My experience mirrors SchlockDoc.

http://www.pointswithacrew.com/heres-how-i-loaded-my-redbird-today/

I tried an Amex Every Day card and a Chase Ink card – both did not work, hardcoded at the register. The cashier didn’t have a problem with it – there was no reference to any ” memo”, but the system would not allow it.

“$0 able to be loaded for this tender type”

I did try a Vanilla Visa that I got from OD and that worked as a debit card to load $200 (twice)

RP
Guest
RP

Just came back from Target. Tried loading $500 with cc, but the register said $0 can be applied with this type of payment. So, it’s hard coded. They had no clue why it would not work, and no idea about memo.

Gene
Guest
Gene

What state is this Target store in?

RP
Guest
RP

Michigan

chrischdyle
Guest
chrischdyle

Exact same thing happened to me in Virginia

Alex
Guest
Alex

VGC works fine.

Daniel
Guest
Daniel

No credit card loads in Columbus Ohio…I was able to load VGC with PIN

Mike
Guest
Mike

Thank for the info. I was just going to head to Target. And I do not have any VGCs left. Loaded them all into Serve.

trackback

[…] Collateral damage seems evident at some stores: http://frequentmiler.boardingarea.co…emo-questions/ Haven't tried yet personally but sad to […]

Sophie
Guest
Sophie

What about Amex gift cards?

Jon
Guest
Jon

Great! I just purchased 2 $2000 amex gift cards yesterday. Any suggestions as to how I can upload them?

Ellen
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Ellen

You can no longer load RBs with AGCs because most, if not all Target registers are hardcoded for cash and debit. Since AGCs don’t have PIN, they will run as credit and will be rejected. Many are saying they tried VGCs with PIN and they worked!

Geoff
Guest
Geoff

@Ellen, I think AMEX allows a user to call and “register” a gift card AND assign a PIN to it.
Might give that a go and see if the use of a PIN unlocks register.

Steve
Guest
Steve

No they do not. One of their reasons is to prevent you from getting cash out of an ATM or from a register. If this was even an option every manufactured spender would be abusing this like crazy. https://www.americanexpress.com/us/content/prepaid/gift-cards/terms-and-conditions.html

Bad news
Guest
Bad news

Amex doesn’t even have a debit network, so under no circumstances is this possible.

Andy
Guest
Andy

Loaded late last night in Northern, VA without a problem. Went back this morning and the registers were hard coded to prevent CC loads. I tried 2 separate registers with separate reps. The error says, “Item cannot be paid with target gift card or third-party credit card”

Brian
Guest
Brian

No visa or amex credit card loads working this am in Cincinnati, Ohio. Store Employees have not received memo yet. They called Target customer service and they did not have the memo yet. Appears hard coded at register. “0 able to be loaded……….”

Dan @ PointsWithACrew
Guest

Brian – which Target did you go to? I went to the Blue Ash one

Brian
Guest
Brian

At the Ridge store in Oakley

Mariana
Guest
Mariana

Another question to add to your list, whether the daily limit was affected or not? for those who were successful in loading redbird with visa gift cards, let us know how much you loaded. I hope it’s the same limit as before, $2500 per day.

TJ
Guest
TJ

I’ve been doing OV VGCs for months. Same $2500 limit.

Sophie
Guest
Sophie

How do you get past all the fees?

mike
Guest
mike

Probably eats all the fees.

Ben
Guest
Ben

Gainesville, FL hard coded to not allow credit cards

Lantean
Guest
Lantean

what about reward cards we get for various rebates? those are theoretically debit cards, no? the visa ones for sure… not certain about the Amex cards.

Jim
Guest
Jim

Credit card loads and VGC loads not working in East Texas as of this morning. Last CC load was last night. VGC have not worked since day 1.

Raja
Guest
Raja

VGC always worked but no one used it since CC load was so easy. I loaded VGC two weeks ago and had no issue.

Matt B
Guest
Matt B

DFW TX is out of commission as well. Same issue others report.

NotMe
Guest
NotMe

What’s a Chase Sapphire Preferred?

Geoff
Guest
Geoff

No offense, but really?

Laura R
Guest

LOL…that seriously just made me spit out my coffee

Peter
Guest
Peter

@NotMe, I’m still trying to figure that out myself…so far this is what I’ve found:

Chase Sapphire Preferred

Sophie
Guest
Sophie

It’s okay..I was a newbie once too 🙂
It’s a credit card from Chase.

Bill
Guest
Bill

It’s the name of a yet another strange British sport where the object is to “chase after your favorite gem stone”, hence the name.

Lantean
Guest
Lantean

it’s a gem stone that Chase prefers to celebrate their birthday with.

Mary
Guest
Mary

Cc loads not working in Houston but $200 VGC with pin worked fine.

Charles McCool
Guest

Just returned from attempt to load REDbird at local (Northern Virginia) Target. Registers are hard coded to not accept credit cards. I did not have debit cards to try.

Bill U
Guest
Bill U

Just tried with 2 different CC’s. Unable to load. The cashiers had no clue as to why. Will try with a visa gift card this afternoon.

luchex
Guest
luchex

Any news about Amex for Target? Is it hardcoded for debit too?

mike
Guest
mike

In speaking with the Target rep, it appears Target will no longer accept credit cards to off a target account either. So Target is refusing to accept third party credit cards across the board

M
Guest
M

California appears to be largely unaffected, except for checking a license. Didn’t confirm myself but heard from 3 people already. Alameda is hardcoded not to accept CC but other stores have worked so far.

Aasim
Guest
Aasim

false. just tried it at target san jose… hard coded to not accept cc.

Gandalf
Guest
Gandalf

FYI I tried loading the Redbird with ToysRus gift card and it didn’t work. PPBDC didn’t work either. But I was able to unload Amex serve cash balance to Redbird.

Barb
Guest
Barb

what is the benefit of draining balance from amex Serve to RB when you can withdraw Serve account for free at MoneyPass atms? unless there’s something I missed?

Gandalf
Guest
Gandalf

To take advantage of amex offer loaded on my serve “$10 on gift card purchase >200$”. Redbird loads show up as gift card purchase on amex serve which earns $10.

al613
Guest
al613

ToysRus gift card? LOL. Try Starbucks Gift card

trackback

[…] morning reports have been coming in from across the country that credit card loads are not working. Some people report the register […]

seth
Guest
seth

Central VA having same experience as everyone else. Tried Citi CC load of $100 and got message about $0 being able to be loaded. Then I loaded $300 doing split tender of $100 each on VGCs. I did that twice.

seth
Guest
seth

People are saying it is hard coded against CCs, but isn’t it more accurate to say it is hard coded against the CCs we have tried? The message that says $0 able to be loaded with this card tells me that the $0 is some variable that gets checked and a different number pops up depending on what checks the card passes. Additionally, when I tried my CC, the POS still gave me the same screen as always where it showed my load amount in a yellow box and asked for a signature. Why would the system even go to that screen if there was block on all CCs?

I’m not saying there is hope or even anything useful here, but it seems like there must be some type of CC that can be loaded or the 3rd party message, $0 text, and signature screen wouldn’t make sense.

Nate
Guest

Interesting. I’m hoping to get my new ccards in the mail today so I can try it out here in Minneapolis…I will report back. I was able to load $2500 last night.

Mike
Guest
Mike

How many VGCs can one load w/ split tender? Thanks!

seth
Guest
seth

I did 10 splits for a total of $1,000 last night. I only had 3 different cards today, but I doubt the number of splits you can do is changed since yesterday. Based on that experience, my guess is at least 10.

Jsifusl
Guest
Jsifusl

Subscribed! Congratulations!

trackback

[…] This morning, I posed a number of questions about the new policy: […]

Gisele
Guest
Gisele

I successfully loaded my Redbird with a Visa Buxx card, which makes sense since it’s a debit card. And as everyone is reporting, I wasn’t able to load my redbird with a cc.

I also tried to load my AFT with a cc and it didn’t work. The register is hard coded to accept only the $3 fee (out of the usual $1003 when loading 1K). However, I think that AFT would accept a debit card, unfortunately I didn’t have one on me to try.

Rick
Guest
Rick

Redcard is dead. Loaded $2500 last night, but today is a no go. In Georgia. Oh well, had a good 2 months (better than nothing).
You have probably answered this question a thousand times, but here it goes – I keep seeing posts about loading the Redcard with gift cards. My sole purpose of this Redcard was to get frequent flyer miles (loading up my Redcard with my credit card). So if I buy gift cards with my Chase Ink cc, will that work? Will Chase give me points for buying gift cards? Is it still worth it if you have to pay a fee for the gift cards? Thanks in advance 🙂 🙂

Mariana
Guest
Mariana

Rick, Vanilla Visa gift cards that have the word Debit would work to reload your Amex RedCard at Target. They do have a fee but you have to figure out if for you it makes sense to buy and load. If you are getting more than one point per dollar spent, it might be worth it. Otherwise, use it to meet minimum spend requirements. I am not a heavy MS (manufacture spender) so for me Amex Redbird will be used to meet minimum spend requirements from credit card applications.

trackback

[…] In a follow up post, I asked: […]

trackback

[…] broke the story, FrequentMiler, the undisputed authority on RedBirds Confirmed, then offered post-memo questions, and answered them. Cliff notes: RedBird is pretty much BlueBird, but you go to […]