Target REDCards are Half Dead

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Yesterday I wrote that there was a very good chance that loading a credit card to a Target REDCard was most likely ending. Unfortunately, the reports were true and the REDCard as we knew it is done. The system is hardcoded to not accept credit cards and this is not a store by store decision. No more walking into the store, giving the cashier your desired credit card (I personally was using my Starwood Amex) and having them swipe it three times. It was a nice run for the past 6-7 month and fortunately I was able to easily earn over 30,000 points (and another 30,000 for my husband) for a simple cost of $5 each. It was too good to be true but as expected, there were too many fraudulent changes and stolen credit cards being used. So while some might think the points and miles community ended this “deal” it was really the crooks who I am assuming do not read the travel blogs!

With all that being said, there are still ways to load your Target REDCard. The only thing about this is that it will take a little more effort and will cost some money. Overall though, it will still be worth it. While the system will not allow a credit card, it WILL ALLOW a debit card. If you have a points/miles earning debit card, you can use that (most of them are no longer available to new customers), or a gift card that acts as a debit card. Only Visa and Mastercard gift cards will apply, NOT American Express gift cards.

For example, if you have a Chase Ink card, you can purchase Vanilla Visa gift cards at Office Depot or Metabank Visa gift cards at Staples. At both stores you can purchase them in $200 increments and they come with a $6.95. To meet the maximum load allowed of $5,000 per month that means you will need to purchase 25 of these gift cards every month. That will cost you $173.75. Since you earn 5x points at Office Supply stores with a Chase Ink credit card, this will earn you 25,000 points a month. Remember though, the Chase Ink cards have a maximum amount of bonus points you can earn a year – Chase Ink Plus and Chase Ink Bold is $50,000 in spend and the Chase Ink Cash is $25,000 in spend. Earning 25,000 points a month for only $173.75 is still very good, but if you prefer to pay $0 out of pocket you can opt to redeem some of the points earned on the purchase. While you will be redeeming 1 point per cent and the $173.75 transaction will require 17,400 points, this might be a nice way to offset the cost if you really prefer to not spend so much a month on accruing points. This will still leave you with 7,600 Chase Ultimate Reward points a month and will not cost you a penny, just your time.

Or, if you would prefer to purchase gift cards that are more than $200 a pop, many malls, grocery stores, gas stations, etc. sell Visa and Mastercard gift cards that are $500 each and only cost a $3.95 fee. This will then only cost you about $40 a month and you’ll earn 5,000 points. Although, depending on which card you use and if there is a bonus category you can do better. While this will cost you more than the example above, this is beneficial for those that do not have a  Chase Ink credit card. Also, going into a Target to load only 5 “debit” cards is a lot less time consuming then 13.

While the debit card method works for now, I wouldn’t go crazy purchasing a ton of gift cards right now. Target could always stop allowing debit card loads and you do not want to be stuck. There are also some stores that were only allowing cash loads for awhile now, so my assumption is those stores still will not allow debit loads. Also, for those wondering, for most gift cards, the PIN is the last 4 digits of the card number.

Feel free to comment below with your experience!

Comments

  1. I have noticed my Target selling $400 Visa Gift Cards. I made a mental note that they were there but never looked into them any further since obviously the Redcard was my optimal option. Does anybody know if these will work as Debit? If so it could save a lot of time for anybody looking to load at Target (Wouldn’t have to go through Simon, etc).

    • Yes they do work using the last 4 digits as the pin. However, do NOT load them right away. Discretion is advised and necessary to avoid losing this benefit. Take them home, remove the packaging and the nasty gummy paste stuff and bring them back another day to load.

  2. “So while some might think the points and miles community ended this “deal” it was really the crooks who I am assuming do not read the travel blogs!”

    What’s your source for this? Or is it just idle speculation to deflect [rightful] blame from the blogs?

    • That was from communications with customer service folk at Target. Same reason Vanilla Reloads ended, BTW, so quit blaming the bloggers.

      • That’s BS. It was never question of if, but a question of when. Deals like this are just too good to last long-term. And of course bloggers yapping about this contributed to the early death of this deal.

  3. I think the blame should be equally distributed on multiple parties like fraudulent crooks, bloggers, FT gangstas, etc. I keep hearing on FT that the bloggers are responsible for the sweet deals to be over killed and hear that someone has loaded 10-20-30-40K worth of loads in the same FT. While I love BA and the bloggers, deflecting the blame is not agreeable. If someone has followed the game, I feel deal keep coming and going. With the rise of blogosphere and the reader base, the life span of every ‘good’ deal has shrunk. I hope there will be good enough level of convolution in every points earning mechanism so that this currency holds its value a bit longer. RedBird : You have been awesome but you will be good from now.

    • Exactly… same idiots abusing the system to the tune of 40k/month of MS are the ones blaming the bloggers when sweet deals go away.

    • @PhatMiles – I think the bloggers bring attention, but they didn’t get rid of it because one can earn points or miles. They got rid of it because of fraudulent activity and people abusing it way too much (like you said loading $40k a month).

  4. 25 gift cards to then cash out individually to earn 25 k points us ridiculous part of the game is when it’s seamless – just open a new card and get 50k for 1-3 k spend. When we run out if offers and can’t churn I’ll do 25 gc to make 20 k in points

    Yes I do Sams club and staples amex offers and I do staples when it’s a visa rebate. But that’s it for small ball and running around 50 cards in 5 years and over 4 million points

    BTW I can still load my serve for 1500 a month on m connected MC and I enrolled all 3 cards in the Sams club deals and earlier deals

    • @Mh – Totally get what you are saying. However, some people cannot currently open up more cards for whatever reason. This is just a way to continue to maximize.

      Love that you do the Amex Offers 🙂

  5. > “that means you will need to purchase 25 of these gift cards every month”

    Ok, who’s up for hitting the register and asking the clerk to do 13 swipes in a row (max $2500/day)?

    And who’s up for being her third customer to do so that morning?

    • @JEM – Not saying it will be fun, but if you live near a Target that is not crowded it might be okay. As I mentioned, it all depends on how you value your time.

  6. Has anyone tried using Visa gift card from OM/OD (Metabank issued card) to reload for Redbird? It is different from VGC.

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