REDbird technical issues

Note: As of October 13, 2015, 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”

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?

REDbird, the new Target Prepaid REDcard, is awesome.  In addition to offering free shipping and 5% off all Target purchases, it allows free credit card reloads at Target and free bill pay (see “REDcard changes everything”).  So, yes, it is awesome, but only if you manage to get a working permanent card.

REDbird_tech_issues

Unfortunately, REDbird has been plagued with technical issues from the start.  Here are some issues people have been dealing with:

Failed activation

In order to get REDbird, you have to first buy a temporary card at a participating Target store (to find participating stores, please see: “How to find REDbird”).  Unfortunately, many people have encountered errors at the register when trying to buy these cards.  Worse, many have bought cards that were somehow improperly activated.  For some reason this issue seems to be particularly prevalent in North Carolina, but there have been scattered reports of this issue in many places.

If this happens to you, you can call the REDcard resolution center for help:

(800) 438-6468

Failed registration

Once you buy a REDbird temporary card, you still need to register it online in order to get a permanent card (this is despite the fact that they’ve already taken all of your personal information in-store).  Often, online registration fails.  Here are some of the reasons I’m aware of (I’m sure there are others):

  1. You have an open Amex Bluebird or Serve account.  REDbird runs on the same platform as Bluebird and Serve.  As such, each person is allowed only one.  So, be sure to close your other account first!  See: How to cancel Bluebird online.
  2. Your identity is in question.   If Amex doesn’t believe that you are who you say you are (which can happen if you input an address that is different than one found in public records), you’ll have to submit proof of identity and other documents to open your account.
  3. You have an application pending review.  If an earlier attempt to register the card failed and you opened a case with their tech support team, then future attempts to register the card will fail.
  4. I’m sure there are many other issues.  Please help me to catalog these by commenting below.

Here’s my story.  After buying a temporary card for myself, I wanted to test whether it was really necessary to close my Serve card.  So, I tried registering while my Serve card was still open.  Unsurprisingly, I received an error message telling me that I had an open Serve account.  I then closed my Serve account online (go to Profile and scroll to the bottom to find the option to close your account).  When I tried again I was then told that I had an open Bluebird account!  So, I called the number on the back of the card and filed a support issue.  Then I remembered that after closing my old Bluebird account a while ago to get my Serve card, I was still able to log into that old account.  So, I logged in to my closed Bluebird account and really closed it by following the steps here: How to cancel Bluebird online.  I then tried to register REDbird again.  This time, I was told no, sorry, you have an “application pending review”.  Swell.

Redbird_registration_error

Since that happened, I’ve called support many times.  Each time I was told that there are known issues with registration and that they are working on it.  Last Sunday I was told that it would definitely be fixed within 24 hours (it wasn’t).  Then, Wednesday I was told it would definitely be fixed by Thursday night and so I should try registering again on Friday.  I tried.  No luck.  Same error message.

It will get better

Both Bluebird and Serve experienced similar growing pains when they were new and when significant new features were added.  I’m sure that Amex will get REDcard flying relatively smoothly soon.  And, I’m sure that part of the reason Target hasn’t rolled this out nationwide yet was to iron out many of these wrinkles first.

Two out of three ain’t bad

To be clear, not everyone experiences problems with REDbird.  I’ve registered cards for both my wife and my niece so far without any problems at all.  The fact that I’m still struggling with my own card is unfortunate, but unsurprising.

Read more about REDbird:



Also:


Last updated on March 31st, 2019

About Greg The Frequent Miler

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Marc
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Marc

I purchased a temp card last night in MD with a DC driver’s license and just successfully registered it to my wife, immediately after closing her BB.

There was a slight delay (no more than a few mins) in getting the verification email, but aside from that, all worked smoothly.

Gene
Guest
Gene

@frequentmiler
interesting.
-i purchased a redbird yesterday using my ID. loaded 500 onto it in-store, at time of purchase (should i have waited to load until after activation?)
-i will register the redbird to my wife. she currently has serve.
-no way to use redbird billpay to liquidate the 500 until serve cancelled & redbird activated?
thanks!

MN
Guest
MN

Just talked to the REDCard people at the number listed in this post. I was told that there is a known glitch with activating the cards, and that it is expected to be resolved today with the funds available. She even offered to call me when my card is ready!

Anthony
Guest
Anthony

Purchased in MA and registered with no problem. Now I’m patiently waiting for my card to come in the mail!

Bob
Guest
Bob

I’ve been unable to activate a card bought in MA last weekend. I called the number listed in your post today (thanks for that!). They indicated it should be fixed today (they previously said yesterday). The agent did mention that they’re going through a database of problematic cards. The common thread she said seemed to be if the person who purchased the card has or had a Serve or Bluebird account.

Hopefully it’ll get squared away. But the in-store purchase/activation scheme on this one seems goofy even if they get it working correctly.

Andrew
Guest
Andrew

If you register a card for your wife, can you then load it at the store without her?

Gene
Guest
Gene

im also trying figure this out. does the clerk look at the redbird card?

Greg
Guest
Greg

I talked to the people at target red card. They said the card is not intended to be used to cash on/ cash off and that the account could be locked as they look for fraudulent use.

What would you do if the card gets frozen.

Carl
Guest
Carl

Great info and thank you for the continued updates.

1)If one has a temp serve card with money on it, is there an easy way to get money off and then close the account or should you wait until you get the permanent card.

2)Can you get a Redcard for someone even if they aren’t present? (Can I take a photo my wife and my 18+ daughter’s driver’s license and info to the store to get them or do they have to be physically present?)

3)At the cash register, does the cc you use to load (either temp or perm redcard) have to match the name on the redcard? I.e. While my wife is at work, can I take her red card to the store and use my credit card to load?

Heather @ pass the dressing
Guest

Definitely interested in hearing the answer’s to Carl’s question.

Colin
Guest
Colin

Instead of waiting for an answer, why don’t one you try it out instead?

Heather @ pass the dressing
Guest

@Colin, I obviously would if I lived remotely near a location where they were available.

Seriously, why do people feel the need to make snide comments.

Logan
Guest
Logan

I just bought a temp card in MD and used a DC ID much like Marc above. I did have to approve a fraud warning on my cc, but after that it transacted smoothly. Registered the card before leaving the parking lot and immediately received the verification email. No problem here!

Max
Guest
Max

There is also a potential issue with the current product, and was never the case with the AmEx-Walmart arrangement. I haven’t seen it discussed much at all, so let’s bring this up.
Target is now sitting on a treasure trove of DL / SSN’s combinations just waiting to be hacked into, sabotaged, or whatever. I assume that most folks punched in their real SSN into Target registers. Is anyone feeling nervous about that?

Flyer
Guest
Flyer

i am 100% sure that photo of driver license wouldn’t make any difference to the credibility. if they want person present then a copy of their photo would never suffice.

Mike
Guest
Mike

Waiting after four days to successfully register the card, but I now believe I may well have brought it on myself by my previous, sequential bluebird and serve accounts.

Rose
Guest
Rose

Buying a RedBird at Target with giving out my personal information (SSN, driver license#, address…), will it decrease my credit score? Does it count a credit card? Will it be a hard pull?

Can the $500 from the RedBird be withdrawn back to bank account?

Max
Guest
Max

@Rose: No to all of the above. Target is not a lender or a bank. IMHO they should not be asking or are equipped to handle so much personal info.

Captain What's His Name
Guest
Captain What's His Name

I bought it and attenpted to register online. I had cancelled my BB account the day before. My BB Account was under Mike and my driver’s license when scanned was Michael. Although Amex acknowledges that my BB account is closed, I have to wait 30 days for it to “final close” to register my Redbird card due to this anomoly. So far not so good. Expecting the free CC loads to be shut down by the time I’m ready to start using them.

Rose
Guest
Rose

I just bought it and loaded $500. How much can I reload more tomorrow?

I noticed it can send money to people. Can the person get money right away? How can the person withdraw the money?

Can money be withdrawn to my bank account?

jhurley
Guest
jhurley

I drove 90 minutes to the closest participating Target (Highpoint NC)
and asked for the prepaid red card. They signed me up with a debit card which i did not realize until I tried to register it. I called the 800 number three times and all three people knew nothing about a prepaid red card. I cancelled and they transferred me to prepaid red card/amex and amex said I have to go back to the store. Don’t make the same mistake I did and don’t assume they know about it in the store.

Misty
Guest
Misty

No problems in Denver with getting a card.
I purchased one in my name at the store.
Got home and registered that card under my husband’s name.
He received verification email that card will be mailed soon.

Thank you!

Arp
Guest
Arp

which denver target did you go to? i haven’t found any in denver, just boulder/longmont and csprings

trackback

[…] include: cards improperly activated in-store; and problems registering the cards online.  See “REDbird technical issues.”  Of course, its not unusual to experience technical challenges with new products like this.  […]

Mark R.
Guest
Mark R.

Great Chicago seminar! $0 (as opposed to $5) RedBirds seem plentiful in the Detroit area.

Cheryl
Guest
Cheryl

Do NOT try to load .01 – the card will not be activated! I picked up one for myself and DH yesterday. Then today, I went back to buy 2 more for friends. I entered invalid SSN’s and paid $5.01. Even though my card was charged, the cards were not activated. Left store and called Amex. I assumed it was due to incorrect SSN.
I was told the minimum load is $1.
I am faxing in everything now and hoping for a good result.

jhurley
Guest
jhurley

I just called all four locations in NC and none of them have prepaid Redcards working so you can’t get one in NC as of right now.

Faye
Guest
Faye

Hello,

I’ve been having problems registering. I called customer service and they sai to fax or scan a copy of my SSN card. I am not comfortable with this since Target has been hacked a few times. Do you recommend getting another card and trying again? Or would that raise more flags?
I think it had to do with my Bluebird being on the verge of cancellation. Now it’s completely cancelled.

Carl C
Guest
Carl C

You are in the wrong game if you are uncomfortable with a credit card issuer/prepaid card issuer having your SSN#.

Necessary component. I had to do for one of my 3 redbird cards.

Max
Guest
Max

It would help to read a comment carefully before respoding. Faye was uncomfortable with a retail outlet asking for a SSN (not a credit issuer). I suggest a visit to the SSA website for guidance where one may disclose their SSN’s.

Carl C
Guest
Carl C

correct me if I’m wrong, but target is not the one asking. If registering is failing, that is with Amex not Target thus my comment. One goes to this address (https://amex.serve.com/prepaidredcard/) to register. That is clearly not Target ??? Am I missing something?

Faye
Guest
Faye

When I called the customer service number, they said it was Target. Unless, I was misinformed, I was led to believe that it was Target that needed this information. I’ll look into it. I have no problem with AMEX’s request. Well, either way, I will look into it some more.

Faye
Guest
Faye

Thank you Max. Carl, I did not say I was uncomfortable with a credit issuer having my SSN. I did say I was uncomfortable with TARGET having a copy of my SSN card due to recent hacks. Has anyone else been told by Target to submit their identification? and did you? or did you purchase another card?

Ann
Guest
Ann

Anyone see this message when you login to the account?
Exception of type ‘Serve.P2P.Infrastructure.Exceptions.ResponseAlertException’ was thrown.

I registered account successfully and am waiting for the permanent account.

Heath
Guest
Heath

I forgot to change my email address to one different from my bluebird. Now I cannot change my email address and I am not receiving the verification email.

What can I do?

Thanks