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target-red-card-debit-credit-card-loads-logoI am not a huge manufactured spending guy, but I am familiar with the concepts. One of the big methods to manufacture spend over the past several months has been the Target Red Card. When the Target Red Card (Redbird) was first introduced, you could load up to I believe $5000 / month directly from a credit card. This was incredibly lucrative (and easy!), and was a very simple way to meet minimum spending requirements.

A few months ago, Target stopped allowing direct credit card loads

(SEE ALSO: Target Red Card / Redbird credit card loads – what we know)
(SEE ALSO: Here’s how I loaded my #Redbird today!)

But the good news at that time was that you could still do Target Red Card debit card loads. It took a few extra steps (you had to use your credit card to buy a PIN-enabled debit card and then take that to do a Target Red Card debit card load, instead of just loading the Target Red Card with your credit card), but it was still a viable strategy for many.

Target Red Card debit card loads now over

But even doing Target Red Card debit card loads is now over.  Miles to Memories first reported a few days ago that Target had seemingly rolled out an update to their POS system, and users were experiencing problems doing Target Red Card debit card loads.

This morning, Frequent Miler posted a copy of the official “memo” that Target associates recently received.  You can view the full memo on his site, but the gist of it is:

  • Effective Oct 13 cash is the only tender guests can use to reload select prepaid cards (listed below) in store.
  • Prepaid cards falling under this restriction include: REDcard, American Express for Target, Green Dot MasterCard, Green Dot Visa, NetSpend Visa and MyVanilla Visa
  • POS will prompt if a payment type cannot be used.

I will say that I enjoyed reading the comments on Frequent Miler’s post of the people saying how they “would never shop at Target any more”.  Let me perhaps be the first to tell you that this is a lie, because:

  1. You will shop at Target again, should it be beneficial to you
  2. And to the people that perhaps went out of their way to shop at Target because of Redbird, I’m sure that the folks at Target took that into account, and I doubt that your incremental spend offset the fees that they were losing on Target Red Card debit card loads 😀

What options do you have now that Target Red Card debit card loads are no more?


CC license via Flickr

Let this serve as another reminder that you should vary your methods of manufactured spending, and you should avoid having more money outstanding than you can afford to float for an extended period of time.

Having said that, if you have a large chunk of prepaid Visa and Mastercard cards that you were planning on doing Target Red Card debit card loads with, there are a few options for you

1) Use the cards for every day spending (depending on how many you have)
2) Use the cards to purchase money orders, should you have a Walmart or grocery store that allows you to purchase money orders with PIN-enabled prepaid cards
3) Close your Target Red Card and transfer it to a Walmart Bluebird or Serve account. For now, both Bluebird and Serve still allow you to load them with PIN-enabled prepaid cards, although finding a Walmart with a working Moneycenter machine is a little harder… As I said, that is my current plan (though I think I only have 1 $500 card outstanding)

Moving on

So this deal is dead  (SEE ALSO: Man, we killed THAT deal fast!), but there will be others.  The thing to do is learn the basic concepts, and be prepared to adapt your game when you need to.  Good luck out there!


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