5,000 Points a Month with the Target REDCard

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The Target REDCard is AWESOME! With two trips to Target a month you can easily earn 5,000 points and it will only cost you a one time fee of $5. Over the course of the year this will get you 60,000 points which, for example, can get you a free flight to Europe! I’ve written about this card a few times in passing, but haven’t really dedicated a full on post to it. So here you go…

What is the Target REDCard? It is a prepaid card where you are able to load money onto the card using a credit card and use it as a regular debit card, to shop at Target (and get a 5% discount), or most importantly pay bills! For paying bills, this means you can pay any bill or person – even your credit card bill that you used to load the card! For example, you can use your Starwood credit card to load $5,000 a month onto the card, then pay your Starwood credit card bill with your Target REDCard. You are doing a full circle without paying anything extra, but getting 5,000 Starwood points! This is of course not the intent of the card, but it is feasible to do it that way. You can also pay your bills with the card, such as your mortgage, landlord, electric, car payments, etc. Of course some cards will give you even more points (i. e., Club Carlson, Hilton, Barclaycard Arrival, etc.) but the majority of cards give 1 point per dollar spent at Target.

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What does the Target REDCard cost? You will first purchase a temporary card in store that will cost $5. This is a one time fee and there are no other costs associated with having or loading the card going forward.

How much can you put on your Target REDCard monthly? You are allowed to load up to $5,000 on your card per month when using a credit card. Although you are limited to $2,500 per day and $1,000 per load. That means to maximize, you must go to a Target twice a month and during each visit load three times ($1,000 + $1,000 + $500).

Target REDCard

Where can you get a Target REDCard? Only select stores cary it unfortunately (you can check all stores that sell the REDCard here). In participating locations, cards are typically kept at the front of the store near the cash registers. You will be purchasing a temporary card initially. You will then need to register the card and a permanent card with your name on it will be sent in the mail within 1-2 weeks. The temporary card looks like this:

Target REDCard

Can I purchase a Target REDCard for someone else? Yup! When you purchase a card you need to give your license and fill out the required information which includes your address and social security number. The person you are purchasing the REDCard for can either give you their social security number or you can enter a fake number. When the person then activates their card and sets up the account they can edit their information, including their social security number. You can only purchase one REDCard a day.

When purchasing this card is there a hard pull on my credit report? No! There is no hard pull which happens when you apply for a credit card. This is a soft pull so will not affect your credit report.

Can I load money onto a REDCard at a Target that doesn’t sell the card? Yes! Even with a Target that does not sell the REDCards, you can still load the card at the store. Typically at these stores they require you to make this “purchase” at customer service and not a regular cashier.

How does the bill pay feature work? You can go to the Target REDCard site and set up a payee. You can search for many pre-loaded business or enter your own persons information. It takes a few minutes to set up the first time and is then saved in your account thereafter. They then send the check to the payee for you. In my experience bills are received and processed within 2-3 days.

Target REDCard

What is the best credit card to use for the $5,000 maximum a month? I personally dedicate my Starwood American Express to load the $5,000 a month to my REDCard. By dedicating one card and not putting on any other expenses it helps me keep track of everything and pay my monthly bill seamlessly. I also like using an American Express over other card issuers as it is easier to deal with fraud alerts which I get quite often when making such a large purchase at Target. I also highly value my SPG points so for me this was the best choice. I did an entire post a month or so ago on the best card to use specifically for the Target REDCard so make sure to check it out. There are specific cards that also help you earn status, free nights, and other benefits by spending a certain amount on the card.

Are there any other restrictions? To activate the REDCard you cannot have a Bluebird or Serve card. Unfortunately you are limited to one of these three prepaid cards. Also, The Target REDCard is not eligible for the Amex Offers that I write about often.

Are there any good features of the card? Points and miles aside, it is actually a great card for those that shop at Target. With the card you get 5% off all purchases, free online shipping, and an extra 30 days for returns.

Target REDCard

Overall… This is a great card to have to increase your points and miles! Although it does take some work, if you live close by to a Target to only have to go twice a month is pretty easy. Let me know if you have any questions!

The responses below 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.


  1. I live in a state that does not sell the card. The post says you can load card in stores that do not sell the card, but do you know if thats true for all stores (including ones in states that do not sell the Red Card?)

    Thank you!

  2. I’m a bit new to this and I’ve seen some offers that say if you spend XXX amount a year, benefits continue or upgraded benefit. Assuming I can use the above to meet that spend amount, has anyone collated the spend amount by card, and secondly, which one has the best value. For instance, it seems as though the Ritz with a 10K spend would be a no brainer?

  3. @Jason – I probably won’t be participating in the closed loop option (reload with SPG, pay SPG bill with RB billpay), but what concerns do you have?

  4. I am following this, here and other sites, anyone caught by our security and loss prevention officers, will be reported to the authorities, cards canceled and balances confiscated

  5. One follow up question, Under Chase Ink Plus, I believe I read on another site you could use the card to purchase gift cards and then fund the RedCard account, thereby receiving 5X the number of points. Is there any trut to that approach.

  6. So you’re loading an Amex prepaid, with an Amex CC. Then using BillPay to pay the bill for the CC. This is a closed loop. If I were in their shoes it would be trivial to flag such activity for financial review.

    My relationship with Amex is long and fulfilling and I have no need to do something so flagrant I might have my file flagged, and it might poison my future relationship with them.

    I load my Redbird firstly with whatever I need to hit a signup threshold on, Then Barclay A+ card for 2x points, but also some US Bank FlexPerks, and some Chase. Occasionally Visa debit cards purchased from a drugstore or grocery if I’m getting 5X points for them. Then use BillPay to pay off these non-Amex CC.

    I am dismayed at the number of articles like this recently where people tout this sort of plan for 1X points.


  7. Do you know if there’s any catch to having (and closing) a Serve account before getting a Red Card? Though there’s no option close to home yet, I’d travel to get one since I shop at Target more often than not!

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