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”
REDbird (technically, the Target Prepaid REDcard) is an amazing product from Target and American Express. You can load money to REDbird at Target, for free, with a debit card or credit card (and earn points). Use it to pay at Target and you’ll receive an automatic 5% discount. Use it to buy things online at Target.com and you’ll get not only the 5% discount, but free shipping as well. Withdraw money at Allpoint ATMs, or withdraw electronically to your bank account – either way, it’s free. Pay bills to large companies or to individuals – for free.
So, yes, REDbird is great, but it is a new product and so, unsurprisingly, there have been a number of issues that have come up over and over. Here are the solutions…
Occasionally you may browse to target.com/prepaidredcard and get a message indicating that the website is down. That particular URL is just a redirect, though. So, if you have trouble with the target.com/prepaidredcard URL, simply browse to one of these instead:
On hold… forever
A number of things can go wrong that will lead you to call the Prepaid REDcard team for help. Unfortunately, you may find yourself on hold for a very long time only to be ultimately transferred to another place. Here are a couple of numbers that can help you jump the line:
- Card activation issues: 800-438-6468 (REDcard resolution center)
- Identity verification issues: 800-660-2454 (Amex fraud protection)
REDbird email never arrives
So you just brought home your shiny new temporary REDbird card and tried to register it online. The system then asked you to call to prove your identity (that happens sometimes). The phone agent then tells you that you’ll receive a verification email to click through. It never comes. You check your Spam folder, but its not there. What to do?
First, avoid this situation in the first place by avoiding Hotmail. Most people who have encountered this issue have Hotmail email addresses. If that’s you, I recommend creating a Gmail email address for this purpose.
If its too late and you already have a lost email, you’ll have to call again and ask to have the email sent to a different email address.
Hat Tip: Rapid Travel Chai via personal communication
Fraud alerts never stop
A common problem with REDbird is that the first time you pay for a reload with a particular credit card, you are likely to get a fraud alert on that transaction. With some cards this means that the transaction won’t go through. With others, it means that future transactions won’t go through – until you let the bank know that it was an intended payment. With most cards, you can call you bank (or text, or click an email link) to verify the charge and then all future REDbird reloads will go through fine (with that credit card). Or, you can be proactive and call the bank before your first REDbird reload to let them know that you’ll be making large purchases at Target. Either way, you should be good to go afterwards.
One big exception is US Bank. For some reason, according to several friends who have tried, US Bank almost seems to be hard coded to deny REDbird reloads. People have tried calling before, during, and after the transactions. Unfortunately, even if they’ve been able to get one transaction through, US Bank reportedly continues to block future reloads. It sounds completely maddening.
The easiest workaround is to use cards from other banks. That would be a shame, though, if you were counting on the FlexPerks card’s grocery store bonus (since some Target stores are coded as grocery stores), or the Club Carlson card’s 5X everywhere earnings. Another option is to ask the cashier to type in your credit card number rather than having you swipe the card. Supposedly this will get around US Banks overzealous fraud protection.
Hopefully readers will have other, better solutions. If so, please comment below.
Bill pay broken
If you get an error when trying to use REDbird’s bill pay function, there may be a simple solution: check the phone number on your Profile. Make sure that the primary phone number in your Profile correctly displays all 10 digits of your phone number. For some strange reason, when your profile has only a 7 digit phone number, bill pay won’t work. Update your profile and try again.
Withdraw to bank account… how?
I get asked this one a lot. A new REDbird owner wants to withdraw money from REDbird to their bank account. They remember that I’ve written that it can be done, but they can’t find the option. Here’s the REDbird menu:
One would think you could find the ability to withdraw money under “Pay & Transfer”. Nope, it’s not there. “Plan & Manage”? Nope. Click Settings (at the bottom of the menu). “Withdraw Funds” is second from the bottom:
Read more about REDbird: