Get to Know Your Target Prepaid REDcard
These past couple of weeks I have been getting questions in regards to the Target Prepaid REDcard. I thought I would take some time to explain how the Target Prepaid REDcard can help reach minimum spending or pay bills that you normally couldn’t pay with a credit card (e.g. rent, mortgage, student loans, etc). The Target Prepaid REDcard is a reloadable American Express card. Usually prepaid cards are intended for consumers that are underbanked in US. Providing them with features like “Bill Pay” or an alternative to credit card functionality. However, with Target’s Prepaid REDcard they provide THE best opportunity in earning miles/points. The good thing about this card is that you don’t need to turn in an application or take a hard inquiry to get this card.
Getting a Target Prepaid REDcard
The greatest obstacle to getting your own Target Prepaid REDcard is being able to find one. As there are only a handful of participating Target locations in the nation that offers the “prepaid” version. You may find the credit or debit version at any local stores but that is not the one that we are particularly looking for. Go here, under “Register my Card” of participating stores that offer the prepaid version. Another good news is that REDcard is in more states than what is stated on the Target website. You may call your local Targets and ask specifically whether they have the “prepaid” version.
If you find a Target that sells the prepaid version, you can now pick up a temporary Prepaid REDcard. This temporary card will need to be activated at the checkout. You may load up to $500 (with a credit card) on your first load when activating it. This is only the temporary card and it comes with limitations. Like not getting the bill pay feature which is key in earning the miles/points. Once you have the activated REDcard, you will need to go online and register for the permanent version of the REDcard. For those that are having issues registering, one major issue is that you won’t be able to register for this card if you have an active Bluebird or Serve account.
There are other ways in obtaining a Prepaid REDcard if you are not near a participating target and having trouble finding one. I personally bought my activated temporary Prepaid REDcard through eBay and I was able to register the card under name.
Once you obtain the permanent version of the Prepaid REDcard you can now load the card up to the $5,000 monthly limit.
Adding Money your REDcard
There are multiple ways to load your Prepaid REDcard. However, the only point of interest is to load the card in store. First here are the limits about loading and withdrawing from your REDcard:
- “Cash Funding” (credit card load): $2,500 per day / $5,000 per month
- ATM Withdrawal limit: $750 per day / $2,000 per month
- REDcard resets on the 1st day of each month
As you can see above you will need to make multiple trips to Target in order to load up to the $5,000 limit per month. When you go to your nearest target you will need to go to the customer service counter and ask that you are reloading your Prepaid REDcard. The first time I went to my local Target they did not know anything about the Prepaid card and I actually had to teach them how to load the card. Here is what to expect when you load your card.
- First notify the Target Customer Service Rep (CSR) how much you will be loading (up to $2,500 per day and only $1,000 per transaction).
*If you plan on loading up to the limit of $2,500 a day. You will need to make multiple transactions of $1k, $1k, and $500.
- Hand the CSR your REDcard. They will swipe the card in the system.
- The CSR should input the dollar amount on their side of the system.
- Make sure the correct amount you are loading is displayed on their system before you swipe your rewards credit card.
- Sign your signature on the POS screen.
- The CSR will then ask for the last 4 digits of the credit card you made the purchase with and on occasions for your ID.
- The CSR will either notify you if the purchase has been declined or hand you the receipt if it has been approved.
- If approved I would personally take this time to confirm the amount you loaded was correct then walk away with the happiest look on your face.
If your card has been declined in step 7. Majority of the time it is due to credit cards having a built in fraud alert on your card and will automatically decline your transaction if it’s a large unusual transaction. I would suggest you call your credit card’s customer service center before you load and notify the CSR that you will be making a large purchase on your credit card to avoid this from happening. You could also just wait until you get an email like the picture above and say you recognize this charge and re-perform your transaction after confirming.
REDcard Bill Pay Feature
Now that you have money added to your card, you can utilize the free bill pay function. For those that don’t know, bill pay is a virtual way to send a payment to any intended merchant or person of interest. Meaning Target will send a check to the payee on your behalf. This cuts out the trips to the post office and the leg work of writing out checks.
Now this is where you can maximize this feature and pay bills that you normally couldn’t with a credit card (e.g. mortgage, rent, student loans, credit cards, etc.). I recommend that you send a test payment to any new payee to confirm that the payment arrives at the merchant. Bill pay payments typically arrive to the merchant within 2-3 business days after initiation of the payment. I have personally used this feature to pay my rent by sending a check to my roommate each month. I know multiple churners that utilize this feature to pay for their mortgage and student loans each month.
Here is a compilation of questions I have received about the Prepaid REDcard.
Questions & Answers:
Q: Can you Bill Pay the Credit Card you used to load to REDcard?
A: Yes. There have been no confirmed reports of account shutdown due to this.
Q: Do these charges count as a cash advances on my credit card?
A: No. So far there have been no reports that these count as cash advances. I personally have been making loads each month and they have been counting as purchases instead of cash advances.
Q: Can you load a REDcard that is registered to someone else?
A: Yes. I have loaded my girlfriends account numerous times with my own credit card.
Q: Should I buy an “Unactivated” REDcard?
A: Absolutely Not. While there are 3rd party selling “unactivated” REDcards. There have been numerous reports that these cards are having problems registering. Always go with activated REDcards if purchasing from a 3rd party.
Q: Can you load at a non-participating Target store that doesn’t sell the Prepaid REDcard?
A: Yes. You may load at ANY target location. Be mindful that some non-participating stores may not have heard of the Prepaid REDcard. You will need to guide them and teach them how to load the card as per the “Adding Money to your REDcard” directions above.
Q: What other benefits do you get from the REDcard?
A: Here is a listing of some other redbird benefits:
- Save 5% at any Target locations and even online when you pay with a REDcard.
- Free shipping if purchases made online through Target portal.
- No Foreign Transaction Fees.
- 30 days extra for returns.
- Free ATM Withdrawals at any 55,000 Worldwide Allpoint ATMs.