Top 6 REDbird solutions

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 (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.

REDbird_card_image

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…

Website down

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:

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:

REDbird_settings

Read more about REDbird:



Also:


Last updated on October 14th, 2015

Regarding comments: Comments posted at the bottom of Frequent Miler pages and posts are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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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Lynn
Guest
Lynn

I went into my local Target to reload last night (this location doesn’t actually sell them) and as soon as I took the card out the woman behind the counter said “$1,000, $1,000 then $500?” I laughed out loud. Apparently there are other MS’ers among my local shoppers.

Steve
Guest
Steve

@Lynn – Is there a reason to break up the transaction? Is it a Target limit? Just to spread the love? or not unduly alarm the CC company?

Kay
Guest
Kay

I think there is a 1K limit for each transact and 2500 limit per day. 5k per month limit.

misty
Guest
misty

Is doing a direct transfer of money to your bank any sort of red flag?

Or best to do Bill Pay and various purchases at businesses to mix it up?

MSPDeltaDude
Guest
MSPDeltaDude

Best trick…Have them load 1k, swipe again and load another 1k, and swipe again and load last $500 and then just do one swipe with your card. Saves time, less receipts, transactions, and less likely to trigger fraud alerts.

DavidNJ
Guest
DavidNJ

Have two Redbird’s in the family and we had continual issues w/ US Bank. The solution was to have a supervisor call me. They can loosen the fraud alert! I have not had any problems in the last month. I’ve loaded $2.5K on Redbird and $2K on 2 Amex for Target cards during one visit. Also, like MSPDeltaDude mentioned, the 3 swipe trick does work for the max $2.5K per day.

zow
Guest
zow

What happens if someone tries to load more than $5,000 in a given calendar month? Does it get denied/rejected at the cash register, or if it goes through, does it trigger all sorts of badness from the Target RedCARD Central Office?

RayDay
Guest
RayDay

@MSPDeltaDude – Are they offering RedBird in MSP? I haven’t seen it offered. If no, how did you get yours? And do Target employees locally know what it is? I’m also in MSP.

susan
Guest

Question: Does the money loaded onto a Target RedCARD from a credit card count as a cash advance or as a purchase? Does the treatment (cash advance vs. purchase) vary by the card issuer?

Seth
Guest
Seth

@RayDay
The target in NE Mpls sells them or at least they did in November. I have been loading at several different targets in the area without issue. Most cashiers haven’t seem them yet but the smart ones are able to figure it out (tell them it’s the same as loading a starbucks card). The not so bright ones call a manager and they handle it with no problems. The major downside with the fact that most haven’t seen them is that you wind up making people wait in line behind. Thus when I have multiple loads I’ll go to the back of the line to be courteous. Most people really appreciate that.

RayDay
Guest
RayDay

Thanks Seth. I’ve been eyeing the RedBird website but it still says MN doesn’t have stores participating so good to know we do! Might have to make the switch…

Dave
Guest
Dave

Chase Freedom gets 5x on groceries this current quarter, but explicitly excludes Target in the wording. However, many Targets are coded by Visa as groceries. I haven’t tried loading Redbird with Freedom so far. Anybody actually try it to see if we do get 5x?

Dr. Bob
Guest
Dr. Bob

Loaded Redbird with my Freedom Card, only posted as 1 point per dollar as expected.

Seth
Guest
Seth

@RayDay
Definitely call first before you head over to make sure they still have them. They were/are the “test” store for the area. Hopefully you’d still be in luck.

Kai
Guest
Kai

I got ‘rejected’ a couple of weeks ago when I tried to go to a local Target to reload the card. I was told that they have suspended use of this card at that particular store. Has anyone else had similar problem?

Eric
Guest
Eric

Same here in North Carolina… no way to load it. Not sure if that’s going to be fixed or not 🙁

Dave
Guest
Dave

I requested 1000, $1000, $250 at a store and the guy didn’t seem thrilled at doing this. Even when I first read about this trick, it sounds a little strange and I can see why the clerk might want to reject it. Exactly how are you guys asking for it? Do you tell them you want to load $2500 up front and then give them the details? Or do you say $1000 first, then ask them to swipe it again?

evthu
Guest
evthu

Data point: I use my US Bank Club Carlson Regularly. As far as I can tell, there is a personalized limit that no one can lift for you, even if you call. So if your limit is 800, no one is going to be able to get you a 1000 load, but if it is 1200, you can do a 1000 load but no more. That is based on inference from a call with a helpful US Bank rep.

Lili
Guest
Lili

Hi,I’ve been reading the Redcard thread @ Flyertalk to keep an eye on changes for MS using this technique. Noticed this thread is closed and last post timed Dec.31. Question: why the thread is closed? Is this some practice on Flyertalk for certain reason? Glad we can continue the discussion here.

Shawn Coomer - Senior Editor
Member
Shawn Coomer - Senior Editor

They have started creating new master threads every year. If you search, you should be able to find a 2015 version of the thread, but we are glad to have you here as well!

JP
Guest
JP

Is there a possibility of getting a 1099 at the end of the year if you transfer mostly to your bank account?

Shawn Coomer - Senior Editor
Member
Shawn Coomer - Senior Editor

There aren’t any reports of this happening. Technically you are borrowing the money and paying it back.

JanderPanell
Guest
JanderPanell

What I really want to know is when the heck is this coming to the west coast (SoCal)?! I feel pretty confident that any usefulness of REDbird (e.g., directly adding money with a CC) will be long gone before I could do my first transaction!

Tom
Guest
Tom

Does anyone know if it’s possible to have my friend buy the card for me? I have a friend that lives in a state that is listed as selling the card. I don’t recall the info needed at purchase. Does it even need to be loaded at purchase?

Shawn Coomer - Senior Editor
Member
Shawn Coomer - Senior Editor
sam
Guest
sam

US bank has shut down at least 15 Msers so far according to report. I also had bad experience with their card. even if you respond yes to fraud alert text or an agent on hold, the transaction never goes thru. goes thru with a senior manager override and next day they grill you and will say due to massive target data breach, they are very careful and won’t take chance. I stopped doing the loads with their card. Even chase called a buddy and threatened to shut down for abuse.

Sammy
Guest
Sammy

What report are you referring to?

Is 10K a month on 1 card considered an abuse?

tom
Guest
tom

Thanks Shawn!

Last question – I’ve read that they will verify SS #. does that require sending in documentation(like a copy of the card)? Or is the verification/additional documentation completely random?

Shawn Coomer - Senior Editor
Member
Shawn Coomer - Senior Editor

They use an online database to match up your information. You may have to answer some identifying information online, but you shouldn’t have to send in your social security card.

Niania
Guest
Niania

My husband and I used US Airways MasterCard to load redbird at our local target. The trick is it is better to do 1 transaction ($1,000) for this card, and other transactions ($1,000 and $500) using other cards. The transaction was always declined when we swiped the US Airways card the second time. We did receive the fraud alert text and responded, but they still decline our 2nd transaction.

Victor
Guest
Victor

Redcard (like Bluebird and Serve) will let you load once or twice using the website from debit card but on the second d or third time online load attempt it would block further loading from that new source and gives you a phone number to call. At that time it would still let you load in store as well as do bill pay. When you call them they ask you to send a copy of a govt-issued photo ID, a copy of a document that shows SSN (social security card or some other legal document which I forgot) and a copy of the bank statement associated with online account and a copy of the credit or debit card linked online, whichever is applicable. They send an email to you with a fax number as well as an upload lunk. Once you upload you can call them TL review it and reactivate that loading option that was disabled. If you don’t do that upload only that money loading option stays frozen.

Shawn Coomer - Senior Editor
Member
Shawn Coomer - Senior Editor

They do not always ask for the social security card. In fact, my Serve account has been locked up three times and each time I was asked for my ID, copy of the card and card statement. With that said, Victor is correct in that they do sometimes ask for that information.

It is not required when signing up, only after adding a new card to do online loads as was described by Victor.

Covina
Guest
Covina

Do you have this fax number?

I’ve had trouble over the last couple months and still need to send some stuff in.

Thanks

Miles per Day
Guest

The best card to use to load Redbird is a 3K AGC that hopefully you got for 2.25% portal + Arrival/SPG/Fidelity/CitiDC. Just swipe once and you’re set; no need to worry about fraud alerts. Why aren’t more people doing this?

Josh
Guest
Josh

Curious if you are using a generic ACG or do you request personalized/embossed cards? Have you had problems with cashiers wanting to see the last 4? Thanks for any info on this.

Miles per Day
Guest

I’ve loaded AFT with generic AGC just fine. I used to get worried about showing them a generic AGC, but I’ve never had pushback. I’m not in an AFT/Redbird state, so they don’t know the rules (not that the rules would not allow AGC). If I ever got pushback, I would just remind them the screen says “No TARGET gift cards,” which isn’t what I’m using. Or just go to another cashier.

Josh
Guest
Josh

Awesome. Thanks for the info and tips.

medichill
Guest
medichill

Agreed! Just did this through TCB when it was alive at 2.25%. There are a couple advantages besides the cash back – different type of spend on the card and, if you’re cashier can’t figure out how to do multiple transactions for one swipe, the AGC doesn’t care if it is 3 swipes. CCs don’t like that at all!

DavidNJ
Guest
DavidNJ

Can I have my Daughter get a Redbird in her name and I load the card?

Pete
Guest
Pete

I’ve reloaded my wife’s card with no issue.

Pete

Ps – thanks for the upstaged Redbird post!

Pete
Guest
Pete

Updated* freaking auto correct…

Nick
Guest
Nick

Quick question regarding the website’s Bill Pay function: Is there anyway to future-date the payment of a bill(s)?

While the Bill Pay feature is nice, the Delivery Date assumes you want to send payment immediately and the field is not editable. Naturally it would be much more convenient if you could go in once and schedule a number of different payments.

medichill
Guest
medichill

I would love to do this too! Unfortunately, you cannot schedule payments different than the default date you are given.

NEW YORKER
Guest
NEW YORKER

Got a card from someone in another state. Easy to load at local Target stores. It’s done at the service desk with no problem and had no trouble loading Visa gift cards on it at several New York Targets. I was only once asked for ID. I’m now a huge fan of Target and will be loading $5k each month at their stores generating lots of miles.

James
Guest
James

When I signed up I also had problems with my email not being delivered. I called them up and the customer service guy told me that I had to use an email address with a known domain or otherwise there is a glitch in the system that causes the email to not go out. The email address I used initially was a personal domain I own (that is hosted on Google Email) but it did not work. When I created a new gmail.com email address and had the guy switch the address to this, I got the email almost immediately. So gmail and yahoo email addresses are known to work with their system apparently.

medichill
Guest
medichill

Same. I have a domain for my business and it just wouldn’t work, even after calls to CS. I created a Yahoo account and no problem.

justSaying
Guest
justSaying

Any issues with a spouse using their credit card with a different last name to load a Redbird????
Am thinking of the fact that Serve has spouse card in purgatory and the system says it isn’t closed (IT IS) so there is a seemingly lifetime ban on any new AMEX prepaid cards although they open up new credit cards in the same names………Rocket Scientists they are!

Ed Zed
Guest
Ed Zed

Is there any clarification possible? My wife is changing her name in a couple of weeks. Is she not going to be able to use her card any longer? Will we be able to get another card? Will we be able to use all three cards, or just two? What if we have to change her SS# too?

Also, is it possible to get subaccounts on family members cards while having your own REDcard? I get it that it’s nice to get miles, hotels, cashback, and all; but some people would actually like to do society a service and fix up all these turd foreclosure homes still around since circa 2008. Interest payments cut into profits and banks always upset about granting HELOC to fix up foreclosed homes; they want their points and higher interest.

sam
Guest
sam

the chase rep and us bank rep seem to follow the blogs i guess. US bank just shut him down no question asked. chase guy called him and gave him warning about the load and told him would shut him down next time

sammy
Guest
sammy

where do you get your info from? who is “he”?

sam
Guest
sam

@sammy
click & read here, Chase canceled it
http://i.imgur.com/9oEBp3h.jpg

Paul Heine
Guest
Paul Heine

This letter appears to refer to a bank account

sam
Guest
sam

@paul , that’s cos once they shut down, they also shut down your checking and they are clever to just mention checking when it is the CC that led the shut down for abuse

Sammy
Guest
Sammy

the letter you posted is dated feb 2014, way before redbird..it does not really mean much..could be various reasons for closure.. you mentioned 15 MSers were shut down according to report.. what report are u talking about?

Eric
Guest
Eric

Can you load vanilla gift card to redbird?

eric
Guest
eric

It would be nice if Amex made a Redbird app. I don’t know why it is taking so long to make a redbird app. Bluebird and Serve have one already and it makes managing the REdbird account much easy on the go.

Larry
Guest
Larry

So once I get my permanent card I can use the bill pay function? Also, can I use bill pay to pay the credit card I loaded it with. Just hearing of this and trying to catch up with all the details

DavidNJ
Guest
DavidNJ

Loaded 2 Redbird’s tonight for $5K and always speak w/ the easy going Woman @ customer service. She’s the one who told me I could swipe the card 3 times for $2.5K and only have to swipe my credit card once. She told me that she has one guy who comes in w/ 10 Redbird’s and loads $2.5K on each. That’s some serious MS!

JustSaying
Guest
JustSaying

@DavidNJ I want to meet the guy with 10 RedBirds…….I tried to register one for my dead Mom and they have that review”……And I am her executor………bast..s……………So do I need to have my dog get a social security number or do I just go to the post office and see who has a son to lend for a few bucks? I am so so tormented by this………

JustSaying
Guest
JustSaying

“under review”

Ed Zed
Guest
Ed Zed

I’m thinking you need family and friends who couldn’t care about what you do with a card in their name. Sorry if I’m repeating myself. Can you get multiple subaccounts from friends and family so it’s all on the up-and-up? I can only charge up REDcard at customer service. It’s the same few people. Charging cards under different names is going to attract attention, maybe? Certainly it’s not legit to manage funds not in my name.

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[…] your card. Saves time, less receipts, transactions, and less likely to trigger fraud alerts,” MSPDeltaDude on FrequentMiler’s Top 6 REDbird Solutions. I finished my REDbird’s and AFT’s for […]

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[…] Top 6 REDbird solutions by Frequent Miler […]

DangerDanger
Guest
DangerDanger

Here’s a data point: I received my Club Carlson card a couple weeks ago. I have made a couple small purchases. Today I used it to load my Redbird with $1k. Then I loaded another $1k to Redbird with a different account. Then I loaded $500 to Redbird with Club Carlson. So total was $1.5k from Club Carlson and no fraud alerts. I plan to load another $1k tomorrow.

CitiAlerts
Guest
CitiAlerts

My Citi card gets flagged every time I make a $1,000 purchase. I was told by a representative that ever since the Target breach, Citi has been flagging purchases that look like gift card purchases. She told me to avoid spending exactly $100, $250, $500, or $1000 or else I’d continue to get flagged.

If this is happening to you too, you might want to start mixing things up a little. Instead of 4x$1000 and 2x$500 go with 4x$833; and 2x$834.

Mike
Guest
Mike

As it was mentioned before there is no need to do multiple swipes w/ your CC.
1. Give your RB card to cashier
2. Ask/tell her lo load $1000
3. Ask/tell to do one more load $1000, again
4. Ask/tell to do one more load $500
5. Optional: buy a pack of gum (*must be done last*)
6. Swipe your CC

Steve
Guest
Steve

Went to target last night and was only allowed to do $1k. The system kept rejecting after that. It was on my wifes card and I still have $1,500 left for the month. Anyone else have any issues? Thanks.

trackback

[…] at Club Carlson properties, 5X for reloading REDbird can be a great deal.  Unfortunately, US Bank can be very difficult with respect to reloading REDbird.  See also: Club Carlson rocks our world… […]

Allison
Guest
Allison

I’m having trouble with Redbird Bill Pay. I used it to pay my student fees and my landlord last Saturday. My university received the payment by Thursday which is great. But it’s Saturday now and my landlord has yet to receive the payment. I’m thinking of giving them a check now and asking them to use the Redbird check (when they get it) for my next month (but then I won’t be able to pay one of the months with Redbird). I guess the lesson I’m learning from this is to not trust their 4 business day claim. I’m coming up on 6 days now, and I wouldn’t be surprised if it didn’t arrive until later next week. Anyone else have trouble with this?

Ed Zed
Guest
Ed Zed

Eh, trusting LANDLORD?