Learn About Earning Easy Points via Target Prepaid REDcard

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I’ll readily admit I’m a Target Girl and not a Walmart Girl.  Not that being a “Target Girl” is high-end or anything, but Target just feels more like home than Walmart.  No offense Walmart, but Target does have a Starbucks, and you have, well, a McDonalds. 

Given my Target leaning tendencies, it is no shocker that the new prepaid Target REDcard is immediately interesting for our family both for the points earning opportunities and its Target availability and discounts.  I’ve been following The Frequent Miler’s Target experiments as closely as I follow the weekly Target sales, and today it was time to try and get my own Target REDcard.  Which didn’t work, read on to see why, and when that might change…

Target PrePaid RedCard

What does this have to do with points you might wonder?  Well, for some it has nothing to do with points.  For others who are more in the gift card world, it has everything to do with points, at least for a little while.  Once upon a time the Amex Bluebird card was very easy to load with various types of gift cards, but that opportunity got harder and harder for some of us both because the ease of buying gift cards and Vanilla reloads with points earning credit cards tightened up, but also because the type of cards you can feed to the Bluebird in Walmart narrowed.

I’m not big in the gift card world, so once it got harder, I pretty much quit Bluebird.  As a busy mom I just don’t have the time to deal with a complex and ever-changing system.  For some, Bluebird has continued to work quite well, but I’m not in that group.

However, the new “Redbird” (not it’s real name, but indeed a fitting name given it is so similar to Bluebird) seems very interesting as you can get it at Target and feed it more money at Target.  There is a Target right down the road from me, and it’s a store we find ourselves in naturally far more frequently than Walmart.  Best of all, the Redbird can currently be loaded with money via many methods, some very convenient and that result in earning points easily and for free.

Getting a Redbird is currently tough unless you live near one of the select Targets that have them available.  You can view the stores that should have them here, but I’ll save you the effort and let you know that the only states currently listed are:  Alabama, Arizona, Colorado, Indiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, North Carolina, New Mexico, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and Wisconsin.

No Texas, California, Florida, or New York, so there goes 1/3 of the country right there.  Even though Texas is not on the list yet, I still asked about the new product at my local Target today and they had no clue what I was talking about.  This means I can’t get my hands on a Redbird of my own quite yet, but I’m getting enough questions on this product that I wanted to at least share the basics and then point you to The Frequent Miler for more first-hand information.

Loading money on the Redbird is currently very easy.  Too easy.  Easier than the terms even indicate.  If I could get my hands on one now to take advantage of how easy it is I totally would, but like everything in this hobby, things that are too easy don’t last.  I do not expect it to work in its current form indefinitely, but party on while the party is good.

You also cannot have this card and Bluebird or Serve, so you have to pick the prepaid Amex product that is right for you.  I am not using my Bluebird much at all anymore, so switching away from it isn’t a big deal, but you will need to cancel your Bluebird or Serve before registering your Redbird to get the permanent version of the card.  This means if you have a good system in place with your Serve or Bluebird then evaluate whether it is worth switching or not.

The Redbird is free to get, free to load at Target, free for ATM use at Target, has free online bill pay, and generally looks very promising.  At least for now, and if you happen to live near a Target that has them.  Oh, it also gives you 5% off many items at Target and provides for free shipping at Target.com. You can view some of the loading limits for the card here.

Redbird will be rolling out in other locations soon.  I called the “Contact Us” phone number and was told by an Amex rep that the Target Prepaid REDcard is scheduled to be available in Houston area in about a month.  He said it is rolling out to new locations on an ongoing basis, so if if it isn’t available where you are yet, hopefully it will be soon.

A few other important things to note are:

  • You can load the cards with money at Targets that do not sell them
  • It is a different product than the debit or credit REDcards, so don’t get confused
  • It is also a different product than the prepaid Target Amex gift cards that cost $3, so again, don’t get confused….yes, it is confusing.
  • You can buy a temporary prepaid Target REDcard before cancelling your Bluebird or Serve account, so no need to prematurely cancel those cards.

If this product ends up to be as useful and easy of a points earning tool as it seems to be right now, I’ll be a huge fan.  I don’t expect it to stay this easy forever, but that won’t stop me from enjoying it for a while…as soon as they become available in my area.

If you have used “Redbird” or are considering it, I’d love to hear what you think!

 

Comments

  1. Pennsylvania is only the Pittsburgh area, not in the eastern part of the state.
    .
    Do you know if sales are limited to people who live in the state of sale? Or can I (a New Yorker) buy one in Albuquerque using my New York driver’s license?

  2. I cringed when I saw the headline, but after reading the article, I feel you did a great job at balancing the urge to alert your readers while avoiding the crass commercialization approach that FTG/TPG/MMS take.

    That being said, I fully expect the easy load options to be gone by the time these cards go nationwide. But maybe that’s the whole point of the slow rollout!

    • Stannis, sorry to hear you had to cringe. I think there is a fine line with things like this, but it is certainly worth talking about it…especially in its current form. I agree with you that the easy peasy loading is just too good to last forever.

  3. We asked at our Target last week (in Minnesota), and they had no idea what we were talking about either. Hoping Redbird will come to its home state soon!! P.S. loved your comment/comparison at the beginning. Made me laugh. My husband is a HUGE Walmart fan, but I’m all Target, so we go back and forth all the time. 🙂

  4. I live in TX too, but I happen to be in OK today. Guess I’ll hit a Target. I agree this won’t last long in it’s current form. I’ll be an optimist and hope this fills the whole that Amazon Payments has left this week, for a brief window at least. I’ve never used my Bluebird since we’re a Target only family.

  5. If you google “redcard resales” they are now offering the target prepaid redcard online. Looks like a very legitimate website. May be a way for Target or American Express to unofficially offer the card to people outside of test markets.

  6. Tried to reload my Target Red Card today using my Southwest Card. I’ve been loading $5000 a month for several months. Today a message popped up stating “Can not be reloaded with target gift card OR third party credit card”. Can no longer load this way.

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